Becky Gittins, who has served as one of Earlsdon’s three Labour councillors since 2019, has announced that she will be standing down this month. Having been selected to run for Parliament in her hometown in North Wales, as well as having recently got married, she has taken this decision in order to ensure that Earlsdon can have three full-time councillors.

Dates for the by-election will be announced by Coventry City Council’s Electoral Services team as soon as possible. By law, any vacancy on the City Council must bfilled within 35 working days of the writ for an election to be held being moved.

Liveable Neighbourhood Consultation

Details of the next stage of the Earlsdon Liveable Neighbourhood pilot scheme consultation, including a public meeting and drop-in sessions starting soon, are available at:

Earlsdon Liveable Neighbourhood Proposals | Let’s Talk Coventry


Our apologies that this article was omitted from the August issue of ECHO.

Prepare in the winter, plant in the spring, tend in the summer and win in the autumn, was what my father taught me when, instead of giving me money for the kid flicks on a snowy Saturday morning in February, he’d usher me down to plot 79. From there he would set off for the local newsagent, telling me that he would bring me back some gob stoppers, which I could have if I’d finished double-digging the bean trench by the time he got back.

So now it’s your chance to win in the autumn, for as we warned in last month’s ECHO, the Show goes on. In those far-off double-digging days the show was set up, run and judged mainly for allotmenteers. But we now live in more liberal times and everyone can enter. The Schedule and the Classes still retain their historical baggage, but there are now some gaps so that all of us can fit in. The Classes are: Vegetables, Herbs, Fruit, Dahlias, Chrysanthemums, Garden Flowers, Pot Plants, Homemade, and Giant Vegetables. In each Class the number of exhibition types varies from 29 down to 1, and altogether total around 80. But have a look for yourself – the Schedule is available to download or examine on the “earlsdongardening.com” site, or can be picked up at any allotment shop, Mooch in Earlsdon Street, or the Library. And so, with history in mind, the Earlsdon Show Committee has decided to push those without an allotment to the fore and award the top Show Prize in the Homemade Class to a cake baker – and the prize is not as you’d expect – a fortnight for 2 in the Seychelles, but, far better, a shiny, brown plastic £10 note, for baking a “Coffee and Walnut Cake Challenge”. Recipe and instructions are as follows:

Sponge Cake
175g/6oz soft margarine
175g/6oz caster sugar
175g/6oz SR flour
3 medium eggs
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 3 tsp boiling water
40g/1½ oz chopped walnuts
115g/4oz softened unsalted butter
225g/8oz sifted icing sugar
3 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 3 tsp boiling water
100g/3½ oz chopped walnuts lightly toasted then cooled
Few walnuts to decorate top

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Fan170/Gas Mark 4. Brush two 20cm/8in Victoria sandwich tins with oil and line the bases with circles of non-stick baking paper. Beat margarine and sugar until soft, gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition. Add a little flour if mixture curdles. Mix flour with baking powder, fold into mixture, add dissolved coffee and chopped nuts and fold together. Divide mixture between tins, spread level and bake for approx. 20 mins until well risen. Leave cakes to cool in tin for 5 mins then loosen edges and turn out onto wire rack. Peel off lining paper. Leave to cool.

To make buttercream, beat butter, icing sugar and dissolved coffee together until light and fluffy. Use one quarter of mix to sandwich cakes together then spread one third of remaining icing over sides of cake. Sprinkle chopped nuts over sheet of non-stick baking paper then coat sides of cake in the nuts by holding it on its side and rolling in the nuts. Transfer to plate and spread remaining buttercream over top of cake. Decorate with walnuts to your choice.

Spon End Roadworks

There will be a temporary overnight closure of the access road to the Arches Industrial Estate and the citybound lane on Spon End from Hearsall Lane to Windsor Street from Monday 10 July to Wednesday 19 July between 7pm and 6am (excluding Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 when the lane will be open).

Vehicles will not be able to enter or exit the Arches Industrial Estate between these times. If you access the Arches, you will need to leave there before 7pm and not arrive before 6am.

