Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Christmas In Coventry

Ahhh. The city that God forgot and its own council carried on destroying, long after Hitler had finished lobbing his doodlebugs and assorted bombs at it.
Such was the stomping ground of my youth from failed goth to 27, not to mention the location/inspiration for The Specials' 'Ghost Town' (a timelesss pop hit if ever there was one!).

Thought it might be a good spot to undertake the first nationwide survey on that eerie phenomenon known as Life Before Death and find out if there might be any truth in the theory - ie any in Coventry.

Note the ingenious municipal use of paving slabs that look exactly as if they are covered in chewing gum and dog-ends, to deter Joe Public from dropping chewing gum and dog-ends.


Anonymous said...

Dear me! I hope I never get sent there!

I presume you are not thinking of applying for a job with the Come to Coventry this Winter promotion campaign.

Did you travel the streets Lady Godiva fashion to take your photos or was it a bit chilly for all that?

Happy New Year!

Steve said...

Ah Cov. The city made for Orwell's 1984. The city the Luftwaffe should have had free reign to bomb indeed... sorry, that's probably ing unfair. However, I live on the doorstep and though I have the slightest of warm feelings for Cov due to it being the location of some fun, fond memories, on the whole I'm aware of what a bleak, barren, soulless concrete travesty of modern architecture it really is!

SkyBlueView said...

Hey this is my home town you are talking about. Unlike The Enemy I decided not to live or die in this town.

But equally I could also go to any reasonably sized town you care to name and take 12 equally unflattering photos.

Your article was a cheap shot.

Oliver said...

They are very good photographs.

I'd say Coventry looked even grimmer 20 years ago. I remember feeling quite nervous about going out in the precinct at night when I was working for the local paper. And one morning, I followed a trail of blood from outside the newspaper's doors to a nightclub where the bouncers had brutally beaten a trouble-maker.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Oh dear, bang go my job prospects with the Coventry Tourist Board (ironically now situated in just about the nicest building left)

Yes, it's perfectly true one could go to many a town or city these days and take some fairly grim central shots, (though I didn't exactly have to try hard to find these and they do represent most of the very heart)

However I do find Coventry has a unique sort of grimness all its own, as if it's just been marking time since the trauma of WWII, despite all the building and re-building - a place where apathy and alcoholism are so prevalent as to be legitimate career choices! In fact the only place I've seen with an even grimmer feel so far is Luton.

But if I had no genuine affection for Coventry, its desolate feel wouldn't make me as sad as it does, but my fathers' family hail from this place and my partner too, and it *should* be a lot nicer than it is, considering all the money that's been thrown at it over the years.

Sadly there's also been a lot of council corruption over the years, even with the new oversized Ikea development for which the ten year old Co-Op superstore was
demolished, much to the anger of the many pensioners who relied on it. Now there's plans afoot to demolish the twelve year old bus station and redevelop that!

On the plus side, Coventry does now have an excellent Godiva carnival once a year - equal to that found anywhere else and actually a lot better than the one in my current home city of Oxford.

Rol Hirst said...

Looks to me like the perfect setting for a post apocalyptic thriller. All those deserted streets have set my imagination wild...

Dan said...

Looks just like the Birmingham Bullring used to... I was there yesterday, and sure, the consumerism is overwhelming, but it is a MASSIVE improvement on how it used to be... its different though, because I suspect that Brum only had such a development because of huge funding from retailers (does anyone know about this?) - whereas Coventry needs serious government money to improve itself, it would appear.

The Sagittarian said...

Great photos! I can't believe how unlived in the place looks!! However, I guess parts of our country look like that when the All Blacks are playing.....

bruno said...

Hi Laura,

Cov isn't such a bad place - I'd rather judge it on the laughs had there and lifelong friends made there, such as yourself.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Blimey - it seems that they are now planning to demolish the whole city centre and 're-generate'.

The power of blogging eh folks?

Should someone mention to them that their fetish for demolishing and rebuilding Coventry at regular intervals (but on the cheap) is what has led to this soulless uncohesive concrete mess in the first place?