100 days about Loughborough

100 Days Project – to write 100 words about Loughborough every day for 100 
consecutive days, starting today on National Writing Day, 21 June 2017!

Day 59 - 18 August 2017

I've just found the Wilson Museum in Cheltenham and been absolutely staggered by their collection of Arts and Crafts furniture! A whole room devoted to it, and another room affectionately called The Store with sideboards, chairs and bureaux piled high. Much of the work displayed was designed and created by Ernest Gimson and the Barnsley brothers who at one time were part of Loughborough University, and it was Gimson who designed Stoneywell Cottage. And if that weren't enough, they also have some Bernard Leach pottery, Bernard being the father of David who worked at Loughborough College!

Day 58 - 17 August 2017

Spoilt for choice today and it's only 11am!! Winners of the Leicestershire Green Plaque Awards have been announced and include several Loughborough connections: 

* Heathcoat and Boden's Lace Factory on Market Street (now Iceland), attacked by Luddites in 1816

* John Thoedore Kenney, creator and illustrator of Thomas the Tank Engine AND Ladybird Books illustrator

* Ann Ayre Healey of Ravenstone, nurse during the Crimean War, but featured in the current exhibition in Loughborough public library

* Tommy Brown of Earl Shilton, who rescued an Enigma machine from a German submarine, reminds me that Beaumanor Hall was a listening station in WW2.



Day 57 - 16 August 2017

A mercy call from the eldest who's looking for a morning suit to wear for the culmination of the outdoor bowls season in Southampton reminded me of all the bowls clubs we have in Loughborough. There's the indoor bowls next to the leisure centre, and outdoor there's the Brush at Nanpantan sports ground, and Phoenix off Park Road, which has been recently formed from a merger of the Park Road and Beacon Road clubs (i.e. Loughborough and Granby), and there's the Queen's Park club. Years ago there used to be many more clubs, like the one at the Bull's Head, Shelthorpe.



Day 56 - 15 August 2017

Just thinking about Unitarians. Since doing my local history course, I now understand a bit more about non-conformity - a bit rich coming from someone from Wales, whose relations were mostly non-conformists! Robert Bakewell, the local agriculturalist at Dishley Grange, was an Unitarian. During his lifetime, the Loughborough Unitarian chapel was on Warners Lane, and this is celebrated with a plaque near the spot. Following the demolition of the Warners Lane chapel, a new one was built on Victoria Street. This has now been converted into attractive residential accommodation, but still retains its outward appearance as a place of worship.




Day 55 - 14 August 2017

Apparently, I did see a Messenger conservatory when I visited Chatsworth last week: I should return for another look! Today I've been to Belvoir Castle, hoping to see another one, but disappointed because there were no conservatories, at least, none that we could see. No connection to Loughborough either, apart from the the painting and bust of the Marquis of Granby: apparently he is remembered today through the numerous pubs named after him. The Marquis of Granby pub in Loughborough, was on the opposite corner of Pack Horse Lane to the Pack Horse pub (or Organ Grinder) and was closed in 1922. 

Day 54 - 13 August 2017

I've just noticed that the Old Rectory Museum is now out there on Twitter! Ironically, my daughter has just told me that Twitter is so last year!! The ORM is near the Parish Church, over on Rectory Place/Steeple Row, in a lovely lawned setting. The building is only open for a few hours each year - Saturdays, 11-3 during April to October - so you really need to plan your trip: the grounds are open all year round. As well as the small collection of permanent exhibits, there's an annually changing display which this year covers the Civil War around Loughborough.



Day 53 - 12 August 2017

Sitting in the courtyard of the King's Head Hotel on High Street sipping tea and trying to do a crossword, I had a sneaky swipe through facebook and happened upon a post telling me that On This Day in 1893 Oscar Deutsch was born in Birmingham. The first cinema he opened was in Dudley in 1928, and he had cinemas built all over the country. In Loughborough we're lucky enough to have a stunning example of what was one of his Odeons, opened in 1936, showing Mr Deeds Goes to Town, starring Gary Cooper. This Odeon has been Beacon Bingo since about 1974.

