Welcome to Charny…

Charnwood Street in Leicester – popularly known as ‘Charny’ – was built in the early 1870s and demolished in 1970 when the area was redeveloped. It ran from Kent Street to Spinney Hill Road to the east of the city centre, parallel with Humberstone Road. Many people will remember it, either because they or their relatives lived there, or because they went shopping there. There were around 100 small shops in the street, including butchers, bakers, grocers and sweetshops, those selling new or second hand clothes, bicycles, prams, wool, radios (and later, televisions), and the famous ‘Paddy’s Swag Shop’ which sold almost anything you can imagine!

The national shop chain of Wilkinson’s also started in a small shop in Charnwood Street, which attracted customers and ‘window-shoppers’ from other parts of Leicester and beyond. Many people will also remember the nearby brewery, the local schools, places of worship and cinemas, the accordion teacher Francis Wright, and the artist Fred Weston, whose ‘studio’ consisted of the front room of a shop.

Just click on ‘Home’ above to read more about ‘Charny’…

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed their memories or other information to these pages. I hope you will enjoy them, and that they may bring back memories of your own that you would like to share.

Cynthia Brown

*The above photograph is reproduced by permission of Michael Westmoreland, who photographed Charnwood Street just before it was demolished. See more at http://www.invisiblephotography.com/charny.htm.


128 thoughts on “Welcome to Charny…

  1. It was a very important street to those who lived in the locality, sometimes to some, a life saver, especially the pawn shops,they were hard times just after the war and everyone was pulling together, that effort was reflected in the understanding sometimes shown by the shopowners, when money was tight, they did try to help by staggering repayments for goods, thereby keeping the wheels of commerce oiled and turning. That is why most of us from Charny are here still
    today. Remembering the period so well. It was a childhood for me that I wouldnt change for today’s. We had nothing, but we improvised and got by. Bless em all!

    • i agree with you,i had the best childhood ever ,i was born in edwyn st just off charny,the one with the bank steps up to st.saviours school.we ran wild and free,whats health and safety,sledging on spinney hill park,down the so called death track in the winter.swimming in the river on abbey park.great times
      this was in the 40s and 50s.

      • Hi Geoff, I was born and raised at 252 Charnwood st (next door to Paddys). I had 2 friends in Edwyn St when I went to St Saviours–Harold Peach and John Bywaters, did you know them? or of them since, It would be 1940-50, Regards Tony

      • i think i remember them,do you remember the bonfires on firework night in frank street,and sherard road.building them was a full time occupation

      • I remember the bonfire on the bombed site at the bottom of Frank st, that was my play area. I seem to remember that you never strayed far away from your home street, although newby st was the next st off charnwood st it was like a different planet.

      • I remember those steps well, my grandma lived at 96,,St Saviours opposite the school, her son Colin Wright went their,I lived in Elm Street and went to charny school

      • Hi Geoff. My mother-in -law was born in sherrard rd, she tells me the bank steps are still there. But where they lived was demolished. Would be great if any if you could help me get some images of sherrard rd.

  2. Great idea! Charny has so many happy memories for thousands of people . Pity it couldn’t survive another 10 years or so and it might have been regenerated into a modern petticoat lane. I was born in Preston Street, and my parents ran an offlicense / shop on the corner of Charnwood street/ Saint Saviours Road. We left the area when I was 11, towards the end before demolition. It would be great to share memories with anyone from the 1960s.

    • Hi Neil. Were you brought up on Preston St? I was born in Bond Street in 1960, but reared in Preston St. We lived in no. 44. I have the happiest memories of that street and of Charny. I knew somebody called Neil when I was playing out on the street. Don’t know if it was you. My next door neighbours were the Issits. We played out on the street all the time – skipping, cowboys & indians, then making guys for ‘penny for the guy’ in November and spending the money on sparklers and sweets. Loved Paddy swags and Peters, and I used to get my comics in Flinders. I went to school in Sacred Heart on mere rd. Our house on Preston St was always full, my mum kept lodgers from Ireland. It was a wonderful childhood growing up there. We moved out in 1970. I went back a few weeks later and the whole street was demolished. It was so sad. All that was left of my house was the lilac tree that was still standing in the back garden. I was 10 years old and overwhelmed with sadness that my great street was gone. They should never have demolished it, or Charney. Such character!

