Coventry & District

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Real Ale Rambles

DUE TO COVID-19, ALL REAL ALE RAMBLES HAVE BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

REAL ALE RAMBLE 297 Saturday 21st November

RIVER LEAM 5 miles & 2 pubs

This is the walk that was originally RAR292 in February. Thanks to flooding at the time I cancelled the walk and rescheduled it for the following winter, which is now. Lets hope that history does not repeat itself!

We meet at the NEWBOLD COMYN ARMS in Leamington at 12 noon. At 12.30 we set off towards the left side of the swimming baths and then turn left to follow the river upstream. Passing through a field and the play equipment we descend to the river bank for our first view of the Leam. Then we follow the river through a meadow to a footbridge. We continue to follow the river to the hides which give good views of the Leam Valley Wetlands.

From here we turn north for a while until we come to the path to Offchurch. This takes us through fields to the river again, where two footbridges take us over separate arms of the river. The two river courses suggest that there was a mill here once. Then the path passes through the parkland associated with Offchurch Bury. As we approach Offchurch the valley sides give good views back to the tower blocks at Cubbington, before we emerge onto a road at Offchurch close to the STAG.

After half an hour’s rest and refreshment we retrace our steps as far as Newbold Comyn and then, rather than follow the river again, we strike out through the park back to the NEWBOLD COMYN ARMS.

FUTURE EXPEDITIONS

Sat Dec 19 RIVER AVON

Meet at the Saxon Mill on the road to Warwick Another repeat from last year.

Sat Jan 20 RIVER ITCHEN

Meet at the Harvester, Long Itchington

Sat Feb 20 LOWER & UPPER SMITE

Meet at the Raven, Brinklow

March 20 CESTERSOVER AND COTON

Meet at the Stag and Pheasant, Main Street, Newton

Copies of the walks are available at Beer Gonzo, Earlsdon.

SUNDAY LUNCH WALKS - in conjunction with the Health Development Service of Coventry City Council.

These walks all start at 12 noon. Copies of these walks can be obtained from Beer Gonzo in Earlsdon, or for more details contact moc.liamg@ttekculfg>

SUNDAY LUNCH WALK 97 Sunday 6th December

RADFORD AERODROME 3 miles

A lot of urban walking>

Continuing with the industrial history theme we now have a walk around Radford Aerodrome. We meet at the PILOT on the corner of Burnaby Road and Catesby Road at 12 noon. This is one of those giant inter war pubs. It opened in 1937 and still has some nice period details. No real ale though!

At 12.30 we set off eastwards along Rollason Road and just before the end take a path between houses into Blackwatch Recreation Ground. These facilities were connected with the industry on the opposite side of Burnaby Road, which started before WW1 as White and Poppe’s engine factory. During WW1 it was greatly extended as a munitions factory for filling artillery shells. The women that did this job became stained yellow by the explosive and so were nicknamed ‘canaries’ and were encouraged to keep fit by taking up outdoor sports, such as football. The factory later passed to Jaguar and Dunlop.

Having crossed the old sports ground we come to Blackwatch Road. Turning left we come to the start of the Black Pad. This was an old route from Scotchill to Lockhurst Lane, which formed the northern boundary of the aerodrome. On the right here is Coventrians rugby ground. On the left once ran the railway branch to the munitions factories: it was the only way to safely transport thousands, maybe even millions, of shells.

Over the Coventry to Nuneaton railway line we come to Endermere Road. We go right and pass a building that looks as though it might be old enough to be contemporary with the aerodrome. Then along Kingfield Road past the Matterson’s site we turn into Marion Road and pass under the railway line. Here on the left we have Joseph Cash Primary School and on the right an open field, which shows what Radford Aerodrome would have looked like: the hedge at the other end is more recent. Radford aerodrome was operated by the Daimler Motor Company from 1915/16 for air testing the BE2c, RE8, DH10 and Bristol F2b fighters they produced. Later the War Office took over the aerodrome and it was used for testing aircraft produced by Daimler, Standard, Humber, Siddeley-Deasey, Vulcan Motor Engineering and even Wolseley Motors of Birmingham. It is regarded as the first ‘proper’ aerodrome in Coventry.

This was the site of the first flight of the Siskin fighter. The Siddeley Deasey SR2 Siskin was designed to meet RAF requirements for a single seat fighter and first flew in 1919. In that year Siddeley Deasey merged with Armstrong Whitworth. The Dragonfly engine used in the Siskin proved to be underpowered and unreliable and was replaced with a Siddeley Deasey design, the Jaguar engine, which was a great improvement. The Siskin became the first all-metal RAF fighter and the first deliveries of the improved aircraft commenced in 1924, by which time Armstrong Whitworth were using the Whitley factory and airfield. The Siskin equipped 13 squadrons and was a front line fighter until being replaced in 1932. Meanwhile Radford aerodrome had closed and by 1923 was being covered by council housing. After the school we pass a football pitch on the left. This is the southerly extreme of the airfield. There is only one entrance and exit to the field, so we’ll carry on. We return to Blackwatch Road and turn left into Capmartin Road. Where the road turns right to return to Jubilee crescent we go left into Chorley Way. Here we are entering the site of the old Daimler site, which occupied a large area between the railway line, Radford and the aerodrome.

The Great Horseless Carriage Company had been established in converted cotton mills between Sandy Lane and the canal in 1896. The cotton mills were renamed the Motor Mills and, as the company was building German Daimler cars under licence, the name was changed to Daimler. Shortly before WW1 Daimler moved to a new factory at the junction of Ludgate Road and Sandy Lane. After a merger in 1960 the factory became Jaguar’s engine plant, and remained so until closure in the mid 1990’s.

Following Chorley Way we come to the grassy square that is Daimler Green itself. Here we turn right and walk along Anley Way to Cheveral Road, at the shops on the corner of Villa Road. Here there is an ethnic grocer’s, and a pet shop for Sharon to check out. Then we soon come to Jubilee Crescent, so named to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935. There are lots of shops here; one that took my eye was an Afro-Caribbean grocer’s. From here it is a short distance back to the PILOT.

FUTURE EXPEDITIONS

Jan 10 LAWFORD MILLS Meet at the Old Smithy, Church Lawford

Feb 7 PILES COPPICE Meet at the Cocked Hat

March 7 Coundon Wedge Meet at the Shepherd and Shepherdess

April 4 Binley Woods Meet at the Cocked Hat

These walks all start at 12 noon. Copies of these walks can be obtained from Beer Gonzo in Earlsdon, or for more details contact moc.liamg@ttekculfg