Day 52 - 11 August 2017

This evening I've been looking through my newspaper cuttings - for something specific, which I found. In the process I was reminded about so many things that have happened or been proposed over the last 3 years. The proposed demolition of Herbert Morris - now that was a shocker - and of the Royal George. The plan for a new cinema and restaurant complex on the site of the old hospital. So much interesting information in the Looking Back section, and what a lot of clubs and societies are sending their reports in to the Club Call section of the Loughborough Echo!

Day 51 - 10 August 2017

A wonderful visit to Chatsworth today! I had hoped to get to see more of the artefacts on display, but the timing was off (as usual!) and there was a fashion exhibition on. All very nicely displayed, and quite interesting. My eye was caught by "the ball of the century", a fancy-dress party, which was held at Chatsworth in 1897, in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. One of the guests was Col. Arthur Paget and his wife - not our Arthur of Radmoor House though! And, one of the hosts, Louise, Duchess of Devonshire, went dressed as Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra!




Day 50 - 9 August 2017

One of the things that flitted through my mind today was a couple of 1960s buildings in town. The extension to the Carnegie public library on Granby Street was built in 1965 on the site of the demolished Island House, so called because of its position amongst tributaries of the Wood Brook. The extension to the library provided much-needed space for the expanding range of stock and activities undertaken by the library. In Ward's End, 1966 saw the completion of John Storer House, a community centre, and headquarters for Voluntary Action Charnwood. With its refurbished cafe JSH is a hub of activity and educational support. 

Day 49 - 8 August 2017

Today's thoughts have turned to that great British subject - the weather! Why I thought to wear a summer dress in August I have no idea. I do wonder if the rest of the country has had rain like we've had here today! Apart from the weather, I was also thinking about post boxes. I'm a member of the Letter Box Study Group, although I've been too busy to contribute over the last year or so. When I was out walking last night, I spotted a Victorian post box on Ashby Road: brightly painted, but with a missing cream-coloured Post Office direction sign a-top.



Day 48 - 7 August 2017

There's a rather nice building recently appeared on the Southampton Solent University Campus, with a most innovative lecture theatre perched on three legs, accessed via the second floor landing. What has this to do with Loughborough? I've been researching the Towers hall of residence on our university's campus, and noted that the architects were Gollins Melvin Ward, and at the time the steel-reinforced building material and the construction techniques they used were innovative. So, I followed up GMW, and discovered in 2015 they had been taken over by Scott Brownrigg, the firm responsible for the red alien at Southampton Solent University!



Day 47 - 6 August 2017

After a lovely, late breakfast at Oakley Grange on the outskirts of Hathern, I went for a wander around the streets of Loughborough, with no particular purpose other than to get some fresh air and exercise. There were lots of folk in town, and the Sockman was wearing a sign in support of a commemorative event on the anniversary of the dropping of a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. Along Ashby Road I found engraved house names hiding under ivy, and took some photographs of the university flower display, and Harry Cook's imaginative floral offering before making my way home.

Day 46 - 5 August 2017

I'm in the midst of an online genealogy course, which has piqued the interest of the youngest, along with heraldry. In an early blogpost, I mentioned the Black Boy pub, which was renamed the Blacksmith's Arms. This fairly common inn sign was variously thought to represent slaves, chimney sweeps, miners or Charles II. It was possible that in Loughborough this might be related to the Burnaby family whose crest includes a black boy, but as this was created for the family in 1913, this is definitely not the origin of the name of our pub, which was renamed in 1875.



Day 45 - 4 August 2017

Lots of things have happened today, but I shall struggle to tell you about them because youngest child is hogging the pc (doing some family history research to see if he is related in any way to nobility) so I am resorting to using my phone. Had a very long visit to Hardwick Hall today, a truly fascinating place, home to Bess of Hardwick. Lots of tapestries on show, and one was of Zenobia, 3rd century Queen of Syria, not the Loughborough perfume variety! Whilst we were out, the results of a recent course if study were released! I passed.

