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1. Sixty Years of Cycling - 1897 magazine article
2. The Arno Motor Company of Coventry 1908-1916, by Damien Kimberley
3. The New Bablake Schools - 1889 article
4. Public Baths - The Building News, Jan 24th 1896
5. A short history of Coventry's Theatres and Cinemas, by Bill Birch
6. The Brough Superior, by Damien Kimberley
7. Proposal for St. Michael's Campanile c1890
8. Coventry's Rich Heritage, by Pete Walters
9. Coventry, the Home of the Cycle Trade - 1886 magazine article
10. The Dragoon Cycle Company of Coventry, by Damien Kimberley
11. Edwin Brown, Victorian Animal Artist, by Stephen Catton
12. Coventry Volunteer Fire Brigade - Illustrated London News, Jan 4th 1862
13. The Great Flood of December 1900, and the lost Bridges, by Damien Kimberley
14. Coventry's Great Flood - London Daily Graphic, 2nd January 1901
15. New Drinking Fountain at Coventry - 17 Sep 1859
16. Henry Cave, and the 'Lady' Autocar of 1899, by Damien Kimberley
17. The Lion Bicycle Company of Coventry & Wolverhampton 1877-1882, by Damien Kimberley
18. The Beech on Wheels, by Derek Robinson and forum member Foxcote
19. Phil Silvers Archival Museum, by Paul Maddocks
20. Transport Museum pt.3 - Creating the Blitz Experience, by Paul Maddocks
21. What links a Spitfire's landing gear to a baby buggy? by Paul Maddocks
22. The sound that almost killed my Dad in the War!, by Paul Maddocks
23. D-Day and Monty's Staff Car, by Paul Maddocks
24. Transport Museum pt.2 - New Hales Street Entrance in 1985, by Paul Maddocks
25. Transport Museum pt.1 - How the Queen's 1977 visit sowed the seed, by Paul Maddocks
26. What links R2D2 to a Coventry Hydrogen/Electric cab company? by Paul Maddocks
27. Transport Museum pt.6 - The Royal Cars, by Paul Maddocks
28. Transport Museum pt.5 - The 1987 F.A. Cup Winners' Sky Blue Bus, by Paul Maddocks
29. The Tapestry and its Hidden Secret, by Paul Maddocks
30. Transport Museum pt.4 - Coventry's Land Speed Record Cars, by Paul Maddocks
31. Whitefriars Gatehouse and Toy Museum, by Paul Maddocks
32. WW1 and Wyley of Charterhouse, by Paul Maddocks
33. Miss Bashford, a Teacher's Tale, by Simon Shaw
34. Motor Panels (Coventry) Ltd, by Damien Kimberley
35. Not Forgotten, the 1939 IRA bomb attack, by Simon Shaw
36. Let's talk about Rex, by Damien Kimberley
37. Coventry, the Silk Trade and the Horsfall family, by Ian West
38. The Saint Joseph the Worker parish in Coventry, by Terence Richards - Part 1
39. The Saint Joseph the Worker parish in Coventry, by Terence Richards - Part 2
40. The Saint Joseph the Worker parish in Coventry, by Terence Richards - Part 3
41. A brief history of Saint Osburg's, in pictures, by Damien Kimberley
42. The First Tudor Feast, by Richard Ball
43. 1930s Austin's Monthly Magazine articles, by John Bailey Shelton MBE
44. Plan for the City Centre - The Architect and Building News, 21st March 1941

1930s Austin's Monthly Magazine articles, by John Bailey Shelton MBE

as originally published in Austin's Monthly Magazine from November 1832 to June 1939

Compiled and transcribed by R. W. Orland, 2005

I'm sincerely grateful to the Shelton family for their kind permission and encouragement to publish these works.

J. B. Shelton's post-war book A Night in Little Park Street can be viewed here (in PDF format).


Display ALL articles

Date:Subjects covered:


NovGosford Gate
DecCo-op Site, West Orchard


JanWest Orchard, Bridge etc.
FebBroadgate Excavations
MarBroadgate Excavations
AprBroadgate Excavations
MayBlack Bull Inn, Pepper Lane
JunBlack Bull Inn
JulCox Street - River Excavations
AugCox Street - River Excavations
SepCox Street - River Excavations
OctCox Street - River Excavations
NovCox Street - River Excavations
DecPark Side Excavations


JanPark Side Excavations
FebBurges Excavations
MarBenedictine Site Excavations
AprBenedictine Site Excavations
MayBenedictine Site Excavations
JunBenedictine Site Excavations
JulCoventry Castle
AugBenedictine Site, Palmer Lane Guest House
SepBenedictine Site, Wooden Bridge
OctAntiquities Exhibition at the Drill Hall
NovWell Street Excavations
DecPriory Pool & Mills


