Town living with rural charm
It is hard to believe that in the not too distant past North Hykeham was a village with just a handful of properties clustered around the village green, writes Julie Sayed.
Various periods of rapid expansion have seen it grow beyond all previous recognition. It was after one of these periods of significant growth that North Hykeham was granted Town Status in 1973, something it has always been very proud of.
In recent years the town has undergone even further expansion with extensive house building which has led to the Reverend Peter Collins, the Rector of North and South Hykeham Benefice to describe it as “a tale of two towns”, with the centre retaining a village feel whilst the newer areas have a more urban vibe.
“The recent growth has transformed the town and the new housing developments have seen a lot of young families move to the area, which is a good thing,” said Reverend Collins. “But on a personal note I wish the planners had thought more about building a community rather than simply ticking boxes by putting up lots of houses.
Reverend Collins has admitted that he has found North Hykeham to be “the loneliest place I have ever worked. I would say fifty per cent of residents do not know the name of their neighbour.”
To combat this impression, the Rev Collins and his team are working hard to help create a living community. And there are lots of group activities both initiated by the church and by others that are available in the town for all ages.
The Ark in Moor Lane, for example, hosts a variety of activities from a soup kitchen to mums and toddlers group. There is knit and natter, fitness classes and Hykeham Camera Club meet there on the fourth Tuesday of the month, as part of the programme of events.
People in North Hykeham are virtually self-sufficient when it comes to retail outlets and services. Shops and businesses are generally located at three sites around the town. These sites have grown up in response to the expansion spikes over the years. The retail locations are primarily around the Village Green, and at The Forum shopping Centre, which has the ASDA superstore nearby.
The retail offer in this part of town was further enhanced in May 2017 with the opening of budget supermarket, Lidl. The third retail site is at the Crossroads where Moor Lane meets Newark Road and Station Road. Station Road has the largest concentration of commercial and light industrial premises in the town. It was also the location of heavy industry in the town before the closure of Jointines and Leys Malleable.
The shopping outlets in North Hykeham are many and varied with everything from a specialist bra shop to a comprehensively stocked hardware store to a fashionable house interiors shop. There are Post Offices, pubs, fish and chip shops and other eateries, florists and hair and beauty salons.
North Hykeham also has dental practices and doctor’s surgeries and medical provision in the town has been further enhanced by the recent opening of the purpose-built Richmond Medical Centre. The Centre opened in October 2017 and takes patients from North and South Hykeham and from the ever growing village of Witham St Hughs.
“We had more than outgrown our previous premises which were designed to cope with 4,000 patients. We are currently serving 10,800 patients and if the villages we cover continue to expand at the present pace this new building may have to be expanded to a third floor in the future,” said Dianne Taylor, practice manager at the Centre.
“The new Centre allows us more consulting rooms and nurses’ treatment rooms and we also now have minor operation facilities. The move has also allowed us to become a teaching practice, training the doctors of the future.
“The new facilities allow us to offer patients greater confidentiality and help us meet infection control targets. We have a staff room and meeting room, which is also used by others and we have taken on new receptionists to help cover our patient base, which covers from Rookery Lane in Lincoln to those living in Witham St Hughs.”
With major expansion comes problems for infrastructure, such as handling the traffic volume. In 1988 North Hykeham opened a new cemetery in Mill Lane but as the Rev Collins explained, more space needs to be found.
“We are petitioning for more space and by some quirk people living in South Hykeham cannot be buried in North Hykeham and we would like to see the rules on this changed as well,” said Rev Collins.
He added, on a positive note: “North Hykeham is a beautiful area for anyone to live in with lots of lovely walks, especially around the lakes and there are lots of nature walks to enjoy.”
One hidden gem many people don’t know about is Apex Lake which is down the road from the Fox and Hounds on Newark Road. Hykeham Sailing Club has been meeting at the Lake for some years now and on Saturday 5th May the club is hosting a free Open Day.
Visitors are also welcome to find out more about the club by dropping by any Sunday from 11.30am onwards during the sailing season.
Like its near and much larger neighbour, South Hykeham is centred around different locations. The parish church of St Michael and All Angels is situated in the old village with the first recorded date being 1138. On 7th May it is hosting a Mini Market with all welcome. This part of South Hykeham has a much more traditional feel compared to the newer part a few miles away.
