CQart children's trail | jo dacombe
How it Works
The children's trail has a number of small art works located around the cultural quarter area. You can see them all from the street. You don't need to follow the trail in any particular order. Either print off the map and visit the marked locations to find them, or just wander through the area and see if you can spot them! If you do want to follow the map, the LCB Depot is a good place to start. You can walk in a wide circle to find the works, and end back at the Depot.
You will need to look through things and look up to see some of the works! Each of the works has some relevance to the history of the area where they are placed. See if you can imagine what the art works might be telling you. Then you can find out more by reading the next section of this website, which will give you the historical background to the works. In this way, the trail can be used as an educational resource to find out more about the history of the St George's area.
Breakdown of the Children's Trail
1. Rutland St, LCB Depot
The LCB used to be the Leicester City Transport and then the Leicester City Bus depot until 1987, and buses used to leave here to carry people all around Leicester. Conductors used to ride on the buses and issue tickets from a ticket machine that the conductor carried, instead of buying a ticket from the driver as we do today. This art work shows a bus conductor's ticket machine and the design of bus tickets issued in the 1960's when people in Britain still used the old system of money with shillings and pence. This ticket cost 4 old pence, written as 4d.
The ticket machine and tickets were lent to me by the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust, volunteers who collect and restore old Leicester buses and display their buses at events.
2. Corner of Rutland St and Yeoman St.
There used to be a huge wholesale market until 1972 between Yeoman St and Halford St. The buildings here in Rutland St provided services to the market and are still used for administrative and legal services today. This art work uses the image of the scales which was used for weighing out goods to sell at the market and is also a symbol of justice used by legal services.
The wholesale market had two ceramic mermaids on the gateway, made by a famous ceramicist of the time called William James Neatby, who also made the ceramic façade of the Turkey Café in Granby St. The mermaids were moved and now stand by the bridge on Richard III Road. This art work has used the style of Neatby's work of the period. The curves carved into the work are inspired by the mermaid's tail and the details on the original mermaid relief.
3. Colton St.
The Guild of the Disabled building in Colton St was built in 1909 in the Arts & Crafts style, and was the first building to be purpose built as fully accessible by people in wheelchairs. The Guild wanted to build a new training wing next to the main building where disabled people could train in new skills and crafts such as basket and chair making, to earn themselves an income. This art work commemorates the hand made flowers that members of the Guild used to make and sell in their shop on Charles St. On Alexandra Day, 28th June 1913, they sold so many hand made roses that they raised all the money they needed in one day to build the training wing.
4. St George St.
This work represents the history of printing and private presses in Leicester, an important industry for the city at the turn of the 20th Century. Many innovations in printing and paper making began in Leicester at the time and there were a large number of private presses operating here. Innovations in the printing of newspapers and pamphlets enabled more people to share opinions and ideas and Leicester was well known for its liberal and forward thinking entrepreneurs, as shown by the strength of Leicester's Secular Society, the oldest secular society in the world. This art work is about the importance of words, free thinking and the spread of ideas, represented by printing block letters.
5. Morledge St.
This part of Leicester had many buildings built as factories that made boots and shoes. Traditionally it was mostly women who worked in the shoe factories. In the 1930s Britain was suffering an economic depression, however the shoe industry in Leicester was still growing and successful. As a result thousands of women flocked to Leicester to find work in the shoe industry, so in the 1930s Leicester became known as "The Women's City". This art work commemorates the important contribution that women have made to the economy of the city and the shoes industry.
6. Wimbledon Street
This work represents the textile industry and the invention of the new weaving machines in the industrial revolution that made Leicester wealthy. The art works show the bobbins and shuttles, tools of the new weaving machines. The photograph was taken during one of the workshops that took place during the project.
7. Yeoman Street
This art work represents the long and ongoing tradition of live music in this part of the Cultural Quarter.