Nuneaton Market Place on Market Day

Over the years I have been asked many times where did Nuneaton get its nick-name “Codder”. I have never been able to answer this with any authority. Hinckley also went by the epithet “Tin Hat” and now I have solved where that name came from. The town centre water pump, used to slake the thirst of the horses entering town, had a metal bucket with a chain attached to it for the animals to drink from. The bucket was parked out of use on the top of the pump. Hence Hinckley’s town centre water pump, probably one of the town’s most distinguished street features back then, had a “tin hat” on it.

So could Nuneaton derive its obscure nick-name from an old town water pump? It was common in towns years ago to provide a pump in the market place for the benefit of horses.  The thing that set me on this train of thinking was when I browsed through an old ironfounder’s catalogue a few years ago that showed a cast iron water pump with a spout in the shape of a fish’s mouth. Cod mouthed in fact. Maybe our town centre pump had spout like that? So old Nuneatonian’s called their water pump the “Codder” and Nuneaton got its nick-name from that?

It’s all speculation of course, and I hope by publicising the story someone will be able to furnish the proper explanation.