Police officers launch appeal to locate and speak to Derby man in connection with serious assault in Atherstone

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 6 August 2022

WARWICKSHIRE POLICE officers are appealing to locate a man from Derby who they would like to talk in connection with a serious assault which took place in Atherstone.

Luke Jones – the man they want to locate (Image: Warwickshire Police)

They want to locate and speak to Luke Jones, aged 25, from Derby, in connection with a serious assault that took place in Atherstone two days ago (Thursday, 4 August).

He has been described as a white male, around 6ft 2in, of medium build, with short black hair, a black beard, and stretcher style earrings.

Whilst he is from Derby, he has links to the Atherstone area.

A Warwickshire Police spokesperson has urged those with details on his whereabouts to get in touch with officers.

They explained: “If anyone has seen him or knows of his whereabouts, please call Warwickshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 269 of 4 August 2022.”

Those who would rather pass on information anonymously are able to do so by reporting details to independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Green Flag awards picked up for two Hinckley parks – and they’re officially ‘amongst best in UK’

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 6 August 2022

TWO PARKS in Hinckley are yet again officially among the very best in the UK, after they have both been handed a much-coveted ‘Green Flag’ award each.

Pictured: Coun. Linda Mullaney with Coun. Bill Crooks, Executive Member for Street Scene Services, Parks and Open Spaces, Council Leader, Coun. Stuart Bray, and Green Spaces Team members inside Argents Mead. (Image: HBBC)

Hollycroft Park and Argents Mead have both been awarded the ‘prestigious’ accolade, which is only awarded to the very best parks and green spaces in the UK.

The double accolade sees Hollycroft Park handed its thirteen Green Flag award, whilst Argents Mead has been handed its sixth Green Flag award. They are two of the 2,208 sites across the country to collect the award for the year.

Pictured: Coun. Bill Crooks, Executive Member for Street Scene Services, Parks and Open Spaces, with Council Leader, Coun. Stuart Bray, Green Spaces Team members and Friends of Hollycroft Park representatives. (Image: HBBC)

The Green Flag Award scheme is managed by an environmental charity named Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

It recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces across the country, and helps to set the “benchmark standard” for the management of green spaces across the UK and around the world.

The award serves as a sign to the public that the spaces boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained, and have excellent visitor facilities.

Coun. Bill Crooks, the Borough Council’s Executive Member for Street Scene Services, Parks and Open Spaces, said: “After two years that have seen parks and green spaces play a vital role for people through lockdowns as a place to relax, exercise, and meet friends and family safely, the news that Hollycroft Park and Argents Mead have both achieved the Green Flag Award is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team that make the green space a great space that everyone can enjoy.

He concluded: “Thanks are due to the staff at the council, and in particular, the Friends of Hollycroft Park Group, for their dedication and hard work that has helped Hollycroft Park to be awarded its 13th Green Flag, a fantastic achievement.”

Paul Todd, Accreditation Manager for Keep Britain Tidy, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in making these two parks worthy of a Green Flag Award. Both parks play a vital role in providing a green space for the community in Hinckley.

“This award is testament to all the work of staff and volunteers, who do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

Former Nuneaton estate agents branch poised to become brand new fabric store

Vaughan Moore & Mason Moore | 5 August 2022

A NEW haberdashery and fabric store is set to open soon inside a former estate agents on Abbey Street in Nuneaton town centre.

The Handcrafters Hub has signs in the window (Image: Vaughan Moore)

A sign in the window of the unit once home to Allsopp & Allsopp Estate Agents on Abbey Street reveals that The Handcrafters Hub will be breathing new life, with a notice simply reading “Coming Soon – The Handcrafters Hub”.

In a statement shared on Facebook, its owner, Gail Dodd said: “We have finally secured a retail property in Nuneaton town centre.

“One thing we would love to do with this opportunity, is involve local crafters within the local community.”

Currently, the space is being transformed by contractors to get the building ready for its next lease of life.

It is expected to open in mid-August, though at the time of publication (Friday, 5 August 2022), no official opening date has yet been announced.

‘New home for hand crafters’

Gail, who is behind the new shop, is aiming to get local crafters interested in the new development – and described the development as ‘the new home for hand crafters’.

She asked on social media whether crafters would be interested in selling handmade goods, if shelves were available on a rent basis, but stressed this is not set in stone.

She said: “We have finally secured a retail property in Nuneaton town centre. One thing we would love to do with this opportunity is involve the local crafters within the local community.

