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Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962

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Rootes66
Dunfermline
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16 of 29  Wed 21st Nov 2012 5:06pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:82

I remember the Arts Festival too with lots of events in the New Cathedral and across the City during the summer of 1962. I wonder if you recall the open-air Festival Cafe at that time which was pretty much where the Coventry Cross is today next to the County Hall Bar. It looked like it had been a "bomb site" next to the Gulson Library. Remember whiling away some time there in the summer months.
Hugh

Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
dutchman
Spon End
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17 of 29  Wed 21st Nov 2012 6:13pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2651

The cafe site had been part of the library before it was bombed. Wonder if this is you? Smile Pictures of Coventry
Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
dutchman
Spon End
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18 of 29  Wed 21st Nov 2012 6:19pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2651

Another view of the cafe: Pictures of Coventry
Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
Rootes66
Dunfermline
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19 of 29  Wed 21st Nov 2012 9:21pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:82

Yes, that second picture does bring back a few memories from 50 years ago - looks very 60s. On good days they had tables and chairs outside by those planters. Somebody had a good business idea, tapping into the masses of people who came to see the Cathedral. I remember queues all the way up St Michael's Way to Holy Trinity, with a steady stream of visitors going in at the left side of the glass screen, clockwise round the nave and chancel and back out again. Entry was free from what I recall, but you couldn't take photos. Thanks for looking up those pictures!
Hugh

Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
Rootes66
Dunfermline
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20 of 29  Fri 18th Jan 2013 10:30am  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:82

Seeing this thread, I thought some of you might be interested in some pieces of Cathedral memorabilia I've collected recently. I spotted the booklet "Cathedral Reborn" and the 1962 Cathedral Guidebook on eBay going for £2 to £3 each. They seem to come up quite often (just search for Coventry Cathedral) as thousands must have been printed. The guidebook is dated May 1962 and has some nice colour photos. The Cathedral Reborn is a second edition published in May 1963 on the first anniversary. I've an idea that three million people visited the Cathedral in the first year from all over the world. This second edition has some superb period photos of the cathedral and consecration as well as some history about the destruction of the old one. There's an interview with Provost Williams, reflecting on the first year of the New Cathedral. Well worth getting a copy. The other booklet was published by the Cathedral for their Jubilee Exhibition "Journey Into The Light" last September and October. When I was in my teens in the mid-60s, I spent quite a bit of time at the Cathedral as I helped run the sound system and had a pretty free run of the place. I explored the labyrinth of corridors under the nave and went up the spiral staircase by the Baptistry Window to gain access to the catwalk which ran the full length of the false ceiling. I knew the place well and was familiar with all the architectural features. Revisiting last autumn, and seeing the exhibition, reawakened my interest in the place after nearly 50 years. It was testament to the power and originality of Sir Basil Spence's concept that several highly creative and imaginative artists were attracted to join the project. Despite some conflict, the whole thing came together very well and in a surprisingly short time. Some of it is superb, such as the combination of art and architecture in the Baptistry Window. The book is very well researched by several art historians and is well worth having if you are interested in the design of the Cathedral. They sell it at the Cathedral gift shop, but not sure where else. The Cathedral website mentions an online shop, but it hasn't materialised as far as I can see. Bit of a missed opportunity in their Jubilee Year. I appreciate not everyone on the Forum shares my enthusiasm for 1950s architecture and the work of Donald Gibson and Sir Basil Spence, but I'm glad these architects chose to go for a new concept rather than trying to recreate/rebuild the old.
Hugh

Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
Bentley
Harrogate
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21 of 29  Tue 26th Feb 2013 6:03pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2013  Total posts:10

I remember going down to Coventry Station to see the Royal train arrive. I was still a train spotter in those days, and if I remember correctly, it was double headed by 2 Stanier Black 5s. And then the night after the consecration, I was in the Cathedral to see the Berlin Philharmonic (conducted I think by Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt) performing Beethoven Symphony no 7 and Bruckner Symphony no 9. That must surely be the only time that the Berlin Phil has performed in Coventry, and was done I think as a gesture by the Germans.
Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
Rootes66
Dunfermline
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22 of 29  Tue 26th Feb 2013 11:18pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:82

Maybe they came more than once, as there is CD from testament of a live recording made on 6 June 1962 with Barbirolli when they played Brahms No. 2. I also have vague memories of seeing Karajan conducting the orchestra there (maybe later), however it does seem he refused to conduct at the commemorative concert in 1962 as he disapproved of "political" concerts.
Hugh

Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
scrutiny
coventry
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23 of 29  Mon 4th Mar 2013 9:27am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:659

Can anyone tell me a bit more information on this print? I had forgotten about it until I cleaned out a cupboard yesterday to do a job in it. I bought it at auction many years ago because I recognised it as being part of one of the windows in the New Cathedral. It is number 69 of 75 prints signed by John Hutton. I can find nothing out about the print but I can find every thing about John Hutton. Any help please? Cheers Sorry about the "flash".
Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
morgana
the secret garden
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24 of 29  Thu 28th May 2015 10:30am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:1440

Queen Elizabeth consecration Coventry Cathedral. Photos Video
Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
tignabruaich
Pontesbury
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25 of 29  Sat 25th Jul 2015 8:18pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2015  Total posts:5

I also remember going to a service in the Cathedral ruins for schoolchildren in Coventry. I was in my last year at Earlsdon Junior Girls School at the time. The hymns that we sang have sat in my memory ever since. I think of this service whenever I sing 'Praise to the Lord, the Almighty' and 'Angels Voices Ever Singing'. I still have many of the newspaper cuttings and books that were published at the time. 3 years ago I went to the flower festival to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the consecration. It was beautiful.
Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
morgana
the secret garden
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26 of 29  Sun 26th Jul 2015 12:19am  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:1440

On 4th Mar 2013 9:27am, scrutiny said: Can anyone tell me a bit more information on this print? I had forgotten about it until I cleaned out a cupboard yesterday to do a job in it. I bought it at auction many years ago because I recognized it as being part of one of the windows in the New Cathedral. It is number 69 of 75 prints signed by John Hutton. I can find nothing out about the print but I can find every thing about John Hutton. Any help please? Cheers Sorry about the "flash".
The Martyr and the Angels by John Hutton Edited by member, 26th Jul 2015 12:30 am
Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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27 of 29  Thu 27th Feb 2020 6:44pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3723

Hi all, I met a gentleman today, who was involved with the design & installation of the Devil statue. Does anyone have photos or memories on this please?

Question

Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
PhiliPamInCoventry
Holbrooks
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28 of 29  Thu 5th Mar 2020 2:16pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:3723

Hi all, Pictures of new cathedral
Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962
NeilsYard
Coventry
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29 of 29  Thu 5th Mar 2020 4:54pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2989

Philip if you change your search slightly you get the pictures with Epsteins Devil in as requested previously. There are some good ones of it arriving... Thumbs up
Buildings - Coventry Cathedral Consecration, 1962

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