Melton Mowbray - Part 1 - Street Market
w/e 14 September 2008
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Broken cloud and an almost equal amount of blue sky
allowed the warmth of the sun's rays to be felt on Wednesday.
It would have been a perfect day to go to Melton Mowbray for
the markets EXCEPT market day was Tuesday and on Tuesday, it
rained. Most of the day it rained - but we went anyway!
These two old ladies standing near the town centre though were
not at all bothered by the conditions as they had seen far worse
(and better) in the past. The lady on the left is the house named
after Anne of Cleves which was given by the infamous King Henry
VIII to his divorced wife in the middle of the sixteenth century.
Whether she actually ever stayed there is debatable but today
it is home to one of Melton Mowbray's public houses. To the right
is the Parish Church dedicated to St. Mary. It is renowned as
being the the largest and stateliest in the county of Leicestershire.
St. Mary's Church is cathedral sized and surely deserves a closer
look at another time but we were there for the markets and the
church tower overlooked this scene in the Market Place where
some shoppers sought shelter around the stalls whilst others
hurried about their business with the rain still teeming down.
As we made our
way through the Market Place, I noticed the arched iron work
at the junction of King Street (left) and a large piece of artwork
in a panel (above) at the side of W. H. Smith's shop. I'm not
sure what the work depicts exactly but suspect it concerns the
history and heritage of the town and wouldn't be at all surprised
if there is not some reference in there somewhere to an event
that occurred in the early hours of April 6th 1837. It is reported
that a group of aristocrats celebrating a successful hunt found
a number of tins of red paint which they used to decorate buildings
on High Street giving rise to the phrase of "painting the
town red" which has gone on to mean " to engage in
a riotous spree" globally.
Traces of the red paint are apparently still visible in High
Street but here, where it meets the Market Place (to the left)
and Nottingham Street ( to the right) our attentions turned to
the recently reinstated Corn Cross. The original was dismantled
This is the plaque at the foot of the cross. The Royal Army Veterinary
Corps Training Centre have had a presence in the town since the
1930s and although they now work in the purpose built Defence
Animal Centre, the soldiers can often be seen honing their dog-handling
skills in the streets of the town.
Something synonymous with the town of course is the Melton Mowbray
Pork Pie and following a European Union directive in April 2008
only pies made within a designated area around the town using
uncured pork are now allowed to be labelled with the name Melton
Mowbray on their packaging. One place where the pies can be purchased
is Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe in Nottingham Street.
Dickinson & Morris trade from the shop and their award winning
hand raised pies looked too good to pass by without going inside
to buy one.
Leaving the shop we noticed a musician in the process of erecting
a music stand and he then proceeded to put up an umbrella and
play his clarinet. Somehow his choice of tune in the September
rain seemed somewhat out of place. Surely "Apple Blossom
Time" is earlier in the year!
The street market in Melton Mowbray spreads from the Market Place
into High Street and the stalls also line the whole length of
Nottingham Street along both sides. The town was Leicestershire's
only market town in the Domesday Book; is the third oldest in
England and the Tuesday market was granted royal approval in
1324. Markets are held on other days of the week too but on Tuesdays
there is also a livestock market, antiques fair and farmers'
market so with a last look down Nottingham Street (above) we
headed off to the Cattle Market.
Continued in Part 2