Day 44 - 3 August 2017

I was late for my lunch date in a cafe in town today because I popped into the public library to have a look at the new exhibition, Women At War, which opened this morning. Wow! What a lot of information and artefacts have been displayed, and in such an engaging way! It's on until 26 September, so you've got plenty of time to go and see it! Lunch was great too, and it was lovely to catch up with a friend I don't see often enough! Tonight I'm off to say cheerio to another friend who is moving away to Whitby after having spent all her life in Leicester.

Day 43 - 2 August 2017

Over on facebook, someone was talking about the Three Nuns. In my younger days, we used to go to the many real ale pubs in town, but when the children came along, this was no longer possible and our tastes changed anyway. Strange to say though, over the last 6 months, I've renewed my acquaintance with a couple of pubs - Three Nuns being one of them, along with the Griffin (and the Packe Horse about a year ago). I've also been into Kelso quite recently, but that can't be a renewed acquaintance because before it was Kelso's it was GT News!

Day 42 - 1 August 2017

Just thinking about the university campus, and how much it's changed over the years! Rutland Hall was built in 1932 and its companion, Hazlerigg in 1937. With a central fountain, these buildings are affectionately known as Rigg-Rut. Victory [sports] Hall is no longer with us, being built in 1945, opened in 1946 and demolished in about 2013. Towers was built in the 1960s and used as student accommodation, opposite the music centre and the college library. The student union building was opened in 1978, the Pilkington Library in 1980. I've lost track lately, as there seems to be constant demolition/construction happening. 

Day 41 - 31 July 2017

So today I am feeling incredibly sad - far more sad than I ever thought I would. What? You mean you're not with me on this one? That you didn't feel bereft the moment you realised that your access to library resources had been cut off? Oh. Just me then!! It's been a very intensive academic year, and I'm still awaiting the results, but it is sad to no longer be a student! Strange though, I always thought I was a librarian because I liked helping people find information, but it seems that was a cover for actually wanting to find information for myself!!

Day 40 - 30 July 2017

Another exciting day, this time shopping with the offspring - most unlike me to go shopping - especially at a retail park! And equally exciting, a couple of hours spent doing some searching of academic books and journals for information about Loughborough. I've found loads, but sadly there is still so much more to come to light, I've barely scratched the surface! Mostly about maintenance of roads, making a navigable waterway, and plots! A bit of music too, and some information on doctors and a lot of religious sermons and hymns and prayer books. Next job - read some of it!!

Day 39 - 29 July 2017

Exciting day today! Quick trip to and around Moira Furnace, a walk along the canal to Conkers, a stop off at Coleorton church and an Indian meal in town! Imagining the furnace blasting out with heat, and seeing the lime kilns and knowing that they connected with those at Calke (well, Ticknall) which I discovered last weekend, and getting the Earl of Moira connection with Loughborough, was amazing. Conkers was a haunt when the children were little, but the littlest didn't remember it! Spotting unusual Swithland slate gravestones, and memorials to the Beaumonts at Coleorton was also awesome! 

Day 38 - 28 July 2017

Today I finally made it to the Bodleian Library in Oxford, just to have a look around before my library ticket runs out! Took the opportunity to visit the Pitt Rivers Museum, where Loughborough was clearly in my thoughts as I spotted a huge ladybird on the wall, dinosaur bones on display (ok, so that's more akin to Barrow!) and pillars of alabaster from Chellaston - that which our spar ornament makers, some based in the buildings at the back of the Orange Tree, others on Church Gate, used to fashion into small ornaments to sell at seaside resorts like Skegness. 





