Monthly Archives: August 2012

Clarendon Park in 1960 Part 1: Clarendon Park Road

This week’s local history purchase was the 1960 Kelly’s Directory of Leicester, which was published at the tail end of the publishing history of the trade/street directory.  The binding is still the familiar red, gold and black with advertising on every possible surface, and it’s still a weighty tome – but Kelly’s and its rivals faced competition from telephone directories and by 1960 its days were numbered.  It’s still a fascinating read for those of us so inclined, and I have enjoyed making comparisons between Clarendon Park in 1960 and 1912.

Although Queens Road is the obvious choice, for comparing the shops and businesses of the past and present, I find the lesser shopping streets more interesting.  I started with Clarendon Park Road, which several older residents of Clarendon Park Road have told me used to be full of useful little shops.  I took a notebook on a walk down Clarendon Park Road and noted the current shops and businesses.   I added these in italics to the list below of 1960 shops and businesses.  What is interesting is how many broadly similar or even the same businesses there are trading at quite a few of the premises – such as a branch of the Belgrave Laundry Co at number 107, which is now Bliss dry cleaners, or the bicycle dealer John E Chamberlain at 214-6 (now Julies Cycles).  Some businesses have moved to different premises, such as Spiers Pharmacy, which in its earlier incarnation was at the premises now occupied by Hot Ice Printing.

There are also a lot of changes.  There aren’t any greengrocers on Clarendon Park these days, more’s the pity – but we do have a few take aways and a running shop (which I suspect would have been utterly baffling to the Clarendon Park residents of 1960!).  I was surprised at how many shops and businesses there still are on Clarendon Park Road.  I had expected the number to have dropped considerably.  There are some former shops that have been rather insensitively converted to houses, and some attractive shop fronts that have been badly modernised (the former Tango tanning shop at 179 and 181 for example.  Grey double glazing is never a good look, chaps).  But on the whole we are very lucky in still retaining much of the Victorian character of the shops and houses on Clarendon Park Road.  Let’s keep it that way.

* Disclaimer: Many of the shops and businesses on Clarendon Park Road don’t have visible street numbers, so there may be some small errors (please feel free to point them out to me!).

Clarendon Park Road

  • 107 Belgrave Laundry Co Ltd, the (branch office) Bliss – dry cleaning
  • 109 Mitton, Wm – upholsterer Mittons – carpets and mattresses
  • 111 Kirby & West Ltd - dairymen Mittons
  • 111A Dilks, R & Co Ltd - hosiery manufacturers
  • 113 Matthews, N P – auto body repairs  Red Cross mobility shop
  • 113 Leicester Car Valet Services
  • 117 Tony’s Cut Price Stores – grocers Natwest Bank
  • 123 Copping, Jack – newsagent
  • 125 York, Wm – ophthalmic optician
  • 127 Brown, Harold F & Co Ltd – plumbers Habito - lettings agent
  • 129 Clarke’s Shoe Repair Service Empty – was antiques
  • 131 Cave, Ernest Arthur – fruiterer TJs Burgers and Kebabs
  • 131 Tanner, A G – motor engineer Gents & Boys Hairdressers
  • 157 Warren, Frederick William – boot dealer Labels – designer dress agency
  • 161 The Tawa Curry Hut – takeaway
  • 163 Smith, William H (Coal and transport) Ltd – motor coach proprietors First4Lettings
  • 165/7 Popple, S H – clothing manufacturers
  • 179 & 181 Worthington’s Cash Stores – grocers Stetfords lettings
  • 193 Hubbard, Mrs E M – newsagent
  • 195 Leicester Horticultural Engineering Co Ltd – horticultural machinery engineers
  • 199 Leicester Trustee Savings Bank (branch) Power Thompson
  • 201 Rowley, William – grocer Knighton Supermarket
  • 205 Rowley, R – fishmonger Knighton Flowers
  • 217 Spiers,  Arthur H – chemist Hot Ice Printing
  • (Clarendon Park Baptist Chapel) N&S Coaches Ltd – motor coach proprietors
  • 229 Parton, J L – chiropodist
  • 231 S R Parton & Associates – chiropodists and podiatrists
  • 241 Allen, Ernest A – painter & decorator
  • 245 Langran, Ronald J – newsagent Stuff – antiques & curios
  • 247 Roxby’s - drapers Revivals – dress and toy agency
  • 249 Parry, L – wallpaper dealer
  • 251 Jesson, I M – confectioner
  • 257 Green, Mrs M – teacher of music
  • 277 Plinsent, Arthur Ernest – shopkeeper
  • 323 Worsley, W – confectioner
  • 325/7 Spiers Pharmacy

Evens

  • (Parish church of St John the Baptist)
  • 64 Whowell, William & Son Ltd – crepe rubber factors ( Plantation ho)
  • 66 Reggio Garage – motor engineers Reggio Garage
  • (St John the Baptist Junior School)
  • (British Legion – Knighton Branch)
  • (St John’s Church Rooms)
  • 78 Radar Electrical Co – television installations Anita’s cards/Radar
  • 82 Adlard & Roffe – bakers
  • 84 The Loughborough Building Society
  • 98 Peadon S A & Son Ltd – bakers Rebecca’s – cakes
  • 140 Weaver, Edward G – hairdresser Kanta Mantini hairdressers
  • 142 Elson, Mrs H – confectioner The Offie – beer retailer/off license
  • 144 Clarendon Books – secondhand bookshop
  • 146 Armstrong, C P – greengrocer The New Golden Chef – chinese take away
  • 146 Leicester Running Shop
  • 160 Pickering, H – joiner
  • 190 Hobson, Ernest D – boot repairer Ellerington Fine Art Gallery (opens September 2012)
  • 192 Smith, J S (Leicester) Ltd – hardware dealers Lucky 13 Tattoo
  • 196 Ruckley, Gordon W – stationer The Snug – beauty parlour
  • 196 Lorne Road Post Office
  • 198 Clarendon House – chinese take away
  • 200/204 Leicester Co-operative Society Ltd – grocers Co-operative
  • (Aged Pilgrims’ Friend Society’s Homes)
  • 208 Roxby’s - drapers Central Studios – photographers
  • 214/216 Chamberlain, John E – cycle agent Julies Cycles
  • 228 Sarson, Joyce E – greengrocer
  • 246 Shrimpton, Miss Frances – dressmaker
  • 280 Ward, J – butcher Charlie’s Pine
  • 296 McCoan, Colin K – physician Clarendon Medical Centre