Sunday, 7 January 2018

Wandering Leicester - Sea Breeze headache remedy

My next MA assignment has to be handed in very soon. We have to write either 3500 words of story or 11 pages of poetry with a theme of 'place'. I decided to be a flâneur and wander the streets of Leicester. I then decided to make life more difficult for myself and write the whole thing in verse. I've used a mixture of free and formal verse which is hard work but fun.

My problem is that I've collected so many fascinating lesser-known snippets of information about Leicester that most of them won't make it onto those precious 11 pages. There are some that are so fascinating, I'd like to share them with you over the next few weeks. I don't have time to write them up in verse, I'm afraid but they're still worth a view.

This week I'm posting up two photos of the remains of a chemist shop on Leicester's High Street. The building is on the corner of Cart's Lane and High Street. It's now a men's clothing shop. You wouldn't even know that evidence of a chemist was there if you didn't look up and scrutinise it's façade.

I took the above wide shot and then scanned in closer to see two perfectly preserved mosaics:


The top one shows a man using a pestle and mortar to mix up a remedy and the lower mosaic is an advert for Sea Breeze, a headache remedy made by the owner of the chemist in the 1880s. His name was T. E. Butler.

So if you've ever walked up Leicester's High Street and not noticed these mosaics, you might like to take a moment to glance up next time you go. They're on the left as you walk away from the Clock Tower.

p.s. I know that as a woman I should call myself a flâneuse but I have decided, just as serious women actors no longer refer to themselves as actresses, so too will I use the masculine form.



10 comments:

  1. I too enjoy being a flaneuse. Whenever I visit another town other than my own(as well as my own) I always look up above the modern shop fronts in the centre and it is truly amazing what history there is waiting to be found. Sometimes I see other people looking up and we have conversations about what we are looking at. Looking forward to hearing more about your flanerie. Petra.

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    1. Thanks, Petra. I love looking up at Leicester's amazing buildings. We're very lucky here to still have such fine Victorian facades.

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  2. tres fabulous. I love those details on old buildings. I bet your verse is excellent.

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    1. Thanks, Joanne, they don’t make buildings like that anymore, it's true.

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  3. How interesting (and possibly an idea for me). Looking forward to reading what else you've found in Leicester.

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    1. So glad I’ve provided inspiration for you, Miriam. Hope the idea comes to fruition.

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  4. How fab - and who cares if writing in verse is difficult if it’s fun! Fun is much more important!

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    1. Thanks Jo, I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this MA course.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this, Ros. I love walking along High Street and Granby Street, looking up. I look forward to hearing more of your flaneur poetry, too.

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  6. Hi Ros - what a wonderful building and I love those mosaics retained in the building facade, perhaps inside too.

    Flaneur - wonderful description.

    It's excellent the MA course is being such a benefit and so inspirational to you ... but writing your assignment in verse is pretty amazing - I sincerely hope it's recognised highly ... looks like it will be.

    Your snippets could be turned into a short A-Z book on Leicester ... for the challenge too - but more importantly for publication and sale in Leicester ...

    Well done - so good to read - cheers Hilary

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