No. 4 Broadgate

No 4 Broadgate

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

No. 4 Broadgate – an important location in the centre of the city. Astley’s was founded in 1730 – one of the oldest shops in Coventry selling a range of cleaning products. In fact the company is still going to present day –  


Anne Astley – Broadgate Coventry agent for Patterson’s Marble and General House Cleaning Paste.

James Patent Preservation Paint – for rendering timber and wood work indestructible or as durable as iron or slates. Sold by appointment by Mrs Astley, Oil and Colour Warehouse, Broadgate, Coventry.

Accident – An occurrence took place in the shop of Mrs Astley of Broadgate on Tuesday afternoon which had well nigh provided of most destructive consequences. An earthen pot or jar had been most incautiously and imprudently placed upon a stove in the centre of the shop, for the purpose of simmering or boiling a mixture of turpentine and other ingredients, when the jar flew, from the effects of the heat, and its contents took fire. The scene at once became most alarming, the blaze ascending to the ceiling and spreading instantaneously to the shelves and holes, wherein were placed good of a very inflammable nature. Fortunately, the time of day was favourable and some individuals who happened to be passing or near the spot, had presence of mind enough to resort to means suited to the emergency. The goods most in danger were pulled down with promptitude and well supplied with water and in a short time the fire was so far checked and prevented from spreading as to confine the damage to a small amount. The narrowness of the escapes however of devastating wreck of property ought to operate as a warning, for if in this case the fire had communicated to the oils, turpentine and other such like stock, no one can guess where the mischief would have ended.

The Patent Camphine Lamp – As an article of domestic use both for elegant and utility, the patent camphine lamp has now become highly appreciated wherever it has had the advantage of trial or examination and with the recent improvements announced by Mr H Room and which may be seen at the shop of the agent Mrs Astley of Broadgate consisting of the ingenious  chimney, the non conductor and the patent folded shade it is unquestionable a lamp of surpassing excellence.

Watkins & Co. Beg to call the attention of coach and harness makers and the public generally, to an invaluable discovery they have made of the preservation of new and restoration of old leather it will likewise make the hardest leather pliable also a certain cure for greasy and cracked heels as well as for brittle hoofs of horses. They earnestly solicit a trial, feeling assured that one will suffice to prove its efficacy. Sold with printed directions for use, by the patentees Watkins and Co. 308 Oxford Street and by their agents Messrs Astley and Co, oil and colourmen Broadgate Coventry.

Astley & Co. Broadgate Coventry Dealers in Terpauling, Sacks, Linseed, oil Cake &co. beg to inform their friends they have on hand a stock of that important and useful article Tar Cord Sheep Fencing, the utility of which above all other fencing for economy in time and money has been too long known and provided to require any comment. Manufactured by Astley and Co. and sold by them and their agents – Messrs Procotor and Ryland Agricultural Implement Makers Birmingham – H. and T. Proctor ditto Bristol C. G. Proctor ditto Emscote near Warwick.

Astley & Co. 4 Broadgate Coventry Beg respectfully to inform the Nobility Gentry and families generally, that they have on hand a choice assortment of French Moderator, Camphine & Paraffin lamps of the Newest designs, in China and Bronze. Genuine sperm, French colza, paraffin, and oils of all kinds. Wax, Sperm, Composite & Brinklow Candles.

Wanted a respectable youth as an Apprentice Apply to Astley and Co. 4 Broadgate.

Astley and Co. No. 4 Broadgate Coventry Oil, colour and seed merchants. Robe and Twine Manufactures. Dealers in linseed and linseed cakes. Sheep fencing, sacks, rick cloths &c. &c. Moderator, Camphine & Paraffin Lamps, Sperm, Colza, refined rape, lard, seal and whale oils. And every article necessary for lamps. Sperm, wax, Belmont, composite and brinklow candles.

Coventry Volunteer fire brigade No. 1 Beat included J. S. Astley 4 Broadgate.

French moderator lamps, Paraffin lamps from 1s upwards. Finest French colza oil, young’s non-explosive paraffin, wax, sperm, Belmont, and composite candles, child’s and prices New patent night lights. Astley & Co. Oil, colour and seed merchants. No. 4 Broadgate.

Astley & Co. Rope and Twine Manufacturers, 4 Broadgate Coventry. Having purchased the entire stock of Mr Joseph Morris, Rope and Twine Manufacturer West Orchard (who has declined business) beg to inform his friends and the public generally that they will supply them on the same terms as heretofore, and respectfully solicits a continuance of these favours conferred on Mr. Morris.

Autumn Sowing Odams’s manures manufactured by the patent nitro-phosphate or blood manure company limited consisting of tenant farmers occupying upwards of 50,000 acres of land. Odams’s wheat manures, Odams’s prepared guano appointed agent – John Astley 4 Broadgate.

To the editor of the Coventry Standard – 4 Broadgate, Coventry. Monday December 16 1867 – Sir, By the standard of last Friday I learn that a meeting of the General Committee of the Coventry &c., Exhibition was called by circular for Tuesday, November 26th. I am a member of that committee, but was not summoned, “ut antea” I am sir, yours truly, John Astley.

Native Guano (Trade Mark) The Native guano company (limited) are now prepared to supply the above valuable manure equal in agricultural value to peruvian guano at one after the price as manufactured at the sewage works, Leamington, under  Messrs Sillar and Wigner’s patent A B C Process. Mr John Astley No. 4 Broadgate Coventry. Sole agent for this district. From whom samples and further information can be obtained. Price £3. 10s per ton in bags of 2cwt each. Offices 116 Warwick Street, Leamington.

For back numbers of the work “History of Coventry” published by W. F. Taunton available at Mr John Astley, 4 Broadgate, Coventry.

Wanted a general servant who must be a good plain cook, also a nurse maid, not under 18 years of age, apply J Astley 4 Broadgate.

Turnip Seeds in every approved variety – Linseed & Cotton cakes. Sole agent for Thorley’s and Beach’s Cattle spice. Odam’s Nitro-phosphate or Blood manures. Long’s Specific for scab in sheep. Concentrated tobacco juice for dipping and dressing sheep. Spratt’s dog biscuits and poultry food. Manufacturer of ropes and twines. Rick & Waggon Sheets. John Astley 4 Broadgate. Ropery – Tower yard, Hales Street.

Taunton’s History of Coventry – Bound in Handsome Cloth Boards. Limited number of copies will be sold at considerably reduced price in order to realise, by J. Astley 4 Broadgate.

Agricultural seeds – Red and white cloves, Trefoil, &c. scotch, Italian, pasture and lawn grasses. Mangold Wurtzel. Painters’ Colours, Varnishes and Brushes.

Sharpe’s Monarch swede Sutton’s champion swede and other turnip seeds.

Burn Only Strange’s A 1 Crustal Oil – There is no Oil Equal to it for Colour, Safety, Freedom from Smell, and beautiful white light, one trial will prove the difference between Strange’s A 1 Crystal and oil sold as Crystal Oil. Agent for Coventry, John Astley, 4 Broadgate


Natrona Oil – For burning in all kinds of petroleum and paraffin lamps. Being extra fined it is colourless, free from smell and absolute the safest oil that can be used. The light from it surpasses all other in brightness and intensity. Agent for Hinck’s Patent duplex lamps – a select variety kept in stock with lamps by other makers, chimnies, globes, wicks &c. &c. Colza oil for moderator and solar lamps. John Astley, Oil, colour and seedsman, robe and twine manufacturer 4 Broadgate, Coventry.

Alexandra oil – safest sweetest and best for burning in Duplex, Silber, Paragon and all paraffin or petroleum lamps. Safest – its igniting point being 140 degrees Fahrenheit, or from 30 to 35 degrees safer than oils usually sold as safe. Sweetest and Bes t- Has no unpleasant odour and burns with a pure white flame, without smoke or smell and is perfectly colourless. Alexandra oil is the only mineral oil that may at all times be relied on as possessing the quantities named, so essential to safety economy and comfort. Sole proprietors J. L. Thomas and Co. Exeter. Wholesale of Palmer & Co. Clerkenwell, London Agent in Coventry – John Astley 4 Broadgate.

John Astley Agricultural Seedsman – The oldest establishment in the trade in the district. Please note that instead of printing and distributing costly price lists, J Astley gives his customers the Benefit of Supplying seeds of better quality at the same or lower prices – 4 Broadgate, Coventry Samples and prices fee upon application.

John Astley & Son – Oil Colour, Glass and Lead Merchants – Rope and twine spinners tent and waterproof sheet makers – 4 Broadgate Coventry: Blue Vitriol Lump or Powered 3d per pound.

John Astley & Son Oil, Colour, Glass and Lead Merchants – Ready mixed paints in tins, all colours (Own manufacture) 4d & 5d per lb Enamel paints (Blundell’s & Aspinall’s 1/3 tins, 101/2d each. Rope & Twine Spinners – Coir yarn (for thatching) 31/2d and 4d per lb – Marque tent and rick sheet makers – Lawn Tents from 30’ each Umbrella tents from 24’- each. Tents for hire. 4 Broadgate Coventry.

John Astley & Son Merchants and manufacturers of Machinery oils – Burning oils, Paint, Glass, Lead, Ropes, Tines, Scaffold Cords, Waterproof oil Sheets for Wagons, Carts and Vans, rick sheets, tents, horse cloths and table lamps, hanging lamps (single and double wicks and central air draughts) 4 Broadgate Coventry.

Astley’s Gas Motor Engine Oil – Specially manufactured for gas engines. 3/- per gallon in 1,2,6 nd 12 gallon tins also in 2/9. Cask free tins charged and allowed when returned carriage paid on 12 gallons upwards. Non genuine unless bearing John Astley & Sons registered trade mark. 4 Broadgate, Coventry.

Agricultural seeds, clove & grasses, for one year’s lay 8s, 6d per acre, for two or three years lay 12s 6d per acre. Mangolds, Swedes, Turnips price list free upon application. John Astley and Son 4 Broadgate – Established over 160 years.

St Michael’s Vicar’s Rate – The first batch of summonses proceedings this morning the court crowned – including Astley and Sons – Oil and colour merchants 

Splendid colour print of her Majesty the Queen (size 44 by 34) Price 2s 6d only Framed, Mounted and Glazed from 4s 6d. Sole Agents for Coventry – John Astley and Sons.

A request for payment resented – A police court – James McDowell, tailor Smithford Street was summoned at Coventry Police Court this morning for assaulting Thomas Ed. Cave 4 Broadgate. Mr Maddocks appeared for the complainant and explained the circumstances of the case, which were rather interesting. The complaint was an assistant in the employ of Messrs Astley and in the ordinary course of his duty had to write the defendant in respect to payment of an account. The letter was delivered on Thursday week and on the following Saturday the defendant entered Messrs Astley’s Sop in a very excited state and asked for the man who had signed the letter. Complainant said he sent it and defendant then said “I would screw your neck out, if you were not authorised”. He used an abusive expression towards complainant who then said “Don’t let us have this language in the shop” and at the same time put his hand on defendant’s arm. Defendant then punched complainant three times, tore up the letter and threw the pieces at Mr Cave. The offence was more of a technical than of a serious character by the proceedings were taken to show that an assistant in a shop was not to be treated as the complainant was. Complainant would be quite satisfied if Mr McDowell would express his contrition for what had taken place, and give an undertaking that it should not occur again. Defendant said he was willing to do this. He added that the amount was only 6s 9d and it was not overdue. The complainant poked him in the shoulders with his fingers and he defendant only returned the compliment. Alderman Marriott told the defendant that it was a usual thing amongst tradesmen to send out letters like this mentioned, asking for payment when an account was outstanding and was not a matter that defendant ought to have been offended at. The case was dismissed on the payment of the costs.

Boy Wanted for Office – One with experience preferred John Astley and Sons Ltd 4 Broadgate.

Tents, rick sheets, sun blinds, awnings etc. etc. Lawn tents from 21s rick sheets for hire tents for hire John Asltey and Sons Ltd 4 Broadgate Coventry


John Astley and Sons Ltd – Manufactures of Horse Cloths, Rugs, Waterproof aprons, loin cloths, and all kinds of Horse Clothing 4 Broadgate Coventry.

Young Lady Assistant Wanted Johnson Brothers 4 Broadgate.

Waterproof Sheets coats, leggings, horse cloths, India rubber trap aprons and lion covers, night rugs, jute sheets, surcingles and rollers Large stock to select from – John Astley and sons ltd 4 Broadgate Coventry.

Wanted strong youth Apply John Astley and Sons Ltd 4 Broadgate. Coventry.

Carter for delivering goods in town and country – John Astley and Sons Ltd 4 Broadgate.

Coronation Festivities John Astley & Sons Ltd – Will be pleased to give estimates for all illuminating and decorating of private, public or business premises. Tents, flags, streamers, trophies, banners, illumination lamps & devices for hire 4 Broadgate Coventry.

In this column every week will be found a list of the most enterprising local tradesmen with their Telephone Numbers. The list is always at your service to save time trouble and energy – Oil, Colour, Glass and Lead Merchants – John Astley and Sons Ltd 4 Broadgate

Tel. 64

To Horse Keepers – for horse-cloths and rugs, nose-bags and stable requisites, apply to the manufacturers John Astley and Sons Ltd – 4 Broadgate Coventry Telephone 64.

Wanted at once, rope splicers part or whole time. Astley and Sons 4 Broadgate, Coventry

Wanted Vanman good experience of horses, Astley’s Ltd 4 Broadgate.

Important Questions of Hiring Horses – At Leamington on Monday, an adjourned case was taken in which Messrs. J Astley and Sons. Ltd of 4 Broadagate were summoned for permitting a mare to be worked while in an unfit state on December 9th. A fortnight ago, when the case came on originally a man named Darbyshire, in the employ of Messrs Astley was fined £2, including costs for working the mare, and evidence was given the Messrs Astley permitted the animal to be worked but the objection was raised that they were not the actual owners of the animal but had hire her from another firm. It was argued that the Act provided only for the prosecution of owners, and that therefore Messrs Astley could not be held liable. The Bench now upheld the objection and agreed to state the case.

Wanted warehousemen – Apply John Astley and Sons ltd 4 Broadgate Coventry.

John Astley & Sons Ltd Manufacturers of Tarpaulins, Water-proof sheets Van & Lorry Covers. Aprons, Coats, Leggings, Sou’westers, Loin Cloths, Nosebags, 4 Broadgate Coventry.

Astley’s are the only makers in this city of Tarpaulins, waterproof sheets, horse cloths, oil skins, canvas covers, dust sheets, shop & factory blinds, ropes, cords, twines. Established 1730 4 Broadgate, Coventry.

Citizens of Coventry John Astley & Sons Ltd wish to draw you attention to an Exhibit of Ancient Interest in their window at 4 Broadgate

Nov 3 – Nov 8th Wall Paper Sale – Thousands of rolls must be sold all at bargain prices – Inspection invited – 4 Broadgate.

Factory for sale – freehold. Lofty two bay ground floor north light 202ft by 42ft other small buildings attached. Heating apparatus electric light and power water lavatories all standing on 5 acres ground. Ready for immediate occupation – situated Lythall’s Lane, Coventry. Details and price from Astley’s 4 Broadgate.

I’m Dr Ray of Sunshine and my prescription is put holviglass in your windows in place of orginary glass. Holviglass enables the healing power of the sun’s rays (the ultra-violet)to go through the glass into your home destroying germs and giving robust vigour and fitness to all the family. Holviglass means new life and health for children, invalids, everyone and costs little more than ordinary glass. Write to Holophane Ltd to-day for full details. Holophane Ltd Elverton Street London SW 1 Glaze with Holviglass “Health as well as light” Get the Holviglass booklet from Astley’s who will be pleased to supply full information prices etc upon request Astley’s Ltd 4 Broadgate Coventry. Phone 3137

Astley’s fluid disinfectant from 71/2 per bottle still the best value 4 Broadgate.


I’m Dr Ray of Sunshine and my prescription is put holviglass in your windows in place of orginary glass. Holviglass enables the healing power of the sun’s rays (the ultra-violet)to go through the glass into your home destroying germs and giving robust vigour and fitness to all the family. Holviglass means new life and health for children, invalids, everyone and costs little more than ordinary glass. Write to Holophane Ltd to-day for full details. Holophane Ltd Elverton Street London SW 1 Glaze with Holviglass “Health as well as light” Get the Holviglass booklet from Astley’s who will be pleased to supply full information prices etc upon request Astley’s Ltd 4 Broadgate Coventry. Phone 3137

[research article] [Holophane]


Bath Salts – owing to the large number of bottles sold and the increasing demand for refills, Astley’s Ltd now offer Bath salts in various perfumes at 6d per 1b. 4 Broadgate.


Astley’s for Quality Fireworks!

Example's of the types of adverts from the 1930's
Example's of the types of adverts from the 1930's


Montague Burton purchase the property…


Montague Burton appeal against the valuation of the property. The premises it was stated were purchased by Montague Burton Limited six months before they were completely destroyed in the big November air raid of 1940. They were then occupied by John Astley and Sons Ltd paint Manufactures. The case collapsed when Messrs Burtons representative admitted that he had no cause to dispute the statement of the district value that the premises had been in the market since 1937 at £20,000

No. 4 Broadgate


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

The Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd

The Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd (11 Broadgate) was designed by Mr A Bentley Williams of Oxted in 1938. The mock Tudor, half timber building used beams from the sixteenth century Staple Inn, Holborn (London) and other timbers & tiles from an old barn at Upton Warren near Bromsgrove (Worcestershire). Opened for business in March 1940, with a sombre reminder of the war – 

The basement is to be opened to the public as a shelter for 325 souls. 14th November 1940 the building was burnt out. The shell of the building was unsafe and had to be demolished.  

After the destruction of the main office, temporary arrangements were made to receive claims at 1 Queens Road, 33 Hertford Street or 507a Foleshill Road 

The building stood approximately where Wilko is today. 


Burton’s (1,2 & 3 Broadgate)

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Burton's (1,2,3 Broadgate)

Montague Burton's 1930 - 1940

Tailoring for the modern man. 

By the 1930s Montague Burton was a rapidly growing business. The chain store was already established in the city of Coventry. Burton’s pursued a strategy of obtaining prominent corner locations and building an imposing stylish shop to cement its modern brand (read more here)

For Coventry that meant the demolition of the old City Hotel along with 2 and 3 Broadgate.  The store was one of the very few buildings that survived the  World War II bombing. It was put to use as a Savings Kiosk and Services Club. 

The building stood in the way of the 1950s reconstruction and was demolished in the late 1940s. However, fragments of the Burtons building (and the City Arms) may still exist under the modern Broadgate.  

July The historic City Arms Hotel at the junction of Broadgate and Smithford Street has been acquired on a long lease by Messrs Montague Burton Ltd, tailors from the Governors of Bablake school, for the extension of their premises. The new emporium will include not only the site of the City Hotel, but also the firms existing premises at No 2 Broadgate and the confectioner’s shop at No 3 Broadgate. Thus the shop will have an extensive frontage to Broadgate and Smithford street and the proposal should do much towards modernisation of the appearance of the city’s centre. The planning for the rebuilding have been passed by the General Works committee and the demolition of the City Hotel will not be long delayed.


September 23rd Burton’s New Store 1,2 & 3 Broadgate Opens to the Public

March – New Billiards Licence: application billiard tables and bagatelle boards and alike, at 1 to 3, Broadgate Coventry (first floor). 

October – Burton’s Corner, Broadgate Coventry KRAZI GOLF. The finest and most select course – Grand Opening Tomorrow Friday October 24th at PM, Beautiful prizes given weekly 100 Guinea silver cup to be given on New Years Eve. [In the photo above you can see the KRAZI GOLF signs in the 2nd floor window]

March – The Cup Final – The actual autographed ball used in last year’s cup final at Wembley is now on view in the window of Messrs Burtons. 

August – We want Your Support at the Crippled Kiddies’ Sports Meeting Next Saturday, August 15th 1931 at the Rover Sports Ground Coventry. Open flat events at 100, 200, 300 and one mile: 800 Yards Midland Ladies’ Championship (The world’s champion, Miss Gladys Lunn Competing); International Athletes in the Great Inter-City Relay Race; Cycle Racing and Boy’s Events etc. Prizes on View at Burtons Broadgate. Announcements and Music by Amplifier, kindly supplied by Messrs Blackmere, Ford Street 

November – A special Armistice Week appeal is being made by the Coventry District Council of the League of Nations Union by means of an attractive display of dolls in Messrs Burton’s Main premises in Broadgate. The dolls are dressed in national costumes of each constituent nation in membership with the League and the display is backed up with disarmament posters and initiations to join the local branches. This novel scheme of advancing the claims of the League of Nations has attracted a great deal of attention.

June – Catering Cares Abolished – Those who want to organise a whist drive, or dance or hold a wedding breakfast, cannot do better than put their catering out to a firm of specialists and the proprietors of the Venetian Restaurant and Grill Room of 1,2, and 3 Broadgate Coventry (over Messrs Montague Burton Ltd) are able to meet all demands in this direction. They are equally willing to undertake inside or outside catering work. The restaurant is of course a well known place of refreshment in the centre of Coventry.

September – Gaumont Dance Hall – Foxtrot Competition 1st heat Saturday, final Oct 8. Prizes on view Burton’s Tailors Broadgate Mr G Knedrick Judge and demonstrator – SyncoScamps Coventry’s famous band in attendance.

January – Peace Ballot Helpers Wanted – Send your name to the organiser:- Mr G Eames Burton’s Building 1-2-3 Broadgate N.B. Viscount Cecil at the Central Hall, Monday, January 21st at 8pm.

June – The “Venetain” Café – Restaurant Broadgate Coventry (Above Montague Burtons) Entrance Smithford Street On Carnival Day and at all times for the most POPULAR LUNCHEONS TEAS AND SUPPERS Now under New Management

August – Van Crashes into Shop Window! A Coventry post office mail van got out of control shortly before 10 o’clock last night and crashed into one of the plate glass windows of Burton’s tailors in Broadgate. The van had come from Greyfriars Lane and had turned towards Broadgate. When he noticed something wrong the driver apparently switched off his engine and jumped clear before the van mounted the pavement. Although there was a constable o point duty and a large number of pedestrians about no one was injured. The radiator and the windscreen of the van were badly damaged. 

October – Grand Opening Night of the Rialto Casino with the “Five-Star Ball” Ladies’ souvenir gifts and prizes to the value of £150 Now on display at Burtons Broadgate.

October -Fire Outbreak at Coventry Shop – During the early hours of today Coventry fire Brigade were notified by a policeman that there were signs of a fire at Montague Burton’s premise at the corner of Broadgate and Smithford Street. It was found that a quantity of brown paper wooden boxes and sacks had become ignited in the basement probably through their being a near a stove. The firemen were able to confine the outbreak to this part of the premise without any other damage being caused. When the flames had been extinguished the fire men had to wear breathing apparatus to combat the thick smoke.


February – Following the deliberate fire at Owen & Owen just after 9:30pm a second fire was discovered. Just before 11pm the fire Brigade were called to Messrs Montague Burton’s shop on the corner of Broadgate. A fire had been started by placing a packet among a quantity of paper beneath a counter. The firemen gained entrance by breaking a glass panel. As the result of the prompt discoveries of the fires the damage done was extremely slight in every case.

Mr A. G. Whitehead manager of the Broadgate shop of Messrs Montague Burton Ltd provided view of the Coventry dress –

“Some of the Bank clerks in Coventry wear tweeds, whereas in London those holding similar positions would never dream of doing so except, perhaps on their half-day’s holiday. On the whole, I think that Coventry men are well dressed. At one time they used to visit the private tailor and when they bought a suit – very often it was expensive one – they made it last a very long time, sometimes for 10 years. It became stained and spotted, and at the end of its period of usefulness it did no look very attractive. To-day 75 percent of the men in Coventry buy new suits fairly frequently and many of them on an average purchase a new suit twice a year. Although I would not say that people in Coventry are dressed as well as those in London, I do consider that Coventry folk, having regard to the fact that it is an industrial centre are well dressed.”

“Speaking of umbrellas,  the London man always had an umbrella, of course motoring had a lot to do with the disappearance of the umbrella. To the motorist an umbrella is an encumbrance and most people in Coventry use motor cars and buses. In London where people use trains and tubes an umbrella is a necessity. People in Coventry are not very particular about their hats, and many did not wear them at all. I do not think that if a new hat were designed it would have the effect of making more men wear hats”


2:32 pm – IRA bomb explodes in Broadgate. Historic Coventry provides a full account of this tragedy. 


14th November – Burton’s shop was gutted by the bombing, but the structure survived. One of a handful of buildings in Broadgate left standing. 

September 19th Mayor to Open Savings Kiosk – for the convenience of shoppers and other visitors to central Coventry, a kiosk has been set up in Broadgate for the sale of National Savings stamps and certificates.

The Kiosk which has been placed under the cover of Messrs, Montague Burton’s former shop will be formally opened by the Mayor (Alderman J.A. Moseley). Mr S T Peirson (Chairman of the savings committee) presided and among those present was the Bishop of Coventry (Dr Mervyn Haigh). Mr Peirson said the savings in Coventry were very unsatisfactory. There were 1,609 streets in Coventry but so far only one tenth of them had a savings group. Coventry was asked to raise £6,000,000 a year or £500,000 a month. They had done nothing like that. It could not be done without everybody’s help.

The Major in declaring the kiosk open appealed to workers now earning high wages to be thrifty and to save for the lean times that would come in the reconstruction period after the war. They did not want to see people applying for poor law assistance after the war when they had an opportunity now to save for themselves. Coventry citizens should see that there was nothing lacking on their part in winning the war. Alderman J Hold also appealed to the workers to save.

Open daily from 10am to 6pm.

January –During Warship week – There will be shop window displays in the principal local establishments. On the ground floor of Messrs Burton’s war Damaged Premises in Broadgate there will be a display of mines and torpedoes in the charge of a naval rating.

May – Vaults of the former City Hotel uncovered due to bombing.  

September – Services Club to be opened in Broadgate. A service club is to be opened in Coventry under the guidance of the committee of the Mayors good fellowship fund in conjunction with the Mayors of Coventry’s good fellowship club the committee on the first and second floors of premises in the corner of Broadgate and Smithford Street.

It will be staffed by voluntary workers and it is proposed to supply refreshments at a reasonable price and writing accommodation and materials free of cost. It will be run as a place where men of the forces can find every comfort during their stay in the city. Post War Hospitality. “It is appreciated that this effort is very late so far as the war position is concerned, but it is felt that it will be a very considerable time after the war with Germany is over before troops are released from the Services and we feel it is possible a more important matter to continue our effort when other organisations may have stopped Mr H B Jackson honorary organiser of the Mayor’s Good Fellowship fund told the Evening Telegraph – The good fellowship club acts as the official hostesses to both overseas and home forces and it is hoped that the use of the accommodation in Broadgate over Messrs Burton’s premises may give facilities for even greater hospitality than is at present being enjoyed by service people in Coventry.

Large numbers of service men have visited Coventry and through the good work of the club and the generosity of householders many have spent their leave here, returning to these hospitable families when ever possible. “It is considered that Coventry will become a place where all service people will try to visit before leaving for home” said Mr Jackson. An appeal for funds for this work is to be made in the immediate future; meanwhile work in preparing the premises to make them suitable as a services club is being put in hand. 

November – Service Club to be Launched – The sum of £400 has already been subscribed towards the provision of a Services Club at Coventry, and last night a joint meeting of the Mayor’s Good Fellowship fund and Good Fellowship Club Committee decided that they had sufficient funds to enable the work to commence.

The club is to be stablished on the first floor of Burton’s Broadgate premises and the joint committee of these two organisations who are promoting the scheme point out that while the available funds are sufficient to allow of a start being made on the work further substantial help is still required.

Early Start – it was reported that intimation had been received from the Ministry of Works that a licence necessary to permit of the patching up of the property to make it thoroughly weather proof would be favourably considered. Work in that direction is to be put in hand immediately. A sub committee was appointed to deal with the purchase of furniture crockery and cutlery and efforts will be made to have the premise ready for receiving visitors from the services in about a months time. The committee appeal for the gift of loan of chairs, a piano, a radiogram or wireless. A number of comfortable chairs which were purchased by the fund early in the war for the use of Service sites round Coventry are still in use, but there are several in stock that will be available for the Broadgate Premises.

30th December 1944 - Mayor serving Tea at the opening of the Coventry Service Club


December –  Coventry Services Club idea Born in “Devil’s Kitchen” Four years after the conception of the idea following the establishment of the W.V.S’s “Devil’s Kitchen” during the great November air raid on the city, Coventry’s united Services Club situated in the former Broadgate premises of Messrs Burton’s was officially open yesterday afternoon by the Mayor and Mayoress (Alderman and Mrs G. E. Hodgkinson). Mrs Councillor Hyde Chairman of the Mayor’s good fellowship fund and originator of the club scheme presided. She thanked the firms and citizens of Coventry for their contributions to the fund which had made the opening of the club possible and expressed gratitude to Messrs Jackson Wilson and Mason for their work in securing equipping and decorating the premises. She also paid tribute to Mr Pearson of the YMCA for his willing co-operation.

The long delay in opening the club was entirely due to force of circumstances she said. Three premises had been previously quipped only to be requisitioned by the Government. She hoped that the club would not be too late and that it would do good work. She knew of similar clubs inspired in America and Australia by the “Devil’s Kitchen” which showed that our spirit was shared all over the world.

Fostering Fellowship – Declaring the club open the Mayor said that the spirit on which it was founded was forged when the city was under fire in 1940 and 1941 when neighbours deserved the name and the community spirit was general. It was hoped that the club would foster this fellowship and would make Coventry a city to be remembered by members of the forces. The Mayor regretted that members of the American forces were unable to come into the city as the club had intended to cater for all services.

He hoped that as facilities were provided for men in the services so they would be provided for on their return to civilian life. Proposing a vote of thanks to the Mayor Captain W F Strickland MP said the city had made a good choice in electing Mr Hodgkinson for he worked instinctively with the welfare of the city at heart. He (Captain Strickland) was sorry that Americans would be unable to use the club and took the opportunity to pay tribute to hose gallant soldiers who were links in an important partnership. “Nothing” said captain Strickland “is so badly needed in the world to day as good fellowship” Clubs such as these would foster that spirit among nations.

Leisure Hours – Mr H B Jackson stated that public contributions to the fund for the club amounted to £600 in cash and many articles of equipment. The club would not be competing with the YMCA but co-operating wit it. It aimed to provide means for the Forces to spend their leisure hours and was not for the provision of meals. Tribute was paid to Messrs Burton’s who had let the premises at the “peppercorn rate” of one penny per week. The county Army Welfare Officer Colonel J A Mellor said the fact that service men and women did not want meals only but a place to be able to relax to spend leisure hours with companions and to be able to write home. He hoped that soon a second room would be opened. The club which at present occupies the top floor of the building is furnished with chairs and armchairs has concealed lighting and a buffet. There is room for dancing and writing materials are available. It is hoped that the second floor will soon be equipped and ready for use.

January  – Services Club Fully Justified – Although it has been open just over a week it is being very clearly demonstrated that Coventry United Services Club in Broadgate fulfils a great need.

Provided through the Mayors Good Fellowship fund – it is open daily from 2pm to 10 pm and the staff of voluntary workers operate on a rota. Troops passing through Coventry from overseas are among those who use the club, which is providing particularly popular with service men and women who are stationed in the part of the country and spend some of their free time in Coventry. The club is occupying Burtons former premises and it is desired to open another floor as a games room. This will cost from £200 to £300. The club is therefore desirous of railing further funds on that account. To date between £600 and £700 has been subscribed to meet the cost of starting the club and adapting the premises.

April – Negotiations go on to buy out Burtons for the redevelopment of Broadgate. Burtons want a corner site with Smithford Street after the redevelopment is completed – not realising that Smithford Street will disappear.

Delays in acquiring the building and neighbouring Wilsons shop means the central Godiva round about garden will be delayed. An exchange of flowers from the Dutch National Committee  will now have to take place on Greyfriars Green.

15th April 1947 – Burtons shop handed over to the council. Willsons have yet to be be handed over.

January – Broadgate Scheme Progress – Smithford Street was closed at 11am this morning to vehicular traffic in order to permit the demolition of the remaining block of buildings at the Broadgate End of the street. This task will be finished it is expected by the middle of February. It will then represent a substantial  step forward towards the completion of the big Broadgate Traffic Island which is an essential feature of the city’s central redevelopment plan. The passage of pedestrians up and down Smithford street will not be interfered with. Motor vehicles will be allowed to proceed as far as a turning circle just above the White Lion Hotel. Heavy vehicles such as are often seen in Smithford Street with goods for delivery at shop sand businesses will be additionally permitted to turn into Vicar Lane in order to facilities backing.

Burtons Building Demolition – A demolition gang has entered Burtons premises outside which scaffolding has been erected. The job will be  a heavy one for it will mean the removal of concrete floors and steel girders and as well as some substantial blocks of stone.

Wilsons premises adjoining Burtons block will be vacated next week-end and will be ready for the demolition men to start work. The Savings centre on the other side of Smithford street has been fetched down and Weaver to Wearers shop nearby is half demolished. Under the road near this point have been found the remains of an old wall constructed of massive block of stone. There were no fragments of pottery at hand to help in the determination of its age and it has been covered up again


The junction of Smithford Street & Broadgate had been a cornerstone of the city’s layout for hundreds of years. On the 5th January 1948 at 11am Smithford Street was closed traffic for ever more. The old entrance to Smithford Street was scrubbed out to make way for Broadgate House. The new upper precinct that forms the western route through the city centre was built approximately 20m to the north.   


March – 6,000 Gallons underwater tank to meet water needs. The problem of proving dry weather water supplies for the flowering shrubs in the Broadgate garden island has been solved by constructing an underground water tank in the basement of the Burton premises at the top of Smithford Street. It is to be filled with water draining off the roofs of the temporary shops opposite. This will be directed into a pipe passing underneath Broadgate through a culvert. Is that the reason for the missing tree in modern day Broadgate??

Burton’s (1,2 & 3 Broadgate)

Coventry Arms

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Coventry Arms

The central landmark in Broadgate. Demolished in the 1920s to make way for the National Provincial Bank. During the demolition stone from Coventry Castle / Cathedral was reportedly found, along with a 14th Century fireplace that was hidden under wooden panelling.

The panelling was later used to restore St Mary’s Guild Hall in the 1930s. Named the Coventry Arms by at least 1903. Below is a potted history of the last 25 years of its life.

Wanted a girl about 14 as Nurse Girl. Apply Newman “Coventry Arms”, Smithford Street, Coventry.

2nd September Coventry Motor and Cycle Carnival – 4th Annual parade committee meet at the Coventry Arms to discuss the next event planned for October.


14th October  Committee meet again. The plan – Assembly in the Barrack Square at 5 o’clock. Judging at 5.30. Three stoppages bottom of Holyhead Road, corner of Lower Ford Street and Raglan Street and top of Bishop Street. Money collectors  – Boxes may be obtained from the Coventry Arms, the offices

9th March Second Hand Bicycle Wanted: must be in good condition and cheap. Apply Coventry Arms Smithford Street.


 28th September – Fire at the Craven Arms Stables, Mr Walter Newman the landlord of the Coventry Arms helped move a cab, but slipped and sprained his ankle. (History of the Craven Arms coming soon, including the fire and the fire Brigades Peeping Tom Engine).

2nd January – Tickets for Coventry City F.C. and the Match with Crystal Palace – available from the Coventry Arms.

28th July Mr Walter Newman licensee of the Coventry Arms runs for the Guardians Vacancy Radford Ward on the Coventry Board of Guardians.

7th OctoberLicensing committee agree to the transfer of the licence from Mr Walter Newman to Mr Thomas Strong.

12th November – Tickets for the Grand Northern Union Football Match in Coventry – St Helens vs Hull. kick off at 3 pm.

3rd May – Coventry Northern Union Football Club First Annual Meeting held at the Coventry Arms.

6th October – Celebrating the first win of the Coventry Northern Union F.C. Mr Strong hosts an evening of entertainment for the Coventry players. 

13th February – Bar General Wanted experienced and good references required. Coventry Arms, Broadgate.

10th February – Inter-club Matches: Believed to be Billiards – Southam Coronation Club vs Coventry Arms Hotel. At Southam on Monday evening the victors winning by six points. Socres –

Southam: Dr Ormenrod 100, W.C. Collier 100, F.G. Watson 100, W.H. Plummer 80, A.Martin 85, Lt. Tuson 100, Dr Lattey 46. Total 611 

Coventry Arms T.Strong 86, H.G. Tett 70, E. Ingham 86, H Burton 100,  E. Venn 100, Vz. Ranford 75, T Watson 100, Total 627.

8th April Good Bar General Wanted – reference required Coventry Arms Broadgate.

11th – 26th June Young Girl daily to take children out – Mrs Jeffrey Coventry Arms.

25th February Bar General Wanted also general to assist in bar when required – Coventry Arms Broadgate.

23rd February – Fire Brigades Meeting held at the Coventry Arms.


28th August Married lady with baby, requires bed and sitting-room furnished – Apply Coventry Arms Broadgate.

23rd – 26th April – Girl wanted for housework and assist bar Coventry Arms, Broadgate.

19th August – Lost black and white cat answers name, Billy. Reward to be given to anyone returning to Coventry Arms, Coventry.

10th October – Bar General Wanted, also Cook General Coventry Arms, Coventry.


12th July – Gertrude Driver, munition worker stole a pair of scissors valued at 2s 3d the property of the Ministry of Munitions. Miss Driver was further summoned for receiving from a person unknown a metal tankard value 10s belonging to Thomas Strong of the Coventry Arms Coventry. She stated that she went to have a drink, and a man handed her the mug. Miss Driver refused to take it from the man, but when on the tramcar the man offered it to her again she put it on her lap. For the theft the girl was fined 25s and costs.

12th March – Mr Strong objects to a restaurant “Black Cat” 56-57 Hertford Street having an alcohol licence. Other objectors included Mr Nelson on behalf of the Coventry and District Licensed Victuallers Association, Mr Wilford the licensees of the Railway Inn, Mr H I Mander on behalf of the Coventry District Free Church Council and the Coventry Branch of the British Women’s Temperance Association. Who would want to drink alcohol while eating a meal at a restaurant?

29th May – Girl Wanted for housework and assist bar in evenings Coventry Arms Broadgate.


5th July – Mr Strong (land lord of the Coventry Arms) charged with driving a motor car at speed dangerous to the public in Greyfriars Lane, Smithford Street and Broadgate, on the night of June 19th 1919. Mr Strong was reported to be driving near Broadgate at 10-30 pm on June 19th. Coming out from Greyfriars Lane with full lights burning at a terrible speed. The engine was roaring and all out, and apparently travelling on the second or third gear.

The car just missed the lamp standard on the opposite side of the road, knocked down a man, continued at a wild pace turned around and finished inside Herford Street. Estimated speed: twenty to twenty-five miles an hour. Witnesses had to move away sharply to prevent being knocked down. Mr Strong had only been driving a car for five weeks, and on this night put his foot on the accelerator instead of the brake. The consequence was that the more he applied pressure to what he thought was the brake and greater was the speed of the car.

There was no doubt the estimate of the speed was exaggerated, but the incident did scatter the crowd. It was a pure accident and not a question of wilful misconduct or careless driving.

Defendant bore out his solicitor’s statement and said that when he saw the people he was excited and nervous and thought he did quite well to miss the people as he did. The case was found proved, though the magistrates accepted the defendant’s explanation. A fine of £10 was imposed £1 5s special costs.

17th February – Woman (daily) Wanted for cooking and house work; also Girl for Housework and assist bar, lie in Coventry – Coventry Arms.


30th July – Coventry Police Court: Mr Marson (Ironmonger) had ‘two’ drinks on Saturday 20th July in the Coventry Arms. At 2:15 pm the police were called to eject him for being drunk and disorderly. It took four officers to remove Mr Marson to the police station, St Marys Street. The police report he was very drunk, using filthy language. During his ejection one of the officer’s trousers were torn beyond repair. During his night in the cell, Mr Marson caused considerable damage. Local reports suggest Mr Marson had sadly turned to drink in recent years.

