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The Building of Coventry Cathedral

The building of Coventry Cathedral after the previous incarnation was all but destroyed in a German air raid was one of the "power and glory" contracts that John Laing won in 1956 and one that John Laing felt particularly strongly about1. The John Laing Collection has a number of albums which depict the development from many angles and includes both construction work and more presentational aspects such as the recording of visiting dignitaries and in particular members of the Royal Family. The images for the latter are often taken from newspapers such as the Coventry Evening Telegraph. One such image from the Leicester Evening Mail shows Sir Basil Spence showing Queen Elizabeth II a model of the new Cathedral in the grounds (it is assumed) of the ruins of the old Cathedral.
Basil Spence explaining the site of the new Cathedral to Her Majesty The Queen
Basil Spence explaining the site of the new Cathedral to Her Majesty The Queen
Photograph by Leicester Evening Mail 23rd March, 1956. © Historic England 2018 - The John Laing Collection

The fact that the original tower remained intact (and can still be climbed today) provided a great opportunity for photographers to take oblique images which give a real sense of the shape of the building in a way that is maybe no longer quite so apparent in its completed state.
Coventry Cathedral. View from tower of the Old Cathedral, showing the west wall
August 6th, 1958 © Historic England 2018 - The John Laing Collection No. 53037 

1. Barry, R. (1997).  The Good Builder: The John Laing Story, London: James & James. p130-133

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