Tigers make it back-to-back wins with away triumph over Gloucester

Gloucester 20-38 Leicester Tigers

Mark Farmer | Chief Sports Reporter | 25 November 2023

LEICESTER’S VICTORY at Kingsholm makes it their seventh in a row over Gloucester in a fixture named the Slater Cup, to honour of the former Gloucester and Tigers player Ed Slater, who was forced to retire last year after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Ollie Hassell-Collins scored two of Tigers’ four tries at Kingsholm (Image: Getty)

In typical fashion it was Handre Pollard who put Tigers ahead with a close range penalty before Gloucester fly-half George Barton, who could only slot two of his five first-half attempts, put the home side in front.

The final 10 minutes of the opening half would have no doubt pleased Tigers head coach Dan McKellar as Pollard restored the lead with two penalties closely followed by a converted Ollie Hassell-Collins try to establish an eight-point cushion going into the interval.

The arrears would soon be reduced from eight to one after the break as ex-Tigers hooker George McGuigan went over following a rolling maul.

Not to be outdone by his opposite number, Julian Montoya touched down for Leicester to allow Pollard to add the buffer, the try coming as both teams had a player in the bin with Barton and Ollie Chessum each ordered to serve 10 minutes off the pitch.

Hassell-Collins’ second try of the match, and fifth of the season, came minutes after Gloucester back row Jack Clement was shown a yellow card for the third game running before front row replacement Jamal Ford-Robinson registered a five-point score of his own despite the visitors carrying a man advantage.

Tigers went into today’s visit to Kingsholm as the only Premiership team not to claim a try bonus point this season, something Tongan international Solomone Kata ensured would not continue with a score in the final play of the game.

The commanding victory sees Leicester jump two places from ninth in the table.


Gloucester: Carreras, Rees-Zammit, Harris, Atkinson, Thorley, Barton, Young; Vivas, McGuigan, Balmain, Clarke, Alemanno, Thomas, Ludlow (c), Clement

Replacements: Socino, Elrington, Ford-Robinson, Clark, Donnell, Chapman, Atkinson, Hillman-Cooper

Leicester: Steward, Bassett, Scott, Kelly, Hassell-Collins, Pollard, B Youngs; Cronin, Montoya, Heyes, Henderson, Chessum, Liebenberg (c), Reffell, Wiese

Replacements: Clare, Whitcombe, Cole, Wells, Rogerson, Whiteley, Shillcock, Kata

Camp Hill flat closed after ‘persistent anti-social behaviour and alleged criminality’

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 24 November 2023

A FLAT in the Camp Hill area of Nuneaton has been closed by police officers and the borough council following ‘persistent anti-social behaviour and alleged criminality’.

Balmoral Court, Camp Hill (Image: Google)

The force and authority worked together to dish out a closure notice to a property housed inside the Balmoral Court flat block. The former tenant had reportedly been causing alleged criminality and anti-social behaviour at the site since February.

Warwickshire Police officers paid a visit to the property ‘several’ times before they decided to act and finally bring the closure order into action.

According to a statement which was issued by a Town Hall spokesperson yesterday (23 November), the full closure order now means nobody can access the property for three months – though this could even be extended to six months if necessary.

The borough council have been quick to act in stopping acts of anti-social behaviour at flat blocks in recent weeks. Just two weeks ago, they removed a group of several anti-social squatters from Coronation Court on Mount Street, near Upper Queens Road.

“Our anti-social behaviour team is working tirelessly to make sure our communities are improved and the people who are a disruptive are removed”, said Coun. Clare Golby, the council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities. “This council will not stand idly by while people create havoc, disrupting the lives of others”.

She further added: “Council officers and Warwickshire Police have demonstrated their commitment to community safety by swiftly obtaining a closure order for the flat in Balmoral Court.

“The tireless efforts to combat persistent anti-social behaviour and alleged criminality shows our dedication to creating secure and harmonious neighbourhoods.

“We stand united against those who disrupt the peace. I hope this is sending a clear message that we will use the full force of the law to safeguard our communities.”

