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Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'

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dutchman
Spon End
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31 of 45  Fri 2nd Dec 2016 6:57pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2999

Quite right Kaga! Thumbs up It's just an excuse to create yet another quango stuffed full of highly paid suits with made-up job descriptions. Angry
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
pixrobin
Canley
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32 of 45  Fri 2nd Dec 2016 7:19pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:1068

"It's just an excuse to create yet another quango stuffed full of highly paid suits with made-up job descriptions" Hit the nail on the head there Dutchman
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
Greg
Coventry
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33 of 45  Fri 2nd Dec 2016 8:06pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2011  Total posts:277

On 2nd Dec 2016 6:10pm, flapdoodle said: It means hopefully that some of the neglected heritage may be brought back into use and utilised by businesses (we've already seen some good things happen such as the re-use of the old power station, the New Buildings renovations and Far Gosford Street).
What power station would that be then? Can I just point out that some of the earliest mines in the country were sunk here and the canals were largely built to transport them.
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
Roger Turner
Torksey
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34 of 45  Fri 2nd Dec 2016 9:30pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:568

On 2nd Dec 2016 6:07pm, flapdoodle said: Most of these sites have been empty for decades and had no other use other than car parks, and they're high rise which means they take up small amounts of space.
When I was helping build 17 storey blocks in Coventry, it was said that there was little difference in the amount of land required to build high rise than conventional housing
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
Ken Dickson
High Hesket Cumbria
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35 of 45  Sat 3rd Dec 2016 10:32am  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:47

I like the different viewpoints expressed by Kaga and flapdoodle, and both have to be considered. I agree with Kaga that Coventry was a working man's city, this is self evident, we had factories galore embracing all kinds of manufacturing, watches, cars, aircraft engines, tractors, machine tools etc. and the people employed were 'working men and women.' Coventry's industrial base diminished due to foreign enterprise and lower wages abroad. Successive governments should not be allowed to get away scot free. I think flapdoodle's case rests with the issue that we should not be locked in a paradigm, resistant to change. I would suggest that in 50 years time the present generation will be complaining that Cathedral Lanes, Broadgate minimised, and the other changes made in our time should be preserved as the 2066 planners go ahead with changing the city again. Today we hear politicians talking about apprenticeships. Coventry was the bedrock of apprenticeships and these supported the needs of industry. That was when the Coventry Technical College truly supported industry. Real apprenticeships, 4 or 5 years, with one or two exceptions, ceased years ago, with the diminishing manufacturing base, you were made a Freeman of the City on completion of your proper apprenticeship, toolmaker, pattern maker etc. You can get so called apprenticeships for all kinds of things now, just to satisfy political dogma. As for universities, the 'upgrading' of polytechnics to university status, again to satisfy political dogma, and the creation of many 'minor' universities, has resulted in many students leaving university with, in truth, worthless degrees. By and large, it is not the students' fault, they are being led that way. I mention universities as a result of reading many complaints from Coventry citizens, on many forums, about the city being overwhelmed by students and the necessary accommodation required for them. Going back to the rebuilding of Coventry city centre. For me, one major mistake of the planners was to cram the city centre with buildings, it is claustrophobic. A balance should have been reached between losing some greenfield sites and having a comfortable city centre to enjoy. Standing by for flack!!!!
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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36 of 45  Sat 3rd Dec 2016 11:04am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2533

Flapdoodle, hi. Most of the material about the students I get from what I read on this forum. A working city for me Is one that employs people to work for a living, 'an honest day's work for an honest day's pay' was the saying in the twenties and thirties, people using their hands to create skill. And that was the history and the greatness Coventry was known for, what it built as well as the historic buildings. Now it was quite obvious in the fifties the motor trade in Coventry was on the way out, and so were the collieries, and we could see little to replace them. Yes I am out of touch with Coventry physically, but rely on this great forum and people like yourself to see what the modern city is about,
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
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Allesley Park
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37 of 45  Sat 3rd Dec 2016 1:03pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:430

