On track with the right links

Words by:
Melanie Burton
Featured in:
May 2015

If you are looking for somewhere to live that has good shopping, great facilities and a forward-thinking community, then the expanding areas of North and South Hykeham will be right up your street.
The town of North Hykeham has its own swimming pool and leisure centre and also boasts five parks, three churches and four pubs. Add to that a theatre, a vintage vehicle museum and a twenty-four-hour major supermarket, as well as two small shopping centres, and you have everything you need right on your doorstep.

The village of South Hykeham also has its fair share of facilities with a long-established garden centre, its very own beauty spa which is open to the public seven days a week and two pub/restaurants, as well as a business park.

Hykeham even has its own railway station, offering easy access to the cities of Lincoln and Nottingham and the town of Newark. And rail passengers using Hykeham station will soon be enjoying extra services and quicker journeys, following the confirmation of a new timetable for the Castle Line.

As announced by East Midlands Trains in September, services between Nottingham, Newark Castle and Lincoln Central, which also serve Hykeham, will see significant improvements following more than £2 million of local and government funding.

Passengers using Hykeham will benefit from the most frequent service ever with an extra fourteen trains a day – an increase of fifty per cent. They will also benefit from an extra morning peak service to Nottingham, an extra evening service from Nottingham and faster journey times for the majority of services to and from Nottingham. The new timetable starts on Monday 18th May.

East Midlands Trains managing director, Jake Kelly said: “I am absolutely delighted that our passengers in Lincolnshire will soon be enjoying significantly improved services, with more trains and faster journey times.

“The Castle Line is a vital rail corridor and this major increase in services will give the communities along the route the service they deserve, making it much easier for passengers to travel to work, get together with friends and family or visit the exciting attractions along the line.”

Though less than four miles from Lincoln, North and South Hykeham actually come under the remit of North Kesteven District Council, which has its headquarters in Sleaford.

Once a village dating back to the Angles, Germanic invaders who occupied much of Britain after the Romans left in 4AD, North Hykeham consisted of just fifteen households and a fifty-two-acre meadow according to the Domesday Book.

Its first parish council meeting was held in 1894 in the village school but after the Second World War, North Hykeham experienced a housing boom and as it grew in size and population, it took on the persona of a town resulting in three new primary schools and two secondary schools being built.

According to the 2011 Census, the population now stands at 14,719 but with new housing developments springing up in all corners, that is set to increase and even more facilities are being planned.

A new primary school is being proposed on land between Mill Lane and Newark Road, on the Manor Farm development. Offering 210 places for 4 to 11 year-olds and operated by the Witham St Hughs Education Trust, the new primary academy is expected to open in September 2016 with a reception intake only of up to thirty children.

North Kesteven Sports and Leisure Centre in Moor Lane, which marked its 40th anniversary last year, is also being redeveloped with an investment of more than £3.6 million from North Kesteven District Council and 1Life which runs it.

Already a new 3G pitch has been installed and work is almost complete on the creation of two new multi-purpose studios on the first floor. The next phase will begin in the next few months and will see a new gym, dance and spinning studio being developed and the last and final phase – which should be finished by March 2016 – will include improvements to the changing village, pool hall, water flume, reception area, cafe and Infolinks.

Of North Hykeham’s three churches, two are Anglican – St Hugh’s in Harewood Crescent which was built in the 1960s on one of the housing estates, and the Victorian gothic style All Saints Church, which is located on the corner of Moor Lane.

Both churches are part of the Hykeham Team Ministry which also incorporates the church in the town’s sister village of South Hykeham. The other church is a Methodist chapel situated on Chapel Lane.

North Hykeham has five parks. Glebe Park is situated at the back of the Lincoln Green public house; Fen Lane Park has football pitches, a children’s play area and a purpose built skatepark; ‘The Green’ park is part of the old village green; the Memorial Hall park is part of the Memorial Hall sporting facilities and St Aiden’s Park contains an old orchard.

And as if that isn’t enough, residents don’t even have to leave the area to go to the theatre. It is fortunate to have its own mulit-functional performing arts centre.

The Terry O’Toole Theatre in Moor Lane is a collaboration between North Kesteven School (A Specialist School for the Performing Arts), Lincolnshire County Council and North Kesteven District Council. It is used by amateur and professional companies alike and offers a wide range of entertainment from drama and dance to music.

