Can You Help ?

Can you help?

From time to time the society receives requests for help and information.
If you can assist please reply direct to the contact address shown.

16th October 2016
I am starting to research the Alveston Manor Hotel in Stratford for a self published book- I write on various hotels and houses and my website may be of interest:  I am hoping you may be able to help me with my research. I am looking for documents, plans, maps, photographs etc of the Hotel and its grounds which may be of interest to the book. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

Yours sincerely
John Richard Hodges

6th October 2016
I am trying to find where the surviving metal distance marker in Shipston on Stour, Church Street (A3400) was made. I have been told there existed around that time an ironworks/forge in the vicinity of Stratford- this from an employee of a current forge in Banbury whose father worked in such a place in Stratford which allegedly included lampposts in its wares. Any help welcome.

Mervyn Benford

9th September 2016
Dear Sir or Madam, I would be most grateful if you could tell me anything about the company Greves & Co Ltd. Coten End Works,  Cherry Street, Warwick. It was in existence in 1955. Many thanks.

Mike Barnes

10th June 2016
I am hoping to create a scale model of the aerial ropeway as an attachment to an N gauge model of the railway sidings at Burton Dassett Platform, and have discovered that there is a reference to this in one of your newsletters (NL No 49, P3). I have two requests:
1 – Would it be possible to get hold of a copy of this article?
2 – Is there anyone in your society who has a particular interest in the ropeway and who would be happy for me to contact them in order to discuss this project in greater detail. I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Best wishes
Mark Reader (Leamington and Warwick Model Railway Society)
Mark – the article is available and will be emailed to you – Webmaster 

11th November 2015
One of the surviving mileposts, at Shipston on Stour, is illustrated in your database, and referred to as one of the six which the Milestone Society is hoping to restore.  Despite much research we have not been able to trace who made them, or exactly when they were installed. The turnpike dates from 1730, and they are later than that. Can any of your members shed any light on the mystery? I have attached a photo from 1908 showing the Shipston milepost in a postcard of the Shipston Picture House, long since demolished.

Robert Caldicott


Shipston on Stour Mile Post

8th June 2015
Bit of a cheek, but we’ve recently moved into a new property and have been trying to find out about its history (to no avail – other than the date on the wall – 1924); the address is – The Old Pump House, B79 0JS. We’re not expecting everything on a plate and we’re willing to put in the work, but as this is all new to us, some guidance on how to go about finding its history would be wonderful. As a minimum, everything we find out, we’d be more than willing to share. If you can assist and wish to discuss, please give me a call, or drop me an email. The best we’ve found so far is ‘South Staffordshire Waterworks Company’ from this web link , however this doesn’t cover “Atherstone District Waterworks – 1923” area and therefore the Old Pump House is not mentioned.  It’d be nice if it had some wonderful ‘steam’ history, but having any information to pin to it would be great.

Thanks in advance.
Ian Callender

12th November 2014
Dear Sir,  My grandfather John Roper worked at Ford’s Foundry in Leamington Spa during WW2. He wasn’t called up due to a hearing problem. I was hoping you could give me insight into a) what it was like to work there during WW2 and b) what they were likely to be making, i.e. were they helping the war effort?

Claire Cobb

6th March 2014
Hello, I am writing to you regarding a newsletter (number 33) which you released in January, 2009. I was very interested by the information about Bluemel Brothers, as I am doing some research on it and was wondering if you had any more information on the company? If you do, please let me know at:

Thank you,
Francesca Collier.

6th October 2013 
I was competing at a local ploughing match a couple of weeks ago. After I had completed my plot, Ferguson class, I went to see my nephew who was ploughing with his two shire horses. He was using my grandfather’s or great grandfather’s plough. It has a wooden main frame with metal fittings. He reminded me that it was locally made, known as a “Langley Plough”. He said there was a book written about the history of these ploughs and their makers. I would love to purchase or borrow one of those books. On searching the internet I see you had a lecture at your club by a Ken Chapman, April 2004, on this very subject and I suspect he could also be the author of the book about “Troth and Hillson” the plough makers. I would be very grateful if you could supply me with any information and help me locate a copy of the book.
Yours Sincerely
John Morris.

