I ventured out to Leicester town center via the bus. Not the most cheerful place to be, unfortunately. Most shops I used to casually just hang out, all gone. Empty unit after empty unit. And there are memorial signs for Prince Philip EVERYWHERE?!
It wouldn’t have felt so dystopian if not for all the shops that had signs up saying, “At 3pm we’ll be holding a one minute silence for Prince Philip” as if people couldn’t possibly have better things to do.
The St Margaret’s bus station has gone now, and it was pretty rubbish but it’s still weird it not being there.
It was at least sunny, and I got to hang out in Abbey Park for a bit.
So there’s going to be a movie about the finding of Richard III, starring Steve Coogan. I’m curious as to how this will go, not least because it was actually a woman called Philippa Langley who lead the project, and her story is fascinating but the biggest name attached to the film is playing… her husband…?
But I thought with that news fresh in everyone’s minds I could share a few photos/details of what it was like to be in Leicester when all that was going on!
* A couple of days after the news that Richard III’s bones had been found in the car park, I went to check it out! There wasn’t much going on though. I guess because the actual bones had been taken away already?
That was in 2012. Flash forward a year and his reconstructed skull (not the real one) was in the Leicester Guildhall along with a bunch of other Richard III stuff.
It’s all been relocated to the Richard III museum now I think.
Then in 2015 there was the actual reburial ceremony…
I still have that pamphlet. At the uni it was absolutely packed, it’s lucky I was able to see anything at all. Oooh look I took a video as well!
So me/the crowds followed the coffin in the car back to the town center….
…and then I had to leave and go to work. But you get the idea!
In the days after that every business in Leicester was using Richard III to advertise their services. It was great for tourism.
Someone also put flowers on Richard’s statue. (This used to be in the park opposite my halls of residence, I think it was moved to its current spot before the reburial.)
And Richard III’s tomb now chills in Leicester Cathedral. You can drop in and see it anytime!
After four months of going nowhere but the occasional field I have been to Bradgate Park in Leicester! Oh thank god. It’s so nice to BE OUT.
No-one else was wearing masks… apart from this elf we found in a tree on the way there.
I took a panorama with my phone once we got there. Surprisingly there are no deer in it (they are everywhere)
See, here’s one. This deer has an expression on his face I cannot read.
Dave took most of the above photos (only numbers 2 and 6 are mine I think) and he also took these AMAZING ones of a white deer chilling in the ruins of Lady Jane Grey’s estate. There was a wall in the way but he STILL MANAGED IT!
The Romantic/gothy side of me likes to think, maybe that’s Lady Jane’s reincarnated spirit wandering around there.
Meanwhile I took a picture of an interesting wall.
Dave then got this amazing photo of a dragonfly which are very hard to photograph-
Currently there’s a social media campaign going on to celebrate Leicester. I also want to celebrate Leicester because it’s the best, kindest place I’ve ever lived in. I wasn’t born there but I consider it home.
Here’s some of my favourite pictures of the city I’ve taken over the years.
The last one, with all the people? That’s my favourite.
Anil had also been reluctant to speak, saying he feared for his family’s safety. But he agreed because he was so angered by the treatment of workers. While his wife looks after their two children, he has been working about 40 hours a week for £200, about £5 an hour.
There was no canteen, and rats and mice were visible on the factory floor, Anil claimed. There was no hand sanitiser until last week, and the single men’s toilet had no soap. “They have put us in danger,” he said. “If I feel sick, I make my family sick. I put them in danger too.”
Since the second lockdown began, though, the pattern in Leicester has shifted. If the North Evington area where many of the city’s factories are based was previously beset with risky working practices and almost no scrutiny, this week an abundance of attention has come just as many workshops went dark.