No. 55, Rosebery Street

Entrance to New Horticultural Works, with No. 55, Rosebery Street on the right

No. 55, Rosebery Street is an end of terrace property, with its end wall abutting onto Cumberland Road. The terrace is comprised of 16 houses built as four blocks of 4 houses, with subtly different designs, as evident in differing string courses and window designs. Like other properties in the area they were probably built either by different builders, or at slightly different times. One obvious giveaway is that the rooflines are of very slightly differing heights. There were probably built around the time that Messenger’s transferred from their High Street site. Only one of the four blocks is dated; Nos. 41, 43, 45 and 45, known as Vine Cottages has a date stone of 1893.


Nos. 55-49 (left ot right), Rosebery Street, Loughborough

In 1906, four of the houses, Nos. 49, 51, 53 and 55 were offered for sale[1]. Described as “substantially built”, each consisting of a “front room, living room, scullery, larder, and three bedrooms; together with yard paved with blue brick, large garden and usual outbuildings”. The four properties had a frontage of 54ft. 6in., onto Rosebery Street, and occupied an area of about 840 square yards. At the time of the sale, they were occupied by George Price, William Wall, Samuel Wootton and Emmanuel Price; attracting a gross annual rent of £49 8s. 0d. At the auction, which was held in the Town Hall on 25th September, William Brooks, the firm’s Works Manager, bought the properties for £675[2], not an inconsiderable amount for a Work’s Manager.

It is interesting to speculate whether William Brooks bought these in his own right or behalf of his employer. Following his retirement in 1917, he moved the few yards to No. 55, Rosebery Street, where he died on 26th April 1923. It is possible that he bought the four properties for himself for on his death his estate was valued at £1,706 2s. 4d. In January 1932 Lucy Monks, the daughter of the late William Brooks who married Thomas Monks and living across the road at No. 84, Cumberland Road, paid the annual fee on No. 55 regarding the right of light to the firm. Presumably similar to the agreement with the Storer Charity, William Brooks had an agreement with the firm regarding the right of light, presumably for the side windows. This would indicate that the Brooks’s family still owned No. 55 and indeed one of William Brooks’s sons, Joseph, continued to live at No 55 until at least 1941[3].


Letter dated 3rd January 1932 from Lucy Monks daughter of William Brooks

There is no documentary evidence of the firm owing any of the four properties until 1951, when the following tenancy agreement  between themselves and their foundry foreman Thomas Edward Wesson was drawn up[4].

An Agreement made the Tenth day of November 1951 BETWEEN Messenger and Company Limited of Cumberland Road Loughborough (hereinafter called “the Landlord”) of the one part and Thomas Edward Wesson of 55 Rosebery Street Loughborough (hereinafter called “the Tenant”) of the other part.

WHEREAS the Tenant is employed by the Landlord as Foundry Foreman

AND WHEREAS the tenancy hereunder is created for the sole purpose only of providing accommodation for the Tenant during the Continuance of his said employment by the Landlord and the Occupation of this cottage by the Tenant is on condition of such employment and on the determination thereof the tenancy shall also determine forthwith.


  1. THE Landlord lets the Tenant takes the cottage known as 55 Rosebery Street Loughborough TO HOLD the same from the Tenth day of November 1951 from week to week until this tenancy is determined either by the determination the contract of service existing between the Parties as hereinafter provided
  2. THE tenancy hereby created may be determined by either party on any Saturday by one week’s notice in writing provided that upon the determination for any reason by either Party of the said employment of the Tenant the said tenancy shall (whether or not any such notice shall have been previously given) ipso facto cease and determine.
  3. DURING the Continuance of the said tenancy the following provisions shall have effect:
    1. The Tenant shall keep the premises clean and in good condition and shall replace all cracked or broken panes of glass and keep the said garden ground in a proper state of cultivation.
    2. The Tenant shall not be at liberty to assign or underlet any part of the premises nor to take any lodger nor shall the Tenant use or permit the premises to be used otherwise than as a residence for himself and his wife and children.
    3. The Landlord will save as mentioned in paragraph I hereof execute any repairs to the premises that may be reasonably necessary and will pay all rates and taxes and insure the premises again loss or damage by fire.

It appears that instead of Thomas Wesson paying rent in the normal manner, the firm extracted the rent directly from his salary. In 1953/4 this amounted to £48 8s. 0d. per year[5]. In September 1958 Thomas Wesson moved across the road to No. 82 Cumberland Road and in the following November, Charles West moved into No. 55 paying £1 2s. 0d. per week monthly. Charles West remained at No 55 until the early to mid- 1960s. In 1967[6], Harry Hickling was resident.


No. 55, Rosebery Street, Loughborough

Whether the firm disposed of the property prior to going into liquidation, in 1980, is unknown.



  1. The Loughborough Monitor and News, 13th September 1906.
  2. The Loughborough Monitor and News, 27th September 1906.
  3. Wills’ Loughborough Almanac, 1941.
  4. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE2121/276.
  5. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE2121/03.
  6. Electoral Register.