Last week U.S. Press Officer Deb MacLean and I visited Whitley Academy in Coventry to talk to year 8,9 and a few sixth formers on U.S.-UK connections on Grosvenor Square, the area where the current Embassy is situated.
Before giving her talk Deb and I were shown around the school by two year 8 pupils who were very enthusiastic and proud of their school. After the tour we were taken to the auditorium where on one wall the pupils had decorated it to show their school over the years, on the 1st October the school celebrates their 60th anniversary.
Though the talk centers on Grosvenor Square, it does go into the early connections with America starting before the War of Independence with stronger connections during the Revolutionary War, with John Adams living on the square during his time as Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain, after the war. The connections don’t stop there, but carry on until the Embassy will eventually move to Nine Elms in early 2017. Although the students do not live nor have all of them been to London they were interested in the talk and afterwards spent sometime asking Deb all sorts of questions, even though they must have been hungry as a lot of it was during their lunch break.
After our visit to the school we spent a couple of hours in Coventry at a few places the students recommended us to go to, the cathedral, Spon Street and St. Mary’s Guildhall. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit the Transport Museum.
We had a very enjoyable time at Whitley Academy and were greatly impressed by the school.
If you would like Deb MacLean to come to your school to talk about the U.S. historical connections to the UK as reflected in Grosvenor Square, please email the Embassy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.