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Down memory lane - Lower Ford Street

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Works Location

Post  MoscowFlyer on Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:58 pm

Thanks Matchle55 for putting me right, local knowledge comes in handy with things like this. As you know, I only live twenty miles down the road from Coventry, but I don't know it that well. Mike
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Works Location

Post  MoscowFlyer on Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:29 am

I have now worked out how to find the exact location of the F/B works. Right, if you look at the model or the drawing, you will see a bend two thirds of the way along the frontage, near the double doors. To confirm this bend, look at the factory film, as the tester leaves the works you will clearly see the bend to the left of the double doors. To find the position of this bend is quite easy. All you need to do is eye the line of kerbs in Lower Ford St, and then those of Ford St, and where the two lines meet that will be that bend. Mike

Now shoot me down in flames Matchle55!!!
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F/B Site

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:01 am

Russian Flyer
I must be thick but please tell me were to find the FACTORY FILM.????

Graham (tbird)

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Works Location

Post  bessybarnett on Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:26 am

RussianFlyer wrote: To confirm this bend, look at the factory film, as the tester leaves the works you will clearly see the bend to the left of the double doors.

Sorry Mike I see no bend to the left of the double doors, at the end of the film, unless your clip runs on a little longer than the 1:07 mins.

Please tell me I am not going blind or senile!! Shocked

Help.

Pete
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Works Location

Post  MoscowFlyer on Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:33 am

Hi Pete, whether it's because I've been eating a lot of carrots recently from my allotment, but I can see the line of the bend on the brickwork. Try it on full screen and take it frame by frame near the very end of the clip I'm sure you will see it too. We could always get the Time Team over there to dig it up!! Mike
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Factory

Post  Matchle55 on Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:02 pm

[q




Mick, Colin (Dean) and I have spoken a lot on this subject, he always used to tell me that the way to tell was to look for the new kerbs that the council put in to replace the dropped kerbs which were opposite the door where, on a fine day the bikes were leant against the wall and the kerb. As a lad my mother always had to drag me past the bikes on the way to the bus station I was transfixed by the sight, the sound and the smell.
Mick, on the pictures of Coventry site there is a pic of the shops to the left of the factory, there is a Standard Atlas pickup outside, the larger building on the left is still there, the ref is C04833.
How about you coming across during the Xmas hols and I,ll see if I can persuade Colin to come as well, anybody else for that matter.

Ps Mick, Ford st runs up to the traffic lights and Lower ford st from there on









uote="RussianFlyer"]I have now worked out how to find the exact location of the F/B works. Right, if you look at the model or the drawing, you will see a bend two thirds of the way along the frontage, near the double doors. To confirm this bend, look at the factory film, as the tester leaves the works you will clearly see the bend to the left of the double doors. To find the position of this bend is quite easy. All you need to do is eye the line of kerbs in Lower Ford St, and then those of Ford St, and where the two lines meet that will be that bend. Mike

Now shoot me down in flames Matchle55!!! [/quote]

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Kerbstones

Post  fulmar88 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:41 pm

Chaps, If you search on google using the map tab at the top for Lower Ford Street, then drag the yellow man next to the 'plus sign' onto Lower Ford Street itself to get Streetview you can see 3 lighter coloured kerbstones quite close to the mini roundabout. Just click on the white arrows to move up and down the street. You can spin round 360 deg etc quite easily using the mouse. The kerbstones are next to a drain cover in the gutter. The position ties in with the slight kink in the road that you can see on the old maps. The new modern road off the roundabout has confused things slightly but its clear where the doors used to be.

Steve.
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Factory

Post  MoscowFlyer on Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:30 pm

Yes, I would be happy to meet up in Lower Ford St, if the weather is nice enough I will come on my bike. It's about time I paid a visit to where it was made. Mike
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Kerb stones

Post  Guest on Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:02 pm

As Fulmer 88 said
If you look at the kerb stones and then turn 180 deg you will see the Chapel that is still there which was right opposite the works.

Google Maps are brill.

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Lower Ford Street

Post  FB vincent on Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:18 pm

As per my earlier posting, I have written to the FBOC Chairlady suggesting that some sort of identification on Lower Ford Street indicating the site of the works might be a useful project. Since there are no surviving buildings this would probably have to be some sort of vandal resistant display board or perhaps a steel silhouette of a FB bike with the Francis Barnett name included.

I also suggested that the FBOC AGM could be held at the Coventry Transport museum with a road run to Lower Ford Street, then on to the James factory at Greet.

2012 will be the 50th anniversary of the closure of the works and the transfer to Greet, so next year would be an obvious occasion to do something special. Sandy Ross

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Photo of factory

Post  mn757 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:44 pm

I was in the Coventry Transport Museum this morning and whilst looking at a large aerial photo of the redevlopment of the ring road I noticed it showed Lower Ford Street, albeit in the mid 60's I believe.

I took a photo but it wasn't the best of quality.

I presume the waste ground a third of the way up the photo is the site.

see here for photo

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Factory site

Post  Matchle55 on Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:27 pm

Thats it, although I dont think that the road at the top of the factory site was there whilst the factory was operational. I think that that was the access road to the Lea Francis factory


mn757 wrote:I was in the Coventry Transport Museum this morning and whilst looking at a large aerial photo of the redevlopment of the ring road I noticed it showed Lower Ford Street, albeit in the mid 60's I believe.

I took a photo but it wasn't the best of quality.

I presume the waste ground a third of the way up the photo is the site.

see here for photo

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Bend in road

Post  bessybarnett on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:48 pm

Mike , I have just had another look at the video and yes you are right, it would appear that the brickline stops and starts again at a different angle, as you say revealing the bend in the road. The penny has finally dropped!

