Shops & Businesses

Here we take a stroll down Main Street and a walk into the past

Burdett's Grocers, 60 Main Street, Kirby Muxloe

Many people will remember Mr and Mrs Burdett who took over the shop in the 1930’s. The shop stayed in their hands until it was taken over by A.A. Moore and son in 1996. We are told that the shop had a long counter with a bacon slicer and cheese at one end and large square tins of biscuits at the other. Apparently, the tins had a glass panel at the front so that the selection of different biscuits could be seen at a glance. There was usually also a tin of “broken” biscuits on the counter. During war time and after when food was still rationed, Mrs Burdett had a stamp and ink pad at the back of the shop where she diligently stamped ration books as people made their purchases. Many people wrote up their order on paper or in an order book, so that the groceries could then be delivered to their homes.

Did you know that the shop and building have an interesting history? The building was originally a farm house, aptly named Village Farm, on Village street (Main Street). At the time there were often several small farms in a village, each one having a fairly small plot of land and growing either wheat, oats, peas or barley. This particular farm had land which stretched back to Desford road, or Back lane as it was often called.

In 1910, the farmhouse and land were purchased by Albert Davey, a builder originally from Devon. Albert demolished the stables and cow sheds which fronted Main street and built houses numbering 62-80 Main street. He then converted the farmhouse into a shop, run by his wife. Some years later, in 1925, he built a house for his family, accessed by a long drive by the side of the shop. The house was named “Sandycroft”, most likely as it had a large natural sandpit in the garden.

Fast forward to 1996. When the Moore family acquired the shop, they embarked on extensive renovations. During this time an important discovery was made. As the builders exposed the walls and ceiling, it was evident that the building was much older than originally thought. Some of the large roof beams had evidently been used somewhere before and were very old. The beams were then subjected to dendrochronological tests at Nottingham University. The result was astonishing! The beams dated back to c1396, and furthermore the bricks were identical to ones used in building K.M. Castle. It is known that when a tower at the castle fell, the site was plundered by villagers. Maybe that is why the shop has such an interesting history.