Sunday, 28 September 2014

Nanpantan and Temperance

Nanpantan and the Temperance movement

While I was researching last week’s blopost on The Windmill Inn, I happened across a mention in a 1928 trade directory of a temperance establishment on Baxter Gate (number 27) run by a Mrs Mary Peberdy, which reminded me that I had not shared with you my research into temperance in Nanapantan.

I also mentioned in my blogpost a couple of weeks ago that I had been moved to research the temperance movement because of a facebook post I’d read about the Temperance Hotel in Nanpantan, where reference was made to some postcards on ebay of two different buildings in Nanpantan purporting to be the Temperance Hotel. Obviously, I can’t post pictures of those postcards, but here’s a link to the one (scroll down to the bottom of the page) and here’s a link to the other. (see below for further information about the latter).

1911 census entry for Mr Clarke, and Mr Potter

An extensive search of the census returns for Nanpantan has revealed that at one time there were two Temperance venues in Nanpantan – at least, according to the enumerator of the 1911 census - one being the Longcliffe Hotel, and the other being Nanpantan Temperance Hotel. The Longcliffe Hotel was on the corner of Nanpantan Road and Breakback Road, and is now a nursing home, having at one time being a hall of residence for the university. The Temperance Hotel is on the same side as the Longcliffe, at the end of the row of cottages coming down the hill towards Loughborough. You may well have noticed it: I have travelled to work that way for the last 28 years, but had never stopped to wonder what the house that set back from the road was, until now, but now it’s not so easy to see as there has been some development in front of it.

The former Longcliffe Hotel
In 1891, The Longcliffe Hotel was being run by John Bennett and his wife Mary Ann. John had previously been a licensed victualler at the King William IV pub at 46 Pinfold Gate, in 1871, before moving to The Boat Inn at 2 Fishpool Head (listed exactly as this: 2 Fishpool Head (the Boat Inn) – which is odd because the only Boat Inn listed in Bill’s book is the one on Canal Bank, whereas Fishpool Head was, I think, where the Cattle Market is now).

I believe the Nanpantan Temperance Hotel had not quite been built in 1891.

In 1901 Thomas Clarke was the “Full Licensed Public Hotel Keeper” of the Longcliffe Hotel, where he lived with his wife, Mary, and children Beatrice, Ernest, and Amy, and two servants.

In 1911 the Longcliffe was still being run by Thomas Clarke and his wife, Mary, and his occupation was listed as a licensed victualler. The business had a small cottage attached at the side which the couple rented out as a holiday home. According to a friend of mine, people used to come to Nanpantan from as far away as Derbyshire for short breaks.

The former Nanpantan Temperance Hotel

By 1901, The Nanpantan Temperance Hotel had been built and was being run by Samuel Potter and his wife, Mary Ann. Samuel was a former cabinet maker who had previously – certainly in 1891 -  lived at number 18 Nottingham Road. In 1901 he is listed as a registered hotel keeper, and his children, Nellie and Mary are also living with their parents, as is Samuel’s brother-in-law, who is listed as a cabinet maker. There are also a couple of servants living in.

In 1911, Samuel, listed as a caterer and hotel keeper, is running the Temperance Hotel with his wife, Mary and daughter, also called Mary.

So, I think you can see why I am somewhat confused by Nanpantan and its temperance hotels! Ebay has featured photographs of two different buildings claiming to be the Nanpantan Temperance Hotel (as well as one claiming to be the drive of said hotel scroll down a bit to see it), and the enumerator of the 1911 census has listed Thomas Clarke, and Samuel Potter as both residing at the Nanpantan Temperance Hotel, but I can only find information for one temperance hotel (the one run by Potter, I think), the other establishment being the Longcliffe Hotel, which is quite obviously a licensed establishment, run by Clarke.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Spotlight on Ancient Loughborough, part 1 The Windmill Inn

The Windmill Inn
The Windmill Inn, Sparrow Hill, Loughborough

Last week, having showed you some of Canterbury’s impressive old buildings, and mentioned the cruck-frame building in Loughborough on Church Gate where Irish is now, I promised you I’d investigate some of Loughborough’s oldest timer-framed buildings. So, here goes!

