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Coventry's Post-war Buildings and Planning presented by Jeremy Gould architect and emeritus professor of architecture at Plymouth University Monday, November 14 at 6.30pm Shop Front Theatre, City Arcade


As we went about our shopping in the latter years of the last war, planning for the comprehensive redevelopment of our city centre was already well underway. As long ago as 1938 a City Architect’s Department had been established with Donald Gibson at its head. His plans for the reconstruction of the city centre were aired in the May of 1940 when an exhibition was mounted in St Mary’s Hall. A Planning and Redevelopment Committee would be created after the November Blitz of 1940. We negotiated the mud and dust as patched up temporary shops emerged from the rubble. While Smithford Street and Broadgate were largely a scene of destruction, many of the thoroughfares radiating from the centre were still lined with familiar local business names. Markets played their part. There were three: The Barracks Market with its covered retail stalls and wholesalers in all manner of sheds along the edge of the square. The fish market with its thralls was in West

Under construction: The pedestrian bridge in the Upper Precinct

Orchard, and on Corporation Street, between surviving buildings was the Rex market named after the blitzed cinema. In 1946 an ornate levelling stone was laid at the top end of The Precinct inaugurating the start of redevelopment. The following year saw the central area of severe war damage, 274 acres in all, become the subject of an order made by the Ministry of Town and Country Planning that would allow the City Council to compulsory purchase land. By 1948 the Broadgate Garden Island was complete and Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth came to officially declare open the magnificent landscape created with plants given by the people of the Netherlands. So the people of Coventry could look forward to the ground-breaking pedestrian precincts that Gibson had the foresight to design. With much excitement we witnessed The Precinct and Broadgate taking shape with their colonnades and two-tier shopping. In 1953 Broadgate House opened—the first major new building in the city centre. The following year the Ministry of Works granted a building licence for the new Cathedral. By 1955 the first stage of the College of Art and Technology in Cope Street opened its doors. Year after year we saw the new city grow around us. Post-war Coventry with its ‘Festival’ architecture was a reality at last. For the whole story come along to the November meeting on the 14th.

At the Civic Voice Convention, achievements of those who participated in Civic Day were announced. This year there were six winners, one of them being The Coventry Society with an award for Paul Maddock’s Public Art Tour. Civic Voice will be releasing a document in the near future to publicise what each of the civic societies did to win the award. Each of them carried an inspiring story. A fantastic achievement Paul.

November 2016

Coventry Society is delighted that our submission to this year’s Civic Voice design awards met with success when the Old Grammar School in Hales Street was awarded ’Highly commended’ in the Restoration Category. Joan Humble, recently elected Chair of Civic Voice, came along to unveil the plaque. In her address she explained how the awards are unique in England as a

Standing under the new plaque: Terry Kenny (CovSoc), Keith Draper (CovSoc Chair), Joan Humble (Civic Voice Chair), Chris Patrick (Coventry City Council’s Conservation Officer) and Les Fawcett (CovSoc) national celebration of good design and restoration projects nominated by local community organisations. She was clearly pleased to see how partnerships have achieved such a remarkable renovation. Mrs Humble went on to explain how Civic Voice supports the work of the many civic societies up and down the country by speaking up for the civic movement in Parliament. The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Lindsley Harvard and chief executive of Culture Coventry, Gary Hall, also spoke of their delight at the presentation of the Highly Commended prize.

More news and views on our website:

