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any questions?

Memories of island friends who pooled their resources

FOR generations, ducks, geese and swans have flocked to their very own island home on Quinton Pool in Cheylesmore, Coventry. But how exactly did it come to be there?

"I FEEL sure there was no island at Quinton Pool until the summer of 1956 when my son John, 14 years old, and his school pal, Peter Boddington, both constructed canoes in the school holidays, which they tried out on the pool.

"With trials on the water under way they came across a shallow area in mid pool where they ran aground, and that gave rise to an exciting possibility - the construction of a landing stage - dry land in the middle of the lake.

"With all the debris from the Coventry Blitz nearby and piles of rubble from dismantled air raid shelters littering the area, they decided to take the hard-core out to the shallow water.

"They sank it, building a mini-island which you could stand on.

"More pranks would follow - the transporting of some of the younger lads to the island where they left them as castaways, and then pretended to go home to tea!"

Ron Atkins,

Mary Herbert Street, Coventry.

l John Atkins went on to be an outstanding competitive cyclist and Peter Boddington boxed professionally.

...AS A boy and teenager I lived in Lichfield Road, Cheylesmore (1937- 52) and recall the pool as a haven for rafting and sailing model boats, though the whole length was encompassed with thick reeds and nesting moor hens and swans.

During the 40s when winters were hard the water iced over to a depth of four to six inches, which encouraged skating across the surface from the hard standing put there by the Cheylesmore division of the AFS to the steel-plated sluice at the far end.

Geoff Wells,

Beake Avenue, Radford.

ACCORDING to a wall calendar some vagabonds called the Coventry Gang were hanged in Coventry on August 10, 1764. Who were they?

MEMBERS of the Coventry Gang were John Duples, William Palliser, Margaret Brown and Sarah Jones. They were executed for robbery on Wednesday, August 10, 1763 not 1764, according to my information.

Mrs M Cobble,

Pinewood Drive, Binley Woods.

...THE Coventry Gang was just one of many organised gangs that roamed the country in those days. Their meeting place was the Seven Stars Inn, now the Folly Lane Club on the London Road near Whitley.

On the day of Coventry's Great Fair 1763, the four went to the Castle Inn, Broadgate, and broke into an upstairs cupboard where takings and silverware were kept.

The landlord, a Mr Bayley, disturbed them and held John Duples, but the others escaped immediate capture.

Matthew Glasgow,

Cornwall Road, Charterhouse.

QDID John Spencer (of Nostalgics fame) make an appearance in the Belgrade recent play about the 2-Tone phenomenon, Three Minute Heroes?

AYES, I was amazed to see my wife and I in a video clip on stage as the band were singing Ghost Town. They sing about the good old days and Maureen and I are seen twirling around.

Belgrade Theatre staff arranged for the short dance sequence in the rehearsal room at the AEU office in Corporation Street. We had to foxtrot in the beam of a spotlight alternately facing the camera.

It was nice that we should represent the days of ballroom dancing and the big bands.

John Spencer,

Chancellor's Close,

Cannon Park.

A READER'S letter prompted Edmund Batstone, 81, of Ernesford Avenue, Lower Stoke, to remind old city dwellers of his grandparents' cake shop which was on the corner of Cox Street and Ford Street from the 1890s until it closed in 1928.

He writes: "An enquiry in Any Questions, September 6, about the Coventry Coffee Tavern Co brought a detailed response about the Queen Alexandria Coffee Tavern, but nothing about the cake shop which was nearby.

"Chapman's cake shop, which was also a bakery and a corn merchants, was famed for its wonderful doughnuts and I believe many elderly residents will remember the shop, which used a cart and horse for its deliveries, with fondness.

"It closed in 1928 when my grandfather died and the site became the Rugby Autocar."

STREETWISE

FLYNT AVENUE, ALLESLEY ...was named after Martha Flynt, a great benefactor in the village of Allesley.

any answers?

JOHN CHADBOURNE by e-mail, asks: Did Britain's best-known go- go dance troupe Pan's People ever perform in Coventry, and were any members local girls?

SHIRLEY RODDEN, archivist at Akzo Nobel asks: Does anyone have information about the locomotives that once worked on the Foleshill railway?

WAS this year's Olympic Games the first to be held in Australia?

I never knew that!

Tencel, the man-made fibre taking the fashion world by storm was developed by Acordis (aka Courtaulds) in Coventry.

The first flight of a British jet-powered aircraft took place on May 15, 1941 at RAF Cranwell.

For the benefit of those who couldn't read each Coventry tram carried a coloured symbol to indicate its route.

Sir Cliff Richard's personalised car number plate is MOVE 1T; the title one of his earliest hits.

where am I?

ANSWER: A side door to Frank Harvey Hi Fi, Spon Street, Coventry.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 4, 2000
Words:863
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