Sunday, 8 October 2017

Disasters in Loughborough

Hunting around looking for something to write about, I happened upon lots of information about certain disasters that befell our lovely town, many years ago. Trouble is, there really is too much to read and digest at the moment, so here's a few tantalising mentions of plague and fire.

The Plague

*The earliest mention of the plague was in the will of Geffery Salesbury in 1515.

*In 1551 sweating sickness, which appeared to be more virulent among the higher classes, was mentioned in the Parish Records.

*Over a period of 18 months 1558-9, over 295 people died from the plague.

*In 1564 the Great Plague struck London, and reached Leicester. Because of this the Leicester Assizes met at Loughborough for a while.

*Over 452 people died of the plague in Loughborough in the outbreak of 1609-10.

*In 1631 the plague was initially concentrated around three houses, and 11 people died, but it soon took a firm hold, and eventually 1304 people died of the disease in this outbreak.


While illness might (or indeed, might not) be attributed to sanitary conditions, it is likely that fires start as a result of the industries in the town, and spread because of the wooden buildings with thatched roofs. 

*The fire in town that took place in June 1622 is mentioned in the Parish Registers.

*In 1666 (or it may have been 1668) a fire on 5th October destroyed nearly 200 houses, when a spark from a malt kiln in Wood Gate was blown so easily along the thatched roofs of the buildings. Only a week later, there was a fire in what is now Ashby Square.

*A fire in The Rushes in 1761, destroyed 13 hours in less than one hour.

*The Old Rectory, at the junction of what is now Rectory Place and Steeple Row, was re-built after it was almost completely destroyed by a fire.

*The factory of Paget and White suffered serious fire damage when a fire took hold in 1860.

*A serious attempt to make fighting fires easier came in 1866 when a fire station was built on Ashby Road, and in 1887 when the town got its very first steam-powered fire engine, this after the Nottingham Manufacturing Company was seriously damaged after a fire at the factory. 

*Taylors Bellfoundry suffered a fire in 1892.

*In 1902 there were two fires in schools, one at the Grammar School, the other at Cobden Street.

*A new fire station was built on Bridge Street in 1936.

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

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Disasters in Loughborough! Available froml [Accessed 8 October 2017]

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  1. Regarding the Plague in Loughborough, the dead bodies were pushed on a trailer down Dead Lane on to the Lime Pit which is now where Limehurst Avenue is. Dead Lane disappeared with the build of The Rushes complex which is a pity with its history.

    1. Hi Jackie! Thank you for reading and taking the trouble to leave a comment on the blog. Yes, I remember Dead Lane very well, and have heard the same stories about plague victims being taken along it. Of course, the clue's in the name, isn't it? Limehurst - connection to lime pits! Other stories I've heard are that at one time people tried to escape the plague by building temporary huts away from the town, Cabbin Less which is thought to be in the Bottleacre Lane area. Isn't history fascinating?! Lynne

  2. Being an old boy from Luffbra and residing in Canada since 1979 I find the whole musings about Luffbra's history fascinating. Thanks for your contribution!

    1. Hi WR! Thank you do much for reading the blog, all the way from Canada, and thank you for taking the trouble to comment! Lynne


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