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11. 1940s & 50s remembered, by Ken Giles
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13. A selection of 1940s and 50s memories, by Rod Joyce
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22. Viewing the Blitz from Birmingham, by Mavis Monk
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27. Experiences of the Coventry Blitz, by Joan Powell
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32. Time Gentlemen Please! - Jo Shepherd's Family
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35. Early Coventry memories of Lizzie Tomlinson
36. Post-war decades remembered, by Mike Tyzack
37. Fireman Frank Walduck, remembered by Peter Walduck
38. Early memories of Coventry, by Muriel Wells
39. Family memories of Burt West
 

1940s & 50s remembered, by Ken Giles


After reading Derick Parson's memories of his band life Ken Giles was motivated to write to me to say that he was also a member of the Corps of Drums, playing a cavalry trumpet with them around 1952/53....


I remember those years very well, we played at the London Road Cemetery when I believe the Royals visited (can't remember which ones). Then, as Derick said, we marched on the stage of the Hippodrome. We had torches taped to our trumpets and the drummers had lights on their drumsticks. All the lights in the theatre were switched off as we figure marched on stage. They were good times and good memories.

I was born in September 1940 in Ashmore Road, Coundon, and on the night of the Coventry Blitz I was only about six weeks old. My mother had me at home (as they did in those days) and on that night there were two houses on one side of ours, and two houses the other side, all destroyed. We were in the house at the time and the blast sent all the soot down the chimney and covered us all. On another occasion my mother was pushing me in the pram down Hill Street, and as she got close to Leigh Mills we were both the target of a German fighter plane. She thought he was trying to get the people coming out of Leigh Mills. Mind you, these were stories told to me by my mother, but she didn't handle the truth carelessly so I have no reason to disbelieve her.

Bombed houses Ashmore Road, showing the gaping spaces where their neighbours' houses oce stood.

After the war we still lived in Ashmore Road. It is a small road with only twenty four houses so we were all like one big family. At the start of 2013 I sent a photograph to the Telegraph of our Coronation Day Street Party, and asked if there were any of the old neighbours still around who remembered that day. Bearing in mind that I got married and moved away in 1962, to my surprise I got several replies from old neighbours who still live in the Coventry area. Encouraged by the response I took it another step further and invited anyone from the street who was interested to a reunion.

Coronation Day 1953 Coronation Day 1953. Sadly the young lady that took the part of Princess Elizabeth passed away in 2013, just weeks before the reunion, which she had planned to go to. Ken is the only boy in the line up, taking the part of the Duke of Edinburgh - his dad is standing in the doorway of their house, number 15.

This went very well and I have met up with all my long lost friends from fifty years ago. One is still living in the same house - she is 96 this year. We had another reunion just before Christmas and we are planning another for 2014. For this, one of the neighbours is coming over from Canada. Hope you find this interesting - it might encourage others to go down the same route, the rewards are great.

If anyone would like to get in touch regarding a reunion, please use the link below to email Ken.


 
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1940s & 50s remembered, by Ken Giles
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