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Facts

LINCOLNSHIRE

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FUN FACTS

Lincolnshire is the 2nd largest county or metropolitan borough in England.
Lincolnshire has the 18th highest population in England.
Lincolnshire is in 43rd place for density of population.

  1. The Royal Connection
  2. Bolingbroke Castle, in Lincolnshire, is now just a ruin but in 1361 it came into the ownership of John of Gaunt who was the second son of Edward III. John was also Duke of Lancaster as he had married Blanche of Lancaster, his third cousin, in 1359. He was a very wealthy man and in 1367 they had a son who was known as Henry Bolingbroke, for a while.

    John of Gaunt, he was actually born in Ghent in Belgium which is how he got his name, was the uncle of Richard II who became King of England in 1377. When John of Gaunt died in 1399, Richard II didn't allow Henry Bolingbroke to inherit all his father's lands which rather annoyed Henry. By now Richard wasn't very popular with the nobles and he then popped off to Ireland to deal with some troubles over there.

    Meanwhile Henry Bolingbroke, who had been sent away to France by Richard, came back, had a chat with these nobles, pointed out that his father was the son of Edward III and, with the agreement of these nobles, declared himself King of England: Henry IV. Richard came back, resigned and was put in prison where they sadly forgot to feed him and so he died of starvation in 1400. All of this had a profound effect on English history over the next century. If I tell you that Henry was of the House of Lancaster while his uncle and his family were of the House of York and they didn't get on, wars and roses may pop into your mind.

    By the 16th century the castle had fallen into disrepair but was briefly used by the Royalists during the Civil War before being put beyond repair by the Parliamentarians in 1652 when the tower and walls were torn down and thrown into the moat.

  3. Lincolnshire Eats
  4. Stuffed chine is a traditional dish, unique to Lincolnshire. In olden days meat would be cured, usually soaked in a salt solution, to preserve it for longer, especially during the winter months. The neck chine is a cut of a pig taken from between the shoulder blades.

    As spring approached villagers in Lincolnshire would take their preserved chines and make deep marks across each side of the joint. Finely chopped parsley was packed tightly into the deep pockets in the flesh, then the joint was turned over and the process repeated on the other side. The whole joint would then be wrapped up in muslin or an old pillowcase and simmered until cooked through. The cooked meat was left to cool still wrapped in cloth in order for it to set. Once completely cooled it was unwrapped, sliced thinly and served with a sprinkle of vinegar. The slices would have an interesting look of green and pink stripes.

    Stuffed chine was traditionally served when the May Hiring Fair was in town (a kind of outdoor employment exchange, where people made themselves available for temporary work), and the largest chine was usually saved for Christenings. If you saw a fresh row of parsley growing in a garden, it was often the sign that there was a baby on the way!

  5. Lincolnshire VIPs
  6. Seven random people who were born in Lincolnshire in the last 100 years:-
    Harriet Bibby (Actor - Coronation Street), Bernie Taupin (Musician, Lyricist), Margaret Thatcher (Politician and First UK Female Prime Minster), Robert Webb (Comedian), Jennifer Saunders (Comedian), Ian Matthews (Musician) and Tony Jacklin (Golfer)

  7. Now That's Weird
  8. Bridges with buildings on them were common in medieval England, the best known being London Bridge. The High Bridge in Lincoln, which crosses the River Witham, is the oldest of the three that now remain. Both of the other bridges are in Somerset, Frome Bridge and Pulteney Bridge. The High Bridge was built in 1160 and the current timber framed Tudor buildings date from about 1550. Originally the bridge was home to a chapel which was dedicated to Thomas Beckett but this was taken down in 1762.

    At present (2021) the buildings are home to a cafe and a pastry shop. There are steps down to the river from the bridge. On one side of the bridge is Brayford Waterfront and the bridge is the only access to it. During very high water it is impossible to get through the bridge.

    The bridge is both a grade I listed building and a scheduled monument.

