Views from the villages

Words by:
Melanie Burton
Featured in:
August 2017

Panaromic vistas across Lincolnshire and good links to neighbouring towns and cities make the villages that lie on the Lincoln Edge popular places to live.
But a closer look at the Cliff villages, as they are known, reveals much more than picturesque scenery and a good road network.

Thriving communities, well-established family-run shops and small independent businesses offering a whole range of services are all to be found in the small, compact communities tucked away off the main A607 Lincoln to Grantham road.

Add to that some interesting heritage, historic landmarks and plenty of activities and events, it isn’t difficult to see why it is a much sought-after area.

The Cliff villages include Waddington, Harmston, Coleby, Boothby Graffoe, Navenby, Wellingore and Welbourn and all have a very unique and distinct character.

Waddington, for instance, is one of the larger communities with the older part of the village located on the Lincoln Edge and more modern areas having developed down the steep hill towards Lincoln.

The Parish Council has been busy over the past few weeks with a number of projects to improve the village for residents.

Parish Clerk Andrea Smith said: “We have had the judges here for the East Midlands in Bloom competition, the results of which come out in September.

“We are currently in the process of making our community buildings more energy efficient and we have got lots of houses being built in Waddington.

“The Community Hub which the council bought three years ago, is having new windows installed, a new heating system and LED lighting and the Village Hall is also having a new roof, LED lighting and a new heating system.”

A 163-house development is almost complete on Station Road and another development for forty-two houses has already passed planning.

“There is also a development on Grantham Road for 137 houses which has already passed planning and there is an application currently being considered for 183 houses at the other end of Grantham Road,” the clerk said.

Navenby is the next biggest village and in March 2011, it was named as the ‘Best Value Village’ in England following a national survey.

A Bronze Age cemetery and the remains of an Iron Age settlement have been discovered there and historians also believe Navenby was a significant staging point on the Roman Ermine Street, as the Romans are reported to have maintained a garrison in the village.

The village is also the base for the Navenby & Cliff Villages Business Network which geographically is centred on Navenby but covers the other Cliff villages from Leadenham to Harmston.

It is co-chaired by Luke Daniels, owner of Urban Angels and Luke’s Barbershop which are also located in the village, and Mindy Arora of Arora Marketing and ASALI situated in the village.

Set up by David Clarke of DBS Internet Marketing, the network meets monthly at different venues across the Cliff Villages to encourage dialogue, share news, get support from each other and help with referrals and recruitment needs.

Many businesses within the network have collaborated and worked together for various seasonal events to great effect, most recently when Loveli Designs and Luke’s Barbershop teamed up to offer special Father’s Day gift sets.

The network’s biggest success story though was the first modern day Christmas and late-night shopping event in Navenby which was organised by Luke and Mindy.

“This is a perfect example of how the network can work for the benefit of businesses and the community alike,” said Mindy.

“It is important to us that we have close links with our community – after all without them we wouldn’t be here, it was a great way to give something back.”

Since taking over the role of co-chair, Mindy has worked hard to establish a presence for the network on social media.

“The focus is to continue with the social media work to help grow our audience for the benefit of members.

“We have plans for a bike rack in the village to make it easier for locals to cycle and ease congestion and we are already making plans for another intimate but significant Christmas event.”

Catherine Mills, North Kesteven District Council’s ward councillor for the Cliff Villages, said there was much happening in the area.

“Navenby is a thriving village with several new businesses opening up. Mrs Smith’s Cottage restoration project, being managed by NKDC, has recently been awarded Heritage Lottery Funding to bring the historical site back into use and it is due to open in 2019.”

In nearby Wellingore, another special project is also well underway. Plans to erect a memorial to John Gillespie Magee, a Second World War Spitfire pilot billeted in Wellingore who penned the internationally acclaimed sonnet ‘High Flight’, are now at an advanced stage.

Wellingore is an attractive village with many of the older houses built in the local limestone. It was the first village in North Kesteven to be designated a Conservation Area in February 1971.

There is much going on in the village including a ‘Tea@3’ event which was started by local churchwardens to provide residents with an opportunity to get out and meet with others to share in company and conversation,” said Councillor Mills.

“The village will also hosts a Party in the Park charity family fun day on 2nd September at the Wellingore Memorial Hall fields and on 12th August there will be a barbecue event in aid of the Help for Heroes charity.

“It is organised by Jordan Williams, an 18-year-old local man who was the 2015 recipient of the ‘Young Citizen of the Year’ award as part of NKDC’s Community Champions Awards. He has run six marathons for the 401 challenge, raising money for anti-bullying charities and to promote awareness of bullying.

