Petrus Paulus Rubens Plaque

Petrus Paulus Rubens Plaque 

I was intrigued about the location of this and the Commemorative Plaque in St Saviour Road (above) because today they really look out of place in this area. So I did a little digging on Spinney Hill and in the late 19th Century it was a middle class residential district and Mere Road, in its early days, was just a rural lane running along side a wooden ridge. 

Leicester was expanding because of its thriving Hosiery, boot, shoe and light engineering industries and the man who was helping push this expansion was architect and Mayor Arthur Wakerley (right). He formed the 'Freehold House Society', a way for working people to purchase their homes and provide public building such as police and fire stations, a Methodist Church, Market Hall and a Temperance Hotel. Wakerley also built factories to encourage manufacturing in the area. (2)

It looks like Reginald was using his Methodist, Liberal and brother in law's connection's in Leicester to promote Stanley Bros, in an area that was growing rapidly. I'm sure a lot of the brick in those houses where Stanley Bros as well.

I made an unexpected find as I drove through Leicester this week, in Mere Road, Spinney Hill. The plaque on the left is the first one I have seen like this to date (17/11/14).

Its was made by Stanley Bros in the 1880's and depicts a man called Petrus Paulus Rubens, a famous Artist of the 17th Century. As recently as 2002, one of his paintings 'The Massacre of the Innocents' sold for £49.2 million at Sotherby's. The Earl Spencer, Lady Diana's brother also sold one of his works, 'Portrait of a Commander' (below) for £9 million pounds in 2009 (1)

(1) The Independent -article from 11th July 2010 

(2) Information from the Leicester City Council Website