Pete Murray Takes You to Coventry

Registered: 23rd August 1983
Duration: 18 minutes
Feet: 1620 feet
Board of Trade Certificate number: ​BR/E41556/27/8/88
Produced for: United Artists Corporation
Production Company: Harold Baim Film Productions

More Film Stills: ​at baimfilms.com (opens in new window)
Stream Online: at vimeo (password required)

The last of the "Quota Quickie" films made by Harold Baim were a trio voiced by Pete Murray; Pete Murray Takes you to Coventry, Hastings and Nottingham. They were the last to receive financial support given to British film makers who produced supporting features for distributors of imported films. The system was abolished under Margaret Thatcher's first government which ended the requirement which started in the 1927 Cinematograph Act. 

Title and Credits:
Pete Murray Take You to Coventry

Photography:  Bob Hunter
Assistant: Steve Murray
Editor: George Shepherd
Music by: ​De Wolfe
Recordists:​  Derek McColm,  Trevor Barber
Written and Directed by: Harold Baim


One motorway looks much like another. This one leads to a place known as the caring City. Surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful countryside, interesting towns and villages are within easy reach.

60,000 aircraft movements a year are handled at the city's airport. Executive jets and intercontinental traffic is the order of every day.

You can approach Coventry by bus along the two mile tree lined Kenilworth Road. You can approach in one of the thousands of Jaguar sports coupes produced here each year. And if you look out of the car window, this is what you see. This machine can take you from 0 to 60 miles an hour in 6.5 seconds flat.

You can approach by canal. It's easy on the nerves.

Fast, Intercity trains will get you here.

The Kingdom of Mercia has been immortalized like this.

Leofric and Godiva were husband and wife. Businesses are labelled his and hers. The owner isn't a man of letters.

Before its devastation in the Second World War, Coventry looked like this. When the bombers were through with it, the red on this map indicates how most of it was obliterated.

In 1980, the local newspaper published a commemorative 40-years-on issue. November 14th, 1940 - Persistent bombing hadn't been experienced. Ground fire and defence were ineffectual. 11 hours of shattering bombardment rocked the city and practically reduced it to rubble.


Coventry was once a city of walls and gates. Charles II's men knocked them down to avenge his father's inability to enter with his armies. Only the relics remain.

The past is restored and cherished. Ford's hospital, founded over 470 years ago, today is a haven for the elderly.

At Saint John's Church, once a Cromwellian prison, the saying “sent to Coventry” originated. The inmates were avoided. Hence the saying.

In the 16th century, Bond's hospital was endowed as a school for the underprivileged. The Black Prince owned Charles Moore Manor, now beautifully restored and preserved. Conservation orders protect the buildings in Spon Street, the old watchmakers quarter. The area is a living museum and a vital part of the city's past. The present does its own thing at the end of the street.

The Medieval Guild Hall of Saint Mary is over 600 years old. King Henry VII was here in the 1500s. So was this tapestry.

Coventry City is built on coal. Eight miles away at the 22-mile-long coal field of Dawn Mill, 1200 miners wrench a million tons of black gold from the ground every year.

Many years ago, people lived on the ground floor, slept on the next floor, worked on the upper floor. The buildings became known as top shops.

Coventry is Detroit's counterpart. Here's a record of a meeting of the old Daimler company. In the days of that minute book, a young lady dressed like this and rode in cars like these.

The Museum of British Transport houses, one of the finest collections of how they used to get about.

Field marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein rode in this. Rolls-Royce, of course, are here, and at Carbodies you can always get a taxi. They turn out some 2000 of them every year.

Tractor training is the name of the game at Massey Ferguson. Electronics giant GEC have a home here, too.

Every Saturday, spectacular speedway gives a kick to the 10,000 spectators. The 350 metre track is the scene of the British final of the World Speedway Championship.

Speed is a thing of the past for the aeronautical hardware at the Midland Air Museum, which houses 60 years of civil and military aircraft.

Another museum is the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, a home for the paintings of Lowry, Turner and Constable. 1965 saw the opening of the University of Warwick, where 5000 students take their pick of 100 honours degree courses. And 1974 saw the opening of the university's art centre. The campus attractions are numerous and varied.

Arts, science and social studies are just some of the university's faculties. Coventry and Rugby merged three colleges. This resulted in 28 academic departments, 540 teaching staff and 6000 students at the Coventry, Lanchester Polytechnic.

Talk about contrasts. A view from a bridge on the road to Banbury gives Warwick Castle a new look. The castle is 14th century, it overlooks the River Avon, has two 600-year-old towers and magnificent gardens.

If the castle at Kenilworth had a guest list, it would read; Elizabeth I, Henry II. Edward II, John of Court, The Earl of Leicester, to name just a few.