“His current project is the Help for Heroes charity and the barbecue event is being hosted and sponsored by The Red Lion, Wellingore. It will coincide with the pub’s beer festival.”

The village is also home to the Marquis of Granby pub which is a Grade II listed family run country inn and hotel in the heart of the village on the corner of the central village green.

Paul and Pauline Brumhead took over the pub in June 2016 after it had been closed for six months and have established it as a community pub.

They refurbished the pub and letting rooms and have a separate restaurant where they host ‘Around the World’ theme nights on the first Friday of the month including Italian, Chinese, Mexican and even Caribbean.

The restaurant is available for private hire for birthday and anniversary celebrations and the pub also offers business meeting and conference facilities complete with television, projector and flip chart.

“We serve locally sourced home cooked food and have seven en-suite letting rooms,” Pauline said. “There is a marquee available to hire and a bouncy castle in the beer garden and we stage regular live music events as well as a music festival and a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ event with Lindum Brass Band which this year takes place on Saturday 9th September.”

Another thriving community along the Cliff Edge is Coleby.

It is an ancient village having known Roman, Saxon and Danish settlers before the Norman Conquest of 1066. But it is very much a forward thinking and active community with plenty going on.

Parish clerk Sue Makinson-Sanders said: “Coleby has a thriving community with monthly car boots on the first Sunday of the month from April to October, the monies raised going to village organisations.”

“The Village Hall now has a new terrace for outdoor seating in the good weather and the school and the church have all benefitted from it.

“The car boots are manned entirely by volunteers both on the field and in the kitchen and we pride ourselves on our homemade cakes and bacon butties.”

Altogether seven car boots take place throughout the year in the small but enthusiastic village and they attract people from far and wide as well as the local community.

“We also hold a monthly library and coffee morning with fresh coffee and biscuits on the second Wednesday of the month which is an opportunity to swap books and gossip now that the mobile library has been cut,” said Sue.

“The Village Hall committee is in the process of organising a jazz evening in a marquee on the playing field as well as an autumn ball which is taking place again in October.”

The village is lucky to have two eating and drinking establishments with fine dining at The Bell at Coleby and good food at the recently refurbished Tempest Arms which is popular with villagers, visitors and walkers for its fine views of the Trent Valley from its gardens.

“The parish council is currently busy with the Neighbourhood Plan which when adopted will give residents more say in development within the parish. This is now out for public consultation from NKDC and if everything goes to plan should be fully in force by mid-September,” said Sue.

Navenby is home to a diverse range of businesses from well-established family run shops such as Odlings Butchers which was established in 1920 and Welbourne’s Bakery – one of the oldest standing bakeries in the county producing artisan breads and cakes to newer modern-day businesses such as Urban Angels hair design salon and Arora Marketing consultancy firm.

Following a re-brand and a re-fit, the trendy, progressive yet welcoming salon has become the only salon in the Lincoln area to provide the new range of haircare products called Oway which is the first professional organic haircare range available.

Owner Luke Daniels also runs Luke’s Barbershop in the village which is now in its fourth year but continues to go from strength to strength. The 1940s themed store is a gem of the High Street and has launched its own range of grooming products which can be bought in store as well as online.

Luke co-chairs the Navenby & Cliff Villages Business Network with Mindy Arora who owns Arora Marketing consultancy firm.

The small boutique firm has grown significantly over the past three years thanks to its location in Navenby offering web design and build and social media work for small to medium sized businesses.

“We are delighted to be able to offer an affordable service for businesses that work just as hard as we do,” said Mindy. “Very few successful business owners have the time or inclination to ‘Be Better Online’ and understand the pressure that places on them. We are delighted to have clients within Navenby and Lincoln, as well as London.”

Mindy also owns ASALI which is a new business with an MoD license selling beautiful, genuine leather goods themed to the Red Arrows, Battle of Britain and Eurofighter typhoons. Donations from each sale are made to charities.

Another new business based is Cook & Sleep which has a brand new kitchen and bedroom showroom in the village.

Exclusive suppliers of Schüller Kitchens in the Lincolnshire area, Cook & Sleep offers a huge range of designs from suppliers at affordable prices without compromising on quality.

Wellingore Parish Council has been working for a number of years towards erecting a monument in the village as a tribute to John Gillespie Magee, the young pilot who penned the poem ‘High Flight’ and who was stationed in Wellingore at the time of his death.

The sonnet has been a favourite amongst both aviators and astronauts. It is the official poem of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force and has to be recited from memory by fourth class cadets at the United States Air Force Academy, where it can be seen on display in the Cadet Field House.

