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The Changing Face of Groby
~ filmed during the 1960s by the late Reg Sykes of 162 Ratby Road ~ a proud Parishioner

1.      Removal of Percival's Farm cottge (see 8)

2.      George Hill’s Mace Supermarket, bottom of Ratby Road (now Pricegate)

3.      Rookery cottages, later pulled down

4.      Ratby Road Cottages, now restored, one being a bank and another a craft shop.

5.      The Old School, dated 1873 - the Infants’ School until the 1950s.  In the early 1970s it was the Church Hall.  Then it became a delicatssen shop and a private house.  This is almost certainly the school provided by George Henry Grey, the Earl of Stamford and Warrington.  When the Countess was due to pass in her horse-drawn carriage, the children had to line up behind the railings.  Her gloved hand would appear through the carriage window to acknowledge their cheers.

6.      View from Mr Sykes front gate, 162 Ratby Road, (now the dentist’s).  In the distance is the White House (originally called Cowpen Cottage and reached by a muddy lane beside two fields) and now in White House Close and surrounded by houses.

7.      Chapel Hill  The 3-storey house (one of very few 3-storey buildings in the village) is what is now known as Pear Tree Cottage.  (Apparently there is another cottage that was called Pear Tree Cottage.)  Next door (to the right, behind the car) is Milly Briggs house.  In 1956 it still had the lamp on the wall with coloured glass showing that it had once been a beer off-licence.

8.      Chapel Hill, thatched cottages  Henson’s.  Miss Britton lived there and is reputed to have skated until she was 80 years old, presumably on Groby Pool which used to freeze over in some winters.

9.      Groby Quarry (now Quarry Playing Field) in the early 1960s, already partially filled with coal waste

10.    Percival’s Farm, north side of Ratby Road.  Pashley’s coal lorry used to be garaged there.  The cottage was demolished and the land was built up, providing the site for Wilson’s, the newsagents and Barclays Bank.

11.      View from Percival’s Farm, looking up Crane Ley Road

12.    Rear of Percival’s Farm, shortly before it was demolished, a small holding. He kept pigs. A dog was tied to the wall and “you couldn’t get by it!”

13.    Percival’s Farm, looking down the Ratby Road to the Stamford Arms

14.    Percival’s farm after demolition, viewed from Crane Ley

15.    Probably Glebe Road, looking towards Crane Ley new houses

16.    The Bridlepath from Highfield Road to Chapel Hill, past Mallard Close and Ratby Road Allotments. Hasn’t it changed!  Once it was a muddy track across 2 fields to the White House.  Now it is a tarred path with beautiful flower beds eagerly maintained by nearby residents.

17.    The corner of The Rookery and Rookery Lane

18.    Mrs Paris’s house, near The Rookery  She held garden fetes.

19.    Groby Working Men’s Club – building the new front

20.    The Old Hall  It had all its ornamental black and white gates then.  Note the old-fashioned signpost with its black and white striped post.

21.    The top of Ratby Road, north side with the Quarry Manager’s House (one of them!) and the old-fashioned red telephone kiosk, a recent loss to the village.  The Quarry Manager’s House became 4 cottages and one of them later contained Dr Small’s Surgery.

22.    View from a gate at the top of Ratby Road, across to the back of what were the Council Houses on what is now Forest Rise

23.    View across the field, known as Chaplin’s Cross where the Chaplins kept their cows

24.    Victoria Cottages, from the rear, also showing the house of the Shooters or the Browns

25.    Engine Shed, No, 2 (red brick) on The Wharf, next door to Warners

26.    The Wharf (for the mineral railway from the quarries), weighbridge and offices, carpenter’ shed, stables and workers’ canteen.  (The railway had originally been horse-drawn but later steam engines were used.)  There was a toilet for the
use of the office staff which was not available for use by the residents in the red brick terrace houses, despite their having very primitive toilet facilities.

27.     The old original engine shed with its corrugated asbestos roof.  The 2-storey brick building later contained the Scout Hut.

28.    View into the Old Quarry (now Druck’s site)

29.    Old Mills on The Wharf

30.    The Old Quarry with the engine shed on the skyline, complete with roof ventilators

31.    The White House again from 162 Ratby Road.  The building of the estate is beginning.

32.    The corner of Newton Linford Lane, Parkside

33.    The Working Men’s Club, viewed from Newtown Linford Lane

34.    The Prefabs from Martinshaw Lane and Sam Kirkland’s Reliant 3-wheeler car.  Prefabs (prefabricated houses) were needed in England due to a severe housing shortage immediately after World War II.  The houses took a couple of days to assemble and were meant to last for only 10 years: ours lasted more like 30 years!  The chimney in the distance is on a building on The Wharf.  Apparently there had previously been a bungalow on this corner.

35.    Martinshaw Lane, looking towards Ratby Road

36.  Forest Rise again, looking towards Martinshaw School, complete with Morris Minor.

37.    Martinshaw School  It has changed, the trees are much bigger and there is now a disabled access ramp and a new entrance door.

38.    The Coat of Arms on Martinshaw School, beside the old entrance.  I believe this is the Coat of Arms of Leicestershire County Council.

39.    The Old Quarry, with 2 houses at the top of the bank which look down in the other direction onto the old road (deepened in 1860?) in front of the church.

40.    The view from the Railway Tunnel beside the church, looking towards the then new Bypass Bridge.  The tunnel was later completely blocked up.

41.    The tunnel under Ratby Road, now filled in.

42.    The railway line, looking away from the tunnel towards Brookvale Cottages, on the Ratby Road

43.    Looking back from Brookvale Cottages towards Ratby.  The fields are now the grounds of the Community College and Brookvale School.

44.    Looking towards Groby from the Ratby end. The main road now cuts this corner off, creating a layby. More veiws of the fields which are now the Community College and Brookvale School.

45.    Marina Drive or Castell Drive

46.    The road into Castell Playing Fields

47.    The car park for Castell Playing Fields

48.    Castell Playing Fields  John Onions was the chairman of the Playing Field Committee which raised funds for the children’s playground and the fencing including this chestnut paling.  Molly Matson was active in making things to sell for the funds.

Text, Copyright  Groby Heritage Group, 2006