A metal silhouette of an FB (a Falcon 74 of course!) to mark the position of the works sounds a great idea, with a mass mecca gathering of as many FB bikes as we can to celebrate 50 years next year. Just think of the press coverage!

I will be there.

Pete
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Factory

Post  MoscowFlyer on Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:21 am

I think whatever sort of sign is thought up, it needs to be something that will stand the test of time, or we are just waisting our time. The word melal worries me, with the prise of metal sky high, I just wonder how long before it disappeared, It's not just the scrap man out there, there are the souvenir hunters too. How about a stone FB? with a plaque on top. Any stone masons out there?

Would planning permision have to be sought? Mike



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Covenrty AGM

Post  MoscowFlyer on Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:12 pm

I also suggested that the FBOC AGM could be held at the Coventry Transport museum with a road run to Lower Ford Street, then on to the James factory at Greet.

2012 will be the 50th anniversary of the closure of the works and the transfer to Greet, so next year would be an obvious occasion to do something special. Sandy Ross

FB vincent


The AGM at the Coventry museum has been talked about in the past, the reason given for not having it there then was, insufficient space. Now if that turns out to still be the case, I have an alternative suggestion. What about the Ford Street car park? It is right next to the F/B factory site, and only a short walk from the museum, also if it were a wet day, dry undercover parking is available, thanks to the flyover road.
I don't know who runs the car park but if it were the council, we could maybe get them on board and make a big thing of this, after all our bikes are a piece of Coventrys history.
Another suggestion would be, hold it on the car park where the factory actually was, but to me this looks like a private car park. Mike


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Francis Barnett Coventry

Post  MoscowFlyer on Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:59 pm

Here is a letter head for Francis Barnett Coventry, it is dated 1st July 1954. Mike
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Photos

Post  fulmar88 on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:41 pm

Chaps, I have ordered photocopies of all 52 aerial photographs that English Heritage hold of the Lower Ford Street area. The photos were taken on 19 different dates ranging from 5th December 1940 to 15th March 1962. As they are taken at different altitudes it won't be clear which is best till I get them, but as soon I have them I will scan the best and put them here. Hopefully there will be one or two really good shots which I will be able to get as a reprinted photo or high resolution scan off the original. Hopefully the copies will be with me in a week or so.

regards,
Steve.
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Photo of Factory

Post  fulmar88 on Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:32 pm

Chaps, Finally got the 52 photocopies of the aerial photos. Not able to scan till Monday but did manage to get a reasonable photo of the clearest pic. It was taken on the 16th April 1947. The factory is in the centre of the shot but the top of the shot is south. The chapel opposite the factory is still standing so it's easy to locate exactly where the factory was in relation on google maps. I will send off for a photographic copy of the best 1 or 2 pics. Enjoy.



Steve.
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Lower ford st

Post  Matchle55 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:24 pm

Thats one I,ve not seen before Steve, In this picture there had been or were at that time as well as F/B, were, Coventry Victor, Triumph, Lea Francis, Singer to name the big ones.
Also snaking its way across the picture is the river Sherbourne.

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Nearly, but not quite...

Post  fulmar88 on Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:08 pm

Chaps, I asked the Church opposite if they had any pics that might show the factory. So far this is the only one to surface. So close and yet so far. For those not familiar the factory is about 20 yards away directly opposite the church, and therefore out of shot. I'm not too hot on 50s/60s cars but anyone put a 'must be later than' date on the pic. I'm guessing '62 ish?




Steve.
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And the church today.

Post  fulmar88 on Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:12 pm

Chaps, And the church today.



Steve.
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Car in Lower Ford Street

Post  FB vincent on Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:55 pm

The car on the left is an Austin Metropolitan, sold in the UK from 1957 to 1961. The car was designed and built for the US market and not a great number were sold here. See the following interesting website, Sandy Ross.
http://metropolitanownersclub.co.uk/history.php

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cars

Post  piston 197 on Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:06 pm

Yes recognised this as well,beieve it was sold always in a distinctive two-tone and was called the Nash Metropolitan in the states,the other car at first glance thought was an Austin A35,but am thinking may be an Austin Somerset as looks a bit out of proportion for the smaller A35?
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The car on the right

Post  FB vincent on Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:36 am

FB vincent wrote:The car on the left is an Austin Metropolitan, sold in the UK from 1957 to 1961. The car was designed and built for the US market and not a great number were sold here. See the following interesting website, Sandy Ross.
http://metropolitanownersclub.co.uk/history.php

I cut and pasted the photo which enabled me to see further to the right; I am sure the car on the right is an Austin A35, which dates from 1956. You can tell the difference from the earlier A30 by the larger rear screen and winkers instead of trafficators. Definitely not a Somerset (A40). Sandy Ross

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Osborne Road and Clarendon Street

Post  fulmar88 on Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:00 pm

Chaps, See aerial pics below.

The pic below is Osborne Road. Pic taken on March 25th 1946. Today this area looks like an Old Peoples home or similar modern structure.




The one below is Clarendon Street. Pic taken March 25th 1946. The rectangular shape to the right of the roof is a building during construction. On another pic from December 20th 1945 this area is trees.




This one shows both factories to show their proximity to each other.




And lastly, Clarendon Street on 10th June 1947 showing the completed building next door. The main roof looks different but it is just the position of the sun. I don't know whether both of these were FB factories or whether they are unrelated. Anyone know?



Steve.





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Re: Down memory lane - Lower Ford Street

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