Sunday, 12 January 2014

A veritable pot pourri!

The Leicestershire Green plaques scheme

You may have seen a recent news report about a new green plaque scheme that is being rolled out in Leicestershire. This scheme is like the blue plaque scheme run by English Heritage, where a plaque is attached to a building where either someone famous lived and worked, or a building that has some interesting heritage attached to it.

The scheme in Leicestershire will see about six green plaques erected in Leicestershire in the first year of the programme. Members of the public are being asked to nominate sites and people that they think are worthy of such an accolade. Closing date for these nominations is Friday 24th January, and once nominations have been submitted, the judging panel will make a shortlist of 12. Members of the public will then be able to vote, and 6 final choices will be made.

So, if you want to see that favourite person of yours honoured, or that building made special by a green plaque, send in your nomination! The nomination process is well-explained on the website, but in short, write up to 500 words in support of your nomination and send it in to the address listed on the website.

But hurry, time is running out!!!

I’m sure many of you will know that the proposed development of the Baxter Gate hospital has been approved and is likely to result in a new cinema for the town. I have my own views about this, which I won’t bore you with here. However, I will say that one of the benefits of this development is that it encompasses the former nurses’ home, a Grade II listed building, built in the late 19th century, that is currently crumbling before our eyes.

The worry now, is about the current cinema. If I remember rightly, I think the Odeon (previously The Reel, The Curzon, The New Empire, The Essoldo, and originally The Empire) has also been granted permission to extend and is to add a couple of coffee shops and expand into Asha House which is at the back to the cinema, on Southfields Road. Originally, built in 1914 as the Empire, the cinema was extended in 1929, and the art deco façade that we all know and love so much was added. In 1935 a new auditorium was created and in 1974-5 the cinema was twinned.

The big question is, of course, can Loughborough sustain two large cinemas? We have already seen the demolition of Warner Street School, the only stone building left in town, and a Locally Listed Building. The current Odeon is also Locally Listed: How safe is this much-loved institution?

Aumberry Gap

I recently found myself being thrown out of the local studies library – not for bad behaviour, but because it was closing time! – and found myself browsing through some local stock that I hadn’t previously come across. Ohhhh, lots of stuff of interest – bits of paper printed on someone’s dot matrix printer, faint, creased and filed in ring binders, huge volumes of type-written books, and loads of directories. Flicking through one or two of these resources, I happened upon some really useful stuff that added to what I had already researched for some earlier blogposts, and some new information that will inform future posts. Oh, and I got thrown out of the main library too!!

The one thing I wanted to mention today was a volume of burial registers. I knew that there were some burials under the car park of the Beauchief (previously known as The Britannia Inn), and that Aumberry* Gap was so named as it replaced Cemetery Road. I can’t remember exactly, but someone once told me that these burials were either non-conformist, or the Church of All Saints had run out of burial space, and the cemetery on Leicester Road hadn’t yet opened. Here in the library, I found all the names of the people buried in this place, and thought how sad it was that there is now an inner relief road being built on top of them.

*Aumbry – in a mediaeval church this was a cabinet in which the chalices were stored

WW1 and the Church of All Saints

Some Heritage Lottery Funding has been made available to move some war memorials that are currently situated in the parish church to a more visible location within the church. There is to be a public meeting, a Community Consultation, on Saturday February 8th in the church at 7.30pm to discuss the project, to which everyone is invited.

Fearon Hall

This year, 2014, Fearon Hall is celebrating its 125th birthday, and to celebrate, ideas from the public are being sought. There is going to be a meeting in the hall on Sunday 19th January, from 2pm-4pm and anyone with ideas or memories of the hall to share is welcome to come along.

Luddites and Lacemakers

The Friends of Charnwood Museum have invited a guest speaker along to talk about John Heathcote and the Luddite raids of 1816. This talk takes place on Wednesday 15 January in the museum cafe, at 7.30pm, and everyone is welcome. There is a small charge for entry.

New Year Honours

Finally, I would like to congratulate Dr Jassal of Bridge Street Medical Practice for the fantastic work he does at Rainbows, the local children’s hospice, which has earned him and MBE in this year's honours list. 

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