Memorial unveiled to woman who gifted Argents Mead

Published Friday, 12 April 2024
Margery Payne memorial photo, three people holding plaque

A Hinckley woman who gifted Argents Mead to the council so that residents across the borough could enjoy the open space has been honoured with a commemorative memorial plaque in her name.

Margery Payne, whose father William Hurst Payne was a well-known hosiery manufacturer in the town, bequeathed the land between St Mary’s Church and the castle mound when she died in 1946.

Not having any children of her own, Margery, who lived at The Limes on Derby Road, was very known to be incredibly generous and community focused. She was also a driving force behind getting Hinckley’s war memorial created and donated land to afford access to it.

In her will, she said:

I devise to the Urban District Council of Hinckley, free of all duties, the close of land lying near to St. Mary’s Church, Hinckley and known as Argents Mead, which has been leased by me to the said council upon trust to maintain the same forever as an open space or recreation ground for the use of inhabitants of the town of Hinckley and neighbourhood.

The plaque to commemorate Margery’s contribution to Hinckley, both past and present, has been laid in Argents Mead. It cost £850 and was installed by local funeral directors and memorial masons, G Seller. 

A second plaque was installed close to Margery’s gravestone in Hinckley’s Ashby Road Cemetery thanks to members of local history and good causes community group, Hinckley District Past and Present. The council also funded renovation works on her grave, which was done by G Seller, while the council’s grounds maintenance team have done some work to improve the grave space.

Plans to commemorate Margery’s contribution to the area were suggested to the Borough Council by Paul Gardner BEM, from Hinckley District Past & Present. 

Paul wanted both residents and future generations to be made aware of how Argents Mead – now a Green Flag award-winning park - became a green space in the heart of the town thanks to Margery’s wonderful gift. 
Paul Gardner BEM said:

I am delighted how positively the council responded to my original suggestion. Argents Mead has become a wonderful asset to the town hosting various events from Music in the Mead, Hinckley Feast to the Classic car show etc. It's all thanks to Margery. 

Following funding by the council to have the grave site in the cemetery refurbished, Hinckley District Past & Present (HDPP) have paid for an identical plaque to be placed by the grave. Now generations present and future will always know the origins of the Argents Mead today and Margery's resting place.

Paul Grundy, Senior Planning Officer (Conservation) at the Borough Council added:

Many of our residents enjoy the Green Flag award-winning Argents Mead on a regular basis plus we can commemorate those who lost their lives because of war as prior to this gift, Hinckley did not have a dedicated memorial. We hope that this plaque will mean that future generations will be able to enjoy Argents Mead and be thankful for all that Margery did for Hinckley and the town centre in making such a generous gift.