Whitefriars Street circa 1962

October 10th, 2021

…looking towards London Road. The boiler house of Gulson Road hospital is on the left and Whitefriars Abbey in the centre. In the foreground is Victor Mancini’s café. He also had a fleet of ice-cream vans and a stall in the market. On the corner in the distance – just beyond the Hope & Anchor – is an old-fashioned tea shop which was very popular with the Irish navvies who built most of post-war Coventry.

Victoria Street in the 1960s

September 21st, 2021

Fox & Vivian awaiting demolition in 1971…

August 25th, 2021

I was too young to drink there but the café two doors down from it was one of my favourite haunts in the 1960s. I still associate it with drinking Coke, playing pinball and listening to Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch on the jukebox.


Corner of Gosford Street and Cox Street 1965

August 25th, 2021

Demolition has already started on the old shops.


Jordan Well in 1963…

August 23rd, 2021

…looking towards Gosford Street. All of the ancient buildings in the middle of the picture were demolished between 1963 and 1965 to make way for an extension to the College of Art.

Johnny Smith test drives the latest Citroen EV around Coventry

December 13th, 2020

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Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You finally reaches UK Number 1

December 11th, 2020

Mariah Carey’s wish comes true as her iconic festive hit All I Want For Christmas Is You finally reaches Number 1 on the Official UK Singles Chart 26 years after its release, and breaks a new Official Chart record in the process, the Official Charts Company can confirm.

The track climbs one place this week, completing a 26-year journey to the top spot. Upon its original release in 1994, All I Want For Christmas Is You peaked at Number 2, just missing out on the coveted Christmas Number 1 that year to East 17’s Stay Another Day.

An enduring staple of the festive season, All I Want For Christmas Is You proves good things come to those who wait, as it reaches the summit in its 70th week in the Top 40, and sets a new chart record – no other song has spent more weeks in the Official Chart Top 40 before eventually reaching Number 1 in UK chart history.

The song notched up 10.8 million streams over the last seven days – the most streams in a week by any song in 2020 so far. Across its lifetime, the song has also racked up a cool 1.24 million pure sales, making it the UK’s 84th best-selling song in history, according to Official Charts Company data.

Since the advent of digital, Mariah’s Christmas classic has returned to the Official Singles Chart every December since 2007. Proving its ever-enduring popularity, the last three years have seen it match its original Number 2 peak position, but 2020 is the year that the British public have finally sent it all the way to the top, following a tussle with fellow festive anthem Last Christmas by Wham!.

Celebrating the news, Carey told OfficialCharts.com: “Happy Christmas UK!! We finally made it!!! We are keeping the Christmas spirit alive together despite how dismal the year’s been. Love you always! ♥️ Joy to the world 🌎😇🎄!!!!”

Carey leads a thoroughly festive Top 40 this week, which includes a further 22 Christmas songs, six of which feature in the Top 10: Wham’s Last Christmas (2), The Pogues feat. Kirsty Maccoll’s Fairytale Of New York (4), Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone (6), Michael Bublé’s It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (7), Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas (8), and Elton John’s Step Into Christmas (10).

Jess Glynne’s festive cover of This Christmas, released this year, zooms 25 places to Number 13.

Elsewhere, three Christmas songs reach new all-time peaks this week: Ariana Grande’s Santa Tell Me (11), Kelly Clarkson’s Underneath The Tree (16), Michael Bublé’s Holly Jolly Christmas (30).

Finally, rising Australian rapper/singer The Kid Laroi lands his first UK Top 40 hit, Without You vaults 53 places to Number 23.

View this week’s Top 100 Official Singles Chart in full

Age of Empires 2 is quietly having an incredible year

May 10th, 2020

Nearly 21 years after release, Age of Empires 2 could well be having its best year ever. Since its HD re-release in 2013 the game has had a steady growth in average player count, but with the release of Age of Empires 2: Definitive edition last year and COVID-19 lockdowns inflating player counts across the industry,  Age of Empires 2 is boasting totals that beat some very big-name games. It’s now by far Steam’s most popular RTS, with both the Definitive Edition and the 2013 HD Edition having higher player counts than closest competitor Company of Heroes 2. This year’s big tournament boasted the largest Age of Empires 1v1 prize pool since 2002.

Last month, in April, the games’ combined average player count was over 50,000 players. April 12 was the definitive edition’s all-time player peak, and the combined total of the games was 59,995 players. That’s well into the top 150 all-time peak player counts on Steam… for a 21-year-old game.