Day 37 - 27 July 2017

I've just read in the local paper that Nanapantan Reservoir has been closed to the public until the end of 2017 for necessary repairs. At this time of year, this is such a shame as it's a really beautiful area and a lovely gentle, quiet walk, which I've blogged about in the past. Nanapantan Reservoir was the original source of the town's first water supply, back in 1870, and was supported by Archdeacon Fearon, who provided the beautiful Fearon Fountain in the Market Place. This was renovated in about 1986 by local sculptor David Tarver, and re-dedicated in about 2013.



Day 36 - 26 July 2017

Lots of conversations last week about the extension of the GCR line connecting Loughborough with Ruddington, and why one might want to do this. So many things to see and do along the way, so many interesting places to stop at! I love the country park and the Framework Knitters Museum in Ruddington. British Gypsum would be interesting to view from the trainline, as would Stanford and the lammas meadow. Loughborough, Quorn & Woodhouse, Rothley and Cropston Reservoir all fabulous places to view from a train, and finally a new museum at Birstall - what's not to love!  

Day 35 - 25 July 2017

If you've never been on a tour of Taylor's Bellfoundry I'd suggest you get yourself over there and have a look around, even if you're not interested in bells. I went today and had the most amazing time. The museum is quite small but has all the information and artefacts you could possibly want to see, along with a small gift shop selling souvenirs and bell-related products. The work in the foundry is quite astounding - engineering and craftsmanship - and almost 19th century, and the smell of the industrial environment is evocative of another age. Danger lurks at every turn!




Day 34 - 24 July 2017

Sometimes I go to meetings in public buildings, but oftentimes these are outside of the normal opening hours. The Friends of Charnwood Museum hold their monthly talks in the evening, after hours, and it always feels like such a privilege to enter via the Granby Street door, and walk through the exhibition area to the cafe when there's no-one around! Meetings and events in the public library hold a similar feeling of excitement! Imagine how wonderful it would be to have the Old Rectory Museum opened up especially for your visit, like Nicky Morgan, MP, who's visiting tomorrow!



Day 33 - 23 July 2017

Today my faith in human nature was validated! If you read the blog you probably already know we have an allotment. This year - as I seem to say most years! - there's been a bumper crop of soft fruit - red currants, blackcurrants, white currants, tayberries, raspberries, wineberries, gooseberries ... As there's only so much soft fruit we can eat, some of it turns into jam - nothing to do with me, it's magic, or rather the other half is a dab hand at jam-making. Today I exchanged a jar of mixed fruit jam for a set of keys I'd unwittingly dropped in the street.

Day 32 - 22 July 2017

Songster reminds me of the Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum: 151 feet high, bell-chamber accessed by 138 steps via a spiral staircase. Built with Tuckers bricks, by Moss builders, with Morris steel and Taylors bells, the tower is mostly locally made, apart from white Portland cement and Portland stone window dressings. Portland stone comes from Portland, Dorset, where there is a lighthouse, built in 1905: 135 feet high, 153 steps to the top via a spiral staircase. Built of sandstone, built by Wakeham Bros. from Plymouth, housing lanterns by Chance of Birmingham. Both structures offer stunning views of their surroundings.




Day 31 - 21 July 2017

Derby struck a chord with me. In the Silk Mill and the museum and art gallery we learned the history of the city from pre-historic times, but were surprised to find Egyptians mummies, alabaster, and bricks, amongst other things. One part of the museum was dedicated to the Derbyshire Yeomanry, rather like the first floor of our Carillon. I was staggered to find on display the "flintlock rifle used at Boden's Lace Factory Riot, 1816" - that would be John Heathcoat's factory too! And of course, like all good yeomanry museums, there was a full-size replica of a war horse, rather like Songster.  

Day 30 - 20 July 2017

Today we visited Derby. Not a city I've visited often, but I wanted to see the poppies again. First seen at the Tower of London in 2014, the poppies have travelled around the country, and we have previously seen them at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, but missed them at Lincoln, so I was keen to see them again, especially as their creator was from Derby. Spilling from the side of the Silk Mill, they didn't disappoint, and neither did the rest of Derby, but wouldn't it be wonderful to see the poppies falling from the top of the Carillon in Queen's Park? 

