Princess Royal visits Coventry University

DSC_0400The Princess Royal commissioned the multi-million Engineering and Computing building at Coventry University on the 8th of February. Princess Anne, who arrived at around 10.40am with her accompanying entourage was received by the vice-chancellor of Coventry University, Professor Madeleine Atkins, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, the High Sheriff of West Midlands; Mr Stewart Towe and the clerk of West Midlands Lieutenancy; Mr martin Tunstall.

It is just over ten years ago when her Royal Highness opened the library building which sits just next door to the new engineering building. After a tour in parts of the building, she was taken to the flight simulator centre which is name after Dr Majid AlSadi; one of Coventry University’s highest achieving alumni. She was welcome by Professor Mike Blundell, other members of staff and two aviation students Joshua Holmes and Ana-Maria Cotofan.

Joshua Holmes caught wind of the visit weeks ago when he was invited to one of the lecturer’s office for top secret chat. When asked about his conversation with the Princess Royal Joshua said: “My heart was pounding at first, however she was very friendly to talk to and that put me at ease.”

Ana-Maria Cotofan described her conversation with Princess Anne as a very quick one but she was happy. Adding: “She asked about what I was doing at the control desk and I explained how important it is for aviation students to understand air traffic control.”

The Princess Royal was then accompanied to EC1-29 where a crowd of about 150 including invited guests, staff and students were waiting for the unveiling of the plaque. In her address to the audience, Professor Madeline Atkins expressed her thanks to the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation for their generous grants towards the cost of the building. She added: “I’m delighted that we have been able to name the two lecture theatres downstairs to recognise their contribution.

Professor Atkins also thanked the Sir William Lyons Trust and the 29th of May 1961 charitable trust who have been generous in the way they have given money and support to students in the faculty.

Officially opening the building, the Princess Royal said: “Thank you for showing me some of the work you do here. I know it’s just a little of it but its all exciting stuff. All that technology progresses at such speed and this building will need to maintain that level of speed.”

Princess Royal in Coventry University

National Libraries Day

The Lanchester Library of Coventry University celebrated National Libraries Day today with a series of events which run simultaneously from 11am to 5pm. Activities included Sound and Vision Installation, interactive arts, a question and answer session, synchronised ironing and more so, an amnesty on all library fines below 10 pounds.

The Interactive Arts session was run by Lynne Langton; MA Contemporary Art Practice student, who had a large sheet of white paper spread out on the floor with books scattered around. I love drawing and that’s what brought me to Coventry to study she said.

Adding: “I have been holding conversations with people who walked by and invite them to draw on the white sheet or throw a book on the floor in whichever direction they wanted.”

Jenny Parkin, study support lecturer for Lynne said: “What she is doing is incorporating the text and thought of a book. A library can seem sterile sometimes but Lynne is opening drawing and text for all ages in a relaxed and informal way which is good.”

Amy Weir and Emma Smith, second year music performance students, dressed as house wives demonstrated synchronised ironing; which is meant to be a random form of visual art for people to look at as they walked past.

Access Development Manager for Coventry City, Sorrelle Clements’ session reminisced on the libraries of ‘the good old days’ and the libraries today. She commented: “People have different expectations of what a library should be like. Some like a library where children can come and have a story telling time with noise while others prefer a quiet library. We to try to cater for all individuals.”

Poetry writer, Deborah Alma, dressed in a white coat with a stethoscope ran the emergency poet work shop. Emergency Poet ran like a clinic where people go in, lie down on the couch and after a ten minute consultation, she prescribed them an appropriate poem. Her patients were people at the library who were feeling tired, stressed, anxious or even lovesick.

She said: “What I do seems like a silly idea but it’s underpinned with something serious.”

As keen readers and book lovers were milling about on all floors of the library, students flocked to the reception desk in their numbers to have their library fines waved off.