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Century of family's life goes on TV.

THE remarkable story of a Coventry family is revealed in a four- part TV series which starts tonight.

A Family Century recounts 100 years of the Carpenters, who moved from Coventry to Nottingham in 1913.

The Channel 4 series will lay bare the secrets, scandals, triumphs and tragedies of Charles and Alice Carpenter and their 12 children.

The programme is a result of Sheila (now Bourner), daughter of Charles Carpenter, who answered a request in a magazine for anyone who wanted to tell their family story.

The 79-year-old historian spent her life filling 200 binders with documents and photos about her family.

Mrs Bourner, who has also written an autobiography, said: "Although I was born in Nottingham, I feel like I'm from Coventry. I've spent so much time digging through archives there, and I really love the city."

Three of the Carpenter clan are still alive: Margaret, aged 91, Joyce, aged 85, Sheila, aged 79, and Aline, aged 75.

Their experiences mirror the changing attitudes that shaped the developing women's movement.

Tonight's episode gets off to a dramatic start with a shotgun wedding, the tragic death of a 15-year-old and an extra marital affair.

Other light-hearted anecdotes include Mr Carpenter's passionate affair with Coventry and how he sacrificed every Christmas eve for 73 years to meet up with former school mates.

The first film also shows how the family coped with the birth of a possibly illegitimate brother during Mr Carpenter's absence in the First World War.

AJB
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 3, 2000
Words:248
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