“If we rented shelves within the shop, would anybody be interested in selling their handmade goods?
Please personal message me your details if you feel this is something you wish to participate in. Nothing concrete yet, just an idea we’re playing with.”

The Handcrafters Hub are well-known in the town, having a presence in Nuneaton Market and working with local community hub, Saints.

This isn’t the only development in Abbey Street.

The former Coventry Building Society bank is being transformed in to flats, and Paddy Power are set to take on the former Bodycare beauty supply shop.

Benito’s holding first drag night next Saturday – and heading to Feast Hinckley tomorrow

Mason Moore & Vaughan Moore | 5 August 2022

HINCKLEY’S BRANCH of Mexican restaurant Benito’s have revealed that they are to hold their first ever drag queen night next Saturday (13 August).

Benito’s Drag Night poster (Image: Instagram Stories)

The news was first made known on social media channels by a Benito’s spokesperson – and it proved so popular so that they sold out in 48 hours of the announcement.

As a direct result, they have had to split the event into two different time slots to honour the amount of bookings that were coming in, in support of the event.

The event will feature family-friendly entertainment, meaning that even children are welcome. It is being promoted by Midlands Drag Events – and a number of new drag queens are set try their hand at performing live in front of audience for the first time.

Some of these include Sylva Lining, Mrs. Gina Tonic, Dominique, Kristal Zirconia, and Iris Prism. It will be hosted by Clover Green.

A Benito’s spokesperson said previously that the queens will have their own cocktails. They said: “We will also be sharing some delicious inspired cocktails from our beautiful queens!”

General Manager for Benito’s Hinckley, Molly Pinson, said: “The drag acts are fully booked, and we’re absolutely thrilled! The queens are family-friendly, and we’re helping queens to get out there. We love that we’re hosting this.

“For some of our queens, it will be the first time that they have performed in front of others. But, they will be supported by family and friends who will be in attendance. Their entertainment will be made up of dance routines, lip-syncs, singing, and banter.

“We feel we’re “the hub” for the community, and mainly a safe space for all. We hope to host everything in the future, from coffee mornings, comedians, singers, dancers, and even parent and baby sessions.

“In fact, Channel 4’s camera crews will be in attendance on the night, filming one of the queens for a documentary which they are featuring in.”

Benito’s at a past food festival (Image: Benito’s – Hinckley)

And, festival-goers and food vendors at the annual Feast Hinckley event will get the chance to say “Bienvenidos!” to Benito’s tomorrow (6 August) and Sunday (7 August).

It will mark their debut at the much-loved Hinckley food festival, which is held annually inside of the town’s Green Flag award-winning Argents Mead park.

Benito’s are no stranger to taking part in food festivals.

They recently attended the ‘Truck’ food festival over in Steventon, Oxfordshire, where they set up their stall and served up many mouthwatering burritos and tacos to hungry festival-goers.

Speaking to the Hinckley Free Press about Feast Hinckley, Molly further added: “We are really excited. Our cooks have been getting ready all week, and Salvador has been filling the fridges with food in preparation.

“Staff will be going back and forth between our restaurant and the pop-up stall. And, festival-goers will have the chance to experience some real authentic Mexican food.

“We will be doing a ‘mix and match’ of dishes at our stall. We can even cater for many different dietary needs, such as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.

“When we were at Truck over in Oxfordshire, many festival-goers got creative with their tacos.”

As the Free Press have reported previously, bosses at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council (HBBC) have confirmed that Feast Hinckley will run from 10am to 5pm on both days – Saturday and Sunday.

Residents urged to check RFID wallets still work, after PCSO warns wear and tear ‘can cause signal to get through’

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 4 August 2022

BURBAGE residents are being urged to ensure their RFID car key wallets still work. This comes after Burbage’s own PCSO, Darren Stretton, was informed by a resident that their “well-used” RFID wallet had stopped working after two to three years.

A faraday bag (Image: Fullmetalwikial/Wikimedia)

PCSO Stretton has claimed in his most recent policing newsletter that once these wallets start to break over time as a result of ‘wear and tear’, the wallets will degrade in quality and cause the RFID signal to get through.

He explained: “Please be aware that if you have a RFID car key wallet for your keyless vehicle, please check the wallet works.

“It appears wear and tear over time can degrade the wallet and cause the signal to still get through.

“Please try opening your vehicle when the key is in the wallet to ensure it works. If you need a replacement, get in touch. An investment of a few pound every couple of years is well worth it.”