Langley Plough

Langley Plough

 19th March 2013

Below is a photograph of a Coventry Corporation Steam Roller – the gentleman in the middle of the three is Jack Frost, who was a Steam Roller driver for the corporation. The location has not been identified, and I wondered if any member might be able to throw any light on where the photograph was taken?
Many thanks
Cliff Jones
Coventry Corporation Steam Roller

Coventry Corporation Steam Roller

27th January 2013
As a member of the Leamington History Group would it be possible to email  all members to ask  if they have got any photographic record or any  information of a factory called COV RAD that was built in School Lane, Radford Semele during 1941 as a ‘shadow factory’ for the Coventry Radiator works  in Coventry. The building was demolished around 1973-4.  It was a major employer of local people but after much research I have been unable to trace any photographic record of the building. I hope someone may be able to help.
Kind regards
Bob Saunders
01926 332439

12th July 2012
Dear Sir/Madam,
As part of some research into the life and work of the architect Fred Rowntree I am trying to find out as much as possible about the White & Pike factory (later Austin) built at Longbridge in 1894-5. I know a little about its history but am particularly seeking early photographs or other documents relating to the original buildings.
Do you think any of your members would be able/willing to help? I should, of course, be willing to offer a donation to the Society for any enquiries done on my behalf.
Hoping to hear from you.
Peter Robson

9th July 2012
Dear Sir / Madam
Rock Mill Cottage, Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa
I am trying to find photographs of Rock Mill cottage in rock mill lane as that is where my Mother grew up and my Grandfather worked. I would appreciate it if you could assist me in finding photographs as I am currently compiling a photo album for my Mother and the inclusion of her childhood residence would be perfect.
Many thanks
John Sullivan

6th June 2012
Leamington Spa Iron foundry
I am a memeber of the South Glos Mines Research Group and the Bristol Insustrial archaeology Society. I am currently researching the Frampton Cotterell Iron mines. One of the mine managers (in the 1850s) was called Smith Tibbits. He also hade connections with Devon and Somerset. The link to Warwickshire is that he was born at Flecknoe and his fatherin law was Samuel Wagstaff Smith – who was “ironfounder” at Leamington Prior. If you could forward this to anyone who might know more and be willing to liaise with me I would be grateful.
David Hardwick

3rd November 2011
I would be most grateful if you could pass on my belated thanks to Mr L F (Toby) Cave for his piece in your September 2003 Newsletter, which I have recently read on-line by the wonders of a Google search! I am not an archaeologist but an amateur ‘family historian’ who has been trying to understand John Morris’ tracks from Garrison Lane Aston Warwickshire (1841); to the brickyard at Star Hill Harbury (1848); to Wollescote Worcestershire (1851) near to and maybe employed in the brickworks at Netherend, Cradley; and thence to Leamington where by 1871 he described himself as “millwright and engineer” and had appears to have come up in the world somewhat. My hypothesis is that he was an inovator in the brick making industry and I now have in mind to investigate Websters of Coventry to see if he was associated with that business.
So, thanks to Mr Cave and to your Society for publishing on-line.
With kind regards,
Paul Miskin

12th October 2011
Hello – I was wondering if this email can get passed to an appropriate person. I have been researching a set of historic gates in Savannah, Ga. They were crafted by Juliette Gordon Low (found of Girl Scouts of America) for her home in Warwickshire, England around 1899 and then were brought to the US in the 1920s. Four of the stock piece used have what I will call maker’s or manufacturer’s marks on them. Two pieces show a “BC[with a “royal crown” to the right side]” and two have a “PS[with a similar crown symbol]”. My interest is in seeing if anybody is aware of companies in history that these marks may have been associated with. I have been attempting to form inquiries to steel and iron associations in the UK, but have been having difficulties getting any responses. If you can provide any assistance/dire ection, I would appreciate it so much.
Thank you, Tracy

