Around old Burbage

Book written by John D. McNaughton on the brief History of Burbage in Leicestershire.

Page 6

the sycamores along windsor street an old fashioned garden along coventry road
The Sycamores, Windsor Street, when it was a private house owned by Mr Parker Rice. It became a public house when the licence to the Crown Inn expired.

This surely is everyone's idea of an old fashioned garden. It was in Coventry Road (then called Three Pots Road) where the picture was taken. The garden belonged to the house on the left in the background, owned by the Gent family. Coventry Road runs between the house and the garden. The house is believed to have been built in the late 18th or early 19th century and at one time was used as a frame knitter's cottage. I have seen figures recorded showing that in 1851 when the population of Burbage was only 1,894, there were 570 knitting frames in the village. At some stage in the history of the house, it would appear from the outbuildings that livestock were kept here. Even today the house and grounds are kept in immaculate condition.

three pots inn during 1890s three pots inn during 1920s
We now move on to the Three Pots Inn during the 1890's or earlier when it was used as a coaching inn by travellers using the Watling Street (A5).

This second photograph of the Three Pots Inn was possibly taken in the 1920's and shows another floor added to it. In the 1930's it was demolished and the present building erected.

sketchley road the grove along grove road
Sketchley Road - and not a house in sight on the right-hand side! This shows some of the vast expanse of the Burbage Nurseries in the days of the Hurst family, the then owners.

'The Grove', Grove Road, home of the Hursts. This house stood where now is Grosvenor Crescent. In its day, right up to the time of its demolition, the house and especially the gardens were absolutely magnificent and it is doubtful if there was a garden in the area to match it.

grove road grove road
Two pictures of Grove Road before its major face-lift on the right hand side looking towards the Church.

aerial photograph of burbage
The three aerial photographs are of Burbage in 1978 showing the extent of the massive building programme commenced in the early 1950s and continuing today. The first photograph needs little guidance for identification, if you take a bearing from the Church. The road to the right is Hinckley Road and the one to the left with white lines down the centre is Church Street.

(Aerial photographs by kind permission of the 'Hinckley Times')

aerial photograph of burbage
In the second photograph, take a bearing from the large group of buildings just above the bottom right hand corner, this being the Infant School in Grove Road.

(Aerial photographs by kind permission of the 'Hinckley Times')

aerial photograph of burbage
You are looking from Brookside towards Forresters Road, the two roads leading from Brookside to Forresters Road are Far Lash (left) and Higham Way (right).

(Aerial photographs by kind permission of the 'Hinckley Times')

cyril swan with his ex-first world war leyland lorry robinsons coaches
The Swan family moved into Burbage around the turn of the century and before many years had passed they had played a big role in village life. In the picture is Mr Cyril Swan with his ex First World War Leyland lorry which he purchased in 1920. The working life of that vehicle continued until 1936. Although one could write a book on the many kinds of work carried out by this proud family, space only permits a mere list of such work in this book. It should be pointed out that Mr Swan, who was helped by his son Roland, was a Farmer and Carrier. They were suppliers of bean sticks, pea sticks, line posts and props, firewood (200 bags per week) and logs, fence posts, thatch pegs, paving slabs and other building materials. Their services included hiring of horses and carts (mainly to the railways), carting for the Council, carriers of goods two days weekly to London and two days weekly to Manchester, transporters of farm animals and machinery, carriers of the hounds to the meets of the Atherstone Hunt, removers of furniture (it was Mr Swan who brought the choir stalls, Bishop's chair and panelling from Balliol College, Oxford in 1937 to be refitted into the Parish Church); coal merchants, milk roundsmen; a public service vehicle (using a Model T Ford lorry which could seat 14 people and entered by climbing removable steps at the rear). Horses, carts and lorries were also used for the Carnivals at Burbage and Hinckley. All maintenance was carried out by the family.

Mr Cyril Swan spent a number of years serving with the Hinckley Police force as a Special Constable. Information from many sources has it that Mr Swan was one of the strongest men in the area — he could lift with ease one of the old fashioned upright pianos. Life for the Swans has now eased a little. The last lorry was sold in 1970 and Mr Roland Swan now continues to run only the farming side of the business towards what will be the end of an era in the life of Burbage.

The Robinson family can be traced back over three centuries in Burbage, but here I cover just over one hundred years, during which time the family has had very close connections with the Parish Church of St. Catherine by way of church membership and church furnishings. Of the latter, two fine examples are the Reredos and Lectern. The public transport side of the family started way back in 1923 when Mr James Robinson purchased a Model T Ford Saloon. His son Jim worked for Mr Cyril Swan, and it was with Mr Swan that he learned how to handle the early vehicles. For a brief moment in time two key families of Burbage were joined together. However, at the age of 20, Jim joined his father and started a public transport service which has survived to this day. The Robinsons have been connected with the local Co-operative Society since its very beginning in Burbage in 1873. In 1874 when the committee presented its first half-yearly accounts, Jeremiah Robinson was the Secretary. Today, members of the Robinson family still remain in the trades of their forefathers through Robinson's Coaches, Walter King & Son, carriers, and Mr Ben Waring, Manager at the Cooperative Society Grocery department.


I would like to express my grateful thanks and appreciation to all those friends and residents of the locality who have assisted me in the production of this booklet by giving information, loaning photographs, etc. In particular, I would acknowledge the co-operation of:


The Second book in the series is Around old Burbage the Second Time

around old burbage the second time