      • Hi Mary. I write a blog called the Irish in Leicester that you might find interesting. Please do let me know if you remember any of the Irish featured there.

    • was your mums name jean ?? i am sure i remember you our friends were steven bodicote , alex from the other street his mum and dad were from northern ireland.

      • My gran lived at 224 st saviours rd her name was Bentley.I lived in sherrrd road and then st saviours road. My aunt lived with her 7 children opposite imperial pub. Spanish family name of Fiol. Such a wonderful childhood.

    • Hi I lived at 287 charwood st in the 60s and went to bridge rd junior school I had some great times in charny paddy swags store all the shops u ever wanted all in one palace

      • Hi Mark. We must have lived almost opposite as I was born at 252 (next to Paddys swag shop).I lived there until I joined the air force in 1953. My mum lived there until they started to demolish the area. Where was your house situated. Regards Tony (Towers).

      • Hi Tony my grans house was opersit the public house on spinney hill rd and charnwood st we lived in a shop which was called quality fruit store the house we lived in backed on to Greenland school I went to bridge rd school then went to crown hills school

      • Yes that’s right I did I had some great times running up charny with my pocket money on Saturday the good old days where have they gone I am 65 now and still feel like it was yesterday when I lived there I really do miss it

  3. On saturdays my aunt Nell, who lived on Mere Rd, would give nd a tanner (6d), and off I’d trot to Charny.
    It was invariably lively, noisy and colourful on the street-men (the older ones hatted) off to the club (there were few, if any pubs on Charny), housewives invariably toting that long-forgotten sixties’ icon, the string-bag, and any number of my contemporaries, coins clanking in pockets and purses, looking for fun and bargains.
    For many kids, myself included, that meant, naturally, Paddy’s Swag. The world for sale,and all for sixpence (or less).
    My young eyes were drawn to a range of miniature furniture: blue and white, encased in plastic, they included chairs and tables, beds, settees (‘sofa’ not a word in our vocabularies), kitchen items and the like. Probably intended for dolls’ houses, but gender stereotyping notwithstanding, they held a special appeal for me.
    Fifty years later I can still vividly remember the deep, almost magical hold these (no doubt) cheaply-produced things exercised on my imagination. I’m not sure that the feelings those plastic bits and pieces provoked in me have ever been duplicated since-whether that says more about me or the special nature of childhood I’m not sure…
    I have many more memories of Charny-some of them considerably less pleasant-and would be happy to write about them if you’d like.

    • My husbands great grand-parents lived in Basil Street. What sort of a street was it? Did it have shops? Was it near the centre of Leicester?

      • Hi Anita. Basil Street was a short street off Farnham Street in the Charnwood Street area, maybe half to three quarters of a mile from the city centre. I have a Kelly’s Directory from 1928 which just gives three entries for people living there. One was Frederick Charles Vesty, grocer, at number 2 and the others were Joseph William Ingram, milk salesman, at number 4 and William Ingram, timber merchant at number 11. Hope this helps.

      • i lived in basil street , what where your husbands great grandparents called , i lived at no5 i was there until they were demolished about 1968

    • Hi my mother lived in basil street i not quiet sure of the number i used to visit her there as i am her oldest son mark Irene PENNINGTON with her husband Tom PENNINGTON they had a Lillie boy called David I remember there was an entry between the houses

  4. As child i lived on Willow Brook Road and every Saturday morning i would go to Charny with my mother to get bread and groceries and as a special treat we might buy some iced buns from the bread shop. Christmas Eve was a real treat as we would go to the wine shop in Charny, i think it was called Hynard Hughes , to buy 2 bottles of V.P. wine then we would have a glass each when we got home. I do remember sitting on the floor, sipping my wine on one particular christmas eve and leaning back and putting my hand in our coal fire!
    Charny has so many fond memories and simple pleasures are well remembered.