The newer part of South Hykeham now more or less butts up to North Hykeham along the Newark Road boundary. Like its neighbour there is ongoing new build housing and an increasing number of businesses operating in the area.
South Hykeham businesses include a long established family-run garden centre with shop and popular restaurant, car dealerships, pubs, a motel and a McDonald’s.
For the provision of local education, North Hykeham has two secondary schools and has recently opened a fourth primary school in the area. Manor Farm School has been opened to serve those living in the newest part of town. The town Library has also recently relocated to new premises in Valerian Place close by. This has limited opening hours, so it is best to check the Library website for details.
North Hykeham is well served during the day by a frequent bus service and the car parking facilities at the town’s train station have recently been enhanced.
The Terry O’Toole Theatre in the town continues to host a variety of attractions. You can catch James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl there on 1st and 2nd June.
Recycling is big news at the moment and on Saturday 2nd June there is a Lincolnshire Energy From Waste Open Day Event being held in Paving Way, off Whisby Road in North Hykeham. This gives people the opportunity to find out all about waste management and the steps being taken towards helping save not just the local area but the planet as a whole. Special guest at the event is Sean Wilson, who has recently revived his role as Martin Platt in Coronation Street as part of a controversial storyline involving his onscreen son David.
This brief trip back to the Street is a far cry from Sean’s new life as a well-known cheesemaker and he will be sharing his unique flavours during the day. Other attractions at the event include a tombola, craft and gift stalls and face painting.
Another popular feature of the town is the music events which the Town Council hosts on the Village Green. These are usually held on a Sunday with a good variety of bands booked to play and there are usually bouncy castles and refreshment stalls to add to the entertainment.
Lots of people take picnics and make an afternoon of it. Check the Town Council website for details of this year’s events.
INDEPENDENCE WITH DIGNITY
Adapting your home as your lifestyle changes is one of the practical ways to maintain your independence. Leading bathroom specialists AHM Installations, who operate from their head office in Newark and showroom in South Hykeham, have over twenty years’ experience of helping clients to design a new bathroom which will match your individual requirements. One of AHM’s most innovative products allows users to retain an independent life for one of life’s most essential needs: using the bathroom. With Geberit AquaClean 8000plus Care you are in control. Combining the convenience of an automated warm water wash and warm air drying, along with other features, using the toilet no longer becomes an arduous pursuit. Julie Symcox, who owns AHM with her husband Simon, explained: “This system is elegantly designed, the shower toilet incorporates a simple to use shower, dryer and odour extraction. It provides you with an all-round cleaner, comfortable and more hygienic experience. In addition, it is easy to operate and virtually touch-free. Suitable for most living situations, it will leave you feeling clean, fresh and improve your sense of well-being.” Clients can be visited in their home to get a real understanding of their needs and skilled fitters will install your bathroom to the highest specification with minimum disruption.
The showroom at 26 Flexspace, Roman Way, South Hykeham is open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm and Sat 11am-1pm. 01522 500288
BESPOKE DOES NOT MEAN BEYOND BUDGET
The luxury of handmade kitchens and bedrooms from RJC Furniture comes with all the service and quality of one-to-one planning, hand-drawn plans, craftsman construction and fitting and at competitive prices.
Owner Robert Chapman is on hand to ensure your specifications are met. “We can make furniture for all areas of your home, from bespoke kitchen and bedroom pieces to freestanding furniture as well. With a choice of paint, lacquer or wax finishes, the result will be truly unique for your home and lifestyle,” he said.
Recent projects have included bespoke alcove bookshelves and storage, a matching bedroom suite, fitted wardrobes and dining furniture.
RJC Furniture is based at Hereward Business Centre, North Hykeham and examples of their work can be seen on their Facebook page: RJC Furniture. You can also call Robert on 07710 984 253 to discuss your project.
AFFORDABLE SPECTACLES FROM A FAMILY RUN BUSINESS
Walters Opticians is a family run opticians currently in its 20th year. The practice has seen many changes over the years, with the latest being an offer of 0% interest free finance, whereby you can spread the cost of your spectacles over 12 months.
