If you have any memories or information you would like to share with other visitors to this site, then your contribution will be more than welcome.

 Names of the contributors so far

 Mrs Freda Badger ( nee Gibson)        Unforgettable Memories  
  Mrs Mary Farmer                               for the Farmer family   
 Mrs  Helen Hamer                                For the Vann family  
 Mr.L Gibson                                          Gibson family  
  Mr. P Daly                                              Daly family    
 Mr. Ralph Staines                                  Rememering the Past  
  My self,   John Perridge                                 Village life  




Mrs Mary Farmer, Daughter-in-law to Mrs Nellie Farmer, a former school teacher of Kirkby Mallory  school (1954 to 1964), has sent in the following contribution to add to the village family history section.  Mary Farmer who now lives in Australia with her husband Brian , outlines the Farmer`s family connection with Kirkby in the early 1900`s.

                " Nellie's parents were Mr and Mrs Skelton who were living in the thatched cottage on the Newbold corner when Brian was born in 1936. Mr Skelton worked at the Hall in his early years and was a great gardener as you will see from the painting. They lived in one of the three cottages on the Bosworth road later on. Mr Skelton still lived there when I met Brian in 1960. His aunts and uncles lived in the    other two cottages, Les and Bessie Hulbert and Dennis and Rose Skelton.
Other relatives there were Herbert and Maggie Farmer, Doris and Bill Lewis, and Wilf and Lydia Gibson"

Mary also enclosed the following two pictures painted by Brian`s mother, sometime in the late 1940`s



 This is the thatched cottage where Mr Brian Farmer was born

Mrs Nellie Farmers painting of  Kirkby Hall


 Mrs Helen Hamer,a descendent of the Vann family has sent in this interesting photograph of her Great grandmother, Anna Sophia Vann standing outside the Roebuck Inn with Minnie Wigston, the proprietor on the right. The sign over the door reads.

 Minnie Wigston
Licensed Retailer of Ales and Tobacco
Not to be consumed on the Premises

The photograph was taken around 1910. Caroline Minnie Forman (widowed) married Harry Jessie Wigston on the 28th of June 1904.

Helen wrote ............. 

         The immediate family started there about 1865 or so when John Vann and his wife Caroline moved there, with two of their children, the rest being born in the village. John was a  Gamekeeper I believe. They lived at Park Cottage. Molly and Mabel Vann who ran the post office, were the daughters of John Vann and Esther...? My connection with the Vann's is John and Caroline's daughter Anna Sophia was my great grandma, she is buried in the church yard.
         Caroline " Mabel " born 3rd July 1892 died November 1987 aged 97 Leicester city. Mary Elizabeth " Molly " born 8th August 1895 died May 1989 aged 94 Leicester City. As far as I am aware this is correct.

           Came a couple of times to visit, my dads Aunt Nell and Uncle Fred Preston. who I think lived there all there married life.? I believe there son Tom worked for Mrs Biddle who had the garage.


          Records of the Vann family living in Kirkby Mallory start with the Census returns for 1871. John Vann with his wife Caroline came to the village with their two children John aged 3 and Mary aged 2, to   work on the Estate as Gamekeeper. The 1881 Census shows John Vann as still living in Park Cottage, but occupation this time is given as "Farmer". Ten years later in the next Census, John Vann and family have taken over the tenancy of one of the two 120 acre farms at the  "Becks" , the children living at home are   

 Anna/ Sophia aged 22,    James/ William 18     Augustus/ Edward 14      Samuel/Arthur 10,    Katherine/Louisa 7, and  Gertrude/ Ester 5.

Children not listed and working away from home were John Vann junior, Mary Vann, Caroline Vann junior, Ellen/ Selena and Charles/ Edward Vann.
              In 1889 John Vann junior had married Esther Tuft the Blacksmiths daughter in Kirkby Mallory.   John joined the police force in Leicester and made the rank of Inspector before retiring in 1911.
             His sisters Mary and Caroline had left the village sometime in the 1870`s probably to work in  service.  Caroline came back to the village to marry James William Ball in 1900.   Ellen/ Selena married Frederick Preston from Peckleton in 1907. Ester/ Gertrude married Joseph Cooper, a farmer from Thurlaston in 1912, they emigrated to Canada.

   The parents, John and Caroline continued to live in the village, John died aged 91 in 1926, Caroline  died two weeks later                                  February 11th aged 86.   
THE GIBSONS FAMILY                




Ajacent to the property refered to as the Old Post Office

Edward Bramwhite Gibson, (Neddy) born Kirkby Mallory in 1879 son of William and Phoebe. The picture left shows Edward at work in the Blacksmiths shop at Kirkby Mallory, taken about 1920.

