Archive for December, 2014

Scenes from Fenella Beach in winter

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

W11 Washingborough

Monday, December 15th, 2014

W11 Washingborough contains a Methodist Church at the bottom of the aptly named Church Hill. Took a look on google street view. Was kind of expecting an old fashioned C of E edifice at the end of Church Hill tbh but hey it doesn’t matter.

They have funerals in churches. I’d like us all to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the deceased please.


V17 Branston

Monday, December 15th, 2014

I’ve always associated Branston with Branston Pickle though I have absolutely no evidence to suggests that there is a real link between the two. Maybe there is a small shed at the bottom of someone’s garden that opens into an enormous Tardis like pickle making factory. Don’t knock it. Could be true.

I’ve always been a fan of Branston pickle although since I discovered Delia Smiths Spicy Plum Chutney recipe we hardly ever buy the commercial product. It’s a fact that you discover over the years that whilst something shop bought might taste good it is rarely as good as the stuff you can make yourself at home. With the Davies’ this applies to pasta and even recently, yoghurt which when made at home are vastly superior to anything you can buy.

The chutney was our first discovery along these lines. Having made my first batch I tasted it and it was pretty yucky. I then left if for a few months and wow! Fantastic. Pasta had the same result. We bought a pasta making machine. It didn’t make the dough but it rolled it out like a mangle and then had fittings that shaped the sheets into tagliatelli, angel hair etc. Serious result.

Only this week my wife Anne made her first yoghurt. Sounds very alternative doesn’t it? The resultant yoghurt is great though. Tastes a lot more natural than anything you get in the shops. When you think of it all there is is milk and a bit of fruit chucked in. No sugar, stabilisers, thickeners, preservatives etc. I added some freshly picked raspberries from the garden and hey presto I had a healthy breakfast.

I digress. I only have two memories of Branston, neither of which are particularly clear. I once went to a wedding reception at Branston Hall Hotel. The very nature of these evenings are that you remember very little about them. I think a good time must have been had. Not been back since.

The other time was during the 1980s when Lincoln Rugby Club had its players dinner there one year. My only recollection of that night was remembering seeing someone had fallen asleep in one of the toilet cubicles. Not something you want to do at a rugby club dinner. I suspect he would have been woken up by water being chucked over the top.

I’m also pretty sure that they grow spuds in the area – only because I’ve seen lorries with Branston Potatoes written on the side.

So that’s it. Branston, a place you pass through on the way to Blankney Golf Club.

P24 Waddington

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Oo great. Waddington. I’ve checked and P24 definitely contains a bit of the Waddington Air Base. This is good because I’ve been to Waddington Air Base a few times. To the Summer and Winter balls at the officers mess for one. Great doos. I did find it a little odd that you could tell how important someone was just by looking at their arms but that’s just my civilian perspective.

Very cheap drinks. I think i recall a bottle of moet being £14 and two pints of lager, a G & T and an OJ being something like £2.50. Was a while ago mind. We had a friend, Brad, who worked for Boeing and was able to invite us. V good.

The Waddington Airshow is a great day out. Been twice. Got complimentary tickets because the kids were playing in the school orchestra in hangar 4. It was particularly good because in order to deliver the musicians and their instruments we had a car pass that got us right in to the base with permission to park just next to the hangar.

Great organisation. We are in good hands with the Royal Air Force.

My other memory of Waddo is of  taking off and landing there a few times. Our next door neighbour in Greetwell Gate was Flight Lieutenant Al Green. Al was a great lad and very hard working. For a time he ran the multi engined graining school at RAF Cranwell. The time came for Al to return to his unit in Brize Norton and as a bit of a farewell gestured he arranged to take me up in the jump seat when he was out with a new trainee pilot. They used twin engined jetstreams for the job and I sat there with headphones on listening to the two up front doing their stuff. We flew for an hour around Lincolnshire and returned via the cathedral so that I could take some photos of or house. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great but it didn’t detract from the occasion.

Anyway for while Al took over the controls and did a few approaches, landings and takeoffs at Waddington. I think he needed to do a certain amount every month to “maintain his ticket” or whatever the word is. It was quite a privilege to be allowed along on the ride.

Al lives near Oxford now. Must catch up sometime if you’re reading Al.

So that’s Waddington, the airbase at least. There is more to it, including a chippy and a takeaway curry house but that’s as far as my knowledge stretches.

Ciao amigos

Angels at 1 o’clock, or words to that effect.

