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From Gloom to Boom - one writer's research in the Coventry History Centre

Recently, Mrs. Gill Yardley came into the History Centre to research for a book she is involved in writing. She belongs to the Women’s Writers Research Group, which focuses on writing on prominent women in Coventry history since 1900.

So far, the group has produced nine books and Mrs. Yardley is researching for the tenth. This new edition will focus on how Coventry developed after the Second World War. Mrs. Yardley stated the title may be ‘From Gloom to Boom’ to reflect the period of growth after the war years. She is currently looking through street plans, planning documents and old business records. She is looking through plans to build a Woolworths in Coventry as well as other businesses.

Particularly of use are records from 1958 that show the early development of the Belgrade Theatre. She has a programme from the first performance at the Belgrade which was apparently a musical adaptation of ‘The Importance of Being Ernest.’ The programme not only describes the performance but points to other interesting developments in the city and interests in the community.

Mrs. Yardley used to work in the Reference Library when it was open, and nostalgically reminisces that she would often eat her lunch in the cathedral ruins. She therefore has very strong ties to Coventry and a vested interest in telling the stories of the city she loves.

Sara Johnstone