“The reason Walters took this step is because we know that buying spectacles can be a large outlay for most people, this way the patient can choose the glasses they really want, possibly that designer pair of spectacles they have always wanted, matched with the best lenses we have to offer and then spread the cost starting from as little as £20 a month. All we need is a 20% deposit taken at the time of dispensing and then just 10 minutes of your time to complete an application where you will be given a decision straight away.
“Also ongoing offer is our buy one complete pair of spectacles and get the second half price offer. This service will be available at both our North Hykeham and Gainsborough practices. We look forward to seeing you soon.”
Hykeham Green, North Hykeham LN1 8NH. Tel: 01522 686200
Market Place, Gainsborough DN21 3GD. 01427 616505
SAVE MONEY ON V.A.G. SERVICING WITH LVS AG
LVS AG was setup in 2006. The idea was to open a service centre to give an independent alternative to the main dealer network to offer menu fixed pricing for your V.A.G (Volkswagen Audi Group) vehicle. Regardless of whether you own an Audi, Volkswagen, Seat or Škoda, LVS AG can maintain your vehicle at a fraction of the cost from the dealer. LVS AG fit genuine O.E service parts to every vehicle that is brought into their workshop; even if your car is still under manufacturer’s warranty they can still service and maintain your vehicle. Providing a full range of service and repair for your V.A.G. vehicle including engine remapping, performance hardware, tyres, alignment and MOT. In January 2018 LVS opened a second unit, next door to the existing premises on the Lincoln Enterprise Park off the A46, near Pennells roundabout, catering for commercial vehicle servicing, such as the VW Caddy, Transporter or Crafter. In fact LVS will service and maintain your commercial van for any make and model.
If you are looking for an independent specialist to look after your vehicle contact a member of the LVS service team on 01522 500745 or visit www.llvsag.co.uk. Mention ‘Lincolnshire Life’ and receive 10% off menu prices.
CARE AT THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO
This is Annicare’s philosophy and their journey started three years ago when Anneka Mansell gave up a successful career in the West Midlands to come to Lincolnshire to help her brother after he suffered a life changing brain injury. Her experience of initiating a suitable care package for him highlighted the need for a suitable healthcare agency which could provide a similar service to others.
Annicare pride themselves on being a local agency where care is at the heart of all they do. Now the county’s largest healthcare agency extending services into Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, Annicare is still family owned and regulated by the CQC (Care Quality Commission).
Annicare’s clients include residential schools supporting children with sometimes emotional, behavioural and physical needs, as well as patients in secure hospital wards and adults with learning difficulties, along with care and nursing homes too. Annicare also works directly with the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Groups) supporting individuals with complex care needs in their homes.
Working with this wide variety of clients means Annicare employ a large group of healthcare professionals including care staff, support workers as well as mental health and general registered nurses. To support learning and to keep qualifications up to date, Annicare has established a training centre at their North Hykeham offices. One of the courses includes the ‘Introduction to Care Course’ which will aim to create 300 care sector jobs per year. Annicare is also working in the community. For example, in 2018 they are running a fundraising campaign to buy and maintain a defibrillator in the Forum Shopping Centre in North Hykeham. Their objective has always been to make a positive difference, not only to the care industry. They aim to empower individuals to live more fulfilling lives. This extends from the office staff through to the healthcare workers and those that are being supported within the sector.
If you would like more information about Annicare Ltd visit: www.annicare.co.uk or take a look at their facebook page.
BRITAIN’S BEST BUTCHERS SHOP
Whether you live in North or South Hykeham or the wider county, you are never a great distance and never more than a click away from produce from the award-winning Butcher’s Shop of the Year. Simpson’s Butchers was launched by owner Gary Simpson with his first shop in Heckington in 2001.
Simpson’s quickly gained an excellent reputation for their quality and expertise. A second shop opened in 2009 at Four Seasons Garden Centre, Sleaford and further branches are now established at Pennells Garden Centre, North Hykeham, Stamford and Spalding.
Simpsons have won the national title twice during the past three years; recognition of their place at the forefront of industry innovation and continued drive for higher standards.
Many customers still prefer to shop personally but the online mail order side of the business is growing daily. The convenience and reliability allows not only local customers but those nationwide to enjoy the excellent, award-winning produce delivered direct to their door.
Find the online shop at: www.gsimpsonbutchers.co.uk or call 01529 460403