The Bench considered Mr Marson’s position in the city as well-known trades man for some years, decided to be lenient. For being drunk and disorderly he would be fined 40s and for the damage he would have to pay a fine of £5 in addition to the damage of (£10, 16s 6d).

12th April – Temporary licence transfer of the “The Coventry Arms” Smithford Street from Thomas Strong to Edward Reynolds.

14th May  – Good cook general required; good references Evenings off – Apply Coventry Arms Broadgate.

29th May – Licencing Justice: Application to extend hours of opening for city centre public houses. Estimated that 1,000 to 1,500 country people visited Coventry on Friday afternoons. Of which 200 or 300 are farmers resulting in a good deal of money being spent with the tradesmen.

5th July – Lost black and white fox terrier information or return to Coventry arms, Broadgate, Coventry.

2nd September – Bar General wanted must be used to business. Good references essential apply Coventry Arms Broadgate.

4th October – Lost white wire-haired Fox Terrier puppy. Name “Roy” Finder rewarded, return to Coventry Arms, Broadgate.

15th October – Barmaid (Smart) wanted week-ends Fridays and Saturdays Apply Coventry Arms Broadgate.

25th November – Bar General wanted. Good home and wages, must be used to business. Closed Sundays references essential Apply Coventry Arms Broadgate.

3rd November – Cook General (good) wanted; good home and wages – Apply Coventry Arms, Broadgate.

27th November – Bar General wanted, good home and wages, must be used to business. Closed Sundays references essential – Apply Coventry Arms Broadgate.

It was requested that the hours of opening be from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm on each first day afternoon which coincided approximately with the times of the arrival and departure of the farmers. The facility would be treated as a privilege and would not be abused in any way.

22nd / 23rd July – Agricultural show held in Coventry. Pubs in town including the Coventry Arms allowed to open 2pm – 6pm. Last time the show came to Coventry was five years previously.

3rd February – Barmaid wanted weekends , quick trade – Apply Coventry Arms.

4th May – Bar General wanted, wages £1 per week live in, closed Sundays good references essential apply Coventry Arms.

27th June – Aftermath of the carnival – Mrs F. Wallace was trying to climb on to one of the window sills outside the Coventry Arms in order to get a good view of the Carnival Procession, when she slipped and fell to the ground cutting her head. She was detained in Hospital.

23rd September – Cook General wanted must be good plain cook. Wanted £1 week live in references required Apply Coventry Arms.

19th December – Coventry Arms allowed to open at 5 pm next Thursday instead of 6 pm on the occasion o Waratahs’ match with Warwickshire. – What’s the Waratah’s match? – click here for Wikki page.

13th April – The Brewers plan to pay £2,000 to the corporation to surrender The Coventry Arms licence.

21st June – Bar General Wanted, experienced, smart and quick. Wages £1 weekly. Closed Sundays good references essential – Apply Coventry Arms Broadgate, Coventry.

10th July – Bar General wanted experienced, smart and quick. Good references essential. Wages £1 week. Closed Sunday – Apply Coventry Arms Broadgate.

11th September – Demolition of Johnson and Mason’s Premises behind Coventry Arms on Hertford Street in progress. Great difficulty will be experienced in taking down the front portion of the premises which is fifty feet high. Messrs W.H. Jones and Son of Lockhurst lane await the ‘ownership’ of the Coventry Arms.

In the foundations of Messrs Johnson and Mason’s a number of building stones have been found that are thought to belong to the Coventry Castle of ancient days or the old monastery which was destroyed by Henry VIII.

15th October – Magistrates Court listing of a case for possession of the Coventry Arms. Case labelled “Mayor & Corporation of Coventry Vs. Edward Reynolds” The case was dropped before it was heard in court.

29th October – Corporation takes possession of the Coventry Arms pub portion. Possession of the dwelling areas to be taken on the 5th November.


2nd March – Corporation in negotiations with owners to purchase the property for street widening. The General Works Committee Invites Tenders for Demolition of the Coventry Arms & National Provincial Bank Premises Smithford Street.

Demolition - Coventry Arms

November 1928


7th November – The famed 17th-century oak panelling in one of the ground floor rooms is to be carefully removed for safe keeping. The woodwork includes a huge carved oak fireplace reaching from the floor to ceiling with the date 1621.

When the panelling was removed, a 14th century carved stone fireplace was uncovered in marvellous condition. Approximately 9ft 6″ high, 8ft 6″ wide, with a depth of 12″. Originally constructed with an open hearth, with a wide chimney. The open fireplace allowed for approximately 4ft high and about 8ft wide. Above the fireplace, there is a carved frieze approximately 8ft wide, 2ft 6″ high 10″ thick. Containing five panels each with a shield, upon traces of coats of arms can be seen. The central panel contains a carved figure of an ecclesiastical character. The fire place obviously came from a building of great wealth and importance.

Above the frieze is a wide stone recess, providing a stone shelf while along the top is a further stone lintel containing handsome mouldings, with a further central figure that has a bearded and folded arms. Unfortunately the concentrated heat upon one side of the fireplace has crumbled the stonework. The stone fireplace is to be carefully removed.

A second discovery – In the room above there was a second oak panelled apartment. Again when the panelling was removed second stone fireplace was discovered, situated immediately above the one already described. Though somewhat similar in size the upstairs fireplace is not so lavishly ornamented as the lower one. It is 9ft high 6ft 2 in wide and has a carved frieze rail 1ft 6 inch high. The panel is diamond shaped about 11 inches square also containing shields. The coats of arms and a gild lion can be clearly seen.

8th November A party from the Corporation, including the Mayor inspected the wonderful old carved stone fireplaces discovered in the “Coventry Arms” demolition.

Coventry Arms is no more...

1928 13th December Lost white fox terrier Dog address collar Coventry Arms Broadgate please return to 2 St Osburgs Road or Police Station – Reward.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Coventry Arms