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1921 T.E. Friswell

Thomas Edward Friswell was born in the Raglan Street house where the firm started and attended St Peter's school, Hillfields.


By 1896, Thomas was also training in the business. After completing a seven-year apprenticeship in 1905, his father passed on the Gallery to him. (Copy of the original indenture shown below).

However, Thomas ("Tommy") also had his sights set on politics and was elected as Councillor for All Saints Ward on 13th March 1919, in a By-election caused by the death of his father, until 1937, and again in 1938 to 1945.


He served 23 years on the Council. During that period he was connected to the opening of the War Memorial Park, the laying out of Gosford Green, the foundation of the Whitley Hospital and the early scheme for Baginton Airport. 

Tommy still had time to move Friswell's to 64 Raglan Street in 1921 and open up a shop at 30A Bishop Street. Tommy was now living at 11 Styvechale Avenue. Tommy was Chairman of the Guild of Freeman and Apprentices from 1930 to its demise in 1960. He became an Alderman in 1932. Tommy became Mayor of Coventry from 1934 to 1935 during the Silver Jubilee of King George V, and with his wife, Mary Ann, the Mayoress, (who died in 1952) received Princess Helena Victoria on a visit to the City during his Mayoralty.

Copy of the original Gallery Indenture.


 He was a lifelong supporter of local charities and was Chairman of Coventry Citizen's Advice Bureau which he established, the Family Welfare Association and Coventry Society for the Blind. 

He was also Chairman of the trustees of Bond's Hospital and Ford's Hospital where his portrait hangs, after being presented to the hospital by his only son, Alfred, in the presence of his wife, their sons David and Antony, and friends. He was governor for many years of King Henry VIII Grammar School and was a past master of Coventry Freeman's Guild.

A prominent Freemason he held offices with the Grand Lodge of England and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. Locally he was a member of Trinity Lodge of which he was Master in 1921 and was also a member of Trinity Chapter and a founder member of Charterhouse Lodge. 

In 1939, picture framing was still carried out in Raglan Street, Bishop Street (below) and East Street. Tommy was still working in his shop in Raglan Street up to two years before his death in April 1960. Friswell Drive in Courthouse Green is named in his memory.


















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