The Coventry Tile and Mosaic Trail


Historic England has published a fascinating booklet with a walking trail around the city centre focusing on Coventry’s wonderful heritage of tiles and mosaics. The 26 page booklet ranges from the medieval  tiles, originally from the Benedictine Priory, up to post-war mosaics commissioned as part of the redevelopment of the city centre.

The booklet was published as part of the Coventry Heritage Action Zone. The trail was compiled by Lesley Durbin, an expert and author about architectural tiles. She is the Senior Conservator in the Jackfield Conservation Studio, based at Jackfield Tile Museum in Ironbridge. She has worked in the conservation of architectural ceramics for over thirty years.

Lesley Durbin

The trail includes eighteen works of art, starting from the Coventry Railway Station. As well as tile work, the trail includes the Mitchell Panels from Hertford Street and the Aztec frieze from Bull Yard. Some of the works of art have been relocated from their original locations, including the Cullen Tiles in the Lower Precinct and the Headley Lewis mosaics, now in the Ikea Car Park. The Martyr’s mosaic  and Tenant’s Godiva Clock, both on Broadgate House, are also featured as is the tile decoration of the former Locarno Ballroom.

The booklet is available from the Herbert Museum and amazingly it is free of charge! Alternatively you can download the booklet here.

The Coventry Society has invited Lesley Durbin to talk to the Society in the New Year. More details will follow later.

Consultation on the Future Development of the Abbot’s Lane area.


Local Community Pre-Planning Application Consultation

Complex Development Projects Ltd invite you to attend a public consultation event, in respect of their proposed residential-led planning application at the Former Gasworks Site, Abbott’s Lane, Coventry.

The event will be held at:

St Osburg’s Parish Hall, Barras Lane, Coventry

On Wednesday 24th July 2019 From 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm

The event is open to all members of the public, and will showcase and explain the proposed design. It is an opportunity to give us your thoughts and feedback ahead of the planning application being submitted.

Positive Fargo Festival -13th and 14th July


Next weekend sees the first ever Positive Fargo event at Fargo Village. This is being held as part of Coventry’s Positive Images Festival. The event is being held on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July 2019 with activities throughout both days, including stalls, vegan food, music and dance, poetry and real ale and cider.

Positive Images Festival and FarGo traders and businesses are offering two days of FREE events and activities for all the family. Lots of activities will be available in all the shops in Fargo Village as well as the opportunity to visit shops and make purchases from the fantastic range of products and goods available. In addition there will be a two day community fair, poetry events in the Big Comfy Bookshop and Real Ale and Craft beers in the Twisted Barrel along with acoustic music on both days.

The programme of events includes:

Saturday 13th July
12noon – Sahyedri Indian Dancers
12.30pm – Interview with Jan Richardson
1-1.30pm – Jan Richardson
1.30-2pm – Indigo Arts performance
2-2.30pm – Interview with Those Fantastic Things
2.30-3pm – Those Fantastic Things
3-4pm – Kizomba Coventry Dancers
Sahyedri Indian Dancers
4-4.30pm – Interview with Nikki Loy
4.30-5pm – Nikki Loy

MUSIC in the Twisted Barrel Brewery Tap
12.30pm and 2.30pm – Ace Ambrose
1.30pm and 3.30pm – Alice Watson

Poetry Event in Backhaus and Co – which is a large café next to the Twisted d Barrel
4.35-4.50 – Casey Bailey – is a writer and educator, who aims to shine light on the darkness.

4.55-5.05 – Sujana Upadhyay – is a bilingual poet, playwright and researcher, whose work mainly explores human relationships (in particular the dysfunctional kind) and our interconnectedness with nature.

5.10-5.20 – Liz Jolly – is a feminist, a lover of nature, books, family, learning and living – and reluctant to call herself a poet (but honoured to accept the title).
5.25-5.40 – Stephen Lightbown – is a poet/spoken word artist, wheelchair user and disability rights champion who was born in Blackburn and now lives in Bristol.
5.45-6.00 – Matt Black – is a joyful mischief maker, an entertainer, former Derbyshire Poet Laureate (2011-13)…and today he is the dog-poet.

20 minute interval

6.30-6.40 – Ann Atkins – is a poet with a down to earth, relatable take on life, who speaks to the audience with a generous sprinkling of humour.
6.45-6.55 -Adam Smith – is a professional poet and performer, delivering earnest observations and outbursts through his words, wonderings and lyrics.
7.00-7.15 – Peter Raynard – is a poet whose debut collection ‘Precarious’ was published by Smokestack Books in 2018.
7.20-7.35 – Nafeesa Hamid – is a British Pakistani poet and playwright based in Birmingham whose work covers taboo themes, using personal experience as a basis for her writing.
7.40-8.00 -OPEN MIC

Sunday 14th July
12noon – Sahyedri Indian Dancers
Vegan Arts Performance Piece
12.15-12.30pm – Interview with Garfield Mayor
12.30-1pm – Garfield Mayor
1-1.30pm – Interview with Jake Rizzo
1.30-2pm – Jake Rizzo
2-2.30pm – Coventry Morrismen
Interview with Joel Drake
2.30-3pm – Joel Drake
3-3.30pm- Interview with Natalie Holmes
3.30-4pm – Natalie Holmes
4-4.30pm – Coventry Morrismen


International Busking Day Comes to Coventry


International Busking Day will be on Coventry’s streets on Saturday 20th July as part of the annual, global celebration of street performance and busking.

