A helicopter lowering a spire onto the roof of the new Coventry Cathedral, Coventry, West Midlands

Coventry Cathedral was the first British cathedral to be built after the Second World War; the previous cathedral had been damaged by bombing during the war. The new cathedral was built by John Laing plc between 1956 and 1962. The photograph was taken during 'Operation Rich Man', a joint project involving Royal Air Force staff and Laing staff. This involved a RAF Belvedere helicopter hoisting a 80ft bronze spire onto the roof of the new cathedral. The second part of the operation, to lower the 1/2 ton cross that sits on top of the spire, had to be postponed due to windy conditions.


West Midlands Coventry


1960s (1960 - 1969)



1960s (1960 - 1969) cathedral religion spire laing helicopter roof