48 High Street, Market Harborough
I arrived in Market Harborough in 1948 aged 2. My father had been appointed manager of the newly opened Market Harborough Branch of the Leicester Trustee Savings Bank. My parents and I moved into the flat behind and above the bank at 48 High Street. As a child I loved living there, it had all of the attractions of an old building in the centre of town. My mother was less amused, having moved from a brand new semi-detached house on the outskirts of Leicester.
There were three storeys. Our lounge, living room and kitchen were on the ground floor, behind the bank. We shared a hallway with the bank telephone and the safe; security was a little less stringent in those days! Upstairs were three bedrooms, a toilet, a walk-in cupboard and an enormous bathroom. From a child's perspective the most exciting part was the top storey, two dusty rooms full of junk! During our stay there things changed, the bank took over the whole of the downstairs and we moved upwards, one of the junk rooms became my bedroom and the bathroom was downsized to provide my mother with a kitchen.
I was aware of a sense of history in the house. There were bell pulls upstairs which rang bells in the corridor downstairs; alas no servants materialised when they were rung! All the doors were clearly handmade; solid wood, none of them square but fitting perfectly. Then my father removed some ivy from a wall in the garden and revealed a couple of bricks engraved Jn Clarke 1764. I really was living in an old house!
Soon however I moved away to university and married and my parents moved house; my mother got her semi-detached house again as father approached retirement. Then the bank moved to its present position in Church Square and I lost all contact with No. 48. On my return to Market Harborough, when I retired, I decided to look again at the history of my childhood home and the database of occupants of the house and its immediate neighbours is the first fruit of my labours. Work is ongoing and I hope to add further to the project in the coming years.
Dr John Hammond