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Rediscovering the city's lost suburbs; WRITER DAVID McGRORY DIGS INTO COVENTRY'S COLOURFUL PAST.


LOCAL historian David McGrory has published a new book charting the remarkable development of Coventry's suburbs.

Coventry kid Mr McGrory delved through the city's historical records and archives to uncover a wealth of memories, forgotten names and places to bring the city's past to life in The Illustrated History of Coventry's Suburbs.

The 45-year-old author, who lives in Radford, said: "I really learned a lot about the suburbs of Coventry researching this book.

"I enjoyed writing it and rediscovering lost facts. It covers some facts from pre-history to the building of houses. For example, there was a famous landmark in Foleshill known as the Donkey Stone, which was probably a pre-historic standing stone."

Mr McGrory, who writes the Saturday local history feature Time Tunnel in the Evening Telegraph, traces Coventry's expansion from rural villages to modern, urban areas. He writes about districts as diverse as Exhall and Canley to discover the city's colourful past.

Although Mr McGrory concentrates upon the obvious physical changes to Coventry, he also recounts the social history of its people. The exploits of notable individuals are brought to life through local anecdotes, myths and folklore.

Tales of the bizarre and unexpected crop up as Mr McGrory explains how local place names, customs and traditions came to be, and of how they have affected Coventry today.

The Illustrated History of Coventry's Suburbs is available in Coventry bookshops, published by Breedon Books and priced pounds 14.99.

In Saturday's Time Tunnel, David McGrory looks at the history of a barrage balloon site in Keresley.

Snippets from the book

Coventry was first unified as a county in 1451 by King Henry VI.

In the 19th Century the inhabitants of Allesley were accused of body snatching.

Caludon was named as the birthplace of St George in the 14th century when he was adopted as the national patron saint.

Jeffrey Wood's Cross, in Hillfields, was the burial site for the bodies of people who had committed suicide. The bodies were staked into the ground to prevent the souls of the dead from rising.

The origins of the Foleshill Road date back to the Roman period.


HISTORY LESSON: David McGrory with his book about Coventry's suburbs
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 9, 2003
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