Here we are again wandering the pedestrianised precincts of Coventry – having previously travelled by picture postcard and archival image.
Back to the future.
Today much of the original footprint and well-built brick, stone, glass and concrete structure prevails, with more recent retro fitted additions.
The Gordon Cullen mural has been renovated and re-sited.
Commissioned in 1957 on the recommendation of Arthur Ling – it was made by Carter’s Tiles of Poole.
Sadly only one of the neon sculptures, remains illuminated – they may have been listed by Historic England, they have certainly given them a coat of looking at. I myself was approached whilst working away by a crack squad of precinct management, questioning my methods and motives. I reassured them I was a serious student of post-war architecture and they allowed happily to go about my business – assuring me that I was following in the footsteps of HE.
The elevated café, pierced screenwork, mosaics on the former Locarno, now Library and town clock are still every much in situ, Lady Godiva dutifully appearing on the hour, every hour with an ever attendant Peeping Tom for company.
The area is well-used bustling busy, with a smattering of empty units which are sadly typical of most provincial town competing for custom and prosperity on the high street.