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Grown Up in Britain: Celebrating Foleshill Community Centre

The first in a series of mini exhibitions spotlighting local stories as part of Grown Up in Britain is now on display

A black and white photograph of a stage with text painted on the side reading, "Foleshill Youth Club Jamaican Sound". There are Black adults and children on the stage setting up, presumably for a concert or party, while a group of white children sits on the edge of the stage, posing for the camera.

With a nationwide focus compiling material from across the UK, Grown Up in Britain's main aim is to celebrate common experiences shared by young people across the decades. At the same time however, its Grown Up in Coventry section takes time to hone in on more local stories, with elements that will grow and change over the coming months. 

Curated by the Museum of Youth Culture and running until 12 February 2023, this free exhibition will incorporate a mini series of pop-up displays, presented in collaboration with local community groups. The first of these is now on show until December, exhibiting images from Foleshill Community Centre. 

When Feeding Coventry moved into Foleshill Community Centre in 2020 to set up a social supermarket, they chanced to come across a box of photographs chronicling the centre’s rich history. The hundreds of images they discovered capture the passing faces and friends of the community centre throughout the 20th century, but who took the photographs and who left them there remains unknown.

Two older girls or young women sitting on chairs under a notice board, smiling towards the camera. They are wearing bright 80s or early 90s style block colour clothing.

Foleshill Community Centre first opened its doors in 1948. While not certain, it’s thought that the building was given to Coventry City Council by the Americans in the aftermath of the Second World War. By the late 1950s, the newly formed Foleshill Community Association was looking after the building, running a wide array of activities from bingo nights, parades and live music to providing practical support. After a short period of closure, Feeding Coventry took over the centre in 2020, helping families and individuals with their weekly shops through lockdown. In a time with little social interaction and togetherness, the Centre brought much needed relief to the local community.

This exhibition celebrates the community that underpins the Foleshill Community Centre through a selection of the found photographs. The mini-exhibition will be on display until early December, when a new display will move in. 

Are you in any of the photographs? Do you recognise someone in them? If you have any information about the contents of that mysterious box, Feeding Coventry would love to hear from you. Please email Ellie at to share your story.

A group of teenagers of different races standing together in the midst of a set of steel drums

About Feeding Coventry

Feeding Coventry is a charity with the goal of ensuring nobody in Coventry goes hungry. They offer food security through low-cost shops available to vulnerable groups and people in crisis by working with partners from across Coventry and the local community.

For a weekly membership price of £5, residents from CV6 and CV1 are invited to stock up on items that cover the food groups. Feeding Coventry have also developed a programme covering physical and mental wellbeing activities such as crafts, dance, creative play and cooking and eating together. Foleshill Community Centre continues to bring the local community together and provide a safe space for all. Find out more on their Facebook page.

A group of young men sitting on chairs in Foleshill Community Centre's main hall, with heavily patterned curtains and a leaf print on the windows behind them. Some are turned towards the camera and some are chatting with each other.

Three muscular young men (probably weightlifters) in sportswear, two with thick leather belts around their waists.