February 27, 2006

Leamington vs. Coventry. It's still about class.

When it comes to off-campus accomodation, the predominant opinion seems to be "Leamington or death." Coventry is a zone only ventured into on saturday nights to get to the collosseum.

Leamington of course has a lot to show for, flashier bars, clubs and restaurants, and simply more of them. And they are neatly stacked all closely together.
Coventry in turn seems to have less of all that. Has it really? Once you start looking, night life venues keep on popping up. Though it seems to be impossible to get information on them from the Warwick student crowd.

Also the CovUni students do not seem to have a problem to entertain themselves in Coventry. So it's Coventry to CovUni and the Coventrians and Leamington to Warwick students.

To me it smells like the old class division.

Britain has an (I believe unfortunate) tradition to bash its own cities ( crap towns ), but maybe it is worth noting that in all those towns, including Coventry, there are people who actually choose to live there and enjoy it. And why are people so eager to brand places as "shitholes" ?!

Although I have to say that the "Summer of Cov initiative was rather amusing. Even though the marketing department of coventry is not yes as aspiring as the guys from LutonFirst.


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  1. Eleanor O'Donnell

    For me personally the reason I dislike Coventry is the architecture: its grey and cncrete primarily, or endless rows of small terraces. A horrible ringroad. Urban wasteland. I feel my heart sink every time I approach it on the bus.

    Leamington on the other hand: seems more open, more spacious, brighter! Even the shops are housed in lovely white olde worlde buildings, and there's a great deal of variety in terms of styles of houses too. The pavements are wide and there's a lot of Green Space!

    Although technically I'm sitting on the fence as I live in Kenilworth (controversial!) which I love because our house is directly opposite the beautiful stretch of green Abbey fields which leads down and up towards Kenilworth Castle, Old Kenilworth: full of thatched cottages, small houses which seem to have been made for minuature people, cobbled streets, and pubs with wooden beams and cosy nooks!

    27 Feb 2006, 21:23

  2. Hi Eleanor.

    I agree, the first impression of Coventry is not necesarrily a heart warming one. And when around in the city you are often remined that the mood can be rough.

    I am also still exploring the town, but I found many bars and pubs which I quite like and don't think exist in similar form in Leamington or Kenilworth. Maybe I am a bit of a trashy person, but this no-make-up city has my sympathies.

    27 Feb 2006, 21:49

  3. Eleanor O'Donnell

    Coventry is also such a sad city because it used to be the most beautiful city in the whole country, prior to World War II bombings, so its difficult to imagine now, and especially hard to understand that once it was so utterly destroyed that the planners wreaked a different kind of destruction on the city.

    27 Feb 2006, 22:13

  4. Now where is this picturesque photograph taken?

    To write off Coventry as an ugly city, you haven't really explored it now, have you?

    27 Feb 2006, 22:57

  5. Allan Smith

    Coventry can get a bad rap, I feel. I've yet to visit a major city that doesn't have the mix of concrete'n'commercialism, but it does have it's bright spots. I'm not sure what to make of the city centre regeneration, but it seems a step in a better direction, if not the right one.

    The biggest myth I hear is how rough it is – you'd think you can't walk down a street without getting your mobile 'jacked' by some youths, or be set upon by a gang of drunken idiots. In 20-odd years I've not so much as been stared at menacingly, and it's not as if I give off a 'don't mess' demeanour. The only time I've seen any hint of violence is on rare occasions at night, but I dare say you provide alcohol to idiots anywhere in the world and the outcome will be similar.

    Ikon's a pile of shit though. And that stupid canopy.

    27 Feb 2006, 23:19

  6. Thanks for the picture! The whole area around Hay Lane and between the churches is quite nice. I would like to see another bar there, maybe something along the lines of Inspired.

    The violence myth is indeed puzzling. Since I have often walked the city at night and so far also never had problems.

    28 Feb 2006, 08:11

  7. Its lovely to see such a generally balanced view. I think its vry true about the Coventry university students – i think they explore Coventry more to find its jems. I think sometimes Warwick students expect it to all be there infront of them. I think thats probably because we are so lucky on campus having so many amenities so readily available.

    28 Feb 2006, 09:08

  8. The cov and leam stereotypes don't seem likely to dissapear but at least people can remember that there are some really nice areas in cov and some crap spots in leam especially in south leam where horrid terraced houses are just as prevelent as in cov. Eleanor, well said indeed cov used to be really pretty and its a real shame that concrete was in fashion when it was rebuilt, just hope that the concrete doesn't get listed (some of the nasty buildings are being looked at as being historical). There is some great architecture within cov such as the new cathedral and some really pretty spots that get forgotten.

