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Words: Melanie Burton
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the February 2015 issue

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The Lincolnshire village of Welton-by-Lincoln may be steeped in history but its focus at the moment is firmly on the future.

The village is in the process of preparing its Neighbourhood Plan, which will help shape things to come for the next twenty years, taking into account residents’ hopes, aspirations, concerns and ideas for the village, both now and in the years ahead.

Clerk to the Parish Council Julie Murray said the plan had just come through the six-week statutory public consultation stage, required under the Localism Act 2011.

“If successful at the referendum stage, it will be adopted and incorporated into the new Lincolnshire Local Plan which means that the village will have more say – not in the number of properties to be built, but in the type of housing, materials and the location of them,” she said.

“Neighbourhood Planning is not just about property development, it is about local people coming together to agree what they want the village to look like, resulting in better facilities for the benefit of all the community.”

The plan centres around key objectives for housing, economy, movement and transport, environment and the community and includes the promotion of employment opportunities through small businesses and rural office space, the expansion of retail and commercial facilities available in the village and the preservation of important assets such as the library, heritage sites and village hall.

It will also ensure that there will be a greater range of affordable housing in the village and that any new housing is in keeping with the village’s rural look and feel.

The Parish Council is eagerly awaiting a decision on its plan to keep the village library open as a community-run facility.

“An Expression of Interest in keeping the library open as a community-run facility, operated by volunteers with support from LCC Library Development Officers, was successful. But, following a Judicial Review of the processes undertaken by LCC, no further decision is being made until next month. Currently the library is open on reduced hours from twenty-five to sixteen,” said Julie.

The Parish Council also manages and operates Manor Park Sports Club which provides grassed and 3G football pitches, a skate park and children’s play area, which this year will undergo some refurbishment, with modern equipment replacing the old and broken apparatus.

New state-of-the-art CCTV equipment has been installed during the past year and a tree seat and new bus shelters with benches were installed on the village green and outside the village hall at the end of 2014. Improvements to the footpath across the village green have already taken place this year.

Community spirit was very much to the fore in Welton during 2014 and residents turned out to witness a black mulberry tree and commemorative plaque being installed in St Mary’s Churchyard to mark the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the First World War, with the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Charles Hood, carrying out the tree planting. The Parish Council has also produced a booklet on the village war memorial, providing information on all those named on it. This was launched at the same time.

Plans are in the pipeline to update and reprint the Parish Council’s book Welton, I Remember, which was produced in 1996 and is now out of print. Residents have been asked to share their reminiscences or photos regarding events that have happened in Welton since 1996.

Councillor Mrs Marlene Chapman, chairman of the Parish Council’s publications and heritage committee, said in her appeal to the village: “Welton, I Remember was a very popular book as it charted the history of our village as remembered by its villagers.”

Last summer, the Parish Council hosted a reception for visitors from France to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the village’s twinning with Moncé-en-Belin.

The Parish Office, which is open from Monday to Thursday from 9am until 3pm, and until midday on Fridays, houses a collection of historic village items and gifts received through the village’s twinning and they are on display in the lower room.

Welton is very much a typical Lincolnshire village, with village greens, back lanes and an old coaching house which is said to be haunted. But it also has a wide range of services, amenities and retail outlets, ranging from supermarkets to a tea shop, gifts shops and even an award-winning fish and chip shop.

The Black Bull pub is steeped in history and it was well known as the ‘local haunt’ of Guy Gibson and his Dambuster colleagues from nearby RAF Scampton. There have been many reports that the Black Bull is haunted, although no ghost has ever been seen. But there have been inexplicable sounds believed to be an unseen ghost walking up the eighteen stairs to the restaurant.

The village’s other watering hole is the Falconer Bar and Restaurant clubhouse at the Welton Manor Golf Centre, which has proved to be a big asset to the village.

It is a Golf Centre of Excellence set in 120 acres offering eighteen holes of challenging golf to suit all levels. As well as the golf course, the site has a driving range and caravan and camping facilities.

Even the village’s secondary school William Farr helps put the village on the map. It is a Church of England school for 11 to 18 year-olds opened in 1952 by the vicar of Welton, the Rev William Farr, on the site of the RAF Dunholme Lodge, a Second World War bomber station.

There has been much change at the school in the past decade. It acquired comprehensive status in 1974, and Grant Maintained status in 1992 and in 2000 attained Technology College status.

