Paul Salisbury – Chairman
Paul is the present chairman, taking the helm after he was co-opted at our first committee meeting following the 2018 AGM. Paul’s background is of a ‘Coventry Kid’ through and through. He has traced his ancestors back to 1800 in and around Spon Street, where three generations were actually born in one of the courts adjacent to the Shakespeare pub. He was brought up in Hillfields in the 50s and very early 60s before moving to Cheylesmore. In 1972, he married his wife Kath, and has lived in Binley Woods ever since.
He joined the Society with Kath in 2007 and was immediately involved with the Committee. Paul’s sense of humour, corny comments and jokes, coupled with his commitment to the business of the Society creates a friendly and humorous approach to Committee meetings.
Ella Johnson – General and Membership Secretary
Ella is our current Secretary. She joined the Society in 2008 and became a member of the Committee in 2011. Ella is a `Coventry Kid`, through and through, being born in Gulson Road Hospital. She went to Coundon Court School then joined Lloyds Bank for 37 years. Her family were Agricultural Labourers in Gloucestershire, Merchantship men in Bootle and Clockmakers from Prescott in Lancashire. She married Dave from Motherwell in 1978 and has enjoyed researching both sides of their family.
Ella has helped out on the Federation stand at the Hobbycraft Show at Birmingham NEC, and can always be seen at the Heritage events CFHS take part in. Always a willing helper with projects like photographing records for transcribing in the dungeons at Coventry Bereavement Services, Canley. Ella tries hard to be the sensible one at Committee meetings, whilst taking the minutes.
Paul Salisbury – Treasurer
Paul has made this position ‘his own’ after first being elected as Treasurer at the 2007 AGM. Although he is not an accountant, his background as a Principal Engineer in the aircraft industry has led to his accurate and defined approach to handling the Society funds, and keeping records. The advice he gives regarding finances have ensured the stability for CFHS to move forward. He has been a local football referee for over 35 years whilst being Parish Council Chairman for Binley Woods for more than 17 years.
Veda Morall – Bookshop Manager
Veda arrived in Coventry in I978 and joined the Coventry FHS when it began in 1994 as the Book Shop Manager. This role involves buying in, supplying and selling the Society’s own publications together with relevant Coventry family history books, CDs and other material by mail order. She also provides a selection of the Book Shop stock at the monthly Society meetings and at various Family History Fayres and other events throughout the year.
Her own ancestral trail has taken her from North Staffordshire through the Midlands, south of London, North Wales and to Dumfriesshire in Scotland.
As a Primary School teacher her career began also in North Staffordshire then Birmingham after which she took many years off to raise her 2 sons. She returned to teaching part time in a number of inner ring primary schools in Coventry.
She is happily married, retired and enjoying life, particularly as her two sons and their wives have recently given her two gorgeous little grand daughters which have extended her family tree and given her more opportunity to search more family trees.
Ian Phillpott – Journal Editor
Ian is Editor of our quarterly journal. He is a ‘Cov Kid’, although decamped across the border to Hinckley as a babe. He is married to Deborah, who he met at school, and has two sons and two grandchildren (who he dotes on). Ian started researching his family history in 2003 and originally joined the society soon afterwards. He obtained an Honours Degree at Leicester in 1976 during a 40-odd year career in textile manufacture. Having retired at the end of 2018, he now devotes much of his time to producing the journal for the Leicestershire & Rutland FHS, as well as (finally) writing up his own researches. He joined the Cov FHS Committee in 2019.
Andrew Walton – Programmer and Records Manager.
Andrew was born and grew up in Derby. He moved to Coventry in 1968 after joining Courtaulds. Andrew and Gill first met on the steps of the Forum Bowling Alley. Not the most romantic spot! They were married in 1972.
Andrew and Gill joined the Society very soon after it was started in 1994. In a first period as a committee member, Andrew took the post of membership secretary. As an ex IT Manager, one of his first tasks was to re-write the membership records program to bring it up-to-date (a task he repeated two years ago). He also arranged for membership subscriptions to be registered for Gift Aid, making a useful addition to our funds.
In 2003, keen DIYers , Gill and Andrew became less active in the Society whilst they completely renovated a new home. Returning to the outside world at the end of the building work, he again joined the committee, this time as Programmer and Records Manager. Andrew has written the user programs on the records CDs we have distributed during the past 20 years and provides the technical assistance to users. No-one has beaten him so far!
Bob Bristow – Assistant Treasurer & Librarian
Robert Bristow is well qualified to do both jobs as he obtained GCE O Level in 1961 in both Maths & English at King Henry VIII School, Coventry.
He qualified as a Surveyor and has worked in Construction until retirement in 2011.
Bob has been involved in family history research for more than 50 years, and like most researchers, regrets not quizzing his parents more when they were alive.
He has traced the Bristow tree back to 1650 in Worcestershire and his maternal Cleaver side in Coventry back to 1700.
Though Chris originally trained as a comptometer operator, she eventually went to work at the Coventry Evening Telegraph where she compiled the CET Year Book & Who’s Who and the Citizen’s Guides for the different areas of Warwickshire. When publication of these ceased Chris worked on the Features Desk writing short informational articles and compiling film and local events diaries.
Chris is not a ‘Coventry Kid’, though she has lived here since she was three years old, as her families come from the north of Scotland and Staffordshire and north Warwickshire. Her late husband Allen was very much a ‘Coventry Kid’ and her research has taken her back to the early 18th century and to the Sowe area now known as Walsgrave.
Chris tries to encourage people to write down their memories both for their own families and for articles in future journals, which she says will make very interesting reading.
Lynne Bristow assists the Society wherever she is needed, on the desk, at exhibitions and transcribing records etc.
She was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, and is also a member of the Airedale & Wharfedale and Bradford Family History Societies.
Her paternal Hewitt tree traces back to 1766 and her maternal Drake tree back to 1767 in Yorkshire.
Kay was born in 1927 in Wyken, which at the time was part of Foleshill and Sowe. She went to Radford School and then progressed to ‘Wheatley Street Central Advanced’ School. From early 1945 to late 1948, saw Kay spend 4 years in the Service of the WRENs. After leaving, she married Len in St Georges Church in 1950, and had three children.
Kay was a founder member of the Society and spent many years as Projects Coordinator along with previous Chairman, Geoff Barwick. All the records and data the Society has to date would have gone through Kay’s scrutiny to ensure they were correctly transcribed prior to issue. She has been a real backbone of Coventry Family History Society.
Deborah is a Cov Kid who was moved across the border at age 9 – on the same day that Winston Churchill was buried. She met Ian at school and married him in 1974. After having two children she retrained as an adult educator but then switched back to admin as a Medical Secretary and PA to a Chief Nurse in the Mental Health Service. Retiring early due to health issues, Deb looked after her Mum and picked up Embroidery as a hobby becoming East Midlands Regional Chair for the Embroiderers’ Guild. Ian and Deb became interested in researching family history, and have had lots of adventures since in many areas of the country.
Doris was born in Queen’s Rd in Coventry and lived in Chapelfields, The Butts and finally moved with her parents to the then semi rural Charter Avenue in Canley in 1939. She married in 1955 into the Pails (bakers) family and worked in the business up until retirement. Following the death of her husband Doris took up an interest in family history and joined the society in the early 2000’s .