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Here is what we think is the only comprehensive record of pubs and beerhouses within the Coventry city boundaries going back as far as available records allow. This is an ongoing project so contributions, corrections or additions to this archive, especially anecdotes, photos and media are most welcome. Feel free to contact us for a pint and a chat anytime.

The Hand and Heart

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This is almost certainly the Hand and Heart, taken around 1920, from June Gibson of Wyken, Coventry's collection. In this first photo, look at the windows on the left building - there's only one set of buildings that had windows like that in the entirety of the city`s history. The old silk weavers. They were specially made to allow as much light as possible into the premises...

NAME HAND AND HEART
ALTERNATIVE NAMES HAND IN HEART, HEART IN HAND
ADDRESS 119/120 FAR GOSFORD STREET
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...and here we have confirmation - same building, now with the pub's name and the Ansells branding

Two right hands holding a heart was an ancient sign of friendliness and agreement. Pubs of this name were often meeting places of friendly societies.

A public house of this name is said to have existed in 1851, although not in its present form. On the 12th January 1855 the Hand and Heart was advertised to let.

Ralph Clarke, a local carrier, used to leave the Hand and Heart two days a week for Walsgrave.

The Hand & Heart pub played host to the emerging Coventry punk scene in the late 1970s. Reggae band 'Hardtop 22' played there – a few months later key members of the band would form the core of the 'Selecter'. On February 23, 1978, a band called the 'Coventry Automatics' played the venue; on Friday December 1, 1978, they returned as the 'Specials'.

Lillian Allen in the famous garden

Known Licensees are;
1868 Samuel Truslove
1871 - 1879 Joseph William Stokes & watchmaker finisher
1881 Mary Stokes
1886 - 1893 F. Kenning
1894 - 1896 H. P. Johnson
1901 - 1903 Sam Brown
1903 Mrs Gertrude Brown
1905 - 1922 C. J. B. Bailey
1921 - 1922 G. T. Pitcher
1924 - 1934 C. F. Waters
1935 - 1940 A. V. Coldicott
c1955 - c1961 and onwards Frank James Allen (see above and below, see also Cottage Inn, St Johns Street and Swanswell Cottage) thanks to Paul Salisbury for photos
1985 J. A. Miller

Frank and Lillian Allen

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Frank and Lillian Allen with some locals

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The rebuilt pub is two-storey with five bays, of brick with stone dressings to the windows and doors. On the first floor a central bay projects slightly and is surmounted by a gable with a moulded coping stone. Set within this gable is a rectangular frame bearing a sculpted 'hand and heart' motif. There are 'A' motifs on the hoppers to the downpipes, standing for 'Ansells'.
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And finally, "The transformation of one of Coventry’s most historic areas into a vibrant cultural quarter and centre for creative enterprises is one step closer following the completion of refurbishment work at the former Hand and Heart pub on Far Gosford Street. The pub’s sensitive restoration to provide new business space and quality residential accommodation coincides with confirmation of £1.15 million funding from the European Regional Development Fund to continue the restoration of other historic buildings on the street through the Townscape Heritage Initiative. The 15th century grade II listed buildings next to the former Hand and Heart pub are also being carefully restored". It would make a cracking pub though....
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Dict PN Two right hands holding a heart was an ancient sign of friendliness and agreement. Pubs of this name were sometimes the meeting places of friendly scoeties.

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

1855 JA16 CS Hand and Heart, Far Gosford Street, to let

1.4.1859 JA141 CS Transfer of license from George Ensor to Benjamin Stafford

5.10.1860 JA CH&O License transferred from Benjamin Stafford to James Lissaman

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P42 HAND AND HEART, Far Gosford Street Alehouse
Owner : Thomas Page Johnson, Much Park Street
later Herbert Page Johnson & Mary Page Johnson
Livensee : Joseph William Stokes
9.12.1880 TOL to Mary Stokes
3.11.1881 TOL to Francis Knight
14.1.1886 TOL to Frank Kenning
21.6.1893 TOL to Charles Henry Cross
12.4.1894 TOL to Harry Page Johnson
9.10.1873 fined 20/- & costs permitting drunkenness