Plans for the memorial have now reached an advanced stage.

“The location has been identified on the A607 Grantham to Lincoln Road which means it will be on the Aviation Heritage route because people coming and going to the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Centre come through Wellingore,” explained Roger Cole, Wellingore Parish Council chairman who wrote a book about Magee’s extraordinary story and includes previously unknown details of his short life.

“The land in question is now in the ownership in perpetuity of the parish council so the site is secure and a large amount of work has been done by volunteer groups to clear the site, the paths and the hedges.

“More volunteer help is needed to carry out work on the borders but it is almost finished.”

The memorial will be a big circular stone base with a bronze statue of a similar size to that of Tennyson’s outside Lincoln Cathedral and in the same area will be a large piece of stone carved with the High Flight poem on it.

The sculptor has been chosen and is Anthony Dufort. He is internationally renowned for his realistic representation of people in his sculptures, including The Queen. A maquette model will now be produced showing exactly what the final statue will be like and once that has been seen and accepted, the John Gillespie Magee Foundation will commission the final sculpture.

“It is expected work on the site will start at the end of this year or beginning of 2018,” said Roger. “There will be twenty maquettes made as well for people to buy which may interest RAF stations here and the Royal Canadian Air Force 412 Squadron which was the squadron Magee was serving in when he was stationed in Wellingore, from where he flew on the day he died.”

John Magee was born in Shanghai to an English mother and American father who were missionaries. When the Sino Japanese war started the Rev Magee sent his family back home and followed a few years later where they were reunited in America. Rev Magee eventually ended up in Washington DC and became the equivalent of a padre helping in the upper circle of political life in America.

John wanted to be involved in the war but the American government had confiscated passports to stop their young men from getting involved so John persuaded his father to let him cross the border into Canada where he joined the 412 Squadron and trained as a spitfire pilot.

When John was killed all his papers were given to his parents in America and his father gave the High Flight poem and a lot of other poems and writings to the Congress Library which is where they are today.

The parish council is now also hoping to establish an education and visitor centre in the village dedicated to the memory of John Magee.

“We are going to try and find a building near to the site of the memorial because we have been given the entire John Magee archive and we want to put it all together in one place and preserve it for the future,” said Roger.

“The idea behind it is to support the memorial project and also to have somewhere to direct visitors to who want more information about John Magee.

“All the information and all the tours that we do will be centred around the education and visitor centre.”

It was 75 years ago when Beth and Eric Seddon said “I do” and they’ve been together ever since their wedding day, on 27th June 1942.

Beth and Eric look at each other with love in their eyes, they smile when they talk and they hold hands like they’ve just started dating. Their life has the feeling of a novel, where the two main characters fall in love, they encounter obstacles and hard times, but they overcome all these and love wins. They shared their story on a sunny afternoon at Holmleigh Care Home, Navenby, where Beth is now a resident, and the place Eric – who lives in Harmston – comes to visit every week and spend time with his wife. The couple moved from Astley to Harmston in 1983, and they remained there.

“I used to walk behind you when you used to walk down the village, after Church. You were always very smart, walking with a lot of other girls and boys, I wasn’t part of the gang then. Eventually we agreed to meet each other, started going for walks, or to the cinema on a Saturday night,” remembers Eric.

In that time – 1937 – things weren’t very good in the country during the Depression. The couple got engaged in 1942 and at very short notice and after fast preparations, they got married at St Stephen Church in Astley. By that time, Eric was already in the Army and had only two weeks’ leave.

Just four days after getting married, Eric had to go back to Scotland to join the troops and after six weeks of travel on the sea he arrived in Egypt. For the following years, he was engaged in the war in different regions and campaigns and didn’t return to England until four years later, in May 1946, when he had his first leave. On this occasion Beth and Eric had their proper honeymoon, on the Isle of Man, then eventually Eric was posted back to England in October 1946, when he returned home for good.

What is the secret of their marriage? “I think it’s just having confidence in each other, we’ve never separated, we loved each other, our life was very harmonious together,” says Eric, whilst Beth says that “I liked everything about him.”

Beth and Eric will celebrated their special 75th wedding anniversary together with family and close friends at Macy’s Brasserie in Navenby.

Holmleigh Care Home in Navenby is a high-quality residential care home in Navenby, in the middle of beautiful countryside.

For more information or details please contact the care home manager, Hazel Carelton, at 01522 810298 or visit the website

Based in Waddington, Needhams Uniforms are specialists in supplying workwear, uniforms and promotional clothing. Andy Needham created the business three years ago and brings with him over thirty years’ experience.

