The earliest small shops were set up by various villagers in their houses, as indicated by entries in Leicestershire Directories.
- During the mid 1800s the village blacksmith, John Lygo, who lived in Latimer House, Anstey Lane had a shop in his house. This would have supplied basic foodstuff, sugar, tea etc.
- William Reynolds, the butcher, sold meat from the slaughterhouse at his home on Primrose Hill/Morn Gap
- Benjamin Graves supplied the villagers with boots and shoes from the William IV Inn nearby
- Mrs Elizabeth Ballard began trading in the 1870s, but there are no clues to her merchandise
- In 1900 James L Payne at the Mill supplied coal for the villagers' fires
Vine House Farm
A small extension on the frontage of Vine House Farm in Mill Road served as a village shop, before its removal when the house was sold in the late 1970s.
Thurcaston's Last Shop
Around 1935 the Rothley Co-operative Society built a shop on the corner of Leicester Road and Anstey Lane. It had large picture windows with smart tiles below and was an immediate hit with the village ladies. I remember catching a Midland Red bus to visit my Grandmother during her stay at the Cripples' Guild Home at Cropston and seeing a group of ladies in headscarves, carrying shopping bags and baskets, talking animatedly in groups outside the shop.
By the time I had moved to Thurcaston in 1973, the Co-op had closed and the shop was now “County Corner” selling ladies' clothes. This business closed in the late 70’s and suggestions were made by the villagers for the building to become a sorely needed Doctor’s Surgery. Unfortunately, this failed and a lady from Cropston opened a frozen food outlet. Sales were poor and the shop closed after just a few weeks.
Villagers were still requesting a Surgery, but Tebbatts Electrical had moved into the premises in 1983. The Parish Council agreed to press for a Doctor’s Surgery if this business failed as well.
It is 2020 and the business thrives, the building extended in a sympathetic manner. In front are large plant troughs provided by the Parish Council.
© Brenda Hooper 2020