    28 Feb 2006, 09:42

  9. William Starling

    I chose to live in Coventry because it was convenient not to live 2 light years from campus. I stay because it is a wonderful place and home to some really nice people. I walk around Coventry all the time and there is a lot to see. I really resent it when people ask me "WHY did you WANT to LIVE in Coventry?" because most of them follow that by "I've never actually been.

    28 Feb 2006, 09:55

  10. I've lived in Cov the whole time I've been at Warwick Uni and personally have never had a problem in or around the city.

    I think a lot of the 'rough' reputation is connected to the decline of the British motor industry during the 1970s & 80s; It hit Coventry really badly, and apparently in the early 1980s up to 20% of the workforce was unemployed. The Specials "Ghost Town" was written around that time. However that was over 20 years ago, and todaythere's a lot of European money coming into the area for regeneration, which certainly can't be a bad thing!

    I'm glad people have pointed out some of the city's good points, and there's lots more to explore including the Lunt Fort, Cheylesmore Manor, St Mary's Guildhall, Coombe Abbey, Holy Trinity Church (where you can see a medieval doom painting!), among other things. There's nice places like the Tin Angel, Habibi, Browns, etc to go out.

    One of the most interesting things I've learned about Coventry (besides just how much history is here) is that it was the first ever city to 'twin' with another city and hence began the now common worldwide practice of twinning. It started after World War II when Coventry twinned with Dresden as an act of peace and reconciliation, both cities having been heavily bombed during the war.

    28 Feb 2006, 10:09

  11. I lived in Leamington for two years as a student and now live in Earlsdon, which I prefer immensely. I found Leamington pretentious, overpriced and just too far from Campus. Earlsdon on the other hand is friendly, convenient and has some cracking pubs!

    Coventry may not be beautiful, but some parts are very charming!

    28 Feb 2006, 10:12

  12. Living in Coventry means a much shorter commute than living in Leamington.

    28 Feb 2006, 10:14

  13. Andrea Breau wrote:

    "..Coventry [...] was the first ever city to 'twin' with another city [..] Dresden as an act of peace and reconciliation"

    The first twinning was with Stalingrad in 1944, during the Second World War as a symbol of solidarity with the USSR. link

    Of course the later twinning with Dresden, a city which had been destroyed by British bombers in what might be described as a war crime, was a symbol of peace and reconciliation.

    Later on the twinning idea got a bit over-done with 26 twin cities! … see link

    28 Feb 2006, 11:16

  14. Well for one of the first times in 2 years of being at Warwick I feel proud to say – im from Coventry, born and breed and I love it. I dont want to live here forever but i think to me it will always be home!

    28 Feb 2006, 11:29

  15. What I find quite charming about Coventry is it's founding myth. I just can't help but smile when I pass by the Godiva statue. Firstly that naked ride must have been a very crazy idea at that time, and secondly that you actually turn that act into a gloryfiying statue tells something nice about the people's attitude. (After all, Leofric or the towners could have just sacked or stoned her for her scandalous behaviour.)

    28 Feb 2006, 11:44

  16. I took two years in Leam. I never felt comfortable being in Coventry, even just passing through, and that's why we chose Leamington instead.

    I never woke up in time for my 9am lectures but meh…

    28 Feb 2006, 12:23

  17. Thanks George for the links – I stand corrected.

    My information came from someone who was working at the Holy Trinity Church – I went in one day to look at the doom painting and got a 'history' lesson as well!

    28 Feb 2006, 12:42

  18. After spending 10 years at school in the town of Cheltenham, I can think of absolutely nothing worse than having to live in another Spa town ever again. Coventry is mostly very ugly, that much cannot be denied, but it is not devoid of lovely places. The Memorial Park a couple of miles outside the City Centre is absolutely fantastic, especially in the summer – far better than the overcrowded and cramped Pump Rooms in the Royal Spa. The City Centre may be considerably uglier than Leamington, but it also has considerably more for people to do and provides a considerably better shopping experience too.

    "I just can't help but smile when I pass by the Godiva statue." – that makes one of us! Every time I pass the Godiva statue there's some teenager with no discernible individuality hurling all over his/her gothic/chavvy clothing. But I do still like Coventry.

    28 Feb 2006, 13:30

  19. Last night I was out in Coventry, though I live in leam. I think both are reasonable places to live. I spent a lot of time in Coventry in first and second year. I think there is much more there than most give it credit for. They are both very different, but equally nice for different reasons, Leamington is more relaxed and picturesque, while Coventry is stacked full of history and choice. On a night out level, I think if you live in one, you appreciate the change if u go to the other, as is the case with most things…variety is the spice of life.

    While not saying that Coventry or Leamington are perfect… I think both are equally worthy of visiting. I cant imagine not living in leam, for me it was the better choice, but thats just it, every1 has their own things that need catering for. Leam has it for me… but you cant say that either is particularly better.

