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Josiah Gilbert 1866-1916

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The Centenary Memorial Plaque On The Rushes, Loughborough

Josiah Gilbert was born in Osgathorpe in 1866. His father was William Gilbert, a 'master' Blacksmith in Osgathorpe. His mother, Jane (nee Barsby) was born in Rothley. Josiah was the sixth child. Sadly, Jane died in 1866 and William married Elizabeth Hodgkinson two years later and they had two children. 

In 1901 Josiah married Sarah Newbold and they celebrated the birth of their son, William Handley Josiah Gilbert, on 23rd February 1902. By 1903 Josiah is the owner of a dwelling house on Main Street, Markfield where he lives and works. The business is a grocery and bakery store, where Sarah assists her husband, while son William is a scholar. By 1916 Josiah owned a number of properties in Loughborough and was running a grocery shop there.

On the night of 31 January 1916, the new year proved catastrophic for the Gilbert family, as it did for many other families and individuals in Loughborough.   Attracted by the lights that were still shining in Loughborough, a German Zepplin L20 bombed the town. In the attack 10 people were killed, 12 badly injured and many more suffered minor injuries.

Tragically, Josiah Gilbert, aged 49, was killed by flying shrapnel, dying in the arms of his 14-year-old son, William. His distraught family posted a piece in the local newspaper in February 1916, thanking all their kind friends for their sympathy.

By 1924, Sarah and William had moved to Storer Road, Loughborough, where they both continued to live until Sarah’s death. William stayed in the Storer Road property until around 1965 when he moved to Beaufort Avenue, Loughborough, and  remained there until his death.

Extracts taken from The Story Of Josiah Gilbert By Lynne Dyer Jan/Apr 2021.  Click here to view the full publication. 

Plane Crash In Osgathorpe

This incident was reported in the Stapleford and Sandiacre News and the Nottingham Journal 9th March 1929.


A brand new £8000 aeroplane from the RAF depot at Grantham crashed at Osgathorpe the previous Monday. The pilot Flying Officer Hawke had a remarkable escape from death. Engine trouble necessitated a forced landing in a field next to the main road (presumed to be Ashby Road). Farm workers in a field rushed to assist the pilot but the flying officer stepped out ‘unharmed and laughing’. He walked to the village to telephone for assistance and was picked up within half an hour.


RAF Grantham was originally a Royal Flying Corps station opening in 1918 to focus on training pilots. Number 3 FTS was based there from April 1920 and it is likely that the aeroplane involved may have been an Avro 504 or a Whitworth Siskin from either a training squadron or 100 Squadron or 39 Squadron.   

Fatal Gun Accident In Osgathorpe

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Ashby-De-La-Zouch Gazette 8 February 1879

Missing Guardsman

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Leicester Chronicle 2nd January 1943

Osgathorpe Pigeon Club

Record of conversation with Colin Bradford in August 2023

Colin Bradford, of Dawson’s Road, has been Secretary of the Pigeon Club(s) for

some 38 years.


The origins of the Pigeon Club(s) was in around 1985 when a Club was based

at the Railway Inn, Gelsmoor – now trading as The Gelsmoor.


In around 2000 two new clubs were founded, based at the Storey Arms  - namely The Storey Arms Owners Society (originally having 18/20 members) which was formed to have races on Saturdays through the Pigeon Racing Season, and The Osgathorpe Owners Society (originally having up to 40 members) that had races on Wednesdays.  The Osgathorpe Owners Club closed at the beginning of the COVID Lockdown, and due to the closure of the Storey Arms the club now has to meet elsewhere but the Club HQ remains for the time being at the Portacabin behind the Storey Arms.


Both clubs were members of the Derby and Burton Federation which often enabled members to race their pigeons from as far away as Central France until changes in DEFRA rules due to Brexit requiring veterinary certificates etc for each bird made international races impractical for all but the wealthiest of Owners.


Post COVID the club joined the Leicester South Federation to access longer, UK based, race distances e.g. Newton Abbot ca. 180 miles ca. 4 hours flying time or Upper Heyford ca. 50 miles ca. 1hour 10 minutes flying time i.e. around 40+ miles/hour.


Pigeons, like human athletes and horses etc., can be more suited to long or short distances and it’s all about the speed of the winning bird over the “as the crow flies” distance calculated between the release point and the exact geographical location of its home loft – each loft has its location accurately measured and checked by the Federation.


The membership by mid 2023 has fallen to just 7 – the future for the sport is uncertain countrywide due to DEFRA Regulations, increasing costs and losses of Pigeons from Raptor attacks.  Due to Raptor numbers significantly growing over recent years this is becoming a much more frequent event.


Should any readers be interested in taking up a sport much loved by the late Queen there is a huge amount of knowledge, advice and experience available in the village and you can be assured of a warm welcome!.


Mount  Pleasant

Mount Pleasant was a familiar description given to presumably pleasant places on a hill in Victorian times. There are many references to 'Mount Pleasant' and Mount Pleasant Farms' in Leicestershire and Derbyshire.


A c.70 acre farm and farm house was situated at Mount Pleasant in Osgathorpe at one time. Mount Pleasant Farm House is quite likely to have been an 18th century building and for that reason deserves some attention. When Thomas Bostock and his family lived there, prior to 1861, he was recorded in the 'History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Leicestershire and Rutland 1863, as being a 'Gent' and living at Mount Pleasant Farm, Osgathorpe.

John Huxley White had moved to Mount Pleasant Farm, Osgathorpe (with 70 acres) in 1871 but by 1881 returned to Coalville when he had 'Scotland's House'  built on Forest Road. However, we know he was still at Mount Pleasant in 1876 as confirmed in a Trade directory. The 1881 and 1891 censuses record the Johnson family living at the farm.

There follows extracts from the 1881, 1901 and 1920 surveyed 25 inch O/S maps. The 1920 map shows the location of 'Mount Pleasant Farm House' on plot 154 in relation to Main street and Osgathorpe House, after it ceased to be a farm house. The extracts from the 1881 and 1901 maps show the ground floor plan of the farm house at that time. It is assumed that it was sometime between 1901 and 1920 when it ceased to be a farm house and was converted into a private residence.


The 1920 map shows to the east of the former Mount Pleasant Farm House on plot 156, two further semi-detached properties on Mount Pleasant which for many years have been occupied by members of the Pepper family.


Samuel T Stewart


An extract from the 1920 revised map (published 1923), showing Plot 154 (previously Mount Pleasant Farm House) to the north of Main street, opposite Osgathorpe House


An extract from the 1881 surveyed (1883 published) map showing the ground floor plan of the farm house at that time


An extract from the 1901 surveyed (1903 published) plan showing the same layout of the farm house as the 1881 plan but in block format


An extract from the 1920 revised plan (published 1923) which compares the changes made to the original farm house buildings shown on the 1881 map

From An Artist's Sketch Book
Loughborough Echo 1965/66

Lough Echo Sketch - Building Near Chapel
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Osgathorpe Of Yesterday
1950 Newspaper Article

Charnwood Of Yesterday Newspaper Article

Osgathorpe Churchwardens' Duties

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Newspaper Article Osgathorpe 1950

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From Asgotporp To Osgathorpe

Publications on the history of Osgathorpe by local author and historian Samuel T Stewart can be viewed and downloaded for free here:

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