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01.03.14, Leicester
How city street was chopped

I have always been interested in the history of Leicester"s streets, particularly how they have been chopped and changed over the years. So I was pleased to hear from local historian Derek Hollingworth, of Leicester, who tells me he was brought up in the area near New Bridge Street.

Derek explains: "By 1882, New Bridge Street connected Infirmary Square with Brazil Street.

"But from 1974, it began at Aylestone Street, when demolition of the area started.

"Since 1975, New Bridge Street has started at Filbert Street East and ended at Brazil Street.

"The Jarvis Building of Leicester Royal Infirmary was built in 1954 and was the casualty department until 1980. It replaced a number of houses with front gardens.

"The current accident and emergency department is housed in the Balmoral Building, which was opened by the Queen on March 14, 1980.

"The east side was built on what was New Bridge Street.

"There was a variety of small shops along New Bridge Street.

"On the corner of Knighton Street was St Andrew"s School, which was demolished in 1974.

"New Bridge Street post office was at number 14 by 1900, but moved to between Walnut Street and Filbert Street in the 1950s. It closed in 1969.

"The public houses included the Rifle Butt, which opened in about 1867 at number 16, the Lord Raglan, at number 55, and the Leicester Lifeboat, on the corner of Chestnut Street.

"Numbers 99-101 were one of Worthington"s Cash stores until 1966. Charles Thomas Worthington founded the business in 1891. The business eventually had more than 60 shops in Leicester.

"On the south-west corner of Walnut Street, from 1946 until 1973, was Molloy"s carpet shop.

"The corner shops on the north side of Hazel Street were Norton"s cake shop and opposite was Mill"s off-licence in the 1950s and 1960s.

"I attended Hazel Street School, which was built in 1882. The infant school was in Sawday Street. The boys" entrance to the junior school was on the corner of Sawday Street and New Bridge Street.

"The girls" entrance was in Hazel Street. The school remains largely as it was in those days.

"Bentley Engineering"s Komet Works consisted of a 1923-built factory on the south corner of Sawday Street and a 1936 factory between Sawday Street and Brazil Street. The business closed in April 1988.

"Number 62 was built in 1927 as a firefighter"s home. Many of the houses in Sawday Street and Brazil Street are the same.

"At the end of New Bridge Street was Leicester Electricity Sports and Social Club."

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