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On the reverse side of our newsletter:

►►►►News from our AGM ►►►►Celebrating Delia Derbyshire ►►►►Drapers’ Hall –latest ►►►►Funding Arts and Culture ►►►►Theatre Absolute production

The exhibition area when it served as a reception advertising desk and display area for the Telegraph

The pop-up exhibition is a milestone in a number of initiatives in the urban room spirit. Building on the catalyst of the 2021 Coventry City of Culture Bid, these connections seek to find a new identity of place for people who are passionate about their city. Building tours, talks and film evenings are being developed. Machinery rooms and warehouses within the building offer potential for performances, theatre and music. The heart of the pop-up is ‘placemaking through people’ drawing inspiration of the building as a place of news writing to become a place of creative news making.

Pop-up exhibition: extracts from a poster about the Telegraph Building exhibition created by Sabine Coady Schäbitz, Associate Head of School of Architecture and Design, Enterprise and External Engagement, Coventry University.

Meet at 6.30 p.m. at the School Free for members. £2 for visitors

May 2017

We have often spoken of the need to showcase our urban environment, its parks, streetscapes, architecture, historic sites, its transport and other areas that affect our daily lives. I am now delighted to report that Ian Harrabin, the businessman behind Fargo and many other heritage schemes, has made available his recent acquisition, the former Coventry Evening Telegraph building, as a pop-up venue for use as a temporary exhibition space. During these last few weeks partners in the project, Alan Denyer of AWD Restorations, Katherine McNeil, Course Director at Coventry University’s School of Art and Design and myself have been working towards an exhibition that will kick-start the project. Often called an Urban Room the concept is not new. World-class British architect, Sir Terry Farrell, proposed that every town and city should have an Urban Room – a space in which local people can learn about the built environment. The idea was in fact one of the recommendations to come from the Farrell Review headed by Sir Terry to look at the issues that surround the built environment and what challenges and opportunities architects and planners will face in the future. The report stressed that the public should become more involved in debating what kind of places they wanted their towns to be and that more information should be made available on the importance of good design. Our exhibition space at the former CET will soon be ready to open to the public. It will feature displays on the quality of our city centre post-war architecture and planning; work carried out these last weeks by students at the School of Art and Design along with art provided by ex-Warwick University graduate Luke Bryant now working for London architects; and a CET images project that will provide a fascinating look back through projected pictures, to the days when Telegraphs were produced at the Corporation Street offices. A vital element will be the formation of a team of enthusiasts who will staff the exhibition space allowing it to be open to the public on a regular basis. This is where you can help. If you can give a little time to this ground breaking project then please send me an email or text: to either or 07478435694. This is an important opportunity we should grasp and I look forward to hearing from you. The target date for opening CETPOPUP is Thursday, May 25. Keith Draper Civic Day on June 17. A reminder that we need help with our project based at the Old Grammar School. John Payne, who is lead, has put out an appeal for the loan of a largish television set that we can use as part of our display.


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 CoventrySociety

More news and views on our website:

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We are pleased to report that Historic Coventry Trust is now working on a project to restore Drapers’ Hall and use it as a centre for classical music with a restaurant integrated into the proposals. Much work had already been done on the project by Alan Edwards Higgs Charity, that has kindly donated this work to the trust. £1m has been provisionally offered towards the project by the Arts Council and there will be a resubmission to the Heritage Lottery in the hope of resurrecting their previous offer of £2m towards the project. The trust’s proposals concentrate on building restoration with minimal extension and by maintaining tight control of the scale of the project it is hoped to progress to early delivery, whilst still allowing the scope for later expansion. Coventry’s Drapers’ Hall is a Grade 2* Listed building right in the historic heart of the city next to the Old Cathedral and The Council House. Dating from 1832, this late Georgian building was designed in Classical style, by Thomas Rickman, who was one of the leading Victorian Gothic architects, probably second only to Pugin, and responsible for many churches around the Midlands. At the same time as building Drapers, Rickman also designed the Gothic reconstruction of Greyfriars church built on the site of the former Franciscan monastery which was destroyed by Henry VIII. Rickman’s Greyfriars was then destroyed in the war, with only the medieval spire remaining. Today’s Drapers’ Hall is the result of the occupation of this site by drapers from the 1300s, when the first market hall was built to trade cloth that became the source of Coventry’s great wealth in medieval times. Today’s building was designed as a society club for the Drapers’ Guild, complete with Ball Room, Billiard Room and Card Room and was the place for events for Coventry’s social elite. It remains remarkably intact and unaltered to this day including many original features – a time capsule to the past. It is one of the very few Georgian buildings in Coventry and has been diligently preserved by the council for the past few decades awaiting a new use.

I this yea ’s a ual epo t the Chai a fo ussed o the a y halle ges e fa e as Co e t y ids fo the City of Cultu e . O e of the ost i spi atio al eeti gs a e at the e y sta t of the yea he Ia Ha ey f o Ci i Voi e helped set the to e. Follo i g the fo al usi ess e el o ed Ka l C e i f o Al a y Theat e ho p o ided the e s f o hat has e o e a i po ta t e t e of e te tai e t. Co ittee e e A gus Kaye, a eti ed a hite t ith a spe ial i te est i a hite tu al histo y p o ided us ith a all too sho t p ese tatio e titled Historic Buildings Decoded. Offi e s e-ele ted e e: Chai a , Keith D ape ; Vi e-Chai e , Paul Maddo ks a d Coli Walke ; Se eta y, Joh Pay e; Coli Walke as also e-ele ted as T easu e . Co ittee: Te y Ke y, A gus Kaye, Les Fa ett. Stua t Da iel, Jay e Lo g a d Ch is Da iel e e tha ked fo thei o t i utio to the o k of the So iety.

Delia g e f o odest egi i gs i Cou do ia he deg ees i usi a d athe ati s to e o e a leadi g fo e i Ro G ai ge 's BBC Radiopho i Wo kshop. He est k o o k is the the e tu e fo Do to Who. Ro ote

In the space of just a few days in March, Coventry has been awarded two funds which will help to transform the city through investment in arts, culture and heritage. Both funds were competitive and Coventry is the only place in the country to secure both. This shows what we can achieve when we all work together and ‘hats off’ to the City of Culture team in particular who led a citywide partnership in the Great Place bid. The Great Place Scheme is a pilot scheme to combine action on both arts and heritage, funded jointly by Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council. This is the first time a comprehensive approach has been trialed and it is intended to generate a bigger impact on culture and the economy than individual spot project grants. The fund of £1.75m builds on the city’s new 10-year cultural strategy, the City of Culture bid, the recent £200,000 Cultural Destinations tourism funding award and the vision for a Place Partnership to engage communities in the city’s heritage. The programme includes projects which celebrate Coventry’s medieval heritage as well as the modern postwar architecture that has been overlooked to date.

The lue pla ue desig ated fo the house i Ceda s A e ue

Premiere of a new theatre work


by Jules Orcullo Thursday May 11, 7.30pm Tickets £8 (£6 concession) Shop Front Theatre, City Arcade The p oje t is suppo ted y A ts Cou il E gla d, Co e t y City Cou il, Es ee Fai ai Fou datio , Talki g Bi ds, The Belg ade Theat e a d Wa i k A ts Ce t e.

Coventry Society Newsletter - May 2017  

The May 2017 edition of the Coventry Society (UK) newsletter.

Coventry Society Newsletter - May 2017  

The May 2017 edition of the Coventry Society (UK) newsletter.