Farewell to Hearsall

The members and congregation of Hearsall Baptist Church today said a sad farewell to the church’s home of 96 years in Queensland Avenue.

Today’s Easter Sunday service is the last before they vacate the church, opened in 1961, and larger 1928 edifice known as the ‘schoolrooms’. The church has been at the heart of the Chapelfields community going back to the 1860s when the first chapel and Sunday School was opened in Lord Street.

Some of the congregation will attend the new Sherbourne Community Church based at the former Holyhead Road URC, others will move to other Baptist churches in the city or to other places of worship.

ECHO sends its best wishes to all of those people, wherever their individual journeys take them, and remembers also those pioneers before them who built the church, both spiritually and in terms of much of its physical fabric, and made it a major part of Chapelfields community life.



The no. 51 bus routes (Stagecoach Monday-Saturday. and NX Sundays only) are being re-routed permanently away from Glendower Avenue. Heading towards Earlsdon, from the traffic lights on Allesley Old Road, they will travel along Brookside Avenue then into Wildcroft Road, up to the lights on Broad Lane.

They will then turn left along Broad Lane to rejoin the previous route at the Glendower Avenue Junction. Heading towards UHCW, the route will be the reverse of the above.

The new published routes’ timetables include all the relevant stops in Wildcroft Road which should give some certainty to passengers who have so far relied on semi-official ‘Hail/alight and ride’ along Glendower Avenue which has never been published and passengers say causes problems with some drivers.

There appear to be no timing implications and the existing timings through Earlsdon are unchanged.

Changes are effective from Saturday 6 April.

“The Haunting of Blaine Manor”

Coming to the Albany Theatre, 29-30 March

England, 1953. Renowned American psychic investigator Doctor Roy Earle, famous for discrediting hauntings and exposing fake mediums, is invited to attend a seance in Blaine Manor, said to be the most haunted building in England. However, Earle’s arrival awakens something horrific within the manor’s haunted walls. As a raging storm closes them off from the outside world, Earle and his companions find that what is waiting within the manor is not nearly as horrific as what has entered with him… In the spirit of M. R. James, England’s most accomplished ghost story writer (Casting the Runes, Whistle and I’ll Come To You My Lad, The Haunted Doll’s House) and with a nod to the classic black and white film classics of Columbia Pictures, Metro Goldwyn Mayor, Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox. O’Byrne’s award winning production is a love letter to both the Golden Age of Hollywood and England’s Hammer Horror era. As a ghost story it sits shoulder to shoulder alongside the classic ghost stories down the decades. The show has been thrilling audiences from coast to coast in truly magnificent theatres. Many of those audiences returning to see the show again with their friends, such is the power and intrigue of the narrative embedded deeply in the supernatural culture and heritage of these isles. ‘This is horror built from the ground up, including the sound effects. I wanted the sound design to be entirely original, along with the music. As a cast we spent a rainy afternoon in a Sheffield sound studio, there we all went quite mad creating the most horrific of soundscapes, it chills audiences to the bone. The sound production and music are by Justin Wetherill, digital visuals and trailers are by Darren McGinn. The firecracker cast feature Peter Slater as Dr. Roy Earle, Andrew Yates as Cairo, Jo Haydock as Vivian Rutledge, Jimmy Allen as Adolphus Scarabus, Ed Barry as Vincent De Lambré and Joe O’Byrne as Grady. And yes, for the film geeks I’ve had a good few nods to horror and noir classics down the years, that was part of the fun writing this, see if you can spot them.’

Joe O’Byrne

Godiva Festival Headliners Announced

Godiva Festival has announced that this year’s Main Stage will be headlined by The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft on Friday 5 July, pop phenomenon Paloma Faith on Saturday 6 July and the legendary Beverley Knight will close the festival on Sunday 7 July.

Other Main Stage acts so far include Sam Ryder, The Brand New Heavies, The Primitives, PBN and The Go! Team.

Tickets for the event in the War Memorial Park go on sale at 9am on Friday 1 March.

Full information is available on the Godiva Festival website.

Hearsall Song and Storytime

We are looking forward to our very first nursery rhyme nativity session. We’re a part of Hearsall Baptist Church: the church with the Christmas star of hope on Queensland Avenue.

We would love to see you at our special lively, immersive event aimed under-5s along with their families and older siblings.

It also marks the final Christmas we can meet in this iconic building.


It would be really helpful if anyone interested in coming to our nursery rhyme nativity could complete this form.


To get the most out of the event, you can also add yourself to the WhatsApp group below!


Hearsall Star Petition

A petition has been raised to save the Hearsall Star and parts of the Hearsall Baptist Church buildings.


Kensington Road Surgery

There is a mistake on page 25 of the December / January issue in the article on Kensington Road GP surgery.

The 3rd paragraph is repeated instead of the 4th paragraph, which has been omitted but should have read as follows: “For some time, Kensington Road has been under particular pressure, as those of us who are registered there will know. The staff, doctors and their support team alike, worked hard to cope in the face of those pressures. For all their best efforts, however, they struggled. That is not intended as a criticism of those working at Kensington Road at the time, although many frustrated patients took to social media to take them to task. Those online comments were unfortunate but understandable, though difficult for the staff to read.”

Our apologies to our readers and to the author of the article, Stuart Linnell.