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A Short history of Canley, Life, The Universe, and Everything. , an l e y or y of C i n g! rt his t Ev eryth A s ho , and verse he U n i L ife , t Canley is an area in south west Coventry. Coventry is a town in England. England is a country on the planet earth. Planet earth is in the Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way is (apart from being made of chocolate) somewhere in the Universe, but who knows where that is? Hopefully, God does, because He made it! Anyway, our Church is 50 50 YEARS?! THAT’S years old this year. EVEN OLDER THAN MY AUNT NELLY! This book is to tell you a little bit about Canley and the rest of the world in the last fifty years, a little bit about how our church came to be built, and what has changed since it was built! Did you know? the most famous person who was born and raised on Canley was Henry Parkes? Do you know what he was famous for? He emigrated to Australia and became prime Minister! First, a potted history of Canley Canley gets its name from Anglo Saxon, meaning Canna’s Clearing. Experts think that it once stood on an ancient prehistoric trade route from Wales. In 1154 Canley belonged to the Cistercian Monks of Stoneleigh Abbey, but when all the monasteries were shut down in Henry VIII’s time, the Duke of Suffolk took control He later sold it on to a Thomas Leigh, and it stayed in the Leigh family until 1926! In 1765, two soldiers, Edward Drury and Rob-The story of ert Leslie, were staying at the Red Lion Inn in Spon End. They met another man, Moses Bak- Gibbet Hill er, and the three planned to take up highway robbery. On March 16th they robbed three men, one of whom was badly injured and died the next day. The three criminals were caught and hanged in chains at Gibbet Hill. Their bodies were left in the gibbet for 45 years! t names? other stree out som e o f th o s e And what ab Henry Boteler served as Member of Westminster Parliament for Coventry from 1461-1477. Prior Thomas Deram was an outspoken church man who often had run-ins with the Mayor of Coventry. William Wendibourgh was a wealthy Coventry Merchant and a founding member of St John Baptist Guild, formed in 1342. ve It! e Yo u ha S o Th e r The Birth of Canley as we know it... The 1940’s Before we can talk about the fifties, we need to look a bit further back. Way back in the 1940’s, Coventry was bombed by Germans in the Second World War. That’s because we had factories here which built weapons and ammunition for our soldiers. At that time, only the houses at the end of Charter Avenue by Tesco were there. During the air-raids, everybody had to have black-out curtains up so the German planes couldn’t see the lights. DID YOU KNOW? One canley resident is convinced there is an unexploded Bomb under the Dolphin Pub! Many of the steel houses which now stand all along the far end of Charter Avenue and the roads around were built by prisoners of war! Maybe you live in a house built by prisoners of war! DID YOU KNOW? During the WarA penny could buy you a pint of milk! (Tuppence old money) Things start looking up... The 1950’s After the war, things began to get back to normal, and in fact, in some ways they seemed to be looking better than ever! Just have a look at some of the things the fifties brought! Mini Launched It’s a mini adventure! 50 years old and still going strong! I told them it was supposed to be a cow that jumped over Sputnik the moon. But did they listen? The Russians beat everybody else and got a satellite up into space first, in 1957. Later on, they sent a dog called Laika up. She’s still floating up there somewhere. Love me tender Some American singer called Elvis Presley be came quite popular, I believe. Oh, and some chap over here called Harry Webb, better known as Cliff Richard to all his fans. Most Importantly... In 1959, Coventry City Football Club was promoted from the 4th division. The Church: Humble Beginnings The 1950’s Whilst all that was going on in the world, in the height of the teddy-boy era, a little church in Canley was born. Young people from a Church in Allesley cycled to Canley and used to have church meetings on the grass. Then they rented rooms in the old Charter Primary School (which used to stand where the Social Services Building is now) for a Sun- day School, because so many families had moved into the new steel The First Family The first family in Canley to join the church was the family of Vi and Harry Hollingsworth. Vi is now 88 and she and some of her family still come to the church. Vi says