    28 Feb 2006, 14:31

  20. I like Coventry as a city. But then again, I love Leamington as a town. And when it comes to violence, there's very little to choose between Coventry and Leamington – the vast majority of the time, I've felt completely safe in both. Then again, there's been brief periods when I've felt threatened in both – but the threat passed without incident.

    I lived in Leamington for 2 years simply because the people I wanted to live with wanted to live there. If I'd wanted to live with people who wanted to go to Earlsdon, I'd have gone there and probably had an equally awesome 2 years.

    From my point of view, wherever I went would have been an improvement. I'm from Stoke-on-Trent, which is essentially six towns that became a city merely because they happened to grow into each other – and, 150 years later, it shows. Its road layout is an unstructured maze that confuses everyone except locals, it has no city-wide infrastructure, and very little good architecture. It feels thrown together; as though noone cared when it was put together, and noone took any time out to think about how the towns would work together as one city.

    Coventry and Leamington are both immeasurably better and nicer places to live in. They may not be perfect, but at least someone cared about them when they were being (re-)built. Coventry's retained some beautiful areas which escaped WWII bombs, and if its 1950s-1960s ring roads and concrete malls are brutally functional, at least they're functional. It hangs together well as a city. And anyone who's ever visited the War Memorial Park on Kenilworth Road will appreciate the vast space the city's managed to dedicate to recreation and sitting around in the summer. It's especially poignant when you realise that most of the trees in that park are dedicated to soldiers from Coventry who died in the War.

    Leamington has a very different heritage – constructed as a Spa Town to entice rich Victorians to part with their cash – but, even today, it's a good place to live precisely because the people who were planning it cared about the quality of life of the people who would spend time there. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, in urban planning, the legacy of a well thought-out town lasts hundreds of years. When a town's thrown up haphazardly without any thought as to what it will be like to live in, the results just aren't as good.

    Coventry and Leamington – both great places. And both beat Stoke!

    28 Feb 2006, 15:22

  21. Alexander Nicholson

    Oh, hi James. Nice to see an old Joey around.

    And I agree it's not really fair to compare Coventry and Leamington. They both serve different functions. If people would prefer to live in Leam, that's fine, but acting snobbish about Cov is just ignorant.

    And yes, both have more things going for them than Stoke.

    28 Feb 2006, 16:02

  22. With regard to the perception of safety in Leamington and Coventry, I think that many people, both students and non-students simply assume that Coventry is less safe than Leamington due to it generally appearing to be less affluent and more urbanised than Leamington is.

    28 Feb 2006, 23:15

  23. I am from Warwick and thus have felt need to adopt another town as Warwick is… well literally nothing but paving slabs. I'd now adopt Coventry anyday.

    When I was younger I was brought up to believe that Coventry was a shit hole and a very violent place (which I guess a few years ago it was) and I had the same view and most of my Uni friends. However, when I met my boyfriend (who is from Coventry) 2 years ago my perception completely changed…

    The bars are nicer in Cov, there is more varied live music, there are more shops, the shops have more choice, everything is in walking distance, everything is cheaper, there are more unusual places, the clubs are nicer (never been to Ikon mind you), they have a very effective CCTV system which makes chavs quake in their trainers, I feel safer walking down the street, and I've only ever seen one fight in Cov whereas I knew a guy who was murdered in Leam and several people who have been beaten up there.

    Yes, Leamington is undoubtedly prettier but that does not make it any better. I'm living in Leamington next year because I literally don't know anyone living in Coventry. Still, it's really quite shocking – why students ever felt a need to travel an extra 40 minutes into uni for the sake of living in a regency town rather than an unattractice city I will never know!!

    You're right though Ulrich, it's all about class and image.

    Similarly, I don't understand why all people from both places are stereotyped as chavs – yes there are a fair few living there but it doesn't make everyone a chav. The stereotypes cast by students at the university have certainly opened my eyes to how people with money and status see the world. I'd never move to a place and slate it and its people without ever having experienced something first-hand myself. MInd you, saying that, most people I know from Coventry see Leamingtonians as upper-class snobs – now I can't see why they'd ever get that impression?

    Go out and visit Cov people – also The Tin Angel is awesome and might have to close – save it now by buying a pint or two. x

    01 Mar 2006, 03:06

  24. Nicholas Howes

    I think most people's experiences of coventry are in the town centre, where it is all extremely grey and badly designed. It just had the unfortunate luck of having to be partly rebuilt in the 60s, when the trends in architecture were profoundly crap. But as others have said it still has really nice areas. Even the best cities in the world have 'dodgy' areas, but they have all the good stuff too. People who visit Coventry invariably are going out at night, and probably haven't seen much of it in the daytime. I actually live in Leamington so I'm not just trying to stick up for my turf or anything.

    "Coventry: It's actually alright!"