Pictures by kind permission of Mr. Lance Gibson, formally of Kirkby Mallory

         The Gibsons are first mentioned in the Kirkby Church Records in 1818 when William Gibson married Maria Bownes on the 3rd. of August of that year, but both were residents of Earl Shilton. The first record of the Gibson family living in Kirkby Mallory comes from the Census Returns for 1841 and are as follows.


JOHN GIBSON   ============   ANN GIBSON
              BORN 1801                                           BORN 1806

 Born 1831  Twins  1831  Born1834   Born1836     Born 1840   Born 1844

         Sarah never married, was a servant to William Fox, a farmer at Peckleton for a time. Kept a grocers shop in Kirkby, looked after her widowed father till he died in 1883. Mary married Uria Alliford of St. Johns Leicester, 1st. January 1861. Catherine married John Crowson and emigrated to America along with brother John in 1857.
The 1871 Census shows George married to Mary from Shardlow, Derbyshire and William married to Phebe Braithwate from Long Milford, Suffolk.                        

 For more information on the Kirkby Gibson line click here    



                             Mr.Peter Daly, formally of Kirkby Mallory has kindly sent in his memories of the village

            I moved to Kirkby Mallory in August 1971 to the Old Rectory. My parents purchased the house from the Hinckley Knitwear family Ron Smallshaw. (I believe they purchased it from the “Tom” family of Bardon Hill quarries.)

           When we lived there there was a swimming pool, top and bottom paddocks for ponies, a small spinney to explore and the best feature was the long tarmac driveway, great for cycle races in the holidays. My parents sold off the old Stables for a conversion, carried out by local scrap metal man Roger Goode. The top paddock was bought by current resident and Architect Kenneth I Payne (Kip) who has been a resident in the village ever since.

     The Daly family was Tony and Maria and ten children. I am number 6.

     The Old Rectory was then sold in summer 1982 to a family who moved up from Colchester, he was an Engineer at Marconi in Leicester. They then sold a few years later to the current residents, the Drummonds formerly of Enderby. It was when the Drummonds started to carry out extensive changes that they discovered dry rot in more than one location, this eventually lead to the decision to replace the house with the current one.

      I visit the village regularly and my main attraction is the race track, I started motor racing about 5 years ago, I compete in the Mallory based Star of the Midlands Formula Ford championship, having won the title in 2003, I intend to retain it in 2004.

         I remember Mrs Biddle and Mr Tom Preston at the garage, they provided the minibus for the catholic children to go to school in Earl Shilton and then English Martyrs in Leicester. They also provided the minibus service for the workers at Etoughs in Earl Shilton. When Mrs Biddle sold the garage to the Moores, they put in a sales kiosk for sweets, cigarettes and tobacco. I think the village shop had changed hands (from Mrs E Heath) and was now an Antique shop. I had the paper round for the evenings and Sundays. Prior to the garage having the papers, Mrs Skelton was the village news lady, she lived in the first cottage on the left at Bosworth Road. We used to deliver the Mercury to about 35 houses.


      I have lived in Kirkby Mallory all my life, and have seen many changes, and some not all to the good. The sleepy rural village with its thatched cottages, quiet country lanes and close knit community has long since gone. But then on the plus side we do now have modern housing, good transport and a health service, all this unthinkable when I was a lad.

   I was born in Church road in 1922 in the end thatched cottage , shown in the picture opposite . I was the only child of William and Hannah Staines. My father, William came from a large family with six brothers and sisters.  


 ( My.Father )  











 Remained single




Hannah Bown

Harry Martin 

 Jim Howarth

 Joe Chambers

 Dennis Marklew

 Horace (Biddy)Wigston

        Shortly after I was born we moved into one of the cottages on the Bosworth Road / Stapleton Lane corner. There were three cottages in the block and were owned by Mr. Freddy Wigston pictured in the photograph below. I attended the village school between 1927 and 1933. I was taught there by Mrs King along with twenty other pupils from the village. Our favourite pastimes were playing marbles, "bowling the hoop" and getting into trouble.On reaching my eleventh birthday I left the infant school at Kirkby and transfered to the junior school. I chose to go to the Townsend School in Barwell ( named after the Rev.Townsend ) as I had relations living there. It meant having to cycle but I did not mind. However we did have the option of attending the Desford Junior school which many did as transport was provided there by Hubert Stathem`s bus.               The village has seen many changes over the years, a memorable one was when the roads into Kirkby were eventually asphalted (they were all rough stone and gravel pre the 1930`s). The Steam Rolling work I remember was contracted out to a Mr. Jimmy Picket who lived in a Gypsy type caravan which he parked on the bottom green for several weeks. It was fascinating to watch the men at work, the tar was poured onto the road manually from cans with extra wide spouts then the stone chippings were spread manually with shovels. When the work was finally completed, the caravan was simply hitched onto the back of the steamroller and the crew moved on to a new location to start another job. The end result of the tar -mac/ asphalting was amazing, it was goodbye to all the pot -holes at long last. 

