Coffee Concentration: Early starts often mean that the Chairman has to dose up on coffee before he is fully primed for some intense hub happenings. On this occasion he was still too sleepy to notice that his bald spot was in full view during New Street's morning rush.
Site of the Coventry Closet: Arriving in Coventry just before 9am, the Secretary immediately rummages about in those sleeves of his and plucks out Cheylesmore Manor, a medieval structure with royal connections that nowadays houses Coventry's Registry Office. Just for good measure, he then navigates to the site of an old closet that once stood on the junction of Raglan Street and Lower Ford Street (outside the Forester's pub) - thankfully the Chairman's coffee hadn't caught up with him yet so the urge to reclaim history was resisted!
A Highfield Road kickabout: Plotting a course through Hillfields, members can then pay homage to Highfield Road, the historic football ground home of Coventry City FC. The area has been redeveloped into the Signet Square housing complex but a patch of green space still marks the location of the playing surface, prompting the Chairman to imagine himself as Brian Kilcline strutting his stuff for the Sky Blues.
Mouldy Old Dough: Musical memories are next on the agenda as we cross the Walsgrave Road, offering a nod to Stoke Library en route. It was in the front room of a house in Stoke that Lieutenant Pigeon recorded their 1972 #1 hit 'Mouldy Old Dough' with Hilda Woodward providing some of the piano melody. We keep our eyes peeled for any sign of the specific residence in question as the Chairman summons up the tune itself courtesy of his mobile ringtone.
Getting Down with the Coventry Cats: Perhaps it was the prospect of pigeon that meant the cats were out in force to greet us as we made our way towards Stoke Green. True to form, Mr D9 was always willing to have a little stroke whenever necessary and even got to grips with a teddy bear that just so happened to be sitting on a garden wall. Quite what the moggies thought of his muppet t-shirt was another matter, but we emerged unscathed in readiness for breakfast at a cafe around the back of the Empress Arcade off Binley Road.
Music Wall of Fame: Back on Walsgrave Road, one of the day's top finds was the Coventry Music Wall of Fame, comprising several mounted discs paying tribute to the city's musical heritage. Among those to be featured are two tone luminaries such as The Specials and The Selecter alongside vocalists including Frank Ifield and Vince Hill - a genuinely fascinating and imaginative way to present community history.
A Coventry Cuppa: Weaving our way towards Stoke Heath, we are disappointed to be thwarted by the Rose & Woodbine once more - at least we found the pub this year but it didn't open until 4pm. A consolation cuppa is required courtesy of Pat's Cafe, complete with a proper builder's mug!
Devonshire Discount: The tea was outnumbering the beer by this stage so it was time to sample some of the pubs in the vicinity of Walsgrave Road. The Rose & Crown and the Walsgrave carvery both registered, although top honours went to the Devonshire on Sewall Highway where the Secretary swooped in for a discounted round to leave poor old D9 with a distinctly furrowed brow.
D9 Destroyer's double 4: After an encounter with a heavily guarded Painted Lady (where mention of a 'Fast Response Unit' somehow didn't stretch to the bar), our Chairman gets his revenge by mastering the dartboard at the Millpool. Although WME Whirlwind took the first leg, the Destroyer fought back for a 2-1 victory, no doubt powered by some Everard's Pumpkin Ale.
Bear & Staff, Ernesford Grange: By this stage we were in need of some dubious pub architecture and thankfully the Ernesford Grange estate delivered a double helping. Both the Bear & Staff and the New Tiger Moth had the kind of flat-roofed appearance that has Mr D9 drooling (even if the Guinness prices didn't), whilst the Charterhouse on Terry Road replied with elements of 'Brewer's Tudor' as we return via Stoke Aldermoor.
Tribute Quiff takes a break: A Gosford gander and a Foresters flirtation precede a Rocket round-up as we swoop into Coventry, whereby the Ron West tribute quiff (lovingly crafted out of the finest cardboard) is in full cry on our bus back to the railway station. The 19:22 train provides our connection to Sandwell & Dudley where it is thence adieu - until next time...