    01 Mar 2006, 10:31

  25. Eleanor you obviously have no idea of historical value. Coventry was bombed to hell during WWII and as such the city centre was quickly rebuilt using the cutting edge or architecture of the 50s and 60s. It might not be old worlde but it is still a part of this county's heritage and ugly as it may be it still is a physical reminder of the hardships endured by the people of Coventry. As for the terrace houses (Leam has those too) I lived in one for two years and again the history of the area was so interesting. These houses were built for Victorian factory foremen (the workers cottages have all been destroyed) as you walked along my road you could see every now and again a house that was totally different and those houses were the ones destroyed during the war. Each part of Coventry has architecture that tells a story. Don't just write off the whole city as nothing scratch the surface and look a bit deeper and you will find a rich historical city.

    01 Mar 2006, 12:24

  26. Eleanor O'Donnell

    Elizabeth, I have some idea of the history involved, and whilst I admit and am aware that the visuals of Coventry are due to hardships endured, it doesn't make them easier on the eye! I have never made any judgements about relative levels of violence or safety in either Leamington or Coventry, as considering I feel safe walking around at night at home (in Mitcham, which is most definitely not the safest or nicest place to live- but like most places has both its beautiful and downright ugly bits) I think either are good, but personally I find that the areas of Leamington I have visited are nicer than the areas of Coventry I have visited. You may say that I should explore further and perhaps I will, at some point. But for now all I can speak from is personal experience!

    01 Mar 2006, 14:47

  27. sarah you're right, the tin angel is lovely, as is the whole of spon street really….

    01 Mar 2006, 14:53

  28. Sarah Fell:

    … also The Tin Angel is awesome and might have to close – save it now by buying a pint or two. x

    Really? Everytime I go there it is sold out! Well, I am going there tomorrow, maybe I'll have more luck this time.

    01 Mar 2006, 14:57

  29. Why might it have to close? Im tres confused!

    01 Mar 2006, 15:54

  30. Re: The Tin Angel

    It seems to be changing all the time – issues with the live music license etc – but the last I heard the owner of the Tin Angel is planning to move to a bigger premises, which is no bad thing!

    01 Mar 2006, 16:20

  31. It could do with being bigger – it gets very smokey/squashed in there at night which is what puts me off it

    01 Mar 2006, 16:42

  32. opinionist

    I have lived in Coventry all my life and although I agree it does have its bad bits, generally it is lovely. People only look at the bad bits of the City Centre and not any other areas. There are lots of lovely parks and open areas. Plus lots of nice pubs.

    01 Mar 2006, 17:14

  33. A Coventrian

    I've also lived in Coventry my whole life, and as the "opinionist" rightly said coventry does have its bad bits, but it also has beautiful places; the Benedictine Priory, St Mary's Guild Hall, The Town Wall and its Gates (well the parts that are still around!), Cheylesmore Manor House and many more. Most people tend to assume that Coventry is shitty due to the city centre being overcrowded with concrete..but the city centre is only ONE area of coventry….

    01 Mar 2006, 21:06

  34. I coincidently bumped into my friend from home yesterday and he works at The Tin Angel. He said that it's not closing for the time being but the owner has bought a place down at the Canal Basin which is bigger and that they should hopefully have moved there by the end of April. From what I understand that's where the live music will be – and my friend (if all goes well) is going to be a paid, rather than voluntary, sound engineer. Yay!! The Tin lives on!!

    Once again… big up Coventry!! :)

    I love the Priory too and I think that whole area around the arches/cathedral is looking great right now – I took a few friends there on the way to the Colly last week and they were really shocked by the fact it was trendy and lacking in concrete. x

    03 Mar 2006, 05:07

  35. Me and my housemates recently decided to live in Earlsdon, having planned to live in Leam for ages. Not only are we a lot closer to shops and amenities in Earlsdon (there's even a huge Wetherspoon's pub at the end of the road), but, surprisingly, the area is much more attractive than the South Leam residential area. The rooms of our 5 bedroom house are double the size of the one we looked at for the same price in Leam, and we won't spend forever travelling. I was reluctant at first, having been brainwashed by the comments of so many other students about Cov…but a closer look showed that actually Earlsdon is quite appealing.

    03 Mar 2006, 16:53

  36. Ever got sent to coventry at school? Playground antics used to dictate it was a scummy place.
    I grew up in and around cov, like most places if you find the good parts its lovely and if you find the bad its a hole.
    As a rule though its mainly an engineering workers place, perhaps this is where the difference to Leam comes from… yes it might be class or different traditions nicer way to say, class makes it sound like one is better, really they are different depending on what you like, cov might be better
    (i live in Leam though…)

    05 Mar 2006, 09:12

  37. Sarah Fell says,

    "I knew a guy who was murdered in Leam and several people who have been beaten up there."

    I like the sound of this. Glad I chose lemington.

