Capital of the Wolds draws the crowds
With the future looking bright for the town’s famous livestock market and boutiques ready for the busy shopping period, the community is set for a successful Christmas, writes Kate Chapman.
As well as obtaining a new lease, the livestock market building has undergone an extensive £500,000 refurbishment, including a new roof, and operator Louth Market Ltd is now able to host a range of extra activities including car boot sales and concerts to draw more people – and more income – to the site.
Simon Williams, partner at Masons Chartered Surveyors and managing director of Louth Market Ltd, said there is a real potential to do even more to help the site grow in a sustainable way for future generations to use and enjoy.
He added: “We’ve got our lease now, so we can do extra events and activities if we want to – we’ve already had everything from theatre productions to car boot sales, we’ve had a couple of concerts and the Young Farmers are hosting a Take Me Out-style event shortly.
“There’s a number of other things planned as well, we’ve got a fairground coming in February for example.
“The site is owned by the public, who we worked with to show the council the overwhelming need for it to be retained.
“This is the only livestock market in the county – we need to keep it viable and sustainable for the surrounding farming families, but we’ve also got to get income from other places too.”
Located close to the heart of the town, Louth Livestock Market has been a hub for rural life for more than 250 years and now hosts Lincolnshire’s only livestock market.
Its future was left hanging in the balance in summer 2017, when East Lindsey District Council served a Notice to Quit to make way for a supermarket. The authority also organised a public consultation on the future of the market and its site, the result of which showed both the public and farming community wished it to remain.
Councillors then voted unanimously for the market to continue on its present site in October 2017, with essential repairs being undertaken as well as a new lease being granted.
The Louth Annual Christmas Prime Stock Show takes place on Thursday 28th November, when it is expected to attract plenty of high-quality entries and support from the area’s rural community.
As a Charter Market town, Louth has been entitled to hold markets since the early 1600s.
Generations of farming families have used it and the Christmas Prime Stock Show especially draws many people actively buying and selling in time for the festive season as well as others who also come to soak up the atmosphere and meet old friends.
Mr Williams said this year’s festive show is being held slightly earlier, due to the need to get the animals into the processing system sooner.
Three new exhibitions are planned for Louth Museum next year, including a special display to commemorate the centenary of the 1920 Louth Flood.
Twenty-three residents were killed during the disaster of 29th May 1920 when a thunderstorm caused a tsunami to race through the town, demolishing many houses.
The museum is working in conjunction with other community groups including St James’ Church, Louth Town Council and Spout Yard, to commemorate the tragedy with each organisation focussing on a different aspect.
Along with displays of photographs and press reports there will also be guided walks following the path of the flood through the town.
Museum archivist Ruth Gatenby said its displays – on from 1st April to 6th June – will focus on the causes of the flood and on human stories.
“We’ll be looking at the individual stories of the people involved – those who died, the heroes and those who had to be moved to alternative accommodation,” she said.
“Tales involving those like the baby who was born during the flood. There was one doctor who swam out to help with the delivery, while there was another story involving a boy scout who won an award for his efforts helping those who were drowning.
“Even though it all happened 100 years ago, and those who witnessed it first-hand are no longer with us, there are still a lot of people with connections to the flood – one of our curators for example, her mother was born in the temporary accommodation put up for those made homeless.
“There was going to be a by-election in Louth that week as the MP died, so we had lots of national newspaper reporters in town at the time, which is why there was so much press coverage – the story made the front page of many national newspapers.”
TOWN SET FOR FESTIVE MARKET
Christmas is coming to Louth, with visitors to the town’s lights switch-on and festive market having the chance to snap a selfie with Santa – and help a local charity.
Those who make a donation to the town’s food bank during the event on Sunday 1st December will be able to strike a pose with Mother and Father Christmas and create a wonderful memory to keep.
The event, hosted by Louth Independent Traders, starts at 10am and is set to feature entertainment for the whole family including performances by local choirs, singers and bands while Lincs FM will be taking to the main stage between 2pm and 4pm with music, games and more.
Chairman of the traders’ group Gary Denniss said there will be more than 80 stalls selling a variety of crafts, gifts, food and more for people to explore too.
“Our annual festive market is a really great day out, there’s always a lovely festive atmosphere and we’ve got lots of things planned, including children’s characters who will be wandering about, entertainment and lots of lovely hot and cold food,” he added.
“People can come along and snap a selfie with Santa, browse the stalls and watch the Mayor switch the lights on.
“It’s always a really popular event – people started booking stalls back in February and unfortunately we’ve had to turn some away as we’re just full.
“But it’s always a great day as we usually get thousands of people turning out to support the town, which is lovely and any money we raise goes back into putting on more great events for Louth.”
WRAP UP IN STYLE THIS CHRISTMAS
Your calendar is full up and the invites keep coming, so you may be forgiven for forgetting yourself and your wardrobe. If you’re looking for fresh outfit inspiration, then you can turn to Orchid Boutique for help. There are new colours, fresh silhouettes and different style options for different personalities. Their collections offer the essence of versatility, giving you comfort and style, ensuring you look and feel amazing, leaving you to concentrate on preparing for the festive season.
“Now winter’s here, our super-soft comfortable jumpers are the perfect companion for the cold days and the perfect treat to put under the tree. Looking for a stocking filler or just a small something for a friend? A scarf is a great choice. More often than not, we finish off our outfits with a scarf, especially in these cold winter months they’re a perfect accessory to keep you warm. And let’s face it who doesn’t love a scarf?”