The Mystery of the Banner

Left front Gill Huckvale, Culture Coventry: Back left Tim Eagan – EGO:  Front Right Nicola Norman – Culture Coventry & CV Life: Back Right Nicola Cashin – EGO: Photo John Stokes 
jjsphotographyuk@gmail.com

The team at the Herbert are asking Coventry people to let them know about a banner which has been discovered in a store room on Cook Street (pictured above). 

The banner was re-discovered in an arts storage area at the rear of the Transport Museum when it was cleared to make way for a move.

The banner has now been donated to the Herbert. Apparently it was previously stored in Drapers and the good folk at Ego kindly saved it from there.

The collections team want to know more about it as it features in a film of the Godiva Procession which is on display in the Godiva Gallery. The video, that plays on a loop, shows it in the procession in the Year 2000 but it is thought that the banner is a lot older – perhaps from the 1970s?

The Godiva Procession is a ritual that goes back to 1677 when a procession was held to proclaim the Great Fair and Lady Godiva rode before the Mayor at the front of the procession. The son of James Swinnerton took the part of Lady Godiva and a medal was later struck to commemorate the event.

Godiva Procession 1829

The procession has been resurrected in the city several times since then and became very extensive and elaborate in the 19th Century. In more recent years Pru Poretta made the role of Lady Godiva her own.

Godiva Procession passing through Hillfields

The Coventry Society is hoping that the procession will be re-invented for Coventry’s City of Culture year, including the banner in pride of place at the front of the procession. What do you think?

If you have any information about this interesting banner, please contact Simon Hayes by email: simon.hayes@culturecoventry.com

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