    08 Mar 2006, 20:57

  38. Last time I was shopping in Coventry there were two groups of teenagers fighting outside Virgin at 2pm. The violence isn't a myth – I know people who've been chased through the city centre at night. Still, everywhere has its bad spots. Coventry is damn handy for uni and it doesn't cost a fortune to get a cab back from the Colly..

    08 Mar 2006, 23:50

  39. Ulrich, just to fill you in a bit on Lady Godiva (I thought you might like to know this) – she rode naked through Coventry so that taxes on the poor would be abolished. Leofric was pretty embarrassed but his wife was hailed a hero, hence the statue.

    I've lived in Coventry for 4 years now and feel very at home here. Anyone who looks at my blog will see that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Canley, but I have never felt endangered in any way in Coventry. Every city has rough spots and Coventry has had it tougher than most – it's a very bitty city, because of the car factories and the way the modern city came up there never was a real sense of cohesion, or community. I see that starting to change, though, and I think Cov has a lot to offer. Sure, it's grim and weird in places but you know what you're going to get. I find Leamington difficult although I like it too, but its charm is of a different sort to Coventry's. I'd never live in Leamington, however, I find the town centre very stressful and I think it's losing its individuality with its increasingly generic high street.

    Props to those mentioning the Tin Angel, it's a real gem of a pub, and the awesome Paul Curreri is playing there on the 22nd, another reason to reccommend it. I'm also going to have to advertise the super-brilliant Polish deli on Corporation Street – Alma Delicatessen/Java Joes. They do the best hot chocolate I've had and the staff are brilliant Go there, forget about Costa or O'Briens!

    Anyway, back to the topic. I'm teaching in Coventry and it's a tough city with a lot of problems – you can see that so clearly in the children – but it's got personality and it's a fighter, and I feel like this is my home now, so big up Cov :)

    10 Mar 2006, 13:08

  40. Roisin Muldoon:

    I'm also going to have to advertise the super-brilliant Polish deli on Corporation Street – Alma Delicatessen/Java Joes. They do the best hot chocolate I've had and the staff are brilliant Go there, forget about Costa or O'Briens!

    I completely agree. Stumbled across this place a couple of weeks ago. Highly charming and good quallity. On saturdays you may enjoy the chirpy-chatty row of oldtimers =)

    11 Mar 2006, 17:31

  41. Thanks also on the bit on Lady Godiva. Yes, I recently looked it up on wikipedia .

    11 Mar 2006, 17:37

  42. I'm an Earlsdon-er and may I just say, YAY!! Finally I'm hearing people sticking up for my little 'village'! Whenever I say to people that I live in Earlsdon rather than Leam, and what's more it was a free and lucid choice, the shock - no, horror! - could not be more palpable. Infuriatingly, they have almost invariably never had a night out in Cov, except maybe a drunken foray to Ikon in the first year (and please, please don't take Ikon as a typical example of Coventry nightlife!) I wish people would take the time to explore the city and get to know its good spots.

    Besides all this, my house is really, reallllllly nice – everyone who's visited has said it's the nicest student house they've seen, and all for £53 a week!

    The commute takes fifteen minutes, which is heavenly when compared to the trek in from Leam.

    And finally, I have it on good authority from a policeman I know that you stand a far higher chance of being a victim of crime in South Leamington (where most Leam-dwelling students are situated) than you do in Earlsdon.

    There, I've said my piece – I'll shut up now :)

    12 Mar 2006, 12:32

  43. I don't mind Coventry at all. I don't see why everyone is apparently so affected by the abundance of concrete. Coventry's certainly a more pleasant place than my hometown in a former mining area of Yorkshire.

    AND Cov has the Colly. The ONLY place to go on a Thursday night. :)

    I'm only living in Leam next year because everyone else insisted. It IS very pretty, like, and I love Sugar as much as everyone else, but who do we think we are? We're STUDENTS, we're SUPPOSED to live in slums. And it's not as if any of us can actually afford to take advantage of the (very lovely) bars and restaurants of Leam because, well, again: we're STUDENTS!

    Just because Cov's ugly…even ugly things need to be loved. Just look at my profile photo!

    12 Mar 2006, 17:01

  44. claire

    it all depends on where you come from and where you have been in the world i suppose… it's all about what you're used to. Lets talk architecture. Yes, Coventry has got really beautiful churches and all but they, along with most houses, look like they're in dire need of restoration. It really seems like it's stuck in the past. Leamington has wonderfully-restored, charming, old buildings which house new-world neccessities [Gap & Starbucks!].

    in terms of nightlife, cov does have more PUB pubs but leam has bars that serve cocktails. where i come from in the world, pubs are a novelty 'irish' thing, so i'm more used to frequenting bars, which are few and far between in the UK except in the big cities. Leam was great for that.

    and yes, it's true what you say about the supposed class division thing. but it's plain and simple in people's heads and hearts: the posher the town, the safer it is, even if statistics contradict. so, when you're in a town with Bang and Olufsen, you naturally feel safer.

    and when you can walk to run errands/ window shop, why would you even wanna stay anywhere else?

