LETTERS: Bring George Eliot home, student housing and Baginton air show - The Coventry Observer

17th Aug, 2022

LETTERS: Bring George Eliot home, student housing and Baginton air show


Further to the articles in the Coventry Observer entitled ‘Bring George Eliot Home’.

I have watched this campaign with great interest and fully support anything we can do to bring Bird Grove House back into use as a possible tourism destination.

George Eliot was indeed one of our greatest writers and someone who has such a strong connection to our city.

Many of her books were influenced by her life here, including both Middlemarch with various elements of Coventry and Adam Bede which includes a description of St Mary’s Guildhall in one of the chapters.

Yet we do so little to promote that, making it such a lost opportunity. For too long we have ignored her links to Coventry and its about time we got our act together. A few years ago there used to be a George Trail around the city centre, even that has now been forgotten. As a city lets all get behind the effort to make her part of our tourism offer and show hoe proud we of of such a connection. .

Roger Bailey

Blue Badge Tourist Guide

Cheylesmore Ward Councillor

Surely not another 2 blocks to blight OUR city, does the council ever note what the citizens of Coventry want?

Or don’t they care, just the grandiose scene from the new waste of money Friargate eyesore block soon to be two!

It would not be so bad if for every student flat built one of the multiple occupied houses was returned back to Coventry citizen dwellings, thereby easing the housing shortage, and also gaining revenue from community charges, which they are not getting as it stands.

Its not a case of getting 800 more students in Coventry, it’s swamped as it is.

Try getting up Gosford Street! As i said, Enough is Enough!

Kenneth J Clarke

St Ives Road



When I was a boy in the 1950’s my parents took me each year to a spectacular air Show at Baginton which included foreign Air Force display teams from The USAF and France along with the Kings Cup Air Races.

In those pre Red Arrows days the RAF were the Black Arrows in Hawker Hunter jets. A few years later when I was a young man in the 1960’s my first flight there was a pleasure flight in a veteran De Havilland Rapide bi plane. I later flew in the popular Vickers Viscount turbo prop to Rotterdam and Jersey. My latest and last flight was in a Thomsonfly Boeing 737 to Nice a few years ago.

Throughout these years I supported Coventry Airport in its battles with protesters and am sad to have heard that not only have pleasure flights ended but that its instrument landing system has closed,air traffic control reduced, a flying school has closed, private planes are being transferred to Wellesbourne and there have been redundancies.

My only consolation is that for decades the city council and chamber of commerce have supported the airport and that the council would have to agree to any change of use at the airport.

I hope the council and the Coventry Airport Consultative Committee of the Chamber are preparing their cases for continuing to support the airport.

Barry Greener

Green Lane


I am pleased to hear that our Ambassador, Anne Wafula-Strike MBE, finally has some financial redress, almost a year on from the embarrassment and indignity endured when forced to wet herself on a train. Whilst a financial settlement is welcomed, rail companies and all organisations and venues must use this disgraceful episode as a catalyst for massive change.

It is alarming to read that over 50 per cent of disabled passengers who use rail services are not even aware that assisted travel service is available, and not all trains yet have basic facilities to enable the disabled to use the toilet. In our own YouGov research last year, 72 per cent of the population were concerned that many of the UK’s top tourist attractions do not come up to scratch on general disability access.

Anne’s experience represented a failure to make ‘reasonable adjustment’, to take care of her individual needs. I know Anne personally, and I know she has been energetic in driving this campaign for the benefit of the millions of other people in the UK affected by poor accessibility and a lack of disabled facilities. The government and the train companies have thankfully responded positively to Anne’s demands for action, and a public consultation is now complete. That is a great achievement of Anne’s and she should be applauded for this real success. We watch with keen interest to see how the government’s findings are implemented and monitored next year.

Ted Hill MBE

CEO, The British Polio Fellowship www.britishpolio.org.uk

I wanted to appeal to your readers to ask them for their used stamps this Christmas and donate them to Kidney Care UK to help us raise much needed funds for kidney patients.

Every Christmas more than 1 billion cards are sent in the UK and for every 1kg of used stamps donated we can raise as much as £20 to help people with chronic kidney disease. There are 64,000 people being treated for kidney failure in the UK right now and 342 people are currently waiting for a transplant in the West Midlands. Your support will help us to provide practical, financial and emotional support for kidney patients and their families when they need it most; we believe no-one should face kidney disease alone, and especially to hold on to not at Christmas.

You can read and download our step by step guide to collecting and donating used stamps at www.kidneycareuk.org. Finally, we hope all of your readers have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year,

Paddy Tabor MVO

Chief Executive, Kidney Care UK

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