  5. Born and bred in Charny. Lived in Frank St till 15 yrs old. Bring back the outside lavs & the old tin baths, Paddy Swags & Jimmy Joblins. Oh happy days

    • Hi Lynn, yours names familiar,Iwas born at 252 Charnwood st in 1935 next to Paddy’s Swag and our entry was in Frank St. I lived there until I joined the R.A.F in 1953. Were you there when the bomb dropped at the bottom of Frank st?. where in Frank st did you live? I many memories of Charny and the people,too many to list but what memories. eg. my mam was the local layer out and if any one passed away they would fetch mam to wash and lay them out. Many was the time I woke with a child next to me who mam had brought out of the way.!.If Cynthia would like to contact for a chat I would be only to glad to oblige. Tony(Towers)

      • Hi tony remember me ron herringshaw 31 frank st, fond memories of you and other lads who lived around the area. My present location shepshed Leicestershire. Wonder where you got to over the last 60 years, cheers ron.

    • Hello Lynn, I lived in Frank St till I was 2 then we moved to Mere Rd. My grandparents lived at no 38 and my Auntie lived at no 47. She had a daughter called Enid, my cousin. They were happy days. I had 5 children all born in Mere Rd, that’s going back a long while. Doesn’t seem that long ago.

    • i lived in edwyn st just around the corner from you i have many happy memories of st saviours school billy bones bike shop and beckets green groucers,spinny hill park.happy days

      • i lived at 15 edwyn st next door to off licence on the corner of edwyn street and sherard road,got my first bike from billy bones bike shop.mrs becket was a friend of my mums.happy days

  6. I was also born and bred in Charny, I lived behind and above Stablers at 206 Charnwood st next door was a Fruit shop (204)and on the other side (208)a shop that had been turned into a house.

    • Hello David I think I know you, I think you were at school with my daughters Anne Carol Lauren and Lynn Frearson. Sadly Carol passed away 5 years ago.It’s nice to hear from people you knew from years ago,I do miss Charny you could get any thing from there.

      • My name is Carl lee I lived at 36 frank st from 1963 till 1970 I’m in the photograph in Charnwood St with a gang of kids next to joblins sweet shop. I’m the boy at the front with my arm in a Sling, I can name some of the kids,spud freason, Paul brown ,Georgina broughton my brother mark lee. I think it was 1970, I was 9 years old i am one of 9 children. Are you related to spud freason, cheers Carl lee

  7. I lived in grove road off of st saviours road, charny was our local shopping street. if you couldnt get what you wanted there, you wouldn’t get it anywhere else. Eventually as a young man, I worked for J H DEWHURSTS BUTCHERS. They also owned the BRITISH AND ARGENTINE MEAT CO. A branch was in CHARNY, which I was sent to, for a while, to assist.

    It had an aging manager, whose health was failing him at that time, luckily he recovered. I moved on to other shops etc. within the company. it was all owned by LORD VESTY.

  8. My great great grandparents William and Sarah Barratt lived at 24 Upper Charnwood Street until 1912 according to the census. I am researching my family tree and would like to hear from anyone else who thinks they might be from the same line.

  9. This has brought back so many fond memories, of living in this area of Leicester. I lived on Newby Street, with my Grandparents, my Aunt lived two doors away, and my other Grandparents lived at the top of the street. I went to Chapel,on Newby Street. Had many clothes and shoes from Walpoles on the corner of Newby Street. Every Friday, my Brother and myself were allowed a treat from the Bakers, a sponge cake, with white icing, and a cherry on the top. Many hours were spent in Paddy’s Swag Shop, it was full to the brim. I remember the Greengrocer’s, Fishmonger’s, Butcher’s, and Joblins Sweet Shop. There was also a Music Shop, where I bought my first single from. I rue the day this area was re-developed, my beloved terraced house gone forever. We even used to come back to the cycle shop, where I bought my own bike. I went to Green Lane Road infant school, would love to know when in the 1960’s that photo was taken in the main hall of the school. My Mum worked at the dry cleaners on the corner, and had her hair done at Jolie Madame’s hairdresser’s, if I remember correctly. Would love to turn the clock back for an hour or two.

  10. My family lived on Mere Road in the late 50’s…and Charnwood St was where we did most of our shopping…How well I remember going along there with my Mum….Joblins was a favourite with me…as was Paddy’s Swag Shop….does anyone remember the ‘supermarket’ that opened next to Paddy’s Swag? My Leicester born Mum ( Forest Road) is 90 and will love all the stories and photos I will have to show to her. We may be in NJ USA now…but part of our hearts are always in Leicester.