Day 29 - 19 July 2017

I've been leafing through some Loughborough Echos from the last three years, purposefully, of course, because I needed to make some space! Last night I was talking about the Echo, well actually, the stunning art deco building it used to occupy on Swan Street. I was also talking about the Loughborough Monitor, which used to be published by Mr Wills, as well as trade and street directories, before briefly joining forces with Mr Hepworth in Angel Yard. It was from here in 1914 that they published the first of their children's books, and registered the ladybird logo in 1915.   

Day 28 - 18 July 2017

I am just back from leading a group of people around Loughborough town centre, sharing with them the delights of our lovely town. We talked about the Carnegie Library, the Pinau statue, Island House, the cattle market, Clarke's dyeworks, the drill hall, the bleach works, spar ornaments makers, the Blacksmith's Arms, the Devonshire Square mural, the Odeon, the NatWest, the former Old Boot Hotel, the old Magistrate's court, the milestone outside the Organ Grinder pub, the Town Hall, the HSBC, the former Blackamoor's Head, Lloyd's bank, Crawshaws, the Fearon Fountain, Angel Yard, the Sockman, the Theatre Royal, Iceland and the librarian's house ...

Day 27 - 17 July 2017

Writing about Portland stone yesterday has reminded me about the use of local materials in our local buildings. In earlier times it would have been uneconomical and most inconvenient to trundle building materials regularly by canal, rail or road, especially since there were abundant supplies of many materials close by. The HSBC bank in Market Place uses Portland stone, but the plinth is of polished Mountsorrel granite, and the roof is of Swithland slate. The Fearon Fountain, however, has pillars that are partially made of polished Scottish granite. Lloyd's bank features terracotta from the Hathern Station Brick and Tile Company.

Day 26 - 16 July 2017

I've recently been lucky enough to have learned a bit more about clay! I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but actually, it is! At Tate St Ives I learned about terracotta (including the fact that it is a chemical formula), interesting because the Hathern Station Brick and Tile Company created many terracotta features for our town. At Corfe claymining museum I learned about the extraction of ballclay and its use for tableware (by, amongst others, Wedgwood). At Portland I was blown away by the Portland stone quarries, significant because the base of the Carillon is made of this stone.   






Day 25 - 15 July 2017

Corfe Castle, Dorset. Inadvertently stumbled upon a Tudor event - bows and arrows, tents, canons, Tudor food, games and music. Apparently, the Royalists held Corfe Castle in the early days of the Civil War, but it did eventually fall to Cromwell and his army. Cromwell's army (or some of it) did, of course, sleep overnight in our Parish Church around the time of the Battle of Cotes. Talking of which, I was a bit sad to miss the Civil War Walk today, but I was there in spirit. Back in Dorset, if Corfe Castle weren't enough, we then happened upon the steam railway ...

Day 24 - 14 July 2017

The Drill Hall in St Ives has very recently been renovated and now houses some lovely little shops, selling toys, antiques, clothes and crafts along with an attractive cafe. A very sympathetic renovation and a new use for what was once a very important building. Loughborough also had a drill hall, but its fate was quite unlike that of the St Ives one, as it was demolished. The drill hall was used by soldiers practising close-order manoeuvres, known as drills, and was located somewhere in what is now Granby carpark. Was it the Devonshire Regiment who used to meet and practise here?

Day 23 - 13 July 2017

James Thirsk, a branch librarian with Lancashire County Council, was called up to the army in 1940. After seeing short service as a gunner, he applied to the Intelligence Corps, and although his first application was unsuccessful, he did manage to secure a position. After spending a night in London, he was transferred to Beaumanor Hall, arriving at Quorn and Woodhouse station from Marylebone. On arrival he sat on a long sofa on the landing halfway up the stairs. But it was to be a short stay, before he was sent to Bletchley Park.