On 3rd Dec 2016 10:32am, Ken Dickson said: I like the different viewpoints expressed by Kaga and flapdoodle, and both have to be considered. I agree with Kaga that Coventry was a working man's city, this is self evident, we had factories galore embracing all kinds of manufacturing, watches, cars, aircraft engines, tractors, machine tools etc. and the people employed were 'working men and women.' Coventry's industrial base diminished due to foreign enterprise and lower wages abroad. Successive governments should not be allowed to get away scot free. I think flapdoodle's case rests with the issue that we should not be locked in a paradigm, resistant to change. I would suggest that in 50 years time the present generation will be complaining that Cathedral Lanes, Broadgate minimised, and the other changes made in our time should be preserved as the 2066 planners go ahead with changing the city again. Today we hear politicians talking about apprenticeships. Coventry was the bedrock of apprenticeships and these supported the needs of industry. That was when the Coventry Technical College truly supported industry. Real apprenticeships, 4 or 5 years, with one or two exceptions, ceased years ago, with the diminishing manufacturing base, you were made a Freeman of the City on completion of your proper apprenticeship, toolmaker, pattern maker etc. You can get so called apprenticeships for all kinds of things now, just to satisfy political dogma. As for universities, the 'upgrading' of polytechnics to university status, again to satisfy political dogma, and the creation of many 'minor' universities, has resulted in many students leaving university with, in truth, worthless degrees. By and large, it is not the students' fault, they are being led that way. I mention universities as a result of reading many complaints from Coventry citizens, on many forums, about the city being overwhelmed by students and the necessary accommodation required for them. Going back to the rebuilding of Coventry city centre. For me, one major mistake of the planners was to cram the city centre with buildings, it is claustrophobic. A balance should have been reached between losing some greenfield sites and having a comfortable city centre to enjoy. Standing by for flack!!!!
I think you have a perfectly valid and reasonable view. I certainly agree that the huge increase in students in the last few decades has led to a degree not really being seen as a great achievement nowadays. The number of jobs advertised requiring graduate qualifications that should just require a secondary education is ridiculous. I've seen covering letters/CV's from (UK) graduates that I would consider verging on illiteracy. Part of my worry is that what is considered 'desirable' education is at the whim of political ideology and may result in a lot of this student accommodation having reducing demand if numbers start to fall. Overseas students are already a huge part of the make-up of our local universities and with increasing popularity of right-wing and isolationist politics both here and abroad this could have an effect as well. I agree about striking a balance, but I don't necessarily agree about the city centre being 'crammed' with buildings. It has quite a bit of green space for a small city centre with Greyfriars Green and Lady Herbert's Garden, even with the green space around Broadgate having been lost unfortunately. There are loads of public squares in a small area too, many of which I don't think are necessary. Although I dread going back to it again, I think some of the feeling of claustrophobia is caused by the raised ringroad, acting like a curtain wall around the city centre and making the city centre feel like a very small place isolated from the rest of the city. Another reason I find is the number of buildings that block routes, such as the towers at the end of the precincts, and Primark and Broadgate House cutting off the Hertford St/Burges route.
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
Osmiroid
UK
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38 of 45  Sat 3rd Dec 2016 3:45pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2013  Total posts:381

If only Broadgate House had been built in the footprint of the Kings Head Hotel, it would have been a symbol of regeneration, not being beaten, rising from the ashes. Instead it was a case of 'the Germans destroyed some, now we'll destroy some more' for the council.
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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39 of 45  Sun 4th Dec 2016 10:52am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2533

Osmiroid, but would it have fitted in with everything else? No, I don't agree the council knocked buildings down for the fun of it. The way I see it, for five years a steady stream of youth left Coventry to be sent to 'Hell Holes' all over the world. In 46/47 they returned in boatloads, they deserved and wanted a better life, they wanted shops and houses etc, the council at that time were in the same frame of mind, and I believe the whole bridge, precinct and island was planned for their benefit, and the island garden came close to first. No matter what's been written, to me, the island English garden said, 'It's over, here is peace and quiet' or thoughts to that effect. Then came the precinct and the new estates around the suburbs. In those days planning was done by pen and paper, every sewer, every pipe, and Coventry more than most was extensive building plans. When I look at this computer today I think 'what could have been done in those days with that kind of help?' There was bound to be mistakes, but I believe the fifties and sixties served its purpose for the ones who it was built for. If I am wrong then so be it, it's just the way I remember it from those days. When people look back at the photo's of the morning after the Blitz they will say 'oh how awful' or such. What I said was 'Please, God, don't get dark tonight.'
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
Osmiroid
UK
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40 of 45  Sun 4th Dec 2016 12:18pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2013  Total posts:381

