About this image
Bath Street looking south with Burton & Ashby Light Railways electric tram No 5 approaching past the Loudoun Memorial on what appears to be a sunny afternoon in winter or early spring. Its journey will have commenced a few minutes earlier outside Ashby railway station and as yet no passengers are visible as it prepares to negotiate the town centre. Its destination blind confirms it is bound for Burton upon Trent where it will arrive around 75 minutes hence.
The B&ALR was owned by the Midland Railway and linked Burton upon Trent with Newhall, Swadlincote, Church Gresley, Castle Gresley, Woodville, and Ashby. It was a relatively short-lived operation, opening in 1906 and closing in 1927 as a result of competition from motor buses. Bath Street had to be widened to accommodate the tramway and thus all the buildings seen here on the right post-date its construction.
The Loudoun Memorial had been erected in 1879 to commemorate Edith Maud Rawdon Hastings, the 10th Countess of Loudoun (1833-74) who resided at Donington Hall, Castle Donington, the Hastings family holding extensive estates in this part of north-west Leicestershire. The memorial was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-78), who had been previously responsible for such noted structures as the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras station, the Albert Memorial, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, all in London. The design was inspired by the Eleanor Crosses erected by King Edward I in the 13th century to mark the locations were the body of his queen, Eleanor of Castile, rested on its final journey from Lincolnshire to Westminster Abbey.
Of the shops identifiable here, Pratt's, a tobacconist (advertising Player's Navy Cut), and the premises of Foster Brothers Clothing Company are on the right with Bath Street Post Office to the left. Also on the left is a hanging sign revealing the presence just round the corner of The Hare and Hounds public house and the availability there of Brunt & Company's Wooden Box Ales. This is a reference to local firm Brunt Bucknall & Co who operated from the Hartshorne Brewery in High Street, Woodville, 'Wooden Box' being the old name for Woodville.
This photo was taken by Derby-based postcard publisher F W Scarratt and was allocated the number 915 in his series. The original negative envelope indicates that Scarratt ordered 250 cards with a 1/8-inch border and his 'usual imprint' from the negative. The picture also includes his Douglas motorcycle, parked in front of the gas lamp on the right.