Remember When . . . ?: Sunday Night Fun in the Old Market Square

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), November 14, 2003 | Go to article overview

Remember When . . . ?: Sunday Night Fun in the Old Market Square


Byline: ANN EVANS

REGULAR contributor John Overton, of Baginton Road, Styvechale, has sent in another wonderful old cartoon picture which would have been originally published in the Standard, this time depicting the Old Market Square, Coventry.

John writes: "The initials in the bottom right hand corner are quite clearly SJA and would indicate that Sidney J Asplin was the artist responsible, as suggested by Ron Morgan (Remember When, October 17).

"The scene reminds me of my apprentice days, when a group of the lads from Chapelfields would gather in the Market Square on Sunday evenings.

"From 6pm to 7pm the Salvation Army played in the square. The band departed at 7pm and with Mr H Millward carrying the banner, would march back to the Citadel in Queen Victoria Road.

"At 7pm Coventry's famous orator Albert Smith would then appear on his soap box. With a firm resonant voice he would speak about most of the world's problems at that time.

"Albert always encouraged good-natured heckling, and with a ready wit, would soon have the crowd laughing. Sometimes he would produce a document, signed by two doctors from Hatton, stating that he was of sound mind.

"At 9pm he would make a discreet collection and then disappear into the snug of the Hole in the Wall."

Society's search

THE Earlsdon Society is trying to track down information and memorabilia of the 1978 celebrations commemorating their 125th anniversary.

Peter Warden, of Spencer Avenue, writes: "In 1978 Earlsdon celebrated its 125th anniversary by organising a host of events. Lasting over a two- week period, there were a variety of knock-out competitions, including the usual pub games like darts and billiards, as well as cricket, football and lawn tennis tournaments.

"This was a joint effort by the local pubs and the churches also gave their facilities for exhibitions and services. A number of concerts took place at the social clubs, covering plays, classical, folk and jazz.

"A Victorian fayre was held on Spencer Park with traditional stalls and sideshows.

"And the events were concluded with a carnival procession starting at Hearsall Common. …

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