Saturday, 17 May 2014


Public Clocks in Coventry

Sent to Coventry! Well, at least a visit to the city centre to see what clocks we can find. After a walk in from the railway station (sadly no clocks) on a wet day, our first sighting is this rather odd but nevertheless striking clock.

You may have guessed that this is Coventry Market, which was opened in 1958. The circular building is famous for having a roof-top car park, something pretty radical back in the 1950's. But Coventry was also famous for its car industry, so perhaps it was merely investing in its own future.

Inside the market there is a wall a small clocks showing the time in various countries of the world (interesting phrase that - where else would the countries be of?). I didn't do a full audit (ok I didn't bother to check at all), so I don't know if all countries are represented.

The clocks are clearly part of the market's 50th anniversary.

There are some interesting views of the market on TripAdvisor. One comment was that "you could probably get a gearbox for a Cortina if you looked hard enough", begging the question why would you want a Cortina gearbox? Whilst someone else suggested that "no respectable person should step into that horrible place!". What that says about Cortina owners I don't really know.

Let's get out of the market (being careful not to drip oil from the gearbox everywhere) and into another retail centre.

This is a rather funky clock.

On now to the Council House and this lovely clock with its magnificent ornamentation.

Construction of the Council House was started in 1913, but delays due to WWI meant that it was not finally officially opened until 1920. Current road works around the building made taking good pictures from certain angles very difficult.

Back down to mundane reality, in this case in the guise of the Pool Meadow bus station, opened in 1994.

Located around the building are several clocks of this simple design. I shouldn't knock them though as they do an efficient job in letting bus passengers (and others who tend to loiter around bus stations) exactly what the time is, and exactly how many minutes they have just missed their last bus by.

We are now on Greyfriars Road, and a modern office building with a retro clock.

From the picture below it is not obvious that are next building is a church, what with its crenellated turrets.

But a church this indeed is, being St John the Baptist on Fleet Street.

A much simpler and more recent clock tower can be found at the Canal Basin. This marks the end of the Coventry Canal, which on the times I have been on it many years ago is a waterway abundant in all sorts of industrial waste. Perhaps they have cleaned it up a bit by now.

Our next clock is on a shop on The Burges.

I think the full wording is "Tomorrow is another retail opportunity, unless it is one of those very rare days when shops in a city centre are closed, but even then you can still buy from our on-line store".

Coventry is famous for being a place to be sent to, the car industry, and being bombed out of all recognition in the Second World War, and its phoenix rising out of the ashes cathedral. Actually the cathedral is not included in this survey, but it is a superb building that should be a must on everyone's to visit list.

Coventry is also famous for one more thing - Lady Godiva. This is celebrated by the Lady Godiva clock in Broadgate. So I will leave you with pictures of the clock, and what happens on every hour.

The clock movement was taken from the Market Tower which was demolished after WWII.

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