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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Tourists in Coventry.

As the moorings in Coventry Basin are 48hrs we took the opportunity to have a day in the city doing touristy things.

Basically there is only one way out of the Basin but the signpost may make you think differently.

The Basin opened in 1769 so really it isn't looking too bad! These are the first ducklings that we have seen.

You can see the three and four stories of the warehouse side of the basin. The boat horses were stabled in the ground floor and there were separate sections for different products.

The Glass Bridge and Whittle Arch.

 We walked over the ring road and headed for Lady Herbert's Garden. It was given to the city by Sir Albert Herbert, who was an industrialist in the city and had the largest machine tool manufactory in the world at one time, and named after his first wife. The park includes one of the twelve original gatehouses and a section of the original city wall that had been ordered to be torn down by Charles II. It is a lovely oasis of simple lawn and flower beds. From the garden the glass bridge leads you down to Millennium Place. The arches are a memorial to Sir Frank Whittle, who was a son of Coventry, the inventor of the jet engine. It makes for a good setting for the Coventry Transport Museum and is just another example of the nice airy spaces around the city centre. We then spent several hours in the Museum learning about the the motor industry in the city and the bicycle companies that preceded it. There are some beautiful cars and bicycles and it was quite informative. I also learned my the old sit up and beg bicycles always had a white tail to the back mudguard. It was a measure brought in in WWII so that in the blackout they had more chance of being seen. I always wondered why it was, even though I may be showing my age. They have an exhibition of emergency vehicles at the moment and I was not really surprised to learn that there are societies that protect the history and artifacts for each of the three services. There is a club for everything!

Holy Trinity Church, Coventry.

After a cup of coffee and a slice of carrot cake we set forth for a look round the indoor market. It was in a wonderful circular 60's building cars parked on the roof and was revolutionary at the time. Unfortunately there weren't too many stalls open on the day.  We also continued our trawl of any charity shops that we come across looking for a book of crocheting patterns and a butter dish! We then headed to the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, and yes this was also donated to the city by Sir Albert Herbert. He donated money to have one built before WWII but was not built prior to the conflict. Afterwards he doubled his offering to have one built. Sadly he died prior to its completion. It is right next door to the cathedrals and Town hall etc. It is a lovely area with the Unviersity Campus just opposite the new Cathedral.

The old and new Cathedrals.

On the way back to the basin we topped up with items from Sainsbury's and where back in time to put our feet up with a cup of tea after our trip round Coventry.

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