JanPriory Pool & DIstrict
FebNew Buildings, Tower Foundations
MarCity Wall, Cook Street Gate, Plumb House
AprPriory Tower
MayPriory Tower, Gulson Road, Round Tower, New Gate Foundations
JunBroad Well, Burges Ford, Palmer Lane
JulWhite Friars
AugMeeting House, Smithford Street
SepMeeting House, Smithford Street
OctMeeting House, Smithford Street, St. John's Hospital Excavations
NovSt. John's Hospital, Barracks Square, Black Bull Inn
DecBarracks Square, Black Bull Inn


JanBarracks Square, Black Bull Inn
FebButcher Row
MarButcher Row
AprButcher Row
MayButcher Row
JunOwen Owen's Site
JulOwen Owen's Site
AugOwen Owen's Site
SepOwen Owen's Site
OctTrinity Street
NovTrinity Street
DecTrinity Street


JanBenedictine Museum
FebPool Meadow to Priory Street
MarPool Meadow to Priory Street
AprPool Meadow to Priory Street Excavations
MayBull Ring, Pottery Kiln, Hippodrome
JunHippodrome, Rex Cinema
JulBablake Excavations
AugCow Lane Site Excavations


MayRex Site, Trinity Street
JulBroadgate Excavations
SepBablake Excavations, Co-op Site, West Orchard
OctTrinity Street, Bull Ring
NovSt. Mary's Cathedral Site, Bull Ring
DecSt. Mary's Cathedral Site, Bull Ring


JanPost Office Excavations
FebSt. Mary's Cathedral Site
MarArt Gallery and Museum
AprArt Gallery and Museum
MayArt Gallery and Museum
JunBablake Excavations

Meeting House, Smithford Street

September 1935


My last article dealt with the building of the Great Meeting House; now I want to describe what excavations reveal. For many years it has been said that beneath the Meeting House there was a crypt in good condition, that people had entered it and that it contained stones for holding leather, also that the places where knives were sharpened were to be seen. This crypt was said to be a part of the Leather Hall, and even the "house-breakers" were warned of its presence. I myself thought a crypt was there, but did not think it was once part of the Leather Hall. I quote W. Reader, who in his history of Coventry says - "The Presbyterian Dissenters, ever since such liberty had been granted by the late King James, had holden their meetings at St. Nicholas Hall, in West Orchard, where they had erected seats and galleries; but as this was an inconvenient situation, they built in 1701 a very decent and commodious Meeting House in Smithford Street, near to the said Hall, which with the purchase of the old houses cost about £800. Here it still remains."

A right of way ran between the Meeting House and this Hall, the deeds of which I have in my possession. In 1738 the ruins were sold in "fee farm" by the Corporation to William Freeman for £55 5s. and the deed signed by Samuel Eburne, Mayor, when the brick buildings now standing on large stone foundations were built. More will be said about the Hall in our issue next month.

Under the Meeting House were several places where the clay had been dug to a depth of 10 to 12 feet - no doubt the clay was for puddle for walls. Into these holes was thrown the cattle dung from the sheds, and in one place a mare and foal had been buried together, while evidently a quantity of faggots had been used in trying to burn them. One shoe from a fore-foot was found, and in the next pit a shoe of the 15th century was found in good condition. Its pointed toe was turned up, and to keep it stiffened when kneeling, a quantity of moss had been forced into it; near by a piece of mediaeval lead, about l1/2-in. bore, was found; this pipe was cast in the flat in lengths of 6 or 7 feet, and folded over, with the joint hammered and welded very skilfully into a piece on the top; the ends were placed together, and a large joint made flat on the top, wiped round underneath, and standing out from the pipe about one inch. This lead would most likely be brought from Derbyshire on pack horses, and would contain silver. Its use I think would be to carry the water from the conduit which stood in Smithford Street to the Leather Hall. This conduit stood near the White Horse Inn, and was under the care of the occupants of the Black Bull Inn, just opposite. Its water supply may have been from St. Katherine's well on the conduit head at the top of the Holyhead Road, which supplied the conduit near St. John's Church, afterwards Conduit Yard, and another conduit where Spon End schools now stand.

In 1487 one Thomas Harrington (an organ maker's son at Oxford, who had called himself the son of the Duke of Clarence) was brought a prisoner to this city on the Wednesday after St. Peter's Day; he was afterwards beheaded on the conduit opposite "The Bull," and buried at the Grey Friars, Warwick Lane. Why they should behead a man on the site which held their drinking water we cannot understand, but such was life in those days.

In the right of way at the west side of the Meeting House a large wine barrel was buried, its bottom being taken out, and the top put into the ground about ten feet, with two bung holes left open for drainage. It is a common occurrence to find these tubs, which were used as rubbish tips. The oak sides and bottom were in good condition after five or six hundred years in the earth. On examining the widest piece at the bottom a mark in the form of a star was found, as though it may have been "star brand."

In last month's issue, for Dr. Green read "Dr. Grew," and for 1672 read "1662."

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