Tardis lands in Nuneaton town centre to commemorate 60 years of Doctor Who

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 23 November 2023

AN out-of-use phone box in Nuneaton town centre has been transformed into a Tardis to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who today (23 November).

The Tardis’ on Coventry Street (Image: Mason Moore)

That is the phone booth on Coventry Street, behind the H. Samuel jewellers and in close proximity to the Tea Rest bubble tea shop and independent Mardin Barbers.

The Hinckley Free Press spotted the TV show tribute this afternoon. As part of its Tardis transformation, the booth has been coated in the trademark blue paint.

A printed notice stuck to the bottom of the booth says: “Police telephone free for public use”, alongside a sticker promoting the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who.

Inside, there are many nods to the show’s many different villains from over the years, all of which have been written in-universe, in the forms of fictional advertisements.

Various nods to the show’s villains (Image: Mason Moore)

One such reference is to ‘The Weeping Angels’ – a group of blink and you’ll miss it killer statues – telling passers-by: “Don’t blink and miss out. We will make time stand still for you.”

Another one of the posters is for a Dalek pest control service, stating they promise to ‘exterminate’ pests. It simply reads: “No pests too big. We’ll exterminate them all.”

To mark the occasion this evening, BBC Four shown a colourised version of the first Dalek story, which was ‘remastered’ into an hour and 15 minute viewing.

The Dalek stories were originally seven 25 minute long episodes, but have been given a ‘cosmic makeover’ to appeal to modern audiences, also featuring a brand new score.

This was then followed by a showing of ‘An Adventures in Space and Time’ – a dramatised account of how Doctor Who first came to our screens.

Atherstone man arrested and charged with seven counts of shoplifting in Wokingham

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 22 November 2023

A MAN, aged 36, from Atherstone, has been arrested and charged with seven counts of shoplifting in Wokingham, following an investigation by Thames Valley Police.

A stock photograph of a police officer holding a notebook (Image: Joe Giddens/PA)

Dean Austin, of Old Farm Road, Atherstone, close to the Leicestershire border, was charged with seven incidents of shoplifting in Wokingham, Berks., between 12 July and 14 July 2022, where products totalling up to more than £265 were reportedly stolen.

Investigating officers at Thames Valley Police (TVP) initially believed that the suspect behind the thefts was a resident living at an address in North Warwickshire.

They then notified Warwickshire Police, who issued an appeal through their Atherstone and Coleshill Police social media channels last Thursday (16 November).

And, two days ago (Monday, 20 November), Austin was arrested and charged with seven counts of theft from an unnamed shop in the Wokingham area.

He is set to appear in Reading Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 6 December.

Exclusive: New Leicestershire burger chain opening three sites – and the first will launch in Hinckley

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 21 November 2023

A NEW independent burger brand is set to open three sites across the county, with their inaugural one opening in Hinckley, the Hinckley Free Press has exclusively learnt today (21 November).

A stock image of a burger (Image: Valeria Boltneva/Pexels)

The new East Midlands-based venture is named Beef ‘N Shake and has been founded by three friends and self-proclaimed ‘like-minded foodies’ from Hinckley, who told the Free Press they “have always liked to eat, drink, and create amazing food together”.

Their flagship and first store will open in the new year, on Regent Street in the heart of Hinckley town centre. It is currently unknown which unit they are planning to take on.

But, what is known is that it will be open every day of the week. On Mondays to Thursdays, it will trade from 5pm to 10pm. And, on Fridays to Sundays, it will trade from 12pm to 12am, where diners can order food for delivery, or collect in-store.

As the name suggests, they will serve up a variety of burgers, milkshakes, hot dogs, and light snacks.

Once that branch is open and serving hungry Hinckleyans, they will then create two new additional sites in Leicester city centre and Nottingham city centre respectively.

A spokesperson for Beef ‘N Shake further added: “Our hobby quickly led us to opening this burger restaurant – a place where people from all over the East Midlands can meet to enjoy our special dishes and comfortable atmosphere.

