When I was 14, and the year turned from 1999 to 2000, cities all over Britain were building things (bridges, galleries, dome shaped parks) to celebrate the new year, and new Millennium. Thankfully for me, Coventry was no exception.
Even though it was only just 12 years ago, and I walked that way almost every day, I find it hard to remember what stood at the bottom of The Burgess in Cov city centre before the spectacular Millennium Place ever existed. I imagine more shops and I think part of the bus station stood in front of Coventry Transport Museum but it looked a lot better once Millennium Place had been finished.
I like Millennium Place because it is just an open space, which you don’t often find in a city centre, especially so close to the ring road. It is marked with a giant silver structure (as you can see in the photo above) which light up to the color blue on an evening and looks fairly spectacular from all angles. I like to think as it is x-shaped, it was designed to be a big kiss, but I doubt it. Underneath this structure there is an open space with a very futuristic world clock on the floor. Although I am not entirely sure how this works, with its light up strips and orange digital digits, I can tell you it is super impressive. Behind this is the now very modern looking Transport Museum, which has been in Coventry longer than I have. There is also a blue bridge, which looks a bit like it is made of perspex, leading from there to other parts of the city.
My favourite part of this area however is the huge curved white wall in front of the museum. Here there are small red tiles, and each tile has 2 names and a date engraved on it. When this was first designed, people of Coventry were asked to give their name and a loved one and a date that was special to them to go on this wall of friendship. Apparently this project is still ongoing ’til all the spaces are filled.
Of course I applied at the time to have one “Claire Worrall & Rosie Clark 4 September 1989” as this is when me and my best friend first met. Despite going to this place on the hunt loads of times, disappointingly we have never actually found our tile. I am sure it is there though, somewhere.