Displaying the first of 2 old photos of Meriden. View all Meriden photos
Historic maps of Meriden and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Meriden maps
Meriden area books
Displaying 1 of 9 books about Meriden and the local area. View all books for this area
Memories of Meriden
West Midlands memories
The Old Speedwell Factory Needlesend Lane
I remeber the old canteen, playing on the old factory site, and I remember the lorries parked there full of dead cows from Lidgates (stunk like hell). I remember when it was just fields all around, the old Shell garage was just a wooden shed with old pump. No Shenstone Colse or Whitnash and so on.
Elmdon Airport During The War Years 1940-
This is not my memory but my mother's. My mother was stationed at Elmdon during the war. She joined the Women's Mechanized Transport Corp (Army) at age 17. She came from a rather influential family Dick and Jeanne Robinson. She was eager to join and serve. She has told me numerous tales of how she would get rides in the airplanes from guys in the airforce and how her and one young officer went up and he flew the plane upside down. Her name was Jackie Robinson. She even drove VIPs around on the base including Winston Churchill. I would like it if anyone had any pictures of the base during that period, or any memories I would love to share them with my mom who has lived in Canada since 1954. Her fondest memories are of that era and that of her growing up on Jack o'Bean Lane Knowle/Solihull.
Elmdon Airport 1939 Onwards
These early memories were passed down to me by my grandparents (Bridgwater) who lived in Elmdon House Farm from 1936. Two of their sons worked on the building of the airport and I believe some of the workers actually lodged at the farm. The farm was in the small portion of Elmdon Lane which remained in Elmdon after the airport was constructed. I have an original copy of the programme issued for the opening of the airport in 1939. My grandfather used to talk of the TIN HOSPITAL somewhere near the airport but I do not know where this was. There was an air raid shelter on the farm grounds - between the farm and the Coventry Road but my grandparents could not use it - I am not sure who did - they used to go down the cellars of the farm. There was also a gun pit (that was what they called it), this was square with a narrow hole in each side and 4 big concrete 'wings' inside almost dividing... Read more
Elmdon Airports Flashing Light
As a child in the 1950s I lived in Hillside Croft, Sheldon/Solihull behind Tigers Island. On warm summer nights with a packet of chips we would sit on the banking of Tigers Island and watch the planes taking off and landing. What I want to know is what happened to the flashing light? We got so used to it as kids watching the flash on our bedroom wall at night, it was almost comforting. Elmdon Airport was a big part of our childhood ,plane spotting, airshows, Christmas party, my mom was a waitress at the airport for many years and so got an invite to the party each year. I remember the Don Evral crash, plane train and Midland red bus spotting, playing in Elmdon Park with Nocker Averis, the best times of our life.
The Blue Bell Wood
Having recently moved to Kingshust from Aston it was wonderful to have Chelmsley Wood within walking distance. Taking a picnic we would set off and thoroughly enjoy the walk, climbing over the style and venturing into the woods especially when the wood was carpeted with the most amazing blue bells. We would play hide and seek and be amazed at all the wonderful smells and beautiful things to see. It was nature at its best. We would all stagger home exhaused carrying arms full of blue bells. These were the days when we didn't live in fear of strangers and of course before the lovely woods were demolished to make way for the CHELMSLEY WOOD that has become home to so many. I feel privilaged to have enjoyed the wood in its former glory.
We moved from Aston, (Lichfield Road) to Tile cross, in 1948. Talk about a breath of fresh air??
We soon discovered Chelmsley woods, it was a grand trek, down Bell lane, past the smithy on the right and down to "Ye Olde Bell" .
Acoss the fields at the back of the bell, past the bomb crater, and on to the woods.
Absolutely wonderful, original primeval forest with Oak trees, Silver birch etc. truly wonderful, I can never forget it!! We had some wonderful days there as boys.
But alas, it had to be cut down to make way for a huge housing estate. I think that was a crying shame, I think, that if the same cirumstances came up, in light of the envirionmental considerations of today, they wouldnt be allowed to cut it dowm.
I now live in, Australia, and have done so for almost 40 years, but I will never forget the halcyon days of my youth when Chelmsley wood,... Read more
This poem was sent to mac by Mrs S. Holmes:
Death of Chelmsley Wood
The sheer delight of summer afternoons,
As through the fields in cotton frocks we walked,
The long grass licking at our gangly legs,
While we in deep contentment laughed and talked.
The pure joy of living was all ours,
As we ran free in peaceful meadows green,
And sought the edge of every farmer’s field,
So’s not to spoil the yellow corn between.
It was so quiet there, so very still,
With Grazing cows contented as they lay,
Have you reached for heaven as you jumped the stream,
Have you lain on your back in the grass,
Have you felt the joy of the songbird’s cry
And watched the aeroplanes pass,
Have you been a child in Marston Green,
And leaned from the station bridge,
When the village was small and the fields were green,
Like a carpet over the ridge.
Like an endless landscape clothed in the gold
Of a sleepy hamlet’s love,