East Coast Reflections: Gibraltar Point and Gunby Hall

Full marks to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust for the splendid new visitor centre at Gibraltar Point which opened earlier this summer. The spectacular new £1m building replaces the former centre, which suffered extensive flood damage during the storm surge in December 2013. The trust is taking no chances this time – the building is raised on stilts to protect it from any future flooding.

Spectacular is not too strong an adjective, in my opinion. Continue reading

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Dambusters live on in Woodhall Spa

The connection between RAF Dambusters Squadron 617 and Woodhall Spa is well known around here, and is nowhere more evident than in the Petwood Hotel, where in 1942 Dambuster crew, including Canadian, New Zealand, Australian and British Air Force personnel, were stationed. The Squadron Bar, virtually untouched since it served as the officers’ mess, remains a magnet for historians and anyone who, like me, as a boy, was thrilled by the Dambusters film when it came out in 1955.

I am now struck by the tenacity and dedication of those who keep the Dambusters reality alive, as evidenced not just by frequent guests and visitors, but also by numerous posts on social media and, in particular by the Dambusters Blog, written by Charles Foster, nephew of Dambuster pilot David Maltby. As well as logging fascinating biographical notes and reproducing numerous old photographs, the blog features some intriguing current stories, such as an unusual take on Barnes Wallace, the inventor of the famous bouncing bomb: Continue reading

Last orders please

Here’s a thought-provoking post from my friend Caroline High:

carolinehigh

DSCF0715I was sitting in a church recently waiting for a concert to begin. It was a good evening and the choir was in fine form but it was the conversation I had with the lady sitting next to me, and not the music, that struck the biggest chord that night.

I don’t know the lady very well but she’s a very pleasant person, and so we sat together. She worships at the Catholic church we were in and in the course of conversation, told me that she’d been here the evening before, to hear Mass said in memory of a friend. “She was one of my oldest friends, and I didn’t know she’d died.” I raised my eyebrows. She went on to explain that her friend had moved a long way away, and her son had moved in with her. When she died, her son had had her cremated at…

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Grist to the mill

windmills_150Lincolnshire has more working windmills than any other county in the UK, according to the Lincolnshire Mills Group.

Mary Cook writes: Around 800 windmills were grinding flour for Lincolnshire’s inhabitants up to a century ago. But winds of change have blown across the county, leaving some mills in ruins while giving others a new lease of life. Local government organizations, charitable trusts and private enterprise have been working to convert them into tourist attractions.

Visit the Maud Foster Mill, Boston.

This windmill is close to Boston town centre – just off the A16/A52 Grimsby/Skegness road and there is a free car park for mill visitors. On foot the windmill is a 10 minute stroll from the market square and the historic Boston Stump church. It’s hard to miss! Continue reading

Taking Off: Exploring Cultural Education in Lincolnshire

We all want the best for our children and grandchildren, but sometimes opportunities for enriching their development are hard to come by in a county like Lincolnshire, especially outside our main towns. Fortunately, help is now at hand.

 

Last December over 50 cultural, arts and education professionals attended an event called “What if Every Child Could Fly in Lincolnshire?” to demonstrate their passion and enthusiasm in supporting all children and young people in the county in having the opportunity to experience great arts and culture. The event was so successful that a follow-up event is planned. Continue reading

Socks for Refugees

Here’s a great idea from Holy Trinity Church, Tattershall:

What small thing can you do for someone who is displaced from their home and family?

How about donating a new pair of socks? We all love putting on a new pair of socks. Separate your socks if you bought a pack, remove any unnecessary packaging but keep the plastic tag holding them together. Continue reading