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The 'burbs revealed in remarkable old pictures; HISTORIAN AND WRITER DAVID McGRORY DIGS INTO THE CITY'S COLOURFUL PAST.

Byline: LIZ SIDWELL

RARELY seen pictures of Coventry have been unearthed by a local historian for a book about the development of the city's suburbs.

Coventry kid David McGrory delved through the city's archives to uncover a wealth of remarkable photographs - as well as 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.

"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's book concentrates on major changes to the landscape of Coventry, he also explores the social history of the people of the city, and how local place names, customs and traditions came about.

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

How things have changed

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.

CAPTION(S):

HISTORY LESSON: David McGrory; DRAMA: A train derailed in Albany Road on July 2, 1904; FLOOD: Summer Row in Radford Road, opposite Radford Common, under water at the beginning of the 1940s. ; PICTURESQUE: Whitley Bridge in Victorian times. The bridge carried the original London Road across the Sherbourne and past Whitley Mill. The mill and the nearby cottage are now gone
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 9, 2003
Words:373
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