|Post office, probably on its day of opening.|
On 06-Apr-1877 when a regular Post Office was established, Hinckley saw its first mail coach come through the town. The first Post Office was at the Bulls Head Inn, Market Place and the second at a house in The Borough. The Post Office was then moved to the White Hart Inn and then to a further location at The George Hotel, Market Place according to the Hinckley Parish Magazine of 1872-82.
According to another account the Old Post Office was at The Pig and Whistle at 37 Regent Street, later renamed The Castle, which was to become the Regent Club and Institute in 1929.
The towns first purpose-built Post Office originally had a monogram displaying 'ER' and '1902' over the doorway.
The architect commissioned for the building was William Thomas Oldrieve of Manchester and the contractors were Jowett & Co of Barrow-on-Soar. The land along Lancaster Road was sold off by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The total cost of the building was to be £3,069 10s and the work was to be completed by 01-Jul-1902.
25-June-1902 an article in the Hinckley Times read 'This will be the finest, and certainly one of the most substantial buildings, Hinckley will possess no doubt for many years to come, and the position in which it is placed will give it a commanding aspect.'
The new Post Office was an up to date and highly convenient building, standing on 310 square yards and is 41 feet from the ground floor to the roof. It was built on the North side of Lancaster Road with the length of the building abuts on to Station Road.
21-Sep-1902 The Post Office was opened to the public and the final cost was about £4,000.
|The Post Office c.1902|
On entering the public room the improvement over the old Post Office was evident. There were notices over the counter to indicate where the different departments were, while on the right hand compartments were provided for writing out telegrams. There was also a silence box for the convenience of those who wanted to use the telephone.
The Postmasters private room was at the back, while further along was the sorting room. This room had counters specially adapted for stamping, etc. There was also a large number of racks and space all necessary to make the sorting room fast and efficient in despatch.
The telegraph room was upstairs and the messages were sent up to the operators in a pocket lift. Adjoining this room is the telegraph boys waiting room.
Right throughout the building are retiring rooms for the male and female clerks, the operators and the postmen. These rooms were fitted with a gas stove, range, private lockers and washstands (with hot and cold water). The engineers store room and the battery room were all on the third story.
In later years the aspect and proportion of the building have been largely spoilt by the removal of the corner entrance and the Edward VII's monogram along with the date of erection.
|The Post Office c.1902(left/top), Hinckley Post Office and Station Road c.1905 (right/bottom)|
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