       I left school when I was fourteen and went to work for Mr. Cooper at Lodge Farm on the Bosworth Road. There were no tractors in those days, all the heavy work, ploughing, harvesting and carting was all done with horses, the work was hard the hours long but I enjoyed it. Then in 1953 Mr. Cooper retired and sold the farm. It was then that I decided it was time for a change and so went to work for the Leicestershire County Council Highways Maintenance Department. It was outdoor work again, which I preferred, the hours were shorter, the work more varied, for instance at one time we were laying 800 Tones of H.R.A (hot rolled asphalt) a day on the Markfield bypass, then it was on to laying several miles of kirbstones. In another week we could be mowing grass verges, again along miles of hedgerow.



 LEFT.......      This is me, as part of our team laying a nine inch drain across the A50 trunk road at Groby

RIGHT.......  This is the bridge we rebuilt on the Arbough Road in Croft Village. We had to close the road for several weeks and divert the brook before we could start.


I finally retired in 1986 and still live in my grandparents house at Kirkby Mallory. It has a large garden and greenhouse. I also enjoy reading so I am kept busy, still enjoying life.




 This photograph was taken at the rear of the three cottages mentioned above, and was to celebrate Mr Freddy Wigston`s 80th birthday..... CIRCA 1932

The people present are listed below, included are my parents and myself.

The Skelton daughters may not have been married at this time but their later married names have been given to help identification

Ralph Stains

     Mrs Stains  Mrs Doris Lewis (nee Skelton)

 Mr. Dennis Skelton


 Mr. Stains

 Mrs. Bessie Hulbert (nee Skelton)


 Mr. Razey .

 Mr. Freddy Wigston

 Mrs Dennis Skelton

Mr. Skelton senior

  Mr.Wilf Gibson
   Mrs Razey  

 Mrs Lydia Gibson (nee Skelton)

Mrs Wigston (sister to Freddy Wigston)

 Mrs Nelly Farmer (nee Skelton)

 Ralph Stains


 Mrs Skelton senior

 Patrick Razey

 Cathleen Razey

< twins

 Michel Razey
 Tony Razey    



by FREDA BADGER nee Gibson

 Dear John,
                     These are my memories and thoughts about the time I spent in Kirkby as a child from the mid 1940's to mid 1950's. My first memories are of waiting for Dad to come home on leave during the war and it was my job to clean the copper kettle ready for his homecoming. Newspapers on the table and me standing on a chair with the Brasso and cleaning rags. Mam and me would sit on the bottom of the stairs with the front door open and wait to hear Dad's whistle as he came up the hill to our house. Another early memory from the war time was helping Mam hang out the washing and seeing lots of planes going over us and Mam saying "their somebody's sons". I used to tag along with my cousin Grace (now deceased) when she delivered newspapers for her Mam to the Hall where soldiers were billeted. I remember sitting on one of their knees and him singing to me "Give me five minutes more". Picnics where one of my favourite pastimes and I was often indulged. Aunty Connie Robinson who at the time lived in the Game Keepers Cottage down the Barwell lane was one of Mam's best friends and they used to take all the kids down to the Barwell brook for picnics. A good fast flowing brook which passed under the road. Lots of fun to be had there throwing sticks in one side and watching them come out the other. I don't know if that field was one of your families or Arrowsmith's on the left hand side. I remember there being a lot of field mice in there. I know we never ventured into Wardies fields he was scarry. I remember seeing the thatch on the Game Keepers cottage on fire and watching it from the pump on the corner. Luckily no one was hurt and the family went to live in the Hall after it happened. I remember Mam and Connie churning butter in sweety jars and it taking a long time to happen.

  Each summer seemed to last for three years there was so much to do. I remember the time of Queen Elizabeth's coronation and there being races in the Lees and us all getting mugs and momento's. The Lees was the main venue for all the kids team games. Cricket and Rounders where the ones I remember best. Our Ruth {Lewis} was the main instigator and she was very good at it. I used to go fishing with her down at the big pond and stand on the well which was a bit of a worry as we were warned that it was bottomless.I remember there used to be primroses on that back bank behind the well.


