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NeilsYard
Coventry
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1 of 71  Thu 7th Apr 2011 2:42pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2813

Add any you know - I always knew this but for those who don't : Stan and Ollie Clark Gable stopped at the Abbey Hotel Kenilworth as well apparently! And how about this one - not quite Coventry but all the same! Steve McQueen in Meriden
Famous Coventry Visitors
dutchman
Spon End
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2 of 71  Thu 7th Apr 2011 6:45pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2841

The bike used in The Great Escape was also a Triumph TR6 Trophy but disguised as German BMW.
Famous Coventry Visitors
Wighter
Isle of Wight
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3 of 71  Fri 8th Apr 2011 7:57pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2011  Total posts:32

My late uncle was a chief buyer for Triumph in Meriden! Would have been around this time but he never mentioned Steve McQueen!
Famous Coventry Visitors
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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4 of 71  Fri 9th Sep 2011 10:59pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:54

I worked for Harry Ferguson Research at Toll Bar End in the sixties and remember Stirling Moss, Bruce McLaren, Graham Hill, Mike Hawthorn, Jim Clark (before he was really famous), Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus, and Raymond Baxter visiting the factory at various times. When I worked at Meriden later, in 1976, the Stranglers visited to, I think, pick up a bike for their lead singer.
Famous Coventry Visitors
NeilsYard
Coventry
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Thread starter
5 of 71  Mon 12th Sep 2011 2:36am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2813

roj - really interesting! I'm a bit F1/Lotus enthusiast (and owner!) I've seen a photo of Chapman and Clark with a Climax Fork-Lift at the factory. The Lotus 64 ran Ford engines and Ferguson transmission for Indianapolis circa 1969. Presume this may have been a visit to plan.
Famous Coventry Visitors
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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6 of 71  Mon 12th Sep 2011 3:37pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:54

Hi Neilsyard, I had a Lotus Elite years ago, with a climax engine, one of the most beautiful small coupes ever. I worked on the Novi Indy car whilst at HFR. Andy Granatelli was the boss of STP-Novi then, and used to go around with a man who used to wash his feet for him anywhere and anytime. we had a great time there, as well as lots of interesting cars to play with. There is a thing called The Ferguson Family Museum in Freshwater Isle of Wight, which has a number of old prototypes and thousands of pictures, well worth a visit. My email is public if you want to drop me a line anytime, to chat about my lifelong obsession.
Famous Coventry Visitors
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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7 of 71  Mon 12th Sep 2011 5:51pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3652

I received years of orthopaedic surgery at the Paybody Hospital in Allesley as an infant, child & teenager. One of the entertainers who came to visit us was Mr. Pastry. I think 1956. This is a library picture of him from Flickr, it is not my picture. If you will pardon the pun, he had everyone in stitches. Lol
Famous Coventry Visitors
NeilsYard
Coventry
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Thread starter
8 of 71  Mon 12th Sep 2011 11:09pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2813

Roj - fantastic! I love hearing stories from the glory days of Coventry car production. Would have been superb meeting Andy Granatelli. Colin Chapman was a real hero of an engineer of mine. I'm sure he kept his workers on his toes but a real genius. I recall a neighbour of my mum pulled up to me years ago after he saw my Lotus on her drive - a fellow petrolhead. He worked at Browns Lane and knew William Lyons. I was fascinated by him telling me things like when Lyons would make him bounce up and down in the back of a prototype XK120 whilst it was being driven to test suspension clearences!! Those really were the days it seems. I bet you wish you still had that fantastic Elite Roj - have you seen the prices they go for now!!
Famous Coventry Visitors
rojwhittle
derbyshire
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9 of 71  Tue 13th Sep 2011 2:27pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:54

Hi Neils. Yes I do wish I still had it. The prices would not matter, as it would not be for sale. I can not get interested in any modern cars, however exotic. You will not be pleased to know I now drive around in an old Peugeot 306 auto, and this after things lik Alfa gtv, Citroen DS, Merc SLs, Lotus Elite, Elan and Seven. I wish I could have all the money back as well. Interesting you should think I knew Granatelli. I worked around him for weeks, but not once did say hello. I did have an interesting afternoon with William Lyons once, when he came into Jaguar to look at The XJS, which he hated. He explained to me why it did not look like a Jaguar (he thought it looked like a Datsun), and told me how to fashion the "pelvic muscle" over the rear wing. He was a nice man, a lost breed.
Famous Coventry Visitors
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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10 of 71  Wed 14th Sep 2011 3:16am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:2907

Not a mention of famous visitors here NeilsYard but on the subject of old cars. My husband bought a 1936 BSA Scout two-seater back in 1959 I think it was, it only had one owner previously who had it standing in her garage and wanted to get rid of it as her husband had died. Well, we had it for a few years and had so much joy out of it touring as far down as Plymouth. The radiator over heated on Porlock Hill and we know what a pain that used to be during bank holiday in a traffic jam, but all was well after a while and we had lots of waves and offer to help. Grand little car. The last time we saw trace of it was in the Mayfair magazine showing old cars at a motor show in some stately home. Would love to know where it is now. Will have to dig the photos out sometime. Cheers.
Famous Coventry Visitors
Elaine
Coventry
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11 of 71  Wed 14th Sep 2011 9:49am  
Member: Joined Feb 2011  Total posts:64

My late husband used to work at Land Rover and he had seen Bryan Adams (known for his love of Land Rovers) at the site, checking out his latest purchase.
Famous Coventry Visitors
dutchman
Spon End
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12 of 71  Wed 14th Sep 2011 3:30pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2841

I saw the late author Beryl Bainbridge once when she visited my stepfather's art gallery in Hearsall Lane. That would have been around 1974. The weird thing was she was also on the TV upstairs talking to (I think) Melvyn Bragg at the same time she was drinking whisky with my stepfather downstairs!
Famous Coventry Visitors
morgana
the secret garden
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13 of 71  Tue 8th Nov 2011 8:03pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:1692

Billy Fury at the Coventry Theatre also Frankie Howerd I can recall when we were taken to the Coventry Theatre pantomine from the Jag and Daimler club as my dad was a member each year they would treat us to a party with presents or the pantomine the AEU club on the Foleshill Road too.
Famous Coventry Visitors
K
Somewhere
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14 of 71  Wed 9th Nov 2011 8:07pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:540

In the 1950s/60s my brother and I were Coventry Tape Recording Club members. The club - in the shape of Les Skingley, editor of GEC's "Loudspeaker" magazine and one other - took a wind up Boosey and Hawkes tape recorder to the Coventry Theatre to interview various well-known entertainers when they performed there. They interviewed a (reluctant!) Bernard Miles, and also the Beverley Sisters, among others. Harry Secombe performed there too, but I don't think they got to interview him. After talking to the latter for about 20 minutes, someone picked up the jack lead of the microphone, and said "Do you think it might be an idea to plug this in?" Amidst much embarrassment and grovelling, the Beverleys patiently agreed to do it all again. In those days, the club met in a pub (?) lounge, in a yard off the High St, but later migrated to Rotherhams' social club, inside their factory in Spon St. Incidentally, I know John, Bernard Miles' son, very well indeed from my Lotus days.
Famous Coventry Visitors
morgana
the secret garden
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15 of 71  Wed 9th Nov 2011 8:50pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:1692

You mean Lord Miles Smile yes a lot of famous people went to the Cov Theatre. The pub in the High Street, was it the Court Yard? Cheers
Famous Coventry Visitors

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