Taking Matters into our own Hands

Back in May in the blog A Few Odd Jobs, Part One, I pointed to the fact that there was a tree growing out of the Volgograd Monument and maybe something should be done about it before the sculpture was irreversibly damaged. I had originally intended this to be part of a series of blogs just pointing to minor things that wouldn’t take to long to sort out. Part Three of the series was going to have been about the need to pressure wash in inside of the window at the Priory Undercroft, which has now been done

You might not be able to get in, but at least you can see in now!

Although the Priory Visitors Centre which relates to the oldest part of the city and its culture was permanently closed in 2019 in the run-up to City of Culture, I thought that people should at least be able to look through the undercroft window! But before I got around to writing the blog, the glass was actually cleaned. Though of course the window fountain next to it was turned off at the same time and hasn’t been turned back on since, but you can’t have everything…..

The state of the Volgograd Monument before we got there.
The state of the Volgograd Monument before we got there.

Anyway, four months later and that tree in the Volgograd Monument has just kept getting bigger and what I thought was a weed on the other side has also turned out to be a tree as well.

Trees growing out of piles of moss on both sides.

It had become clear that the council weren’t going to do anything about it and we were clearly at the point were permanent damage was about to be done, if it hadn’t been done already. So it was time to bring out the ladders, but I’d need a hand.

Getting ready to clean up: Pete Garbett, Joe Rukin & Scott Duffin.

I’d bumped into Scott Duffin a few times over the past few weeks and he’d been talking about cleaning various bits around the city up. What I hadn’t realised is how far he and Pete Garbett from the Visit Historic Coventry Facebook Page had got with this, going so far as to have high-vis jackets on order with the idea of scheduling voluntary work on various places. So the day the jackets arrived, cleaning up the Volgograd Monument became the first task for this group.

Pete and Scott

For me, this was scheduled in my break between walks and Pete couldn’t hang around for very long either, but the difference we made in just what was a spare half hour was massive. I had just wanted to get the trees out, which we did along with a massive stack of moss, but Scott brought various bits to clean it with, and while it was a quick once over and the finished article is far from spotless, the difference we made is massive and well worth the time.

The big tree has been planted, but no I didn’t leave it in my hat!

Although we have probably killed them, because the roots of the trees were indeed going inside the monument (which worries me that we might see plants springing out from inside in the future) I have replanted both trees at home. The idea is that when they have grown up they can find a permanent location, maybe near where they came from, maybe we’ll send them off to Volgograd one day!

The two trees after removal.

Visit Historic Coventry are planning to carry on with various voluntary tidying and cleaning projects, currently planned for Sunday mornings for more information, check their Facebook Group.

Cleaning up the Volgograd Monument in Coventry

Published by Sky Blue City Walks

Guided Walks of Coventry, the UK Capital of Culture 2021

2 thoughts on “Taking Matters into our own Hands

  1. I think people who are as considerate as this are a credit to Coventry. It’s lovely to think that there are people who take action when needed.

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