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Coventry Has A Fantastic History

     Coventry is a city of 300,800 people in the West midlands. Its location is of interest, as it is 95 miles to the north west of London, and is the furthest city from the coast of any other city in Britain. So out of all city dwellers in Britain, people who live in the city will have to travel further for trips to the nearest sea side resort to enjoy a pleasant day on the coast.

There is a behavioral concept in the United Kingdom which is adopted by people towards someone who has displeased them. This is to "send someone to Coventry", meaning that the person is persistently and totally ignored, and treated as if they simply do not exist. This form of displeasure behavior has probably been displayed by human beings since the dawn of humanity. But the phrase to "send someone to Coventry" is believed to have originated from the time of the English Civil War, when Royalist prisoners were imprisoned in the city. Their needs for food, water, shelter and so on were met, but the prisoners were never spoken to for what they had done during the war, and to get the message across that the good people of Coventry were singularly displeased with the Royalists, prisoners and non prisoners alike.

The workers and industrialist of Coventry have proved to be highly adaptable to the vagaries of commercial enterprise and competition over the centuries. For example, the city became a major centre for the manufacture of clocks and watches during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The city became so successful in making clocks and watches that it ranked alongside the illustrious clockmakers and watchmakers of London and Liverpool. However the pre-eminence of the whole of the United Kingdom in this area of enterprise started to decline during the nineteenth century due to competition from watch and clock makers in Switzerland. Not to be deterred, the skilled workers of the city therefore turned their attention to designing and building bicycles.

As a result of this shift in Coventry from making watches and clocks towards the manufacture of bicycles, the city's skilled and industrious people forged ahead and the area became a key area for bicycle manufacture in the late nineteenth century. Safety was addressed in a most efficient way by the designers of the city. The most prevalent bicycle in the late nineteenth century was the Penny Farthing, so called because it had one very large wheel at the front (the Penny) and another much smaller wheel at the back (the Farthing). Penny Farthings were notoriously unsafe, because of their ungainly design. The Rover Safety Bicycle was introduced to provide a safer alternative for cyclists. This was, as you would expect, a huge success and a great benefit to the public.

The Rover bicycle led to much greater things. The inventors created a company which went on to become the mighty automobile manufacturer, the Rover Group. In the 1950s and 1960s the city of Coventry experienced huge success as a centre of the UK motor industry.

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Posted on 2011-02-01, By: *

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