The two games generally average higher player counts than popular free-to-play game War Thunder or industry darling Stardew Valley. They’re on-par with the popular action RPG Path of Exile. Their average is nearly as many as perennially popular premium games like Civilization VI or Terraria. Both versions of Age of Empires 2 sit in the top 100 games on Steam, with the Definitive Edition sitting at #25. Combined, however, the Age of Empires community on average pushes up to the #15 spot—or higher, on peak player count days.

To give you an idea of the scale at work here, Age of Empires 2 sold some 1.5 million copies in the three years surrounding its North American release. Last year, the studio behind the game said that a million people per month were still playing Age of Empires games… and that’s before the huge spike in players this year has seen.

Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition launched last year, and our Fraser Brown quite liked it. Age of Empires 4 is in development and scheduled to release in 2020 or later.

This gaming news can be discussed here

Saint Jhn’s Roses wins incredibly close race to claim Number 1

March 22nd, 2020

Saint Jhn climbs to Number 1 on this week’s Official Singles Chart with Roses following an incredibly close race for the top spot.

After a steady 11-week climb to the top, the single knocks The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights to Number 2 after five total weeks at the summit. Just 210 chart sales separated the two.

The Guyanese-American rapper and producer first released Roses back in 2016. In 2019 teenage Kazakh producer Imanbek released a dance remix of the song, which steadily gained momentum around the world.

Meanwhile, Joel Corry rings in a new personal best as Lonely climbs two places to Number 5, becoming his highest charting hit; his last single Sorry reached Number 6 in September last year.

Becky Hill continues to reach new peaks with Better Off Without You ft. Shift K3y, up two places to 14; Mabel lands a seventh Top 20 single with Boyfriend, up eight spots to 17; and Blueberry Faygo by 18-year-old US rapper Lil Mosey enters the Top 20 at 19, flying up 22 places.

More big climbs come from New Zealand native Benee with Supalonely ft. Gus Dapperton, up 17 places to 22; Death Bed by Powfu ft. Beabadoobee lifts 11 spots to 23; City Of Angels by Californian rapper 24KGoldn rises seven to a new peak of 25; and Khalid & Disclosure’s Know Your Worth jumps nine spots to 29.

Niall Horan lands his fifth Top 40 hit with No Judgement following the release of his second album Heartbreak Weather, with the single rocketing 46 places to Number 32.

Other songs landing in the Top 40 for the first time include Doja Cat’s Boss Bitch (34), Tory Lanez’ The Take ft. Chris Brown (35), Tequila by Jax Jones, Martin Solveig and Raye (38) and Pop Smoke’s Dior (40).

The week’s highest new entry is Papi Chulo (37), a collaboration between UK rappers Octavian and Skepta, becoming Octavian’s first Top 40 single.

See the full Official Singles Chart Top 100

GTA V returns to top of UK games sales charts

March 16th, 2020

As per our headline, GTA V did well in Feb. According to the data it sold even better this year (Jan + Feb) than it did during the same period in 2019. This is a rather long in the tooth title, having launched in April 2015 on PCs (it was first made available, on last-gen consoles, in September 2013).

Another big seller of note in Feb 2020 was Ubisoft’s The Division 2. This game was dramatically cut in price to £2.50/$2.99 to get people on board ahead of the release of its first major DLC – The Division 2: Warlords of New York. That likely gave the sales a boost, and the boost probably will carry through to the March sales figures but at the time of writing the price has been increased to £8.58 for the base game Standard Edition. Overall in the charts Ubisoft is the top publisher due to this game at position 4 in the top 20, plus Rainbow Six Siege being at position 5.

Looking at platform splits, the PS4 is the most lucrative platform for software developers in the UK right now. PS4 users made purchases accounting for 40.8 per cent of market share. Xbox One games sales accounted for 25.7 per cent of the market share.

Moving onto hardware sales, over 71,000 consoles were sold in Feb 2020, which is 37 per cent down YoY. This is understandable with Microsoft and Sony fans waiting eagerly for the next gen refresh, which we should know a lot more about in summer and will be available ahead of Xmas if all goes to plan. The Nintendo Switch was the best selling console of Feb 2020 in the UK, its sales remained flat YoY, which is a win when looking at the bigger picture.

You can check out the main chart below. Sadly, Nintendo doesn’t share first party digital download games sales, so this will skew the GSD charts from reality.

February UK Physical & Download Top 20 (Full Games)

  1. Grand Theft Auto 5
  2. FIFA 20
  3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  4. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
  5. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
  6. Dreams
  7. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  8. NBA 2K20
  9. Uno
  10. Red Dead Redemption 2
  11. Monopoly Plus
  12. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*
  13. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition
  14. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
  15. Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy
  16. Minecraft
  17. Just Dance 2020
  18. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
  19. Star Wars Battlefront 2
  20. Need for Speed Heat

This gaming news can be discussed here