Hinckley Historian Magazine

Hinckley Historian Magazine No.66 - Ernest Clive Atkins

Clive, as he was usually known, was the eldest son of Arthur and Agnes Atkins and was bom at Middlefield in 1870. Towards the end of that decade the Atkins Building, still so prominent a feature of Lower Bond Street, was built. After being educated at the new Hinckley Grammar School, opened in 1877, Clive completed his studies at Bedford Modern School and joined the firm in 1887, aged 17.

Clive's father, Arthur Atkins, died at the early age of 42 in 1882. The original Hinckley Library in Station Road was built in his memory. In 1908 Clive became Senior Partner of Atkins and two years later extended the factory by adding a top storey. Later, in 1932, the new Regent Street Factory was built making High Cross Underwear.

Clive purchased land in Warwickshire and had Stretton House constructed in 1912 as his residence close to Watling Street. He was a prominent farmer and landowner as well as a hosiery manufacturer and later became Chairman of the Atherstone Hunt. Each day Clive drove to Hinckley in a dogcart or pony trap until near the end of his life.

Clive Atkins served the community in a variety of capacities. He was a JP. President of Hinckley Cottage Hospital, Chairman of the Hosiery Manufacturers Association in 1928 and High Sheriff of Leicestershire in 1931.

Military matters took up a great deal of Clive's lifetime. During the First World War he rose to command the 2/5th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. He became Honorary Colonel in 1940 and was Chairman of the Territorial Association. 'The Charismatic Colonel' was awarded the Order of the Bath in 1945 and died in Coronation Year, 1953.

The Editor

Thanks to Phillip Lindley for providing much of the information contained in this brief biographical account. See also 'Atkins of Hinckley 1722 - 1972' by J S Atkins.

Ernest Clive Atkins Stretton House
Ernest Clive Atkins

Stretton House
Stretton House

Author: Hugh Beavin

Written for: Hinckley Historian Magazine