Monday, 1 April 2013


A to Z Challenge – travels round Leicester with my camera No 1.

Today is the first day of the A to Z Challenge. Over the coming month I’m going to share some of the photos that I’ve taken around the centre of Leicester recently. It has given me a chance to really get to know my adopted city and although it has distracted me from the writing, I’ve enjoyed researching the stories behind the pictures. Sometimes it’s good just to look at familiar things with a fresh eye – something writers struggle with when faced with trying to edit their work. I know I do.

I thought I’d begin with some angels.

Bronze statue representing Peace, by Joseph Crosland McClure with the architect John Breedon Everard. One of three allegorical figures on the South African War Memorial in Town Hall Square.

When the Boer war ended in 1902 a group of leading citizens formed a committee to collect subscriptions for a memorial to the men of Leicestershire who’d died in the war.

Their first choice of sculptor, Alfred Gilbert, proved disastrous. After five years and with £950 of subscribers money spent, Gilbert only managed to produce a rough model. In 1908, McClure, a Manchester born sculptor then teaching modelling at Leicester School of Art, was recommended to the committee and after a further appeal for funds the memorial was finally realised in 1909. Sadly, just five years later Britain was at war again.

Left: angel’s head on the facade of the Town Hall (1876). Right: angel’s head on former National Westminster Bank in St Matins (1900-1) by Charles John Allen.

This angel sits on a little platform bidding her time (Dr Who fans will know what I mean). This building in High Street was built in 1903 for the Leicester Branch of the Birmingham and Provincial Bank. In 1921 it was sold to Commercial Union and their name can still be seen on the front. It is now Café Bruxelle.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
The angel is on the balcony above the door.


  1. This is really interesting stuff, Sally - especially as I have lived here all of my life and shamefully don't often take the time to really look at some of the beautiful buildings and facades.

  2. I love seeing pictures, or sculptures, of angels. Your A-Z topic is fascinating; I'll be back to read and view more about your beautiful, adopted city. I'm your newest follower!

  3. Excellent theme Sally! I was out in Town Hall Square myself very early on Saturday morning, I noted the angels, but my interest was more in catching the sunlight. A rarity these days!

    Good luck with the challenge, I'll be back soon.

  4. I look forward to seeing and learning more. What wonderful architecture in that last photo. So much history compared to Australia!

    Good luck with the challenge

  5. Lovely photos! I can't wait to see more of them!

    Thanks for dropping by Zoe Cottage. Enjoy your "A" Day!

  6. What a great topic and I know I'm going to love it! I am a big photography fan and also have a thing about angels. Great pictures and nice to have some information and history behind them.

  7. This is what I love about your corner of the world. So much history just walking down the street. A beautiful city. Thanks for sharing!

  8. amazing architecture! so glad i stopped by!
    happy a day!

  9. Beautiful pics! I always wanted to return to England and never got around to it.

  10. Thank you for visiting my blog and letting me know about yours. I'm going to have to double check, but I think I have ancestors from Leicester. How cool would that be.
    These are wonderful photos. I look forward to so many more.

  11. Thanks for sharing those angelic pics, Sally! One of these days I am hoping to visit your adoptive country!

  12. Sally,

    There is something so appealing about the idea of angels. It might sound a bit creepy, but whenever I am in a cemetery, visiting loved ones' graves or just walking around, I do tend to look for the angel sculptures. There are so many different approaches to how they look, but all beautiful in their way.

    Great post, and nice to meet you through the A to Z!

  13. Excellent choice for "A." Thanks for sharing your photos. I learned something from your post and that's a good thing. :)

  14. gorgeous, i have a real thing for angels!!

  15. How interesting! I love photos from far off places! My friend studied in Leicester for a year so I at least know where it is; my other good friend lives south of London.