At the beginning of 1994 Colin Hyde was requested by Hinckley College to compile a book based on the memories of the people who attended the Westfield’s Community Centre. He writes….

“Over the course of the next year I met many interesting people and, along with the help of a few students from Hinckley College, tape recorded hours of reminiscences.

While the majority of the people I talked to have lived in or near Hinckley for most of their lives, several arrived in the town during the Second World War and a few have retired here more recently. As a result, although most of these stories are about Hinckley, I have included some whose only connection with the town is that the story teller has ended up Hinckley.

The concentration is mainly on the first half of the century up to and including the Second World War. Memories of the 1950s and 1960s will have to wait for another day! There are some fascinating tales in this book and I hope you have as much pleasure reading them as I had collecting them.”

I was commissioned  to design this as a book in 1995, but due to circumstances and decisions taken by the commissioners some weeks later, the book was shelved. However the shelved work was accidentally brought to my attention recently. I had another look at it  and thought it would be a shame not to publish such interesting anecdotes for everyone to share; so here’s a website.

Michael S. Clifford.

1898 First motor car passed through the town
1901 Population of Hinckley 11,304/ Inhabited homes 2,542
1910 Swimming baths opened/ Consecration of Trinity Church
1911 Council adopt the moto Anglicae Cor (heart of England)
1912 Leicestershire and Warwickshire
Electric Power Co began operation in Hinckley
1914-18 387 Hinckley servicemen die in service in WW1
1916 24 hours blizzard Watling Street blocked for five days
1921 Population 13,930
1923 War memorial unveiled on Castle Hill
1926 Coalville miners parade for General Strike
First motor fire engine/ London Road Estate started
1931 Population 16,210
1936 Urban Distract boundaries extended to include Earl Shilton,
Barwell, Burbage, Stoke Golding
1936  Population 32, 071
1938 New fire station opened
1939 – 45 1,959 evacuees
11 houses totally destroyed by fire
12 civilian fatalities 1951 Urban District population 39,094
1960 New bus station


1. Working in the boot and Shoe Industry (3)
2. A brother and sister remember family life and work (4)
3.Memories of a home in Mansion Street and a formidable mother (3)
4. A childhood in Mill View and the outbreak of World War Two (2)
5. Hinckley was so small… (4)

1. An army wife from South Africa and China (4)
2. Growing up in the potteries (1)
3. Hop picking in Kent (2)
4. A life in the hosiery trade (3)
5. Coming from Wales, looking for work during the depression (1)
6. Growing up in Earl Shilton (3)

C:\Users\User\Desktop\HINCKLEY GOLD MARCH 2012\History\Down On The Farm\3DOTF31.htm

1. Memories of World War One (1)
2. Memories of childhood (2)
3. Brimstone, treacle and nettle tea (1)
4. Schooldays (1)
5. Making a mess with inkwells (1)
6. Treats were highlight of the year (1)
7. New dresses, flowers and decorated prams (2)
8. People remember shops, cinemas and dance halls (1)
9. Half slices of pig hung up in a pub entrance (2)
10 Watching horses in Regents Street (1)
11. Watching silent films (1)
12. Taking my boyfriend to meet her parents (1)

1. Outreak of World War Two
2. I was an evacuee (1)
3. Giving birth during an airraid
4. The night Coventry was blitzed
5. The Americans are coming
6. Training with the home guard

The Unitarian Church

A view of local people by people who came to live in Hinckley