Transport trip was a Triumph!
Windmill Club, Hanbury
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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