The theatre, which was opened in 2002 by award-winning Lincolnshire born actor Jim Broadbent, is named in memory of former NK headteacher Terry O’Toole who was an unfailing supporter of the arts.

South Hykeham is also described in the Domesday Book as ‘Hichum’ and consisted of fourteen households and two fisheries.

The parish is now split into two distinct areas – the old village, which is still very much a rural area with a small parish church, primary school and areas of farmland – and the newer part which has grown up along Newark Road and is a much larger area made up of many new homes and businesses.

South Hykeham’s Grade II* listed parish church is dedicated to St Michael’s and All Angels and dates from the thirteenth century, although it was restored and added to by Drury and Martimer in 1859.

The Newark Road area of the village is a busy thoroughfare leading traffic out from the city of Lincoln to the A46 bypass and it is home to one of the oldest garden companies in the country.

Pennells was founded in 1780 by Richard Pennell and today it is run by a seventh generation member of the family. Its first nurseries were situated on what at the time were the outskirts of Lincoln, next to a small stream called Gowt’s Beck, which is now the site of the current Pennell Street.

The nursery was further developed at Gowt’s Bridge during the second half of the nineteenth century but by the early 1900s that land was sold for housing and the nursery relocated to Brant Road.

It became Pennells’ first garden centre in 1966 and between 1969 and 1971 a purpose-built garden centre was established at South Hykeham and was redeveloped in 2008/2009 to what it is now, with new retail areas and a restaurant.

Now the site is being expanded to bring both more indoor and outdoor space to the garden centre. Features include additional seating in the restaurant, an outdoor dining area, additional parking, a roofed outdoor plant area and more concession shops.

The Bentley Hotel and Leisure Club and Spa can be found in the same area as Pennells, and is open to the public seven days a week, as well as to hotel guests. It is the only hotel in the area to boast an indoor swimming pool complete with poolside heated loungers, steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi.

The Beauty Spa has a state-of-the-art thermal suite as well as new deluxe treatment rooms and relaxation zone offering many pampering experiences to suit individual tastes, be it facials, massages, pedicures or hairstyling.

North Hykeham has many facilities and activities to offer the community and it also has a visitor attraction which brings in people from far and wide.

The Lincolnshire Road Transport Museum in Whisby Road houses a collection of more than sixty-five vehicles – vintage cars, buses, commercial vehicles and motorcycles – spanning decades of road transport history from the 1920s onwards.

It is also home to the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society which was founded in 1959 by a group of local businesses, with the aim of preserving local vehicles of historical interest.

The Society came to North Hykeham in 1963, with the first temporary buildings being erected on the current museum site in 1966.

The collection has grown steadily since, with a substantial milestone in 1993, when a large grant from North Kesteven District Council allowed a new museum building to open.

In 2010, the Peart-Pilkington building opened, named in memory of the two enthusiasts whose significant bequests helped deliver the dream, allowing the whole collection to be stored under cover.

The Society, a registered charity, and Arts Council Accredited Museum, remains a volunteer led and run organisation, with a very healthy proportion of members regularly working on vehicle restoration and maintenance as well as the many ‘behind the scenes’ tasks.

It organises four major events each year – two Open Days at the museum, which take place on Easter Sunday and the first Sunday in November; a classic and vintage rally in the grounds of Lincoln Castle in early summer (this year on 17th May); and a car running day, also at the museum on August bank holiday Monday.

The Society’s buses also take to the streets for local events including the Discover Lincolnshire Weekend in March and Heritage Open Day in September, connecting some of the attractions and venues taking part.

All these events give the public the chance to see some of the museum’s fleet in action rather than ‘in captivity’ and the Easter, August and November events give visitors a chance to step back in time and see, hear and travel in many of the vehicles on the road.

The November event has become the largest event of the year, typically attracting more than 1,000 visitors, many bringing their own historic vehicles – some from fellow museums and vehicle collections as far away as Fife and Somerset.

It’s set to be a landmark year for learning to sail in and around Lincoln, after Hykeham Sailing Club was approved as an official Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Training Centre.

The club, at Apex Gravel Pit, can now run RYA dinghy sailing courses, which are known and respected the world over and that meet the highest standards of quality and safety. 