“Freshness and creativity are our favourite ingredients. Our menu is varied and the service is unmatched. If you’re looking for a superb culinary experience, pop in to see us.”

They are already recruiting, with vacancies for a Store Manager, Server, and Delivery Drivers available. Those interested can send their CVs to beef.shake@outlook.com.

For further details on the brand, including when an opening date is officially announced, you can ‘like’ them on Facebook and ‘follow’ their Instagram.

Beef ‘N Shake are one of the many eateries which are headed to Hinckley soon. Others opening up include the Butterwick Bakery, Epicurean Lounge, and The Old Bank Cafe.

‘Everyone at the club is happy’: Hinckley cycle racing club members delight at new kit designed by NWSLC fashion student

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 20 November 2023

A FASHION and textiles student from NWSLC’s Hinckley campus who won a competition to design a new kit for a Hinckley cycle racing club has seen her final design praised by members.

Pictured: Guy Mellor from Hinckley Cycle Racing Club with NWSLC student Gracie Birch, who designed the kit (Image: Susan Bexon)

As we reported back in June, second-year student Gracie Birch picked up a £100 cash prize after her new design was unanimously selected by members of the Hinckley Cycle Racing Club, after they had to vote in a poll which showcased the different designs.

“It has been great to be able to return to the college with our fully developed kit based on Gracie’s design. Everyone at the club is very happy with their new kit which is now in use for social rides and in cycle cross, road racing and mountain-biking competitions”, said Guy Mellor, pictured top, of Hinckley Cycle Racing Club. “We were extremely impressed by all the students’ response to our brief and have enjoyed working with the college on this project.”

Joanne Hall, Fashion and Textiles Lecturer at NWSLC said: “We were delighted to work with HCRC on this unique brief which provided our students with a live commercial project to test their skills. They were all provided with the same template block for the kit and required to design bright and highly visible concepts for health and safety reasons.

“Seven Year 1 students on our fashion and textiles course responded and it was great experience for them. It has been rewarding to be able to help a local community organisation, and fantastic to see the finished articles that have been produced.”

Hinckley Council launch new ‘big bin’ collection service to help with home and garage clear outs in borough

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 19 November 2023

HINCKLEY and Bosworth borough council have launched a new ‘big bin’ collection service to help residents in helping to clear out their homes or garages.

Coun. Lynda Hodgkins, Executive Member for Street Scene Services, and Council Leader, Coun. Stuart Bray (Image: HBBC)

The service has is aimed at those who are throwing out numerous items which are too big to ft in a standard bin, but at the same time, are not big enough to fill up a skip.

By using the service, residents will benefit from the convenience of not having to put waste items in their car, arrange transport, or arrange a private collection service.

A large four-wheeled bin will be delivered to their property and will be collected six days later for a fixed fee. Bins can be delivered five days a week across the borough.

They will have the choice of a 660 litre refuse bin, which is the equivalent to three standard sized black bins, or a 1,100 litre refuse bin, which is the equivalent of 4.5 standard sized black bins, depending on how much waste they are clearing out.

One 1,100 litre bin will set residents back £60 for a seven day hire, or £100 for two of these bins. One 660 litre bin will cost £50 for seven days, or £80 for two 660 litre bins.

Coun. Lynda Hodgkins, Executive Member for Street Scene Services, said: “We are delighted to be launching this new service to help our residents who are having a clear out, or who are perhaps moving home, emptying a garage or shed.

“This service is delivered to and collected from your door, making it an easy and convenient way to get rid of anything you no longer need. It is particularly helpful for those who don’t have enough rubbish to fill a skip, or for those who don’t have a car to make a journey to the recycling centre.

“You can also add recycling bins to your order free of charge, making it easy to recycle at the same time. We are expecting high demand for this service, so please book in soon if you are interested.”

To book out the bins, find out further details, including any additional pricing, you can visit a dedicated portal on the council’s website.

Hinckley’s multiple award-winning Hollycroft Park yet again named as one of country’s top 10 favourite parks

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 18 November 2023

HINCKLEY’S multiple award-winning Hollycroft Park has officially been ranked as one of the top 10 ‘most impressive’ green spaces in the country by park users.

