28th Jun, 2022

LETTERS: Your discussion about your city from this week's Observer


A lot of residents have now signed the petition, asking for the stone ceiling to not be painted. Yes such work was carried out during the medieval period, but there is no evidence that St Mary’s Guildhall was so treated. Hence why so many people have signed so quickly, asking for the building to be kept as it is. I can only hope that the decision will be reconsidered, hence why i have supported the petition currently available online to give a voice to the people.

Also, really great to hear that at long last, someone is actually considering opening up this amazing city asset for much longer each year. It so needs to be available for visitors, who are often baffled why it is not open. Especially with its many links to the history of England including George Eliot, William Shakespeare, Mary Queen of Scots, plus many others. Lets work together and make it work for the city and give it the visitor numbers it deserves.

Kind regards

Roger Bailey

Cheylesmore Ward Councillor

Your article online regarding the proposed development of the Upper Precinct demonstrates the difference in approach to the heritage of our city which exists between those who are motivated by their political aspirations together with the aims of out-of-town developers who could care less about the feelings of Coventry people, compared with those such as Heritage England, The Twentieth Century Society and the Coventry Society who act as watchdogs to guard against the destruction of the unique example of post-war regeneration which is our city centre.

The argument put forward by councillor O’Boyle that the destruction of the canopies in Smithford Way over Waterstones justifies further destruction of our internationally renowned centre ignores the fact that our once beautiful show-piece has suffered many attacks; that escalator which was installed to attract a Virgin store, which no longer exists, the de-greening of our centre, the removal of public artworks the obliteration of the vista to the cathedral and medieval quarter by the Cathedral Lanes development are just a few examples of the constant erosion of a very special public space.

If councillor O’Boyle really wants to know what people of this city think he could do well to look at the many social media sites such as The Coventry I Remember, Historic Coventry and The Coventry Society to see the number of photographs and articles concerned with the unsympathetic changes made to our city centre.

Coventry centre was unique and there is great concern that it is being driven into mediocrity for the benefit of developers at the expense of us all.

Vincent Hammersley

Upper Eastern Green Lane


As the RAF marks its centenary on April 1, I had to write and tell you about my mother Rose Davies who herself celebrated a centenary in 2016. Now older than the service she loyally served during the Second World War, my mother is a true inspiration in my eyes.

She joined the WAAF in 1941 after my father, then her fiancé, had been posted to the Middle East for four years. It was her reckoning; if she contributed to the war effort she may just get her love home sooner. So she became a radar operator and served on the Isle of Wight during the D-Day landings in 1944.

Typically, my mother doesn’t think her story is worth telling, but she’s underplaying what a vital role she had. A role for which she was honoured, receiving the French Legion d’Honneur and being guest of honour at a USAF/RAF banquet in Washington, America in 2014.

She helped to guide the hundreds of ships which took part in the landings, across the Channel safely in very challenging conditions, all the while hoping those brave men would return.

This Mother’s Day I reflect on all she did for her country alongside all she did for us as a family. Now she is part of the RAF Family, a family which looks after its own. This is borne out by the incredible support she receives from the RAF Benevolent Fund. They give us the peace of mind to know Mum has all she needs in her retirement to live comfortably and with dignity. Should her needs grow, I know they will continue to be there for us as a family.

If your mum or dad served or you know someone that did and they need a little support, I encourage you to reach out to the RAF Benevolent Fund who have stood side by side with the RAF for the last 100 years. visit www.rafbf.org to find out more.

Jonathan Davies

Proud RAF son

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