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 https://therainbows2.bandcamp.com/album/odd-sock


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: earlsdonfest@gmail.com


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.

Rochester Road Development

Residents of Rochester Road have contacted ECHO about an outline planning application (ref: OUT/2021/3710) for 4 new homes on a small patch of land on the bottom of their road. Their concern is that the new owners have cleared the land, other than the trees with a temporary preservation order, and they feel it is an important wildlife corridor between the allotments and Canley Ford, and that it has already been damaged and would be destroyed if houses were built there.

They also note that it is a very small area for four houses and right next to the brook.
There are badgers, hedgehogs, bats and foxes in the area. The residents believe it is not an appropriate site for housing development, and that is presumably the reason it was left as green space when the Woodfield Road estate was built.

The deadline for objections is quite soon – Friday 4 February.

For details of the application, see the weblink:

http://planningCoventry City Council: Planning Application Details


Do you like singing in a choir? Would you like to have fun and meet new people? Are you looking for a new challenge in 2022?

HER DAY are looking for female singers of all different musical backgrounds from across Coventry and Warwickshire. They invite you to join the chorus as part of their new opera which will premiere in Coventry in March 2022 as part of Coventry UK City of Culture.

This a unique opportunity to take part in the premiere production of an exciting new female-led opera by Sayan Kent and Vanessa Oakes. You will be singing with Chorus Director Mariana Rosas (Colla Voce Chamber Choir and Birmingham City Council Choir), Musical Director Berrak Dyer (English Touring Opera, Opera Holland Park and Welsh National Opera), and Director Lucy Bradley (Royal Opera House, OperaUpClose and Glyndebourne).

The chorus will rehearse in Coventry twice weekly on Fridays 6 pm – 8 pm and Saturdays 2 pm – 4 pm & 10 am – 12 noon (PM & AM on alternate weeks) from Friday 21st January 2022. For the full list of dates/times visit:

Evening performances of the opera will take place in Coventry on 7th (public dress), 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th March 2022, plus an afternoon matinee on Saturday 12th March.

To sign up for the chorus email Lisa Franklin, community engagement producer at: herdayopera@gmail.com, who will be in touch with you to confirm your place. If you do have any questions about the rehearsal dates or you would like an informal chat before signing up for the chorus, please contact Lisa. You can also call her on 07729 689850. Likewise, if you have access requirements, please contact Lisa to discuss how they can make the chorus as accessible and enjoyable as possible for you.

For more information about HER DAY visit: