Travel in Time: Long Clawson

Long Clawson is Melton borough’s most ‘stretched’ village.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 10:40 am
Updated Friday, 18th June 2021, 11:08 am
West End in Long Clawson pictured in the 1930s EMN-210618-101751001
West End in Long Clawson pictured in the 1930s EMN-210618-101751001

“It is more than one mile long and has 14 right-angled bends.

The village follows the line of an aquifer, which in the past enabled wells to be sunk for potable water,” said Mike Allsop.

His late wife, Jenny, wrote about local history for 40 years.

West End in Long Clawson PHOTO Estelle Slegers Helsen EMN-210618-101802001

Unfortunately, last year she became one of the early Covid-19 victims.

It is a hard choice which part of the village to highlight.

My focus was inspired by this postcard of West End Stores.

The shop continued until the 1990s and the outline of its distinctive sign can still be seen.

Jenny said: “West End Stores served that part of the village from at least 1841, originally run by Thomas and Elizabeth Barnard.”

“From the end of the 1940s Lesley and Philip Bailey, a really kind couple, ran the shop,” said Jo Towle.

Jennifer Dobbin said: “I remember Mr Bailey whacking his stick on the top shelves to get things down.”

Michael Nichols, laughing, said: “Mr Bailey was a Navy diver throughout the war.

When I farmed at Harby, every week I delivered cracked eggs, for about 23 years.

One Christmas Mr Bailey offered me a glass of whisky.

Although not being a drinker, I politely took a gulp.

After that, I never ever touched any alcohol again.” When the Baileys retired, the store was sold several times.

Ann Merrins said: “First Sally and Graham Pellew took over, followed by Sue and Spud Oldham.”

The old store stood at the corner of Barnards Place.

Jenny wrote this about the street name: “On the enclosure map of 1790 you see a row of cottages with a lane curving round to meet Melton Road. At the end lived Robert and Ann Barnard. Barnard’s Lane became variously Bonsors Lane, Peck’s Lane and finally Barnards Place.”

The large house next to the stores is School House.

“It was church property and provided accommodation for the local school’s headmaster.

The last was Mr Watchorn, who left in 1972.”

Jennifer Dobbin remembers Mr Knight as headmaster.

Michael Nichols said: “Mr Knight also took over the running of the Long Clawson Football Club for many years.”

Opposite the old store the walls of Hollytree farm can be seen, one of the many dairy farms that have now moved out of the village.

by Estelle Slegers Helsen