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Old Cathedral of St Michael

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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496 of 500  Tue 20th Oct 2020 11:15am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3707

The early 20th century was an era of declining religious belief, yet still dominated education and rigid class distinctions, and the Cathedral still played a big part. To my family a sermon in the Old Cathedral meant... a few days before, father would not let me wear my best shoes, they had to be cleaned and polished, my clothes ironed and pressed, likewise my sister and my parents. My two other brothers did not attend, Saturday was the palaver of lugging the old tin bath in front of the lounge fire and scrubbing me from head to toe. Sunday, up very early, dressed waiting for the farmer’s pony and gig, we were then driven by the son down the country roads to Bell Green (a mile). Here, we then caught the clanging, screeching tram for a further 2 or 3 miles till finally stopping in Broadgate. No scraping of toes, blow your nose before entering the Cathedral. You gaze in awe at this great building, the mighty corrugated columns soaring so high, the mighty eagle, the decorated flags, and the statues that looked frightening to a child - and oh so cold. But once the choirboys started to sing, and the flock started to sing, it became warmer and you were allowed to fidget. But no one could deny its overpowering influence and rugged beauty, and I knew father was in a another world, because every time we went, it was either a service after a pit disaster or a WWI ceremony and his mind was somewhere else. That is why the old Cathedral was so very important to old Coventrians, and why so many men cried in the church for days after.
Old Cathedral of St Michael
Prof
Gloucester
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497 of 500  Wed 28th Oct 2020 10:32pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:1508

The Sanctuary, St Michael's.
Old Cathedral of St Michael
Helen F
Warrington
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498 of 500  Sat 31st Oct 2020 8:33am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2435

An fantastic image dating from 1721 by H Beighton. His collection of etchings will be familiar to us all. Link to the Royal Collection Trust
Old Cathedral of St Michael
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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499 of 500  Sat 31st Oct 2020 10:22am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3707

My family have an heirloom item, of bits of the old Cathedral stolen by father and me on the day of the King’s visit. These bits are made into a stick-like object, the cone being a piece of an incendiary. My family wish to keep this item. I would have wished to given it back to the Cathedral. Between each window of the Cathedral is a buttress, that holds the walls together - the top of the buttress is a spire. There was little damage to any of these spires, that leads me to think there were no HE used, only incendiaries. The oak-wood roof with tar created a great heat that did the damage (my version).
Old Cathedral of St Michael
Helen F
Warrington
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500 of 500  Sat 31st Oct 2020 11:40am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2435

I believe that you're right Kaga, the cathedral was only hit by incendiaries. Don't quote me but I believe that part of the destruction was caused by metal replacement beams in the roof. Had they still been wood they would have burnt and possibly left the stonework in place but the metal expanded and pushed/pulled the clerestory down.
Old Cathedral of St Michael

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