    12 Mar 2006, 19:18

  45. "where i come from in the world, pubs are a novelty 'irish' thing"?

    where the fuck DO you come from..?

    12 Mar 2006, 21:27

  46. coventry has a bang and olufsen :)

    13 Mar 2006, 12:04

  47. Coventry has grown on me. Stayed in canley for two years and went out in Cov quite a bit.

    I stayed in Leam for a year in 2001, but haven't been back much since. At the end of the day there's only the Parade and a couple of clubs. The pubs are good, but the ones in Cov are better.

    13 Mar 2006, 18:39

  48. Claire – "It all depends on where you come from and where you have been in the world i suppose… it's all about what you're used to".

    I'm from Warwick (and to be fair not been far in the world) but I'm used to both places. I know Leam far better than Cov… and I'd still pick Cov. I admit I do like a "PUB pub".

    14 Mar 2006, 01:19

  49. Hero

    it is because a lot of Warwick students are from little middle-class villages and are afraid of nasty cities.

    Personally I find cities exciting. And the Jailhouse

    14 Mar 2006, 08:47

  50. Eleanor O'Donnell

    Hero, I think perhaps the opposite is true – if ou're from a nasty city, perhaps you want the opportunity to live in a nice one for a while!

    14 Mar 2006, 18:27

  51. Cov Kid

    Claire – how many churches have you looked at in Cov. I got married at Allesley Church a couple of years ago and its beautiful. You have obviously studied them in more detail – please tell…........

    15 Mar 2006, 15:12

  52. Al

    I'm thinking of coming to warwick next year

    Your comments were useful about leam and cov but in your 1st year do you get put in a hall of residence and if so where are these?

    I love PUB pubs :)

    Al

    15 Mar 2006, 18:08

  53. Hero

    Leamington is great. EVERYONE* dresses like a mannequin from tops shop or Marks and Spencer, until they are 30 then they dress like a mannequin from House of Fraser. AND they all straighten their hair 'Just-Like-Jennifer-Anniston'. Some of the men look like they are off the telly with fake tan and gently highlighted tufty hair. And what is it with these hawkshead bodywarmers?

    *Unless working class, when its sweaty sweatshirts, fat bodies and confusion-wrinkles.

    16 Mar 2006, 13:42

  54. Kate

    Al, the halls at warwick are on the campus itself, which is about 3miles from cov city centre. There are loads of different halls, the majority self catering, tho there are catered halls, but on the westwood campus (about 5mins walk from main). I went to warwick for four years (3 for chemistry, 1 year pgce) and i lived in Rootes (yay!) for my first year and leamington the other 3. I chose leamington purely due to the fact that i didnt want to live in a city (and to be far, i think that leam is far nicer, with better shopping :o) ) I don't like coventry, but thats just personal choice, as i have many friends who lived in cov and couldnt understand what i saw in leam.

    18 Mar 2006, 12:39

  55. Andrew

    I came across this page purely because I went to Coventry today for the first time in about 15 years, and was shocked to see just how ugly it is. With the exception of the area of the cathedral, all we saw was dreadful, horrid 60s architecture.

    I'm from Solihull but now live in Leamington (for the last 6 months). I haven't been a student for 15 years now, but one of the things i like most about Leamington is that it is such an odd mix – lah di dah old Spa town, old monied families, lovely regency architecture, but also lots of students adding to the fabric of the town.

    It reminds me a lot of Newcastle, where I was a student. Funnily enough, one of the things that kept creeping into my mind walking around Cov today was "christ, what must students think coming here? how grim".

    19 Mar 2006, 00:38

  56. COV

    Oi, leave it out. I’m now an honourary cov kid. I don’t like all this talk of ‘class division’, what you trying to say? Just because the Cov kids are cool and the Warwick kids are clever, doesn’t mean you can get on your high horse. I wonder why Cov has so little green space? Could it be because the whole place was rebuilt by CV1 (Cov’s god) in a miraculous 7 days, on the last day he ended up in the oak at sunrise, with a bloodied nose. Try leaving your little uni wonderland ya losers. I’ll bang you out.

    13 Dec 2006, 13:18

  57. The above poster has officially failed the internet.

    13 Dec 2006, 13:38

  58. Allan Smith

    Having lived in Coventry for a quarter of a century, I can honestly say I’ve never heard of anyone being ‘banged out’

    It’s either something to do with punching, or kinky.

    13 Dec 2006, 19:07

  59. Dear “Cov”,
    I find that statement rather useless. That it is anonymous does not make it more interesting. Though from your IP address it seems that you at least rely on the Uni wonderland to manage your house.