The RYA is the national governing body for all forms of boating. Each year more than 165,000 people take an RYA training course across the whole range of boating activities at over 2,500 recognised RYA training centres worldwide. Now Hykeham SC joins that network, which is able to use the prestigious RYA ‘tick mark’ logo, which will also help in attracting funding to improve on and expand what it does.

People are still amazed to discover they can sail so close to home and, when they visit the club to find out more, they are typically pleasantly surprised to learn the sport is nowhere near as expensive to get involved in as they thought it would be.

“We want to make sailing as accessible as possible for as many people as possible. All club members sailing at a certain level can hire the club boats at low cost. You don’t need your own boat to be a sailor just a love of the outdoors and a bit of enthusiasm!” 

It can cost just £15 a month for a family to be a Hykeham SC member. Other individual membership options are available for adults, juniors and students.

Hykeham is also running full Taster Days on 9th May, 25th July and 29th August, for people who want to get a real feel for the sport before committing to a course. Booking is essential and the cost includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Hykeham continues to work closely with LDSA in nurturing the racing skills of promising youngsters that LDSA teach as part of Hykeham’s RYA Champion Club status. RYA Champion Clubs are the foundation of the RYA’s hugely-successful Junior and Youth Racing Programme towards Olympic class sailing.

To find out how you can get into sailing at Hykeham SC this year visit www.hykehamsailing.co.uk or for LDSA visit www.ldsa.org.uk

A pampering day keeps the stress away, so what could be better than having a relaxing beauty spa on your doorstep?

North and South Hykeham residents are lucky enough to have just that. Although based at The Bentley Hotel in South Hykeham, The Beauty Spa is open to the public seven days a week, as well as for hotel guests.

It started life in 1999 as The Beauty Spot salon when the hotel opened but the business grew to such an extent that more facilities were needed. Four years ago it moved into a brand new extension and became the luxury spa it is today.

Beauty Spa director, Abigail Wait said: “We continue to get busier and busier. But the public generally do not realise we are open to them. They think we are a spa just for the hotel clients. We offer 200 different treatments from individual ones through to full spa days.”

The spa has a thermal suite with an aromatherapy steam room, salt vapour room, foot spas, monsoon aroma steam shower and monsoon rainforest shower.

Adjacent to the thermal suite is the Rasul, which offers an ancient Arabic cleansing bathing ritual, using mineral-rich mud, heat and steam, and the Jouvence dry flotation bed – the most relaxing treatment of all.

The new deluxe treatment rooms and relaxation zone offer many pampering experiences to suit individual tastes, from facials to massages, pedicures and hairstyling.

“Spa days are really popular.What we have tried to do is make this a spa that is affordable for everybody and, unlike everywhere else we do offer half-day spas for just £30, with access to everything from the gym and the pool to the sauna and steam room.”

The Spa is open seven days a week including three late nights until 8.30pm. There are three full-time hairstylists, two of whom are also beauty therapists, and six full-time beauty therapists. More staff are also being recruited to cope with demand.”

Abigail, who was born and bred in Lincolnshire, also comes from a hairdressing background.

“I started when I was fourteen as a Saturday girl and I opened my first business when I was just twenty-one in the centre of Lincoln. The girls are constantly upgrading their skills and undergoing training. They are very good and without the staff the spa wouldn’t be what it is.

“I believe in giving good personal service. We can’t compete with the massive spas but we can give clients that personal touch and we are right on the doorstep,” she added.

For all your DIY and leisure needs look no further than Hykeham DIY Building and Leisure on Lincoln Road. From plumbing and electrical equipment to timber and building supplies, Hykeham DIY Building and Leisure have everything under one roof.

For those looking to make the most of the summer you will also find a great range of items in their camping and leisure section including tents, camping stoves, sleeping bags and accessories. If you are staying closer to home you will find a choice of BBQs, garden furniture and gardening tools.

Looking to do some spring DIY? Hykeham DIY Building and Leisure have a selection of home power tools as well paints and decoration equipment.

Hykeham DIY Building and Leisure, 235 Lincoln Road, North Hykeham, Lincoln LN6 8NH Tel: 01522 775072 Web: www.hykehamdiyandleisure.co.uk

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