  11. My Grandparents owned Grimsleys [ladies outfitters] at 205-207 Charnwood Street – I still have the shop signage. Would anyone happen to have any photos of the shop? Granny Jess passed in 1988, but she always talked fondly of her days in the shop. My grandad Joe, who passed in 1973, was a Leicester born chap, born at Clairmont Villa, Humberstone Road. I’d love to visit either of these places, and find it quite sad that they’re no longer with us. Its nice to read the memories of those who remember Charny.

    • I remember Jessie and Joe. I babysat for their son when they lived in Evington. They had a lovely shop in Charny. I used to buy clothes for my kids and myself. If you didn’t have enough money she’d say that’s ok pay me next week, lovely lady.

      • Nice to hear from you Audrey. Thank you for your memory, its nice to know that people local to the area remember my family.
        Geoffery, my dad, would have been sixty nine in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1999, after a severe stroke.
        He left Leicstershire, to work at Rolls Royce, in Crewe, Cheshire, after gaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough University. Jess sold her bungalow in Oadby in 1977, and moved to Cheshire, to be closer to Geoff, his wife Margaret, my sister, Lucy, and myself.
        Jess had so many stories of her times in Leicester – She was born and raised a Yorkshire lass, but many of the stories she would tell my sister and I, were from her life in Leicester. She loved the shop, Leicester and Charnwood street.
        I find it quite sad that, when I ask people I meet who come from Leicester, about Charny, many have no idea where it is, or any clue about it’s place in Leicester’s history.

  12. Very true Marcus…I too find it sad that Leicester folks don’t remember Charny. Well, we will keep those wonderful, special memories all for ourselves then! Lucky us….they really missed out by not remembering Charnwood St and the wonder of it.

    • i could not agree with you more,we where privileged to have lived in such a vibrant place for a child to live

  13. Thank you for the information about Basil street. Elijah Waite was a cabinet maker and lived at number 5 in 1888…though the census does say Bazil Street, but I am presuming that’s Basil Street seeing it is fairly close to the city centre. There were many spelling errors on documents at that time. They lived there with their six children in 1888……..and eventually had nine.

  14. HI. what a wonderful few hours I have had going through all the pages, I lived on Willowbrook Rd, I went to Duxbury Rd School and the Bridge Rd School, I also remember going to Paddys swag shop, each time begging my mum to buy me something. I wonder how many of us remember the same characters, for example Rum Weather the tramp?

  15. to;- Ron Herringshaw. Sorry I missed your post in November,of course I remember you and Roy Clark,Ivan Slack, Lol Middleton, Gerry Bunce, etc. I often wondered what became of you all. Remember the cricket team playing on Spinney hill park, Frank st Swifts our cycle speedway team. What times they were., I have tried looking you all up in the telephone directory but got nowhere. Are you in contact with any of them?. I think Ivan lives at Birstall, and I last saw Roy Clark many years ago in wigston (where I now live since leaving the R.A.F). I Think he had just left the fire service to start on his own. Get in touch if you wish – atowers2@sky.com

    • Hello I was wondering if you are the Tony Towers who used to go to the Palais, if you are when I was their you always asked in for a quickstep,I lived on Elm Street but we never socialised only the Palais, if that’s who you are.thankyouj

      • Hi Margaret, what years are you talking about. I used to go to the palais I, but only when I was on leave from the air force (1953 ish). My friend used to live on larch st,facing elm st. His name was Pat Johnson. I lived next door to Paddy’s Swag shop. 1935-53. Life was a full one those days The Troc, shaftsbury, green lane, evington Melbourne,- all cinemas. And during the day spinney hill,sparrow park, cumbersome, abbey- all parks. What a childhood and what an introduction to life. Looking forward to hearing from you. Tony

      • Hello Tony I knew some johnsons but they lived on elm street although the name pat rings a bell.i went to the Palais probably between 1954 and 1956

  16. Hello Carl sorry it’s taken me a long time to reply. Yes Spud is my son. I think you lived next door to my grandparents at 38 and we lived on Mere Rd. We had some happy times then Leicester’s just not the same any more.Happy Days.

