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Conservation Area Lighting Without doubt the new lanterns currently being installed in conservation areas across the city are a considerable improvement on those installed over the last 20 years. Not only are the heritage columns shorter by about one metre but the lantern itself has sharper lines and is mounted on elegantly curved straps. While we have expressed concerns over the eco white light rather than the yellow light we have come to like in the past, the Council has indicated that light levels of the white light can be turned down if deemed necessary. Work is moving apace in the Allesley Village Conservation Area and where there have been problems with certain installations the Council has been quick to respond, resolving any issues like inappropriate positioning of standards and the clearing away of unnecessary signage. We understand that Kenilworth Road from the A45 to Gibbet Hill Road is about to have the lanterns on the carriageway turned off for a trial period. During this time the footway and cycleway will remain in light with a temporary lighting solution. At the end of the trial and subject to what is required to be reinstalled, a design will be developed accordingly. The Society will continue to keep in touch with council officers.

The long-awaited Fargo Village opened at the end of September with a vibrant mixture of music and art, with performances by the Big Bumble Bees and Victor Herero as well as the city’s own Theatre Absolute. Behind the imaginative venture is Ian Harrabin of Complex Developments who has also been responsible for so much restoration work on Far Gosford Street. His new development inspired by Camden Lock in London, is based on a reclaimed factory site just a stone’s throw from several of the timber-framed buildings on the main street that have now been restored and brought back into use. The heart of Fargo is a series of north-lit sheds housing a fascinating range of speciality small shops and foodie businesses. The eclectic mix ranges from jewellery to shabby-chic furniture, even a Lambretta scooter dealer and workshop. Judging by the crowds that turned out for the launch it will surely be quite a draw for families, as well as the many Coventry University students who have but a short walk from the various faculties just down the road.

October 2014 Localism for Real Campaigner and President of Civic Voice, Griff Rhys Jones, will deliver a public lecture as part of the grand re-opening of the Westgate Hall, Canterbury on Friday, October 24. His visit will coincide with the annual Civic Voice convention. Griff will be calling on individuals to unite together around the Civic Movement Manifesto, Localism for Real and to campaign on issues impacting on communities. Griff will say “Change is in the air. If the Government is serious about Localism, they have to listen to the concerns being expressed by civic groups, resident associations and town and parish councils. The Civic Voice manifesto, “Localism for Real” sets out our plans to put power into the hands of communities. I call on all community groups to join with Civic Voice in making Localism a national issue.” Freddie Gick, Chair of Civic Voice added: “We face a crisis of civic engagement. This is a symptom of the frustration people feel as power is taken away from communities and they are subject to tokenistic consultation instead of genuine participation. We need to give all citizens opportunities to actively shape the future of their place and to give communities the powers they need to enable their town and city centres to prosper. We look forward to this lecture and to hearing from Griff Rhys Jones”.

As a young architect Alan Griffiths worked on post-war redevelopments in the city. His talk at our October meeting will relate to the buildings and the people he worked with and met. Photographs from the 40s, 50s and 60 will follow on the big screen.

Monday, October 13 at 7.30pm In the Shop Front Theatre, City Arcade. Light refreshments. Visitors welcome—admission £2

More news and views on our website:

44 october 2014  

The October 2014 edition of the Coventry Society newsletter.

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