L – R: Coun. Linda Mullaney, Executive Member for Street Scene Services, Coun. Lynda Hodgkins, Dawn Jeffrey, Friends of Hollycroft Park, Executive Member for Community Safety Coun. Michael Mullaney and Council Chief Executive Bill Cullen with members of the Green Spaces Team. (Image: HBBC)

The park has proved so popular so that more than 21,000 members of the public had taken to the 2023 People’s Choice Awards – organised by the Green Flag Awards – and cast their votes for it, meaning it is now proves a favourite with park-goers.

It was only back in Augustthat the park had picked up its 14th consecutive Green Flag Award. The ‘Green Flag Award’ scheme is a quality standard managed by Keep Britain Tidy, which recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces.

This is not the first time that the park has achieved this feat. In fact, it successfully achieved the very same status three years ago back in 2020.

“This is fantastic news, thank you to everyone who has voted for Hollycroft Park. To be recognised as one of the top ten favourite parks in the country rightly recognises the amazing contribution of our staff, the Friends of Hollycroft Park, all our volunteers, and the visitors who make this park such a great place to visit at the heart of our community”, said Coun. Stuart Bray, Council Leader for Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.

He concluded: “To be awarded a People’s Choice Award once again is a great accolade. It highlights how important Hollycroft Park is to the local community.”

Tigers secure Derby Day win in clash with Northampton Saints

Leicester Tigers 26-17 Northampton Saints

Mark Farmer | Chief Sports Reporter | 18 November 2023

IN A first half-half littered with handling errors from both teams, it was Springbok Handre Pollard’s right boot that would provide a platform for Tigers to edge out visitors Northampton.

Fly-half Handre Pollard lines up a kick at goal (Image: Leicester Tigers)

Double World Cup winner Pollard put Tigers ahead after three minutes, following an off-side infringement incurred from George Furbank’s knock on.

An excellent kick to touch from just inside his own 10-metre line shortly after allowed Tigers’ foward pack to drive over from five metres out, however, Charlie’s Clare’s try was disallowed by TMO Hamish Smales for what appeared to be a harsh call against Leicester for obstruction.

Fin Smith – an England fly-half in waiting – levelled proceedings midway through the first-half with a shot at goal from a couple of metres inside the Leicester half.

Pollard restored Tigers’ three-point lead with a penalty as the rain began to sweep across the Mattioli Woods Welford Road pitch, and then extended the advantage to six with another shot at goal in line with the posts from halfway to send the home side into the interval ahead at 9-3.

Leicester’s attacking onslaught from the resumption would see them eventually come away with a try after a number of attacking phases set up replacement loosehead prop Francois van Wyk go over with Saints picking up two yellow cards either side of the score with Sam Matavesi and Ethan Waller punished for multiple penalties.

Northampton’s 13 men hit back immediately as fullback Furbank joined the attacking line and forced his way over for their first try of the game.

Tigers survived a scare a couple of minutes later as Northampton’s outside centre Tommy Freeman dived over the line before referee Karl Dickson spotted the faintest of knock ons from Henry Pollock to bring the game back for a Leicester scrum five metres out.

Captain Hanro Liebengerg would ensure Tigers claimed a second win this season, and their first at home this Premiership campaign, denying Saints any chance of a losing bonus point with a try seven minutes from time following a quick tap penalty.

It was a score that meant Matavesi’s try for the visitor’s with the clock in the red would serve as nothing more than a consolation.

The result sees Leicester climb to eighth in the table, one place above next week’s opponent Gloucester at Kingsholm.

