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Remember when . . . ?

Mrs Duggins' ladies were in the saddle

FOR many years, Middlemore's was one of the top cycle component suppliers in Coventry, based first in Little Park Street and later in Torrington Avenue.

Jean Bryan, of Mount Nod, wonders if employees of the late 1940s to early 50s remember the happy times spent working there.

She sent in a photograph showing herself and friends who worked at the factory from 1948-52, and would love other employees at the time to get in touch with her.

Jean, who was then Jean Watchorn, said: "Some of the ladies in the picture and myself have stayed firm friends over the years.

"Mrs Duggins was over us, we used to call her our form mistress. We were known as Mrs Duggins' ladies. Mr Vann was our manager.

"We had a lot of fun there," added Jean, now a mother of four grown-up sons, and married to Len.

She continued: "Our job was to make the saddles and we even made one for Princess Margaret - it was a silvery green one.

"We had a hand lift in which the saddles were lowered to the department below for the springs to be put into them, and I had a ride on it one day.

"It would be lovely to get in touch with other friends who worked there."

Phone Jean on 024 7646 9586 or write to her at 6 Cantlow Close, Mount Nod, Coventry, CV5 7HA.

THE photograph of children enjoying lunch outside at Binley Nursery School (Remember When? December 31) brought memories back for Mrs Ruth Anderton, of Clifford Bridge Road, whose daughter Lesley was also in the photograph.

Mrs Anderton writes: "My daughter Lesley was four when the photograph was taken in 1959. Sadly, Lesley died in 2001. I also remember Miss Davies who ran the nursery class and Miss Gill who taught at least two generations of 'Binley Kids'.

"My husband's favourite teacher was Miss Jones with her little red sports car, who taught in the 1940s."

MRS Christine Arnold is researching the Rudge-Whitworth Cycle Company. Anyone with information is asked to write to her at 95 Newcomer Road, Bedworth, CV12 OEP.

Star turn

TV personality Rolf Harris drew the crowds when he visited Coventry in December, 1980, for the opening of a Great Mills DIY store in Rotherham Road, Holbrooks.

During his visit, Rolf handed over a huge cake donated by the firm to Gulson Hospital.

Three years earlier, Rolf had dined at the Hotel Leofric and when asked to sign the visitor's book he delighted everyone by sketching himself on the didgeridoo.


IN 1423 John Grace, a follower of the Lollards, (said to have been a monk, a friar and a hermit), preached to a large congregation in the Little Park.

He was opposed by Richard Crosby, a prior at St Mary's, and John Bredon, of the Greyfriars. Much confusion arose and John Grace was committed to gaol.

lTaken from The Meaning of the Street Names of Coventry by Margaret Smedley.


CYCLE SUPPLIES: Middlemore's in Little Park Street; FRIENDS: Middlemore's staff in 1951 (back, from left) Sheila Draper and Edna Pritchard; (front) Nan Purdie, Mary Duffie and Jean Watchorn; IN CHARGE: Middlemore's directors H R Vann (left) and T J vickery in the boardroom
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 14, 2003
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