Hinckley in old picture postcards volume 2

Hinckley in old picture postcards volume 2

Auteur
:   Frank Shaw
Gemeente
:  
Provincie
:   Leicestershire
Land
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-6129-9
Pagina's
:   80
Prijs
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

Levertijd: 2-3 weken (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.

   


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Hinckley in old picture postcards volume 2'

<<  |  <  |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  >  |  >>

Introduetion

I cannot begin this introduetion without first acknowledging the tremendous assistance 1 have received from the Hincldey Library and the Leicestershire Libraries Service in making available to me their huge collection of old photographs of Hinckley. I am truly grateful, because most of the photographs are from those records, but I do also thank the many private citizens of Hinckley who have also been most kind and helpful in making their treasured photographs available.

Hinckley is an old town, but it is difficult to determine precisely how old it is. The discovery of primitive tools in the area suggests that it was populated in the Stone Age and the discovery of an urn certainly bears witness to the local presence of man in the Bronze Age. Later the area was crossed by the Romans - Watling Street forms the southern boundary of the town, settled for a time by the Saxons, overun by the Danes, and finally conquered by the Normans. It is probable that whenAlfred the Great finally made peace with the Danes in the 9th century and agreed that Watling Street should be the boundary between the two kingdoms, that Hinckley was elevated to an important position as a border stronghold. Certainly by the Norman Conquest the town had a considerable status. lts population was four times greater than Birmingham, and the position of Baron of Hinckley was specifically created by William the Conqueror. The reader should recognise that this was no titular appointment, but one of very real power, and importance. The Baron of Hinckley was automatically appointed Lord High Steward ofEngland and in 1399 Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster and Baron of Hinckley, was crown.ed King Hen.ry IV.

From then. onwards Hinckley became a very quiet market town where little happen.ed until it was immortalised in. Shakespeare's 'Henry IV' when. Davy. addressing Mr. Iustice Shallow, says: 'And Sir, do you mean

to stop an.y of'William's wages about the sack he lost the other day at Hinckley fair?'

But with the in.troduction. of the stocking frame into Hinckley by William Iliffe in 1640 the economy and character of the town were revolutionised. But despite that revolution, for 200 years un.tilI855, the whole of that revolutionary hosiery trade was in. fact carried on in. the cottages of the framework knitters. Here families worked for a pittance from early in the morning untillate at night at their lumberin.g frames. But in 1 855 all that changed. Thomas Payne introduced circular frames operated by steam power and built a factory in Wood Street. Soon other framemasters followed suit, and the output of the town accelerated beyond all recognition. Until this time the output of the handframes had averaged 1,000 dozens of heavy stockings per week. Between

1855 and 1874 this increased to 30,000 dozens per week.And by 1910 the output of some twenty factories in Hinckley had tripled even that earlier phenomenal increase from 30,000 to over 100,000 dozens per week, but now including shirts, caps, jackets, coats and un.derwear etc. By this time the hosiery industry was giving employment to over 4,500 persons, to which had to be added a substantial number of outworkers. With a total population of only some 12,000 the importance and indeed dominanee of the hosiery industry in Hinckley needs no further emphasis. Hinckleys goods, in spite of equally fast growing competition, forced their way into the distant markets of the world, and Hinckley Railway Station was heavily involved in the first stages of moving this vast output out of town.

But even before the introduetion of Thomas Payne's steam-powered frames Hinckley was making progress of its own. 'The History and Antiquities ofHinckley' was published by Iohn Nicholls in 1782 and gives in 240 pages a detailed account of the history of the town. and

important events. It records that 'on September 5th 1728 a sudden and terrible fire about noon' destroyed the houses, barns, stables and outhouses and all the goods of over a hundred families. The whole loss was ;1;:3,434, a collosal sum of money 'in those days', to the great detriment of those people and of all the town. Afier this disasterous fire 'an engine was given to the town - the first they ever possessed - by the Lady N oe!' . The baak then records that in 1 782 'there are now four, whieh are kept in tolerable order. It were to be wished however that they were more frequently examined into, sa as to be always ready for immediate use'. Adverse criticism was obviously put much more delicately in those days!

The Hinckley Urban District Council purchased its first motorised fire engine in 1926 at a cast of;l;: 1,200, replacing one of steam power. The harses whieh used to draw the old 'steamer' were kept in a field fronting Ashby Raad opposite to BarweIl Lane and when the Gas Work's hooter was sounded to signal the outbreak of fire the 'call boy' dashed down on bis bieyde to the field and brought up the harses to be harnessed to the fire fighting appliance at the Fire Station then adjoining the old Depot in London Raad adjacent to Queen's Park. It is recorded that 'the tale is told that on one dark night the horses could not be found'!

On Thursday, 17th March 1910, there was the official opening of the new Public Swimming Baths at the rear ofthe Council Offices in Station Raad. The 'Hinckley Times' recorded that a great deal of interest was in fact evinced in the completed building; 'when workpeople left the factorfes many of the younger fraternity rushed to the doors of the Baths in preferenee to seeking their dinner'. Soon 'the crowd had grown enormously and became so pressing for admission that the Police had to be cal!ed upon to control the entrance and the exit. The pressure was sa great inside the swimming bath rhat a door of one of the collapsible dressing boxes was broken off.' Clearly life wasn't always quiet!

The formal opening ceremony was undertaken by Councillor Thomas

Aucott, e.e. (the Chairman of the Council), who mentioned that the total cost of the provision of the Baths, induding the land, had been f:3,200.

Mr. Shirley Atkins, the then Clerk ofthe Council, wrote in 1938 an artide entitled' 50 years ofLocal Government in Hinckley'. to show how Hinckley had changed. 'Those who can remember Hinckley in the year 1888 will probably recall that it was then a town of9,000 inhabitants engaged in the manufacture ofhosiery as at present. Roads were repaired with macadam, but there was na steam roller to roll it in and it was left to horse-drawn traffic gradually to wear it down. One can recal! the days when even Castle Street, the main shopping street of the town, was covered with loose granite and many months passed by before the stones were crushed in; in the meantime douds of dust would arise which the water cart in vain endeavoured to quell. The horse brush and the raad scrapers were much in evidence. No langer do we wailow through mud in the wet periods or choke with dust in the dry. We now have tar macadam roads well rolled and smooth along whieh mechanical traffic (in the place of horse-drawn) speed at 30 miles per hour or more or less. In those days one could exercise the comrnon law right of a pedestrian and walk down the centre of the highway in safety, reading a newspaper if desired. No one would attempt to do this now, unless he wished to be run in for obstruction or as a lunatie, and there is na need to, for the footpaths are paved with concrete slabs in most cases instead of the old cobbles or kidney stones we can well remember.'

In the 56 years since Mr. Atkins recol!ections Hinckley has changed again almast beyond recognition. But in looking at these photographs 1 hope the reader will appreciate the long and arduous road that has had to be traveiled.

Frank Shaw

The junction of Castle Street and Church Walk in 1924. The first two buildings are long gone, but the building now occupied by Swonews juts out behind the horse and cart. Matheson Lang is advertised as appearing in 'Guy Fawkes' at the HinckleyTheatre and round the corner the billboard announces the film "Ihe Lone Image' at the Palladium cinema in New Buildings. Notice the 'gitty' behind the corner building - a feature of central Hinckley.

2 Station Road bedecked with flags and bunting for the Coronation of King George V on 2 2nd june 1911. Hinckley library, built just over twenty years earlier in 1888 is on the left, and remains almost unchanged today. Opposite is the Constitutional Club with the cobbled entrance to the Horsefair just visible. Even the house in the distance on the right is still unchanged, although now partially screened by trees.

3 The Framework Knitters' cottages opposite Atkins factory in Lower Bond Street in 1930. By the 1920's the properties were in such a bad state of decay that they faced demohtion, but they were purchased by Arkins Brothers and restored. Built about 1720 the cottage on the right has now been leased by Atkins to become the home of Hinckley Museum.

4 The corner of Marker Place and Regent Street in 1930, viewed from the top of Market Place. The centre building was the 'White Hart Inn', but is now the site of the Yorkshire Bank and other development. The corner of what is now Barclays Bank can be seen on the right. The house behind the lamp-post was Wheatley's Fish and Chip Saloon. This whole block of buildings was known as The Roundhill and it included the Town Hall. The King's Royal Bakehouse, where all tenants of the Manor were compelled to bake, was divided from the other buildings by Dukes Lane.

5 Regent Street in 1924 looking towards The Borough from the corner of Lancaster Road.].J. Edwards 'Charabanc Hire' and 'Daily Carrier to Leicester can be seen on the right - for more detail of this see photograph 76. Part of this site on the right is now the Edwards Centre, but the fa├žade on the left and that of The Borough, although changed, is still recognisable, especially the roof lines. But da notlee that seventy years ago there are only two cycles in what is now probably Hinckley's busiest street,

6 Class B IV of Hinckley Council School in Holliers Walk in about 1 905. I wonder how many of these young boys were to fmd themselves in the muddied trenches of Flanders as the First World War and its miseries dragged on, and how many were to die there?

7 Mount Road in 1906 laoking toward Station Road from the junction with Hurst Raad. The houses remain unchanged, but Mount Road Car Park now covers the shrubs and vegetation behind the wooden and metal fence. St. Mary's Church spire can be seen in the distance, and clearly Hinckley by this time is becoming prosperous, because pavements on bath sides have been newly laid for the whole length of the road.

8 Hincldey Station staff in

1 9 1 2, ten in all, including the Station Master in the centre and the young lad on the left just starting out. The railway had arrived in 1862 as part of the London and North Western and Midland Railways. Until then the only means of transport had been the stagecoach and canal. Now London could be reached in just over two hours - not so different to now.

<<  |  <  |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  >  |  >>

Sitemap | Links | Colofon | Privacy | Disclaimer | Leveringsvoorwaarden | © 2009 - 2017 Uitgeverij Europese Bibliotheek