MAR 00] COVENTRY CATHEDRAL NEWS
Queens Visits Coventry
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Coventry today, for the
Home Front Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication in the new Cathedral.
AND THE MAYOR
CLLR JOAN WRIGHT
[video capture - 3 March 2000]
The Queen travelled by train and was met at Coventry
Station by the Duke of Edinburgh, who had flown into Baginton Airport.
Crowds lined the route along Little Park Street and Earl
Street as the Royal Party made their way to the City's Herbert Art Gallery and Museum,
where they opened the new exhibition 'Go To It! Life on the Home Front during World War
Among the many onlookers to whom the occasion brought back
poignant memories was Mary and Alan Robbins, who now live in Leamington. During the war,
Mary lived in Conduit Street, in the Spon Street area, now covered by the SkyDome complex.
Although her house survived the wide-spread damage in that area, she vividly recalls the
ferocity of the continual nightly attacks and the attempts to find safety in the shelter
located in the GEC building.
After leaving the exhibition at midday, the Royal Party was
driven the short distance to the Council House, where they were welcomed by the Lord
Mayor, Cllr Joan Wright.
The Queen, looking relaxed and elegant in a deep turquoise
and black ensemble, turned and waved to the large crowd.
After lunching at St
Mary's Hall, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh signed the Visitors' Book in the
Hospitality Suite of the Council House, before walking through the Old Cathedral ruins en
route to the service in the new Cathedral. The ruins, packed with spectators, were closed
off early to those who did not have a special pass.
The Queen was escorted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr
George Carey, and by the Bishop of Coventry, Colin Benetts.
Other dignitaries included the Prime
Minister Tony Blair, his wife Cherie, and leader of the opposition William Hague and the
leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy. They received a warm welcome from the
onlooking crowd, which included staff and students from the adjacent Coventry University.
There was a small demonstration from students protesting
about tuition fees.