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Life in the Suburbs... TO mark the reprint and rerelease of local historian David McGrory's The Illustrated History of Coventry Suburbs we asked for your memories of life growing up in the city.

TO mark the reprint and rerelease of local historian David McGrory's The Illustrated History of Coventry Suburbs we asked for your memories of life growing up in the city. The book - printed by Breedon Books - is a fascinating tour of the suburbs, telling how the countryside, farms and villages developed into the urban areas, shopping precincts and industrial estates that we know today. We offered three books - worth pounds 14.99 each - for the best three memories sent in. Here are some of your tales, watch out for more, and news of our winners, coming soon.

Fab films at the Forum and helping out at St Michael's

I GREW up in Tennyson Road, Poets' Corner, Stoke. I lived there from the age of nine months to 24 years.

My parents moved to Tennyson Road in 1949. We lived at number 16, the Walsgrave Road end. When I was old enough to go alone with my schoolfriends we would all go to the Forum Cinema matinee performance for 6d in the long summer holidays. The Forum was less than five minutes away. My family and I enjoyed the films - they were much better than today's films.

I remember the paddling pool at Stoke Green. I went to Ravensdale School - infant and junior - and Stoke Secondary Girls' School. I enjoyed all my schooldays. I was a good child, my aunt was school secretary at Stoke Infants School when I was at Stoke Secondary School.

A bit further afield I can remember going to Gulson Hospital's clinic (above right) and getting off the bus at Bramble Street. I used to love the smell of Trouts the Bakers and watching the milk bottles go round at the dairy at the end of Gulson Road.

I also enjoyed the children's services at Stoke St Michael's (right) with the Rev Davies. He was so good, we did everything, took the collection, read the lesson, we were quite grown up and Walsgrave Road in the 50s was safe to cross unsupervised.

Hilary Cook, Laburnum Avenue, Kenilworth.

Happy childhood in Holbrooks in the 40s and 50s

MY family moved to Parkgate Road, Holbrooks, in 1948, at the time I was six years old in Keresley Hospital - now the Royal Court Hotel.

We lived next-door-but-one to the Parkgate Hotel, which had an orchard at the front where I learned to climb trees and scrump with the boys.

Across the road was Curzon's Garage and a row of cottages. Our larder had a stone slab for the milk which was delivered by horse and cart. Neighbours collected the horse manure in buckets for their gardens.

At the end of Parkgate Road in Holbrook Lane was Wilkinson's Store with groceries, fruit, vegetables and wet fish. Across the road was the Lyric Cinema and on the corner, the paper shop.

Sundays we went to church at St Luke's in Rotherham Road. Father Henry was vicar there for many years. On the corner of Lythalls Lane was the scout hut.

I attended Holbrooks Girls' School which was next to the boys' school in Holbrook Lane. It had an outside toilet block. The headmistress.

Miss Whitehouse, was very strict. Miss Black took the fourth year class - she said she had eyes in the back of her head (she used a mirror).

Our school supported the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the mayor Harry Weston visited us once. Our school planted trees around the playing field, between the school and Colledge Road, for the Queen's Coronation in 1953.

Like many others we had a street party to celebrate the Coronation. Happy Days!

Jean Gorry, nAe Darkins, Chetwode Close, Allesley Park.

Picnics where Ricoh stands

I GREW up in the 1970s in the Hen Lane area of Coventry - Ferndale Avenue.

I happily remember spending time during the long summer holidays exploring the local area.

Who remembers Poppy's Parlour? My friends and I could easily walk there along Burbages Lane, now all changed. On the way we would feed a farmer's friendly white horse. Once at Poppy's Parlour we would maybe have a picnic, collect a few wildflowers and then go home for tea. We walked for miles.

I also remember walking with dad along Bedlam Lane, past the smelly rag and bone place towards the canal in Longford. Over a high iron bridge, trying not to look down.

On the way back we stopped at a tiny isolated sweet shop in Bedlam Lane, now long gone. I learned many names of trees and insects on these nature walks. It is amazing to think that the Ricoh Arena now stands on that site.

In the autumn I used to collect blackberries from the hedgerows for mum to make jam. Sometimes I even found hazelnuts, but many of these areas have disappeared. Locally there were several shops. I would often run errands for my mum to Ebrells or Cooper's in Hen Lane, where cheese and cooked meat was weighed out and wrapped for each customer.

And who could forget DeCani's where you could buy any item for DIY. I mostly remember how wonderful that shop smelt, a mixture of compost, putty, paint and wood.

Mrs Lesley Higgerson, Arnold Avenue, Styvechale.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 8, 2006
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