    • hello audrey, me and my brother Mark used to hang about with Spud all the time. I bumped into Spud about 30 years ago he hadn’t changed a bit. what’s he up to now. love to hear from him . sorry for the delay in replying back .

  17. Hello. I was born in Flint Street in 1926. Fred Weston’s studio was at the corner of our street. Before he started displaying his paintings, he used to put photos he had framed in the window. He did them so cheaply during the war that women from my factory, Thomas and Rileys down Green Lane, used to give me photos of their husbands and boyfriends, in their uniforms, to take to him to be framed. I remember the elephants being kept in a garage in Basil Street when the circus was in town. There was a fish and chip shop during my childhood, on the left just past St. Saviours Road.

  18. Hello, My grandparents and my mum lived in Mount Rd almost opposite Jack Mellors Shop. They were Charles (Wag) Phillips and his wife Vera. My great grandmother lived a couple of doors further on towards Mere Rd. She was Emma (snuffy) Tipler and her family lived around that area of Charny for a very long time. I remember really well going into Charny in the mid 50s and spending my 6d pocket money, which we got from my granddad on a Saturday afternoon after he’d come back from the Black Boy pub on St Saviours Rd. Nearly always spent it in Paddy Swags.

    • I lived next door to Vera and Sheila as a child, 1957 until I was 13. I used to nip Jack Mellors shop for Mrs Tipler and she always gave me an egg for going. I lived at 142, Mount Road. Christine Adcock. Mum June, Dad Terry, brother Ian.

    • Yes, around that time. There’s an entry for Basil Street in Barker & Co.’s Directory for Leicestershire & Rutland, 1875 – just the one, for a builder called Frederick Neal.

  19. I was a child of the late fifties and early sixties from the other side of the Humberstone Rd, but we shopped ‘up Charny’ on the way to tea at my Nan’s every Saturday [salmon fish paste, cake, the wrestling, football pools, Dr Who and the bedtime short-Capt. Pugwash/Pinky n Perky/Noggin/Tinga n Tucker, etc.
    As a kid, my interest was mainly in the toyshops: Paddy’s, of course, where amongst the treasures I remember buying were things like penknives, a ‘scout’ knife to hang on my snake belt, ‘Timpo’ soldiers and assorted cap guns! [No PC and ‘elf n safety’ in those days-but, there again, nobody went around knifing people and people on got shot with water pistols, spud guns and peashooters].
    I surprised that no-one has mentioned Peter’s [on the corner of Edwyn Street] where I yearned for a model of Fireball XL5 [I got it for Christmas] and Janlins with the unattainable Chad Valley Sets always priced at 29/11. The most you ever got in money for a birthday [if you were lucky] was a 10/- note.
    From somewhere, I also got a 45prm kids gramophone and had to go to Chaplin’s to get needles for it.
    Other memories buying freshly baked [on the premises] bread from Getliffe’s [who had his oven in the back room], Hilda Seward’s with my mum to get wool and gawping at the aqualung and flippers in the leather shop. Also buying beech chewing gum from a machine near Farnham St for a 1d.

    • Hello James…wonder if you lived on Forest Road? My Nan lived at #48 and I had friend on Elm St..
      Isn’t this a wonderful site?!!!

  20. Hello Carl, Spuds always visiting us,he’s got two beautiful daughters and there both clever,don’t know where they get it from.

  21. Hi again Lynda….I asked Roger Warner who was in my class at Sacred Heart and seems that we had a Stephen Moran in our class with Mr Riley…..wonder if he is from this family you mentioned??

  22. Hi Pat. No I was thinking of my cousins’s Pat, John and Brien-usually known as Binsey. How are old are you? i went to Sacred Heart 1960 to about 1965 I think. We lived on Upper Conduit St and were moved out to Eyres Monsell when they knocked that part of Highfields down. I had other cousins there too: Rosanna, Ray, Chris and Les Holt. Ring any bells?

  23. Hi Lynda..I am 67…was in Mr Riley’s class in 1957/58 and then went to the Evington Hall Convent on Spencefield Lane. We only lived in Leicester from 1957 to Dec 1959….so we wouldn’t have crossed paths…and then we moved back to NJ USA. The names you mentioned don’t ring any bells. I have loved reading your blog….there is sooo much on it!! My Mother was born on Forest Rd and my Great-Grandmother lived on London St. so charny was our family area. I will let you know if anyone else from Sacred Heart remembers your cousins or you.

    • I used to go to Green Lane Road School in the 50,s and then Bridge Road Junior School in the 60,s. Charny was the magic playground to all us kids. Paddy, or Bill Rogers and his son Don Rogers were my neiboughers in Rolleston Street, used to love going up Vulcan Road and do train spotting and watch the steam engines
      and playing up in Corperation Road and getting parts for my bike from the bike shop called Twiggers . I could write a book of all that area and the shops, like Hills, or Sharps The grosser shop and Hendmonds the hardware shop, the famous fish and chip shop near Bagrave Street, and the Three Sisters where my sister Doreen used to go, and Mariotts the sweet shopl and watching the trains go by down Forrest Road on the way to Skeggy. I am 58 and remember every detail of all that area, the shops everything.

      • Hi, David, l remember your sister Doreen, l think l also remember you, l lived in Rolleston St , 2 or 3 doors away from Paddy Swags Home, l lived at no 20, l also remember the Warner family & shop, l lived here from 1949 untill around 1962
        About 8 or 10 years ago there was a Rolleston st & area reunion which l organised, but unfortunately on the reunion night l was ill so could not attend, ( your sister was informed about this reunion) the Warner girls turned up also about 20 more people, however cut a long story short, about 8 of us ladies mostly from Rolleston st still meet up about every 3 months, perhaps you will recall these surnames, matts, cox, east (butchers) langdale newnham Byron,
        The keitley boys, woodcock & David abbot,
        Such happy memories, hard times but happy ones, regards June

  24. wonder if you knew the Warner family who ran on shop in Rolleston St? the boys were older than you but they were Ron and Roger and had two younger sisters…

    • Hi Lisa. Many thanks for this. I have an image of the shop sent to me by someone called Barbara. Might this be your mum? I will see if I can post it onto the website.

  25. Hi can any one on this site help me out I lived in Brunswick st but had an Aunt and Uncle living in Newby st all I can remember is we called them Dick and think Ada or Ida they had 2 children boy and girl but dont remember there names do you know a last name for them trying to do family tree but was not very old when lost touch with them

  26. Hi Geoff. I was born and raised at 252 Charnwood st (next to Paddy’s, I went to St Saviours school.1945-50. I had 2 friends in Edwin st, (1) Harold Peach and (2) John Bywaters, did you know any of them or any knowledge of them. Regards Tony Towers

  27. Hi June White , of course I remember you as June Matts and you lived opposite our tiny shop, I am so sorry to have missed the reunion you mentioned, my sisters went I believe and I have wished I had gone along ever since. I could bring my wife along to a girly meeting as she qualifies tenuously as we spent the first months of our marriage over the winter of 1971 living with my Uncle in the house David Abbott had lived in! I am in the phone book and live now at Asfordby and look forwards hopefully to hearing from you. I was put on to this chance by my American friend whom I was at school with back in 1958! Rolleston Street was a good place to grow up in back in the 1950s even though there was not so much room in the houses! Best wishes Roger Warner hopefully looking forwards to contacts with any and all the Rolleston Street fraternity!

    • Morning Roger, what a lovely surprise to hear from you.
      Yes it’s a shame you missed the first reunion, up to date we have had 2 more, your sisters never came again after the first one.
      David Abbot came on a few meet up we ladies have but I think he lives near Cromer; its long way to travel and other problems so not seen or heard from him for about 3 years, Micheal woodcock (lived just round corner on G L Rd) met up a few times, but sorry to say he has now passed away, we have also lost our dear friend Mary East just over a year ago, Kate her sister still comes to our met ups, Keitley boys did come one passed away recently other one I think has as well.
      Now don’t laugh but we call our little group “The Street Girls”, nothing in that as we are all happily married,

      Your dear wife is welcome to join us as you are, we are meeting this Tuesday we usually meet in Leicester have lunch and plenty of chat, but just by way of a change we are meeting at Humberstone Park doing a “Walk in the Parks” with a guide, Maureen Cox has booked a few of these throughout this year,
      Keeping us old ones fit.
      So if that does not suit l can let you know our next date when we meet for lunch, long way for your wife to come, mind you I live in Lutterworth we are scattered about a bit, keep in touch, I may phone you at some point, I am also in the book under R White, all the best to you; yours June

