Hinckley's original Water Tower dates back to 1891 and was designed to store 50,000 gallons of water for the new piped water supply to the town which came from the flooded colliery at Snarestone. The Water Tower was designed by Messrs T and C Hawksley of Westminster who were responsible for the whole scheme to supply water to the town. The Eagle Iron Company of Coventry supplied and installed the cast iron water tank at a cost of £850, which surmounted the 60 foot high Water Tower. Mr Smart of Nottingham was the contractor for both the erection of the Tower and the service reservoir at a total cost of £4,847.10s.
The Water Tower was described by the new Hinckley Times newspaper as having, c A pleasing and substantial appearance.' Haunchwood brindle bricks were used to face the Tower which was and continues to be a prominent landmark for the neighbourhood.
During the twentieth century the Water Tower was used in connection with various celebrations as well as supplying water. In August 1902 fireworks were set off from the Water Tower at the time of King Edward VIFs Coronation. On V E Day in 1945 the Water Tower was floodlit.
Many local residents & organisations have fought to preserve the structure. At present Severn Trent, who have not made use of the Water Tower for many years, have withdrawn their application for its demolition and the hope is that it will remain as a prominent feature in the town despite the decision of English Heritage to oppose the listing of the building. My thanks to Rose Allinson for her cover drawing of the Water Tower.
Author: Hugh Beavin
Written for: Hinckley Historian Magazine