To Leicester, and on a beautiful autumn Saturday afternoon we find ourselves in the incredible enclave of Belgrave. Once a small village by the River Soar, it is now surrounded by the teeming life of the big city. But taking a turn off the Loughborough Road brings you into a cul-de-sac where time has stood still. At least on the outside. At the end is the granite-walled St.Peter's church, to the left (top picture) is the early eighteenth century Belgrave Hall (it says 1715 on a rainwater head), opposite gardens that reach down to the river next door to Belgrave House (bottom pic), built later in the same century. The Hall belongs to Leicester Museums, and we would turn up here on winter mornings in the early 1960's just to get a warm from the coal fire that sputtered in the entrance hall grate. It's still much as I remembered, except more museum-ised and all that that means in 2010. Posters stuck to the reverse of the door, computer on a table, exhibits brought in from other houses etc. and what looks like the start of a Christmas (sorry, Celebratory Season) Bazaar. My boys of course were very impressed with the stories of ghosts that have appeared here, particularly the internationally famous one that posed for the CCTV camera a few years ago. They of course saw ghoulish spirits at every turn. Oh, wet leaves, orange brick, the sound of oars dipping in water and then home to fish 'n' chips from the van that chuffs along at 30mph with hot oil slopping about in the back and smoke pouring out across the fields from a tin chimney. A perfect Saturday all round.
PS: Off to Unmitigated Wales tomorrow, so Where's That Then? will be next week