Upcoming Events

July 2024

Thursday 18/07

14:00 – 16:00
CovSoc Visit to Maxstoke Castle tbc

August 2024

Friday 02/08

09:00 – 11:00
Visit to Finham Sewage Works
Finham Sewage Works

Thursday 08/08

14:00 – 16:00
CovSoc Visit to Sherbourne Valley Project

Monday 19/08

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting
Recurs monthly

September 2024

Sunday 15/09

All Day
HOD at Draper's Hall

Wednesday 18/09

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting

Monday 23/09

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting

October 2024

Wednesday 09/10

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting
Recurs monthly

Monday 14/10

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting

Saturday 19/10

All Day
Heritage Conference

November 2024

Wednesday 06/11Friday 08/11

Feister gathering

Wednesday 13/11

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting
Recurs monthly

Monday 18/11

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting
Recurs monthly

December 2024

Wednesday 11/12

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting
Recurs monthly

Monday 16/12

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting
Recurs monthly

January 2025

Wednesday 08/01

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting
Recurs monthly

Monday 20/01

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting
Recurs monthly

February 2025

Wednesday 12/02

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting
Recurs monthly

Monday 17/02

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting
Recurs monthly

March 2025

Wednesday 12/03

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting
Recurs monthly

Monday 17/03

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting
Recurs monthly

April 2025

Wednesday 09/04

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc AGM

Monday 14/04

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting

May 2025

Wednesday 14/05

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting
Recurs monthly

Monday 19/05

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting
Recurs monthly

June 2025

Wednesday 11/06

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting
Recurs monthly

Monday 16/06

19:00 – 21:00
Coventry Society Committee Meeting
Recurs monthly

July 2025

Wednesday 09/07

19:30 – 21:30
CovSoc Meeting
Recurs monthly

Coventry Jewish Watchmakers

For 150 years Coventry was the cynosure of British watchmaking. From the 1850’s, as the city’s watchmaking renown became world-wide, skilled immigrant Jewish watchmakers, from Bavaria and Prussia, added to the city’s expertise and made a remarkable contribution to its Jewish community.

The book “Hidden Histories – Coventry Jewish Watchmakers” brings together the story of a profession and the development of the city’s Jewish community from the 1850’s to the 1920’s. Its author, Mark Johnson, has produced a remarkable piece of work based on meticulous research, which unearths forgotten family stories, intertwined family trees and illustrates where the families lived and worked.  Exceptionally, is its discovery of the link to the Coventry Synagogue – not only were the immigrant Jewish watchmakers instrumental in the building of the synagogue in 1870 but they also provided the first five presidents of the Coventry Hebrew congregation. Their names may now be forgotten but Mark Johnson honours  their enormous  significance in late nineteenth century Coventry: Cohen, Fridlander, Silveston, Radges and Baum.

This fascinating book is eminently readable. It opens a window on a previously under-researched part of the city’s Jewish community and of the city’s watchmaking industry. As Peter Walters, chair of the Coventry Society, notes “Mark Johnsons forensic and beautifully illustrated study of Coventry’s Jewish watchmakers and their families is an important contribution to understanding the pre-industrial city’s most important trade. It is also a powerful testimony to the benefits of migration, which has always shaped Coventry’s story”.

Mark Johnson gave a teasing insight into his remarkable book at the Society’s Heritage Conference on 28 October.  There is also an exhibition at the Herbert Gallery.

Hidden Histories -Coventry Jewish Watchmakers is available from the Herbert Gallery or Amazon for £11.99

Trevor Cornfoot – November 2023