The Baker's

Down on Sparrow Hill, next to the right of the Parish Church, and to the left of what used to be Merrin’s the bakers, you’ll see a pub claiming to be “The oldest pub in Loughborough”.
The back of The Three Nuns
I think there’s a battle going on between The Windmill Inn and The Three Nuns, on Church Gate, to lay claim to the title, but I’m really not sure who wins! According to that expert, and dear friend, Bill, the Windmill was opened pre-1600, and the Three Nuns pre-1666, so whatever, it’s a pretty close call!

The front of The Three Nuns

Another friend of mine has been upstairs in The Windmill Inn and has dated the timber used in the cruck-frame to the 15th century, and on these timbers you can still see the carpenter’s marks. The Leicestershire traveller, John Throsby, included in the record of his travels, an engraving of a romanticised view of the Parish Church, viewed from the meadow [presumably the Big or Nether Meadow, now one of the Coronation Meadows], with a windmill [his engraving showed a Midlands Post-mill] in the foreground. This engraving appeared around 1789, although I’m convinced I’ve seen it in one of my books with an earlier date, but, of course, I can’t find it now!
The Windmill from the side

No matter, I think it’s pretty obvious from the date of the timbers, and the view from the side and the back that this building is as old as we think it is. We are pretty sure that there was a farm in this area, many, many years ago, so I shouldn’t be surprised if this pub were not one of the farm buildings themselves, probably not the farmhouse, but possibly one of the outbuildings.

The Windmill from the back
The pub has a wonderful history, and has been a meeting place for a variety of interesting clubs, including the United Order of Druids in 1837 (perhaps the Druid’s Arms down on Pinfold Gate was shut that particular evening!), the Buttonhole Club (who also used the Blackamoor’s Head in Market Place as a meeting place for a while) and the Royal Antediluvian Order ofBuffaloes. It may also he haunted by a lady in grey.

I can tell you who a few of the owners and landlords have been over the years, but not all, and certainly not since 1989:

Pre-1830 – Charles Limb

c. 1830 –  c.1859 John Cleever/Cleaver (may have been the owner of the property rather than the landlord of the pub itself)

c. 1849 – Christopher Cleever

c. 1861 – Matthew Stafford

c. 1866 – Robert Speed

c. 1872 – owned by Mr North

c. 1883 - 1895 Benjamin Sharp & Mrs E. Sharp

c. 1895 – Alfred H. Ellis

c. 1899 – Luke Birkin

c. 1904 – Mr Dowding

Pre-1928- c. 1960 – Everard Hickinbottom, and Mrs M. A. Hickinbottom

1960 -1975 Peter and Doreen Heath

1975 – 1989 Doreen Heath

My own connection with the pub goes back to the late ‘70s, early ‘80s when we used to go down every Wednesday lunchtime for a cheese cob and a game of darts. The landlady at the time was Doreen Heath, and, coincidentally, her barmaid was also called Doreen. And one of those spooky coincidences is that while I was starting to write this article, a picture of Doreen popped up onto my facebook page, as someone was posting pictures of pub landlords/ladies! The local paper, The Loughborough Echo, referred to Doreen as one of Loughborough’s most colourful and respected characters.

I admit, I haven’t been in for many, many years, but the memories remain, and an affection for the place has been re-ignited by researching into its history.
Yours truly outside The Windmill Inn


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Loughborough to Canterbury!

Loughborough's old buildings

Last week I found myself in Canterbury, attending a conference at the university. As part of the final afternoon’s activities, some of us popped along to look at the cathedral library: Historic, atmospheric, and truly remarkable! After I’d finished there, I took the time to have a look around Canterbury, not a place I’d ever been to before, nor a place I’d ever considered visiting. As I wandered round, I came across a mill (no longer working) and was quite staggered by the timber-framed buildings and narrow streets which reminded me very much of York. This set me to thinking …

John Leland [sometimes spelled Leyland], a native of Leicester, travelled and wrote about his experiences. Now, I’ve not had time to go back to the original source, but several books in my collection quote (and possibly, misquote) Leland as saying (in relatively modern English):

“The whole town of Leicester at this time is builded of tymbre; and so is Loughborow after the same rate. The town of Loughborow is in largeness and good buildings next to Leicester of all the market towns in the shire and hath in it 4 main streets or more well paved …”

Canterbury made me wonder, where are all these timber buildings in Loughborough today? And York made me ask, did we have a Shambles?

