Sunday, 24 January 2016

Changes in Loughborough

Isn't it funny how things can remain the same for years and years, and then suddenly lots of things seem to change all at the same time?

Some of the things that stand out in my mind are the building of the Inner Relief Road, and all the changes that brought, like the partial demolition of Warner Street School and the butchers, amongst other things. The building of the law courts a couple of years previously, then seemed to make a bit more sense, as its position is now on the side of the relief road.

There are too many recent changes for me to document, but here are a few that I have noticed when I've been out and about in Loughborough recently.

Over the last couple of years, I've been watching with dismay and interest as the former nurses' home on Baxter Gate (built as an auction mart for Garton and Amatt), a Grade II listed building, has first deteriorated and then been taken over and renovated by Pizza Express: here's a couple of photos:

After the demolition of the General Hospital

Soon after the start of the renovation in 2015

At the beginning of 2016

At the beginning of 2016

Down by the old Ladybird factory, there's been a bit of derelict land, surrounded by fencing, which is finally taking shape as houses:

In June 2015, from the canal, Ladybird factory in the middle distance

The same view at the beginning of 2016, but with the canal slightly behind me

Fairly close to this, after passing the Herbert Morris works, where, on January 31st, 1916 a Zeppelin bomb landed, a pile of rubble has been transformed into a flat piece of land, presumably on which will be built more homes:
In 2015 there was an interesting pile of rubble, mostly made up of Victorian bricks

In early 2016 the rubble has gone, and the land flattened
In March 2015 I had a look around SOFA, a second-hand shop based in the old Towles factory on Nottingham Road. Going up to the top floor gave me a lovely view across parts of Loughborough, including the patch of derelict land which used to be the site of a dye works (if memory serves me correctly). This looks a little different today:
A view from the top floor of the former Towles building in February 2015

A view from the canal, looking towards the former Towles building

The biggest surprise I had on my latest walk was the changes that are happening down on Sparrow Hill, at Sid Powell's old place. The render has been removed, exposing the brick, and the modern tiled roof has been replaced with slate tiles. Ok, so they're not Swithland slate like the Manor House (now Caravelli's) next door, but, I presume, the thinner Welsh Slate:

Sid Powell's shop (formerly the Shakespeare Inn and the Crown and Thistle) in Jan 2014

The same building in Jan 2016. Renovation also taking place on what is thought to be an old butcher's in the yard behind.

Now, I am waiting with trepidation, to see what is going to happen at Parks Millwrights. Planning permission  has been requested to do something to the buildings in the yard. I'm hoping this won't affect the main building.

Sorry if I haven't documented the recent history of your favourite building or piece of land, but I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of the developments that are happening in current day Loughborough.

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