Loughborough Technical Institute was established by the County Education Committee in 1909 to provide day and evening classes in science, technology and art for local workers.
Headed by its principal - Mr S C Laws - and two full-time members of staff, the college was housed in the small block of rooms on the corner of Ashby Road and Greenclose Lane which had previously been a library and administrative offices for Loughborough Corporation.
For centuries there was a functioning mill at Cotes (on the A60) providing for the local community until 1973 when it was closed as the last working flour mill in the county.
There were two mills; the Lower Mill and the Upper Mill that were known as The King’s Mills and served the people of Loughborough. The Lower Mill is still situated on the A60 across the bridge from Cotes itself and is known as Cotes Mill, which today is home to the local kitchen company deVOL which was originally based in Quorn.
Despite the loss of many interesting and significant buildings in the town, particularly post 1960 there are still many interesting spots to visit. Paul's drawings pick out a number of these from real ale pubs to elaborate school buildings, Taylor's Bell Foundry to Towle's old factory building on Nottingham Road and All Saints with Holy Trinity Church and the Loughborough Carillon. Altogether there are 28 drawings in the collection and all can be purchased as prints at A3 and A2 size from Charnwood Arts.
Paul Gent, a former student of Loughborough College of Art and Design and a long term collaborator with Charnwood Arts was a valued resident and familiar character around Loughborough.
His fast and fluid drawing style has many fans worldwide. These drawings occupy a period of time in the town punctuated by many travels to far off places and Paul's portfolio is a Cook's tour around the world.
Paul was drawn to many of the older buildings around Loughborough Town Centre, in particular the Art Deco influence that characterises many of these businesses.
As one of our first projects for this second incarnation of People Making Places, Charnwood Arts worked with octogenarian Dennis Powdrill to help him produce a book about the firm where he had spent the bulk of his working life.
Dennis was no stranger to People Making Places as he contributed photographs and video work to the first major website we created between 2000 and 2003. This book (also available in print) concerns the origination, growth and decline of a major industrial innovation from its invention in Loughborough to worldwide impact.
‘Changing Spaces Trading Places’ was a Heritage Lottery Funded project as part of the ‘All Our Stories’ initiative. The project was co-ordinated and hosted by Charnwood Arts and explored the cross cultural and inter-generational legacy of forced and economic migration in the city of Leicester and Leicestershire and in particular the textile trade.