Hansom Cab returns to town streets
THE HANSOM CAB returned to Hinckley town centre streets for the first time in 100 years on Saturday as part of the National Heritage Open Days celebration.
This historic event was marked by the Deputy Mayor Councillor Jan Kirby and other dignitaries being given the opportunity to ride around the town in the cab driven by its restorer, Adrian Lander, who was dressed for the occasion in full period costume. As well as admiring it, members of the public enjoyed posing for photos sitting inside the cab.
The cab was developed and tested by Joseph Hansom in Hinckley and patented in 1834. The Hansom cab went on to become one of the most popular forms of transport during the 1800s.
Also seeing the newly restored cab in Hinckley for the first time on Saturday was Richard Forder, the great grandson of Alfred Forder, one of the three brothers who comprised Forders of Wolverhampton, the company that originally manufactured this Hansom Cab. Forders were very successful cab and carriage manufacturers who operated under royal warrant.
As well as seeing a return of the Hansom cab, there were several listed buildings open for the public to tour around, including The Atkins Building, Hinckley and District Museum, Hinckley Great Meeting Unitarian Chapel and St. Peter’s Church in Thornton. In addition, the Hinckley Masonic Hall was also open to the public.
Visitors enjoyed a special history display mounted in Hinckley Market Place, courtesy of Hinckley District Past and Present, the borough council and also local historian Greg Drozdz.
Council leader Mike Hall said: “It was great to see the Hansom Cab, and it looked fantastic.
“I hope that it will not be too long before we can find it a permanent home back in Hinckley. There were some amazing buildings open to the public also and I hope these events will be repeated in the future so that we can expand them into more locations across the Borough.”
Local historian and vicechairman of Hinckley and District Museum, Greg Drozdz, has been involved with the Hinckley cab since 1984.
He said: “This indeed was a red letter day for the town and this particular cab. Our vehicle was manufactured by the firm of Forder in Wolverhampton and the great grandson, Richard Forder, travelled from Sheffield to be with us, to celebrate this vehicle”.
Mr Drozdz added: “Richard told us of the royal connections the firm had - building and delivering a cab for the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII. At the same time they delivered another for his well known mistress, Lilly Langtry.”