Day 22 - 12 July 2017

Like many people the sound of church bells ringing is an evocative thing, which reminds me of my childhood, living near the village church. Strange then, to witness an art installation (in this case a video) of a camera panning around the Roman amphitheatre at Caerleon, to the sound of alternating bass and tenor bells. These days, bells always remind me of our very own Taylors Bellfoundry. I wonder if the bells used in the installation were made at Taylors, who have sent bells all over the country and further. Looking forward to my trip to the foundry in July!

Day 21 - 11 July 2017

There's currently a fantastic display of Bernard Leach pottery at Tate St Ives, pots which don't often get a public viewing. And it's not just Bernard Leach's pots, but also those of Shoji Hamada, Michael Cardew and various other Leach potters. Up at the Leach Pottery there's an exhibition of work by Callum Trudgeon, apprentice. This, of course, does have something to do with Loughborough because in 1953 Bernard's son, David, lectured at what was Loughborough College of Art, the Principal being Jack Divine, who lived in Holt Cottage, next to The Holt, on the corner of Forest Road and Holt Drive.

Day 20 -10 July 2017

Along the back road from St Ives to Penzance there's a quarry. The fine grained granite it extracts is silver-grey and used for roadstone, and brown which is more decorative and used for walling or garden features. This granite comes from the ancient Cornish mountains. Over in Mountsorrel, the pink granite, used for construction projects, is mainly from the outcrop at Buddon Wood Hill. 450 million years ago, the earth's crust forced magma to the surface, and when cooled this contained large, pink crystals. So, not only is Mountsorrel granite old, it is also a lovely shade of pink!




Day 19 - 9 July 2017

I've just experienced a ride on an open-topped bus, down some very narrow country lanes. Exhilarating! This reminded me of several years ago when Leicestershire has a small fleet of such buses during the summer for a number of years. I've always been a fan, but sadly never managed to get on board due to working hours. How lovely it would be to reinstate these services. Imagine the views if the Carillon and the park, of the GCR and trains steaming along. What a glorious way to get between places and see the town and the area from a different perspective.

Day 18 - 8 July 2017

Walking through Penzance's main shopping streets, one cannot help but be struck by the domineering dome of the Lloyd's Bank at the top of the hill. A rather stunning building, rather like ours, which has distinctive terracotta embellishments, like the allegorical figure on top. Back in Penzance, many of the buildings are in poor condition, very much worse than in Loughborough, and there are also many more empty shops than in Loughborough. It's at times like this that I realise how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful well-kept and well-cared for town.

Day 17 – 7 July 2017

Cars! Useful, but a nuisance when they need attention!! On my way from the town centre to collect my mended car from the garage, I walked along Leicester Road, passing the doctors’ surgery, the house which used to belong to John Heathcoat, the one next door that belonged to his partner, John Boden, and then paused to admire the guest house on the corner of Leicester Road and Gregory Street that used to be the Vicarage for the vicar of Trinity Church, on Moor Lane / Trinity Street / Rutland Street, now a school, the church having joined with All Saints.  

Day 16 – 6 July 2017

Today we took a drive around Leicestershire looking for some of the large country homes and at some of the picturesque village churches with ornate gravestones. We found ourselves in Lowesby and walked around the perimeter of Lowesby Hall, before wandering around the churchyard spotting Swithland and Welsh slate headstones, Unfortunately, the church was closed, so we drove onto the next village, and happened upon Launde Abbey, where we stopped for refreshments. Imagine my surprise when we bumped into Rev’d David Newman, who used to be at Emmanuel Church, and former Archdeacon of Loughborough! Refreshed, it was time to drive home!



Day 15 – 5 July 2017

Last night I spent the evening reading the parish church (aka All Saints with Holy Trinity). We started around the outside, looking at the structure and the building materials, and other visual clues, like gargoyles, gravestones and downpipes. Moving inside we uncovered the many layers of the church – the Medieval, the prayer book worship era, the Victorian and 1960s renovations. We observed a continual process of adapting the form to suit the function of the time. The re-ordering of spaces, the moving of furniture, the renovation of the fabric, all geared to helping the clergy share their calling with the congregation. 

