• The Society was founded in 1865 following a meeting in Hinckley of the town’s Tradesman’s Friendly Society and was originally named the Hinckley Freehold Land and Permanent Benefit Building Society. By July 4th the Society had appointed a manager – a local draper named Thomas Kiddle, whose draper’s shop in Castle Street, Hinckley, was to be used as the Society’s first office. This office has long since been demolished but stood on the site now occupied by Bodycare.
• Fast forward to 1876. This past decade saw the Society open six branches, followed by a further two a year later. Such was its success, a report made in the Leicester Daily Post on 24th February 1877 of the Society’s 11th annual general meeting, included Mr Kiddle saying:
“To look back at the Society 10 or 11 years ago it has grown in importance and bears a resemblance to that of the town of Hinckley.”
Mr Kiddle was also reported to have said:
“The fact that the Society is in its 11th year and should realise an income of £15,500 4s, is plain proof that the principles and working of the Society are understood and appreciated.”
• By 1883 the Society had appointed its first female branch manager, Miss S E Rayner, to the Broughton Astley branch.
• In 1896 the Society’s head office moved to 36 Castle Street, on the site now occupied by the B&M Store.
• In 1907 the Society changed its name to the Hinckley Permanent Building Society and, two years later, saw Mr Kiddle’s office relocated to 48 Castle Street, Hinckley (the building now occupied by Holland and Barrett).
The Society now had 12 branches – Barlestone, Broughton Astley, Coalville, Croft, Cosby, Countesthorpe, Great Claybrook, Measham, Sharnford, Stoke Golding, South Wigston and Nuneaton.
• Another branch was opened in 1913 – in Dunton Bassett. It was also in this year that the Society saw the resignation of its long-standing manager, Thomas Kiddle, aged 85, after 47 years at the helm. The Annual Report for Directors of 1913 reported:
“In August last, the Directors received with regret the resignation of the Manager, Mr Thomas Kiddle, who has held the office since the commencement of the Society… and who relinquished his duties through ill-health.”
The Society appointed Thomas’ son, George Kiddle (one of six children) as his successor.
• 1915 – This year saw The Society celebrate its golden jubilee and, in spite of the implications of the First World War, was said to be making “good and satisfactory progress”. Deposits were down but the Society remained realistic, stating:
“It should be remembered that justifiable national claims on the communities’ savings have been necessary in order to bring out what we all desire, a just and lasting peace for our community.”