Coventry Cathedral

We missed the programme about Coventry Cathedral which came out recently, but watched it last night (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m000wvm3/coventry-cathedral-building-for-a-new-britain): a rather fascinating reconstruction from documentary footage of the process which led to the construction of a Brave New Cathedral after the destruction of the original from heavy bombing in the early stages of the war (there was German newsreel footage proudly reporting on it at the time). Basil Spence came out of it well, not least for his great generosity in employing so many significant artists, including Jacob Epstein, in spite of the hostility of the committee overseeing the work, and Graham Sutherland, whose east end tapestry is so remarkable. I remember being taken to see a documentary about the construction of the cathedral in the village hall of Pandy in 1962, the year it was consecrated, and the film brought back all the characteristics of democratic post-war optimism, even including Kenneth Clark.

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