Saturday, 23 June 2012

Wharf St.

Previous posts told of the streets around Belgrave Rd: Garden, Orchard, Royal East and Wilton and the story of a family's life in that area. 

Wharf St 1966
Wilton St was not far from Wharf St, a bustling street full of shops and a cinema. However, for my friend and her siblings, as young children in the 30s, it was a no-go area: a slum area that their mother hated them going near. 

Around that area she remembers these shops:
Worthngton’s grocer’s:  they had several stores across Leicester.

Hillaird’s butchers: ham and pork, hocks and udders.

Manin’s: like an early M+S.

Palfreman’s: a pawn shop.

There were pubs on every corner but she especially remembers The Bolturner’s, Belgrave Rd and The Boot and Shoe club, Wharf St.

Wharf St /Eldon St corner 1966
Her Aunty  would take her down to the Clock Tower: this was an exciting place full of bright lights and shops. Thomas Cooke had a big, lit-up sign over the shop which went around the corner,  giving out the latest news

There was a tram garage inside the Haymarket, with tramlines running into the centre of town from Belgrave Gate, 
Leah's was on the corner of Humberstone Gate and Charles St (later C&A and then Primark).
The Bell Hotel was on the same side of Humberstone Gate nearer the Clock Tower and Lewis’ was on the opposite side.

She also remembers the Town Waites band playing trumpets up and down Belgrave Gate. A conversation on asks

“Has anyone knowledge of the names etc. of the male musicians who were members of of the Leicester Town Waits band at the turn of the century 1800's x 1900's? I understand that the band was local authority organised and funded. One of their activities was to, for a fee, turn out during the evening at Christmas time and play carols outside of the fee-payers premises.”

Modern photos of Wharf St as is exisits today show some fabulous detail if only we remember to look up.

Did you or your family live around Wharf St? What was life like for you?

Thanks to Colin Hyde for the modern day photos: East Midlands Oral History Archive

Thanks to Dennis Calow at Vanished Leicester for the old photos.

Vanished Leicester is part of a fantastic resource, My Leicestershire , which is part of The East Midlands Oral History archive

If you'd like to be involved contact us on 0116 276 9186 or pop in to:
The Emerald Centre, Gipsy Lane, Leicester. LE5 OTB

We're now also on Twitter: follow me on  @irishleicester

Click here to view a map of The Irish in Leicester.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I've been tracing my family tree and have found that my ancestors Jonathan and Mary Wilson fled the potato famine and settled in Wharf Street. Thank you so much for your photos and information. It's really helped me to build a picture, Sarah (Brighton)