The Magazine of Lenton Local History Society

Marcus Street - Lenton

Following the construction of the Castle Gardens housing development the stretch of road previously known as Marcus Street became incorporated into Alderney Street

Photographs | Memories | Map


Photograph courtesy of Picture The Past

Photograph courtesy of John Haywood

This shot of Marcus Street was taken in August 1975. The photograph was used in a Now and Then feature that appeared in Lenton Times in November 2000. At that time the newsagents on the right would have been run by Colin and Valerie Parkin but the article suggested that, by this time, the property on the left hand side had ceased to function as a shop. The article on the history of Marcus Street appeared in Lenton Times No.16

This was taken from an edition of the Nottinghamshire Guardian which featured different celebrations marking the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in and around Nottingham. According to the text which accompanied the photographs this one features the residents of Marcus Street, Lenton. On the actual page layout of the newspaper another photograph had been overlaid on to this photograph - hence the blank section at the bottom right of our photograph.

John Haywood, who used to live on Marcus Street, has sent us this photograph of himself, aged four, sat on his tricycle on the pavement outside his house, No.4 Marcus Street, in 1955. In the background you can see Marcus Street s junction with Castle Boulevard and over on the other side of the boulevard part of the premises of Hicking & Pentecost dye works can viewed.

Photograph courtesy of Jimmy Higgins

Photograph courtesy of Jimmy Higgins

Jimmy Higgins posing for his photograph outside his house, No.37 Marcus Street, in about 1960

The same bay window as in the previous photograph but now in glorious technicolour as Jimmy's sister, Sylvia Higgins, and their mother, Jessie Higgins, pose for a photograph in 1963.


Veronica Bridger (regarding her mother in law)

Jean Peake, born in 1926, lived at 24 Marcus Street with her parents Beatrice Peake (nee Robinson) and Samuel Peake until she was five. Her grandparents, Samuel Peake (senior) and Martha Peake, also lived on Marcus Street at No. 24. In 1931 Jean's family moved into the shop at the end of Marcus Street at its junction with Castle Boulevard and made it into a hairdressers. Jean's mum ran this until the mid-1930s. Jean also recalls that during this period the Waldren family lived at No.3 Marcus Street while the Humphreys were resident at No.22.

Jean was eighty four in November 2009 and, at the time of writing, was living in North Wales with her husband.

Jean Button

Undated photo of Sarah Ann Smith, courtesy of Jean Button.In the 1881 census you can find Sarah Ann Barton, aged 23, employed as a lace dresser, living with her parents, John and Elizabeth Barton at 3 Hields Yard Sneinton. Also listed on the census at this address was Sarah's one month old daughter, Frances Adeline Barton. In 1885 Sarah married William Smith and they had four children – John (born 1891), Emily (born 1893), Elizabeth (born 1896) and Samuel (born 1898). I know that Sarah and William Smith lived at 7 Brassey Street in Radford, as that is where Emily Smith was born but, by the time of the 1911 census, the Smith family had arrived in Marcus Street, Lenton. Initially they lived at No. 3 Marcus Street but sometime during the First World War they moved to No.46 Marcus Street. This property remained their home for the rest of their lives; William Smith dying in December 1937 and Sarah Ann Smith in February 1950 at the age of ninety two.

All of Sarah's children were living with her at No.3 Marcus Street at the time of the 1911 census. This included Frances Adline (who was known to the family as 'Aline'). She had married Michael Daley in 1907 and by the time of the 1911 census they already had a two year old daughter, Rose Ellen. Mother and daughter were both staying at No.3 at the time of the census but Michael Daley was elsewhere. That two year old daughter was destined to become my mother. Michael and Aline had two other children Emily [known to the family as Betty] (born 1918) and Joseph (born c.1920). Michael died in 1921 but three years later Aline married a near neighbour, John Mee, who resided at No. 9 Marcus Street. This was not to be a happy marriage and it wasn't long before Aline and her children were all back living at No.46 Marcus Street. Sarah and all three of her daughters were employed at Hicking & Pentecost factory on Castle Boulevard.

My mother had me in 1937 while she was still living at No. 46 Marcus Street. Then she and her sister, Betty, not forgetting myself, all went to live at Skegness. With the outbreak of war we came back to Marcus Street – if we were killed at least we would all be together! During the war my mother worked at the Raleigh factory while Betty had a job at Glovenes on the corner of Castle Boulevard and Grove Road. During the war we moved to No. 19 Marcus Street.

After they married, most of William and Sarah's other children continued to live in the area. Emily Smith married Marmaduke Barrowcliffe in 1918 and lived at 23 Cecil Street until his retirement, when they moved to Alconbury Weston in Huntingdonshire. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Smith married Julius Felose and initially, I believe, lived on Marcus Street and then at various other nearby houses on Grove Road, Alderney Street & Willoughby Street. Lizzie's final residence was in the Albert Ball Memorial Homes. Lizzie and 'Jules' had one daughter, Margaret, who initially married John Skinner, a Canadian soldier, and they had a daughter, Sandra, but Margaret divorced him when he returned to Canada. Later she married Lawrence Arthur Dunn and they lived on Alderney Street where 'Marg' had two other daughters, Margaret and Julie.

George Searston joined those living at No.19 Marcus Street when he married Emily (Betty) Daley in 1949. George and Betty had the house to themselves after 1950 when we moved out to a council house at 56 Melbury Road in Bilborough. Following great grandma Sarah's death in 1950, Frances Adeline (grandmother Aline) left No.46 and came to live with us at Bilborough. She died in 1954.

When Betty and George had their son, Christopher, in 1956, we decided to do a swap with them. They moved out to Melbury Road so that Christopher would have a garden to play in and we moved back to No.19 Marcus Street. In 1959 I married Colin Button and continued to live at No.19. It was there that our first son, Stephen, was born. Eventually the decision was taken to move elsewhere and in the ensuing years we gradually lost touch with all those still living on the street.

I have very happy memories of Lenton. There was my time at the little private school at Dunholme where Miss Downey was headmistress. The school was located on Lenton Boulevard just opposite the Cottesmore schools. There were ballet lessons at the Monty Hind Club on Willoughby Street; the threepenny rush Saturdays at the Savoy cinema; seeing the 'Yanks' coming along Castle Boulevard in convoy and us chanting 'got any gum chum?'; making for the Castle Caves when the air raid alert went.

Some of the shops are clearly imprinted on my memory. At the junction of Marcus Street with Castle Boulevard there was Nellie Harding's corner shop on one side and Florrie Burton's sweetshop on the other. Florrie would sometimes slip us sweets free – but we weren't to let her sister know! There was the butcher on the corner of Cecil Street and the beer-off on another corner, where I would be sent to get a jug of beer for great grandma Sarah. Many more memories – too numerous to relate. I would, however, just like to mention some of the people I remember. Joan and Bill Winters at No.21, Mrs Wilson and her daughter, Margaret at No.17; Tiny Hornby, and Betty Hallam who I went to ballet class with plus Marlene Blackwell who lived on Castle Boulevard and a girl called Lorna (whose surname I've forgotten) but who also lived on the Boulevard and finally Roy Waldren. It was good living there in what was real community. But time moves on and that time like Marcus Street itself, has now gone forever.

Let us know your past and present memories of Marcus Street

Do you have any historical information or other photographs of this area? If so, email us with the details or write to us.

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