An Oral History of Hinckley

By Permission of Colin Hyde & Westfield Community Centre

6. And finally

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

Are people from Hinckley a bit odd?

Regent Street in the 40s
Regent Street in the 40s

The only thing was, that even now I find the locals (Hinckley) are a bit strange...! don't know, it's difficult to explain their attitude, they've got a most peculiar attitude. Now I'm what you might call a light hearted person and I can see the funny side of anything... I'll just give you a typical example. I was walking round in Gateway a couple of months ago, and an announcement came over the tannoy... and it struck me as being funny right from the start. 'Will Mr. Baker the butcher please go to the side entrance there's just been a delivery of meat,' and I said, 'Oh, he's going to get the chop,' and they looked at me and I thought, 'All right, perhaps I may have a peculiar sense of humour, I you know, and about ten minutes later a woman came up to me and she said, 'Hey, I've just seen what you meant!, 'Oh,' I thought, 'oh no.'

A lot depends on who you are and what you are. If you're the type of person who finds it easy to communicate with other people then you'll get on anywhere no matter where you are, but if you're the sort of person that goes with the attitude that you're better than they are then you won't get anywhere.

They're like that the people of Hinckley, they don't take to outsiders, you've got to impress them if you want to become an insider as it were. And then they sort of take possession of you, which is fatal. You get one family who wants to take possession of you and nobody else is entitled to have much to do with you. That's how they are because the reason is, the people of Hinckley are so involved with each other and they're all inter-married you've got to be dreadfully careful what you say to them because they'll let you say - this in times gone by they'll let you say... they want to know what you're talking about and then when the conversation is finished they'll let you into the trick because they'll say, That's my brother,' or That's my sister that you've been talking about.' They're so inter-married. It's like it now.

In the 33 years that I've been up here it's certainly grown, I mean, there's all these new houses and that. I thought it was more like what you might call a farming community. At one time of day you used to get two rows of traffic, one up and one down, oh yeah it used to be a heck of a job up Castle Street at one time... I mean it was no wider than a country lane. Recently they were just the old type village shops, you know... in fact I would almost go so far as to say that when I got here it was a hick town - almost! Oh, yes, definitely improved.



Many thanks to everyone who agreed to be recorded for this project: Albert Attenborough, Anon., Harry Beazley, Alfred Biggs, Derek Clarke, Tom Davis, Dorothy Houldcroft, Ethel Hulbert, Francis Laker, Gladys Mansfield, Margery Milton, Ron Milton, Arthur Moore, Kath Paul, Dorothy Payne, Edna Perigo, Marie Phipps, Elizabeth Shore, William Simpson.

The full recordings are available to be listened to by appointment at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland or the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA can be found under the Links section).

Medium Title Speaker/Author Sex DOB Accession No. Collection No.
Interview Westfield Collection Shore, Elizabeth Female 1907 296 WF/001/H01
Interview Westfield Collection Payne, Dorothy Female 1920 297 WF/003/H05
Interview Westfield Collection Perigo, Edna Female 1917 297 WF/004/H08
Interview Westfield Collection Mansfield, Gladys Female - 297 WF/002/H02
Interview Westfield Collection Anon Female 1915 298 WF/005/H03
Interview Westfield Collection Moore, Arthur Male 1905 299 WF/006/H04/B
Interview Westfield Collection Beazley, Harry Male 1909 299 WF/006/H04/A
Interview Westfield Collection Milton, Margery Female 1912 300 WF/007/H06/B
Interview Westfield Collection Milton, Ron Male 1907 300 WF/007/H06/A
Interview Westfield Collection Hulbert, Ethel Female 1887 301 WF/008/H07
Interview Westfield Collection Houldcroft, Dorothy Female 1907 302 WF/009/H09
Interview Westfield Collection Phipps, Marie Female 1918 303 WF/010/H10
Interview Westfield Collection Laker, Francis Female 1926 304 WF/011/H11
Interview Westfield Collection Attenborough, Albert Male 1917 305 WF/012/H12
Interview Westfield Collection Simpson, William Female 1921 306 WF/013/H13
Interview Westfield Collection Clarke, Derek Male 1924 307 WF/014/H14
Interview Westfield Collection Biggs, Alfred Male 1923 309 WF/016/H16
Interview Westfield Collection Paul, Kath Female 1916 310 WF/017/H17
Interview Westfield Collection Davis, Tom Male 1909 311 WF/018/H18