Stunning images show pre-war Coventry from above

By Matthew Bates 25/06 Updated: 27/06 17:04

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How Coventry looked from the skies in the 1920s.

A THRIVING city centre, huge factories and dozens of sports pitches - these aerial photos show just how Coventry looked before the Second World War.

The photos, taken in the 1920s, shine a new light on the city and make up part of one of the earliest and most significant collections of aerial photography in the UK.

A new website, launched today by English Heritage, mean more than 15,000 stunning images are freely available to the public for the first time.

Photos on the site date between 1919 and 1953, with many close to being lost forever. Users can download images, add information to the website and identity the locations of 'mystery' images which have left even the experts stumped.

The shots of Coventry show its famous car factories, the Whitley Aerodrome, sports pitches in Butts Road - the home of Coventry Rugby Club - and the city centre.

Anna Eavis, head of archive at English Heritage, said: "The Aerofilms Collection embodies all that is exciting about aerial photography.

"What is equally remarkable is the skill of the expert staff in England, Scotland and Wales who have saved and conserved these vulnerable negatives and prints and converted them into the high resolution images you see on screen today.

"We are pleased the items have been given safe, long term homes, and that each of the organisations involved has been enriched immensely by their addition."

Visit www.britainfromabove.org.uk for more images of Coventry and the UK.

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Sports pitches and courts off Second Avenue in Stoke, taken in 1926.

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This image, taken in 1920, shows Coventry Train Station and the surrounding area.

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Buy photos» Whitley Aerodrome is surrounded by Coventry's countryside in 1920.

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Crampers Field in Radford.

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Hillman motor car factory, 1928.

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The Butts sports ground, 1920.

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Sports pitches at Butts Road in 1927.

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