A guided tour of the historic
LONDON ROAD CEMETERY where many of the city’s great and good are buried. Meet at 7pm. Car parking available through the main gate on the promenade. Visitors welcome at £2.
As the applause fades away and the bring life to the scene . students return to their quarters in Jordan It’s by no means a sad story. We had the sandcastles, we had replica World War Well the square we know as Broadgate planes and the revival of the Coventry takes on its mantle of being…..a large open space. In the rain the paving reflects Mysteries. However, if we want a show every day of the week then it’s the variety shoppers making for Wilkinsons, Nationwide and Lloyds TSB, while Godiva and interaction of speciality businesses we desperately need on our premier square. That will bring lasting vitality and new prosperity to the heart of our city centre. The Society looks forward to that. On May Bank Holiday the public had the opportunity to see a Spitfire, Hurricane and Messerschmitt at close hand . These planes all played a key role in the Battle of Britain and were showcased in the city centre thanks to the War and Peace Battle of Britain Experience. The full‐sized replica planes in the colours of their looks down on colourful beds of annuals representative pilots commemorated two but rides high above unattractive British pilots; Robert Stanford Tuck who temporary fencing. All weather shopping flew a Hurricane, Spitfire pilot Adolph under the colonnades of Cathedral Lanes "Sailor" Malan, and German flying Ace, Adolf Galland who flew a Messerschmitt. and Broadgate House go unnoticed, waiting for the moment when café tables As June was drawing to an end enterprising students from Coventry and chairs spill out, fruit and vegetables bring colour, kitchen and fancy goods all University Performing Arts brought
outdoor theatre to Broadgate in the shape of its fantastic touring pageant wagon— The Fabularium. This year’s play ‘The Tale of Reynard Fox’ has roots in medieval Europe and as part of the research for the production the Company made a trip to Switzerland to take part in the world famous ‘Basel Fasnacht’ ‐ a 72‐hour, round the clock masked theatre festival. Without doubt the atmosphere encountered by the 40 strong cast rubbed off on this year’s Mystery. The parade arrived in Broadgate to act out an unforgettable performance in front of the Godiva Clock with a bestiary of puppets, masks and vivid characters. Something that Coventry can truly be proud of.
The first of two guided tours in June centred on High Street, village green and accompanied us to the local Baptist Chapel Kenilworth with our hosts for the evening, the local History and where the incumbent the Rev Neil Moore Smith gave us the Archaeological Society. Of special interest was The Barn history of the building and pointed out its features. Museum that not only tells the story of the Augustinian Priory The village tour saw Joy with her colleagues Lyn Warner founded in 1119 but also contains (Archivist and researcher) and Geoff Henman (member and some fascinating material on the researcher) providing a commentary. At the Parish Church of St. history of Kenilworth. Our thanks Margaret's, dating back to Norman times we were shown to Trevor Stevens and his around by a member of the colleagues, Jeremy and Norman congregation, Betty who provided us with a Simpson. The tour fascinating glimpse of one of the culminated with a pleasant town’s most ancient areas. surprise when a home‐ The second visit was to the village baked cake was produced together with fresh cream of Wolston on the Saturday of that scones made by her friend week. Sylvia Thompson. Joy Stanton Chairperson of the Thank you Wolston for Kenilworth:Trevor Stevens Local History Group (Brandon, Wolston: members meet on Bretford & Wolston) met us on the the village green with Joy Stanton such a warm reception. with Society members
Members of our executive committee Following his short introduction, the BBC conservation work is to take place this attended an exclusive lecture in St Mary’s presenter welcomed Dr Heather summer, we believe, in conjunction with Guildhall when the World Monuments Gilderdale Scott, a leading scholar on the the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and the public will be able to view some of the Fund Britain and Coventry Cathedral work of the great medieval Coventrian presented ‘The Medieval Stained Glass of glazier John Thornton. Dr. Scott delivered glass fragments throughout this process. Then, once the works have been Coventry: History, Context and Creation’. an interesting talk on the context of a major new project to conserve and display completed, the glass is to be showcased Dr Jonathan Foyle of BBC’s ‘Scaling some 5,000 fragments of medieval stained and put on view to the public as never Heights’ fame provided an introduction during which he described the context of glass of the former Cathedral of St Michael before. As part of the wider plan at the lecture and conveyed real enthusiasm in Coventry. Coventry Cathedral, World Monuments for the benefits that this scheme will bring The fragments of glass are thought to Fund is working to protect the ruins of to Coventry. Dr. Foyle described Coventry represent the largest collection of St Michael’s, open up the forgotten crypts medieval stained glass in the country. Yet, beneath and imaginatively display the as a “well kept secret that Coventrians could not expect to keep to themselves for despite their importance , they have stained glass to tell the story of Coventry. remained hidden away in storage beneath Quoting from the World Monuments long.” His vision for the city was one of the New Cathedral and unseen by the increased tourism and “a destination Fund:‐ “Through the cleaning, study and where couples would come for a romantic public for over 70 years. Prior to the presentation of Thornton’s glass, we aim to inspire and delight millions of visitors weekend”. Clearly Dr. Foyle felt that heavy bombing that the Old Cathedral Coventry’s historical treasures – including suffered during the Blitz in World War II, and bring Coventry’s overlooked Cathedral the glass fragments were (thankfully) Quarter the attention it deserves.” the fragments of glass which were the removed as their importance and the subject of the evening’s presentation – are need to preserve them was recognised. capable of drawing such crowds. The glass fragments depict a fascinating insight into life in medieval Coventry. In addition to the religious images and scripture there are images of ordinary people from merchants to monks, ladies to lute players, musicians to martyrs. Other fragments depict images of animals and skilled calligraphy. Urgent work is now required to preserve the glass fragments which have begun to deteriorate over the 70 years. Vital
Coventry Society will be hosting the third AGM and National Convention of Civic Voice on October 19‐20. The venue is The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum with walking tours, visits and opportunities to meet civic colleagues from across the country. Delegates arrive on the Friday at 1pm and the Society will be heading up several guided tours to the more interesting areas of Coventry. In the evening there’s a supper at St Mary’s Guildhall. The AGM is on the Saturday morning followed by workshops within The Herbert. It’s great opportunity for the Society and we shall need plenty of extra help to make a real success of the event. If you can help then please contact Keith on 024 7640 2030.
Autumn meetings start on Monday, September 10 with a talk by Brian Stote on the fascinating story of South Street School according to the school historic register. We’ve been meeting at Priory Row for some seven years but decided a move to a new venue had become necessary. The Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade (where Theatre Absolute put on stage productions) is a central location with plenty of on‐street car parking nearby and is convenient for all bus services.
The World Monuments Fund has offered to host a presentation to the Coventry Society’s members later this year. For more information about this project, or to make a contribution to the vital conservation works being carried out, please contact the World Monuments Fund , 70 Cowcross St, London EC1M 6EJ, tel 020 7251 8142 www.wmf.org.uk/ or Coventry Cathedral, 1 Hill Top, Coventry, CV1 5AB, tel 024 7652 1200 www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/, Stuart Daniel Contacts 77 Craven Street, Coventry CV5 8DT Tel: 024 7640 2030 Email: email@example.com If Twitter is your thing, you can follow us at https://twitter.com/#!/CovSoc We also have our own page on Facebook. You can also follow us there at http://www.facebook.com/CoventrySociety
More news and views on our website: www.coventrysociety.org.uk
Coventry Society Newsletter - July 2012