Cb3 Clasketgate

Monday, December 15th, 2014

I’m a bit gutted to find that The Collection, our wonderful museum, only just touches Cb3 which is the clasketgate grid and I feel it doesn’t have enough of a presence to merit inclusion in this piece, which is a shame.

However we do have the magnificent Theatre Royal which stands squarely in the centre of the grid so we can talk about that.

As a slight aside, about 25 years ago Phil Cool and Jasper Carrott were appearing in the Theatre Royal and one day after their show they ended up at The Raj Douth in the Bail for a curry. Terry Ade and I were in there having a meat madras after a few beers at the Prince of Wales when all of a sudden there was a big commotion in the next booth to us. A camera was produced and all the waiters took it in turns to have their photos taken with the diners in the booth who were of course the aforementioned messrs cool and carrot.

We protested that we were regular customers and that they never bother with taking photos of us so the staff obliged. For the years that that restaurant stayed open they had a photo collage on the wall that contained mostly pictures of the waiters with Phil Cool and Jasper Carrott but also one in the corner of me, ade and Terry.

Now it is a little known fact that I have been in two two week runs at the Theatre Royal. Before we had kids I was in the CAODS, or the County Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society. I can’t dance for toffee but I can sing. I was in Guys and Dolls and Anything Goes.

In the former I actually opened the show. I was stood there on stage as the curtain went up, tossing a coin, looking like a gangster. That was a pretty high pressure role, even though I was just in the chorus. Tossing that coin in front of thousands of people in the audience without dropping it was not easy. Ok it was only a few hundred and not thousands but you know what I mean.

They were great times. You can see why people want to get into the acting game. The buzz you get from the audience is fantastic. The high point of the show was the “Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat” number which was a fantastic song with about 8 part harmony and it always got a terrific cheer from the crowd. So much so, and because we enjoyed singing it so much, that some nights we used to sing it twice. Hey why not?

They were great days. On other occasions we used to take the kids to the panto on Boxing Day but unfortunately that era didn’t last long and the kids soon decided it wasn’t cool to be taken there by their parents. Huh!

Seen a few good acts over the years. Humphrey Lyttleton, the great jazzman, was terrific. Basil Brush was good too fair play and child number 4 was picked to go on stage and take part in the show, as they do.

Haven’t been for a while now. Perhaps it’s time to head on down to Clasgetgate again.

Ba1 Sudbrooke

Monday, December 15th, 2014

I was in Sudbrooke the other day. My wife had bought a sofa on eBay from someone who lived there. In fact it wasn’t just a sofa. It was a corner unit plus a 2 seater settee and a pouffe. Never understood the concept of a pouffe but there you go.

We needed a corner unit for our TV room. We got a lot more than I had bargained for but hey…

Now it’s all very well the lovely Anne buying these things but someone has to go and pick them up and you know who is that person. Of course I don’t mind. It’s for the greater good and I have a Jeep which has a big boot especially when you put the seats down so it was natural that I should toodle along to Sudbrooke to hand over the cash and cart the settees home.

Of course when the settees were delivered in the first place they were probably on the back of a lorry. I think the bloke we were buying it off expected us to be turning up at least in a white van. No no no. The jeep will be fine. It did take four trips.

Sudbrooke is just down the road really so that shouldn’t have been a problem on a saturday morning. On this occasion however there must have been an accident at Langworth so the queues of traffic were horrendous. The accident must have just happened when we made the first trip because on that occasion the tailback was just to the Cherry Tree Cafe junction where we were turning off.

The subsequent three trips we went the long way round and came in from the Dunholme direction. It avoided the queuing traffic but took a lot longer. The four trips took up all of Saturday morning. In fact the corner unit, 2 seater and pouffe took up all the tv room and some of the living room because we hadn’t yet disposed of the incumbent furniture.

Anyway that was Sudbrooke. We were happy with the deal. The settees look good in the TV room and there is now room for all six of us to sit in there watching the box.

Bb3 City Hall

Monday, December 15th, 2014


waving of wands

form filling



the mayor

rateable values

traffic wardens

rubbish collection

council tax

bus passes

residents parking

polling stations

planning permission


recycling points




X12 Washingborough Pits

Monday, December 15th, 2014

They’re the pits, they’re in Washingborough

They’re the pits,  not in Edinburgh

They’re not in York or London or in leeds

They’re just nearby in Washingborough they’re the pits.


