North Street, Stilton.North Street, like City Road, was once a country lane, they are both now well established and home to a variety of businesses and housing, one school, three pubs, a small hotel and village hall. In 1959 North street became a bypass from the A1 and it became a ghost village and it was almost split into two separate villages as the high volume of traffic made it almost impossible to cross the road safely. The 90??™s and the development of the A1M steered traffic away from the village and it was able to regain its village composure, leaving it with the widest village road in the country running through the middle, unlike City Road, there are no pedestrian crossings or Lollypop Lady to cross this busy street.In 1962, Stilton held it??™s first ever ???Cheese Rolling??™ event, which has since become a widely recognized, yearly tradition. It is a time when Stilton is filled with local villagers, surrounding villages and towns people congregate and people from as far as Europe come to participate in the event. Maypole dancing, stalls and fair rides can be found, consuming alcohol in the street is also commonly seen, something which is quite unique in comparison to most other streets. The entire road is closed to all traffic for the day, people living along the street have to park their cars elsewhere if they are going to use them on this day, using the space differently from the other 364 days of the year, a range of people come to the street, many of which don??™t come at any other time of the year so it transforms a relatively quiet village into a thriving, bustling place.
Stilton Country Club??™(working mens club) is similar to Municipal Bar on City Road in that it no longer has the same sort of people going and activities being run. Our club now attracts many of the younger generation who seem to go to drink there because it is cheaper than any other pub in the village. Similar again, the Muncipal Bar on City Road, activities such as crib and dominoes were once popular here but as the times have moved on, tradition seems to have dwindled and in its place in this working mens club, a pool table and a juke box have taken their place.The Bell Inn has been a tavern since the 1400??™s, it is now a thriving restaurant and hotel, popular for wedding receptions and the like.
It has very recently been discovered that the cheese ???Stilton??™ was in fact made here for the first time, For many years, the most widely accepted explanation was that the cheese came down to be sold at one of the coach stops in Stilton. As early as 1722 Daniel Defoe ( author of “Robinson Crusoe”) ate some in Stilton and said that the village was already famous for its cheese. The story goes that the recipe was passed down through the Beaumont family of Quenby in Leicestershire.
By 1830 a former housekeeper at Quenby, Elizabeth Orton, made cheese in her farmhouse. Her daughter married Cooper Thornhill who kept The Bell Inn and he sold the cheese.However, recent exhaustive research has shown that Stilton did originally produce a cheese in the village, it is hoped Stilton will once more be allowed to be produced from its original origin, after being lost for so many years. This history and story is quite unique and dissimilar from anything on City Road I have learnt about. Until recently the only shop in the village had been a small, family run corner shop for many years, the chain ???McColls??™ brought it and renovated it.
Shortly after, the chain ???Nisa??™ opened just around the corner and have since incorporated a pharmacy and post office into the building and proved a big rival for the other shop. This is similar to the newsagent on city road and the impact Tesco had by opening up nearby. The ???special offers??™ and general undercutting is quite significant and ???McColls have recently extended their shop to hold more products, however after speaking to the shop owner they are still feeling the impact of ???Nisa??™ opening. This shop had been empty for almost two years, having been a butcher previously that closed down at the start of the recession and ironically, people shopped more next door or ventured out to Tesco in the next town.