Displaying the first of 7 old photos of Wigston. View all Wigston photos
Historic maps of Wigston and the local area, hand-drawn by Ordnance Survey and Samuel Lewis. View all Wigston maps
Wigston area books
Displaying 1 of 11 books about Wigston and the local area. View all books for this area
Memories of Wigston
The Bank Chippy Bell Street
My friend lived at the Queens Head pub shown in the Bell Street photo, when we were cold and hungry we used to go to the Bank Chip shop (just out of shot at the top right of the picture, on the curve of the road opposite the pub), we never bought anything, we had a portion of scratchings (batter bits) in newspaper with lots of salt and vinegar for free!
I remember going to Bell Street around 1967/8 to see Michael Aspel open "Key Markets" which was a supermarket of sorts, and would be on the left-hand-side of this picture (I think either next door to the Co-op, or may have occupied the same space for a while until it closed down.
Also Foryan's (not sure of the spelling) bicycle and toy shop on the other side of the road (now the cancer charity shop). The old chap who owned it, sold bikes (Raleighs) but knew absolutely nothing about them, so a popular school-boy prank, which was a great source of amusement to me and my friends, was to go into the shop and ask for something like a pair of cotter-pins, or a cone-spanner. We were always highly amused by his totally blank-look, and standard answer that they weren't in stock.
The corner shop was Tyler's, a sweet and grocers shop. They sold 1d iced lollies made from a juice drink similar to Ribena. You were allowed out to play all day except Sundays, and we would very often go around in a little gang. We especially enjoyed going over the fields (the hills and hollows) behind Church Nook, to two little ponds to fish for tadpoles and further along to Rally Bridge, which was a footbridge across the railway line. Memories come back of running through the steam of the trains across the bridge for a dare.
Wide spread floods; the raised footpath to Countesthorpe, the canal freezing over, the bridal path to Blaby and playing in the ruins of Nabisco Freers biscuit factory after the fire. Great times eh? It makes you wonder how we survived, running down the Spion Cop hill to beat the train looping round to South Wigston station. I live in France now so it was grand to find this sit; the photographs brought back lots of happy memories, can't hink of any bad memories and the sun was out every day!
Above Shop Flats
1963: We were so desperate for somewhere to live when we got married that we almost signed up for one of the upstairs flats above the shops. The flats were brand new and looked very attractive back then. The the reality set in that we couldn't afford it and we ended up renting a flat off the Narborough Road in the Westcotes area. SLCS must be 'The South Leicester Co-op Society'
Happy Childhood Days
When I was about 6-7 years old we lived in Lansdowne Grove ( 1 mile approx) and Crow Mills was a favorite place to come and fish for minnows and frog spawn. The summers seemed endless and jam jars were a precious item to us as they were needed to bring home the results of the days exploits. I think the mill was still working then, I know the water wheel certainly was. All you needed was your jar of course a stick, some thin string or cotton, a few worms and a bent pin. We would spend hours there. Across the road were the 'Rally Banks' which was the railway embankment and bridges another favorite play ground; as there was lots of undergrowth to play Cowboys and Indians in. In the winter when it snowed they were used as mini sledge runs. Seasonal treats were bunches of 'pussy willow' in the spring and blackberry's in the late summer both of which could be guaranteed to pacify your Mum if... Read more
Blaby Road West End
This view is not much different from the forties. This photo has been taken from outside Rawlinsons butchers shop to the right and St Thomas's church to the left ( both out of shot). The first shop to the right is Eric Holmes Cycle shop. Eric Holmes Jnr was a school friend of mine and we both attended Basset Street Juniors(just round the corner). The road off to the right is Countesthorpe Road. The roof that appears to stick out of the line of roofs on the right is the 'Ritz' cinema (now a bingo hall)