Search WWW This site

Click for Percy Pig cartoon

Percy Pig is now online too!

Barrow Voice is published by Barrow upon Soar Community Association. Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editorial committee or the Community Association.

Barrow Community Association is a registered Charity No: 505692.
Barrow Voice Team
Advertising Deadline
23th April 2004

Summer Copy Deadline
30th April 2004
Copy to:
The Editor
17 North Street
Barrow upon Soar
Leics LE12 8PZ editor@barrowvoice.co.uk

WILDFLOWERS, COBBLES AND A UNIQUE SUNDIAL

The members of the Millennium Group would like to update everyone with the progress made so far on Fishpool Way and the plans for our major development this year. Things have not always moved on as quickly as we would have hoped, mostly because we are a group of volunteers with families, work and other commitments and having to deal with various companies and organisations.

At the time of writing this update on Fishpool Way it is almost a year since the Community Tree Planting. Unfortunately we were not to know how hot and dry it was going to be in 2003 and as a result some of the trees will be lost. We will take stock in the Spring and then look to replacing any trees that have not survived in the Autumn.

During 2003 you will have noticed that we have put in a perimeter footpath and a flight of steps. This work cost almost 9,000 which was raised through a Shire Grant and a grant from the Parish Council. The Melton Road entrance has also been widened. This work will make the site much more accessible to all especially in the wet weather.

During the autumn we planted native daffodils, bluebells, primroses and wood anemones on the site. It will take some years for these to become really established but we should start to be able to enjoy them in the next months. By the time you are reading this we shall also have planted several hundreds of snowdrops which will flower next year. The introduction of wildflowers will be an ongoing project and we would always welcome any donations towards the cost of these which we buy from specialist wildflower nurseries in Nottinghamshire, Norfolk and Gloucestershire. It is important that the plants we introduce are suited to the environment and are genuine wildflowers and not garden varieties of wildflowers.

Our major project this year is the construction of the 'Time Zone'. This will take the form of an enormous horizontal sundial measuring 10.5metres diameter. This will be quite unique as there are only three others in the country on this scale - one in Amble, one in Cornwall and one in Gosport. The outer 1.5 metres of the sundial will be made of cobbles with 16 large blocks (up to a metre tall) of Mountsorrel granite to show the hour markers from 4.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.. At the centre of the sundial will be a 6.5 metre high brushed stainless steel 'gnomon' - the construction that casts the shadow to tell the time.

The gnomon has been designed and will be built by Duffield Engineering in Nottingham. The gnomon has to be set at the angle for the line of latitude of Barrow and must be facing true north. This will be anchored to a massive concrete base under ground level. At the time of going to press we are out to tender for the work to be done on the cobble circle with the Mountsorrel Granite hour markers, the underground base and the fixing of the gnomon in place. The 12,000 that was raised in Millennium year will go towards this work but we will also have to seek considerable grant aid to complete the work. We are hoping that this project will be completed this summer but we are in the hands of the contractors, planners and grant bodies.

We, in the Millennium Group, are very excited by the Fishpool Way development so far and the Time Zone will make it quite unique not just in Leicestershire but in the whole of the Midlands.

If you have any questions about this development then please do not hesitate to contact Mike Morley 01509 412982 or members of the Group - Drew Kirby, Lilian Middleton, Mike Neale, Sue and Ted Rodgers.

AJ HUBBARD, YOUR PRIZE WINNING VILLAGE BUTCHER

Not all that many years ago, Barrow had four butchers: Hubbards, Lockwoods, the Pork Butcher and Townsends in Beveridge Street. Now we are left with one. And no fruit and veg shop nor a DIY shop. We've lost them to the supermarkets, of course. I'm permanently astonished by the number of residents who claim to be keen on village life and want to promote a sense of community and yet who rarely shop in the village. The old adage is clear: Use them or Lose them. And who would want to lose the opportunity to taste properly hung, properly butchered meat? Certainly not me.

Prue and David have been loyal supporters of Barrow Voice since it started. So we invited them to put themselves under the BV spotlight.

Judith Rodgers

Here is their story:

Alfred J. Hubbard and his wife, Joan moved to Barrow from Downham Market in Norfolk, where Alf had run the abattoir in Kings Lynn. Quite a move at the age of 55. He bought the business and house, which was situated where Moss the Chemist and Somerfield now stand, from Owen Condon. Mr Condon's original shop was across the road at No.60. Mr Condon continued to take an active interest in the business-a lovely man.

In those days, animals were bought live from market and you could see a bullock, maybe four pigs and sixteen lambs, held in the fallow pens, to the rear of the property, awaiting slaughter. Alf would think nothing of felling a bullock before starting a full day's work in the shop. He had a local man, Dick Jolley to help him. Dick was a willing worker, well-used to the butchery trade but he used to do everything at a full tilt. One day he went running down the yard, knife in hand, to fetch something. He slipped and cut his wrist badly on his knife. Luckily, Dr Earl was close at hand in Beveridge Street and he stitched up Dick 's cut wrist, so saving the day. No severed arteries, thank you!

Mrs Hubbard would do the deliveries on a Saturday morning with a young assistant, then named Jackie Reeves. Jackie remembers sitting at the kitchen table, balancing the delivery takings and occasionally getting some cheek from their visiting grandson, David Smart! Unfortunately, that lovely building and its land were lost when, as happened so often in the sixties, Mr Hubbard was approached for a 'new development'.

David joined the business around 1967 and late in 1969 the business moved to its present site, 23, High Street. Prue joined the business in 1975 and had the dubious privilege of delivery duties on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. Hilda Pert and Barbara East were just two of our 'van ladies'. I remember Hilda having to brake suddenly on Saturday and a stack of eggs in the rear of the van did a disappearing act behind the two front seats. Yuk!

Mr Hubbard was 75 when he collapsed and died suddenly. However, David had been running the shop for four years by then and so was perfectly competent to continue on his own. Things now started to change fast. The importance of fridges and, more recently, freezers, was paramount. Supermarkets started to grab more and more trade. Village shops selling wet fish or fruit and veg struggled and then went under. We installed refrigerated serve-over counters, more fridges and more freezers. Looking back to that move to No. 23, I can't believe there was just one front refrigerator bed. That was it for display!

One day I had the idea of cooking a gammon and making some Cornish pasties to see how they would sell. Oh boy! What did I start!

As things have evolved, we try to give an all round service of fresh meats, cooked meats and pies and cheeses. When the delicatessen on High Street closed, Jackie, now Mrs Penney, came to work with us as a very valued member of staff. That was seven years ago.where does time go?

We have had a succession of 'Saturday Boys' who come and clean up after the week 's trade. Paul, David, Stuart, Mark, Simon, Adam; all Barrow lads who it 's been a pleasure to know. We keep in touch with them and their wives and children. I won 't name the lad I caught rinsing the electric cooker with the hose pipe. Or the one who used to leave slogans and verses in the front window, vilifying supermarkets!! He's doing quite nicely as an actor now and he's reformed from his vegetarian past.

Sometimes the job has been really hard and the trade in general has had to put up with some hard knocks over the last few years. It's been a hard apprenticeship but worthwhile because we can feel confident about what we do, how we do it and who supplies us. We have a great team around us and most importantly, some lovely customers who have become friends.

Prue and David