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Do you have a Valentine's postcard of unknown date? Try my card dating programme to solve your mystery!

As well as being a great source of old photographs, postcards can also provide an useful insight into the opinions of visitors to our city. A few candid words will quickly betray their thoughts, giving us the objective view of a neutral observer. It is also interesting to study the handwriting, the sentiments and the humour used by folk in decades gone by.

WWI: Nice at Coventry this Easter

It's nice to know that Elsie was having a 'nice time' in Coventry that Easter! Although there's no date or stamp present on the card, there is a small clue that hints at a particular time period....

A Postcard from Coventry.

....and that is in the address at the bottom; "92 Munition Cottages, Foleshill". As you may already be aware, Coventry was a very significant production centre for weapons and munitions in both World Wars, and this vast increase in factory production produced an urgent requirement to house thousands of workers. The names of many of the new streets built reflected the type of work being carried out, and the name of this quite extensive row of dwellings leaves little to the imagination.

Postcard text: ....it is very nice at Coventry and I have had a good time this Easter.

The Munition Cottages in Holbrook Lane, like much of Stoke Heath and the area around Red Lane, were built some time around the First World War. We can now learn a little more about these from Colin Barnes', whose parents both spent some of their early years living in the cottages between the wars. Colin adds the following....

"The cottages were just off Holbrook Lane - I think they stood where the Everdon Road estate is now. They were single storey, and constructed of breeze blocks with roofs of wood and fabric. The lofts in the cottages had no divisions, so as a boy my dad used to go into the roof space and could wonder the entire length of the row of cottages."

It's also a thrill to hear from a lady whose family lived in the Munition Cottages. Janet Jackson explains....

"My grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles all lived in the Munition Cottages in Coventry. My grandma is the person mentioned in the post card - Mrs Nicklin - 92 Munition Cottages was her address. I was thrilled to read the card and recognise my grandmother's name and address. The entire Nicklin family moved to Coventry after the First World War to find work. My own mother was born while the family lived at the cottages. They moved to nearby Butlin Road around 1936."

Janet has also sent in some wonderful photos of her own, showing members of her family outside these cottages. If anyone would like to try and recognise other members of the group, please take a look at this "photo mystery".

A Postcard from Coventry.

The picture on the front of the postcard, however, is not connected with any of this, and shows the bandstand that used to stand on Gosford Green, with what looks like King Richard Street and Grantham Street leading off Walsgrave Road in the background.

Brian Stansfield has some super memories of this bandstand, and would like to share them:

"I remember the Bandstand well, first memories of it were probably Saturday summer evenings, paid entrance through turnstiles into the park. We would have taken a picnic and sat around the bandstand listening to the music. I can recollect people getting up and dancing. Later it was fenced and surrounded by a hedge and used infrequently. We used it as 11 year olds as a perimeter for a racing track, timing each other for the fastest circuit. Happy days."

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