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Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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151 of 164  Tue 10th Nov 2020 12:40pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1653

Does this 1937 NE looking aerial view from Britain From Above help? With the Old Grammar School in the background as a reference, we can see in the centre of the photo the Rex on the left and Meteor Works to its right, forming a V shape. It appears to be the equal and opposite view to Neil's photo in post 120, which was looking SW
West Orchard
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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152 of 164  Tue 10th Nov 2020 12:50pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1653

This view looking south east, also from 1937, is even better. Look at the style of windows on the Meteor Works, and the sign in the centre of it. Helen, you were spot on all along. Smile
West Orchard
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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153 of 164  Tue 10th Nov 2020 1:05pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3788

Helen, I doubt that with the Wine Lodge off the corner of the Burges and the shape of the Owen Owen building on, and the fire steps that small, and Trinity Street, it's as I thought - a jumble of maps that don't fix a date. That area was a mass of old buildings that changed hands every few days as far as we know. The Rex was a brand new site, with everything to put Coventry to the front, not scruffy at all. I'm sorry I just can't see it, now I'm just looking for a date.
West Orchard
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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154 of 164  Tue 10th Nov 2020 3:25pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3788

Helen I have been looking at the maps again, and everything seems to add up, that you are right. I can't see a better spot. I am very sorry to have doubted you, and mine is a very distant memory. Sorry. Kaga.
West Orchard
Helen F
Warrington
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155 of 164  Tue 10th Nov 2020 3:59pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2606

No problem Kaga. Thumbs up Those maps and the aerial photos are well worth a good rummage. One tip is to get a log in account to the aerial photos site - Britain From Above. That way you can zoom in and see more detail. It's how I solve most of the questions. I enter Coventry into the search box and have looked carefully at every one I think might be useful and then a few I didn't. Some are poor, some are too far away but they've got a wealth of information. Wander about the city and refresh those amazing memories of yours Smile Link to Britain From Above with Coventry set Edited by member, 10th Nov 2020 4:03 pm
West Orchard
moriarty
allesley park coventry
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156 of 164  Mon 16th Nov 2020 12:32pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2017  Total posts:51

This is a very interesting topic as I didn't realise there were all these early factories behind Corporation Street. We sometimes caught the bus from opposite the Gas Showrooms (there was a row of bus shelters there at one time and it was a very busy area). It must have been easy to see these factories but I don't recall them. I do remember the Rex market, I was very young and was taken in it just one time. On maps it is shown as the whole of the Rex complex but I'm not sure that is right - there were two entrances, one east, one west and just a path between where the traders were. There seemed to be some sort of barrier to the auditorium. Much later I do remember walking through a gap between shops in the Burges opposite the Coventry Cross pub, to the right was a small wall and looking over it you could see the sad little Sherbourne. The whole area was rubble, completely destroyed by the council - no elf and safety then - and further up the top casement of the river had been opened, this of course would have been pre-car park and Smithford Way. Looking back through the posts it seems the buildings are getting mixed up, so to recap... The above image is taken on the Rex car park, the Rex is on the right. It's a demonstration or test, the jets are not playing on the building (as has been said) but the building is the Victoria (mills), the water is returning to the Sherbourne just over the wall. The above image is correctly labelled Meteor Works, the windows are arched and very similar to the Victoria building. It looks like the ground floor, but this building is to the west of the Rex complex and has only a few floors. The drawing above shows you the Meteor building in relation to Victoria (mills). So Rover moved from this Meteor building to Queen Victoria Road and established a factory there (is it the Iceland supermarket now?). Hope you don't mind me borrowing the photo's - thanks.
West Orchard
Helen F
Warrington
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157 of 164  Mon 16th Nov 2020 1:29pm  
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Well summed up moriarty. The bulk of the factories had gone by the time the Rex Market was in operation, but there were buildings with Rex in their title flanking the entrance to the area. You probably couldn't see the Victoria Works from Corporation Street at that time and once in the market there would have been far more interesting things to look at. I've found the post war photos useful because the missing buildings opened up views that weren't there before.
West Orchard
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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158 of 164  Tue 17th Nov 2020 11:35am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3788

Helen And you couldn't see Corporation Street or Queen Victoria Road from that fireman photo, only when you walked in from the Burges as I remember.
West Orchard
moriarty
allesley park coventry
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159 of 164  Tue 17th Nov 2020 12:40pm  
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Yes, I see what you mean. Rob's photo 152 does show a lot is hidden behind the Rex especially if you were a little kid! It depends how much Rex was left standing after the war. Incidentally have you noticed how the camera can lie. Rob’s photo 152 shows the rear left corner of the Rex halfway down the Victoria building, yet in 151 photo (that left corner) it's level with the end of the Victoria building (the front right hand side of the Victoria building). In the photo 152 there appears to be an extra tower attached to the front right hand edge of the Victoria building.and yet in 151 it seems to disappear. Of course it is the attached white tower on the end which is at an angle (the reference to the buildings is looking south from Corporation Street). I’ll stop now!
West Orchard
Helen F
Warrington
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160 of 164  Tue 17th Nov 2020 1:30pm  
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The funny shaped white building on the end of the Victoria Works is what was left of the Exchange Works (demolition pre war)? Whether it held stairs or whether they thought it was serving to prop up that end of the Victoria works, we'll never know. How much of the Rex survived behind the front buildings I also couldn't say. The first maps and aerial views show it all gone, apart from the side buildings fronting the street.
West Orchard
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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161 of 164  Wed 18th Nov 2020 11:27am  
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Rob’s post 152 clearly shows the Rex cinema but not the shops and offices attached either side, as both an older, and famous, member and I agreed were there during its short period. I have no answer for this. but this was long before the market, little of the area was visible for it was all tall buildings, on all three sides of the area, except the tall buildings that towered above, congested, smelly, hidden, it was not visited by strangers as there were no shops or market.
West Orchard
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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162 of 164  Thu 19th Nov 2020 8:41am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3788

I think Boots had a shop just below West Orchard, when it was bombed it became most of the market at the back of the old Rex, in its own backyard practically.
West Orchard
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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163 of 164  Fri 20th Nov 2020 9:58am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3788

Moriarty So when was Victoria Mills knocked down? 1937, the Meteor was the largest building that side of WO and it survived the blitz. The same as the other side of WO, the largest building was the market tower that survived too. On post 156 you said the council had made the rubble. I would say the Germans made the rubble. It would have been foolish to have moved it before the end of the war, and after the war the council had larger things to build. To me the Rex market was not official like the temp shops they built. And the council were very safety minded, they had troops in before the all clear sirens had finished, to rope off or place barriers around unsafe areas. No, the Council made their mistakes before the raid, like issuing hundreds of Anderson shelters, instructing people to put earth over them, then constructing street shelters and placing great concrete slabs over them.
West Orchard
NeilsYard
Coventry
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164 of 164  Fri 20th Nov 2020 5:09pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2869

On 20th Nov 2020 9:58am, Kaga simpson said: So when was Victoria Mills knocked down?
Kaga, my picture in post #122 is the mill being bulldozed - I think it was mid-60's to build the West Orchard multi-storey.
West Orchard

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