    14 Dec 2006, 00:25

  60. Jess

    well – i live in cov and yeh it is very ugly – like they say in whitley abbey secondary – they should have sacked the arquitect befor they started designin the bloody thing. lool anyway cov does have some nice areas though like some parts of chelesmore and the memorial park has its quirks. overall the best thing to come out of cov or ‘covo’ what i caught someone from leeds callin it it most definatly the specials. and now the enemy. they really put us on the map. i dont think we have a class division- some ov the most richest people in cov come from willenhall. we do have good places for nights out but when your a teenages theres nothing to do- apart from tryna get into a gang – maybe gridlock – or just cause plain havok for most kids. cov isnt the best for shopping as most ov the shops are phones 4 you & stuff like that, but i mangage it only venturing out about 10 times a year to other shopping places. i think i do quite well. oh the only divide i can think of is between the schools, heres where the ‘class’ issue comes in. the more ‘piblic’ schools hate the ‘schools you have to pay for’ e.g whitley hate king henry 8 & bablake ect. but the public schools also hate the public schools eg. bluevoat hate whitley. whitley hate urnstford ect. but cov has a lot ov immagrants in too cosovans polish ect. and chavs & goths basicly fill cov. we invented the words entry & batch as in – alley and bread roll. the most beautiful i find about cov is the old cathedral – the fact you can still see some of the old glass ect. the most uglyest part for me is willenhall. i just dont get why the continue to fuckin build on top of everythin here. STOP. thanks for reading – pookey_jess@hotmail.co.uk

    10 Jun 2007, 20:11

  61. Sadie

    Jess , if you`re an indication of the lack of education available at Whitley Abbey School then the place should be shut down! I`m guessing that is where you were uneducated as it seems to be the only thing you spelt correctly. Perhaps it`s time to ask for some extra help is reading and writing ? I hope for your sake you`re young, there might still be hope!

    12 Jun 2007, 13:13

  62. Thank you for all the comments. And I will even be more happy about them if future comments would not contain any personal attacks (e.g. Sadie) or ominous threats (e.g. Cov), in particular when they are made anonymously.

    @Jess, it seems that music is one of the upsides in Coventry. What you say about the gangs though sounds pretty grim. I actually never heard of “gridlock” I have to admit.

    12 Jun 2007, 22:46

  63. Mr D

    I stumbled onto this very interesting blog by accident, researching historic pictures of Cheylesmore. (!) Gotta love the internet.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading this discussion. I was born in Leamington but grew up in Coventry in the 70s. I’m ex KHVIII and a veteran of many great gigs and parties at the Uni (when it all happened at Rootes!) Couldn’t stand Cov at the time and quickly joined the ranks of leavers. (We used to say that the best thing to come out of Coventry was the road to London.) I’ve lived in New York City for the past 20 years, although I return to Cov twice a year to see my family.

    With a little distance and some hindsight, my prejudices have mellowed, although I could never live there again. Cov is a much better city than it was in the 70s but it still has a long way to go. It’s become remarkably green as trees planted back then have matured, and there are plenty of interesting historic corners that are much better presented than before. It’s certainly benefitted from the old Lanchester Poly converting into a uni and expanding. It also feels richer, but maybe that’s only relative.

    But it’s a strangely incoherent city in so many ways, largely due to the self inflicted damage of the 50s and 60s. The ring road has contained the city centre and effectively strangled it forever. There will never be an opportunity to have a centrally located city park (like Green Park in London, for example) or even a big open public space, something like a proper city square. It’s all rather tight and pinched, and often feels grubby.

    I think that one problem afflicting Cov and maybe the UK as a whole is that we suffer from underlying lack of confidence that we tell ourselves is “modesty”. It’s as if there’s a reflex against doing anything visionary with public spaces in case it’s perceived as ostentatious or flashy. As a result, everything is done piecemeal and on the cheap. Even when things do get redeveloped (for example, around Pool Meadow bus station) it is still has a rather dour, downtrodden atmosphere.

    I was recently in Stuttgart and anyone who’s been there will know that it shares some common features with Cov (a medieval city that grew big on car manufacturing, extensive pedestrianized shopping, etc). But the “citizen’s experience” of walking around Stuttgart is quite different. It is coherent, uplifting and has what I call “magnificence”. There’s very little magnificence to be had in Coventry. A few nice views of a spire or two, but that’s about your lot.

    I don’t dislike Coventry now as much as when I lived there, but I would love to love it more. It still could happen.

    24 Jun 2007, 23:01

  64. I lived in Stuttgart for five years and know you can’t compare Coventry with Stuttgart. Birmingham might be compared with Stuttgart, in terms of size (although Stuttgart has more political importance – it’s capital of one of the ten or so regions that Germany is divided into).

