Allesley which was, until taken into the City in 1928, administered by Meriden Rural District Council, has retained much of its character and charm. This is surprising for the village was under far more threat than other villages on the outskirts of Coventry, due the volume of traffic which passed through the village before the by-pass was opened in 1966. The fact that Allesley is now the only traditional village centre remaining in Coventry, is mainly due to the local residents and conservationists whose efforts resulted in the village being designated a Conservation area in December 1968. At the time of the first edition of this book Allesley residents had just lost the battle to stop the Jaguar relief road across the Coundon Wedge. I f only they had known then what the future of Jaguar was to be then some valuable green belt land would not have been lost. As it is the road simply excuses further development in this attractive area.
1. Allesley Village c1906 (Frederic Lewis)
The photographer was standing on the footpath leading to the parish church of All Saints when he took this shot looking along a very narrow Birmingham Road towards Meriden. On the left the fencing has been removed and the wall built higher but the “Rainbow Inn” seen just beyond and the remainder of the buildings look much as today. The two telegraph poles, and the tree on the left have long since disappeared, the entrance to the Allesley Hotel now being on the left where the girls and cart are standing. Thank goodness Allesley was declared a conservation area in 1968.
2. Staircase Lane c1910 (Blakeman & Saville)
The tranquillity of Allesley in the early part of this century is clearly shown on this postcard. The view is taken looking away from the village towards Brownshill Green, the cart coming towards the cameraman is possibly from Brownshill Green Farm. Although this Lane became a popular walk it has been, to a certain extent, ruined by the relief road across the Coundon Wedge, now cutting it in two.
3. Butts Lane c1932 (Teesee)
It would seem that the photographer who originally took this picture possibly got his notes mixed up as this is of course Butcher’s Lane. Sidney Harris the butcher has opened his shop as the second door on the left is open. The canopy over the shop has now been removed and two garages have been built on the end, but otherwise the left hand side of the Lane is still recognisable. On the right the barn has been demolished and an electricity sub-station has been built together with an entrance into 62/64 Birmingham Road, a sympathetically restored house built about 1580
4. The Paybody Convalescent Home c1932 (Teesee)
This building, originally known as “The Elms”, is shown soon after it became a Convalescent Home, being presented to the Coventry and District Crippled Children’s Guild by Thomas Paybody in 1929. The building now looks a poor version of the original building shown, since it recently closed. By being left to decay there is a danger that vandals will do the developers work for them. This will then release this valuable site on the corner of the relief road for other uses.