this about the time she became a Christian: “as I listened to the speaker, I felt uncomfortable and thought that he was only speaking to me. I later realised that it was God through the Holy Spirit convicting me of my sinfulness and I asked Jesus into my When the Church was built. The 1950’s In 1951 the members of the church (who, remember, were meeting in the local school) prayed for some land. As it happened, the Brewery did not need the land next to the pub, and told the council this. Five minutes later, the church leaders walked in to meet with the council officials. How’s that for good The Anglican Church of St Stephens timing?! was built at around the same time. Well, now they had the land. But who was going to pay for a church to be built there? A special collection given by the church members in 1951 raised £771.5s 0d. An interest free loan of £2000 was added to this, and in January 1956, the work began. By November 1951, the main hall, a side room, and a small kitchen were completed. Fifty people came to the first service held in the new building, and ninety-three to the second. That’s growth for you! At this point, there were 300 children and 32 teachers in the Sunday School! Photo: a picnic in the 90’s Happy Hour! The 1950’s Did you grow up in Canley in the 1950’s? Do you remember HAPPY HOUR? It was held on Wednesday Evenings from 6:30 - 7:30 pm. It usually started with a song... Canley Happy Hour is the place for me! Then there were quizzes, stories, prizes and more! The church took some of the children on a week-long camping trip to Malvern. It cost the grand sum of £2.12.6d per camper! For the whole week! RE RE WE 0 TH E IN 195 E VIS I ONS, w TE L v ery fe M O BIL E S, NO PUTER N O COM S. PHONE S, DS, CD NO DV WERE THERE EO S ! E N VID O R EV NY HA RDLY A WERE T HERE CARS. RE RS WE N U M BE PHONE N U M- 3 OR 4 O N LY G! BE R S LO N Summer camp to Hoylake, Wirral in the 70’s Moving On: The 1960’s The decade that brought the world flower power and big hair brought lots of other changes. Here are just a very few... The Fab Four were John Lennon, Paul Four young McCartney, crooners from George Harrison, Liverpool caused a bit and Ringo Starr. of a stir! Walking on the moon On July 20th 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to land on the moon. That is, if you believe NASA! Otherwise its all a Hollywood hoax! Warwick Uniin 1965, Warwick University was opened with 450 students. Now over 13,000 people study there! AND SKY BLUES? Cov City FC climbed its way up into the 3rd division in this decade. Every day, in every way, we’re getting better and better. The Church Grows The 1960’s and onward... Meanwhile, what was going on at Charter Gospel Hall, as the church was called back then? In 1960, there was a small extension built. In 1978 an additional classroom and storeroom were added at the rear. In 1982 the large extension was added at the front of the building, changing the face of the church for ever. It even has an upstairs! Then. Now. The 1970’s What can be said about the 70’s? Not quite as exciting as the 60’s, but quite a few important developments came about. The Digital Age The first home computers became available. They were approximately the size of a pregnant elephant. New Money Decimalization. Some older people still have nightmares about it. The old system was so much easier to work with, with pounds broken into 20 shillings, which were broken into 12 pennies. What could be simpler? All these new-fangled ideas! IN 1979, Margaret Thatcher (who had said “there will never be a woman prime minister in my lifetime”) became prime minister. Not very good at predicting the future then. Noddy Holder and Slade sang their number 1 Christmas hit - ‘Merry Christmas Everybody.’ Christmas isn’t Christmas without it! CCFC KICKS! Cov City FC clawed its way to the top division, more by luck than judgment some might say! The Students Arrive The 1970’s In the 70’s lots of students came to the church from Warwick Uni- versity and Coventry College of Education (which is now the West- wood site of the University). On Sunday evenings about 50 of them used to meet at the house of John and Grace Isherwood. John owned a butchers’ shop in Wals- grave Road, so the ham sandwiches at their house were excellent! Grace’s sister Ethel Croft still comes to the church today. Romance! Some of the students fell in love (as they do sometimes) and even got married. A few stayed in Coventry after Uni and made Canley their church, like Mark and Karen Curran. Mark is one of the church leaders now. In the 70’s a youth group for teens called Covenanters ran during the week, as well as a group for under 11s called Jucos. The Covenanters entered competitions and won lots of medals for singing, table tennis (Ethel Croft’s son Tim was the champion!) and rag hockey. Rag hockey is like hockey but safer, because it’s played indoors with a rag instead of a ball. In the 80’s Canley’s girls Rag Hockey team went to London and came second in the National Finals! 