    One thing that does stand out in comparing British cities with those in Germany (or Benelux) is that it’s a bit of a sprawl. Still there are aspirations at the top of Coventry City council to quadruple the number of jobs within the city centre.

    This might reverse some of the sad effects caused by 50/60’s planning. More people means more demand for entertainment. Hopefully the “work in Coventry live in leafy Warwickshire” ethos can be kept at bay, so people won’t stay at home in front of the TV /computer every night.

    Oh yea, talking of class, improving the cultural image of a city is a totally different issue to altering the social divide. Glasgow has transformed its image among the chattering classes to become a “city of culture”, but the number of its poor is as great as ever.

    25 Jun 2007, 10:07

  65. Pam Talbot

    What an interesting discussion! I couldn’t help smiling as I read all your comments. How amazing in this day and age that young people are such snobs about cities and towns – I thought this kind of thing was reserved for old fogies like me. I was born in Coventry in 1951 when the foundations of the new Cathedral were being laid and they were burying the ration books under the pheonix in the City Centre. As all you well educated young people will surely know The Pheonix is the symbol of the City of Coventry which rose (like the bird) from the ashes of WW11. My mother was born on Lady’s Godiva’s land near Holy Trinity Church and her family are descended from the Ribbon Weavers who flocked to the town during the Industrial Revolution. My childhood was spent mainly in the Memorial Park and I can remember when the German Garden was planted to say sorry to the people of Coventry after the war. I went to Whitley Abbey Comprehensive School and left in 1967 with 6 GCE’s. When this school was first built it was considered remarkable boasting one of the largest and most well equiped Science Labs in the Country. Sadly that is now not the case. The Locarno Ballroom and the Round Cafe in the city centre were the places to be seen in the swinging 60’s and the architecture was considered daring and innovative (although I’m not a fan) Most of the pubs had live bands on a Saturday night and The Leofric Cocktail Bar and Sunday Night Jazz Club were always packed out. In 1969 I moved to Wimbeldon in South London and since then have lived in Wandsworth, Clapham, Putney, Enfield, Barnet, Hatfield, Plymouth and Hertfordshire. I will be moving back to Coventry shortly and many of my friends can’t for the life of them understand why. They think it’s very “small town” and because it’s in the Midlands must be “rough” and as the old saying goes many haven’t ventured past Watford Gap. But they are quite old by your standards!! I have met people from the East End that think Coventry is a dump but love their own stinking streets!! All of our Cities and Towns are the backdrop of people’s lives going back centuries – their hopes, dreams, toils and heartbreaks. There is a wealth of magic every where we go if only we dig deeper – don’t get hung up on post code snobbery it’s so small minded…. Coventry has a fascinating story to tell just like hundreds of other Cities in this Country and I have to say is a lot more interesting than Leamington Spa!!

    08 Jul 2007, 00:00

  66. Mrs. Bucket’s children all go to Warwick you know.

    10 Jul 2007, 11:13

  67. Zara

    wow, to be honest i’m really amazed at how highly people actually think of cov. I’ve never lived in Leamington, only been there a few times and from what i’ve heard it’s a pretty nice place but i can’t realy say.
    I notice all the students talk about living in Earlsdon? I’d say that Earlsdon was one of the nicest areas in coventry, so it doesn’t really surprise me that you think it’s nicer than lem. but what about the other areas in cov? Yea as you all say, everywhere has it’s bad and good places, but it just seems to me that here there’s more bad than good.
    I mean, Hillfields? Would you really want to walk home through there late at night? Even in the day time for that matter.
    Then how about places like Radford? Even the deceptively nice sounding kersley village gets it’s fair share of touble. I know people from most of the areas in cov. and even in the nicer places (allesley for example) have their own ‘gangs’ or something along those lines.
    I don’t think I could name you one of my friends (myself included) that would be living here still if we had the choice. There have been rapes outside places I have been in only hours before, which I guess you would think would worry me? But oddly enough I almost feel used to it now. The many rather dodgey people that you find following you around the city centre, day or night, just feel like normal now. Not really sure if thats a good thing or not?
    To what Jess said about the division with the schools, if by ‘public’ schools you meant the state schools? Then yeah I completely agree, I just got slightly confused as i’ve always known the ‘schools that you have to pay for’ as public/independant schools. But even they ‘hate’ each other as well.
    Good things about Coventry? Hmm, there’s the shopping, which has improved a lot over the last few years, but even still, a 20 minute train to birmingham for a few quid? or moping round in that sorry looking place with about five different shops, each that you’ve been in so much you know the exact layout of it and position of every item of clothing they sell? I know which one I’d choose.
    But, at the end of the day, all of that? Is exactly what Coventry is to half of us, and so i’m going to completely contradict everything i’ve just written and say, however I look at Cov, it’s my home, it always will be, and yea I love it! haha

    19 Nov 2007, 01:15


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