A selection of people’s memories of Belgrave:
The church clock: “The current tower clock at Belgrave is the second mechanical clock to be in the tower. The slate face of the original can still be seen, half way up the north wall of the tower. The overflow pipe for the heating’s header tank sticks out through it. I imagine it was a simple, one-handed clock. When my father took over as clock winder in the mid-1960s, the works of this original clock were still in the clock chamber. Shortly afterwards, a gifted builder and craftsman called Fred Newcombe, removed the works from the tower, cleaned and painted them and donated them to the Leicester museum”. John Martin-Jones, November 2019.
The following memories are taken from “Belgrave as I remember it”:
Belgrave Folk: “Most things have changed in Belgrave – the characters have all gone. But there will never be any finer people residing in Belgrave than those who were there from 1920 – 1956. Of course, that’s only my opinion – a mere male born and bred in Dummy Town”. Mr A. H. Berry, resident of Belgrave from 1922.
Old Belgrave: “Although the Industrial Revolution had imposed its rows of terraced houses, “Old Belgrave” still retained its own authentic village atmosphere. Down Bath Street, the Green was surrounded by old cottages – a pretty rural scene. I also have an impression of a large antiquated building, maybe the old hall, which had degenerated into slums and was eventually pulled down and the Scout Hut built on the site. Berridge Lane was a path through fields or gardens, but I remember only one little old thatched cottage there”. Kathleen McDonagh, resident of Belgrave 1914 – 1926
Mr. Sam Coltman: “My grandfather, Mr. Sam Coltman, was born in Belgrave in the early 1830’s. He lived in the corner thatched cottage on the Green in Bath Street. The cottage consisted of a dirt path to the front door, and in the entrance was a kidney stone floor. The living quarters were a very big room and a small one leading off. The big room had a fireplace running almost the length of the whole room. There were always big oval saucepans and kettles hanging from chains over the fire, which was the only means of cooking., and the lighting consisted of a very big brass paraffin lamp. My grandfather was a shoemaker and he made the shoes in the small room from start to finish by hand. My grandfather was known as the ‘Great Old Man’ of Belgrave”, and he died at the age of 92 in the 1920’s. My mum was one of 18 children!”. Mrs Vera Hall (nee Doughty).