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Books on Coventry

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Prof
Gloucester
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196 of 205  Sun 12th May 2019 4:51pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:1222

"Ships of Heaven" by Christopher Sommerville, is an excellent new book on English Cathedrals. He devoted one chapter to Coventry which I think is excellent. His only error, as I see it, is he "meets a Coventrian with a 'sing song' accent" (had to be a Welshman surely?) but apart from that his description is sensitive, detailed and enough to attract anyone to visit. Thoroughly recommended!
Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry
Wearethemods
Aberdeenshire
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197 of 205  Tue 8th Oct 2019 2:19pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:452

I have just purchased and read a book entitled "The Secret History of the Blitz" by Joshua Levine. It mentions Coventry periodically throughout, but has a chapter dedicated to the city, entitled "The Klondyke of the Midlands", pertaining to the influx of workers from many towns and cities throughout the UK including RoI, the population having grown from 90,000 in 1931 to 250,000 in 1940. The chapter primarily concerns the November Blitz, but also references the IRA bomb of 25th August 1939 and The 'Rex' being bombed a year to the day after and other raids. Albeit I have read 'Moonlight Sonata' there are anecdotes which I was unaware of. Obviously for copyright reasons I cannot narrate exactly, it mentions that a surface shelter in Silver Street suffered a collapsed roof, trapping a number of people. Another shelter on Greyfriars Green had 12 trapped who were communicating with rescuers, however two UXB's were located nearby so the rescue had to be temporarily abandoned. When they had been defused some three days later, only one survivor was found. On a darker note are reflections of the level of crime. Apparently all manner of thieves were committing all manner of offences, from rescue workers, soldiers & labourers. One person received a three month sentence with hard labour for stealing a Georgian church register from the Cathedral ruins! An Irish labourer was convicted of looting bottles of beer from a premises on Windsor Street (looting could be punishable by death!) There are many uplifting memories as well, including Pearl Hyde's famous "Devil's Kitchen" operating out of an underground room at the Central Police Station. Many 'High Society' volunteers helped, including Lady Mary Lygon and the Duchess of Marlborough! Apparently JB Shelton, a local draying contractor, was also an amateur archaeologist who found Roman artefacts/coins unearthed by the bombing. He was the only person apparently allowed to search ruins etc. without fear of arrest for looting! Finally, another anecdote in the book is the story of the caged bird that Kaga referred to previously, in fact it was Hull not Coventry unfortunately. A good book which I encourage you to get from the Library. Post copied from topic The Blitz - 14th November 1940 on 8th Oct 2019 6:13 pm
Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry
Prof
Gloucester
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198 of 205  Sun 20th Oct 2019 10:21pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:1222

Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry
Helen F
Warrington
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199 of 205  Mon 21st Oct 2019 12:16am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1814

I met a contingent of the Women's Research Group at the Council House on the Heritage Weekend. Unfortunately I couldn't stop and explore because I already had a list of places to look at. It looks like they've got a fair collection of stuff. Edited by member, 21st Oct 2019 10:04 am
Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry
Covkidd
Coventry
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200 of 205  Sat 9th Nov 2019 2:14pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:26

I don't know if this book - Coventry: Thursday, 14 November 1940 - has been mentioned before but it is excellent, and used, very cheap. Post copied from topic The Blitz - 14th November 1940 on 9th Nov 2019 3:14 pm
Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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201 of 205  Sat 9th Nov 2019 2:16pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1506

Rather than begin a new topic for one item, I thought I'd make use of this one for an item that's not directly about Coventry and, strictly speaking, not even a book! I have been given a large manuscript typed by J. B. Shelton all about the village of his birth, Kirkby Woodhouse, which is between Mansfield and Nottingham. If anyone has any interest in this place, please let me know and I'll arrange for you to have it, which also contains a few photos.
Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry
Wearethemods
Aberdeenshire
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202 of 205  Sun 24th Nov 2019 6:18pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2013  Total posts:452

Interesting to see J B Shelton in the earlier ones as well - I knew he lived there. Has anyone read or got a copy of his book. They are selling for over £100 on the web! Now that is a laugh!!
Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry
Helen F
Warrington
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203 of 205  Sun 24th Nov 2019 9:15pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1814

Book about Shelton Which book are you looking for?
Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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204 of 205  Sun 15th Dec 2019 11:39am  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1636

Very pleased, picked up a copy of “Coventry, Echoes of the past”, by Frank Roden, yesterday for £8 at Coleshill Antiques and Collectors Fair. 😀 Edited by member, 15th Dec 2019 11:40 am
Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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205 of 205  Tue 17th Dec 2019 10:39am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3303

Covkidd. The first page of that book you can read on here, it says Churchill knew the raid was coming, we all knew the raid was coming, we had two in October so we fully expected another. Now all these books, to me, say much the same thing which is obvious and they are all aftermath of the raid and hearsay. Not one I have read tells you what Coventry felt before the raid. Now a few weeks ago somewhere on this forum we were told that a Coventry man wrote about his feelings to the Telegraph and the bombing before the raid - surely this is the real story, a guy’s feelings of what he saw coming, same as most of us, not when it is all over. A BBC reporter said some unkind words about the state of the people, at the same time on the same page he showed an 11 year old girl bravely going to school the next morning - to me two complete contrasts. Can’t decide whether to buy the book or not.
Local History and Heritage - Books on Coventry

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