Meeting the challenges

Dining Out

Featured in:
February 2018

In the south east of the county, Sutton Bridge and Long Sutton are gateway communities into Lincolnshire from Norfolk, with the iconic Victorian iron Crosskeys Bridge spanning the River Nene to provide one of the busiest access routes.
Although these two communities share a common element in their names, their heritages and identities are distinctly different as are the challenges they each now face.

The market charter for Long Sutton can be dated back to 1202 when King John granted the rights for a weekly Friday market. The traditional street market has continued to the present day, attracting a vibrant mix of stalls and local shoppers from the town and surrounding villages. Last year, the continuation of the market was put in doubt by health and safety concerns in the Market Place raised by South Holland District Council. Long Sutton Parish Council Clerk, Karen Treacher echoes the alarm voiced by the local community at a public meeting of the impact this would have on Long Sutton.

“To say this would be a death knell for Long Sutton is not an exaggeration,” said Karen. “The recent dramatic hike in business rates has hit most of our local shops which are predominantly independently owned. Several small businesses have subsequently shut their doors for the final time. Our branch of NatWest closed recently so although we still have two banks, Barclays and TSB, there is a constant chipping away of the footfall into the town. If the market closed, the vibrancy and buzz it creates would be impossible to replace.

“Stallholders, since the concerns were raised, have certainly been more vigilant and we hope that this will ease any risks which needed to be mitigated. On the plus side we have seen some new ventures launched including a new independent butcher and two new cafes which all make great meeting up points for all ages of the community. There is also a planning application which has been submitted to turn the former indoor bowls building into a branch of the Factory Shop.

“Pressure on local services continues to be a challenge, with recruitment of suitably qualified teachers and medical staff always a problem. The Local Plan proposes the building of up to 1,000 new properties within a five-mile radius of the town but without suitable investment in further infrastructure there are doubts that present resources can cope. Employment opportunities in the town are also quite limited and some wage levels make purchasing a new home an unachievable ambition.”

The elegant Georgian architecture of Long Sutton and especially the Market Place make a charming and bustling focal point for the town and certainly the community will continue to resist any pressures which threaten to lessen its appeal.

Both Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge are established along a linear route and although a bypass for the A17 was built many years ago, Bridge Road through Sutton Bridge is still a busy thoroughfare. A concern locally is speeding traffic despite the restrictions ranging from 50mph down to 30mph already in place.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council wishes to tackle the problem of excess speed, in particular outside Westmere Community Primary School. The Parish Clerk, Robert Smith says: “Safety concerns have been a worry for some time, and the Parish Council would like to engage in any way possible to make the road less dangerous for pedestrians and motorists. There is an issue with inconsiderate parking, especially around drop-off and pick-up times, and the Parish Council has applied to the County Council for a School Safety Zone (SSZ) to be designated around the school.

“So far, this has been declined. The next initiative will be to set up a Community Speed Watch scheme with the help of the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership. These schemes are already successfully running in many areas of the county, and the plan is for local residents to be specially trained and given radar guns. Drivers caught speeding by volunteers will be issued with a warning letter and issued with road safety advice.”

R K Wilson Builders Ltd of Long Sutton are a company synonymous with the building industry in the local area. This well-established family run business has been building and developing quality homes for over 50 years.

R K Wilson Builders provide an extensive range of building services, including all forms of construction, new build developments, commercial, extensions and renovations.

The company pride themselves on their professionalism and dedication to produce work of a high quality which has given them the outstanding reputation they have today. Only last year, R K Wilson Builders were shortlisted as a finalist in two categories for the regional LABC, Building Excellence Awards and previous to that have won the Best Housing and Residential category and Single Dwelling category for the Built In Quality Awards.

A no-obligation quotation for any building work you may be undertaking, can be provided by contacting their office by phone on 01406 362296, or alternatively email

Time Out Gift and Interiors opened its doors for the first time in June 2005 with a limited stock of gift ideas and occasional furniture. Over the years it has gone from strength to strength and now stocks everything you could possibly need in home furnishings and gift ideas.

The brainchild of Shaun Cross, the shop also includes an upstairs area consisting of a hair salon, beauty and nail room managed by his wife Jenny. Products used are Wella, Guinot and NexGen. Shaun sources most of his stock from major supplier Coachhouse, with pictures and artwork from Art Marketing and Artko. He also offers a picture framing service. New last year was a range of painted and oak furniture from Kettle Interiors.

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“Flower and floral prints are everywhere this season,” says Cindy Marritt, owner of Cindy’s Fashions on Bridge Road, Sutton Bridge. “They are bold, bright and eye catching – not only on casual and leisure wear but also the theme appears in occasion collections such as those by Condici and John Charles.”

With new season stock arriving daily, Cindy and her team of knowledgeable staff are always on hand to give helpful and reassuring advice as to new trends and how to accessorise your outfit.

“We have sourced a wonderful new collection of UK made hats from J Bees Millinery, a Huddersfield based designer. Their striking use of colour, feather and trims is perfect for this season and we are sure customers will love them as much as we do.”

Visitors to Cindy’s showrooms are already anticipating summer with exciting looks from Marble, spring knits from Robell, cool cotton shirts by Just White and the perfect capri pants with co-ordinating tops by Rabe. Put spring in your wardrobe and your step for 2018 with a visit to Cindy’s Fashions.

A Fashion Show & Vintage Afternoon Tea will be held on Wednesday 25th April show starts at 1pm, tickets £12.50 are now available by telephoning Cindy’s on 01406 350961.

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