High Street Kenilworth as it is today. They do say that Leofric would stop his tyranny over the people if his wife could diver rode naked through the town. She did, and is immortalized by the statue in Broadgate against the background of the spires of Holy Trinity and the cathedral. Every hour on the hour, Godiva rides again and the legendary Peeping Tom gets an eyeful at the same time.

Bombs cut out Coventry's heart. A heart replaced today by magnificent shopping precincts. Mosaic pavements, flowers and fountains, focal points and meeting places for the citizens of this England's most central city.

If there's no room anywhere else, there's always the roof of the market.

What can you say about a food market? Except here the choice is so vast, they come from miles around the shop.

And if you really need a bigger chessboard than the one at home…

This man is an international name on the cocktail circuit. He has a wall full of diplomas at the Leofric Hotel. This is his domain, and if he serves you just three of these, they'll make you so thirsty you'll have to step into the other bar and quench it. There's always milk. Milk? The beverage knows no frontiers. Coventry was one of the stops on the Brighton to Blackpool Milk race route.

The city of Coventry Corps of Drums send them on their way. There's a gruelling and sometimes heart-breaking road ahead.

A big wheel in the invention and promotion of the bicycle was a man called James Starley, whose effigy stands in Greyfriars Green.

Families and friends watch as the police attend their passing out parade, an annual event. The Chief Constable of the West Midlands takes the salute and reviews them.

Rugby has been played here since 1885. Chairman of Coventry City is Jimmy Hill. They're called The Sky Blues. After dark is a time to look forward to.

The Belgrade Theatre was opened in 1958 by the Duchess of Kent. It was the first civic theatre to be built after the war, with a reputation second to none. Its 900 seats. Restaurant bars are in constant demand.

Riders, whose ages ranged between 17 and 21, participate in a young Instructor of the Year course. The British Equestrian Centre is a couple of miles from Coventry. It's owned by the British Horse Society.

The city's golf course is the place for you if you feel up to par. And, to get rid of that surplus energy, there's one of England's largest sports centres, where you can indulge in swimming, basketball, squash, shooting, archery, badminton, indoor bowls…

A two and a quarter mile long dual carriageway ring road crossed by nine intersections. encircles the city. Look right. Look left. Contrasts are everywhere.

This building is in the shape of an elephant, Coventry's symbol. Multi-level junctions and elevated roadways link the sides of the ring road.

For something more tranquil, there's Priory Road beside Holy Trinity Church. Adjacent is the 57 foot high replica of the original 16th century Coventry Cross.

Holy Trinity, founded over 600 years ago, is the parish church. The original spire was blown down 320 years ago. The replacement is 237 foot high.

The destruction of Coventry Cathedral was a tragedy. Sculptures on the wall of the new cathedral symbolise good over evil.

Sir Basil Spence was the architect of the new building. To visit it is an experience. Let's go in. On the Eastern wall is a tapestry designed by Graham Sutherland. The nave window practically takes your breath away. Private prayers can be offered in the Chapel of Gethsemane.

In alternating vertical slabs of wall, the windows are set at angles and focus light onto the high altar.

In the apse of the old cathedral, there's an altar made of broken stones from its destruction. On a stone behind the altar is an inscription: “Father, Forgive”.

In a designated area, after the end of the war, a stone was laid which bore the message “A phoenix risen from the ashes”. It was a hope for the future of the city. The hope was realized. For me, as I look at the spires of Holy Trinity, Christ Church, and the cathedral where they can send me to Coventry any time.

[Screen title]

The End

(c) Harold Baim Film Productions, London, England


Time Code Original Track Title Composer Publisher LP Track No.
10:00:35 - 10:02:56 Windsurfing K.Jenkins de Wolfe Ltd DWSLP 3427 B1
10:02:57 - 10:06:00 State Affair S.Park de Wolfe Ltd DWSLP 3298 A1
10:06:01 - 10:07:54 Heavy Breathing F.McDonald/C.Rae de Wolfe Ltd DWSLP 3435 B2
10:07:55 - 10:08:55 Coffee Country R.Webb de Wolfe Ltd DWSLP 3312 A7
10:08:55 - 10:10:16 Windsurfing K.Jenkins de Wolfe Ltd DWSLP 3427 B1
10:10:16 - 10:11:46 Disco Strings N.Hess de Wolfe Ltd DWSLP 3454 B2
10:11:46 - 10:12:56 Location recording
10:13:00 - 10:14:20 Men Of Steel J.Howe de Wolfe Ltd DWSLP3377 A1
10:14:40 - 10:15:08 Rhapsody In Romance R.Webb de Wolfe Ltd DWLP 3294  B3
10:15:09 - 10:17:18 Prelude & Fugue S.Park de Wolfe Ltd DWLP 3177 A3
10:17:25 - 10:17:53 Royal Silver N.Hess de Wolfe Ltd DWSLP 3454 B1

All music should be cleared with 

De Wolfe Music 
Queen’s House 
180-182 Tottenham Court Road