Sunday, 20 November 2016

Pianos, bells and echoes!

That thing about things happening for a reason! Here I go again!!

Last weekend, hubby had gone to work on the Saturday, so I met him from the train, and we wondered into town to share a cuppa before going out for a spot of dinner and an exciting push and shove around the annual fair. It was a bit late, and as the fair was on, it was quite busy, so we decided to try the new bagel cafe on High Street, which was still open, but not overwhelmingly busy.

The Breezy Bagel Co (not a big presence on the web yet, but Tweeting as @EclecticLboro) was lovely and bright and airy inside, with some quirky decor, a collection of eclectic magazines on poles, and rails of vintage clothes for sale. We just had drinks as we were eating out later, and I was very pleased with my pot of tea!
We stayed a while, and drank our drinks whilst doing - or at least trying to do - the crossword (anything to try and #delaytheonsetofdementia !)! Refreshed, we donned our coats and gloves, gathered our bags and headed for the door. When we had come in I'd noticed - and heard - someone playing a piano, and on our way out I stopped to have a quick look. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was an upright piano supplied by Paltridge's!!

A quick bit of research (ok, to be truthful, I'd briefly looked into the history of Paltridge's before for my Cultural Walk around Loughborough (that was a real one, not a virtual one!!)) so a look in my files revealed a small amount of info..

Paltridge's was a music shop situated on Church Gate, certainly between the years of 1901 and 1930. It was at number 3, which was next to Eddie Bailey's the butchers who were at number 2, and next to Miss Dawson at number 4 (in 1927, though whether Miss Dawson ran a shop or not, I haven't had time to investigate). So, my suspicion is that Eddie Bailey's shop was where AA Stationer's is, and Paltridge's where Casa Cafe is (given that Irish is currently listed as being numbers 9-10. This would seem to make sense as I've heard many mentions of Johnny Marrs and the three golden balls which are listed in the 1939 directory as being at numbers 7, 8 & 8a (although number 3 in 1939 is empty). Today's numbering along this part of Church Gate seems a bit confused on the internet, so I really could do with going to the actual shops and checking the numbers on their doors, but it's Sunday, and it's late!  

Anyway, here's a link to a picture of Paltridge's shop in about 1930, and one of Bailey's: if you look to the right of Bailey's right pillar, you can just make out the "p" of the word "pianos" which appears above Paltridge's.

So, the directory entry for Paltridge's refers to the shop as a Music Warehouse: looking at the sign above the shop, we can see they deal in pianos and organs, and looking in at the windows, we can see that they do repairs, and sell sheet music and instruments. Of course, Paltridge's wasn't the only music shop in town in 1901 as George Adcock was listed as a music-seller at 11 Baxter Gate (link to picture here), and G. Castle was a music-dealer at 4 Baxter Gate. Nor were Paltridge's the only ones in 1927 as George Hames had his establishment at number 12 Baxter Gate. (there may well have been other music shops too - I've only done a very quick scan of the directories). Hames seems to have been involved in the world of brass and silver banding and the New Ladies Accordeon [sic.] Band and Concert Party

I also noticed that someone had done a little research on Paltridge's and posted it on the internet, although I'm not sure how accessible this is to you. 

So, having got over the excitement of seeing a Paltridge's piano in the new cafe, we wandered around the fair for a while, and eventually headed off down Swan Street towards food!! We passed by the former Echo Offices, where I couldn't help but notice that those lovely Egyptian-style pillars, surrounded by square-shaped plywood, seemed to be peeping out at the top - what a lovely sight!

And then, I noticed the former Gallery pub (and prior to that Casablanca, and the Saracen's Head) is now called the Bell Foundry!

Pashazade was our destination for dinner, but I couldn't help notice work going on in the old Dunelm (Able Jacks when I first came to town), and an old piano in one of the windows! Why, I have no idea, but it wasn't a Paltridge's!!! (apologies for the quality of the photo!)

Anyway, we had a great meal and very much enjoyed walking back through the fair.

This weekend, I seemed to have a choice of concerts to go to, but found myself headed in the direction of Emmanuel Church. What a joy it was to listen to the Charnwood Orchestra, especially to listen to the Grieg Piano Concerto played beautifully by Robert Markham!! Thrilled too, to hear Sibelius's 5th symphony, with its lovely final movement and prominent trombone part! 

All for now! See you next week.

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

Dyer, Lynne (2016). Pianos, bells and echoes! [Online] Available from: [Accessed 20 November 2016]


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