The opportunity to showcase societies like ours through a new website has just been announced by Civic Voice. Sponsored by English Heritage it is appropriately named ‘Protect our Place’. The main feature will be an interactive map for groups to promote their projects and discover other work both locally and nationally. It will be searchable by theme or location, and will be free to all community groups working to protect or promote the historic environment. Societies like CovSoc are urged not only to use the map and connect with the wider heritage network but also to discover all the resources available to them on the site. Areas of interest range from archaeology, commemorative plaques, conservation and education to neighbourhood plans and planning training. The story of South Street School in Project Manager Sarah Spurrier said: “The website being up and running is extremely Victorian times presented by a former exciting. It now means that there is a resource out there for all community groups not teacher, Brian Stote, was the subject at only to celebrate their own projects and inform people about what they do, but also our September meeting. After retirement for networking, for new volunteers, and professionals. The website marks a new eleven years ago the everyday life of the phase for community interaction and can only strengthen the great work which is school became a research project through already being undertaken throughout England.” the log book of the Girls School, and what The Society now needs to make its own unique contribution to Protect our Place. fascinating material it revealed . Take a look at the framework of the website at http://www.protectourplace.org.uk/ It provided Brian with an account of education in those days, which even then was dogged with Government inspectors and performance related budgets. The Head Teacher was supported by just two 15 year old teaching assistants but many When Jonathan Foyle takes to the floor at our October famous Coventry personalities were meeting we can expect him to hit us with some involved in the School Board. fascinating stories that will surely help to place Coventry One of the Head in the first division of British history. Teachers of the Many of us have come to know Jonathan over the last school was the years with his presentations for Channel 4, the BBC, the formidable Selina Dix History Channel, ITN and Discovery Channel. Perhaps his MBE (pictured left), most enterprising was two years ago for the series who went on to be Climbing Great Buildings when he captured the head teacher of imagination of viewers by dangling from a great height to Wheatley Street comment on art and architecture, as diverse as St Pancras School. She was a Station, the Pyramids and of course Coventry Cathedral. staunch campaigner Jonathan Foyle accepted the position of Chief Exec to the World Monument Fund, for the welfare of Britain, in 2007. It’s the UK arm of a global charity that has achieved great success in women, girls and orphans in the city. securing imperilled architectural sites for future generations. Brian was disappointed that since the He trained as an architect and art historian, and holds a doctorate in Archaeology, demolition of the Hillfields flats, there is specialising in early Renaissance architecture in Britain. He is of the opinion that early no recognition of Selina in the city. Tudor England was a more involved participant in European Renaissance culture than is * The school was opened in 1874 and was generally acknowledged. He developed a practical knowledge of major and minor built in much the same style of Spon historical monuments over fifteen years, first as an assistant surveyor of Canterbury Street School , a ‘handsome building of Cathedral, and then as Buildings Curator at Hampton Court Palace and Kew Palace for red brick’, according to the Directory of almost eight years. You are urged to attend his talk on October 8. that year. It was built with three turrets, one of them housing a bell. It cost about Jonathan Foyle presents £3,000 and was designed to The Herbert Coventry & the image accommodate about 500 scholars. Earl Street South Street occupied the same site until Jordan Well of the 15th century Monarchy 1956. Monday, October 8 Contacts nce at Coventry University entra Sir John 77 Craven Street, Coventry CV5 8DT Laing Lecture Theatre JLG20 Tel: 024 7640 2030 Building Email: email@example.com Sir John Laing Building If Twitter is your thing, you can follow us at Much Park Street Free Admission https://twitter.com/#!/CovSoc With the support of Light refreshments 7pm We also have our own page on Facebook. You Coventry University can also follow us there at Lecture at 7.30pm
a Much P
More news and views on our website: www.coventrysociety.org.uk
The Coventry Society ran a quiz again for Heritage Open Days as part of the History Fair in The Herbert Museum. The Quiz featured ten fairly well known views of buildings in Coventry and posing the question ‘What Was Here?’ The most difficult one was probably The Alcock Maternity Hospital that was later known as Keresley Hospital and is now the Royal Court Hotel. Promoting almost equal uncertainty was The Elms restaurant which was once the Paybody Hospital for crippled children. Nevertheless the quiz attracted plenty of attention and 22 entries were received and nine of them were completely correct. A draw was made by a committee member and the £10 prize was won by member Peter Walters.
