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A description of the area around Braunstone before the First World War

[Sound clip on Braunstone Village]
2.57 min

Now I was quite young then, it'd be just before the war, the first war. On the right hand side as you go down the Narborough Road going out towards Narborough there was nothing but fields right from Imperial Avenue, right round to Braunstone and right round to Shoulder of Mutton Hill, which is Hinckley Road area. And on the other side, after you reach the top of the hill, where there was rather a famous Bates Rubber factory, where they made tyres and innertubes and that skind of thing, there was Evesham Road, a few houses in Evesham Road, and then again, right from there to the river at Aylestone, there were nothing but fields.

Now I naturally use to play around about there, and going up Imperial Avenue we could go down to the bottom of the rough track after the Fosse Road corner, down to a footpath which actually is now Braunstone Avenue, Braunstone Avenue which goes from the town, Wyngate Drive or somewhere into the town. Now we used to walk along that path as an outing as boys. We'd go right into Braunstone through the fields, go by Braunstone Hall, Braunstone Lake, and turn right and just inside, on the right hand side, there was another little lane which led to perhaps one or two houses and to a blacksmith's shop - this blacksmith's shop was working by the way. Now, we then worked into, er, walked into another footpath which led diagonally across the fields towards Hinckely Road, and that made a nice circular walk for us you see.

Now I did mention, but I should mention again, that from Imperial Avenue, as I said, they were all fields, but the first field bordering the Imperial Avenue was a farm, there was a farmhouse which I think is still there among the houses they built in 1919/20. And most interesting thing as a boy was we used to see the sheep come down be washed and to be shorn, and at times there used to be some evangelical society come along and put a nice marquee up and they would have services in that marquee.

Now going up again towards Narborough, and going up a slight hill you see to the top of Narborough Road, there was a riding school, and we would see the horses come from the town, and I did mention this again, and I'm sure I'm right, that the horses I think were stabled in Churchgate and they brought them all up the way to Narbourogh Road to this riding school, which again was very, very interesting for we boys to see these horses cantering and jumping over small hurdles.

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This sound clip has been taken from the Leicester Oral History Archive recording 'The West End' - edited extracts of an interview with Mr W. Lenton. EMOHA accession number 385, collection number LO/005/C5.



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Last updated: 16/1/04
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