July 15th 1975

Trip to Coventry – CANCELLED”

Well, thank heaven’s for that!!

Why would there have been a trip to Coventry I wonder? All I know about Coventry is it has the famous cathedral and a motor museum.

There’s also the phrase “sending someone to Coventry”, a peculiarly English idiom which dates back to the 1640’s and is a slang phrase for ostracising somebody or not talking to them. It is thought to have originated during the English Civil War after Royalist troops who were captured were taken – as prisoners – to Coventry, which was then a Parliamentarian stronghold. These prisoners were – obviously – often not received warmly by the locals and shunned completely.

The phrase enjoyed a whole new lease of life during the industrial union disputes of the 70’s, often referring to strike breakers who became ignored by their colleagues.

In all my travels I never have visited Coventry. There seems little point in doing so now.

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