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Tuesday 14th July 2020  

Meeting Street, Quorn – Then and now

The earlier of these two photographs is thought to have been taken in about 1911. The young lady wearing a cap is standing outside what is now 85 Meeting Street, so it could well be 24 year old Kate Clarke, who, according to the 1911 Census, was living there with her parents Charles and Fanny Clarke. They also owned no 87 (to the left of 85), and rented it out. The census also records that boarding with them at no 85, was a three year old boy, Reginald Searle. There is a young lad (who seems to have moved his head when the photograph was taken), leaning on a drainpipe in the doorway of the entry, who could be Reginald.

The double fronted ‘house’ to the immediate right of the woman (painted blue on the modern photograph), was at this time a Primitive Methodist Chapel. Their notice board can just be seen to the right of the front door on the older picture. This building was later used by Quorn Adult School followed by Quorn British Legion, before becoming a private house, as it is today.

There are several other interesting differences between the ‘then’ and ‘now’ pictures:
• The front room of 85 Meeting Street was a shop; note that the window looks very different. More details can be found in Artefact 1385.
• The two very small cottages on the far left of the older photograph also belonged to the Clarke family. They were known as Clarke’s Yard and were demolished, possibly in the 1950s. The terraced house marked with a red ‘A’ is modern, and was added as part of a small development to the rear of the plot in the early 2000s.
• The roof of the property marked ‘B’ in the newer photograph was thatched back in 1911, but perhaps the most surprising change is that the end of this property has been demolished at some point. On the modern photograph there is only one window to the left of the front door and the left-hand chimney stack is almost at the end of the gable. On the older picture there are two windows to the left of the front door and a good distance between the stack and the gable end. This all indicates that for some reason the end of the house has been demolished.

Note about Reginald Searle: Reginald’s father, Walter Stewart Searle died in 1909 when he was a baby and his mother, Elizabeth, died in 1912. It has not been possible to trace a family relationship to Fanny Clarke. However Elizabeth Searle (nee Sanders), was brought up on Meeting Street, not too far from the Clarkes (what is now 27 Meeting Street), and at one point she was recorded as an ‘apprentice dressmaker’. Fanny was skilled dressmaker, so it is possible that they knew each other well.

 Submitted on: 2019-11-26
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 2242

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