Old Images of Coventry, West Midlands

Categorised as West Midlands
Coventry old photos & film local history west midlands

Famous for its Lady Godiva statue and clock, and the bombed out remains of St Michael’s Cathedral, the West Midlands city of Coventry was an important centre of industry in postwar Britain.

“A Time Tour Of Coventry!”

James Fox produces amazing videos where a photo from the modern era is transformed to the same location many decades ago. He also carefully labels the location and the date of each image, with credits to the copyright owner. You’ll enjoy the sound and special effects he’s added to these past views of the city too.

Posted to YouTube by James Fox


A wide range of old photos and pictures, showing the city before war brought about so much destruction and change.

Posted to YouTube by savvageorge

The Tragedy Of Coventry (1940)

British Pathé filmed the mass burial held for 172 people who died during a German Air Raid. Hundreds of relatives and locals filed along the row of coffins, each covered with a British flag. Several people are overtaken by grief as they stop to lay a wreath.

Posted to YouTube by British Pathé


In 1956 Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh came to the city to lay the foundation stone for the new cathedral. There’s a glimpse of her father, King George VI, standing on the same spot 16 years earlier, when the cathedral ruins were still covered in debris.

Posted to YouTube by British Pathé

“I declare this stone well and truly laid”.

Cheering from the hundreds of people present.

“Hometown – Coventry (1959)”

Opening with the bombed out remains of the Cathedral, we are introduced to this ‘city with a modern heart’. Hotel Leofric stands in the centre with the other postwar buildings.

Posted to YouTube by British Pathé

“We are also reminded that Coventry today is an important link in the chain of british industry, and the city looks forward with confidence knowing that its contribution to Britain, in the future, will be as great as it has been in the past”

British Pathé, 1959

The Standard Motor Company Ltd site now appears. It was the largest industrial employer of labour in the city. More than 13,000 men and women worked in the three main factories when this film was made. Standard cars, Triumph cars and Ferguson tractors were exported in huge numbers to 116 countries in 1958, earning £33 million in foreign currency.

“New Way Of Parking – Coventry (1961)”

Posted to YouTube by British Pathé

Black and white silent film of the new city centre car park, including scenes of construction. Hundreds of people walking about, though it’s quiet enough to look at each person. Some close ups of individuals too. There’s also the occasional glimpse of a shop name.

“Coventry City highlights 1965”

Ian was the little boy seen at the start of this home movie made by his dad in 1965. Includes many well known locations, and a few pedestrians.

Posted to YouTube by Ian McDowall


A great compilation of old photos of the city in the 1970s and 1980s. Very helpful titles on each picture, so you know the location. Good soundtrack too.

Posted to YouTube by CovOnTheBox 2

“Coventry in the 1970’s and 80’s part two”

Posted to YouTube by Covonthebox

“Nostalgic Pictures of Hillfields, Coventry 1960s & 1970s”

Posted to YouTube by CoventryLive

A collection of balck and white photos capturing the city in a process of dramatic change. Some of these images have dates added too, which highlights how long residents lived with the mess, noise and chaos of the redevelopment projects.


Posted to YouTube by Peter Russell Videos

This home video was recorded back in 1990. Peter Russell was driven around the local streets by his parents as he held the camera to record the 25 minute journey. He’s labelled each location too.

Footage includes the site of the Standard Triumph Motor Company at Fletchamstead South Gate, with the original buildings still standing. The Matrix Machine Tool Company is across the road.


Posted to YouTube by DaveSpencer32

Lots of pedestrians walking along the city centre streets, with passengers alighting from buses. See anyone you know?

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