Trans­port trip was a Tri­umph!

Wind­mill Club, Han­bury

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - CLUBS & SOCIETIES -

FOR the last Wind­mill Club out­ing of the sea­son we were blessed with fine weather, with blue skies all day.

The coach dropped us at Mil­len­nium Place, out­side the Coven­try Trans­port Mu­seum.

The first thing we no­ticed was the huge Whit­tle Arch with twin arches each span­ning 60m across the roads, sup­port­ing each other through a sin­gle con­nec­tion point at the crown – 15m above the ground.

Also ris­ing from Mil­len­nium Place was the blue Glass Bridge – snaking through a 360-de­gree spi­ral ramp it takes pedes­tri­ans 3m over the me­dieval city wall and the re­stored Lady Her­bert Gar­den be­fore land­ing in the gar­den of In­ter­na­tional Friend­ship.

Ev­ery­one thor­oughly en­joyed the Trans­port Mu­seum, find­ing the his­tory of trans­port man­u­fac­ture in Coven­try re­ally in­ter­est­ing.

It houses the largest pub­licly-owned col­lec­tion of Bri­tish ve­hi­cles and tells the story of Coven­try and its peo­ple through the rise and fall of its big­gest in­dus­try. The col­lec­tion con­sists of 300 cy­cles, 120 mo­tor­cy­cles and 250 cars and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, and over a mil­lion ar­chive and ephemera items.

Cy­cles in­clude the ear­li­est bone­shak­ers and Penny Farthings to the lat­est safety cy­cles and the mo­tor­cy­cle col­lec­tion ranges from early tri-cy­cles to the mod­ern Tri­umph mod­els.

The ve­hi­cle col­lec­tion has some of the most iconic cars of dif­fer­ent times in­clud­ing the 1935 Daim­ler Li­mou­sine (Queen Mary’s Daim­ler), 1975 E-type Jaguar and the World Land Speed Record Breaker Thrust SSC, as well as com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, mil­i­tary ma­chines, lor­ries and Coven­try Cor­po­ra­tion buses. The café is good too!

I took my­self off on a sen­ti­men­tal jour­ney to the old shop­ping precinct where I came oc­ca­sion­ally in my teens.

It had changed some­what, with a brand new shiny glass struc­ture built into it, but there were still rem­nants of the old precinct and cir­cu­lar mar­ket hall, de­signed by Sir Don­ald Gib­son.

Fol­low­ing the 1940 Blitz of Coven­try, he re­designed the city cen­tre, in­cor­po­rat­ing old de­tails and open spa­ces in a design aligned to pro­vide a view of the Cathe­dral spire.

His ideas were copied by other cities world­wide. Like most of the rest of our party, we made our way to the cathe­dral, mar­vel­ling at the huge open space of the mod­ern build­ing, joined sym­pa­thet­i­cally to the re­mains of the old cathe­dral, hit by bombs in WWII.

Across an open space in front of the cathe­dral is the Her­bert Mu­seum.

Sir Al­fred Her­bert made com­po­nents for Coven­try’s cy­cle in­dus­try, build­ing his com­pany into one of the most suc­cess­ful in the world.

He was knighted in 1917. Her­bert gave much of his wealth back to the city, fund­ing the Art Gallery and mu­seum which opened in 1960.

He also gave money to Coven­try & War­wick Hospi­tal and cre­ated Lady Her­bert’s Gar­den in mem­ory of his sec­ond wife.

As well as a good col­lec­tion of art works, the mu­seum houses re­minders of Coven­try’s other in­dus­tries, these in­clude watch-mak­ing and rib­bon weav­ing.

It too has a good café.

A great day out, thor­oughly en­joyed by all.

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