      • Hello June. Seeing your previous comments regarding Rolleston Street, my Great grandfather lived at No. 52 Rolleston Street from around when the house were built, late 1880’s? till his death in 1923. His name was Henry George Buckingham. His wife Elizabeth, died in 1910 and their three children lived there until the eldest, Laura, left after his death. I am interested if you know where exactly no. 52 Rolleston Street is, as it was demolished somewhere around the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. What was built in its place and what what was the name of the factory that was built on the site of nos 60 and onwards upto Rollestone Square.
        Of interest, my then unmarried Great Grandfather lived with his fiance with her parents in 110 Charnwood Street. Their names were George and Mildred Lester. The 1881 Census shows 6 occupants in Charnwod Street as by 1891, they are not shown as I think they would have (my Great Grandparents that is) would be in their new abode in Rolleston Street.
        If you have any information regarding what I have asked, it would be much appreciated.
        Ralph Buckingham

  28. Who can remember Smiths in Charny where you could get your school uniforms from, I got mine from there for Moat Road Secondary School in 1964, and Bridge Road Junior School in 1960, and can whoever remember Green Lane School, that was my infant school in 1959- 1960

  29. David, perhaps you could help Ralph Buckingham, do you know who lived at No 52′ Rolleston st, plus Ralph’s other questions, regards June

    • Mrs Smith and her son Denise, just over the road from where my home was in Rolleston Street, but can you remember Beryl at the corner shop of Rolleston Street and Bridge Road, or the steps in Occupation Road that led up to Sacret Heart Church just off the top of Mere Road and Wood Hill and St, Saviours Road.

      • Sorry cannot remember Beryl,
        l and 5 ladies met up a while ago and went to look for the said steps unfortunately someone l expect the council have bricked the top of the steps up its just a wall now,
        you cannot get through any more, just about make out where they were, altered so much in that area, l did notice lots of washing hanging out in front gardens, made me smile,
        Regards June,lived at 20 Rolleston st in 50/ 60 s,

  30. Just found this website (looking for forest road ) I known the Spanish family (twins girls) name julie&kathy went to sacred heart school .live on forest road Irish parent Jim and Christina Flynn

    • Hi Tina. Did you have a brother called John? There was a John Flynn in my class in Sacred Heart. The twins surname was Fiol. Their sister Jennifer Fiol was also in my class. Mary

  31. One of the biggest things to happen to Charney was in retrospect the thing that eventually killed it. Some time in the mid 1950s a shop called Tony’s, I think, opened challenging what was then called Retail Price Maintanance. Anyone under 60 will have no idea what this was or hardly believe it was possible when they do because RPM (as it was known) was the legislation that made it illegal to sell goods at anything other than the manufacturers’ stipulated price. Can you believe it? It didn’t matter where you shopped, packer of Typhoon or a box of Persian would be exactly the same price. Tony, however, challenged this. He bought goods through third parties and knocked them out at a penny or two less so that you could make substantial savings shopping with him. As a kid I can remember the crowds in Charney from all over Leicester, so thick on Saturdays you couldn’t Walt down to road let alone the pavement. Ultimately, a combination of pressure by the Tory government and tightening supply regulations by the food production companies forced Tony out of business. But he had dealt a by blow to RPM and soon afterwards in the face of public pressure it was ended. But this, sadly, marked the beginning of the end for Charney, for once released from constraints companies like Teso and Sainsbury started opening increasing larger stalls, signalling the death of small grocers shops. My parent and grandfather – both of whom had shops in Charney – were visits of this history.

  32. Hi all, I lived in Sherrard road from my birth in 1949 until 1962 and attended Charnwood street school ( then Green lane rd for 2 years ). Don’t seem to recognise any names on here but enjoy the reminiscences and recalling the old shops in “Charny”

    • Hi, I went to charnwood street school but I’m 63 so wouldn’t have been at the school at the same time.. I went to moat girls after… So many memories of charnwood school though..

      • My mother in law was born on sherrard road. Maude name was Moore. Lived on the corner of mere rd and sherrard rd.