Day 14 – 4 July 2017

Idly walking past the bookshelves, as you do when you work in a library, my eye was caught by a book with a cute bear on the cover, called “Eight bears: a biography of E.W.Deming”. The name seemed familiar, and eventually I remembered that, although it’s spelled Deeming, this was the surname of the man – Charles Deeming – who lived in the large Victorian house, One Ash, and owned several cinemas in Loughborough, and one in Coalville. Shopping at Whitemoors a while ago I came across an old trunk that used to belong to Deeming – too big and expensive to purchase!


Day 13 - 3 July 2017

Ok, so you knew it wouldn’t be long before I signed up to yet another online course! I’ve been researching my family tree on and off for more than 20 years, so this course on genealogy seemed a perfect choice for me. I also do research into old families in Loughborough, so I’m looking forward to learning some new strategies and hints and tips from this course. If you’re interested in researching your own family tree, pop along to the public library on Granby Street where you can access the Library Edition of Ancestry for free – and get some free help!



Day 12 – 2 July 2017

Lovely sunny day in Loughborough, so we went out for a late breakfast at Oakley Grange Farm, to celebrate middle child’s birthday! Back in Loughborough, our allotment is bursting with soft fruit at the moment but it’s far too hot to go picking right now – maybe it’ll be a little cooler later this evening. Sitting hear writing this at home I can usually hear the wonderful sounds of the Carillon but today its’ the turn of the Syston Band to play in the bandstand in Queen’s Park – great programme for Sunday afternoons during the summer, and such a lovely setting.



Day 11 – 1 July 0217

I last saw a complete peal of Taylors bells when I ascended the Carillon Tower, back in the early 2000s. Fascinating! Today I was lucky enough to ascend the bell tower at All Saints with Holy Trinity, and was overcome with emotion at seeing the peal of eight bells, all crafted by Taylors. Here the firm tries out new ideas, new ways of doing things, new materials, some of which work, some of which are less successful. I would imagine it’s this experimentation and pushing of boundaries that have ensured the success of what is now the UK’s remaining bellfoundry. 




Day 10 - 30 June 2017

Just back from Stratford. It’s Roman season at the Shakespeare theatre. Titus Andronicus really is as gory as I’d been told! Back in the safety of Loughborough, I’ve been lucky enough to go and see the live screening of both Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra at our Odeon Cinema in Cattle Market. Originally the Empire, and variously the Essoldo, the New Empire, the Curzon, and the Reel, in the face of the threat from the new multiplex cinema on the site of the old hospital, our little cinema seems to be carving out something of a niche for itself. 



Day 9 - 29 June 2017

The renovation of Nos.53-54 Baxter Gate, now known as 1 Old Hospital Court, is encouraging. The former nurses’ home, doctor’s surgery, hospital store and health information centre is restored to its former glory and in use again. A Grade II listed building, it stands as testament to what can be achieved, given the right circumstances. No.52, however, has fared less well, and appears to have been demolished. When I read the plans in the “Echo”, I hadn’t realised the extent to which the property was to be destroyed and rebuilt: the side walls seemingly the only parts to be retained.



Day 8 - 28 June 2017

I used to think Spring was the most popular time for putting one’s house up for sale, but recently this seems more likely in Summer. I say this because a number of houses have come on the market in the recent weeks, properties the like of which don’t come up often. There is a property on Burton Street, if you fancy it (with tenants arranged for next year). Or, if you’d rather a beautiful Arts and Crafts semi-detached, 6-bedroomed house you will find one on Charnwood Road, and on the same road there is a 4-bedroomed 1930s detached house.  