1887 COC P57 Cov Times Inn signs

1977 WRAG 1

Source 7.02 Before we had the buses ( in Walsgrave ) there used to be two or three carriers. There was Ralph Clarke, he used to go in two days a week to Coventry. I think Ralph used to put up at the Hand and Heart in Gosford Street. If the women bought anything that was fairly large, they'd have 'em delivered to the pub there for old Ralph to bring home

30.6.1961 Citypubs 49

FGS P32 119/120 Hand & Heart PH

This public house existed under this name in 1851, although not in its present form. Two-storey, five bays, brick,with stone dressings to windows and doors. Near symmetrical facade. Stereply pitched, plain-tiled roof. Arts and Crafts style. Ground floor: two flanking dorways, wider on the left than on the right, with plain, generous stone surrounds. Two mullioned twelve-light bay windows with square-headed lights. Door off centre to left with four-light mullioned window to right. Square headed light over door. First floor: central bay projects slightly at this level, and is surmounted by a gable with moulded coping stone. Sculpted ' hand and heart ' motif in rectangular frame set within gable. Symmetrically disposed mullioned windows with square headed lights. Stone bands at sill and lintel levels. Winsows one, three, four and six are of two lights, windows two and five of four lights. Hoppers on downpipe carry ' A ' ( Ansells ? ) motif.

c2010 Closed

LICENSEES

1859 JA141 CS George Ensor

1859 JA141 CS Benjamin Stafford

1860 JA CH&O Benjamin Stafford

1860 JA CH&O James Lissaman

1868 Buchanan S. Truslove Heart in Hand

23.11.1868 Lantern Samuel Truslove

1871 Census Joseph W. Stokes 25 yo watchmaker finisher b Coventry

1874 C&B J. W. Stokes [ m Mary, 23 & 1s
1878 LJ Vol 1 P42 Joseph William Stokes
1879 Stevens Joseph William Stokes
1880 LJ Vol 1 P42 Joseph William Stokes
1880 LJ Vol 1 P42 Mary Stokes
1881 C&B Mary Stokes

1881 LJ Vol 1 P42 Mary Stokes
1881 LJ Vol 1 P42 Francis Knight
1886 LJ Vol 1 P42 Francis Knight
1886 LJ Vol 1 P42 Frank Kenning
1886 C&B F. Kenning

1890/91 R&G F. Kenning

1893 Reporter F. Kenning

1893 LJ Vol 1 P42 Frank Kenning
1893 LJ Vol 1 P42 Charles Henry Cross
1894 LJ Vol 1 P42 Charles Henry Cross
1894 LJ Vol 1 P42 Harry Page Johnson
1894 R&G H. P. Johnson

1896 R&G H. P. Johnson

1898 LJ Vol 1 P42 Harry Page Johnson
1901 COC P29 Sam Brown

1903 COC P29 Sam Brown

1903 R&G Mrs Gertrude Brown

1905 R&G C. Bailey

1909 R&G C. J. B. Bailey

1911/12 Spennell C. J. B. Bailey

1912/13 Spennell C. J. B. Bailey

1919 Spennell C. J. B. Bailey

1921/22 Spennell C. J. B. Bailey

1921/22 Spennell G. T. Pitcher Hand in Heart

1924 P. James C. F. Waters Public House

1926/27 P. James C. F. Waters " "

1929 P. James C. F. Waters " "

1931/32 P. James C. F. Waters " "

1933/34 P. James C. F. Waters " "

1935/36 P. James A. V. Coldicott " "

1937/38 P. James A. V. Coldicott " "

1939/40 P. James A. V. Coldicott " "

1953 LTSD Hotel

1955 Citypubs 19 Frank James Allen

1961 Citypubs 19 Frank James Allen

1966 Barrett Public House

1985 Ansells J. A. Miller

OWNERS

1878 LJ Vol 1 P42 Thomas Page Johnson, Much Park Street
later LJ Vol 1 P42 Herbert Page Johnson & Mary Page Johnson

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