In pictures: Hinckley’s 11th Annual Soap Box Derby proves popular as thousands flock on down to spectate

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 22 June 2022

THE RETURN of Hinckley Bid’s Soap Box Derby event was hailed a success yesterday (Sunday, 26 June), as thousands of visitors headed on down to Hinckley town centre to watch drivers steam on through Castle Street in their carts to try and achieve the fastest lap times.

Thousands flocked to town to catch a glimpse of the action (Image: Mason Moore)

Crowds filled each main street in the town centre – Castle Street, Upper Castle Street, The Borough, and even Market Place – in anticipation to see who would achieve the best times, and catch a glimpse of the many different themed vehicles in the derby.

There was a large turnout as thousands gathered around to see who could hit the fastest times in this year’s event, following a three-year-hiatus, with the last being held back in 2019.

Drivers had the choice of swerving around the corner as they attempted a chicane, or the choice to jump over a small obstacle whilst seated in their vehicles.

During the first of three laps, one of the drivers who had decided to go on a wooden cart-like soap box had taken a tumble off his vehicle outside Subway.

Thankfully, he gave the ‘all clear’ with a thumbs up, and continued on into Market Place, where he ended his run. Luckily, he completed both his second and third runs successfully.

Many themed vehicles were on display – from novelty-themed ones, to local charities and businesses.

Some of the notable entrants included a replica of the ‘Knight Bus’ from Harry Potter, a Ghostbuster’s ‘Ecto-1’ soap box, and a Platinum Jubilee-themed soap box.

One of the vehicles entered in claimed to be ‘the fastest banana in Hinckley’, whilst another soap box was designed to looked like a dog.

Meanwhile, some entrants didn’t need a decorated vehicle – instead, they decided to go old-school with a simple go-kart, with the idea of winning and being the quickest on their mind.

KEY EVENT: Bosworth MP comments

Dr. Luke Evans, Member of Parliament for Hinckley and Bosworth, said: “This is my first Soap Box Derby. I’ve been mingling in the crowds and I have heard first-hand how excited everyone is. This is a real testament to the BID (Business Improvement District), and Hinckley really is bucking the national trend. My favourite soap box which entered in has to be the Platinum Jubilee-themed one.”

Dr Luke Evans MP with Steve Wegerif (Image: Dr. Luke Evans)

Event organisers comment

Event organisers Toni Scott (left) and Steve Wegerif (right) (Image: Mason Moore)

Steve Wegerif, Director of Hinckley BID, commented on the turnout for the event. He said: “I’m really, really pleased. The crowds speaks for themselves. We’ve had many enthusiastic drivers taking part in this event.

“We have seen some incorrect reporting in the press recently regarding Hinckley’s high street, but we’ve got the lowest vacancy rate in Leicestershire, with 14 new businesses moving in since the start of the year and six more lined up to join.

“We arrange so many free-to-attend events for people to enjoy, so Hinckley is a town centre which is always worth checking out and being proud of.”

He further added: “Our thanks to all the businesses in Hinckley town centre. Their financial contribution to the BID enables these huge events to take place and allow us to showcase the very best of Hinckley. Thanks also to those who made this event happen.”

Toni Scott, Business Liaison Manager and Events Manager for Hinckley BID, said: “Once again, the weather held out for our brave entrants to push their vehicles to the limit. Our thanks to all who entered and to the many volunteers who assisted us.”

After watching the vehicles head on down Hinckley’s high street, a trophy presentation was held at the end of the event by Hinckley and Bosworth Mayor, Dawn Glenville and her consort and husband, Barry Walker, where they presented trophies to the respective winners.