Station Ticket Office Closure

London Northwestern trains have confirmed that Canley Station will lose its ticket office as part of plans to close those of most stations in the country.
The station ticket office is currently open as follows:
Monday: 07.00 – 13.00, 15.00 – 18.00
Tuesday to Thursday: 07.00 – 12.00
Friday: 07:00 – 19:00
Saturday: 08.00 – 16.00
Sunday: 10.00 – 12.00
There is also a ticket machine, although this has been out of order for much of the last year.
Proposed changes are:
“The ticket office at this station will be closed. Staff from new mobile teams will be deployed here on a flexible basis to undertake customer service, passenger assistance, safety and general upkeep duties.”
London Northwestern’s full statement, including details of how to comment up to 26th July, can be found at the link below:
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Bands in the Park: Chase Jazzmen

The July ECHO Events Diary lists Chase Jazzmen as appearing in Spencer Park at 2pm on 9 July.

Please note that this concert will be held in Allesley Park.

We apologise for publishing incorrect information.

Full details of the 2023 Bands in the Park programme are here: Bands in the Park

Arches Venue Lease Extended

While the July issue of ECHO was being printed, our front page story was overtaken by events h the good news that the Arches Venue will continue as a business for at least the next three years.

The venue placed the following on Facebook:


To all bands, musicians and patrons

This is a 2 part announcement
Firstly, all of us would like to thank you for the overwhelming support regarding the Arches Venue. We have been blown away by this community and it just reinforces the reason why we do what we do; and that’s for you.
Your support has also been noticed by the landlord and related parties to the point they have said not only if the financial situation is cleared can we stay open, but… We can have a NEW THREE YEAR LEASE. Through the events, fundraiser set up by the legendary Joe Colombi and the people mentioned below we have achieved this!
It is all because of you that we have this opportunity to stay open, grow and improve the venue as well as help try and grow a platform for local and touring artists.
Secondly as of today we are now under a new management. Chris will remain part owner and licensee and in equal capacity with be joining Paul and Andy.
Paul has 50 years experience in hotel and bar management as well as many years as a chef.
Andy is a very well experienced tech and music producer who has toured the world with bands such as Bolt Thrower and playing festivals himself like Wacken in Germany.
Together with Rory (Events manager), Jae (Marketing), Mark (Tech) and our wonderful bar staff we will be all pulling together to try and make the venue as great as it is possible to be. We do ask for your continued support as we look to do this.
Once again from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you and see you all at a show soon!
The Arches team


Review: Around the World in 80 Days

Tilted Wig presents York Theatre Royal’s production of Around the World in 80 Days at the Albany Theatre. This is a retelling of Jules Verne’s classic story with a difference, and tales within tales. Entirely staged by a cast of five, the action opens with a group of circus performers setting out to retell the story of the book and the typically English Phileas Fogg’s epic journey with his faithful assistant Passepartout. Fact and fiction are combined in feminism with the female circus performers insisting that they are given equal parts and that women are more than capable of such a journey. Thus, alongside the story of the book, a parallel real life story is told of American journalist Nellie Bly, who, inspired by the popular account of fictional Fogg, undertook her own journey around the world, completing it in just 72 days.

Ironically, for a story all about racing and speed, the pace is sometimes slightly lacking in the first half, despite a few wry jokes, but things quicken and become more lively after the interval. Highlights include a mini circus show involving clowns and whipping flowers in half- more impressive than it sounds! Also there is some clever staging with a seesaw which is used in several ways, such as representing a boat tipping in a storm and an increasingly inebriated drinking session.

With minimum changes to the set, a rolling banner is used to record the current country the travellers are passing through, giving a sense of progress and a brief snapshot of some of the countries they pass through. Their various modes of transport are cleverly and sometimes wittily conveyed, such as a scooter and ladders for a train, with the passengers assisting in creating the rhythm of the engine. Elephants and ships also feature strongly. The pace gathers on the final stretch to see if Phileas Fogg can make it back to London in time to win his bet without any final mishaps along the way.

Details and tickets (opens in new tab)