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12pots
Coventry
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1 of 142  Tue 25th May 2010 8:49pm  
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Can anyone remember the original shop or shops that were located at the present Wilkinson's site in Cathedral Lanes please? We cannot seem to recall that Wilkinson's were the original occupiers when the complex was built in 1990. Thanks Alan
Cathedral Lanes
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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2 of 142  Tue 25th May 2010 9:47pm  
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Hi Alan, My wife recalls that there used to be a cafe or restaurant there before Wilkinson's - one that you could walk through and come out the back by the Coventry Cross statue. No idea what it was called though - anyone else know?
Cathedral Lanes
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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3 of 142  Thu 27th May 2010 9:29am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:118

I think it was called "THE DEAD ZONE" or "THE EMPTY QUARTER" Wink Recall walking through it once just for the experience of going in the front of Cathedral Lanes and coming out of the back at the Coventry Cross. It felt like a major achievement at the time, a bit like getting through the Shambles Arcade without bumping into anybody. Cathedral Lanes (from a shopping point of view) was a waste of time until Wilko came along. I only used to go in to visit "K-Soft" - the computer shop run by the somewhat miserable 'Ken' who used to have a stall in the Shambles before he moved there.
Cathedral Lanes
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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4 of 142  Sun 30th May 2010 9:09pm  
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We have success! My wife asked someone working in Wilkinson's today, and by coincidence they had also recently discussed this. The restaurant on that site from 1990 was.... PALMS. Sorted!
Cathedral Lanes
12pots
Coventry
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Thread starter
5 of 142  Sat 5th Jun 2010 8:11am  
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Thanks to all for the information, I now remember Palms but I recall that was directly at the back, the owner moved from "Grannies" which relocated from Hays Lane. We seem to remember a furniture / craft type shop on the lower floor prior to Wilko's, but perhaps my memory deceives me. K Soft ! memories...and yes the owner always did seem miserable, used to buy my Amiga software there thanks again Alan
Cathedral Lanes
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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6 of 142  Sun 6th Jun 2010 7:27pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:118

I remember a craft type shop in amongst all the empty units ... went in once and thought it was all very nice but just not Coventry city centre material. Ah yes, the Amiga ... silly old me saw some adverts for the Atari ST which rekindled memories of the Atari VCS so I got one. It wasn't rubbish by any means but if I'd done my homework I would have deffo got the Amiga. One thing I will give K-Soft, when I saw "Sonic the Hedgehog" running on his TV screens it persuaded me to buy the Sega Megadrive when I next got paid. The ST was soon sold after Sonic entered my life! :)
Cathedral Lanes
NeilsYard
Coventry
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7 of 142  Wed 1st Sep 2010 11:11pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1764

Yep I remember Palms - tried to be kind of upmarket if I recall. What was the bar where the Foreign Exchange place is now called?
Cathedral Lanes
anne
coventry
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8 of 142  Sat 21st Jul 2012 7:12pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:287

Hi, Sorry if this has been answered already - just looked through 'search' but found nothing definitive! Does anyone know if it was a policy to only have Wilkinson's left or did it just happen? Either way, what, if any, are the future plans for Cathedral Lanes? Roll eyes
Cathedral Lanes
anne
coventry
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9 of 142  Sun 22nd Jul 2012 12:15pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:287

On 6th Jun 2010 7:27pm, BrotherJoybert said: I remember a craft type shop in amongst all the empty units ...
I loved that shop - it was there for ages. I bought loads of things there, it made a change from the run of the mill shops in the centre. I also remember 'Palms' in the conservatory - it would have survived, I think, as part of the new 'cafe bar' culture that Coventry has belatedly adopted. I remember having some pleasant meals there. Cheers
Cathedral Lanes
morgana
the secret garden
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10 of 142  Fri 3rd Aug 2012 1:13am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2228

Just in case any ne has missed this it states, reading on the tv news, plans to revamp Cathedral Lanes shopping centre have been drawn up by developers. Coventry City council said it was working closely with the owners, Hammerson, on three potential designs. The council's director of development, Martin Yardley, said he hoped a planning application would be submitted before the end of the year. He said "The building justifiably gets a lot of criticism about how it looks so we've got to do something about it."
Cathedral Lanes
Jaytob
Derbyshire
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11 of 142  Fri 3rd Aug 2012 12:37pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:52

Not a very good picture, but this image from the latest edition of the Council's "City Vision" brochure gives some indication of what it might look like. Hideous isn't it? Oh my
Cathedral Lanes
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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12 of 142  Fri 3rd Aug 2012 3:00pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:884

I have said before that there is nothing wrong with the building itself. It has been badly marketed by the council and its owners and it doesn't have the right type of business there. It should be a thoroughfare, not a dead end, and market itself as a venue for upmarket bars and restaurants, rather like Birmingham's Brindley Place on a smaller scale. Its location could be its biggest asset, but while it houses the likes of Wilkinsons it is doomed to failure. To succeed it needs the same as the rest of the city centre, namely easy access to those who wish to travel by car. Cathedral Lanes has been a wasted opportunity for 20 years which is why there is a perceived dislike for it.
Cathedral Lanes
Midland Red
Cherwell
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13 of 142  Fri 3rd Aug 2012 3:18pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4908

On 3rd Aug 2012 3:00pm, MisterD-Di said: I have said before that there is nothing wrong with the building itself
I think most people think that the main thing wrong with the building is its location Now we are promised a partial view of the Cathedrals and Three Spires as a compromise Oh my
Cathedral Lanes
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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14 of 142  Fri 3rd Aug 2012 6:18pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:884

The location should be perfect, and a through-route would connect Broadgate and the cathedral area. Decent bars, cafes and restaurants, plus some proper shops would certainly enhance it. The 'view' is something of a red herring here. It never existed before when the library was there. This area can be an asset to the city if the council and planners did it properly. It has more going for it than the Broad Street/Brindley Place area in Brum!
Cathedral Lanes
flapdoodle
Coventry
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15 of 142  Fri 3rd Aug 2012 6:56pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:851

Great post! The BIG problem with Coventry city centre and Broadgate, IMHO, is that it's go no attractions. Brindley Place works because alongside the bars/restaurants there are music venues and theatres plus a lot of offices and workers. Oh, and residents. They have tried to just build restaurant units in Coventry already and no one used them, so they never survived long or just ended up going downmarket. I don't think just bars and restaurants are sufficient to attract footfall. There needs to be other reasons for people to go there, plus easy access to car parking. Past 5:30 Coventry is just a load of dead retail plazas. I agree wholeheartedly with everything else you have said. The obsession in Coventry with this mythical 'view' is bizarre, as it never existed, and even if you did remove Cathedral Lanes you'd be left with an awkward space that is bordered by the backs of buildings on two sides. The County Court would block the Cathedral view from most of Broadgate! And there is also the topography of the land. Cathedral Lanes was a completely bodged development. I agree, It should have been done as a proper thoroughfare linking Broadgate to the Cathedral Quarter. Quite why they built it with a restaurant at the back that you had to walk through to get into the mall is beyond me. Personally, I would like to see Broadgate/Herford Street/Burges/etc restored to their pre-war layout - with direct routes from Trinity Street across to Herford Street and direct links from Broadgate back down to the Burges. The tunnels leading down to dreadful squares like Ironmonger Square are just rubbish. As for this plan: it looks like another terrible, large footprint building that looks the same in all directions. Boring. Just like Gibson's rather dreary architecture. To think we have a monument dedicated to that vandal. Although, ironically, it's at the top of the ramp they had to wedge in because his precinct didn't work! Coventry city centre is just a precinct surrounded by car parks, a university campus and a lot of dead land filled with mainly unused buildings. All squashed inside a four lane bypass. It simply does not work as a city and never will until someone has the sense to reverse the mistakes made in the post-war years.
Cathedral Lanes

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