Hinckley Railway Station

Hinckley Railway Station built by South Leicestershire Railway in 1861.

Hinckley Railway Station
Railway Station from the car park.

In 1861 John Addison of Westminster was commissioned to design the Railway that was to come throught Hinckley as well as Hinckley Railway Station, plans were submitted in April 1861 and later in the year the station was opened to the public.

The Railway Station was set in open fields south of the town, reached only by a track directly from the market place. Gradually new roads were built to access the Station, one of those roads would become Station Road. The building provided for a town of Hinckley's standing was unjustifiably plain and undistinguished, this may have been due to the station being a long way from the town centre, or just down to financial reasons.

The building consisted of a pitched-roof as well as the station masters house of two and a half storeys and parallel singe storey bay that once containing the waiting rooms. In the short storey building there were the station offices and entrance hall, one office having a bay window on the platform side. Originally this linking section formed a recess on the road side, but was eliminated in 1897 with a well-blended extension which stood proud of the main block. To his was added a cantilevered awning which was originally glass covered.

In 1897 large waiting rooms were built in brick on the Down platform and awnings added to this and the main buildings. The awnings were large and were created of corrugated iron curving away from the building and supported by cantilevered brackets. The larger awning (still remains on the main building today) is also held up by four wooden pillars along the centre of the platform. In the same year the platforms were extended, a metal footbridge provided at the western end and curved corrugated iron sheets again used to form a roof over the steps and bridge.

Hinckley Railway Station
View with Bennett Brothers hosiery on the right c.1951

From the station's earliest days the platforms were also spanned at the opposite end by a footbridge of metal on brick piers, the stout piers also doubling as store rooms. Both bridges were close to the main building and because of this and the presence of large awnings, the platform side of the station had an oppressive feel.

The other buildings were two wooden offices for the Station Master and Porter which were located next to the public bridge on the up-bound side. It is possible they were for the use of the Midland Railway who had employed their own staff at the station since 1868.

During 1868 the Midland Railway also had a booking window separate from the London and North Western Railway, in use until the London, Midland and Scottish Railway days of 1923.

1920 A First World War Tank arrived at Hinckley Station on a wagon from from France via Ramsgate with the members of the Tank Corps, the Tank was to be presented to the town by The National Savings Campaign.

In 1924 Major rebuilding of the platforms occurred and the up-bound side awnings extended westwards in 1933.

1972 To save maintenance costs, the large block of waiting rooms on the down-bound platform were removed and replaced by an unsuitable shelter that looked like a bus-stop shelter.

Both passenger bridges spanning the platforms.
Both passenger bridges spanning the platforms.

In 1977 the public footbridge was renewed and the adjacent wooden offices removed at the same time.

During a period between 1987 and 1990 there was some redevelopment. The house was altered and its outbuildings replaced to form private offices for letting. The footbridge at the western end of the station was removed and the public bridge was used to gain access to the platforms. Additional private offices were provided at the western end, partly comprising a new single-storey block and partly the old main waiting rooms and entrance hall. The main offices were converted to form a new booking office and modern booking hall/waiting room, the layout of which has, reverted back to the design of 1862.

The external entrance is now covered with a new pitched-roof porch matching the entrance to the new private offices, and the original awning was removed. These modern improvements, the station's future seems more secure especially as it now stands in a developed area and no longer in open fields as it once did.

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