Image gallery

No monkeying around here – these guys were after getting the fastest time (Image: Mason Moore)
Weeks have passed since the Platinum Jubilee festivities, but that didn’t stop this group from celebrating (Image: Mason Moore)
Who you gonna call?…Hinckley’s Soap Box Ghostbusters, of course (Image: Mason Moore)
Good old-fashioned go-karts stayed well in fashion – even with the juniors (Image: Mason Moore)
An excited driver discussing his hopes to win with Fosse 107’s Mark Foster (Image: Mason Moore)
This dog-inspired car proved popular with spectators (Image: Mason Moore)
Harry Potter’s Knight Bus was one of the many award winners (Image: Mason Moore)
Pictured: Consort Barry Walker (left), Tora Leadbetter (centre), Mayor Dawn Glenville (right) (Image: Mason Moore)
A flamin’ awesome cart takes to the track (Image: Mason Moore)
The Earl Shilton Scouts group showed their teamwork as they gave their driver a helping hand (Image: Mason Moore)
A replica Ford car proved popular with petrolheads and other spectators (Image: Mason Moore)
The trophies which were handed out (Image: Mason Moore)

The results are as follows:

Seniors – Fastest Drivers on the Day

  • 1st Place: Dirty Truckers – 21.1 seconds
  • 2nd Place: 1381 Motor Club – 22.5 seconds
  • 3rd Place: Trinity Players – 22.6 seconds

Juniors – Fastest Drivers on the Day

  • 1st Place – YEP Leicester – 22.3 seconds
  • 2nd Place – The Hillbillies – 23.8 seconds
  • 3rd Place – The MG’s – 24.2 seconds

Overall Fastest Team

  • Senior – Overall Fastest Team (3 run average): The Dirty Truckers – 21.35 seconds
  • Junior – Overall Fastest Team (3 run average): YEP Leicester – 22.55 seconds

Other Awards

  • Best Turned Out Soap Box and Crew: The Mutzs Nuts
  • Best Novelty Soap Box: 1381 Motor Club
  • Most Enthusiastic Junior Racer: The Knight Bus
  • Best Amateur Soap Box: Earl Shilton Scouts

Grand opening day held today for Hinckley’s Sticky Sisters restaurant – see inside with our photo gallery

Mason Moore & Vaughan Moore | 16 May 2022

THE STICKY SISTERS have opened their newest location in Hinckley’s Crescent shopping complex today (Monday, 16 May).

The interior of the unit decorated with balloons (Image: Mason Moore)

Named after their signature sticky wings and sauces, the Sticky Sisters are the newest occupant to set up shop in The Crescent, inside of the former Burger King.

They opened at 12pm, celebrating with a large prominent balloon arch outside, giving out tasters of their offerings to passers-by, and even serving up four wings for 99p as an ‘opening offer’.

They are serving up chicken wings, a variety of sauces, and even their ‘shakes’ to hungry diners.

Inside the restaurant is also a wheel which randomly selects one of the seventeen sauces available to help indecisive diners choose what they should have with their food – this ranges from cool ranch to the spiciest sauce on the menu, the ‘tearjerker’.

Those wanting to brave the tearjerker sauce on a bigger scale have the option to pay to take part in the ‘Tearjerker’ challenge, where they can even claim their £15 back, if they beast their way through the large serving of the spicy sticky wings.

But, the sauce is so spicy so that hopefuls have to sign a disclaimer to take part in the challenge.

Booth seating and a lounge area has also been created at the side, nearest to Hinckley bus station, fitted with charging ports.

Those who ‘Liked’ the Facebook page for their branch also received an offer of 6 chicken wings for 99p.

Mike Cody, Head of Own Brands for Karali Group, said: “We’re excited to bring our range of sauces and fun dining experience to Hinckley as we continue to build the Sticky Sisters brand.

“We’ll be offering tasters and discounts to celebrate our opening, and we are looking forward to welcoming Hinckley visitors to our brand new restaurant.”

Image gallery

The Hinckley Free Press snapped some opening day photos.

