Shops & Businesses

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

Hudson's butchers, 1 Main Street, Kirby Muxloe
then Vines, then Sissons and Allen, then a Charity Shop, then Carey Gardens

For many years, Kirby had two butchers shops. Hudsons was at the far end of Main Street, at the Station Road end.

William Hudson was born in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire in 1808. By 1861, he was living in Kirby Muxloe and working as a grocer and a grazier with 22 acres. Twenty years later, he had retired and passed on the business to Hefford, his son, born in Kirby Muxloe in 1848, who continued to work as a butcher and grocer. Their address was Village Street, the name given to the road we now know as Main Street. By 1891, Hefford was living with his wife, Emma and nine children and working as a butcher in the village.

Fast forward twenty years to 1911, Hefford has been succeeded by his son William, who worked as a butcher together with his younger brother, Henry. Their shop was situated at number 1, Main Street.

Vine's Shop
Looking at the picture, you can see the shop, with a dark building to the left, which was the abattoir. The animals were slaughtered there by Gerald and Alexander (known as Alec), William’s sons. Further to the left is the side elevation of the Free Church. Sadly, William died in 1940 but Gerald and Alec and their mother carried on the business until 1956/7.

Enter the Vines family. Originally living at 118, Main Street, Donald Vines was a talented electrical engineer who built his family’s first television on the kitchen table in 1950. It is said that his wife was not too happy with the kitchen table being covered with parts for a T.V., but all was forgiven when Anette Mills and Muffin the Mule emerged from the tiny 10” screen. Vines Electrical shop had been trading in the village for a while, in the left- hand side of the building we now know as ‘One-Stop’. When the opportunity arose, Mr. Vines purchased the old butcher’s shop from Hudson’s for £2500 and carried on his electrical business there until it was sold to Sissons and Allen.

Sissons and AllenSissons and Allen advert

In August 1964, Vines Electrical and the property at 1, Main Street were sold to Sissons and Allen, electrical contractors. They continued to trade as an electrical retailer and contractor, serving the village for twenty-six years until 1990, when Mr and Mrs Sissons retired.

Looking back to 1985, a group of members of the Free Church, headed by the late George LeMay, set up the Kirby Muxloe Free Church Housing Association Ltd. Their original idea was to build a residential home to provide accommodation for elderly people in the village. In 1987, the venture gained Charitable status. Over the next few years, and after an amazing amount of work including fund raising, concerts, garden teas, an auction, generous gifts and four large legacies, the group had accumulated a sizeable amount of money. In 1988, the group heard that Mr and Mrs Sissons were looking to retire and realised that their property was in the ideal location for the Home. In 1989, the property went up for sale and the Management committee decided it was too good an opportunity to miss. A final price was agreed and the purchase moved forward, only to find that despite numerous bids for funding and financial assistance, there was still a large shortfall in funds. At the eleventh hour, a very generous offer was made by an unnamed person, with a loan for three years with no interest. The group readily accepted with grateful thanks. So with this loan and other smaller loans, the property purchase went ahead.

As many of our local readers will remember, the original charity shop in a small section of the building expanded, and over the next ten years, with the help of numerous volunteers from the village churches and the community, the fantastic amount of £214,000 was raised. Changes in care for the elderly meant that instead of a residential home, the project would build thirteen two bedroom flats, some owner occupied and some rented. A knowledgeable builder was found, William Davis, and in August 2000 the original building was demolished.

On May 25th, 2001, the first resident, Mrs Betty Caple, moved in, followed by many more in the following years. This was such an amazing project, undertaken in a time of rising property prices and government cuts to funding, that the work and dedication of the many people involved should never be forgotten. Why the name “Carey” House? Well, the founder of the Baptist Missionary Society was William Carey, George Carey was the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time and the word “care” is within the name Carey. This is a story of the churches and the community working together, to provide a much-needed safe haven for the elderly people in the village.