U7 Proposed Eastern Bypass

Monday, December 15th, 2014

I live on Wragby Road and I suppose the Proposed Eastern Bypass would be good for us. Cut down the traffic. Mind you I suspect that most of the traffic on our roads is down to the school run. When the kids are on holiday there are a lot fewer cars. When it rains it gets v busy. Makes you wonder why because I don’t think I see that many people walking to school or work otherwise.

Anyway the point is I’m not sure they are proposing to build the Eastern bypass on my account. It must be another reason.  Certainly the traffic in the mornings coming in to the city down Canwick Hill can be quite bad. Maybe it will help with that.

I’ve never understood why people would choose to live out that way because of this, at least if they have to commute into Lincoln. The commute bit itself is also a mystery considering I walk to work but we won’t go there.

Will this concreting over the countryside ever end.


P5 Ermine East

Monday, December 15th, 2014

A bit like Lincoln itself it’s a little off the beaten track is Ermine East.  It’s somewhere you specifically need to be going to. You don’t really just pass through it (ok I know you pass through lincoln en route to skegness but that’s almost like saying hardly anyone does, except for the odd caravan.)

Many of you I know will be poring over your A2Zs whilst listening to these programmes. Well Ermine East is at P5, middleish and just below the top. Just below the bypass. The bypass marks the boundary really. Once they have built on that land near Waitrose that will be it. The little enclave of Ermine East will have a frozen footprint. No different to most other grids in fact.

Now now that I know you are looking at your A2Zs we can look at Ermine East together. P5 has a Comm, Cen. Rec Grd and an Ermine Jnr Sch just below it. There’s also a Pav. in the corner of the Comm, Cen. Rec Grd. One assumes this is the pavilion for the Common Central recreation Ground. Feels like the planners were busy when they designed Ermine East, fair play to them.

Looks like a good amenity for the community. Somewhere for the kids to go and play, for dog walkers to exercise their pets, always remembering to take a plastic bag with them to remove the doggy doo dahs once little rover has done his business. Fair play.

I’ll leave the rest of this piece to your imagination, seeing as you have the map out and all. If you need help, shut them eyes and let your mind run wild. Ermine East. P5


K8 West Common

Monday, December 15th, 2014

I once ran around West Common. It was a far away time when I was young enough to delude myself that doing such a thing made sense. Not anymore. It isn’t that I consider running to be a bad thing, although one does have to recognise the wear and tear on the joints. No it’s because I now do it in a gym.

Anyway the point I was getting to is that West Common is a wonderful resource for the citizens of Lincoln. People play sports there – football, tennis and cricket as I recall, and they ride their horses. There were also a few holes of Carholme Road Golf Club over on the common but they’ve moved them back across the road now.

In it’s heyday of course the common was a racecourse, hence the grandstand. It’s a big shame really that the racecourse is no more. Killed off before my time. I’ve attended a couple of functions in the grandstand over the years but not for a long time now.

All this is just a preamble really to my main West Common story which is this.  One year I had been working at the Westgate School Christmas Market Cafe. All the kids went to Westgate and I used to faithfully turn up every year to wash dishes at their Market Cafe – a great fundraiser for the school. I preferred the washing up to being front of house – didn’t want to have to engage with the great unwashed (sorry – poor pun) and there was always a good banter and cameraderie at the kitchen sink.

Every year it was my custom and practice to retire to the pub over the road after my stint at the sink to reward myself with a few pints. On one particular occasion I did this with some mates who I’d also roped in to volunteer. We were sat in the snug of the Victoria pub when the phone rang. It was my wife Anne. She had parked to car at West Common, in one of those parking spots along Long Leys Road, and now she couldn’t get it out. The wheels kept spinning. Could I come and drive it out for her.

Now here was the problem. I had already had a few pints and told her it was impossible. I was way over the limit to drive a car. The conversation ended and I told the lads the story. As I was doing this a terrible feeling of guilt came over me. The damsel was in distress. We needed to do something. The boys were informed that we would have to leave our drinks temporarily and all head down to the common. We would together be able to lift the car out of trouble.

Everyone agreed that this was the right thing to do so I rang her back to let her know we were on our way. Our daughter answered the phone and this is how the conversation went:

“I’m out of the car and mum’s trying to drive it out. She’s driving along the ditch. Oh my god she’s going to hit a tree. No it’s ok she’s made it out. Were fine now”.

Phew. I stood the boys down and we went back to our beer. That is my West Common story.