The balloon arch, put together by Balloonatics Party Shop (Image: Mason Moore)
Head of Karali’s Own Brands, Mike Cody, handing out tasters (Image: Mason Moore)
Tasters were being served up to Crescent shoppers (Image: Mason Moore)
The wheel randomises what sauces diners should have (Image: Mason Moore)
‘Four wings for 99p’ was a popular deal (Image: Mason Moore)
The Sticky Sisters’ burgers and wraps menu offerings (Image: Mason Moore)
The newly-created ‘lounge’ area, fitted with booths (Image: Mason Moore)
A cheese fries, nacho slam, and small Coke (Image: Mason Moore)
The ‘Halloumi One’ burger (Image: Mason Moore)
Free Press reporter, Mason Moore, with his food (Image: Vaughan Moore)
Free Press reporter, Vaughan Moore, gives the newly-opened branch a ‘thumbs up’ of approval (Image: Mason Moore)

Look: Nuneaton pub demolition progress so far

Mason Moore and Vaughan Moore | 19 May 2020

HERE on the Hinckley Free Press, we recently reported on a former Nuneaton pub and Chinese restaurant in Tuttle Hill opposite the Judkins tip is being demolished.

The demolition works are being carried out by the Austin Wilkinson Demolition company. As well as operating as a pub, best known to locals as The Crazy Horse pub, or its nickname of ‘The Bonking Donkey’.

In the 2000s, the space stopped operating as a pub and was purchased and repurposed to become a Chinese buffet restaurant named Royal China.

The space is set to become care homes and works have been going on each day to pull down the former pub.

Our Nuneaton and Hinckley reporters at The Hinckley Free Press have teamed up to get down on the scene at the site from the day that work had started from day one to how it is coming along now.

We have attached an image gallery below of the current progress at this moment in time.

We shall keep you notified when the building comes down in its entirety and disappears completely.

2 May

The roof stripped off the former pub (Mason Moore for the Hinckley Free Press)
A shot of the building taken near the Canal bridge (Mason Moore for the Hinckley Free Press)

10 May

A close-up of the now boarded up former pub (Mason Moore for the Hinckley Free Press)
The former car parking space for patrons (Mason Moore for the Hinckley Free Press)
Many patrons have stepped through these doors in its day for a cheeky cheap pint (Mason Moore for the Hinckley Free Press)

14 May

The brick work from the back of the pub has started coming down (Mason Moore for the Hinckley Free Press)

Look: Sneak peek inside Hinckley’s new McDonald’s

AMERICAN fast-food giant McDonald’s are set to open the doors to their new restaurant on the Dodwells Island tomorrow.

The new McDonald’s branch set to open tomorrow (Mason Moore for Notizie)

Tomorrow, on March 4 at 11 am, the new branch of the famous ‘Golden arches’, McDonald’s will be serving their first customers.

Serving with a smile – this branch will definitely be sure to serve ‘happy’ meals (Mason Moore for Notizie)

McDonald’s Franchisee, Lorraine Lee spoke to Notizie about the new restaurant. Lee said: “Come on along, give us a go and give us a try. We’re ready. We’ve recruited 110 people and invested a lot of time into them and giving them training.

“I’ve still got staff with me from the McDonald’s branch that used to be based in The Borough in the town centre 20 years ago.”

Lorraine Lee, Franchisee of McDonald’s Hinckley (Mason Moore for Notizie)

The Dodwells Island in Hinckley has been the talking point surrounding traffic issues for a while in the area.

Lee said: “All we can do is make sure that our service is quick in the drive-thru, so that we don’t add to that.”

The pay and collection windows inside of the drive-thru (Mason Moore for Notizie)

The restaurant sports some rather interesting features, such as a conveyor belt in the kitchen that runs from one end of the kitchen to the other.

The conveyor belt plays a massive part in speeding up the process when it comes to completing the customer’s orders.

In the past, while operating in ‘full tilt’, the main kitchen at another McDonald’s location were able to produce a whopping grand total of 150 sandwiches in 15 minutes.

However, this McDonald’s branch claim that they can ‘easily’ do higher than that.

The kitchen in action where all the classic ‘Big Mac’ and other fan favourite meals are prepared (Mason Moore for Notizie)

The restaurant is home to a second floor and has additional seating upstairs.

Pictured: Seating and self-serve dining kiosks (Mason Moore for Notizie)

Upstairs in the restaurant, there are four dining kiosks, a table service lift, and a lift, for those who have limited mobility access.

