Tag Archives: Entertainment

Feldon School

Feldon School was set up at Milverton Hill by Dr J.L. and Mrs S.A. Matthews in the summer of 1950.  They had taken over a small private school, ‘Ardmore’ based at 69 Willes Road/corner of Leam Terrace in September 1948, when Ardmore’s previous owners left to run a boarding establishment in Monmouth.   In a matter […]

Mrs Margaret Mary Maitland Fowler, O.B.E.

Mrs Fowler, legendary owner of Leamington’s pre-war Blue Café, was born in Derbyshire and grew up in Polesworth, where her father was Vicar of the Parish Church, and Rural Dean.  In 1906, at the age of 25, she married George Herbert Fowler, an Oxford-educated mining engineer who was managing director of Arley Colliery in nearby […]

The Blue Café

Mrs Margaret Mary Maitland Fowler, sometime owner of Leamington’s famous Blue Café in Bath Street, became something of a Midlands legend in her own lifetime. She was appointed OBE for her services to charity, to disabled ex-servicemen and the Red Cross. Mrs Fowler worked for the Red Cross and fund-raised for charity for most of […]

The Wise Hall, St John the Baptist Church

The Wise Hall St John’s Parochial Hall (aka ‘The Wise Hall’)  was built originally by Dr. John Hitchman. It was used by him as a place of worship for people connected with his  Arboretum Hydropathic Hospital which opened close by in 1862.  After the formation of St. John’s Parish in 1875, it was given by Mrs. […]

Women in the Cricket Field

 A trawl through back copies of the Leamington Courier in search of archive material relating to Leamington Cricket Club turned up an intriguing announcement by Mr W A Bezant in the editions of June 1890, – the forthcoming “Engagement, for one day only, of The Original English Lady Cricketers”,  when two complete teams, Reds v. […]

Model Citizens

Peter and Sally Lee have lived in Leamington for over 45 years, and in retirement from their lives in business, developed a hobby that has led to TV and radio interviews, a DVD of their work, and the visit of a film company all the way from Los Angeles. Peter, born and brought up in […]

Ranelagh Gardens

Ranelagh Gardens, “The Vauxhall of Leamington,” 1811-1846   Leamington’s ten acre Ranelagh Gardens were situated in old town over the canal bridge in Brunswick Street. No doubt named in imitation of the famous Ranelagh Gardens in London, Leamington’s gardens were created at a time when leisure for most people was scarce, when a holiday was […]

Sam Lockhart, Elephant Trainer Extraordinaire

 The world’s foremost elephant trainer began his working life as a circus acrobat and when he died was described by the Leamington Courier newspaper as a ‘retired giant of the entertainment industry’. The dapper little man with the magnificent white moustache was one of Leamington’s most recognisable residents in the years between the two world […]

The “King of Clubs” William James Henri Lawton (1871-1964)

Born in Warwick in August 1871, small in stature (5ft 4½ in) and slender in build (9st 3lb), Henri Lawton nonetheless became a renowned gymnastic, boxing and fencing instructor, the author of 2 small books on exercise and fitness, and in 1895, World Champion Indian club swinger. To claim the title, which had almost always gone to an American before this, Henri […]