New Coventry ‘guide’ set to explore the ‘ghost town’ of the 1980s

We’re looking for backing for our project that celebrates an era when the city was arguably at its most creative, thanks to the chart success of bands like the Specials and the Primitives.

Punks gather outside WH Smiths in Coventry

Ruth Cherrington’s soon-to-be published ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1980s Coventry’ has been months in the making and involved countless hours of research.

The renowned author has interviewed scores of individuals in an attempt to capture the very essence of the decade in the city – one that was played out against the backdrop of the collapse of Coventry’s car industry.

In fact hometown band, the Specials, summed up the mood of the early half of the era with their song ‘ghost town’ which spent three weeks at the top of the charts.

Ruth argues the political and economic turmoil of the decade actually proved an inspiration for many.

She said: “There was a tremendous creativity going on musically and culturally. Everyone was affected by the economic decline and everyone was making their own music to escape from the reality.

“2 Tone began as the decade’s dominant force and then new bands appeared with their new styles such as The Primitives, King and Hazel O’Connor. It was a highly creative time for the city.”

Hazel O’Connor performs at Butts

The ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1980s Coventry’ contains interviews with those at the cutting edge of music, the fans and the venue owners together with scores of pictures, rare memorabilia and more.

Rare and exclusive copies of the book are available now via a crowdfunding project:

The book goes on general release this autumn.

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