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ALL may not be quite as it seems in Coventry city centre's mediaeval Spon Street - and the culprit could be ghost affectionately known as George.

Strange goings-on have been reported over the years in the old shops and houses. Objects moving or disappearing, tunes played on wine bottles, mysterious footsteps and even burglars being scared off the premises have all been attributed to the ghost.

The unexplained events have led one man who worked in a hi-fi repair shop in Spon Street more than 30 years ago to investigate.

Derek Jenkins, aged 68, who ran Audio Sound with partner Bill Tisdale until the shop was moved to Holyhead Road in 1966, believes George is in fact a woman, killed during an air raid in the Second World War.

He said: "The former West End Club on Spon Street, took a direct hit from a German bomb with 12 people sheltering in the basement."They were all killed and one of them was a lady called Annie, who was taking refuge with her daughter, when the bomb struck. I believe she is the ghost."

Mr Jenkins, of Falstaff Road, Tile Hill, believes the ghost has only been active since the ring road was built in 1965. "There are no real reports or sightings of George until 1965 when it seems she was somehow disturbed as the ring road cut Spon Street in two," he said. "From then on, I have heard of 50 incidents.

"I have never seen it myself but I have felt it push me and Bill in the back while we were working. And one day our cleaner was working upstairs when she gave an ear-splitting scream, ran down the stairs out of the shop and never came back."

Mr Jenkins is researching a book about the Spon Street ghost and has so far interviewed 14 people who have come into contact with it.

He said: "I want to speak to as many people as I can who have seen the ghost or have a story to tell about it"

Mr Jenkins can be contacted on 01203 470226.

Spooky food for thought

ONE of the buildings where George has been seen and heard is Ostlers Restaurant in Spon Street.

Staff in the 15th Century building, damaged by fire in December last year and now being refurbished, have reported numerous spooky occurrences.

Suzanne Davies, aged 45, a joint partner at the restaurant, said: "There have been a lot of unexplained incidents over the years such as things falling off shelves when they had been placed at the back chairs moving, and the kettle being switched on and off.

"And once a tune was being played by tapping the wine bottles when I was in the restaurant on my own.

"We also had a spate of burglaries and someone said I should ask George to look after the premises.

"I did and although someone broke in three more times, each occasion they fled empty handed and it looked as though they had been disturbed."
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Author:Hart, Nigel
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 27, 1999
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