“We’re different from other companies in our sector as we work from a showroom in the village rather than just offering clients an online option. It allows our customers to walk in and try our garments and speak to our designers on their specific requirements.

“We offer a huge range of garments to suit all sectors and pride ourselves on being able to source the most appropriate garments for our clients needs. We believe that workwear and staff uniforms should be both functional and perfectly in line with the client’s vision and feel of their brand. We print or embroider our garments in house using the latest technology. As we have our own premises we are able to build up a rapport with our clients and offer a more localised, personal approach. Although we have a national client base we work primarily with Lincolnshire SME’s, schools, universities, clubs and organisations. We’re confident that whatever your workwear requirement we will be able to fulfil it.”

Visit Needhams Uniforms at 112 Grantham Road, Waddington or visit

DBS Internet Marketing director David Clarke has rolled out the way forward for the next ten years by creating a ‘John Lewis’ style employee owned company at DBS based in Navenby, Lincolnshire.

“All of the DBS team members now own a part of this fantastic company,” said David Clarke. “For me it makes great business sense to reward the very people that have helped to build DBS. Now that the whole team has equity in the business we have a vested interest to grow the company even more.”

DBS specialises in website development and online marketing but in 2011 the telecoms arm of the business was acquired by Chess Telecoms.

“Whilst the Chess acquisition was a cash injection for the business, it resulted in two redundancies that never sat quite right with me,” explained David. “For the last two years we have worked on a plan at DBS where I could gradually begin to step back without an impact. I looked at all my options. These included firstly closing the doors which would have been ludicrous. Secondly selling the business which likely would have led to job losses or, thirdly, creating an employee owned company. The employee owned company option ticked all the boxes. All the team have a vested interest to remain at DBS.

Employee Owned Trusts (EOTs) are a relatively new concept in the UK and were only introduced in 2014. To date there are just over 150 EOTs in the UK.

Julie Priestley will join David as a director.

Navenby is home to a varied range of businesses and services, including one of Lincolnshire’s specialist removal services.

Family-run First Choice Removals was established 30 years ago to provide reliable, fast and secure moving solutions, not only for home movers in the UK and mainland Europe, but businesses as well.

Staff have had specialist training and have many years of experience in the removal business and can move from the smallest studio apartment to the largest offices, worldwide or just down the street.

The business also specialises in self-storage too, through its AA Secure Self Storage division which is a fast-expanding regional operator of self-storage and lock-up container units.

Commercial, industrial and domestic highly secure long and short-term storage solutions with 24-hour access 7 days a week are available which includes collection, delivery and a van loan on request.

The team behind First Choice Removals and AA Secure Storage are the Greenlys – Angela, Andy and Jess.

The service they offer is personalised to every client’s needs.

Arora Marketing is a boutique marketing consultancy based in Navenby serving clients locally and nationally. The business is owned and run by Mindy Arora who has taken it from a one client start up in 2012 to the business it is today.

Mindy understands that busy people with successful businesses do not have time to manage their social media, indeed many people simply don’t want to. Arora Marketing is here to help small and medium sized businesses ‘Be Better Online’ whether that be through a new brand, a new website, improved Google rankings, corporate video or new social media work. The business has also helped start-ups and can assist with everything from names to logos to press releases, usually but not exclusively, alongside web-based projects.

Find out more about Arora Marketing, its success and current happy clients.


Contact Mindy for an informal chat, email, telephone 07974 301 843, or follow on social media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin.

Tucked away in the small bustling village of Navenby, Lincoln, sits Cook & Sleep. This gem of a showroom is inspiring people countywide in their quest to design the perfect kitchen, bedroom or office space. The showroom’s popularity is owed to the fact that their stock list packs a punch. With big brands on offer such as Aisling and Kitchen Stori, there are plenty of reasons to pay a visit, not to mention they’re now the exclusive supplier of Schüller Kitchens in Lincolnshire. Whether you just want to browse, or require an appointment, the experienced owners and sales team will make you feel welcome and at ease. Should you choose to buy, have no doubt that all your needs will be outlined and met. The beauty here is that the service is all encompassing, from design and selection through to fit, all from one source meaning zero disconnect.

