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  • Asfordby Street Police and Fire Station in opened in 1899. It included a lamplighter’s room and fire engine parking
  • Other buildings in Leicester designed by Wakerley include the Coronation Buildings on High Street and the Turkey Café on Granby Street
  • Wakerley created a self-contained suburb and in the centre was a market square. The square was redeveloped in 1982 and the police station is now a community centre

Asfordby Street Police and Fire Station  

Asfordby Street Police and Fire Station in opened in 1899It included a lamplighter’s room and fire engine parking. It also had houses, for the police sergeant and fireman. The police kept the peace and solved crimes, but some also had responsibility for the fire service and lighting the gas lamps. When it closed in September 2005, this was the last used Victorian police station in Leicester. The building is now used as a community centre.  

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The police station c.2000; Colin Hyde

Arthur Wakerley, Leicester architect and Mayor 

72 Asfordby Street (the station)  was designed by Arthur Wakerley.  Born in 1862, he came to Leicester in his early twenties.  Just twelve years later, he was elected Mayor. He became a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and president of the Leicester Society of Architects.  Other buildings in Leicester designed by Wakerley include the Coronation Buildings on High Street and the Turkey Café on Granby Street. He died in 1931 and is buried in Welford Road cemetery. 

Ashfordby Police Station 3
Aerial view of North Evington, from the North East, taken in 1927

North Evington, a self-contained suburb  

Wakerley wanted to create a self-contained suburb with places to work and good quality housing.  In the centre was a market square; a Victorian version of today’s shopping precinct.  It included a market hall with coffee room, doctor’s surgery, shops, a barber and the police and fire station.  By 1914 there were 28 factories employing over 5,000 people in more than 30 trades. The market licence was withdrawn in 1947 and the square was redeveloped in 1982. 

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Roman Leicester

(47- 500) A military fort was erected, attracting traders and a growing civilian community to Leicester (known as Ratae Corieltauvorum to the Romans). The town steadily grew throughout the reign of the Romans.

Medieval Leicester

(500 – 1500) The early years of this period was one of unrest with Saxon, Danes and Norman invaders having their influences over the town. Later, of course, came Richard III and the final battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought on Leicester’s doorstep.

Tudor & Stuart Leicester

(1500 – 1700) The wool trade flourished in Leicester with one local, a former mayor named William Wigston, making his fortune. During the English Civil War a bloody battle was fought as the forces of King Charles I laid siege to the town.

Georgian Leicester

(1700 – 1837) The knitting industry had really stared to take hold and Leicester was fast becoming the main centre of hosiery manufacture in Britain. This new prosperity was reflected throughout the town with broader, paved streets lined with elegant brick buildings and genteel residences.

Edwardian Leicester

(1901 – 1910) Electric trams came to the streets of Leicester and increased literacy among the citizens led to many becoming politicised. The famous 1905 ‘March of the Unemployed to London’ left from Leicester market when 30,000 people came to witness the historic event.

Modern Leicester

(1973 – present day) Industry was still thriving in the city during the 1970s, with the work opportunities attracting many immigrants from all over the world. While industry has declined in recent years, excellent transport links have made Leicester an attractive centre for many businesses. The City now has much to be proud of including its sporting achievements and the richness of its cultural heritage and diversity.

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