Heart of England Co-operative Society fine tunes Coventry Music Museum with £500 donation

Jo Dyke, Community and Membership Adviser at the Heart of England Co-operative Society, (left), with Pete and Julie Chambers


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

One of Coventry’s most treasured hidden gems has received a generous £500 donation from the Heart of England Co-operative Society to ensure its doors stay open for visitors to come and experience the city’s historic music scene.

This hub of music history is none other than the Coventry Music Museum, situated on Walsgrave Road near the heart of Coventry city centre where it has wowed thousands of visitors since its formation in 2013 under its passionate curator and founder, Pete Chambers BEM.

The independent museum takes its visitors on a journey through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, right up to the present day, where guests can experience the Coventry sound across every decade from a variety of genres and only be charged a maximum of £3 per ticket!

Pete, an avid patron of Coventry’s music scene, has been a preserver of the city’s musical past since creating the Two-Tone tour in the 1980s after he was shocked when a friend relayed to him that two Japanese tourists had especially come to Coventry to visit sights relating to the city’s renowned Two-Tone scene but failed miserably in their attempt as the proper information was not available.

With the local tourist hotspot only in its adolescence, the Coventry Music Museum is heavily reliant on donations and grants in order to continue educating its visitors about the wealth of music culture the city has to offer.

As a result, keeping the museum open to the public costs tens of thousands of pounds a year despite the fact that the staff, including Pete Chambers BEM, are all volunteers.

The Heart of England Co-operative Society’s generous £500 donation will be invaluable in the effort to expand the museum’s reach within the Coventry area and beyond by improving the quality of its exhibitions. Indeed, it has already been put to use with the purchase of a brand-new karaoke machine for the museum’s newest exhibition.

Commenting on the donation, Pete Chambers said: “The karaoke machine is a massive inclusion to our latest exhibition which we hope will be the most popular exhibition we’ve had since I opened the doors of the Coventry Music Museum.

“A huge thanks has to go to the Heart of England Co-Operative Society, as this timeless piece will inevitably attract more visitors to our museum. With the city winning the City of Culture bid we want to bring in more visitors than ever.

“To many the £500 may have only bought a karaoke machine but their generous donation has turned a modestly interesting exhibition into a great one. We have great plans for 2018 and beyond with brand new exhibitions that will really capture the significance of the Coventry music scene.”

The Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Helping Hearts Award Scheme has once again lived up to its ethos of serving the needs of its community. The sums pledged to local charities and worthy causes will this year break the £1m barrier which is a significant milestone.

A host of groups and communities have reaped the rewards of Helping Hearts’ generosity for the past 18 years as the Society, which operates a network of The Co-operative food stores and The Co-operative Funeralcare funeral homes, has pumped a portion of its profits back into the community year after year since 2000.

Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Heart of England Co-operative Society, said: “The Heart of England Co-Operative Society has always had a strong affiliation with the local community and the Helping Hearts Awards Scheme has allowed us to support the surrounding area.

“We were absolutely delighted to provide a donation to the Coventry Music Museum. Pete and his volunteers work tirelessly in ensuring that the city’s musical heritage is given the recognition it truly deserves. We at the Heart of England Co-Operative Society are proud to have contributed to improving one of Coventry’s fantastic cultural centres.”

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