Semper Eadem. It's the City of Leicester's motto to go with its cinquefoil and wyvern badge, and means 'Always The Same'. I was born a catapult throw from the city's border, and I was glad that it did appear to be constant in its appearance. Interesting brick and stone Victorian buildings that I now know were by the Goddards, brown and cream Corporation buses, cheese and chutney sandwiches in Brucciani's. Good buildings are still there, (although now bars and coffee houses rather than banks and libraries), as are the sandwiches, but sadly the buses are a vile blue together with the meaningless word 'Arriva'. Deep sigh. Quite apart from the wanton destruction wrought by the council for decades, now it's certainly 'always the same' culprit around the western borders of the city centre. The De Montfort 'University' (or DMU as they like to call themselves, which I thought meant Diesel Multiple Unit) still wades in and trashes everything in its nexus. The Art Deco tiled Kirby & West Dairy blitzed, the Great Central Railway's bowstring viaduct smashed to pieces to make way for a bigger sports hall, the 13th century Magazine Gateway dwarfed by what appears to be more of their Ceausescu-style works.
So it was with great trepidation that we walked around the Newarkes (New Works indeed) area on Sunday. But thankfully little enclaves are still hanging on in there. The Castle Yard (top) is a very gratifying mix of eclectic buildings around a space where John Wesley preached and they hung criminals. Although one old house left derelict by 'DMU' still sports their obligatory crass notice on the outside wall: 'No Smoking Within 10m of this sign'. 'Miles' I assume. The blue sign on the railings of St.Mary de Castro church says it's open everyday except Sunday. And then to the 1934 bus shelter on Western Boulevard by the canalised River Soar. What a treat. Mercifully almost free from the graffito endemic in this learned area, and equally free of its glazing, it was presented by Robert Rowley JP. I remember when it had the city's bright red badge in the central portion. Still, better to have a blank space than 'Arriva For U' scribbled over it. Although come to think about it, I don't think buses come down here anymore. Semper Eadem.