Cook & Sleep, Unit 4 High Dyke, Navenby LN5 0BQ. Open Monday-Friday 9-5pm, Saturdays 9-1pm and other times by appointment, Telephone 01522 811 812, Website, email

Fulbeck Gardens Cottage is a tranquil detached self-catering cottage on the edge of one of Lincolnshire’s prettiest cliff villages. The cottage is surrounded by an English Vineyard and is on a direct route into the historic city of Lincoln. This 4 star award winning cottage is perfect for couples, families and friends seeking a relaxing rural retreat. Very clean and well equipped with the bonus of a large private hot-tub in the part-covered courtyard. There are three beautifully presented bedrooms which sleep up to seven people plus a cot, as well as a generous sized bathroom. The sitting room, with three leather sofas, is stocked with a range of reading material and board games and is adjacent the pretty dining room. There’s a well equipped dining kitchen or if you don’t want to cook, stroll to the local award winning pub or craft centre and tea-rooms. Outside a secure fenced garden (ideal for young children) is adjacent to the cottage with more lawned areas and ample parking for several cars. All heating/lighting, linens/towels, kitchen and bathroom sundries are included in the price. Weekly or short breaks available. Sorry no pets. Visit: for full details and beautiful photos.

Mrs Smith’s Cottage Museum in Navenby, a preserved example of a simple, early Victorian, Lincolnshire cottage, is undergoing vital restoration work to help bring the tourist attraction back into use.

With walls only a single brick thick and the only modern innovations an inside toilet, cold water tap and electricity, it offers a glimpse into life in a bygone age.

The Cottage and Visitor Centre at the museum display artefacts and information relating the life and times of Mrs Smith in a rural village from the Edwardian period to the late twentieth century.

The museum is named after its last resident who lived there happily and independently until 1995, when she was 102 years old. The building and the contents were preserved by the will and effort of local residents as something very special – displaying as they do the simple and contented life of a lady who had little time for modern innovations.

Now fragments of wallpaper that could pre-date Mrs Smith have been discovered in the roof of the cottage during the renovation work.

In the first phase of works on site in Navenby, scaffolding has gone up and roof tiles have been removed to expose the timbers to a proper inspection. It was during this that pieces of wallpaper were unexpectedly discovered between the current ceilings and the rafters.

Students from the University of Lincoln’s School of History and Heritage are assisting in the restoration and will be making sure the wallpaper is carefully preserved and researched.

They have also been taking samples from the interior wallpaper; with a number of cavities in the building it will be interesting to see what’s lurking within them. Rolls of paper kept in a chest by Mrs Smith will help to inform this part of the project.

Last year, North Kesteven District Council successfully secured money from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the largest heritage funder in the UK, to help bring the Navenby tourist attraction back into use. It is anticipated that the restoration will continue for the next three years, with a re-opening in 2019.

A website has been launched to keep people up to date with the project’s progress, events and volunteering opportunities. There is also a link to a survey being used to capture people’s thoughts on how the cottage should be once it is reopened.

Navenby is home to one of the county’s leading estate agents specialising in village and country homes. Fine & Country, located in the High Street, covers the whole of Lincolnshire and its staff offer a wealth of experience in the property market.

Managing partner Matthew Brouwer, who is a Chartered Surveyor, says from its base in Navenby the business acts in the sale of characterful rural village homes to farms, manor houses and barn conversions all across the county from Colsterworth in the south up to Willingham in the north and from the A1 to the coast, Newark to Skegness.

“We sold a large amount of properties in Navenby itself and the surrounding villages such as Hough Manor last year, which is a significant stone built manor just opposite the Brownlow Arms, and we have sold in Coleby, Harmston and Welbourn,” he said.

“We have houses for sale in other surrounding villages such as Brant Broughton, Norton Disney, Dunston, Scopwick, and Digby, as well as in the more southerly areas between Sleaford and Boston.”

Matthew and colleague Stephen Binder, who has had 40 years’ experience in the market including 25 in Lincolnshire, bought the Grantham and Lincoln offices of Fine & Country and merged the two to open Navenby.

“We have been trading successfully ever since,” said Matthew. “Sometimes people assume our brand is only for very expensive properties but that is not the case. If it is a village home it is something we are willing and able to sell.”

Fine & Country is an established and recognised name nationally amongst people selling characterful and individual homes.

“We offer a personal service all the way through the process from initial valuation to eventual completion of sale,” said Matthew.

“We are great believers in trying to offer clients meaningful and logical advice when it comes to valuation.

“Navenby is the epicentre of the desirable Cliff village market and also provides us with easy access to the county as a whole,” said Matthew.

“Whilst other competitors are restricted to faceless offices, we still have the benefit of a shopfront where our properties can be marketed and buyers can call in to see us.”

Navenby: 01522 287008, Grantham: 01476 247070.

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