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Coventry's TV Heritage Returns to City Centre

Ghost TownCoventry’s television history is set to be celebrated with a new exhibition that provides Coventrians with a unique opportunity to view their city through the years.

Coventry: Ghost Town Haunting #1 runs from the 16th-22nd April in the Shop Front Theatre with members of the public invited to watch extracts of programmes made in and about the city on the big screen in two vintage living room sets.

Showreels shown across the week will include extracts from Phillip Donnellan’s Coventry Kids: People of a Restless City, ‘People of a Restless City’, it exploring Coventry’s precarious industrial boom and a cultural mix which includes teddy-boys, nuclear protestors, West Indian domino-players and Scottish job-hunters, and the Arena documentary Rudies Come Back about Coventry’s legendary Ska scene.

The event forms part of the Ghost Town project, which will use television to reconnect people with their local history and inspire further conversations about the city’s past, present and future on the lead up to Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021.

Commenting on the exhibition the project’s leader Dr Helen Wheatley, Reader in Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick, said:

“We’re delighted to be bringing Coventry’s history back to the city via the television archive. We hope that people will come along, enjoy the exhibition, and maybe spot their friends and family, even their younger selves, on screen.

“The television archive captures the life of the city in a unique way – its special events, its trends and sub-cultures, its everyday life.

“We think that what we have here is a fascinating snapshot of Coventry since the late 1950s, which tells us a great deal about how the city has changed and what remains constant.”

Dr Wheatley is also leading the hunt to find the lost footage of the Come Dancing episodes filmed in the city’s Locarno Ballroom, none of which exist in TV archives.

Coventry: Ghost Town Haunting #1 is a collaboration between the University of Warwick’s Centre for Television History Heritage, and Memory Research, television archive Kaleidoscope, the Media Archive for Central England and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

The exhibition is free and will be open to all. For more information on how to get involved, email Dr Helen Wheatley at

A full breakdown of events is available at the Ghost Town Coventry Facebook page

11 April 2018


Tom Frew, Senior Press and Media Relations Manager – University of Warwick:

E: a dot t dot frew at warwick dot ac dot uk
M: +44(0)7785433155