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.

151 thoughts on “Welcome to Charny…

  1. I lived on Sherrard Rd for 16 years. I had heard and read some years ago that there was a Poltergeist on Sherrard Road that was exorcised by a Catholic priest. Unfortunately I can no longer find online the story about that exorcism. I wonder, do any past residents of Sherrard Rd know about this or indeed have their own memories of hauntings in any of the houses.

  2. Hi, I lived at 75 sherrard road and left around the 70s.. But I don’t remember anything about a poltergeist…Im 66 now .. But I do have fantastic memories of sherrard road and charny..


  3. My grandparents lived in Farringdon Street. In 1964, when I was four years old, they took me on holiday to Skegness in their Standard Ten car. Our first stop was the bakers in Charny for a fresh baked warm loaf, which was our breakfast! I used to spend my pocket money in Jeff’s coin shop (left of Walpoles in the photo at the top of this page).I still have the silver threepenny bits and the Victorian pennies that I bought at his shop. Jeff would have been in his late 20s and always wore a suit.

    • Hi came from reading with my parents 1948 stayed at39 mere rd for four nights my mum went out looking for place to stay I was with her got to Charnwood street seen old lady trying to cross the road my mum could see she was blind my mum said to the lady are you cross over she said yes Who are you you don t come from round here my mum said no we just come from Reading the lady said you’re not from this country, my mum said no come from Sligo . The lady said what you looking for, mum said a place to stay the lady said I live here at the rear of Butcher shop Mr Cleaver the owner she said there are plenty of rooms , when I’ve been to bread shop Watson’s we go and ask him. We moved In and my mum Looked after her. Name of the lady was Florence Kirk She ask me to go with her to the bread shop and would buy me a cake, remember going to green lane rd taking the battery’s to her radio to have them changed. Playing up and down occupation rd and Edwin street in a old tin jeep being pushed by other boys. Good times went to Catholic school mere rd . When I was seventeen met a girl on abbey park .Sandra Hange or Ahange met up Never forgot her. Still think of her today . She lived Mount rd Or next steetup.

  4. Happy childhood memories of Charny & area in the 50/60s,
    I lived off Green Lane Rd nr Bridge Rd Junior School, which has now been demolished,

  5. Hello, my mother grew up on 144 Charnwood st. Her name was/is Sheila Lilian Underwood, she was born in 1926. She told me she had very good memories living there with her grandmother. Would love to hear from someone who lived near this address. thank you

    • Hello Jayne, my great grandmother had her last known travel address at 148 Charnwood street in 1923. Do you think your mother knew who lived there? Last Name Cartwright 🙂

      • Hi there, I’m sorry to tell you this, my mother is gone now. I really don’t remember her talking about someone with that last name. I will tell you this, my mother was born out of wedlock and was ashamed by this her whole life so when I would ask her about her life in England she was not very forthcoming. Her parents did marry when she was about two, but never took her fathers last name and they never lived with him. I’m sorry I can’t help you. I wish she were still alive I know she could answer questions I still have. Good luck, Jayne

    • Thank you for this. My mother was born out of wedlock in 1926 and I believe she carried that shame her entire life. She met my father during WWll while he was stationed there. She told me a little about her life, but not much. She lived at 144 Charnwood st. She did tell me the nickname for the street. Again thank you and I look forward to more. Jayne Rosa Johansen

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