25th October 2010
John Wise – Newcomen Engine Builder – Hawksbury C 1738
John Wise of Hawksbury and Coventry is alleged to have “built” a number of Newcomen Engines in Bristol ( and presumably in the Warwickshire Caolfield too) around the late 1730s. The Newcomen Society have only one reference to him – do any of your members have any knowledge of the subject or the individual?
Steve Grudgings – Chairman South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group

17th October 2010
Harris Edge Display Models.
During the 1970s I was a member of the Warwickshire Steam Engine Society and through the good offices of another member I bought several sets of H.E. Showcase Models including 1900 Showman’s Traction Engines. Each consists of the engine parts, numbered, and marked out in appropriate colours on thick good quality paper and accompanied by assembly instructions. By following these, the model is created using a sharp knife and clear glue. The finished engine is 12 inches long x 9 inches high. I have 2 traction engine kits to sell @ £10 each and would welcome enquiries from your members. Photograph of made up models of Traction Engine (as well as of ‘Flying Scotsman’) can be transmitted to anybody interested.

10th August 2010
Vacancy – Chedham’s Yard.
We currently have vacancies for volunteer researchers, a role I thought members of your group may be interested in. Information is available from me or from our website below.
Many Thanks
Emma Banks
Heritage Project Officer (Chedham’s Yard)
Parish Council Office
2 School Road
Tel: 01789 841434
Fax: 01789 841166

24th June 2010
Industrial Archaeology Magazine
I have a set of the David & Charles magazine Industrial Archaeology from vol 3 (1966) to vol 18 (1988) when I believe publication ceased. It occupies about 2 feet of shelf space.I am having to have a clear out – before I consign them for recycling would your society be interested? I would be happy to deliver to anywhere in the Warwick/Leamington/Stratford area. I will quite understand if you say no.
Best wishes
Arthur Owens.

Please contact Arthur direct if you would like this IA magazine collection.

19th February 2010
Subject: earthworks on GW near Southam
Curious to know the origin of earthworks leading NNE from the GW Banbury – Leamington line just SE from Bishops Itchington (grid ref c 407563). Plainly visible from the train and marked on the 1:25000 OS. Seems at the wrong side and elevation to be linked to the Bishops Itchington cement works but I’ve seen odd references to KAye & co works at Little Itchington.  Can anyone help with info on this small vestige?  Is it remains of an incomplete project?
Many thanks
Andy Spiceley

21st February 2010
The Oxford and Rugby Railway.
It was originally intended to build a railway from Oxford to Rugby via Banbury and Southam. The Southam and Rugby section was abandoned and the railway was diverted to Leamington and Birmingham. At Knigtcote two miles north of Fenny Compton a short section of the formation of this railway was constructed. Its on the upside of present railway and extends for several hundred yards.  There used to be, and perhaps are still there GWR boundary posts along this section. Kay’s cement works was originally served by the Warwick and Napton Canal Co. and later by the LNWR.  Marton Jcn. and Daventry line. I hope this is of help to you.
Peter Chater.

Member of Warwickshire  IA.

25th October 2009
Nr. Bull & Butcher Farm
I wonder if you could have an answer to our problem.  At Grid Ref SP 395719 there are 15 or more very old posts in the ground along the public footpath that goes south-west from the A423 from Bull & Butcher farm.  We assume the landowner has obtained them from some old industrial site to use as gate posts etc.  But they obviously had another quite specific function initially.  They are very roughly 8” square, some with a metal collar at the top and a hole in the end of each post, at least one has a metal spigot still in the hole.  Supposedly the other ends could be the same, but of course, they are buried in the ground.
Any light you could shed on the possible origin of these posts would be really appreciated.
Yours faithfully
Tony Kirby

20th October 2009
Leamington Spa
Some 30+ years ago I was given the attached photograph by an engineer working at the water pumping station at Campion Terrace, Leamington Spa. It was amongst a batch of others showing stationary steam engines in pump stations in the locality. I have shown the picture to numerous people, so far none have come up with an answer as to what process is being carried out. If this could be determined it might just give me a clue as to where the photograph was taken.
Peter Coulls
Leamington Spa

