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11

The Wakerley Trail (pt 2)

Margaret Road is a cul-de-sac off Gwendolen Road which leads to the Royal Leicestershire Rutland and Wycliffe Society for the Blind (1). Here, on Gwendolen Road, there are cottages built by the Wycliffe Society for the Blind on land donated by Wakerley (2&3). On Gedding Road (named after Wakerley's home in Suffolk) can be found the entrance to a 1930 extension to the Wycliffe Hall (4) and six houses for blind workers (not pictured).
However, as if all this wasn't enough, Arthur Wakerley may be best known for his design for affordable council housing which met the needs of the post-WW1 housing shortage (5). Costing £299 compared to figures of £433 or more for other designs, these semi-detached houses could be made cheaper as they share a chimney stack, roof ridge, water and gas pipe, have unfaced stock bricks, and Bangor slates for roofing. Examples of these houses can be found in many parts of Leicester as well as cities such as Glasgow and Belfast. The houses pictured are on Gedding Road.
Moving along Gedding Road and into St Saviours Road, we see to the left the spire of St Saviours Church (6), and opposite/right some of the factories which provided work for the local population - pictured are the Corona Machine Tool Works (7), Smith Faire's (8) and Wildt Mellor Bromley (9). Here, the factories are not mixed in with the houses as they had been on Halstead Street.
Returning to Gwendolen Road via Gwendolen Road Gardens (10), the 1975 Town Trail heads off towards the General Hospital (Wakerley sold 63 acres to the Leicester Board of Guardians for the erection of a Poor Law Infirmary, now the Leicester General Hospital), and ends at Crown Hills, where Wakerley built a home and lived from 1914 until his death in 1931 (11). Opposite this house are another pair of £299 houses which, along with pictures of other similar houses, can be seen by following the 'Wakerley Houses' link below.
Link to Introduction or The Wakerley Trail pt 1 or Wakerley Houses
RLR&W Soc for the Blind Gwendolen Road Plaque on Gwendolen Road cottages Pillars of Wycliffe Hall Housing on Gedding Road Looking west on St Saviours Road Factory on St Saviours Road Factory on St Saviours Road Factory on St Saviours Road Gwendolen Road Gardens Crown Hills House
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