Upcoming Events

May 2024

Wednesday 29/05

14:00 – 15:30
Visit to St. Barbara's Church

June 2024

Friday 14/06

All Day
CovSoc Visit to Pershore

Saturday 15/06

All Day
Civic Day

Monday 17/06

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

Thursday 20/06

14:30 – 16:00
CovSoc Visit to Warwick University

July 2024

Monday 15/07

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

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

Public Art on Banks in Coventry’s High Street

There is a tendency in all towns and cities for the main Banks and Building Societies to congregate in the High Street. Perhaps it is prestigious to have a High Street address on their letterheads. It’s a shame that Coventry’s High Street is so very short that it gets a bit crowded with different banks jostling for the best position. A few banks have set up in the High Street then moved later to larger and newer space somewhere else in the street. When you walk along the High Street from the Council House, take a look at the honey coloured building of the ‘Halifax’ on the corner of the old Rose and Crown Court.

Halifax BSoc

The Halifax building was originally built by another bank, but which one? You may get a clue if you look hard – over the entrance to the main door you will see a ‘honey bee hive’ carved into the stone work.

Emblem on the Halifax B. Soc

Honey bees have always been associated with industry and collectively working together for the better good of all. Lots of different groups have associated themselves with Bees, especially relating to industrial activities. For example Manchester City Council has Bees in its coat of arms and following the recent terror attacks you may have seen the symbol of the ‘bee’ used as a support for the people of Manchester.

Bees  

Bees

The Worker Bee is one of the best-known symbols of Manchester.

The reason for this ‘bee hive’ on the Halifax building is because it was originally a Lloyds Bank. Lloyds started in Birmingham in 1765. The bank was a powerful force in the growth of local industries in Birmingham and the Midlands. Originally known as Taylor & Lloyds, they took the symbol of the Bee Hive for industry and hard work. Lloyds Bank grew and took over or merged with more than 200 other banks, one being the older Barnetts, Hoares, Hanburys and Lloyds who had started in 1728 in London and their symbol had been a black horse, so when Lloyds of Coventry had a new building built in the High Street on the corner of Greyfriers Lane, they had the Lloyds horse carved over the main entrance.

Sculpture on Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank

Not much is known about who did the carvings. The new building was designed by architects Buckland and Haywood of Birmingham and was completed in 1932. The large arched opening, which encloses the main doorway, has the black horse symbol carved in high relief like a coat of arms. It has supporting seated male figures, one holding a large bunch of keys, showing security, and the other figure has a model of a ship showing that Lloyds is one of the biggest shipbrokers. Both figures hold on to the swag, which contains laurels, flowers and fruits. The figures are carved in an Art Deco block-like form, a neo-classicist style which was very fashionable during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The architects Buckland and Haywood did many impressive building in Birmingham, including Baskerville House 1938, a Grade II listed building in the Art Deco architectural style. Its more then likely the builders and craftsman worked on both building.

Baskerville House

Baskerville House, Centenary Square, Birmingham.

Other Banks have moved in the High Street. For example Barclays Bank used to be on the other side of the street but relocated to the site that used to be the Craven Arms Public House. Their original building is now the Yorkshire Bank.

The original site of Barclays Bank in High Street

The original site of Barclays Bank in High Street

The Yorkshire Bank was originally Barclay’s.

Demolition of the Craven Arms PH

The old Craven Arms Public House being taken down for the new Barclay’s Bank building.

Lloyed Bank note

It’s interesting that the Bee Hive was used to show industrial traits and Lloyds Bank had used the Bee Hive on their Bank notes. Some of the staff of Lloyds were not too happy about the change from ‘Bee hive’ to the ‘black horse’ as shown in this cartoon in a staff newsletter of the time.

Beehive and black horse cartoon

It was only by chance that the lovely carved bee hive was not chipped off the old Lloyds building and it now makes a wonderful decoration to the building.

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