November 12 One of the biggest intrusions into the Colin Knight, Assistant Director of Green Belt for years has been Planning, Transportation and Highways proposed to the south of Coventry speaking on Phase two developments in Airport. The business park, a the city centre. It will be an opportunity £250million project known as Coventry to quiz him on other planning matters. Gateway, will require considerable December 10 modifications to the road system and Ben Flippance of idPartnership in Spon have a heavy impact on residents in Street speaking on the redesign of Baginton, Bubbenhall and Stoneleigh. Wokingham Town Centre—an historic As we know, Coventry Local market town that needs to be retrofitted Development Plan, recently submitted sensitively with contemporary retail and to an inquiry, shows that the city has housing, but building on the historic more than enough industrial land, yet here we have this extraordinary vernacular of the market town. application. Any views? See http:// January 14 planning.coventry.gov.uk/portal/ The National Memorial Arboretum, a servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet? significant focus for Remembrance with its stunning memorial and symbolic trees. PKID=741333
THE removal of traffic lights at certain junctions in Coventry city space with more care than usual, precisely because the road centre sparked a lively debate in recent months over some key lacks the more common assumption of an automatic right of issues in urban design – central to which is an argument about way. the best way to achieve a sensible balance of power between The whole effect is enhanced by impressive street light columns down the centre of the road, occasional street benches, and an pedestrians and traffic. A crucial concept in this debate is the strange notion of “shared outdoor exhibition of sculpture. space”, a radical and apparently foolhardy idea which seems, at The scheme was designed by the architects Dixon Jones and has already won several awards, but the real pioneer of the “shared first sight, to turn common sense onto its head. space” concept was the Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman But while we in Coventry continue to ponder the rights and wrongs of this brave new experiment, town planners in the Royal and the Danish urban planner Jan Gehl, who have helped to Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have taken this idea make the concept relatively common in Holland and Scandinavia. considerably further with the total redesign of London’s Like the traffic junctions in Coventry, the redesign of Exhibition Exhibition Road, a busy main artery which runs right through the Road has not been without its critics and it is acknowledged to centre of the capital’s cultural heartland, with magnificent be an experiment. But the apparent success of the scheme does buildings on either side such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, seem to indicate that “shared space” has much to offer and that the Natural History Museum, Imperial College and the Science Coventry, in a small but significant way, may be at the forefront Museum. of a fascinating development in contemporary urban design. This road, leading up to the Royal Albert Hall at its northern end John Marshall and once the main route to the Great Exhibition ‐ held at Hyde Park in 1851 – has in recent years become an unpleasant and congested thoroughfare, often choked with lines of coaches and usually tricky for pedestrians to negotiate. But since February this year, when the new scheme was officially unveiled, Exhibition Road has been re‐born and reinvigorated, courtesy of an extraordinary transformation. Gone are the traditional pavements, kerbs, barriers and street clutter. In their place is a single surface “shared space”, with a stunning chequered granite design, which runs from South Kensington tube station to Hyde Park, covering the entire width of the road from building to building. Motorists have been slowed down to 20mph and the distinction between roadway and walkway is achieved by visual and tactile lines which subtly delineate those areas for pedestrians, who enjoy the lion’s share of the space, and those for traffic. The result is a splendid pedestrian‐friendly streetscape which allows visitors to stroll from one end of the road to the other, The pedestrian‐friendly streetscape showing the stunning visual and from one side of the street to the other, relatively and tactile chequered granite design, a bench on the old untroubled by motor vehicles which are obliged to negotiate the carriageway with vehicles ‘squeezed’ into the remaining area