Thursday, 9 September 2010

Coventry's Hidden Gem

Well, whether you think it really is a "gem" depends on your taste in architecture - and your shopping habbits - I suppose. As a fan of markets and the 1950s, Coventry's market does it for me - if it doesn't for you (and I have to admit that, unlike Mr Tossco, the traders inside won't deliver anything to your boat)  then don't bother reading any further. . .
Gem or not, its certainly well hidden, being tucked away behind the back of the shopping precinct and the inner ring road and I only found it by accident.  Built in 1955, presumably to replace an older building destroyed in the blitz, its very much a child of its era, and all the better for it.
Note the concrete construction and the roof-top car park (try and ignore the big blue shed behind). In the brave new world of post-war Coventry parking your car on the roof of wherever you were going was the way ahead! I suppose it makes a bit of sense, and its certainly a better use of landspace than the acres of car parks that surround present-day out-of-town shopping developments.
The City Council was obviously very proud of its new market and the names of all the members of the "Markets and Baths Committe" of the time are still on prominent display.
Although undoubtably things will have changed since it opened - not least in the range of goods on sale -  the market still retains a 'fifties feel.

Oh! What a luvverley bunch of . . .cauliflowers!
Although it would have been much busier on a Saturday afternoon even twenty years ago, Coventry's market still thrives and obviously still has the support of local people and the backing of the City Council. Long may it remain so.

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