Previously Cemetery Road

The final road intersecting with Station Street is Kingsway. According to a post by Richard Evans on Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group, Kingsway was named after a visit to Kirkby made by King Edward VII and, prior to that, had been called Cemetery Road. However, June Barbara Brown commented that, according to her mother-in-law, the visit by the King was planned but did not happen as he was unwell.

It does appear that a visit to the area by King Edward VII, originally scheduled for 1903, did have to be delayed because of poor health. However, it does not seem that the road was re-named as a result of that visit as the name Cemetery Road was in use until 1914. Based on an article in the Mansfield Reporter in December 1914, it seems that the road was re-named that year following the June visit of King George V, see Chapter 7. For more details, see here.

News cutting from the Mansfield Reporter of December 1914 concerning the re-christening of Cemetery Road as King’s Way. Cutting obtained through paid subscription to Find My Past
Two versions of the same postcard. One is labelled King’s Way (above) while the other is labelled Cemetery Road (below). For more details, see here. I am grateful to Nic Clarke for permission to include the image labelled Cemetery Road here

Memories of Kingsway

In a comment on Facebook, Alwyn Goodwin noted that he walked from Edward Street to Kingsway School “back in the day” before getting a bike.

Geoff Lee posted what he called “the weirdest photo of Kingsway that I’ve seen” which was taken by his wife’s grandad. Based on Geoff’s research, it appears that “the pic was from 1924 when a Round Britain trip was undertaken [by the RNLI] to mark the Centenary. The shindig was sponsored by Foden, hence the Foden truck pulling the trailer. The Lifeboat was a reserve boat named “Robert & Catherine”, a 34 foot self-righter“.

This photo, kindly shared by Geoff Lee, is apparently of Kingsway. It is from 1924 and shows when an RNLI lifeboat visited Kirkby as part of a Round Britain trip

The RNLI Round Britain Trip in 1924

There is quite a lot of information available about this trip from newspapers of the day. On 26 April 1924, the Robert and Catherine visited Grantham but, because of poor weather, the attendance was poor and the collection was light. A month later, on 26 May 1924, the lifeboat visited Long Eaton pulled by a Foden tractor. The following day, the lifeboat left for Ilkeston. On 31 May 1924, the lifeboat visited Derby. Other places visited included Bristol, Burton, Coventry, Hinckley, Stratford upon Avon, Walsall and Wolverhampton. The lifeboat was described as “obsolete” having served in Appledore, Devonshire for 16 years, saving 600 lives. Overall, the tour lasted from April to October 1924. The tour started in Leicester and covered 16 counties of the Midlands and Wales. More than 1½ million people passed over the platform on the boat and a total of £4,450 was raised.

This photo shows the Robert and Catherine lifeboat in Bristol as part of the RNLI Round Britain tour. It appeared in the Western Daily Press on 6 September 1924 and has been obtained through a paid subscription to Find My Past

Heritage Centre

Kirkby Heritage Centre is located at 13 Kingsway. It is a small heritage museum that is open Monday to Saturdays 10am to 12 noon. It has a huge amount of historic material and the volunteers who run it, led by Chris Kidger, have been extremely helpful to me personally.

This montage of pictures featuring Chris Kidger and the work of the Heritage Centre is from the Kirkby Living Memory Facebook Group


There are two cemeteries on Kingsway, old and new. I have family members buried in each.

My paternal great grandparents, Frederick Lewis and Mary Anne Drew are buried in Kingsway Old Cemetery. My paternal grandparents, Charlie and Alice Drew are buried in Kingsway New Cemetery.

Visiting my great grandparents’ grave with my father in 2010
Dad at his parents’ graves in 2010

The Parkins had a family plot in Kingsway old cemetery. Three family members are buried there, my grandfather’s parents Henry and Sarah Parkin and his sister, Olive Smith, nee Parkin. John Joseph Dovey, grandad’s friend and brother-in-law, who died in 1918, is also buried in Kingsway Old Cemetery, see Chapter 10.

Graves of Sarah and Henry Parkin and their daughter, Olive Smith, in Kingsway Old Cemetery. Photo taken in August 2023
This earlier photo showing the graves together with both stones upright was in one of mum’s albums

My mother’s maternal grandparents, Charles and Jane Cirket are buried in Kingsway New Cemetery.

Views of grave of Charles and Jane Cirket, my great grandparents, in Kingsway New Cemetery

2 responses to “Kingsway”

  1. Ayup Roger …just a small correction to your info. You say Cemetery road renamed Kingsway after visit by Edward 7th in 1914. It must have been George 5th, who came to the throne on the death of Edward in 1910.. cheers John

    1. Thanks for the comment and for discussing by email. As noted in that discussion, I make exactly this point on the page that while others have attributed the name change to a visit by Edward VII, it seems that it actually happened following a visit by King George V in 1914.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: