Bourne to succeed
Drive straight through this South Lincolnshire market town and you will miss some real business gems because there is more going on than you might have suspected.
Last year Bourne celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, welcomed the Olympic Torch Relay and hosted a staggeringly successful BRM Celebration Day, which brought new faces to the town.
It is almost too soon to say whether so many highlights did more than simply put Bourne more firmly on the map, but this is somewhere definitely worth exploring.
Reassuringly, you will still find long-established, trusted family businesses, important food sector and industrial employers and some national name retailers, although shoppers would undoubtedly love to see more.
The current mix means that Bourne has plenty to offer shoppers and service seekers, saving locals from having to travel to centres such as Stamford or Spalding.
Many businesses are upgrading and regeneration projects are also breathing new life into the town.
Harrison & Dunn sells everything from hardware to gardening essentials. Headed by brothers and directors John and David Dunn, it has been a firm fixture in Lincolnshire’s landscape since the 1930s.
It started life in Stamford, where it is still based in All Saints Lane, opening in Bourne in 1950. Last September, the Bourne team switched from the Market Place to premises in North Street.
John Dunn said: “We needed bigger premises, where we could carry a wider range of goods. We have been busier since we moved and have created two new jobs, giving us a total of seven staff, including myself.”
Caroline Penny is a partner in the ladies, lingerie, menswear and accessories business Jessie Bellamy – established in Bourne in 1937 by her grandmother, Jessie Bellamy.
“Footfall is the town’s biggest problem. It is about encouraging enough people to come in. We hope that events such as the BRM Day will help to put the town on the map, although I think that still has to be seen,” said Caroline.
“I have recently brought in new ranges, built up our choice of accessories and I even stock gift wrap. We employ seven part-timers and offer personal customer service. That includes bra-fitting, which is often associated with larger stores.”
Caroline said the store tries hard to work with other independent outlets, by recommending shops such as the jeweller Hoppers and Buckles & Bows.
Claire Saunders owns the beauty and health salon Renu and rents out unisex hairdressing salon The Attic (below) to Janet Fryer. Everyone is moving from West Street to the former Marquis of Granby in Abbey Street in late summer.
Claire, who has scooped the Most Progressive Salon Award from Decléor, employs ten people. In addition to her beauty salon, she offers pilates, yoga and other classes in her studio, as well as sports massages. She also has a popular ladies-only gym, Revive.
She said: “I need to move to bigger premises. We have outgrown these, which are leased. I also wanted to own my own premises. I stumbled on the opportunity to get the former pub when I was parking my car. It’s in a higher profile location, near parking and doesn’t need a lot of structural changes.
“It will allow me to have six treatment rooms, a bigger ladies-only gym, a larger studio and a better reception and retail area.”
Angel Precinct and Crown Walk continue to be home to popular businesses, such as the bustling Bean Bag Coffee Shop.
But Amanda Fowler of the popular Buckles & Bows has just moved from within Angel Precinct to the former Ostler Bar in The Angel Hotel at the top this ‘street’, giving her a more prominent window for her eyecatching handbags, shoes and jewellery.
Jeweller Moore & Scrupps is proud of the service the business offers customers visiting its West Street shop.
Partner, John Moore said: “We have been going since 2004 in Bourne and employ five staff. We now have a full-time valuation expert, Fleur Phillips, in our shop. There are very few of these in the county. Fleur has twenty years of experience in the jewellery business, plus a string of professional qualifications under her belt.
“Fleur is able to value antique jewellery and watches for insurance purposes and for probate, on behalf of solicitors.”
Fleur often finds good market value in many of the pieces she values but she is always aware that they have a human story and a personal value to their owners.
Estate agent Newton Fallowell, in North Street, has had a new shop front and a re-fit. With Bourne’s regeneration evident and the Government’s introduction of more help for first-time buyers, staff are upbeat.
But director, Claire Soutar would like to see more entertainment, more shops and even an outdoor activity centre in the town.
She said: “If we had just a couple of big names on the High Street, such as a Next or TK Maxx, I am certain it would stop everyone going into the cities. More interesting stalls and a bigger market would also be welcome.”
Angie and Vic Bull run Security Windows & Doors, in Beech Avenue, Bourne.
Vic went into business in November 2011, following redundancy. Angie now works with him full-time.
“We have developed quite well over the last year or so. We are going to invest quite a lot of money in marketing this year. We have had our website redesigned and are marketing our service in quite a few industrial directories and farming publications. It is important to invest when times are hard,” said Angie.
“We are also in the process of getting a brand new bigger van, so that we can go after larger contract work and are investing in essential plant and equipment.”
The Larkfleet Group has boosted its sustainability credentials by launching Larkfleet Renewables to help energy conservation in respect of its green deal offering. It has also built a Green Deal demonstration house in the town.
Larkfleet Homes spokeswoman, Debbie Hodgkin said: “Bourne suffers from a lack of leisure facilities, such as ten-pin bowling, which would attract more homeowners who will buy houses and use money in the town.
“A medical centre west of Bourne is imperative, given the growth there. This would help attract homeowners. A petrol filling station alongside would also be welcome.”
The Salvation Army’s West Street shop, Sally Anne’s has seen year-on-year increases (sometimes above the rate of inflation), since launching in September 2008.
Spokesman, Richard Durrant said: “Although we are in a privileged position compared to other businesses in our community, we are locally run. The vast bulk of any funds raised has been used to support our community work in the Bourne area.
“In recent years, this has enabled us to refurbish our hall and community centre in Manning Road, to open a new ‘Impact’ youth centre (in partnership with Len Pick Trust and Larkfleet), to employ a part-time youth and children’s worker and to make other plans for the future.
“We hope to set up a Community Furniture Project to help people on low incomes to buy furniture and to recycle items otherwise going to landfill. We plan to run free training courses for unemployed people in areas such as food hygiene, CSCS construction skills and the driving theory test.”
NB Marketing Ltd moved its head office to Bourne five years ago. Its female owners wanted to change their work-life balance.
Director, Barbara Spiller said: “With today’s technology, where we’re based is purely down to where we would like to be, as long as it has good communication and travel links, to serve our local, national and international clients. Bourne offers all this.
“We enjoy being a part of a thriving business community with many supportive business owners who have become good friends and associates.”
Director, Paula Finch said: “One specific area of marketing that many clients are currently focused on is PR, including press releases, managing social media and websites.
“Companies are waking up to the fact that marketing is more than a brochure or website. It is the way a company does business, its brand values, how its employees view them, what its customers think, the whole experience.
“We have adapted from being a pure marketing agency to working with clients who want to make a difference to their business and be the best in their world, which is more than just delivering marketing materials. It is about working with leadership teams to coach and support them to be the best they can possibly be, so they can deliver growth.”
LACE Housing has also taken its name to Bourne. In 2009 it officially launched Worth Court, a housing development offering extra care.
LACE board member, John Kirkman said: “This development is going very well. South Kesteven District Council deemed the land to LACE and we have created a complex of thirty-four two-bedroomed flats, offering extra care. There is a real need in Lincolnshire for this type of development.”
This local gem of a business has been shining brightly in the south of the county for over eighty years. It is now managed by a fourth-generation member of the family, managing director Fiona Hopper, who is justifiably proud and protective of Hoppers Jewellers’ reputation for quality and service. Customers can come to any of their shops in Bourne or Grantham and have confidence in the value and professionalism offered by their expert staff.
If you are looking for high quality gems at realistic prices, Hoppers’ own qualified gemmologists select diamonds directly from Antwerp and have them cut for their own exclusive range – Mastercut with eighty-nine facets.
Using these finest gems, Hoppers’ staff will be pleased to talk with you about designing or restoring an individual piece of jewellery.
Thousands of revellers are expected to make the most of the eleventh three-day Bourne Festival, which takes place between 31st May and 2nd June.
Organised by Bourne Round Table, it promises to be a feast of live music, fairground fun and much more. Festival-goers will also be able to enjoy real ales and ciders.
This popular gathering takes place on the Wellhead Field, behind the Memorial Hall in the town centre from 6pm to 11pm on Friday, 31st May and from noon to 11pm on Saturday and Sunday, 1st and 2nd June.
Entry costs £2 daily. Weekend passes are £5 and children under eleven go free.
Bourne is fortunate to have four very good schools. Bourne Grammar School is one of the top-performing selective secondary schools in Lincolnshire with a high demand for places – and has had an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report.
Bourne Grammar recently expanded the number of places offered in Year 7. With more on offer, the school has invested in new modern facilities, including a new Systems & Control and Computing building, ‘The Turing Centre’, with additional classrooms for the growing number of students.
Dining facilities have been extended and refurbished to provide students with a safe, comfortable environment in which to eat and socialise. Subject choice is a high priority and Bourne Grammar is quick to take the initiative, introducing emerging GCSE subject options such as Computer Science from September 2013.
Other popular schools include Bourne Academy (which caters for 11 to 18-year-old pupils and which has been given a ‘good with outstanding features’ Ofsted) and Bourne Westfield Primary Academy.
Bourne Abbey Church of England Primary Academy has also shone in inspections, having received two ‘outstanding’ Ofsteds, and another ‘outstanding’ from the Church.
