Sunday, 8 April 2018

Finding Loughborough everywhere!

I'm ashamed to admit I've missed a couple of weeks blogging, this because I've been really busy, and been out and about rather a lot! Sorry about that!

So, I recently bumped into a friend who had been reading this blog, who asked me if I went into Loughborough town centre every day. Sadly, much as I'd like to, I don't manage to do this! I have a day job, which of course has to come first as it pays the bills, and on top of that I've been studying hard and writing a book. I'm hopeful that now my course has finished, and the book has been completed that I will have more time to investigate Loughborough, but I have a feeling the lure of study will be too great, and the call to publish too strong to avoid!

Anyway, over the last month, as I said, I've been out and about, trotting across the country, but wherever I have found myself, Loughborough has never been far from my mind. This, of course, has been made easier, by my accidentally bumping into someone from work whilst I was in Cambridge, and someone from Loughborough University whilst I was visiting Ripon Cathedral!! And, whilst perusing the bric-a-brac market in town last week, I met a stallholder who used to live in the small Welsh town where I began my life's journey! As they say, such a small world.

My travels over the last month have taken me to a number of places: Cambridge, Holywell-cum-Needingham, St Ives, Ely, Oxford, Ripon, Fountains Abbey, Attenborough Nature Reserve, Whatton House, The Outwoods, Beacon Hill and Lichfield! Where to start?!

I was sure I'd blogged about St Ives, Cambs, before, but now I come to look for the post I can't find it, so here's some of the connections with Loughborough that I spotted this time: 

Both Loughborough and St Ives have a pub called The White Hart:

The White Hart in St Ives

The White Hart in Loughborough

Sticking with pubs for a moment, in St Ives there is a pub called the Oliver Cromwell. Of course, there isn't a pub in Loughborough with that name, but the connection here is that the sign for the St Ives pub reaches out from the pub wall to the opposite side of the narrow road: at one time, the Bulls Head on High Street Loughborough did exactly the same - that is, before the road was widened in the late 1920s-early 1930s.

The Oliver Cromwell pub sign, St Ives

I'm sure both towns had a high proportion of pubs in days gone by though!

Both towns have markets: the St Ives charter goes back to 1202, whilst Loughborough's from 1221. Early trade would have been in wool:

About St Ives market

To the mid-left of photo, weights for weighing wool

More about the St Ives market
Here's how the cattle market was laid out in St Ives:

And this is part of Loughborough's cattle market:

Both towns have fairs: the St Ives fair was granted in 1107, Loughborough's in 1221. These aren't quite the dates that are displayed on the town's history panel in St Ives, but are listed elsewhere.  

St Ives history panel

St Ives history panel

In the St Ives museum there were some lovely clay pipes on display: these would have been similar to those found near what is now Wilko.

Clay pipes in the Norris Museum, St Ives

In 1769 John Wesley preached in the Market Place in Loughborough, and in St Ives in 1774.

Information board about John Wesley preaching in St Ives

St Ives history panel 

Whilst walking around the outskirts of the town, I spotted what used to be a butchers shop, now the offices of a local architecture firm, which had some beautiful tiling, which reminded me of the butchers that used to be on Moor Lane:

Butchers on Moor Lane Loughborough during demolition September 2013

Heading towards the town, I was surprised to find that St Ives was home to a property called Burleigh House, clearly not a patch on our Burleigh Hall though!! 

Burleigh House, St Ives

And their George Yard, albeit nicely painted, did not have an entrance to a pub called James' Vaults!

The George Yard, St Ives
Loughborough's George Yard

St Ives celebrated Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee by erecting a drinking fountain on Broadway in the middle of the town, called the Jubilee Memorial, with a polished granite column on a Portland stone base. The fountain in Loughborough, the Fearon fountain,  was given by the Rev'd Henry Fearon in celebration of the first piped water supply in 1872, and has polished Aberdeen granite columns. Loughborough celebrated the diamond jubilee with the creation of the Memorial Baths in Queen's Park, now the Charnwood Museum.

The Jubilee Memorial, St Ives

Re-dedication of the Fearon Fountain, Loughborough
Memorial Baths, now Charnwood Museum, Queen's Park, Loughborough

The oldest building in St Ives is the Priory Barn dating from 1320: the oldest building in Loughborough is the Old Rectory on Rectory Place, which dates back to 1228.

St Ives history panel
The Old Rectory, Loughborough

The oldest house in St Ives is the Manor House which was built around 1590. The Manor House in Loughborough (now an Italian restaurant) was built about 1477.

St Ives history panel

Loughborough's former Manor House

The railway came to St Ives in 1847, but had already come to Loughborough in 1840-1.

St Ives history panel

The war memorial in St Ives is a tall, thin monument, but totally unlike our own, which is a 153foot tall carillon tower.
The War Memorial, St Ives

The Carillon War Memorial, Loughborough
So, most towns had plenty of pubs, and also a number of banks, but how different the same bank can be when in a different town. Here's some examples, from St Ives and Loughborough:

NatWest, St Ives
NatWest, Loughborough
Lloyds Bank, St Ives

Lloyds Bank, Loughborough (ok, part of it!)

The other major difference in style comes with the Corn Exchange in St Ives, and what was the Corn Exchange, but is now the Town Hall in Loughborough.

Corn Exchange, St Ives

Loughborough Town Hall, formerly the Corn Exchange
And it is at this point that I must leave you now! So many other things to write about, but time has beaten me! Just one last note: the Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum is closed until November 2018 for refurbishment.

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Dyer, Lynne (2018). Finding Loughborough everywhere. Available from  [Accessed 8 April 2018]

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