ere's a real bonanza! We have here 13 fantastic group photographs, possibly from the Holbrooks/Keresley area. In most cases the group is obvious, others less so. The locations will probably be even more difficult to deduce - but hey, that's half the fun! If anyone recognises their family or friends, or can add something to fill in some gaps, then there's a topic been set up for discussing these on the Historic Coventry Discussion Forum - we'd love to meet you on there with any information you have, however small.
Clicking on any photo will open up a much larger version - click again to return.
Which archery club could this be - and who are these people who used to get off their butts (!) to practise their skills with the bow? (Apologies for the terrible pun!)
Martin Spink, now living in South Wales, would like to inform us that "The one on the far left is my granddad, Harold Smith, from Addison Road. I think the tallest one on the back row is his mate Jack Jones from Stevenson Road."David McGrory's granddad, William Henry Vince of Burnaby Road, is also part of this brave group of volunteers, and can be seen on the far right hand side of the back row."
More good news on this band of ARP wardens - Ron Memmott has recognised his father, Fred Memmott, who is the third person from the left, middle row. Ron adds that "He lived at 25 Camden Street from 1930 until his death in 1985."
I'd previously assumed that this photo was taken in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth's Coronation. I'm more than happy, however, to be able to correct this due to hearing from James Dimbleby, who seems to recall being the little drummer in the front row at this Commonwealth party, which most probably occurred in 1949 to celebrate the creation of the modern Commonwealth, and which explains the various representative garments worn by the children.
James, who was amazed to see this super photo on the internet, thinks that the backdrop is Keresley Colliery Park, which is at the bottom of Thompson Road off Bennett's Road where he used to live.
The "CD" would seem to denote "Civil Defence", but can anyone tell us more about this group, some of whom needed a little help putting on their berets properly!
I'm extremely grateful to Martin Pantling, who has written to fill in all the blanks regarding this photo....
"This photograph is Webster Steet taken in what is now the car park of the Foleshill Warehouse. The houses in the backround are 5, 7 & 9 Webster Street. The square brick structure in the top left hand corner is the top of Holmsdale Road Co-op building. They obviously used the waste ground to park their vans!"
Many thanks Martin for such a wonderful contribution.
I've had a wonderful email from Linda Green to tell us all that she's related to one of these fine chaps:
"The commanding officer (6th from left, seated) was George West, I am very proud to be his granddaughter. My granddad had been on the Somme in the Great War and so was granted the title of Major in the home guard. He was a true Cov kid having been born in Spon End and lived for most of his life within a very small area. He was steward at the Mayoress Club on Holyhead road for many years and a lot of the old boys kept in touch with each other there.
The lieutenant (7th from left, next to George) was Bill Navin. I have a copy of a very interesting piece from the Coventry Evening Telegraph, 4th October 1997, which gives Dr. Navin's memories. I believe they met at Westfield House on Radford Road, and trained near the Daimler factory."
I'm thrilled to report that Bill Griggs has written to me with a positive identification of this photo. It was previously captioned as the "Wheatsheaf Theatre Company" because of what was written on the back of the photograph. However, Bill has put this right now with the following explanation....
"The photograph is of the Lockhurst Lane Youth Club annual Fancy-dress in 1945, taken in the meeting room above the Co-op stables situated on the corner of Lockhurst Lane and Station Street West. How can I be so sure? I was a member of the club and have a picture taken at the same venue in 1946, showing mainly the same people and me."
Many thanks for this Bill - I wonder who else can be identified in this super photo?
We are extremely fortunate that this photo has come to the attention of Pat Parsons, a 1st Coventry G.B. Leader. When Pat came across it she instantly recognised it as being members of the Girls' Life Brigade (G.L.B.), and with help from others Pat has come up with some information....
"The photo is of 2nd Coventry Company G.L.B., which met at Foleshill Baptist Church, or possibly 2nd Battalion G.L.B., which were part of the then East Warwickshire Division.
"Right in the centre of the photo is Mrs Celia Forey who was Captain of 2nd Coventry G.L.B. and also became Commissioner of the East Warwickshire Division. Her husband, Dick Forey, held a similar position in the Boys' Brigade. For many years they owned a hardware shop on the Foleshill Road.
"Back row: Fourth from the left is Jean Kimberley and fifth from left is Doreen Barrow (Burrows?). Second from the right is Jean Juggins who emigrated to Australia (her husband had been one of the guards at Buckingham Palace).
"Middle Row: The first person on the left is Mrs. Bayley, or Bayliss. On the left of Mrs. Forey, as you are looking at the photo, is Mrs. Lilford who became captain after Mrs. Forey. She didn't belong to Foleshill Baptist, we think she and her husband, who was in the B.B., belonged to Harefield Road URC. Second from right is Dorothy Gee who also became Captain.
"Front Row: Third from the left is Joyce Byerly who served as an Officer with Dorothy Gee. Second from the right is Irene Brooks (now Elliott) who emigrated to Canada.
"The three Officers in the centre are wearing full ceremonial uniform, but most of those in the photo are wearing the uniform that was worn in the war known as P.E. Uniform or camp uniform. One other member said she has a photo of herself and her friend in that uniform in 1946, something to do with clothing coupons during the war.
"In 1965 G.L.B. amalgamated with the Girls' Guildry which was mostly in Scotland, and the Girls' Brigade (mostly in Ireland) to form the present Girls' Brigade (G.B.) which is very much updated."
Many thanks go to Pat and her friends for this wonderful array of information. This year (2013) G.B. Ireland are celebrating 120 years since formation, and are shortly holding a local reunion for former Leaders. You can learn more about them on their website: www.girlsb.org.uk
Please see the latest information about these photos on the Historic Coventry Discussion Forum.