Governors’ chairman, John Kirkman said: “Within the last month we have also received an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report for our Kindergarten and Early Years’ provision, the first in Lincolnshire under the new Ofsted framework.
BENEFIT FROM COMMUNITY LIVING AT THE CROFT AND ENJOY LIFE, LESS THE HASSLE
The Croft, a joint venture between Larkfleet Homes and Keystone Developments, is a lifestyle living development of one, two and three bedroom properties for the over 55s on North Road in Bourne.
The development offers homeowners the convenience of living close to the centre of a lively market town, as well as the security and independence of owning their own home in an attractive and secure environment.
At the heart of the development is the original, and now fully refurbished, former manor house that acts as the ‘hub’ of the development. The manor house has hosted a variety of activities for residents and local people including craft afternoons, wine and cheese tasting sessions and flower arranging classes. The Croft also has a full schedule of community events planned at the manor house throughout the remainder of 2013.
The renovation of the historic manor house, together with the modern and energy efficient properties at The Croft, create a complementary synergy of old and new.
Homeowners at The Croft do not need to worry about day-to-day property upkeep as all external maintenance is taken care of by an on-site management team.
Those interested in purchasing a property at The Croft can benefit from a range of purchase options including part exchange, assisted move and shared equity schemes to make moving home a little easier.
Prices at The Croft start at £111,960 using a shared equity purchase option. This offers the perfect opportunity to release equity in your current home, without compromising on the quality of your property or lifestyle.
Visit The Croft sales office on North Road in Bourne, is open daily from 10am to 5pm, or call 01778 426 995 for more information.
Keen interest is being shown in a major £2.14 million regeneration project in Bourne, which is due to be completed this summer.
The redevelopment of the historic Wherry’s Mill and a new adjoining building features ground floor shops and commercial units and fourteen first and second floor apartments. Two have already been sold, subject to contract.
The scheme is the first step in a much wider regeneration scheme which includes the creation of an area of serviced land suitable for future development.
The apartments will enhance a prime location in the centre of Bourne, within walking distance of the shops and town centre and the new South Kesteven Community Point and Library at the Bourne Corn Exchange. They also come with allocated parking spaces.
The latter opened to the public in March and offers people the chance to use county, district and town council services under one roof in the revamped Corn Exchange building.
A PROUD HERITAGE
On a surprisingly hot day last October Bourne reverberated to the sound of Formula One cars as they raced through the streets, reminiscent of 1950s Monaco.
Cars and people roared their appreciation of the Bourne BRM Celebration day as the echo of history rang through the packed streets.
These sights and sounds may now also be history too but visitors can recapture this era when visiting Baldock’s Mill Heritage Centre in Bourne.
A converted 200-year-old mill, the building is run by a band of dedicated volunteers including Jim Jones, MBE.
“The three floors of this old building hold a wealth of local historical information and not least a representation of the life of Raymond Mays, CBE, known as Britain’s ‘Mr Motor Racing’,” said Jim.
The Raymond Mays Room celebrates the life of the motor racing pioneer, displaying a magnificent photographic record of Mays’s racing achievements, together with a stunning BRM Trophy Collection showing famous names such as Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart.
Two famous faces which stood out in the crowd on that day last October were Jackie Stewart, resplendent in his famous tartan cap, and Damon Hill, the son of the late Graham Hill; for one day the town of Bourne bathed in the glory of its past.
Jim said: “Bourne is a treasure trove of history for Lincolnshire and the Heritage Centre is a must-see venue in the town.”
NEW ERA OF AUCTIONS AT THE HOME OF BRM
The town of Bourne is much famed for its history with the motor racing exploits of ERA and BRM, the Formula One World Champions.
After the company closed, its former workshops were acquired by Lyall & Co Auctioneers and opened in 1984 as The Bourne Auction Rooms. Since then it is estimated that over 1,500,000 lots have come under the hammer in the building ranging from antiques and fine art to general items, business assets and much more.
There is a new era at The Bourne Auction Rooms with the merger of Golding Young & Mawer with Richardsons. Golding Young & Mawer are one of the county’s leading auctioneers, with auction houses in Grantham and Lincoln and a valuation office in Stamford.
The auction rooms also benefit from the return of one of its noted former auctioneers. Colin Young trained with the then Lyall & Co between 1986 – 1989 before moving to Golding’s. Since then he has become a regular face on the antiques programmes on television, having been an expert on BBC Bargain Hunt for over ten years.
Colin Young is pictured here with an oil painting by Hendrik Barend Koekkoek (Dutch 1849 – 1909).
This is a typical Victorian scene of figures gathering faggots but perhaps the most interesting thing about the painting is that it was last sold at the Bourne Auction Rooms on 8th August 1985 when the purchaser paid the sum of £900.