The latest issue of the jou al of the I situte of Ci il E gi ee s epo ts: With th ee of the top tea o go e, is the p oje t de aili g? Who is e t? Di e to Da id Higgi s' o t a t is up fo e e al e t ea . Will he e e it o ill he e follo i g his olleagues a d a a do this see i gl si ki g ship? Lots of e e s of the i situte a e ea e i g a a o H“ . Fo thei oi ial jou al to spe ulate o the p oje t ei g s apped, the e ust e a st o g oio that it ight ot go ahead. The p oje t tea a 't keep osts ithi udget e e ate it as i eased to sill u e s. The ' e a a do ed the o e io to the ha el tu el that as a ke e ui e e t i the ief. The ' e sill po de i g hat to do ith Eusto , a d the a t to sta t o k ith lots of de isio s up i the ai . All e ause the p oje t as ill- o ei ed f o the sta t. H“ ould -pass Co e t if e e e foolish e ough to uild it. Wo se sill, a of ou fast t ai s to Lo do a d Bi i gha ould e lost. Othe to s a d iies sta d to lose out too. H“ is desig ed as a seg egated gold-plated ail a that ould da age the et o k i stead of ei fo i g it. The e is a alte ai e pla fo a high speed ail a alled High “peed UK. It ould e full i teg ated ith the et o k, ha i g se e i es as a to -to-to o e io s as H“ . You a see it at htp:// .highspeeduk. The li e et ee Rug a d Bi i gha ould e fou -t a ked so all t ai s ould o i ue to t a el th ough Co e t . It is i the i te ests of Co e t that Co “o e e s should suppo t H“UK. Its autho s a e due to add ess a lea ed audie e at Wa i k U i e sit e t o th. Ho u h lo ge ust the ad ess go o ? Les Fa et

I had a fa tasi t o da s last o th topped ith a isit to Co U i fo a talk Ri ha d No le OBE o his Bloodhou d p oje t. He told us a out his pla s to ate pt iles a hou . Follo i g o f o his fas i ai g talk I ould like to tell ou of ou pla s to aise K! O e the last ea s I ha e set up a d helped to u a old o u it hall i B oad “t eet Co e t . Although it is i poo o diio it is a e us e ue ai l used the lo als situated i a dep i ed a ea of Co e t . We ould like a e uildi g, so fo the last th ee ea s ha e ee illi g fo s a d ju pi g th ough hoops to appl fo a assi e a ou t—£ K. “o fa it has ost £ K i p ofessio al fees ut the goal is a hie a le. We o pleted the last of the th ee stages a fe o ths ago a d e e tl e e told ou appli aio has ee app o ed a aio al egio al o itee. That ea s e a e just o e step a a f o a hie i g ou goal, a d ill k o the esult i a o th’s i e he it goes to the Lo do pa el of the Big Lote . To add to this Veolia the La d ill o pa g a ted us £ k to sta t o k o the uildi g e t doo to a t as a te po a p e ises hile the o k takes pla e o the e uildi g. I addiio to that e e e su essful i ou appli aio fo £ K to p o ide e e ts fo the lo al a ea i Foleshill. “o it as a su essful o th. No e just eed to keep ou i ge s ossed. It’s su h fa tasi e s a d I thought ou all ight like to k o .


The All Pa t Pa lia e ta G oup APPG fo Ci i “o ieies is a g oup of MPs ho ha e o e togethe to suppo t the o k of the i i o e e t . APPG e e ts a e de ates that a e held i Pa lia e t a d ope to the pu li . O e the ea s Ci i Voi e has held a u e of APPG e e ts de ai g issues su h as the Pla i g “ ste a d the He itage E i o e t. The Ci i Da lau h takes pla e o No e e i Pa lia e t.

Co e t Cha te house Asso iaio epo ts that Bi i gha a hite t Da id Maho e has ee appoi ted as the Co ept A hite t of the pla s fo the P io a d Pa k’s futu e. He p ese ted the latest pla s to the Lo al Reside ts a d Asso iaio e e si “epte e . This ga e lo als the oppo tu it to uesio so e of its detail a d put fo a d thei ie s o the pla s.

Willia Wheele at a hite ts idPa t e ship i “po “t eet has ee appoi ted to a out desig o k fo the A gli a Chapel at Lo do Road Ce ete . We also hea that Ka ta Kat i a f o Co e t Cit Cou il ill head the tea espo si le fo the hole LRC p oje t a d keep the pu li a d F ie ds of Lo do Road Ce ete i fo ed a out p og ess.


Postal address: 77 Craven Street, Coventry CV5 8DT Chairman’s tel: 024 7640 2030 Email: If Twitter is your thing, you can follow us at!/ CovSoc We also have our own page on Facebook. You can also follow us there at

Coventry Society Newsletter November 2016  

The November 2016 edition of the newsletter of the Coventry Society, the Civic Society for the city of Coventry, UK.

Coventry Society Newsletter November 2016  

The November 2016 edition of the newsletter of the Coventry Society, the Civic Society for the city of Coventry, UK.