This newspaper story is dated 29th November 1958. The text reads:
“Admirers of St. Mary’s Hall, who were taken aback by a recent suggestion that a secondary staircase should be built from the hall to the Minstrel Gallery, will be pleased to learn that the idea has been dropped.
“The Estates and Parliamentary Committee of Coventry City Council who have been considering it, feel that such a staircase would detract from the hall’s appearance. It would also encroach on the seating capacity.
“The suggestion was made originally because the present stone spiral stairway is narrow and inconvenient.”
This story is particularly pertinent now, as the City Council is shortly to install a spiral staircase from the Great Hall up to the minstrel’s gallery as part of the major renovation works at St. Mary’s Hall. The staircase if felt to be needed so that patrons can access a bar at the upper level. The Coventry Society believes that it would preferable to use pop up bars in the hall itself to minimise use of the old stone staircase. Putting the bar upstairs is certainly not a disabled friendly solution.
It’s a shame that our current decision makers are not as enlightened as those of 63 years ago.