Sunday, 25 July 2010

Reminiscences of Burton Green by Joan Pulham and Angela Loughran

These are two further E-mails from former residents that I received, some years ago:

From Joan Pulham
Formerly of Burton Green now living in Cyprus
 
My late husband and I met during WW2 when we were both in the Royal Navy and stationed in Scotland. His home was in Berkswell and mine in South Wales. We married in '44 and our daughter was born in '46. So we were not in Coventry during the Blitz but my mother-in-law told me of how people came out of the city to sleep in her house at night at this time. Also people came out to Burton Green to live in caravans on spare land. Some of them built pig-sties and kept a pig to eke out their meat ration. Eventually, after the war, they were granted permission to build homes but only to a certain price level.

So, I will jump to 1956/57 when we were living in Tile Hill and dearly wanted to get out into 'the country'. We saw an advert for Highfield House in Cromwell Lane and went to see it. Highfield House was next door but one to the shop - kept then by the Dockers -and opposite the gardens of the Peeping Tom. It had 2 bedrooms, bathroom, large living room and kitchen and it stood in half-an-acre of land (with a little pig-sty at the bottom of the garden which was cleaned and made into a playhouse). It cost 2,500 pounds - an enormous sum of money for us when you consider that my salary as a primary school teacher (Templars', Tile Hill) was 900 pounds p.a.and my husband earned about the same. We had to find a 25% deposit and the mortgage interest rate then was twelve and a half percent. However, we managed it and spent 11-12 very happy years there.

It was a good time for us to move as our daughter was able to start the next stage of her education at Leamington College for Girls. She was able to catch a bus at the end of Hodgetts' Lane with other children going mainly to Kenilworth to school. It was known as the School Bus but would take other passengers as well. It brought them back in the afternoon.

Within a short time my husband had tackled the garden and we were getting fresh vegetables and soft fruit. There were already fruit trees at the bottom - apples, pears, plums and lovely greengages and damsons. Soon I was bottling fruit, making jam and pickles and salting down kidney beans (no freezers those days). Then came the big upheaval - we were to get the promised Main Drainage. Previous to that, Cromwell Lane residents had septic tanks or cess pits in their gardens. We had inherited a cess pit which had to be emptied about once a month. We had to order a 'Honey Wagon' from the County Council and when it was due you alerted your neighbours so that they could shut up their windows! Need I say more !! There were 2 men aboard - the driver and George, who lived down Red Lane somewhere. When they had fixed up the pipes they would get out their sandwiches to eat with a cup of tea that I made them - can you imagine the scene? It was quite a problem - laying the pipes for the main drainage - a deep ditch right across the middle of our precious garden - but well worth it, of course, in the long run. Our next project was to extend the house by having a garage with a bedroom above built on the side of the house. Then my husband decided to build us a swimming pool. How strong he was - digging out the hole and wheeling barrows full of concrete down from the mixer. He built us a little summer house down there underneath which was the filter and the heating unit. It is surprising how, if the pool is there, the number of times the English weather is good enough to swim in it. We had some lovely summer parties down there.

The years rolled happily by. Our daughter went off to college in Edinburgh.. I moved to a school in Kenilworth. I got my very own car - a pale blue Ford Anglia - and how I loved it! Before we knew it our daughter was planning to get married. The date was fixed for early August.The garden was a blaze of flowers. We had a marquee on the lawn and caterers came in, the sun shone (at least until late evening!) and we all had a wonderful day.

Crime was unheard of in Burton Green then - the only thing I remember was when we came home late one evening to find a man syphoning off petrol from my husband's car which was parked near the front gate. By the time we realised what was happening his companion had started the engine and they were away in their car.

I have to end on a sad note. Early in 1968 my husband became ill and in the December he died of cancer of the lung. I could no longer cope with the garden and, regrettably, had to sell my lovely home. I sold it for 8,500 pounds in the summer of 1969 and moved to the north of Warwickshire coming back eventually to Cannon Park. I have now lived with my partner for 12 years in Cyprus.

_______________________________________________________________


From Angela Loughran
Formerly of Burton Green now living in Lanzarote


My parents Sharon & Peter Loughran brought 196 Cromwell Lane over 28 years ago, a few months after they moved in Mum had my brother Lee in February 1976!. I followed in May 77. We all lived there until 2001, my parents still own the house which is occupied by my 27 year old brother Lee Loughran who along with his partner Esther is expecting his first baby in February - just a few months after he and Esther moved in - history is repeating itself!

My Dad is well known among many of Burton Green's residents as he had painted and decorated many of their houses, along with the village hall on many occasions over the years! Mum used to run the play group 25 years ago before becoming a part-time netball coach at the school for a few years!

We also owned 186 Cromwell Lane until Friday when we sold it. We own the field that runs from the back of the Peeping Tom to behind 184 Cromwell Lane.

Nowadays, my parents Sharon & Peter Loughran along with me Angela and my husband David, live in Playa Blanca Lanzarote. Lanzarote was always a favourite holiday destination of the family and my parents made the move almost 3 years ago.

We run a successful property management business and holiday lettings company in Playa Blanca and you can read all about our business at www.LanzaroteLates.com.

We would like to offer any of Burton Greens residents a 10% discount on the rental of our luxury villas in 2003 and 2004 and invite them to visit our website and email us with any enquiries!

It would be nice to see some familiar faces in these sunnier climes!

Kindest regards
Angela Poxon (Nee' Loughran)
E-mail: angela@lanzarotelates.com


See Also

Burton Green Vilage History
Memories of Burton Green in the 1950’s by Stuart Barratt
Reminiscences by Anthony Richards
Reminiscences by Rick Jowett