Attendance: 23,076


Leicester: Steward, Bassett, Porter, Kata, Hassell-Collins, Pollard, B Youngs; Cronin, Clare, Heyes, Henderson, Chessum, Liebenberg (c), Reffell, Wiese

Replacements: Vanes, van Wyk, Cole, Carter, Rogerson, Whiteley, Shillcock, Scott

Northampton: Furbank, Hendy, Freeman, Dingwall, Ramm, Smith, Mitchell; Waller, Langdon, Davison, Moon, Munga, Coles, Pearson, Ludlam (c)

Replacements: Matavesi, Waller, Millar Mills, Lockett, Pollock, James, Hutchinson, Sleightholme

Christmas comes early to Hinckley as lights switched on in ‘spectacular’ fashion with thousands in attendance

Mason Moore & Eden Quillen | 17 November 2023

CHRISTMAS has came early to Hinckley, as thousands of town-goers flocked on down to Market Place to watch Mayor Scott Gibbens switch the lights on this evening.

Fosse 107 hosts Mark Foster and Mark O’Sullivan, with consort Cathie Gibbens and mayor Scott Gibbens preparing to turn on the lights (Image: Eden Quillen)

The highly-anticipated switch-on took place at 6.30pm, when Borough Mayor, Coun. Scott Gibbens, his consort Cathie Gibbens, and Fosse 107 hosts Mark Foster and Mark O’Sullivan switched them on alongside Snappy the Dragon on Fosse 107’s stage.

Watch: Lights officially switched on

The lights being switched on (Video: Mason Moore)

Some of the performers providing the soundtrack to the night included local swing singer and former footballer Dean Thomas, Steven Faulkner, Hinckley Pride’s Rainbow Singers, St. Mary’s School, and The Drama Academy, and Julie Sings, to name a few.

The Drama Academy (Image: Eden Quillen)
Fosse 107 founder Mark Foster with Julie Sings (Image: Eden Quillen)
St. Mary’s students (Image: Mason Moore)
Steven Faulkner (Image: Mason Moore)

Tonight also marked the start of the ever-popular traditional Tin Hat Fair, which boasts a large number of fair rides on Regent Street, The Borough, and George Street. It will be open for one more day tomorrow (18 November), from 12pm to 10pm, though the rides are chargeable by the fairground company, not council chiefs.

Teacups, penalty shootout, and many other attractions on Regent Street (Image: Mason Moore)

Before the main switch on, members of Burbage’s Royal British Legion (RBL) branch held a two minutes’ silence, and marked their respects to the fallen, which prompted the ‘Lest We Forget’ light on Church Walk to be switched on. This is a significant fixture of the night, as each star inside the archway banner represents a member of military personnel who once served, and sadly lost their lives in conflict.

The ‘Lest We Forget’ lights (Image: Mason Moore)

Dean Thomas then performed after, with a fan-favourite karaoke classic in “Sweet Caroline”, and some Christmas classics. Another singer then took to the stage with a group of children to sing a heart-warming rendition of John and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”.

Dean Thomas (Image: Mason Moore)

Following the switch-on, excited town-goers became park-goers, heading on down to the award-winning Argents Mead park, gathering around the front of the Leisure Centre and nearby car parks, in order to watch in awe at the fireworks being set off.

Key Event: Fireworks Display

The bright fireworks were displayed in Argents Mead (Image: Eden Quillen)
The display was four-minutes-long, and showcased an array of fireworks in different colours (Image: Eden Quillen)
The fireworks display kicked off the Christmas festivities with a bang – or many (Image: Eden Quillen)

In fact, the event proved so busy so, that every pub which was open was packed with punters, even in the nearby Crescent. Making the most of it was Market Place-based bar, The Clarence, who hosted a ‘pop-up’ stall near the tree, serving hot chocolates, boozy hot chocolates with a dash of Bailey’s, as well as other hot drinks, and cookies.

Key Event: Council Leader comments

Council Leader Stuart Bray (Image: Eden Quillen)

Council Leader, Coun. Stuart Bray, said that visitors heading on down to the switch-on should use the businesses, which stayed open for late-night shopping, in order to use them ‘where they can’, as opposed to shopping online. He further thanked the council staff, as well as Fosse 107, who all gave a helping hand in the running and arrangement.

Many photographs contributed to this article have been generously taken by Eden Quillen, a Leicestershire-based photographer, who pens his own website on a regular basis, and takes photographs of significant events across the county.