25 Years Old - and loving it! The 1980’s The church celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 1981. It was time for another extension! The foyer and upstairs were added in 1984, and church members and others gave so generous- ly that the bank loan was paid off within a year of being built. NOW? DID YOU K es what it three tim 15p. T hat was ilk cost ation, pint of m fore. Infl In 1979, A e e years be only thr had cost ... inflation In 1985 the Day Care Centre began to use the church building, providing day care for elderly people 2 days a week. This continues today, now 3 days a week. In 1984 the Council provided a house in Queen Margaret’s Road for the church’s first paid workers - Mike and Trina Stewart - who were evangelists. Guess what else happened in the eighties? Sky blues won the F. A. Cup, in 198 7! Doug Preston arrived in 1986 as a community worker. He still works for the church today. We think that’s because he got married to a church member and then couldn’t very well escape. Talking of which... Barbara’s Story Doug Preston’s wife Barbara tells her story of why she believes in God: I was hit over the head with a hammer by my partner and, in the words of the consultant, if my skull wasn’t so thick I would have died. I think the reason I did not die then is because God had His hand on my life at that time and some people in Canley Evangelical Church were praying for me. I now understand that what I had searched for for so long I have found in the Lord Jesus Christ. God gives us good gifts, Jesus being the best we could ever have. He then gave me another ‘good gift’, a wonderful husband to love. My search has ended. Hi de hi The 1980’s In the 1980’s the church ran summer camps for lots of Canley children. These took place in Towyn in Wales, in Diss, Norfolk and even in Switzerland! The leaders used to dress in disguise and play “Hunt the Leader” in the City Centre - the campers would have to approach a person they thought was a leader in disguise and give a password like our “Do y l?!!” smel fe e t Of course, this wouldn’t be allowed nowadays! A world famous author lived in preston close? Patricia st john and her sister hazel moved there in their 60s, and ran a club for kids in their garage, and later a girls’ club. They loved and fed many many neighbours, students and chil- dren, and came to the church. Patricia died in 1993 and hazel in 2003, and are re- membered with great love by everyone who knew them. Try reading e Snow, Tre asures of th or t, ood’s Secre T he Tanglew ’s books. tw o of Patricia The World on our doorstep The 1980’s and 90’s You may have heard of Billy Graham - a very well-known American evangelist. He spoke at a huge rally at Birmingham F. C. in 1984 . Lots of people became Christians and joined the church, among them the Greenhalgh family from Torrington Avenue. The church has sent a number of people to other countries to share God’s love with the people there. Places like Botswana, Nigeria,Senegal, Uganda, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Iceland. Open Doors The Twenty-first Century The building is busy during the week, not just on Sundays! We have... Mucky ducks Which is a carer and toddler group running on Wednesday mornings, Crafty Crew A craft group, again for carers and tod- dlers, which runs on Fridays. Causeway For adults with learning difficulties, which meets on a Friday evening once a month. They held the 10th Anniversary day of Cele- bration last month here at Canley! Ladies hour For ladies (surprisingly) which has run on Wednesday afternoons for over twenty years! Day Care Providing care for Elderly people three Centre days a week. Well, that’s The building is also used for it for now. Make sure funerals, baptisms, weddings, you don’t miss the next craft evenings, and youth group thrilling instalment of this socials. There are plans to do magazine, when the church reaches 100! much more inside the church, which is why another extension is planned for 2007! This will extend the side and rear of the building.
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