Leamington Spa

12th October 2009
Avon Power Station, Warwick
Have had replies from my uncle but one further photocopy he sent has raised a question……..he sent an anniversary copy of the Courier (170 yrs , therefore I think 1998 ) which had a 1971 piccie of the power station being reflued, ( sounds like the railways – paint it just before closure ). But six flues are shown being replaced by two – but there is no sign of the wartime built boilers or flues ( per the 1947 photo ). Were they unreliable?, and removed, say, even as early as the 1950s, or in the 60s. Know anyone who might know? Gordon had been long away to Scotland.
Christopher Capewell

22nd July 2009
Tanworth in Arden Tramway / Waggonway
Hope somebody can help me over this tramway, having real problems finding any information about it.
David Constable

26th May 2009
The Bowling Green Pavilion, adjacent Warwick Power Station 2/1/1973. Possibly One of the six number Leamington and Warwick Tramway cars built by Brush for the 1905 electrification. Has it survived? There is no mention in the Oakwood Press book of 1978 nor the July 1981 Courier article. The ‘possibly’ is because the fenestration details are different from some photographs. I’ve been looking at the photographs on the Crich website and will comment shortly.
Christopher Capewell
Warwick & Leamington Tram Car

Warwick & Leamington Tram Car

26th May 2009
I have a working radio with the original Transformer/Speaker box out of a Lancaster bomber. On the front there is a number of dates. What I would like to know, if you can help, is can you tell me where I can get any history about the radio.
George Robinson

13th May 2009
I think this is Warwick Power Station. (Possibly even pre Great War).  Possibly from an advert for the loco manufacturer? (details of which I am chasing up ). I remember the overhead wire shunting loco. (and rode on it), and the topography looks correct. Power station on flood plain below the GWR main line, canal on embankment with two arch viaduct over river.
Can anyone you are in contact with confirm?
Christopher Capewell

11th May 2009
Dear Sirs
I have recently completed writing a book. Set mainly in Coventry and the Westwood Heath area, it recounts the life of my father from his birth in 1929, spanning the Second World War through to the early 1950’s.  The story tells of his life of a working class lad including his school days, his experience of the war (including that of being an evacuee), national service and his love life.  I am interested in getting the story published and I was wondering if this would be of interest to you especially given the local content?
Barry Cooper

27th March 2009
I wondered if you could help me.
I am resident in the Rock Mill and have seen the two photographs that you have in your library of the rear of the Rock Mill before its development. The photographs were taken by Hugh Jones and I wondered if he had any others of the Rock Mill.
Dr Bruce McInnes

25th Feb 2009
Dear Sirs/Madam
I am writing to you, to see if you could help me with some, hopefully – local knowledge. At the moment, I am researching my family tree, and I have a slight problem. Do you have any knowledge of an gas works explosion in 1924(?), in which a gentleman was killed.  I know the surname would be Owen. He was my late grandmothers father and he died before my Nan and Grandad married in Kidderminster in 1924. I am visiting the national archives, in London on Saturday, and I would love to try and solve who my grandmothers parents were, as I have had more luck researching my late grandfathers side.
Yours Hopefully
Miss S Barr

23rd December 2008
Good afternoon
I am helping to research a large scale model railway project for a friend. The model is based on Leamington Spa in the 1950’s. One of the buildings we are hoping to include in the former malterers/maltings building in Clapham Terrace, Leamington Spa. It stood alongside the Grand Union Canal opposite the School and at one time was served by the railway. According to the Kelly’s directories it was in the ownership of of W Thomas malterers up to circa 1900 when it may have been used by Ballinger’s Builders Merchants. Subsequently it was used as a repository by a furniture removers. The site was redeveloped in the 1980’s/90’s I believe and is now known as Waterside Court. Do any members of your society have any knowledge of this building and better still any photographs? I am more than happy to pay for any copies.
Many thanks in anticipation
Richard Elbourne 
(01926) 412076
Environment and Economy
Warwickshire County Council