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Book cover - Foleshill

Coventry Society member David Fry, and his long term colleagues Albert Smith, have just released their fifth self published book on Coventry through the lens of Edwardian photographers. This is their second book that focuses on just one of Coventry’s suburbs, following on from the 2011 book on the Earlsdon area. In 100 pages, using almost 200 illustrations they tell the story of the origins of Foleshill.

Foleshill is the largest and most diverse of Coventry’s suburbs with a complicated but fascinating history. For many centuries it has had no clear centre, just a series of scattered hamlets that have spread out over the twentieth century to join up into one large suburban area.

Foleshill is not just the Foleshill Road but also Longford, Bell Green, Alderman’s Green, Hawkesbury, Courthouse Green, the Stoney Stanton Road and even part of Holbrooks.

Although Foleshill looks a bit of a muddle today, old photographs and estate plans help to show the pattern of its growth from a late nineteenth century semi-rural parish.

In the nineteenth century when large landowners restricted development in other directions, Foleshill offered the city the main opportunity for expansion for housing and industry. This has continued during the twentieth century, but war and redevelopment have meant that only old photographs reveal the change from old fields to a built-up area.

David Fry has been interested in Coventry’s industrial history since working as a teacher in the city from the 1970s. Albert Smith has worked in many aspects of the city’s post-war engineering industry and has experienced at first hand the boom and bust periods, as well as a spell working in Detroit.

Their mutual interest in old Coventry photographs and photographers led to the publication of their first books in the 1990s. But now both are retired they have more time to write books to promote an appreciation of the unique character of the different areas of Coventry.

The book is being launched at the Coventry Archives & Research Centre, The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum 10.30 – 3.30, Friday 8 December 2017 where the authors will be available to sign the book. 

Coventry Society members can purchase the book at a discounted price at the Christmas meeting on Monday 11th December at 7.30 p.m. at The Shopfront Theatre. David will give a short talk about the book. 

Copies will be available in local bookshops, The Herbert store and at The book is priced at £9.95 and would make a good Christmas present for enthusiasts of Coventry's neighbourhood history. 

There is more about Foleshill on our website

Reader Comments (1)

I was brought up in this area and had no idea. I now live in Lady lane. Do you have any details about the former mill and its workshops? This currently a church

By Joe Rice on Sunday, February 17, 2019

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