A selection of people’s memories of Belgrave

A selection of people’s memories of Belgrave

A selection of people’s memories of Belgrave:

Richard Hallam (featured on the Trust’s pop-up banner).

“I remember Richard Hallam as my Sunday School teacher at Claremont Street Methodist Church. A resident of Birstall, he didn’t have a car so he caught the bus  to church. He always wore a red rose-bud in his lapel”. Wendy, Trust member, 2023.

“The old Claremont Street Chapel was pulled down to make way for the Junior School buildings – now the present Church. Mr Stephen Hilton built the large School premises in memory of his daughter – Mrs Richard Hallam – who had died young. Mr Richard Hallam bought a 2-manual organ in memory of his wife for this hall. This organ was later sold to Ratby Methodist Church”. Margaret Dyer, wife of  Charles Dyer, Minister at Claremont Street Church 1969 – 1977.

St. Peter’s 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.

Claremont Street Methodist Church.

“I came to Claremont in 1946. I had married Bert Billsdon, a member of Claremont Church, during the war and when he was demobbed in 1946 he took up his activities at Claremont again – mainly Sunday School and Choir. Work at Claremont continued with the returning men and women from the Forces with enthusiasm but against other attractions making themselves felt. There was still a large Sunday School and active Choir who regularly performed Oratorios as well as leading the singing at services and performing Anthems regularly. The Sunday School Anniversary was an important musical event when a large gallery was erected in the church and was filled with rows of children”. Nora Billsdon.

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).