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Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum

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RandomHero
coventry (Eastern Green)
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1 of 20  Tue 9th Mar 2010 10:38pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:1

Hello everyone, new to the forum but have been reading the site for a long time. I was just wondering if anyone had any new information on the old toy museum on Whitefriars Lane. Went down a little while ago and it was all boarded up with signs warning about demolition - just wondered if anyone had any more information on this? Thanks, Simon
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
Midland Red
Cherwell
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2 of 20  Sun 16th Oct 2011 6:32pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5606

. . . can now be seen again following the removal of the fencing around the new Severn Trent building
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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3 of 20  Sun 16th Oct 2011 7:13pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1653

Great - and about time too! I had to use an older photo for Dave's book, but at least it was one without all the boarding up. I do hope the council will find a good use for it since it's function as a toy museum is no longer. I guess the same could be said of many other places though, some more urgent than others (like the Old Grammar School, for instance).
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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4 of 20  Tue 14th Feb 2012 1:44am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3478

That needs to be well preserved considering its history. Hope there is an 'Alan Sugar' out there and gives it the attention it deserves. Thumbs up
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
flapdoodle
Coventry
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5 of 20  Tue 14th Feb 2012 3:14pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:884

I can't see this building being much use for anything. It's stuck down a dead end with little footfall, in a street that's probably dead during the weekends and for most of the time during the week. Anyone taking this on will need deep pockets to keep it going. Even a coffee shop might be pointless, as Severn Trent (Next door) has a Costa Coffee inside! Weren't these streets a mix of residential and commerce back in the pre-war years? Little Park Street has to be one of the most boring streets in the country - I never understood why the court was built at such an odd angle and half the street frontage taken up with a long ramp?!? Makes no sense and is a complete waste of space. What about the poor old ruins of the Whitefriar's Abbey itself? Stranded behind the ringroad, virtually inaccessible by foot and car - what a fine building, and a huge slap on the wrists for the imbecile who designed the ring road. Although Donald Gibson's original plan for Coventry had Ford's Hospital stuck in the middle of a roundabout, one of his few concessions to the city's history. Now it's hidden away, but at least it's in use. Or the poor old remains of Cook Cake? Stuck at the end of a road to nowhere in an area cluttered with disused warehouses and dead streets? Look how long it took to get the old fire station back into use... although I'd rather not look at it in its current drab surroundings. Not all modern architecture is bad; during most periods of time people have disliked contemporary architecture. It's a natural reaction against change and something new. Coventry's problem is that too much of it is from the same period and the post-war planners insisted on the same style, and a lot of it was done on the cheap. Some modern buildings have a great feeling of space both inside and outside. Architects only do what the client wants. If the client wants a cheap building that will pass through a planning committee, then you're going to get a generic box. Cathedral Lanes was apparently built for tourists, as was Priory Place. Coventry doesn't get enough tourists to sustain these developments and they've both been flops. Cathedral Lanes is an appalling design. It might have helped if they'd actually put frontages around the outside on the pedestrian route between the Cathedral and the Precinct! It's no surprising half these developments fail, as they're so poorly thought out. Living in a city where streets all linked up properly and old buildings were still useful as they had not been stranded by 20th century developments really did highlight how much Coventry had suffered at the hands of Gibson and his successors.
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
diggerdave
birmingham
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6 of 20  Thu 16th Feb 2012 4:51pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:12

I think it should have a plaque on it to help remember Ron. He was a great Coventrian and a very gentle soul. He was always available to help anyone with a problem and a keen supporter of things alternative in the 60s and 70s. Without him there could never gave been a Diggers Hole - the alternative art gallery and focal point opposite the Golden Cross, the people's response to the arrest of people for sitting on Broadgate Island. He was a sane voice of the left at the time of the anti-Springbok demos, a great supporter of the Broadgate Gnome, always had time to help out with youth projects and was the main instigator of the Civic Society. He was also a very good potter.
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
pat
tile hill
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7 of 20  Fri 28th Sep 2012 11:42pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:78

I can remember playing in this area back in the 50s before the gatehouse was a museum. I'm thinking an artist lived there. Anybody any memories? Also the cobbled lane that ran through it I think had a garage workshop there. Cant recall what else. Anybody any ideas.
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
charabanc
Coventry
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8 of 20  Sat 29th Sep 2012 8:22am  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:167

The owner of the toy museum, Ron Morgan, was a potter. Does that fit with your 'artist' thought?
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
pat
tile hill
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9 of 20  Sat 29th Sep 2012 11:45pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2012  Total posts:78

Thanks charabanc. Yes you are right. You've jogged my memory. We used to live near by and would see brushes and pots in the windows. It was a strange little road. Many thanks Wave
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
Midland Red
Cherwell
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10 of 20  Sat 17th Feb 2018 12:04pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5606

New buildings have appeared behind the gate since I last photographed it - here's an image from yesterday Thumbs up
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
Prof
Gloucester
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11 of 20  Fri 7th Sep 2018 1:28pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:1536

Here's an older photo showing more of the street.
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
NeilsYard
Coventry
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12 of 20  Wed 20th Nov 2019 9:59am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2867

The Historic Coventry Trust have a couple of interior images of the gatehouse here although I still have concerns about their intentions. As per their website if you look at the Planned Projects section - the work on LRC still quotes Coventry Council, supported by the Trust, have secured initial approval for £2m of funding from the Heritage Lottery to restore the cemetery to its former glory. however Work on the restoration project is due to start in 2018, and I have not seen much evidence of that so far so unless anyone else knows? Wonder whose bank account that is sitting in?
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
Helen F
Warrington
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13 of 20  Wed 20th Nov 2019 11:28am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2610

Thanks for that link Neil. From it I copy 'The 14th century sandstone structure originally served as the postern (outer) gatehouse to the Carmelite Whitefriars Monastery, remnants of which still stand off London Road in Coventry.' I haven't seen that written before but makes some sense. The building is essentially a timber building with a front and back in a mix of stone stuck on. I'm not sure which remnants they're talking about but I don't think they're the remains of the cloister gatehouse that there are images of. That and the Much Park Street gate seem to have existed at the same time? Whitefriars did have a gate through the city wall with a bridge of some sort, though I've never seen it recorded except as a feature on maps. Certainly no mention of remnants. In addition to that gatehouse there was the Lady Tower. Which according to Dugdale, 'This Chapell is in the tower of the Cittye Wall without New Gate, close by the roadway leading towards London. On the outside thereof was a picture of the blessed Virgin, richly painted, and within an image and her altar, whereat most travellers which passed by did offer more or lesse, out of confidence that their journey would be better blest'. That tower had originally been a chapel, converted when the wall was built, so may have retained some of the original features, like the doorway. This would have also had a bridge. On balance I assume that they mean the gate from the London road but where are the 'remnants'? The area is crossed by many roads. I have a book on Whitefriars. I'll try and work it out.
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
NeilsYard
Coventry
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14 of 20  Wed 20th Nov 2019 11:41am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2867

Helen by 'remnants' I presumed they just meant -
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum
Helen F
Warrington
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15 of 20  Wed 20th Nov 2019 11:44am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2610

Ahh, yes that could be it. Smile
Whitefriars Gate / Toy Museum

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