Then and Now

Here you can see a selection of ‘then and now’ images of interesting places in and around Saffron Lane. We start with the ‘then’ image; an archive photograph from sometime in the past 90 years which is contrasted with a ‘now’ image taken of the same place recently.

Most of the ‘now’ images were taken by the children that attend the Homework Group that meet at Southfields Library. The children were given disposable cameras to take home over a week and these are just some of the results.


 Southfields Library

Southfields Library in the 1940's

Southfields Library in the 1940's

Southfields Library in 2012

Southfields Library in 2012

As you can see, not much has changed at Southfields Library at all from the outside. This is because it is a Grade II listed building which means that it is of special interest and cannot be altered in appearance. The library was built in 1939 by Leicester based architects, Symington Prince and Pyke.


Goldhill Spinney

Looking at Crabtree Corner from Goldhill Spinney in the 1950's

Looking at Crabtree Corner from Goldhill Spinney in the 1950's

Goldhill Spinney in 2012

Goldhill Spinney in 2012

Goldhill Spinney is still very similar to how it was when the black and white photo was taken. One big difference is that there is now a large adventure playground situated there. For more information visit their website.


Cavendish Road

The site of the first bomb to drop on Leicester

The site of the first bomb to drop on Leicester – on the corner of Cavendish Road and Oliver Street in Aylestone

The same site in 2012

The same site in 2012 – notice that a window has been added to the side of the building and one of the chimneys has been removed. Image copyright Google

Here is a quote from an eye witness to the bombing raid:

‘I was a child of 7 living in Aylestone Park and I well remember the first bombs falling on Cavendish Road. It was a daylight raid on August 21st 1940 and I was out in the street playing at the time. We had little or no warning between the siren "going off" and the bombs falling.

After the raid I remember walking with my cousin and looking at the ruins of what had been our local shops in Cavendish Road. The memory of a bedroom wall, still wall papered and with a mirror or picture still hanging in place is one I will never forget.’ - Roma Matthews


Saffron Lane Shops

Saffron Lane in the 1920's when the estate (on the left side of the road) was first built

Saffron Lane in the 1920's when the estate (on the left side of the road) was first built

Saffron Lane in 2012

Saffron Lane in 2012

Saffron Lane as a road existed for many years before the Saffron Lane Estate was built, from at least 1870 and probably much earlier. It is today as it was in the 1920’s; a wide road busy with people and shops. At the time of the black and white photo above people mostly walked or rode bikes, cars were still a rare sight in those days.


Tick-Tock Park

Tick-Tock Park with the original pavilion and clock tower, this photograph was taken in the 1930's

Tick-Tock Park with the original pavilion and clock tower, this photograph was taken in the 1930's

Tick-Tock Park in 2012

Tick-Tock Park in 2012

Elston Fields, or Tick-Tock Park as it is called now days, has always been at the centre of the Saffron Lane Estate. Its use has ranged from local football matches being played on there in the 1930’s and 40’s with spectators in the hundreds to dog walkers and children using the green for football today.

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Thanks and Acknowledgements