The Victoria Model Lodging House in Britannia Street (just off the Belgrave Road) is in a sorry state now but it once represented the height of comfort to the men who sought shelter there; ‘…hawkers and drovers, and the shuffling of the heavy-shod navvies’.
It was designed by Thomas Hind in 1887. Hind was a Liberal Councillor and an active member of the Leicester Co-operative Society. At that time most lodging houses were old, overcrowded and insanitary, unlike the purpose-built Victoria. Rules were strict: alcohol was banned, there was no smoking upstairs and woman weren’t allowed, but there were ‘brick-lined lavatories and laundries’ and cooking facilities were provided. A bed for the night cost from 4d to 8d.
The relief panels in brick show characters from each of the four British nationalities.
|There was Scotsman, an Irishman…|
|…a Welshman and an Englishman.|