Kaga, I don't believe they did it for fun, more of an imposing dictatorial policy, having destroyed Butcher Row, Little Butcher Row, Ironmonger Row, New Buildings (apart from a few dregs), Derby Lane, Smithford Street, West Orchard, Vicar Lane etc. It feels like the council could be renamed The Street Killers. If those streets were around now they might be part of a Coventry Heritage Trail for visitors to the city.
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
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Allesley Park
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41 of 45  Sun 4th Dec 2016 12:25pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:430

I agree that I don't think the council were looking to knock down buildings for the 'fun' of it, but I do think that they felt much of the older structures had little or no worth and wouldn't have hesitated to knock it all down for their masterplan. Gibson was well-known for wanting to knock far more down that actually was. Will I agree that the idea was almost certainly with good intentions, we all know the saying of what paves the road to hell. And even so there are elements of the plan that were highly unpopular even then which the council ignored the public and did it anyway. Only a concerted effort led to the old timber buildings being put into Spon St and the raised ring road was never a popular idea. Certainly modern computers would have helped create a better version of what they did, being able to better visualise the finished article and pretty much being able to do a dry run simulation of the entire construction before a spade even got near the ground. But mistakes are still made now, and would have been then. If the ideas behind it are massively flawed that can't be simulated on computer. Buildings over roads is a more efficient use of space, but as we see now it creates claustrophic and confusing routes. The ring road would still have been constructed because of political ideology and made the city centre feel cut off from the rest of the city.
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
Helen F
Warrington
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42 of 45  Tue 3rd Apr 2018 3:30pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1252

So now Coventry is a Heritage Action Zone, stuff seems to be happening. List of works in progress Seems interesting and it looks like they might be digitising more information! I wonder how many new images there might be from the city architects department or were those the Pictures of Coventry? I may make another offer for scanning services. They were bringing in new (old) stuff when I was there last. Goody! Big grin
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
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43 of 45  Tue 3rd Apr 2018 9:31pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:254

Let's hope they add Brandon Stadium to the "Buildings at Risk" list!
True Blue Coventry Kid

Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
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Allesley Park
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44 of 45  Wed 4th Apr 2018 12:54pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:430

Listing of a number of parts of the precinct is a massive mistake. So many design principles regarding legibility, sightlines and connectivity are completely ignored. It is a far poorer route than the original Smithford St (which could have easily been used as the route and pedestrianised if necessary rather than this needless exact E-W alignment nonsense). Besides which much of it does not match the original vision anyway and part of the philosphy was for it to be adaptable to future changes, which is has failed at dismally. It has never worked that well (certainly no better than Smithford St) with numerous changes and additions to try and make it work rather than admit the design philosphy itself was flawed - there's a reason so few cities and towns copied it. Now we're stuck with doing the same and throwing good money after bad for another generation. I want to live in a city, not a museum.
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'
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Allesley Park
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45 of 45  Mon 30th Apr 2018 9:47pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:430

I spent last week in Edinburgh and one thing I really liked was the distinction between the Old medieval and New Georgian Towns - it really gave a sense of distinction and cohesiveness to the place. Although there it is in situ I firmly believe this is the type of idea Coventry needs to adopt to make the most of its heritage assets, both old and new. Consolidation of existing listed structures (where possible) into specified areas of the city centre so that they can use each other to create a feeling of 'period', instead of the hotch-potch we have now with sporadic buildings dotted all over the place which each building on their own can't achieve. It is similar to Spon St, but this time with an actual plan and purpose rather than a dumping ground for unwanted structures town planners had been prevented from destroying. Having the medieval structures around the three spires, and the newer post-war stuff possibly along the precinct (Godiva and Phoenix Walks respectively) it would be a good compromise for everybody - older structures get saved, they can have a much bigger effect for tourism all placed together whilst at the same time enabling other areas around the city centre to be freed up for redevelopment without the sporadic areas and structures with listing conditions that put many off, enabling the next phase of historic redevelopment to take place as we get towards our 1000th birthday (although some may say it's already started with the student blocks?). Obviously cost is the biggest issue and there will be calls of loss of context (although I totally disagree with the last point given how much has changed since that time - and it may actually be possible to more faithfully recreate their original street situations in a designated zone)
Coventry to be 'Heritage Action Zone'

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