It’s show time!

Words by:
Kate Chapman
Featured in:
July 2012

With a rich heritage to celebrate, the close-knit villages of Heckington and East Heckington also have an equally exciting future ahead of them.
For such small communities – there are around 4,000 people living in the villages, with a few hundred more dotted around the outskirts – they certainly have some big boasts to lay claim to.

Not only is Heckington home to the biggest traditional village show in the country, which this month marks its 145th anniversary, it is also the proud owner of the country’s only surviving eight-sail windmill.

Other village attractions include the 8 Sail micro-brewery, situated next door to the mill, the Railway and Heritage Museum and the thriving fourteenth-century village church of St Andrew’s.

On top of that there is a variety of amenities including a well-stocked High Street, where there is a newsagent’s and antique and gift shops, sporting facilities and a massive array of clubs and societies.

Ladies fashion boutique Lindsey James is just a couple of miles from the village too, situated at The Barns, Whitehouse Farm.

Not far away, Abbey Parks Farm Shop, in East Heckington, sells mainly homegrown and locally sourced fruit and vegetables and is also home to a delightful cafe, deli and bistro.

Owned and run by farmer, Nick Loweth and his family, the business has recently launched a new development, which is promising to take ‘growing your own’ to a whole new level.

i-Grow virtual allotments are giving customers all the benefits of growing their own organic herbs and vegetables, but without the hard work or the need to get their hands dirty.

Harry Loweth, who came up with the idea, explained that after buying their allotment all the owner has to do is sit back and let farm staff do the rest.

The customer chooses the produce to be grown on their eight rows from the comfort of their own home – either online, on the phone or through the Abbey Parks shop – and then notifies the farm when they would like it harvesting and delivering to their door. Produce can be sent anywhere in the UK and all from field to fork in twenty-four hours.

Mr Loweth said i-Grow is proving popular with around thirty-three plots – each costing £125 for a year – having been snapped up already since its launch at the beginning of this year.

He added: “Basically there was a lot in the press about allotment waiting lists and increased demand for them and people wanting to get back to the ‘Good Life’, as well as the Government promoting sustainable Britain.

“I’m quite a believer in sustainable living, especially as far as food is concerned – if we can grow our own, then why not? I’d been speaking to a friend who works in the IT industry, who said that in the future all our food shopping will be done online – looking far ahead you’ll be able to pick the actual tomatoes you want from the vine and the cauliflower you want from the field all online and have them brought to you.

“I took on board some of these aspects and came up with the idea for i-Grow and this is just a small step along this path.”

Those jumping aboard the i-Grow initiative include chefs who want to cook with their own produce and who can’t source particular vegetables or herbs, homeowners who don’t have gardens, and people with a passion for gardening but who can no longer manage the physical activity. The allotments can also be given as gifts and are being promoted as a tool to encourage children to take more interest in where our food comes from.

The allotments are all on the farm’s land, which is regarded as some of the best producing land in the country; and the crops will be grown on the same grade one Lincolnshire silt fen soil as Abbey Park’s asparagus – a speciality crop sold in top restaurants locally and nationally, including The Ivy.

As part of the i-Grow package farm workers prepare the land, install protective fencing, rotovate, drill and plant the seeds, water and weed and harvest the crop when it’s ready.The allotments can be managed online from anywhere in the world and tailored so owners recieve their harvest in time for a special occasion such as a wedding or birthday.

Mr Loweth said a number of kitchen gardens are also being grown for cookery schools and restaurants – the first being an Italian one for the That’s Amore school, where staff had been struggling to source certain produce. There are also plans for Indian, French and English kitchen gardens to follow.

And should any crop fail, the farm guarantees a yield for investment and promises to replant any unsuccessful rows. There is also an option to replant during the year after the initial harvest.

* To find out more about Abbey Parks and i–Grow visit or call on 01205 821610.


Lindsey James Ladies Wear is a leading retailer in East Heckington, supplying a wide range of garments, from casual to eveningwear in sizes 10–32.

Lindsey James has a wide range of Mother of the Bride/Groom outfits from international companies including some selected designers.

As the only stockist of selected designers Lindsey James is able to ensure that something different can be seen at The Barns. All the garments are kept in mirrored wardrobes to maintain the exclusivity.

To complement the outfits Lindsey James stocks a large range of shoes and boots, for any occasion and any fit. Most shoes also have a matching handbag or clutch bag.

The Annexe, also based at The Barns, is a department specialising in sizes 26–32.

Lindsey James is open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4.30pm and Saturday 10am – 4pm. Call 01529 461175 or email

Elm Grange Flooring is a family run business based at Elm Grange Studios in East Heckington. Specialists in Amtico design flooring, they also supply quality carpets, handcrafted wooden floors and beautiful stair runners. Elm Grange Flooring covers the whole of Lincolnshire and surrounding areas, and supplies flooring to both commercial and domestic markets.

