More about 51 Montague Road

Whilst I was researching Leonard Norman and his photography/picture framing business at 28-30 Montague Road in the 1890s and possibly later at 51 Montague Road, I came across another small story about a former occupant of number 51.  It comes again from the Leicester Chronicle, this time the 5th May 1894 (so as Leonard was just settling in to 28 Montague Road).

Harriet Wills was fined ten shillings for being drunk and disorderly in Montague Road the previous Saturday night.  And she a married woman in her fifties too!  That can’t have been much fun to live down with the neighbours, most of whom were no doubt very respectable.  Clarendon Park did have a reputation as a drunken place.  There is a fantastic cartoon displayed at the Abbey Pumping Station museum called ‘Last Tram Back to Clarendon Park’ or something very similar, depicting a tram overflowing with drunken, dazed or fighting people.  I wonder if the last 44a has the same reputation today?  Regards, Elizabeth.

51 Montague Road


6 responses to “More about 51 Montague Road

  1. Interesting – because there also seems to a received wisdom about Clarendon Park being something of a temperance area. When I moved near here in the 80s I was told it was because of Quaker ownership of land and that’s why there was no pub for many years with the exception of the Clarendon. I’ve since heard an alternative explanation to do with the licensing practice of a particular magistrate.

    • It’s true that there was an active temperance presence here and I wrote a post about a meeting right back when I first started this blog. It’s also true that there were many restrictive covenants preventing pubs and beer houses from being opened. I still can’t open a beer house in my house or burn bricks in my back garden, much as I would like to. But there were plenty of successful outdoor beer licenses (ie off licenses) applied for in the 1880s and 90s and there is no shortage of Clarendon Park folk up before the magistrates for drunk and disorderly behaviour. I would guess that like any area, there were extremes of temperance and intemperance, with most people somewhere in the middle. I would like to find out more.


      • Well I suppose the two would go together. The more evidence of drunkeness, the more the temperance people would feel moved to do their thing.

  2. I would love to see a copy of that cartoon. Is it an original or are prints available?

    • Hi Bev – the cartoon I saw was printed onto a display board but I don’t know whether the museum owns the original. I didn’t see prints for sale or I would have bought one myself! Your best bet is to get in touch with Abbey Pumping Station direct. Good luck.

  3. The cartoon is shown in Helen Boyntons book ‘Knighton and Clarendon Park’ . I don’t know whether library might have a copy of the book?

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