          The Lees Field
The Rhododendrons down there were also good for dens. Margaret Highton, Judy Wigston and myself played a lot down there. The Long Meadow or Drunken Meadow as some call it was also a favourite place of mine. After Evensong on Sunday Peggy and Pauline Summers took any of the kids {from the choir} for a walk and the Dark Lane was the favourite for me as I loved getting in the brook of the Long meadow and playing in the water, spoilt in the end by a rust floating on the top with different colours swirling in it. I remember there was also Water Cress in that brook as it ran along the roadside.
  There was also a bush of Hops in the meadow hedge near the gate, Beautiful smell also the Meadow Sweet. I think there was Hare Bells in that meadow too beside the ones you mentioned. I know that in the wood further down the lane on the left there were Wood Anemonies and Perriwinkles. I suppose all those brooks linked up but at the time they all seemed to be different brooks to me. I never new their source.
Bosworth Road was another source of wonderment with the Bluebell Wood, what a sight when they were in full bloom. You can't walk in there now much to my dismay when I was back there about 10 years ago. When I was a bit older maybe eight or nine Mrs Anthill gave me sewing lessons for embroidery and cross stitch I used to go once a week. You could always find mushrooms on that road on the verge. Back of Grandma Skelton's house was the place where we played hopscotch not to many cars about then , we collected car No.'s too at that time. Blackberry time used to see us on the Bosworth Road with Grandma Skelton she would reach the branches down with her walking stick and we used to pick the berries into milk cans.

          Newbold Road and the mots also a great source of adventure, Chestnut trees near the gate and primroses on the banks of the moats. The gravel pit was a place Lance played but not me, he and friends used to sail an old kids bath on there. Potato picking for Mr Cawldwood was done up in the field of the Newbold Road we used to get Five bob I can't remember if it was for the day or half a day. I remember buying mam a packet of Players from my Auntie Ev with my money which left me two and six. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

Desford Lane didn't get down there too much except for Blackberrying and Dad tickling trout in that brook at the bottom of the hill. Had my first driving lesson on that road. Peckelton lane was of course the Rd. by which we all went to school (the ones who didn't go to Dixie Grammer) I travelled it for three years. Didn't spend to much time walking it except to call and see Uncle Fred Saich who had the bungalow at the top of the hill. He had greenhouses and we often got tomato's from him.

          Shilton Rd didn't get much travelled by me on foot until I started dancing lesson's at Monica Mason's Sunbeams in Hinckley for which I had to run and walk to Shilton to get to the bus at the bottom of Shilton hill to get to Hinkley. Must have been exhausted.  I remember going to a garden fête at the Old Rectory to celebrate the end of the war. My Mam was dressed as Winston Churchill and I was Wee Willie Winky in my nightie carrying a candle in an old fashioned candle holder. Lance was in his pram which was festooned with ribbons and the likes. We, that is the kids from the village used to go to Christmas parties given by Gregory Toms which was always a treat with a big Christmas tree in their main lounge looking over the lawns.

         The Church walk was tramped much more then than now. I go there with Lance when I am in the UK and we go to pay our respects to Mam and Dad. I have looked for the gooseberry bush which was half way along the walk but it's not there anymore. Choir practice on Wednesday nights and throwing stones on Walter's roof afterwards. (What ratbags).
Church on Sundays. All our Vicars were lovely people, Mr Chippington helped a lot of us girls into nursing at the Bosworth hospital. I went for the interview but changed my mind in the end. I worked for George Ward shoemakers at which time I met John Nolan.

                             I was married at Kirkby Church in 1960 and that was me into the world beyond

It really was an idyllic era and place to grow up in as a child, to be able to roam freely across meadow and woodland with little fear from whatever source. The only danger being of walking home with wet feet after miscalculating the width of the brook. Of course there wasn't the affluence then as the country was struggling to get back on its feet after the war. Rationing was coming to an end at last, but at least there was full employment.  Mother would still patch your clothes, darn your socks, while Dad would repair your shoes with new leather soles and tacks bought from the cobblers. You only bought new as a last resort.                      

 Freda's excellent recollection of the period sums it up admirably, I do however remember the incident regarding the orange chemical contamination of the local waterways. It later emerged that a  waste chemical was being brought in, without proper authorisation, by tanker and discharged into the local gravel pit for disposal. A bit like fly-tipping today. The pit was adjacent to the Fox Covert Wood, off the Newbold Road. Soon this waste product was finding its way into the local streams causing the surface of the water to change to a bright orange, all too late for a lot of the wild life. Unfortunately the damage was done before the outraged Local Authority could prevent it. (So, not all sunshine and roses) but it was a one off, within a year the eco system managed to recover and the water was soon able to flow clear again.