As the Hinckley Free Press reported last week, Hinckley Police’s pop-up cop shop is set to return to the Britannia Centre next Monday (8 August) from 10am until 12pm.

Inside, borough residents will be able to voice their concerns to local police officers about any community related issues.

And, crime prevention tools will even be on-sale inside, meaning that they may just have the chance to pick up a faraday pouch, or RFID wallet, used for keys.

The pop-up shop is located directly next to Peacocks, and opposite Boots and Wilko.

For those who miss this session, another one will be held two week after on Saturday, 27 August, from 10am to 12pm.

17-year-old found guilty of slashing teen’s arm with machete in attack on Druid Street

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 4 August 2022

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy has been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent after a teenager was stabbed in Hinckley two months ago.

A stock photo of a machete (Image: Jeff Li/Pexels)

The attack took place two months ago back on Monday, 13 June, just after 6.10pm, which prompted police officers to descend on down to Druid Street, outside the town centre, following a report that a 17-year-old had been slashed on his arm.

Two days ago (Tuesday, 2 August), following a trial at Leicester Youth Court, a 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of the offence.

The defendant and victim were known to each other.

According to a statement issued by Leicestershire Police, the defendant was also found guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to a second victim who was at the scene, and possession of a bladed article – namely a machete.

The first victim reported that he had been in the area with the second male victim, his friend, who was also 17-years-old.

The defendant was reported to have approached the first victim in an “aggressive” manner. This then led to the defendant making threats to both of the victims, whilst wielding a machete – and swinging it directly at them.

The first victim had raised his arm up to protect himself, which subsequently led to him sustaining a slash wound being caused to his arm.

The second victim tried to intervene, which led to the defendant swinging the machete towards him. The second victim was not injured in the incident.

The second victim fled from the scene, running back towards his car, whilst the defendant made off from the area down Well Lane, towards Upper Bond Street.

The first victim was taken to hospital for treatment to his injury – and he has since been discharged.

An investigation into the incident was launched by the police, which included CCTV enquiries, taking statements from the victims, and speaking with witnesses.

Officers then attended the defendant’s home address at 6.50pm on 13 June to arrest him in connection with the incident. He was charged the following day.

Detective Constable, Joanna Price, said: “The outcome of this incident could have been far more serious. The defendant had no consideration regarding just how dangerous his actions were.

“As a force we will not tolerate knife crime and will take action against offenders. We also continue to work with our partners to raise awareness of knife crime and prevent it from happening in our communities.

“Please continue to work with us as part of this by reporting any information you have to us in relation to knife crime so that we can take the action required.”

The defendant has been remanded into custody and is due to be sentenced in two weeks and five days time, on Tuesday, 23 August at Leicester Crown Court.

Signs of life in Hinckley’s former branch of Santander – but its future use is unknown

Mason Moore & Vaughan Moore | 3 August 2022

HINCKLEY’S former Santander bank branch has seemingly found a new taker.

The former Santander (Image: Mason Moore) / Inset (Image: Mason Moore)

The former town centre bank, located on 6 Castle Street, has sat empty since July 2021 – meaning it has sat empty and vacant for a total of 13 months.

But recently, the Hinckley Free Press have learnt that as of seven days ago, it has been taken off the property market, as it has been removed from online property websites, and the ‘under offer’ sign which was placed atop the building is no more.

The property was being managed by Colliers Letting Agents, who are originally from Canada, with many offices in the UK, in Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, and Birmingham.

Today (Wednesday, 3 August), signs of life with spotted inside of the building once the sliding doors were left ajar, showing that contractors were digging on the ground floor and using wheelbarrows. Scaffolding has also gone up in some parts of the building.

These works have started rather suddenly, despite the fact no planning documents have officially been lodged with Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council (HBBC) yet.

The Hinckley Free Press approached the contractors in question, hoping for future details on its next lease of life, but they refused to answer our request for comment.

No future details on its next use have yet been made known.

The letting agents responsible for the property have been approached, but have not yet responded to our request for comment at the time of publication.

Just a few doors away, a new vape and technology retailer named Vapemax and Techmax are in the process of setting up their new shop in the former PDSA charity shop.

A brand new coffee shop named The Wild Lotus is to open next door to the Optical People opticians, but they are still undergoing interior renovation works inside.

The RSPCA are taking on Mind’s former charity shop on Castle Street, as they plan to re-open it as a new RSPCA branch, keeping Mind’s manager and volunteers.

The former Thorntons chocolatiers is ‘under offer’as is the former Carphone Warehouse mobile phone shop, suggesting they both may soon open soon.

