Monday, April 07, 2014

The Co-operative Society stables, Leicester

Down a side street just across the road from The Union you will find this terrific ghost sign.

A letter to a family genealogy website tells the story of these stables:
If I remember correctly the horses from the Glenfield Road Co op Dairy were stabled in Battenberg Road or a neighbouring road. The milkmen walked the unharnessed horses from the Glenfield Road Dairy along Henley Road across Fosse Road North and into Battenberg Road. They could be seen walking the horses back to the stables shortly after lunch when their shift ended. Perhaps some of your other contributors may recall these men and their horses taking this route. The Co op Dairy kept horses for milk deliveries long after Kirby and West had changed to electric milk floats.
And, as you can see below, the stables are still there, though rather altered and now housing small business units.

The name Battenberg Road is interesting too. More than one street off the London Road had its name changed in 1914 because it was thought too Germanic. Perhaps anti-German feeling ran less high in the West End of the city?

1 comment:

Clive Watts said...

Came across this article in Sept 2014 on the day when it was announced that or-to-door deliveries of milk in glass bottles was just about finished. .

I lived in Vaughan Street opposite the Tudor Cinema and remember well the Co-op Dairy Stables in Battenberg Road.

My father was a Co-op milkman for around 50 years until he retired in 1976. Although he worked from the Glenfield Road dairy his round was for the last few years in the Bradgate Park area for which he used a petrol-driven milk float.

However in the late fifties our own milkman, called Wally, used a horse drawn float. As he was Dad's colleague he contrived to end his round at our house so he could make up his roundsman's book in our kitchen whilst he had a cup of tea.

Sometimes when he'd finished I was lucky enough to be given a ride on the float when he returned the horse ("Prince") to the stables. - which were pretty whiffy as I remember.

Incidentally Dad always said that the horse drawn float was much quicker than the electric and petrol floats as the horse knew where to stop and would move along the streets to keep up with him as he went from house to house.

Seems like a different world now!

Clive Watts