Sunday, 14 July 2019

Knocking on the door to the past

I was talking recently with some friends about answering the door or answering the telephone to unexpected callers, and how these days we often choose not to. This set me thinking back to a conversation I had with another friend years ago who said: "if you can't drop in unexpectedly on your parents, then who can you drop in on?" I must have been thinking about this a lot lately because I dreamed one evening that my parents dropped in on me when I was out, but others in my house were in, so when I got home I was horrified - not horrified to see my parents, but horrified because I hadn't vacuumed for 4 days, the place was untidy and the washing basket was overflowing. And as for the dust ... well!

So these days, I wouldn't dream of calling in on anybody without either phoning them, texting them or emailing them to arrange a suitable time for a visit. I might walk past their house on a regular basis, but I certainly wouldn't interrupt their life without due warning. And even if we did arrange something, we'd be more likely to meet for tea in a cafe in town!

But, as we know, this closed door society hasn't always been like this. Years ago people didn't even used to shut their front door, kids played in the street and not only would you pop in and chat with your friends and neighbours, you'd even - horror or horrors - borrow some sugar from them!

This led me to the curious thought of who from Loughborough's past would I call in on if I happened to be around during their lifetime! Here's some of those who are on my list - and it is just some of them, as there are hundreds more!


  • In 1891 I'd visit William Clarke, who was part of the Clarke's Dyeworks family, at The Gables on Forest Road. It's student accommodation now, but I wonder what it would have been like inside as a new house around 1891? And what would William and his family have been like? In 1911 I'd have called in on his widow, Laura, who was now living at no.55 Park Road. That house would surely have been magnificent in those days. In early 1953 I'd have visited William's son, also William, at his home at no.3 Park Street, unaware that this was probably the last time I'd see him.
  • In 1889 I'd pop in to see Arthur Paget and his wife, Rose, in Radmoor House, to hear how exciting it was to have an invention displayed at the recent Paris Exposition! Arthur died in 1895, and Rose moved away, so, later that year, I'd drop in an Ernest Coltman, son of Huram Coltman, boilermaker, and see how the house and nearby grounds had changed.
  • In 1891 I'd mount the steps of no.20 Burton Street to pop in on Thomas Messenger and talk about the old Messenger business he sold to Walter Burder in 1874. In 1911 I'd be calling in two doors down, at no.22, to pass the time of day with Henry Corah, who ran a printing business. 1939 would see me again calling in at no.20 to see what architectural plans Arnold Barrowcliff was currently working on.
  • In the meantime, in 1891 I'd pop in to see how Walter Burder was getting on in his new house, Field House, after moving here from Park Road. Then I'd walk over to The Elms, off the Leicester Road and see how his younger brother, Alfred was getting on in his big house.  
  • Having visited Edward Middleton, owner of Middleton's Bank in Market Place, at his home in the Grove on Ashby Road (now student halls) in 1871, I'd then walk up to Leicester Road, to visit his son Edward William Craddock Middleton and his wife Augusta Sophia. They're living in Shelthorpe Cottage, a beautiful house in a park setting - lovely and quiet! In 1887 Edward died, and Augusta Sophia continued to live in Shelthorpe House, but eventually moved to Fairfield House, now known as the White House, probably to get away from the steam of the new Great Central Railway, and the constant machinery of the new Tucker's brick works, which both opened around 1898-9. In 1907 I'd pop in to Fairfield House and chat about the recent events Mrs Middleton had been to - she's a very social lady and has numerous friends!
And this would leave me plenty of other folk to visit on other days!

You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2019). Knocking on the door to the past. Available from:  [Accessed  14 July 2019]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 

Lynne 

























      

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Armed Forces Day in Loughborough

So, this week has seen a number of commemorations and anniversaries, including the birthday of my beautiful daughter, celebrated in style with lunch on the day at Oakley Grange, and the following day at a barbeque at one of the university halls, where youngest son and I had a great couple of games of pool. Took me back to my days as a student when I played pool in Towers Refectory, although my preferred game was bar billiards (there used to be a table in the Blacksmith's Arms).


The birthday



I managed to get across to Newarke Houses Museum in Leicester to see their changing display, which at the moment is commemorating 45 years since the Imperial Typewriters strike of 1974, when over 500 people came out on strike. Here's more info and analysis of the strike if you want it. I noticed a reference to the Mansfield Hosiery strike in Loughborough mentioned too, which also took place in 1972. Mansfield Hosiery was situated on Trinity Street, where there are now flats, opposite the side of the former Holy Trinity Church, which is now recognised as part of the parish church - All Saints with Holy Trinity. The vicar of Holy Trinity was at one time Reverend David Dewar, whose sons both died in WW1, and who lived in 68A Leicester Road, which is now Holywell Guest House, run by Lez Cope Newman and Derek Hunter.





The Imperial Typewriter strike at Newarke Houses Museum








The week before last I visited Queen's Park. It was difficult to traverse the park because many of the paths were flooded, and the grass was more like a bog. This Saturday, however, the park was basking in 30 degree heat and brilliant sunshine! Along with hundreds of other people, I went along to the unveiling of the Songster armature, having first spent some time around town.


The flooded park









The town centre events






Songster was Loughborough's war horse, whose story I have told on this blog before, whose story has been written in a lovely book, written by Alison Mott and beautifully illustrated by Liz Waddell, and also appears in both of my own books. The Carillon is currently being renovated and refurbished, but the ground floor was open with a display of WW1 memorablia and information, including the original grave marker used at Songster's burial place on a farm in Woodhouse Eaves.

In June 2018 a ceremony was held at Songster's grave, and a new grave marker installed. Also in 2018, the armature was created and was used during the November 2018 Armistice Day commemorations, adorned by poppies made by local schoolchildren and groups. The descendants of Songster's companion, Trooper Bert Main, and of Harry Pool, the owner of the farm where Songster lived out his days, were guests of hounour at the event, and the youngest member attending helped to unveil the armature. A nearby information board was also revealed by descendants.

As usual, being a bit vertically challenged, I've taken a range of photos, none of which are particularly good, but might give you an idea of the event.

The sunny park and the unveiling event






















You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:


Dyer, Lynne (2019). Armed Forces Day in Loughborough. Available fromhttps://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2019/06/armed-forces-day-in-loughborough.html  [Accessed 30 June 2019]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 

Lynne