Leicester – A City of Two Tales

October 9th and 10th 2010

On Saturday October 9th, the city was preparing for the marathon and half marathon the next day.
(I didn’t have my camera with me for most of these pictures, please excuse the quality of my phone shots)

Runner caution sign leicester marathon October 2010

I had to take this picture from a distance, because it’s in the middle of this lot. I ran down here on Sunday morning – fortunately the riot vans had gone!

police preparing Leicester October 2010

Unfortunately, the city also played host to demonstrations by the ‘English Defence League’ and ‘Unite Against Fascism’ on Saturday. Lots of news and TV coverage concentrated on the headline grabbing violence, stand off, smoke bombs and battered bodies.

But what of the ‘other news’ of the real city centre.

shop closure leicester October 2010

In my view, the saddest sight in Leicester on Saturday was the market.

Leicester Market October 2010

Desolate, barren, neglected, the list goes on.

A normal Saturday (this picture was taken 2 weeks earlier)

leicester market

Vibrant, noisy, colourful, exciting, thriving.

The city will bounce back, it bounced back the next day for the marathon and half marathon.

The demonstrators had their democratic right to meet. I wonder how much the market traders sympathised with them.
What do you think?


Off the beaten track – in Leicester?

Or you can just go shopping at Fosse Park

Is this a tame goose?

In the triangle formed between Narborough Road, Aylestone Road and Soar Valley Way there is the wonderful Oasis of Aylestone Meadows. Here’s the OS map showing Walker Stadium at top right and Fosse Park shopping hell* at bottom left. (* that’s a personal view!)


It’s fantastic when you find a quiet spot so close to constant traffic jams and spend-crazy shoppers. This wonderful place is a short walk from it all.

I often run in this area (canal banks and the old Great Central Railway Line), this time I took my camera.

This really is a meadows, and the Grand Union Canal feels more like a river than the Leeds-Liverpool Canal (which I grew up near).

packhorse bridge 3  pack horse bridgepack horse bridge 2

This is Pack Horse Bridge across the canal and then across the meadows to the old railway line.

Even the graffiti under the main road (Soar Valley Way) seems slightly less aggressive!

graffiti under soar valley way soar valley way reflected

IMG_1179 (Large) meadows

I really must get my head around creative commons – but if anyone wants these pictures for educational use – please let me know and I’ll provide them without my name on!

Roman Roads on Leicestershire Warwickshire Border

A piece of history – any information board? No!

I saw a twitter request t’other day for any royalty free pictures of Roman Roads – as I live quite close to a major Roman junction I went out and had a look.

On the edge of the parish of Claybrooke in Leicestershire there is the crossing of 2 of the most important roads to the Romans.

The A5 (also known as Watling Street) ran from Holyhead to Dover, whilst the Fosse Way runs from Exeter to Lincoln.

high cross

also marks the division of these two –

leics road sign               Warwicks Road Sign

Read more of this post

Pictures of Leicester

I recently found a wonderful resource for pictures of Leicester, by Paul Smith. I contacted Paul to see if these were okay for schools to use – his reply was terrific – 

Schools are welcome to use pictures for educational purposes. –  Any copyright information must remain, and if published (say  for a web project) must be acknowledged (just a link will do).


Any questions mail me on paul@mainlymono.co.uk



Paul S


I’ll leave  a permanent link to his pictures on my blog in the Leicestershire section.