  9. It Happened Here
  10. For many ordinary people in the first quarter of the 20th century a seaside holiday would mean staying in a bed and breakfast accommodation. The wealthy could afford posh hotels but for the working class people it was a bed and breakfast. Unfortunately, in many cases, that is exactly what it was. You would have a room and beds for the night, be given your breakfast and then be locked out of the accommodation, sometimes literally, for the rest of the day, good weather or bad.

    One person who experienced this was a man called Billy Butlin. In 1936 at Ingoldmells next to Skegness, he opened the first holiday camp. The idea at his camp was that virtually everything would be provided on the camp site. The Skegness camp could accommodate up to 1,000 campers and was made up of 600 chalets. The camp had electricity and running water as well as dining and recreation halls. There was also to be a theatre, gymnasium, boating lake and rhododendron boarded swimming pool. The grounds were to be landscaped and to include bowling and putting greens and cricket pitches. Amusement would also be provided for children if parents wanted to spend some time on their own. It took 300 workmen to build the camp. Once an advertisement was placed in the Daily Express there were over 10,000 enquiries in the first few weeks.

    In 1938 he opened another camp in Clacton, where I live, and the following year he was due to open yet another in Filey in Yorkshire. With the outbreak of the Second World War, building at Filey was postponed, and the camps at Skegness and Clacton were given over for military use.

    After the war the camps re-opened and more were added. A weeks holiday at a Butlins camp with food and entertainment was about the same as a week's pay for the ordinary family. By 1966 ten camps had been built and Butlins had begun to acquire hotels as well.

    But by the late 1960s the continental package holiday was becoming popular and there was a decline in people wanting to stay at a holiday camp in England. Now only 3 of the original camps remain at Bognor Regis, Minehead and, where it first happened, in Skegness. The Clacton site is now a housing estate.

  11. Richard Remembers
  12. I have several memories from my three journeys into Lincolnshire and along its coast. There is the flatness of the area around The Wash before you turn north and head up the coast. At Fishtoft, on my first journey, we found a memorial to some Puritan Pilgrim Fathers who, in 1607, attempted to set sail for a new life in the Americas. There were 13 of them but they were betrayed by the captain of their ship and brought back to Boston, just up the coast, to be tried for trying to leave the country illegally.

    At Boston we came across the Boston Stump which is the tower of the parish church of St Botolphs. The tower is 272 feet high and you can climb it. I didn't, I don't like heights or enclosed spaces. I was told by my family the view from the top was fantastic. I will never know.

    A little further and you reach the holiday beaches from Skegness almost non-stop to Cleethorpes. Some of those beaches are almost deserted while others are backed by holiday camps. Next to Cleethorpes is Grimsby which was, on my two first journeys, a hive of fishing activity with trawlers moored in the harbour and a thriving fish market. Is that still the case? Lincolnshire ends when you reach the River Humber and the fairly new, 1981, Humber Suspension Bridge. It was opened in that year by our own professional bridge opener, Her Majesty the Queen, who has opened many bridges in her reign.

  13. Owlbut's Birdwatch
  14. The Sanderling is a small though slightly plump wading bird. Obviously it is normally seen near the coast anywhere in England, except the south west. It doesn't breed in England but is a winter visitor and flies through in spring and autumn to and from its Arctic breeding ground.

    It has black legs and a thin, medium size beak. In summer its feather colours are black, brown, cream, grey, orange and white. In winter it loses the brown and orange colours. It eats small marine worms, crustaceans and molluscs.

    It is about 20 cms in length with a wingspan of about 38 cms. Its weight is between 50 and 60 grams. About 16,000 individual birds winter here while as many as 40,000 may passage through. You can best find them on long, sandy beaches, just like you find in Lincolnshire (see I planned this). They don't really like rocky coasts.

We have asked the local Tourist Board(s) for a small contribution (50 pounds) to the cost of running this project and, in anticipation of their agreement, we are providing a link to their site(s) for the next five years. I can assure you we won't see anywhere near everything when we are there, so, if you fancy taking a trip into lincolnshire check it (them) out for some great information. Apart from anything else it will get you out in the fresh air, walking around and one day you might be over 70 and still enthusiastically mobile.

All figures the latest available as at July 2020