    • Hi Paul, Keith Crewe here from number 38, you’ll probably remember my brothers, Stuart and Brian? I knew your brother Michael and didn’t you have a younger sister? The Potters, the Noons, the Black Boy, Bell Trading just up from you on the corner opposite the pub, fish and chip shop round the corner on St Saviours Road, the Doctor Who tardis police box! Happy memories of a time long gone and a community destroyed by planners. Reply if you want and we can catch up about where we are now?

      • Hi keith, So many happy memories. I remember you or Stuart had a beautiful blue Triumph 21. Mick is in Australia now but is on facebook if you’d care to catch up. Regards, Paul.

      • Hi Paul, great to catch up after up after such a long time! It was Stuart with the Triumph, his pride and joy for many years. Unfortunately he’s been battling cancer for the past 4 1/2 years, three different types and now it’s leukaemia actually caused by the preceeding treatment. Bry and I are both well, despite going through heart and cancer problems as well. We all still live in and around Leicester but the families are more widespread. Jackie and I will have been married 53 years this September and have 4 sons with grandchild number 18 due around Christmas!
        I’ll look Mick up on Facebook and have a catch-up,

        Regards and best wishes,

  33. Just thinking back of charny and how i miss it so much.. I loved the bonfires too.. We had them on Sherard Road.. I lived at number 75.. so many happy times athough we didn’t have much in those days..

      • Hi,

        I don’t think i do so sorry.. what number did she live at and what was her name…


    • Hi Lillian, I lived at 97 Sherrard road, left in 1963. I’m guessing you are a lot younger than me but I think I may remember your Mum. You may remember the Townsends? Billy, his sister Miriam and their Mum Evelyn. Happy times indeed!

      • Omg… yes the name rings a very big bell…my mum was Rose and my brother was Ron and Lewis…

        Very happy times but didn’t think so at the time…

      • My mother in law lived at no. 157 sherrard rd on the corner of mere rd. says her front door was on sherrard rd and the 2 big bay windows on the front was on mere rd.

  34. These are the words of my mother in law when asking her about other names in this post.

    The name Susan Hanger rings a bell but me lived 157 it was a really long road.Me left when I was 17 too they pulled them down not long after. X I went school with girls called Jayne milne Catherine East her dad had a butchers on corner of green lane rd and rolleston st called East Burchers. Catherine wyles Elizabeth Willis her dad had papershop willises on green lane rd there was Susan steel Eileen burgen.x

  35. Hi carl lee I can see my mum Audrey frearson was speaking to you up to 6oct 2014……she died later that month so wouldn’t be able to reply.
    My name is anne nee frearson I remember your family hope you are well x

  36. Hi Carl Mary Gilbert nee O Gorman here love the memories of charny street when we came from Ireland we lived at 105 St Saviours Road then moved to Beaumont Road I remember the Black Boy the Belgravia pub had my first bike from the Bell Trading also the Blue Police Box well before Dr Who lots more memories sitting here with Rob and Anne Frearson reminiscing x

    • Hi Anne, my paternal grandparents and two aunts and uncles lived at number 99 St Saviours Road in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s until the house was demolished in the 70’s, a large palisaded house with lots of character and nothing wrong with it at all including running hot water and TWO bathrooms!!! The family name was Crewe, mean anything?
      We lived in nearby Sherrard Road and had aunts and uncles living in Mount Road and my maternal grandparents in Flint Street. Fond memories of days long gone and a community destroyed for ever.

  37. My uncle Vic, was born on st saviour rd opposite the park,he is the last Saunders,boy of that generation,at 95,his memory of charny and Leicester are a treasure.

  38. I believe my great-grandparents lived in Charnwood St in the 1880s when they first got married; later they lived at 216 Green Lane Rd and 19 St Saviours Rd. The family name was Lucas and they were a very large family! Many years later I remember shopping in Charnwood St with my Grandma when I was very small. She used to buy us chocolate rainbow drops in a paper bag from a sweet shop and I also remember her buying soaked peas by the quart wrapped in newspaper! At that time my grandparents lived in Clipstone St which was demolished in the 1960s. I no longer live in Leicester but would be delighted to hear from anyone who remembers the family.

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