The school is also an associate school of the University of Lincoln and in 2001 it achieved the distinction of having the best comprehensive school A Level results in England.

In 2006 William Farr received an outstanding award in every category in an OFSTED inspection, the best in the country. In 2007 the school changed its Specialist Schools and Academies Trust status to a Science College and added the additional distinctions of being a Leading Edge school and a Raising Achievement and Transforming Learning school.

Another asset to the village is the Rednil Farm Equestrian Centre which has been established for nearly fifty-three years, starting out as just a few-acres site and growing into a sixty-acre riding centre with its own cross-country course as well as indoor and outdoor manège, a jumping arena, school and social room, offices, tack rooms and stables.

It teaches riding in different disciplines and at different levels and also trains and corrects horses and ponies.

WELTON’S ANNUAL COMMUNITY AWARD
The voluntary work carried out by individual members of the community does not go unnoticed in the village of Welton.

The Parish Council has a Community Award which is presented annually to a member of the parish nominated by the community for voluntary work they have carried out in Welton for the benefit of others.

Last year’s recipient was Delphine Atherton who was nominated in recognition of her commitment to the community. Before she retired Delphine was a teacher at St Mary’s Primary School and has lived in the village for many years. She has sung in the choir at St Mary’s Church, conducts choir practice and plays the piano when required.

Delphine is also a churchwarden and PCC member, makes jams and chutneys for fundraising events and holds a Strawberry Tea at her home every year to raise funds for the church.

The Parish Council also awards Certificates of Achievement if there are a number of nominations and a Group Recognition Certificate,  which last year was presented to The Disabled Craft Class – a group of volunteers working with those who are not so able, making crafts and socialising.

ST MARY’S CHURCH, WELTON
The village church, the Prebendal Church of St Mary, was originally built by the Normans, but only a few fragments of it can be seen today in the tower walls. The present building is in the early English style dating from around 1250.

Set in its own grounds, right in the heart of the village, St Mary’s has a number of interesting features including one of the earliest stained glass windows, dedicated to the men and women of the RAF, the RFC and the RNFC.

Village benefactor and physician Dr Richard Smith, who was physician to Lord Burleigh at the court of Elizabeth I and founder of Christ’s Hospital, Lincoln, is also commemorated by stained glass windows as well as a memorial in the churchyard.

The six church bells were cast by Henry Harrison who was the nephew of carpenter and clockmaker John Harrison.

The latest memorial to be unveiled on the site of St Mary’s is the black mulberry tree and commemorative plaque installed in the churchyard to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War.

The Welton PCC is now also creating a remembrance garden in the southeast corner of the churchyard after being awarded nearly £1,812 from the Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Champions award scheme.

IGNITE STOVES AND FIREPLACES
Welcoming Woodwarm to the Ignite range.

The popularity of wood burning stoves continues to grow, not only for the savings that can be made compared to conventional fuels but also for the sustainability they offer. Daniel Gibbs founded Ignite Stoves and Fireplaces more two years ago, based in an expansive showroom in the heart of Welton, near Lincoln.

“People are always surprised how ‘tardis-like’ our premises are,” Daniel explained. “Step through the front door, and the showroom is on two floors with high ceilings (ideal for displaying flues and feature stoves) and with generous space for room settings.”

Daniel and his team of five others have been delighted with the response from customers to the care and expertise they show when surveying and quoting for the perfect specification for each location.

“Ensuring a satisfactory and efficient burn rate is down to the correct choice of stove for a location, the quality of the installation and the customer’s own lifestyle. We take great care with our surveys, offer training to operate the stove and regular servicing.”

Since the business opened, two further manufacturers have been included to the range of high quality stoves available. This year Daniel will dedicate the front showroom to displays of Woodwarm Stoves. In classic British designs and made to order in Devon, their exceptional build quality and unique features, such as double-glazed, stay clear glass, make them excellent value for money.

The Woodwarm range will complement ranges such as Charnwood, Contura and Rais with contemporary Scandinavian styling to offer designs to suit all tastes and budgets. “We provide a tailored solution for each client and budget, so we are proud to be able to offer Woodwarm as part of our stove choice.”

The Welton showroom at 11 Lincoln Road is open Mon–Fri 10am to 5pm and Sat 9am to 5pm. The official launch of the Woodwarm range will be on Saturday 21st March. An ideal opportunity for anyone considering a woodburning stove to go along for some expert advice.

www.ignitestoves.com Tel: 01673 308005.

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