The House and Street name that disappeared
This year sees the bi-centenary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Kibworth Harcourt and Kibworth Beauchamp commemorated both monarch and consort by naming streets after them. Albert Street remains in Harcourt, sadly Victoria Street in Beauchamp has disappeared.
On my travels recently, I acquired an old postcard and to my surprise it was addressed to a Mrs L Cooke of Victoria House, Kibworth from Tom, Annie and Baby, with a date stamp of 1907. Back in the Edwardian era to send a postcard would have cost a halfpenny stamp, which was green in colour, displaying the head of King Edward VII (1901-1910).
I understand that Victoria House once stood on Victoria Street, which was renamed Smeeton Road when the property was sadly demolished, some years ago, in order to straighten the road, which now leads directly to Smeeton Westerby. The original route, as shown in the photograph, followed round to the right and although the road is still in use, its main aim today is to provide access to the properties that overlook the green area set between the two thoroughfares.
I am informed by Pat Fisher of Kibworth Beauchamp that just prior to demolition, Victoria House was occupied by a Mr and Mrs Jackson.
Thankfully, the row of Victorian cottages, close by, avoided the bulldozer and remain to this day as a reminder of a time when this narrow street was relatively quiet and carried mainly horse drawn vehicles between villages.
Note to Kibworth Beauchamp Parish Council: With all the ongoing housing development changing the face of the Kibworths, it would be an excellent opportunity to re-instate Victoria Street to Kibworth Beauchamp and in doing so establish a link for the new to our past?