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Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)

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NeilsYard
Coventry
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Thread starter
226 of 233  Thu 1st Mar 2018 5:28pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1704

This shot has been seen before but I've not noted it in colour before showing the City Arms on the corner of West Orchard Thumbs up And zoomed in - Edited by member, 1st Mar 2018 5:30 pm
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
AD
Allesley Park
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227 of 233  Thu 1st Mar 2018 8:01pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:398

Everytime I see shots like that above during the precinct construction I think "why wasn't the precinct designed to have St Johns as the feature at the east end to counteract the cathedral spire to the west?" Instead we got this totally arbitrary E-W alignment that leads the lower precinct out into nowhere, eventually covered over with Mercia House which has little aesthetic appeal or detail AND covers the route. Egos of architects and planners eh......?
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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228 of 233  Fri 9th Mar 2018 12:41pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1138

This was the plan in 1938.
IMPROVEMENT PLAN IN SMITHFORD STREET Markets Committee Recommend Sale of Valuable Site DEMOLITION OF CORN EXCHANGE AS AID TO SHOPPING CENTRE Subject to the consent of Coventry City Council, on Tuesday, the Markets Committee will shortly carry into effect a scheme whereby they will dispose of a large and valuable site, on a 99 years' lease, in Smithford Street, enabling a further improvement to be made in one of the most popular shopping centres in the city. The scheme includes the demolition of the Corn Exchange and the widening of the Drinkwater Arcade. The properties belonging to the Markets Committee referred to are those which comprise the block between the White Lion Hotel and Market Street, and also certain properties on the west side of Market Street. Part of the property was recently leased to British Home Stores Ltd., whose new premises are now nearing completion. Regarding the property between the White Lion Hotel and the British Home Stores, the Committee recently invited offers for a building lease on conditions generally similar to those of the British Home Stores, and the most favourable offer recommended to the Council for acceptance is that from Cardigan Estates Ltd., of London. DRINKWATER ARCADE WIDENING The ground-floor space available, after allowing for a widening of Drinkwater Arcade, is approximately 637 square yards, and the lessees will have the right to erect buildings, from first-floor level upwards, over parts of Drinkwater Arcade of an area of approximately 94 square yards. All the properties on the land, except the Corn Exchange, are used as retail shops. Four are let on leases, which will expire in 1940, and the remainder are let on annual or shorter tenancies. The annual rents from these properties amount to £1,027. As regards the Corn Exchange, it will be necessary to obtain the consent of the Minister of Health to the proposed lease, for the scheme includes the demolition of that building. It is intended to provide alternative accommodation for those who use the Corn Exchange on Fridays in the Market Hall, where rooms are available. PREMIUM OF £28,000 The full recommendation to the Council proposes that, subject to the consent of the Minister of Health, Cardigan Estates Ltd. be granted a building lease on payment of a premium of £28,000 and an annual rent of £100. The company are to make their own arrangements for obtaining vacant possession of the properties and are, in any event, to start the demolition work as soon as the last of the leases expire in September 1940, thereafter to proceed with their building scheme. The company are to construct a new roof of a type to be approved by the Corporation over the widened Drinkwater Arcade, the cost of which will be borne by the Corporation, but which the company will maintain. ELEVATIONS OF NEW BUILDINGS The elevations of the new buildings are to be of terracotta or brick with stone facings, and they are to be the same height as the British Home Stores premises. The Corporation are to bear the cost of paving and lighting the Arcade, and in all other respects the conditions of the lease are to be similar to those contained in the agreement with British Home Stores Ltd.
Post copied from topic Drinkwater Arcade on 9th Mar 2018 1:04 pm
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Prof
Gloucester
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229 of 233  Fri 9th Mar 2018 2:57pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:282

I remember Smithford St looking like this, and the white building was part of the old Co-op before moving to Corporation Street. There was an entrance around the corner where one went to collect the dividend on purchases.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Prof
Gloucester
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230 of 233  Sun 11th Mar 2018 2:36pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:282

Rob, that 1807 map is magnificent, and one can see how the city developed with White Street, Ford Street, Fairfax Street to come later. Really interesting, Thank you!
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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231 of 233  Sun 11th Mar 2018 8:04pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1259

Thank you so much Prof, you're very kind. I've always found maps fascinating from a young age, and I love the way they pull so many aspects of our city together geographically and historically.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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232 of 233  Mon 12th Mar 2018 9:46am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1982

Prof, you should remember the photo on 226, the tatty eyesore scene was there for over twenty years.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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233 of 233  Tue 13th Mar 2018 5:26pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1982

In those distant days it seemed to take a considerable time for the development of the Precinct. Around 1955 they seemed to be making progress then it seemed to stop - two shops down from Woolworth's new shop on the one side, on the other the Leofric was built and open, but from there down were heaps of rubble and derelict buildings, held in by a wire fence. Then the wire was replaced by wooden hoarding - was it because diplomats from other countries were to visit? Then M&S was built, and time went by. I believe the pub mentioned was dingy, tatty and had waterlogged basements, as did other shops in the lower half of the Precinct. But no one was going to waste money on them - they should have been bulldozed and made safe.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)

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