Day 7 - 27 June 2017

Jewellers are cropping up in my world. Denhams, Belvoir Street Leicester, has recently closed down. Denhams in Loughborough was taken over probably about a year or so ago. Ivan Tarratt, jewellers on Market Street Leicester, established 1913, closed down, last year, I think it was. George Tarratt had a jewellers at 33 Market Street Loughborough, next to the Old Boot Hotel, I believe, but when I moved to Loughborough, Piddock and Tarratt were in Ward’s End: it was from them that I received a rather lovely 1970s design ring, set with a sapphire and two diamonds, in brushed satin gold.





Day 6 - 26 June 2017

At work today talk was of publishers - no big surprise since work is a library! This got me thinking about our own publisher, Ladybird Books! Henry Wills, originally a bookseller, who then moved into publishing guides, almanacs and trade directories on Market Street, started the company with William Hepworth. When WW1 began, publishing work was short: Wills and Hepworth turned to children’s books, publishing the first in 1914 and registering the ladybird logo in 1915. Trading from Angel Yard, in Market Place, publishing began in earnest in the mid-1900s, the moved to Beeches Road, before being absorbed by Penguin.  


Day 5 - 25 June 2017

2.25am. Another sleepless night: another opportunity to survey the slumbering street. Beneath the umbrella-shaped tree, the streetlamp shines like a spotlight, casting an eerie glow over the immediate area, plunging the remainder into virtual darkness. Reflection in a car augments the lit area; further down the street I can see we have joined those residential streets being turned off post-midnight. Energy usage reduced and improved visibility with white light. Thank goodness the 90 degree corner is lit: otherwise the side of the house in direct line of vehicles speeding along would be regularly rebuilding their wall. We are not alone.          




Day 4 - 24 June 2017

I've been busy doing a course in local history so no time to read for pleasure: a pile of books, waiting to be read, has been building up. One of these was written by the lady who delivered the guiding course I attended; another, the story of a Loughborough family in the 1950s; one - still wrapped in clear cellophane - contains architectural plans of Watson Fothergill, the Nottingham architect responsible for our NatWest bank in Cattle Market. One of his iconic buildings is the Black Boy Hotel in Nottingham. Our Blackboy pub was replaced by the Blacksmith's Arms in 1875.

Day 3 - 23 June 2017

Last evening I joined the Friends of Charnwood Museum to listen to Nick Pell talk about the Porthmaddoc Heritage Railway
 Much resonated with me: glorious October holidays in Bertrand Russell's former house; a trip to Llechwedd slate caverns, which reminded me of our own Swithland slate quarries; and the Great Central Railway, our own steam line. The Porthmaddoc line was narrow gauge: the GCR is the only double track main line in Britain. Look out for the Bridge to the Future project to connect with another part of the line, and the new Great Central Museum being prepared for Birstall.





Day 2 - 22 June 2017

Loughborough. Summer Solstice. Little sleep: very hot, humid night, 26 degrees outside - a good deal hotter inside. In a moment of wakefulness, I thought the sun was shining: no, only the security lights from neighbouring houses. I'd forgotten they are on permanently. Failed to spot the street lights though: have we plunged into 19th century darkness? Funding cuts? A desire to stave off global warming? Or was I rather more asleep than I realised?

The Solstice did bring good news: the Alma Mater and the employer (Loughborough and De Montfort University respectively) were both awarded Gold in the TEF!


Day 1 - 21 June 2017

There’s an initiative called the 100 Days Project, that gets people to commit to doing something creative every day for 100 consecutive days. This could be taking a photograph, making a video, sculpting, sewing, or painting. Some unusual projects involve people creating a mind map, making something from a sheet of music, drawing a different leaf, photographing toys, writing haikus.

It’s an official project, with an official website and a sign up pledge, but I see no reason not to go it alone! I am committing to write 100 words about Loughborough – every day for 100 days! Wish me luck!

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). 100 days first post. Available from: http://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.co.uk/p/100-days-about-loughborough.html [Accessed 21 June 2017]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 


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