To the first, I discovered that whilst some, like the fifteenth century Merchant’s House, that was on Church Gate, on it’s corner with Warner’s Place, where the Irish shop is now, is no longer there, being demolished in about 1975, others, remain, if you know where to look!

To the second, consulting my sources, I can comment in the affirmative: In about 1688, Loughborough did have a shambles. This was an open space where cattle and sheep were slaughtered, and above this, on huge wooden pillars, was the Chamber of the Court Leet. This building was on Cattle Market, on its corner with Market Street and Market Place, opposite the Town Hall, so where Clemerson’s and Gilesports used to be, and where there is now a ‘phone shop.

I haven't even mentioned the similarities between our two universities, from the 1960s buildings, to the popularity of the Sports courses ...

Anyway, pop back again next week, and I’ll tell you about Loughborough’s “tymbre” buildings, but, in the meantime, scroll on down for some pictures of Canterbury.

Detail on the cathedral

Part of the cathedral

Can't think of a better building to house a bookshop!

The mill

Part of the mill workings



Sunday, 7 September 2014

Spotlight on: 54 Baxter Gate

Former nurses' home

Number 54 in the distance

I'm a little short of time at the moment, so I am posting today about a brief conversation which I was involved with on the fbk Remember Loughborough page about a building on Baxter Gate. Coincidentally, I had been talking about this building earlier this week, and it has been one of my favourites since I first discovered it as part of my tour guiding course end 2012/beginning 2013.

Baxter Gate is an interesting street, with buildings from many different eras existing side-by-side. It's
1930s building on Baxter Gate
a one-way street: On the left-hand side as you go down, there are many fantastic examples of 1920/30s buildings, whilst on the other side are much older buildings, one such - Titania's - being thought to be 16th century. The reason for these different building styles is that in the late 1920s, early 1930s Baxter Gate, along with several other Loughborough streets, was widened from its original Tudor width. I do find it rather amusing that around 1985 (and I did say "around" because I can't quite remember the exact year!) the corner of Baxter Gate, where you turn left off the High Street, was made narrower again when the market Place was pedestrianized and the pedestrian lights changed. Not sure what's happening there at the moment, with the pedestrianization of the High Street.

Number 54 Baxter gate

Anyway, the building in question is a Grade II listed building, which at one time was next door to the hospital. Before the hospital was built, in 1862, there was a dispensary on Baxter Gate, which had been originally situated in 1819 on Mill Street (now Market Street), but moved to Baxter Gate in 1824. Looking at a map of 1837, I would suggest that the dispensary is on the plot now occupied by Beacon Bingo, and ceased to be used once the new hospital was built.

Messrs Garton the Mart

So, number 54 Baxter Gate was built around 1900, in brick, with terracotta - possibly from the Hathern Brick company - as an auction mart for Garton and Amatt, with a restaurant and rooms on the upper floors, and has a carriageway arch to the left. I'm not sure when Garton and Amatt vacated the building, but I know Garton moved to the Temperance café on Cattle Market.

The hospital was originally a two-storey building, but in the early 1930s, when more space was needed, a couple of extra storeys were added, and some time later, the buildings adjacent to the hospital were demolished and an extension built on the side. This meant that number 54 Baxter Gate was now next to the hospital.

57 Park Road

The nurses' home at this time, was in a purpose-built building which had been built from about 1924 onwards, but at some point they moved to number 54 and stayed there until 1960 when they then moved to 57 Park Road. In 1963, number 54 became offices for the hospital, and was used in this way until at least 1984, becoming a medical information centre in the late 1980s, before closing the doors sometime in the 1990s.

Folks on fbk have said that they remember number 54 being used as a doctors' surgery: Certainly, a Dr McLeod lived at number 52 Baxter Gate in 1929. Mention was also made of Drs: Thompson, B[r]amber, Riley, Harris, Ryan, Acker, Jeffs, Earl, Shicks, and Janner. Perhaps the term "offices" really meant "doctors' consulting rooms"? Apparently, these doctors moved to Woodbrook Medical centre on Bridge Street: There is still a Dr Ryan listed as working there.

So, there is now a planning application out to re-develop the former hospital site, with number 54 included in this. The notices are currently pinned to the mural where the hospital used to be.  

See ya next week, hopefully!