Police appeal launched to find missing 21-year-old man from Earl Shilton

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 3 August 2022

LEICESTERSHIRE POLICE officers have launched a public appeal today to find a missing 21-year-old man from Earl Shilton.

Drew Kenney (Image: Leicestershire Police)

Drew Kenney was last seen at the address of a family member at around 9pm yesterday (Tuesday, 2 August) – and he was reported as ‘missing’ earlier today.

According to officers, he is white and 5ft 6ins tall, with mousey blonde hair which is shaved on the hop. He has the names of his children tattooed on his arm.

He was last seen wearing a grey T-shirt and dark trousers. He may also be wearing Nike trainers.

A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police, said: “Anyone who has seen Drew or knows of his whereabouts is asked to call 101, quoting incident 208 of 3 August.”

New technology and vape retailer in process of setting up shop in Hinckley town centre

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 2 August 2022

ACTIVITY has been spotted on a new technology and vape shop which is soon setting up in between Vision Express and Specsavers on Castle Street in Hinckley town centre.

Vapemax and Techmax (Image: Mason Moore)

It was back in early June that signage for the new dual-branded Techmax and Vapemax shop had quietly been placed atop the former PDSA charity shop.

The name – and storefront signage – reveal that disposable vapes, mods, liquids and phones, laptops, and video games will all be sold from inside of the store.

For months it seemed that plans on the store had came to a standstill, as the shutters had stayed down, hinting to passers-by that no progress was being made.

But today (Tuesday, 2 August), contractors were spotted inside, working on the new store, installing counters, as well as a display island in the middle of the store, and many shelves, which are soon to be filled with many goods.

No time frame on an official opening date has yet been revealed by its owners, as they are without a social media presence and publicly known phone number at present.

This isn’t the only new business looking to open soon in Castle Street.

A brand new coffee shop named The Wild Lotus is to open next door to the Optical People opticians, but they are still undergoing interior renovation works inside.

The RSPCA are taking on Mind’s former charity shop on Castle Street, as they plan to re-open it as a new RSPCA branch, keeping Mind’s manager and volunteers.

The former Thorntons chocolatiers is ‘under offer’, as is the former Carphone Warehouse mobile phone shop, suggesting they both may soon open soon.

Two-storey Burbage newsagents given ‘thumbs up’ for third floor again after it was removed sometime in 1940s

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 1 August 2022

A CONVENIENCE STORE in Burbage have been given the ‘green light’ by the Borough Council’s planning department to reinstate a previously removed third floor.

Hinckley News as it stands now (Image: Bukin Lett Architecture)

Hinckley News, located at 1 – 3 Hinckley Road, will now be able to build a new top floor above the shop’s first floor, after plans were approved last week on Thursday, 29 July.

According to the planning agent, Bukin Lett Architecture, the property previously had a third floor in the 1900s and it was distinctly known as two separate addresses.

Historical imagery of the property (centre) (Image: Unknown)

However, at some point in the 1940s the third floor was removed. Whilst there are no formal records as to why, it is believed to be due to a fire.

The new storey being erected isn’t the only change coming to the shop.

It will be fitted with a new Georgian-style storefront with new signage, a new door will be reinstated to Number 1, and its existing first floor windows will be replaced with new Georgian-style windows more in keeping with the Conservation Area.

How it will look once works are complete (Image: Bukins Lett Architecture)

The new third floor will be constructed in new facing brickwork, which would match the existing brickwork to be exposed by removal of all the existing render.

The exposed brickwork will be repaired and repointed. New windows to third floor on the front elevation will be Georgian timber doubled glazed windows with stone sills, new brick arches to be cut in above the first floor window to.

Under this planning permission, Hinckley News has been given further permission to carry out interior works on the property to ground and first floors.

As the previously in-filled door to Number 1 is re-introduced, a brand new completely self-contained flat will be created, which will see the existing rear stairs and “redundant” ground floor kitchen and bathroom completely removed.

The shop floor’s trade area will be extended into these redundant spaces, with the owners aiming to convert these spaces into a brand new “much-welcomed” coffee shop.

A site notice was installed in the vicinity of the store, making passers-by aware of the proposals, and no letters of representation were made during the consultation period. Neighbors were informed of the plans, but none had any objections.

The planning documents, which helped the plans become a reality, were put together by Paul Bukin of Bukin Letts Architecture. Paul can be contacted at paul@bukinlettarchitecture.com, or 07771 363265.