Walks Thro Coventry – Part 19

Posted on: February 16th, 2012 by pj

IV

To use an Irishism, we will begin our fourth portion of  the  perambulation  of  the  city  with  a  railway ride.    Taking train for Foleshill, on the Nuneaton branch line — opened in 1848 — we travel for about a couple of miles along the west and north-west side of the city, obtaining a variety of interesting views of ancient and modern Coventry that are to be had in no other way.      At Foleshill we notice that the enterprise of the residents has led to a not inconsiderable extension of station accommodation.  Starting for a walk through some of the outlying districts within the area of the municipality,  we leave the station on the side whereat we alight. Let us turn to the north-west along Holbrooks Lane for a short distance.  First of  all  we  are  bound  to  notice  the  immense   engineering establishment of  Messrs.   White  and  Poppe,   Ltd.  Then there   is   Foleshill Park, a recreation ground of a little over 23 acres, purchased in 1914. On the opposite side is St. Paul’s Cemetery, which was transferred from the St. Paul’s (Foleshill) Burial Board on the extension of the city in 1899. Additional land since purchased has brought the total area to a little over eighteen acres.

Returning, and crossing the railway into Lockhurst Lane, we shortly notice a comfortable and commodious club house for the local Liberal party.  Still on the left hand is the substantial and modern woollen manufactory of Messrs.  Poole,  Lorrimer & Tabberer.  On the right is the Wesleyan Chapel,  with newly-erected Sunday School buildings at the rear; and then again on the left more engineering- works of Messrs. White & Poppe, Limited, the Livingstone Mills of Messrs. W. H. Grant & Co, silk manufacturers, and the mill of Messrs. Pridmore & Co, manufacturers of elastic webbing, etc.

Emerging on to the Foleshill Road — part of the main road from Coventry to Leicester, via Nuneaton — we perceive adjacent to Broad Street, nearly opposite, St. Paul’s Church and Schools, of the architectural character of which probably no one feels very vain.  Proceeding along the main road, outward bound, we notice several more important industrial concerns, and a handsome hotel, “The General Wolfe,’’ which has taken the place of an old-fashioned roadside inn.  Then we reach Edgewick Council Schools, with accommodation for 600, and further along the road Foleshill Road Independent Church and Schools, the former being a building of the severely plain, old-fashioned type.  Down the lane at the side we find another block of Council Schools, Little Heath Schools, with accommodation for 273, and a little distance away, on the banks of the canal, the iron foundry of Messrs. Alfred Herbert, Ltd., and also a manufactory of artificial stone.

Retracing our course somewhat, and crossing by Edgewick Schools to Stoney Stanton Road — another main road from Coventry into Leicestershire — we find ourselves at Paradise.   The general aspect of the district is not in harmony with notions suggested by the euphonious name of Paradise, but the neighbourhood is one to which the natives are said to be very much attached.  There is no episcopal church just hereabouts, but there are a couple of chapels belonging to the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist bodies respectively.  There are also a couple of co-operative stores, and, on the Coventry side of the canal bridge, the generating station of the Coventry Electric Tramways.

On the outward side of the same bridge are the works originally erected by the Cycle Manufacturers’ Tube Co., which were purchased by Messrs. Mulliner & Wigley, Ltd, and were later acquired by Messrs. Charles Cammell & Co Ltd, of Sheffield.  The concern has now developed into the Coventry Ordnance Works, Limited.

The industrial and residential growth of this portion of Coventry has been most remarkable, and there is, fortunately, every prospect of its continuance.  The nearly-new Council Schools, with accommodation for 1,202 children, testify to the growth of the population hereabouts.  Passing along Red Lane we reach the breezy common land known as Stoke Heath, and by crossing it and turning to the right, where the aspect is truly rural, we may reach the Barras Green district, or Upper Stoke, and passing by a block of Council Schools, with accommodation for 1,216, emerge on another main road leading to Leicestershire, in fact, direct to the capital of that county, via Wolvey.  In this direction Coventry has extended very rapidly in recent years, a great number of new streets having been laid out.  On the hill to our right we may notice Stoke Congregational Church, and the newly-built Church of St. Margaret, but turning to the left along the road we reach the ancient and interesting parish church of Stoke, with its vernal graveyard.

Retracing our steps a little, and turning to the left, we may cross through Stoke Park, a pleasant estate of small villa residences, and reach yet another road to Leicestershire, via Binley, Coombe, Brinklow, to Lutterworth, with beautiful woodland scenery all the way.  The spacious greensward opposite is known as Stoke Green; flanked by villa residences, and having a ground marked off for the use of a cricket club of more than local celebrity.   We may here board a tram car and return via Gosford Green to Broadgate, being afforded frequent glimpses of the industrial and other aspects of this side of the city, and signs of its expansion in various directions.