City tours are always full of so much information. Having a local guide makes all the difference and makes the tour more personal.
I recently went on a tour around Coventry thanks to 2 Tone Taxi. A tour that lasts about an hour in an electric taxi. It’s not just any electric taxi, it’s the prototype built in Ansty (Coventry), the home to London EV Company. The taxi is decorated with a collage put together by ideas from Coventry residents and local artist Ian Cook.
The name 2 Tone Taxi was as a result of the famous Coventry based record label, 2 Tone Records.
The tour starts at University Square, directly opposite the beautiful Cathedral, next to the cobbled streets.
Faisal was our driver and our guide was Paul. He sat in the back of the cab with us. He was a passionate guide and made the tour lively and interactive. At one point we all had sunglasses on and were bobbing away to a song from the 2 tone recording artist.
On parts of the tour, Paul put on the sound system in the taxi which allowed us to relive Coventry’s incredible history moments and some powerful stories told by the locals.
Coventry won the bid for the City of Culture and it is clear why! They have a diverse welcoming community.
Here are some facts I learnt on the tour:
- In summer 2017, the first electric taxi was built (LEVC) in Coventry and since then all exports of the taxi go from here
- Many bands, including U2 performed in Coventry’s General Wolfe pub. Apparently tickets in the early 80’s were just £2 with an audience of 60-80 people
- The original Italian Job was filmed in big sewer pipes in Coventry in September 1968
- The first woven name tags were manufactured in Coventry by Cash’s of Coventry (founded John and Joseph Cash in 1846)
- The theme music for Doctor Who was created by Delia Ann Derbyshire a Coventry born musician & composer. Today you can see a blue plaque outside the house Delia’s lived in. This was as part of a BBC initiative celebrating important musicians
- Coventry’s Irish population dates back 4 centuries. The Irish have influenced the city and live around the Coundon area.
- Britain’s car industry was founded by Daimler in a disused Coventry cotton mill in 1896.
- The ‘true blue’ Coventry colour dated back to the 14th century when the cloth dyed was blue. You can visit The Weavers House, the home to former John Croke, a Coventry narrow-loom weaver. You can visit the house today.
If you are in Coventry don’t miss the 2 Tone Taxi Tour. The tour costs £13 per person and can be booked by contacting 2ToneTaxi@bbc.co.uk.
2-Tone Taxi is brought to you by Coventry City of Culture Trust and partners.
Disclaimer: My tour was complimentary however all opinions are my own.