as it was in the time of my great great grandparents.
In Steer's painting, I wonder if that is my great great grandmother buying apples or maybe that is my great great grandfather bringing fabric he made on his stocking frame into the city, its a nice thought, but I know that the lives my ancestors lived in Leicester were not, in reality, what the Victorian artist painted or those who purchased them wanted to see.
Most towns in England, from as far back as the medieval period, had a troupe of musicians called Waites who played
their instrument through our towns at night, and woke the inhabitants on cold and dark winter mornings by playing under
heir windows. Their other duties included welcoming royal visitors at the town gates and playing at important events. Their
name may originate from instrument they played called a Wayte Pipe.
You can see Leicester's Waites depicted in the image above, finely dressed in their red and gold livery. They stand at Market Cross, at the junction of High Cross Street and High Street, the buildings you see here were gone by the mid 1800's as are the Waites themselves, they ceased playing in Leicester in 1947.