Carole Gardner – Coley

Hello John,

I had such excitement reading your website after seeing the article about Coley in GetReading last year. My mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great, great grandfather lived in Wolseley Street. My mother is aged 89, still fit and active and I have compiled the attached notes as if written by her. I know it was all well before your time in Coley, but thought you may be interested anyway. I have recently walked around Coley myself taking photos of the houses my ancestors lived in and of Coley and Katesgrove schools. The photo you have of the houses opposite yours just misses no 151 where the Lawrences lived until probably the late 1950s. My grandmother Rose died in 1957 and I suspect my grandfather Herbert moved out soon after. I have hazy memories of visiting grandma and grandad as a young girl.

Here is a photo of no 151 Wolseley Street taken yesterday.

Kind regards and a Happy New Year to you,
Carole Gardner, daughter of Win Fullbrook, nee Lawrence.

Here are some notes my mother has written.

The Lawrence family lived in various houses in Wolseley Street. The 1901 census shows my grandfather Joseph Lawrence living at no 68 with wife Kezia, 3 sons Herbert, Harry and John and my greatgrandfather John. The 1911 census shows them living at no 133. My father Herbert married Rose Reeves.

When I was a small child in the 1920s/30s we (i.e. Herbert and Rose Lawrence with children Lilian, Len and Win) were living at no 102 and my granddad Joseph lived with us. He was clever with wood and made me a special stool so I could see over the brick wall into the garden of 106 which ran along the back of 104 and 102. At this time Mrs White lived at 106 and her daughter Rene sometimes helped me climb over the wall to let me play on her swing. Before this time, 106 had been the Vicarage for St. Saviour’s Church. Later, a house on the corner of Berkeley Avenue and Shaw Road was used as the Vicarage.

If I remember correctly, Mrs Clarke lived next door to us at no 104. She was the mother of Mrs Violet Rose living the other side at no 100. The Browns were in no 98.

I remember the Rose boys and by coincidence, my daughter Carole has recently met Ken as they play golf at the same club!!

The Lawrence family then moved across the road to 151 and I think a family named White (not the same as previously mentioned at 106!) were at 153 and the Lambournes were at 155.

I remember the Parsons corner shop, the fish and chip shop, the barber and “The Steps”. I worked at Gascoignes and the Milk Marketing Board in Christchurch Road. I served in the WRENS during the war, married Len Fullbrook in 1943 and we have one daughter.

Win Fullbrook, nee Lawrence, born in 1923 to parents living in Wolseley Street.

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