The upstairs seating area of the restaurant (Mason Moore for Notizie)

Table service lifts are used so that food comes directly from the downstairs kitchen upstairs so that it will be sure to get to the customers hot.

The table service lifts can hold four orders at one time (Mason Moore for Notizie)

Whilst opening without a delivery service from the get go, Lee pledges that the restaurant is “future-proofed”.

The franchise are hoping to secure a deal with Uber Eats in the future, making sure that this is something they will be able to work with them on.

Look: Transformed former Nuneaton nightclub opens its doors for the first time in years with a new purpose

Last week on Wednesday, a transformed former Nuneaton nightclub space opened its doors for the first time in years with a new purpose.

Wednesday morning marked the opening day of the iconic Saints building serving its new purpose as a community hub where customers and town-goers alike had the chance to help themselves to a cheap coffee and slice of cake.

Phase one of the new Saints Nuneaton project has proven to be a success and opened its doors this morning to the general public for the first time in years.

The former nightclub building now has café style seating, a free children’s play area, local trade stalls and a conference room. The café is run by the adjoining Alara café, who serve delicious and affordable food and drink.

Saints Nuneaton sell locally-created enterprise crafts, mugs, and even fair trade foods.

There is an opportunity to purchase the locally-printed Nuneaton-themed ceramic mugs with references to the town like “Sunny Nunny”, the informal nickname of the town.

The new plans for phase two of the building will launch in the next couple of years.

Once the upstairs hall is renovated, phase two will focus on offering people support in improving their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Phase two will also help people to connect with others through the creative arts, with an aim of reducing loneliness and isolation.

When Notizie Newsdesk approached Saints Nuneaton for comment on their plans for the project, a spokesperson said: “Our hope and prayer is that this project brings the community together, in a way that inspires start-up businesses, local artists and enables people to tap into their hidden skills and talents.

We want to give people a sense of pride in their town and renovate this beautiful building, that we believe can be used to help restore hope and joy in our town.”

Nuneaton’s Member of Parliament, Marcus Jones, of the Conservative Party, paid a visit to the former dance hall back in October. Saints have revealed on their Facebook page that Jones has wrote a letter of support to boost their fundraising bids.

Notizie have attached a photo gallery below for readers to look through at the newly-refurbished community hub for the town.

If you have any photographs or memories of Saints being used as a nightclub, dance hall, or any capacity, please email us at notizienewsdesk@gmail.com with the subject line “Response to Saints Article”, where we will forward these on to the Saints press team as they are keen to get their hands on any memories and photographs.

The exterior of the Saints building
The new bar for the café – a very different bar to how former customers will remember it!
Locally-crafted enterprise items from Oak Wood secondary school students
Mugs, aprons and tea towels with Nuneaton themed phrases and sayings, such as “Sunny Nunny” and “’Ello me bab!”
Enterprise items have been made by Megan. Face-paint session opportunities are being offered by her sister Cassey
A play area for young children to enjoy while parents and carers can sit down and have a coffee as they watch and supervise them
Thanks to Saints, crafting business Hand Crafters Hub now have a home for their products
Saints is home to a new conference room that can be used as an education space and also hired by others
The second floor will be used as a part of Phase 2 for Saints in years to come

Pictured: An inside view of Santa’s Amazing Grotto in Hinckley

Notizie Newsdesk were invited down by Hinckley Bid to take some exclusive photographs of the Santa’s Amazing Grotto event which has previously been covered this week on the website.

For those unaware, Santa Claus will pay a visit to the children of Hinckley in Britannia Shopping Centre, in his Grotto, he will make his way over from Lapland to Hinckley at 12 o’clock noon on the 18th of December when he arrives.

Santa will be there over the course of five days and his last day will be the 22 of December, ready for him to set off on his sleigh at Christmas time.

Have a look at Santa’s Grotto in our fantastic festive photos below.

The entrance, where children will make their way in to the Grotto
The elves have their own workshop
Children have their own area for photo opportunities within the Grotto
Where Santa Claus himself will sit and listen to the boys and girls of Hinckley – and determine if they’ve been good or bad this year!