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Words: Glynis Fox
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the March 2018 issue

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Glynis Fox visits this working village situated just eleven miles from Lincoln that prides itself on being a welcoming, friendly place to all.

It is this friendly welcome which will be extended to a new workforce when the new £55 million cracker factory opens there very shortly. The Ryvita factory owned by Associated British Foods (ABF) has been built on the brownfield site that was once owned by British Sugar, at one time a major employer in the village.

The new Ryvita factory will act as a sister site to the company’s current operation in Poole, Dorset and it is anticipated to create 100 jobs in the area.

Villagers have welcomed the new investment in the area after British Sugar ended its production at the Station Road factory in 2001 after seventy years. The site is still being used by The Silver Spoon Company as a packaging company. Both it and Ryvita belong to the ABF stable of businesses.

One of the local businesses already benefitting from investment in the factory is The Black Horse Restaurant and Guest House. The Black Horse is owned and run by John Gregg and Michael Rosamond, who both enjoy meeting and serving a range of customers who have travelled miles to stay with them, as well as local diners.

“We have already benefitted from the new factory as many of the workers who have been on site in readiness for the opening have been staying with us,” said John.

The Black Horse is steeped in history and was formerly a farmhouse.

“We have been here for a number of years now and when we moved in we inherited a very old child’s shoe which had been found within the walls. It remains in the building because if it is removed apparently good luck goes with it!”

The Black Horse has five rooms, which can accommodate up to fourteen people and it offers bed and breakfast along with an evening meal. As well as offering B&B accommodation The Black Horse is open to the general public for Sunday lunches and it also hosts occasional Tasting Nights, Supper Nights and other special events.

“Our business aims not only to provide a living for us, but it also gives us great satisfaction in offering a service to this village community.”

RAF Bardney was a Bomber Command station in 1943 and home to No 9 Squadron, and The Black Horse was a popular watering hole for airmen and relatives. The Black Horse continues to welcome those with Squadron connections.

John and Michael are already fully booked for later this year when a special 1940s event will take place in Woodhall Spa.

Another local business experiencing a boost in trade thanks to the imminent opening of the new factory is The Old Angel Inn – one of the two pubs in the village.

Manager, Emma Wilson said that the pub had already been attracting those working on the site. A typical village pub, The Old Angel Inn serves meals and hosts functions and live music nights.

Bardney Parish Council plays an active role in welcoming all newcomers to the village. The Parish Council covers one of the largest areas in the county, from Southrey and Bardney Bridge up to Stainfield and Apley. The Council has offices within the Fire Station and meets monthly.  The group is very pro-active and operates best practice. The Parish Council owns and runs the cemetery and the allotments.

Bardney Group Parish Council RFO Anna Lawson said: “The cemetery is something we are very proud of. It is well maintained and the Parish Council together with the Bardney Cemetery Improvement Group work tirelessly to keep it in pristine condition.

“If memorial stones become too difficult for families to maintain, we offer to step in and restore them.”

The Parish Council is also responsible for the allotments, which are very popular with the locals.

“Our Village Green is well-kept and has a memorial to No 9 Squadron and Alms Houses at the side.”

To cope with the new arrivals and the growing popularity of the village, 170 properties are being developed by Chestnut Homes Development. Work started on the site last summer and continues.

“Our Village Hall is very busy and offers a wide range of activities for villagers to enjoy with everything from yoga and kickboxing to short mat bowls,” said Anna.

“The Heritage Centre is also an important asset to the community. Here you can view posters of the bands who attended a music festival in the area in the 1960s and discover more about the military history of the village.”

Bardney has churches for all denominations. It has a beautiful, petite Roman Catholic Church which attracts a lot of people to the village. It also has a Methodist Church and the Anglican church of St Lawrence has paintings of Abbots and other notaries, as well as a model of Bardney Abbey.

“The remains of Bardney Abbey are situated on the outskirts of the village and occasionally these remains are uncovered and you can view the mounds and you gain a real sense of the history of the place,” said Anna.

Nearby are the remains of Tupholme Abbey which dates back to a later period. Parts of the façade are still in situ. At the back of Tupholme Abbey are fishing lakes, bridges and moats.

The Tea Room in Bardney is run by the Churches and is a very popular venue.

Lots of walkers are also attracted to the area and many head for Southrey Woods with their historic lime trees. The Woods are also popular with members of the horse riding community and the village, and the area has a very active Butterfly Society.

Many of the shops like the Co-op have been serving villagers for a great many years. The Post Office is one of the hubs of the village. Until the end of January this was run by Irene Hewitt, who was the postmistress and who was preceded in the business by her mother. It is understood new owners have now taken over.

Among the others businesses in the village are a cycle shop and UK Creels, a business making lobster pots and creels. It has proved so popular that it has expanded into bigger premises.

Fishing is an activity that has long drawn people to Bardney.

“In the 1950s and 60s trains would leave Sheffield carrying fishermen bound for Bardney. They would get off at the station and walk down to the River Witham for a day’s fishing and then return home. Today, newer generations still carry on the tradition,” said Anna.

Organisations in the village are very active and you will regularly find coffee mornings and pie-and-mash evenings on the village calendar.

“Once a year we host the Annual Bardney Gala which just continues to grow and get better and better. This is always held on the August Bank Holiday weekend and attracts people from far and wide. The money raised from the event goes towards Bardney Gateway Centre,” said Anna.

“The Centre holds the Youth Club and self-help groups meet here. They have sessions for people with mental health issues, so are very forward-thinking.”

MORE THAN A FARM SHOP
Just a few miles east of Bardney village, you will find Minting Park Farm, nestled on the edge of the ancient Bardney limewoods.  This family working farm breeds and rears all the meat sold in their award-winning Farmshop Butchery.  However, they are ‘more than just a butchers shop’.  As well as their home produced beef, pork, lamb and mutton, you will find an array of meat products, award-winning sausages and pies, home cured ham, Champion award-winning sausage rolls, fruit pies and crumbles and homemade preserves using fruit grown on the farm – not forgetting their famous homemade cakes! There is a great selection of bottled real ales and cider too.

Refreshments are available in The Harness Room; a tastefully decorated room, full of character and serving delicious homemade fare.

Watch this space for some exciting developments throughout this year and join Minting Park Farm on Sunday 10th June for their annual Open Farm Sunday event, “a great day out”.

Check out the website www.mintingparkfarm.co.uk

Find them on Facebook – Minting Park Farm. Open Thursdays and Saturdays 9am-4pm, or by arrangement. Private parties can be catered for.

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