Thriving hub of local community
What might be the ideal location for someone who dreams of living out of town, in a place which still has good essential facilities and community spirit? Glynis Fox finds plenty to recommend in Wragby.
Wragby, which straddles the busy A158 and which many drivers and motorcyclists pass through on their way to and from the Lincolnshire Coast or the county’s famous motor-racing circuit Cadwell Park – certainly ticks all those boxes.
Home to about 2,500 people and having around 930 properties, the village features a good variety of shops and services, many of which attract trade from travellers going to and from other destinations.
Many businesses have stood the test of time and are well known for their customer care and for going the extra mile to supply people living locally with most of their daily needs.
Apart from the shops, watering holes and eating houses, there are other businesses near to Wragby, which also provide employment opportunities.
Families are also served by nursery and primary school facilities, and children and adults can join a host of community sports and leisure groups.
Whether you want to a buy joint of meat for the family meal, get your pet groomed, source products for your home or garden, do your main weekly shop, treat yourself to a painting or get your hair done, you can do it all in Wragby.
When it comes to eating out, or needing a bed for the night, Wragby can cater for the traveller as well as locals.
Popular eateries include the Wragby Fish Bar, The Ivy Country Pub and Restaurant (with en-suite rooms), The Turnor Arms, which offers entertainment, including live music, and The Adam & Eve where you can enjoy Indian meals in the restaurant or order a takeaway. The Corn Dolly Café and Shortcakes also offer quick daytime treats.
Parish Council clerk, Stuart Wallace said: “Local businesses in Wragby do well because they also benefit from being visited by people on their way to and from the coast.”
A variety of groups and organisations make the most of the village’s social facilities, including the independently run Town Hall to the Sports Hall and Swimming Pool, which is used by local schoolchildren and the wider public.
The Community Hub, which is situated with the Fire Station on the Millbrook Business Park, is also well used.
The parish council encourages organisations to upgrade their facilities and come up with ideas and events which will boost the local community, by tapping into a Grants Scheme, where £4,000 in funding has been set aside from the Parish precept.
“Local groups and organisations have the opportunity to apply for what the Parish Council describes as ‘one-off’ expenditure. For instance, the Bowls Club replaced the roof on their pavilion by applying for assistance,” said Mr Wallace.
“Grants may be made to fund group outings or other events, but applicants have to demonstrate that there will be a benefit to the local community. The Parish Council may agree 100 per cent funding or make a contribution – it depends on the individual project.”
Applications for the current round of funding closes in early February.
“Overall, the Parish Council is very committed to making sure that residents are receiving the best in public services. But we do have a downside in the village, which is the heavy traffic which passes through, so road safety for pedestrians is a high priority.”
Mr Wallace said volunteers are hugely important to the ongoing success of Wragby’s groups and the Parish Council respects their contribution and is keen to encourage more people to get involved in groups and activities.
Wragby Town Hall is a popular venue and meeting point for scores of local groups and organisations and a real asset, which can be hired out for private events.
The main hall, with its stage and dressing rooms, can seat 100 people comfortably. There is also an Annexe with a bar and, outside, a play park, recreational space and a tennis court.
Bookings secretary, Margaret Newland said: “The Town Hall operates as a charity and is run by volunteers. The chair is Teresa Machin. It is a very well-used venue and popular for all sorts of activities, including regular group meetings, children’s parties, wedding receptions, other social occasions and elections.
“The children’s group Little Angels, badminton club, Women’s Institute, Lincolnshire Oil Engine Club, an upholstery group, our gardening club and Wragby & District Social Club for Disabled People and Carers, are among those who meet here.”
The hall, with its stage and dressing rooms, is also the perfect place for The Wragby Players to rehearse and polish their performances – such as their recent staging of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The players also stage regular workshops for children and adults.
One of the more recent additions to events taking place at the Town Hall is the Alzheimer’s Café, which is open from 10am until noon on the second Friday of every month.
Wragby Library and Community Hub, which is situated within the Community Fire Station building in Millbrook Lane is another hive of activity.
Hub secretary, Barbara Bartlett said: “The Library is run completely by volunteers and is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, between 10am and 1pm and other activities work around that.
“Our suite of ten computers is quite popular with residents who haven’t got their own technology or broadband.”
Wragby Sewing Group also meets on Friday evenings, a craft group gets together at the Hub on Friday mornings and there is a weekly Monday afternoon session for people who enjoy or want to learn more about playing bridge.
Twice-monthly the Luncheon Group also meets at the Hub, where people enjoy a social catch-up and a meal.
Apart from the Library area, the Hub also has a community room, which is also used by firefighters for training sessions.
CLEAR CHOICE FOR CONSERVATORY LOVERS
If you have promised yourself that you will add an “extra room” or a light and bright extension to your home this year, you will want a supplier with a reputation for doing a professional job.
Family-run Evergreen Windows & Conservatories prides itself on going the extra mile, offering its customers a friendly personal service and assuring them that its fitters pay great attention to detail.
Based in Bardney Road, Wragby, Evergreen has been established for 14 years. Whether you dream of an Edwardian, Georgian or Victorian-style conservatory or simply want to add a lean-to version to your property, Evergreen can oblige.
“We are happy to visit people at home or on site to discuss their requirements. We offer free quotations and, of course, once a customer wants to go ahead, we get our builder and a surveyor to take a look at the property before any work is started,” says director Judy Gibson-Bevan.
Evergreen’s experienced fitters can handle all requirements, from the fitting of UPVC-framed designs to those featuring aluminium windows and doors. Today’s conservatories are also solar-controlled and boast self-cleaning glass roofs or they may be fitted with tiled or equinox roofs.
As a FENSA-certified business, customers also enjoy the peace of mind which comes with insurance-backed guarantees.
IN THE AREA
On the doorstep of Wragby, you will find a former village based business E H Thorne (Beehives) Ltd.
This fourth generation family firm, which has been making beehives for more than 100 years, is now located at Beehive Business Park, a short drive from Wragby, at Rand.
The business, which also has branches in Berkshire, Hampshire and Scotland, employs over 100 people across its business, the majority locally.
Thorne’s county headquarters include sewing and woodworking departments, a wax plant shop and the Buzz Stop café.
Another popular countryside business is award-winning Rand Park Farm (just a stone’s throw from Thorne’s), and it is a magnet for families of all ages.
This attraction features a wealth of fun activities. There are animals to feed and pet, tractor rides to enjoy, outdoor and indoor play facilities and much more.
Rand Farm Park doesn’t just welcome day visits by school groups, it also hires incubators for schools who want to show children how eggs hatch into chicks.
The business also shares the working farm experience with school and other groups who book in for residential stays. Rand also offers school holiday childcare.