On Wednesday 11 May at 7.30pm, the Albany Club will be hosting the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz, supporting local charity Pass the Smile for Ben, which raises funds for research into rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue cancer, and for supportive care.

The fee will be £10 for a team of up to 4 people, payable on the night. To register your interest, or for more information, please email: before 4 May and then go along to enjoy a fun evening.

As well as the quiz, there will be other activities, including a bottle raffle, for which contributions would be welcomed.

You can find more information about the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz at:

Councillor’s Black Horse Heritage Proposal

Cllr Bally Singh has setup the following petition to try and preserve the legacy of the Black Horse pub for the future. It accepts that demolition is preferable to a driving charge, but aims to restore some of the former pub building for an alternative use at another location.

Please sign here if you support –

“We the undersigned petition the Council to recognise that whilst we support the Council’s clean air proposals to avoid a government imposed £12.50 driving charge in the city; we also want to preserve the legacy of the former Black Horse pub (currently apartments planned for demolition), so ask that the Council consider restoring the main heritage of the building for an alternative use linked to our city’s arts and culture offering.”

Cllr Singh suggest that alternative uses to preserve the legacy of the Black Horse pub could be:
– A mock pub art exhibition in the style of the 2021 Turner Prize winning Array collective, shown at Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery. The re-imagined Black Horse pub would address social and political issues that have impacted Coventry throughout its magnificent history
– A digital and physical record of the Black Horse pub displayed in the Local Collections exhibits at the future Coventry ‘IKEA building’ museum, including oral, pictorial, sound, and physical pieces.
– A restored working pub set during the historically important Watchmaking era of the city.

The restored pub could be situated in an alternative location such as the Canal Basin, and would function as a popular leisure attraction serving real local ale and beers as well as traditional pub food including fish and chips!

Festival of Hope Event Cancelled

The Festival of Hope event ‘Strictly Hopeful Dancing’, due to take place from 7-9pm on Saturday 12 March at Hearsall Baptist Church Hall, has unfortunately had to be postponed.

We will advise if and when the event is rescheduled.


Local musician Christopher Sidwell is singing original songs about Spon End in a pavement performance in the company of Sponnie the Fish and 50 sea creature creations, outside Moira’s Wet Fish Shop, on the weekend of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March, between 11am and 3pm.

Moira’s Wet Fish Shop is a well known shop front on Upper Spon Street, Spon End. It is now the home of the organisation Grapevine, but the original shop front sign remains. Fish and other creatures of the sea, including Gary the Crab, a squid, angler fish, oddments of the deep, a seahorse, shark and mini-shoals, will form the backdrop in the pink sea window, to songs sung by Christopher Sidwell with his guitar.

Singer songwriter Christopher says, “You can join in with maracas, or shakers or with the chorus if you like. It’s light-hearted and informal. You can drop by anytime between 11am and 3pm.” The songs are all original and all about Spon End and Moira’s Wet Fish Shop.

The sea creatures in the window are made from all sorts. Brian Dickinson created one from stained glass, others are made of card and paper or plastic bottles and googly eyes.

‘Moira’s Magical Fish Making’ workshops were held at Coventry Central Library on two Saturday afternoons in February by Christopher Sidwell and Mary Courtney. The Creative Kindness group contributed a lovely colourful shoal.

Christopher Sidwell says, “To see the creations of people of all ages, cultures and walks of life together in one window is heart warming. It feels very Coventry. Moira’s Wet Fish Shop is as near we can get to a trip to the seaside here in Coventry.”

See the work of over 50 local artists from mixed cultures, abilities and ages – the youngest a 2-year-old, and the eldest over 80.

Learn a little about local businesswoman Moira Holt, the Moira of Moira’s Wet Fish Shop, and the local history of this fascinating area of Spon End just outside the Coventry ring-road.

Black Swan Terrace (where the shop is located in Spon End) is one of the oldest areas in Coventry and predates Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas.
Meet ‘Sponnie’ the amazing one-metre fish with pink fingernails and see the history of Spon End represented in its tiles from the subway, its gears and cogs from the cycle makers and watchmakers, and its beautiful black fin-wing feathers from the former Black Swan Pub.

Sponnie will be accompanying Christopher Sidwell in a Silver Cross pram. Sponnie was created by Mary Courtney, Marie Sindel and Jack Shuttleworth from Fablab, and Christopher Sidwell. He made a popular appearance a few years ago and he is coming home .

Mary Courtney says, “Sponnie has dusted off his fins and redone his fingernails after lockdown. He’s ready to say hello and keep Christopher company”.
You can also design/draw some fish /sea creatures for yourself on the day.

Original songs about Spon End and Moira’s Wet Fish Shop will be performed on the hour for around 15 minutes between 11am and 3pm: 11am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm.

‘Moira’s Wet Fish Shop’ and ‘Odd Sock’ are taken from the Opera about Spon End called, ‘Odd Sock’, by Christopher Sidwell


Planning has begun for the Earlsdon Festival this year and, all being well, it will take place on Monday 2nd May.

The festival team are now accepting applications for stalls on Earlsdon Street (£50 each), the Earlsdon Primary School playground (£25 each), and food pitches on Earlsdon Street (£150 each).
If you would like to apply please click on the link below, which will take you to an online application form.

Please be aware that, if applying for a stall in the playground, you will need to provide your own stall/table and it’s also advisable to bring a gazebo to protect you and your products from the weather (come rain or shine).

If required food pitches will need to provide their own power and generators will need to be whisper generators to reduce the noise – please consider this before applying.

The closing date for applications is 19th February and the organisers plan to inform successful applicants no later than 27th February.

If you have any questions please email:


A planning application has been submitted to demolish the 18th century former Black Horse pub at 73 Spon End.

This was submitted just too late for inclusion in the February issue of ECHO and is only open for public consultation up to 17 February with a decision expected by 10 March.

This relates to the plan to widen Spon End to create a second citybound lane, as reported in ECHO over several months going back to last summer.

The Planning application can be seen at:

Also shown below is a scan of a letter to residents advising them of work starting in Spon End next week. This confirms what we reported in the February issue of ECHO about work starting shortly, irrespective of the stated intention of taking on board the as yet unpublished results of the public consultation on the whole widening scheme which ended in mid-December.