Performers from around the world take part wherever they are and join the party on social media as people share pictures and messages from over 50 countries.

The team at International Busking Day are looking for performers to be part of the Coventry’s International Busking Day celebration on Saturday 20 July. “You might be a regular busker or you might not have busked before and want to give it a go – we want to hear from you! Specially selected Coventry city locations will host busking pitches and performers can showcase their talents for audience donations. You don’t even have to own an amp as one of our International Busking Day partners, Roland, will supply each location with a quintessential busking amp – Roland Cube Street Ex. All performers selected to take part will receive a £50 contribution to their hat to start them off.”

Coventry’s International Busking Day 2019 event is open to solo performers aged 14yrs and over, whatever musical style, from classical to country, folk to pop and everything in between.

Organisers of the event state “This is an opportunity to showcase your music talent with a real busking vibe. No stage or fancy equipment – just you and your music. All artists need to make sure they’re completely portable and can perform in a stripped back, lo-fi fashion.

“Artists selected to take part in the event will get the chance to perform at specially chosen city locations. Each pitch will have support from one of our International Busking Day Event Managers and will be equipped with a Roland Cube Street Ex battery-powered amp and a mic and mic stand. Artists will need to supply their own instrument and any leads.”

In Coventry International Busking Days is part of City of Culture’s Music Month with many other music events around the city.

Could this be the start of Coventry having its own Edinburgh style festival in the city centre?


Historic Foleshill Building to be Restored for Homes

Former Challenge Cycle Works
Former Challenge Cycle Works, Foleshill Road to be restored and converted to flats

Plans have been published to convert the former Challenge Cycle Works on Foleshill Road to new apartments and live-work units.

The building, at 203 – 269 Foleshill Road, is locally listed and is located within the Coventry Canal Conservation Area. It was built in 1906 and used as a workshop and warehouse to build a range of bicycles under names such as Challenge Cycles, British Challenge, Beacon Cycles, Mohawk Cycles, Quadrant Cycles, Remington Cycle Co. and O’Brien’s Cycles.

New proposals aim to convert the building to 24 one and two-bed apartments, including four ‘live-work’ apartments.

Agent Callingham Associates, on behalf of the applicant, said the plans seek “to celebrate the most prominent features” and “restore it to its former glory”. The report states: “Our client wishes to restore the building to its former glory. The existing building is architecturally impressive but has become neglected and run down. This application aims to restore the building and make it an attractive place to live. The restoration will be respectful of the craftsmanship of the existing building, whilst creating contemporary living spaces suitable for modern life.”

Little work has been done to the building since the 1960s. The changes will result in an additional storey of accommodation. Plans also include demolishing workshops to the rear of the building to create 24 parking spaces.

The existing basement would also be converted into four retail/workshop spaces, which will each adjoin to a two-bed apartment on the ground floor, creating four ‘live-work’ apartments, with retail units accessible from the street via the existing entrances.


Mr Francis O’Brien, who owned all the companies, is the man with the straw boater hat, in this photograph believed to have been taken in the building in Foleshill Road.

The Conservation Area appraisal describes the building as follows, “It is a high quality building with a symmetrical frontage with classical detailing and still displays the Challenge Cycle Company’s insignia on the end bays. Of particular historical interest are four World War II public air raid shelters on the street frontage, which are amongst the last known ones in the city.”

You can look at the details of the planning application hereThe deadline for public comments is 18th July 2019. 


Walking Tour of Earlsdon with Peter Walters


Join CovSoc on Monday 8th July 2019 for a walking tour of the original eight streets of Earlsdon with author and historian Peter Walters. We meet at 6.30 p.m. at Earlsdon Library. Booklets about Earlsdon’s history will be on sale in the library.

Free for CovSoc members. Visitors are welcome and asked to make a donation of £2 towards society costs.

Park in nearby streets or come by bus.

Cromwell Street ER

Coventry Canal Basin Music and Arts Festival


Next weekend, alongside the Floating Market promoted recently on this site, there will be a music and arts festival in Coventry Canal Basin.

Sunday 30th June from 12 noon – 6 p.m.

Activities include:

  • Live Music
  • Open Mic
  • Floating Market
  • Children’s puppet making workshop
  • Food Stalls
  • Beer Festival
  • Live Dj’s
  • ….and much more

Followed by the West Midlands World Music Consortium Launch at The Tin at the Coal Vaults 19:00 pm till Late.

Free Entry!CovCanalBasin