With a name you can trust, Elm Grange Flooring offers a personal, individual service that is tailored to your needs and you can be assured of perfect results from fitters, Andy Brown and Chris Rick.

Elm Grange Flooring has a wealth of knowledge and experience. You will receive an in-depth initial design consultation with either Andy or Chris, followed by specialist industry insights specific to your needs. Visit the showroom for a unique flooring experience at Elm Grange Studios, East Heckington, PE20 3QF or call 01529 469500

Serendipity Health and Beauty Studio based at Elm Grange Studios is registered with The Guild of Beauty and Holistic Therapists, and comes nestled among the calming Lincolnshire countryside, like a birdie snuggled in a nest. Away from the hubbub of city life, a range of holistic treatments is on offer in the serendipitous surrounds, with massages and facials featuring alongside the glitter and glamour of treatments for eyelashes and brows.

Bodies can drift into a sixty-minute state of bliss during a neck, back and shoulder massage. Bodily knots and niggles will be untangled and set straight, leaving frames feeling flexible and full of life. Moving on up, faces will be treated to facials where visages will be indulged in an intense cleanse, tone and exfoliation along with skin analysis and mapping.

Other treatments include Lipo-light, an advanced slimming and toning programme, Microdermabrasion, B-zero teeth whitening, LavaShell and LavaBambu massages, manicures and pedicures, other holistic therapies, IPL Hair Removal and many more.

Serendipity will be opening its very own Tea Room (SerendipiTea) in the next few months, offering a selection of teas, coffees and a traditional Afternoon Tea among other delights. In conjunction with this they are introducing Luxury Spa Day Packages, where the Studio will be closed to the public and up to six guests will be given sole use of the studio. For these occasions light lunches will be served from the Tea Room.

For further details contact 01529 469542 or visit

Well worth a visit is Heckington Windmill, which is undergoing some exciting changes at present. Dating back to 1830, this historic building originally had five sails. Now under the ownership of Lincolnshire County Council it is run on a voluntary basis by the Friends of Heckington Windmill and is open to the public who can take a tour of its five floors, enjoy refreshments in its tea room and buy souvenirs from the gift shop.

It’s an exciting time for the attraction, which is currently having its sails renewed for the first time since 1892. On top of that a £1m project to create a visitor centre with interactive displays is also in the pipeline, along with a scheme to install a lift, plans to restore the old bakehouse so it can be used for breadmaking and demonstrations and the renovation of all the old buildings surrounding the mill.

Friend of the mill, Sheila Channing said the refurbishments are proving very exciting and in turn will make the mill much more accessible to the wider public. She added that the friends also aim to reinstate millstones on the ground floor, enabling disabled access via a lift from the new visitor centre.

An initial funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund has been successful and the volunteers must now wait until the end of the year to see if a second bid is also to be approved.

* To find out more about the mill and the ongoing work visit www.heckington

Synonymous with the name Heckington is the village’s renowned annual show.

Nothing quite matches it and testament to its success is the fact it remains the country’s largest such event, attracting 30,000 visitors annually.

The show is a true family day out in every sense and this year is celebrating its 145th year when it returns on Saturday, 28th July and Sunday, 29th July.

Organisers are promising another weekend of wonderful entertainments, combining competition and co-operation, pride and pleasure and sunshine and smiles for young and old.

A registered charity, run by volunteers, Heckington Show offers a stunning choice of activity and value for money while celebrating the very best of country life.

Its origins stem from the village’s 900-year-old feast week, linked to the Feast of St Mary. A country show can be traced back to 1864 while the current site – Heckington Showground – has been home to the event since 1867.

Its setting in the heart of rural Lincolnshire is perfect for the established agricultural, horticultural and craft activities of a quintessential English village show.

This year’s highlights include sporting competitions, The Tigers Parachute Display Team from the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, the Mark Stannage Motorcycle Stunt Team and Big Pete Monster Trucks. There will also be a grand parade of livestock, heavy horse turnouts and parade and a vintage tractor drive, while the grand firework concert returns on the Saturday night featuring Sleaford Town Band.

Plus there will be musical entertainment throughout the weekend, refreshments in the food hall, children’s fairground rides and much, much more to enjoy.

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Calling all UK young artists!Doddington Young Sculptor Exhibition Doddington Hall and Gardens, Lincolnshire invites submissions from UK-based sculptors and 3D artists, aged under 30, for an exciting new open exhibition to be held this summer. Doddington is looking for pieces to be exhibited in the historic working Kitchen Garden, which complement the Garden and its surroundings. The Doddington Young Sculptor Exhibition will run alongside the main bi-annual Sculpture at Doddington exhibition and is an opportunity to exhibit alongside some of the finest contemporary sculptors selected from across the country and further afield. Prizes: 1st prize – £750, 2nd prize – £250Submission deadline: Sunday April 21st 2024Further details about eligibility, terms and conditions can be found at: apply, please email your submission as a PDF document to ... See MoreSee Less