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

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Lincolnshire is full of modern market towns that still give visitors a glimpse of a bygone age. Glynis Fox finds a community going from strength to strength in Market Rasen.

With its location as one of the western gateways to the Wolds, Market Rasen has plenty to offer the day visitor or those staying longer in the area.

The town is home to long-established businesses and is the ideal place to wander around at leisure and discover family-run and independent enterprises, rather than rows of national chains.

There are several places where you can take a break or meet up with friends and enjoy refreshments, including the popular Albion Tea Shop, which offers beautiful surroundings in which you can relax over a drink and tuck in to homemade food, freshly cooked to order.

Owner Ron Stalford, his partner and friendly staff work hard to present the charms of the traditional tearoom, and serve a variety of dishes, including a selection of mouth-watering desserts.

Another interesting business, which has a real air of nostalgia whilst being firmly rooted in the present, is Garnett’s Sweet Shop in Queen Street. Here, older customers will find a wide range of favourite sweets that take them back to carefree childhood days, alongside more recent brands of confectionery.

Peter Rhodes kitchen centre and electrical shop has a well-established reputation in the town, having started in 1957. It remains a family-run business and last year marked its 60th anniversary in style.

The business was started by Peter and Joyce Rhodes and is now owned by Joyce and her son-in-law Roger Clark. It was previously located on the corner near the traffic lights in the centre of Market Rasen. Last year – to coincide with the silver anniversary – they opened a brand new shop, with special guest Jim Broadbent on hand for the official opening.

“We didn’t plan to open a new showroom to mark our 60th anniversary, it just happened that way, but it turned out to be a happy coincidence,” said Joyce Rhodes.

The firm, which is well known throughout the county, also has another shop in Louth and is part of the nationwide Euronics network and, as such, is a specialist when it comes to electrical goods.

Duckworth Land Rover on Willingham Road is the county’s longest- established Land Rover dealer and is also at the forefront of the town’s continued success. The firm also has a major dealership in Boston.

Market Rasen’s population is ever-increasing, with more houses being built. As a result, businesses in the area are benefitting from the extra footfall this brings to the town and many of these will be attracted to the weekly markets, which add bustle and colour to everyday life locally.

Granted market status since the 1300s this traditional way of trading also proves an attractive draw for many visitors. Offering a real flavour of the past, there are markets on Tuesday, when auctions are held, and on Friday and Saturday.

The town provides lots of activity opportunities for those seeking fresh air and keen to explore the surrounding countryside.There are picnic areas, cycle paths to follow, a golf course where you can play a few rounds, and wooded trails to explore. One of the most popular nature sites in the area is Willingham Woods, which is especially busy during the warmer months and a popular spot with picnickers.

Nearby you can take a stroll around the picturesque village of Tealby, which is thought by many to be the prettiest in the county.

One of the biggest attractions in this part of Lincolnshire is Market Rasen Racecourse, which has seen a huge change in its fortunes over the past few years. It continues to go from strength to strength by continually moving with the times to offer a wealth of live entertainment as well as a full calendar of racing fixtures.

As a sport, horse racing continues to pull in the crowds and marketing manager at the course, Sophie Burkin, agrees this is one of the primary reasons that the racecourse continues to put the town on the national map.

But some time ago it expanded its offer to make race-going even more of a social occasion. Its annual Ladies’ Day, which this year falls on 25th July, is one of the highlights in the county’s calendar – an occasion when people can get dressed up to the nines and enjoy all the thrills and spills of the racing, meet old friends and have a flutter on the horses.

Social events feature strongly at Market Rasen Racecourse. This Easter the venue is hosting an extravaganza over the Bank Holiday weekend, when it will give families their first opportunity to check out the major new children’s fun area.

“The new play area is a major added investment to the racecourse and it will offer play opportunities for all age groups. I am sure families will love the attractions we have added,” said Sophie.

In 2015 Market Rasen Racecourse hosted a major music concert in which around 14,000 turned out to see legendary Welsh singer Tom Jones appear on stage.

Jess Glynne also performed to sell-out crowds and last year X-Factor star Olly Murs and Brit Award-winning band Kaiser Chiefs played to enthusiastic audiences.

This year, Market Rasen Racecourse aims to build on that success with two more big name stars, who have been booked to perform at the venue. On 1st June another Brit Award-winner, cultural commentator, director, actor and musical maverick Plan B will headline. Later in the year, singer and fashion icon Paloma Faith is set to draw in the crowds. Faith is one of only two British female artists this decade to have three albums that have gone double platinum. She will be performing at the racecourse on 18th August.

If you prefer to spend your days more quietly discovering local history, then Market Rasen has many buildings of note. The parish church dates to Norman times and is a fine example of the architecture of its time while the town centre is made up of nineteenth-century red brick buildings of mainly Georgian and Victorian architecture.

The town’s secondary school is De Aston School, a co-educational 11–18 comprehensive with academy status and with approximately 1,300 pupils. It also has a sixth form and a boarding house.

The school was founded in 1863 as a small grammar – part of a legal settlement following a court case involving funds from the medieval charity of Thomas de Aston, a thirteenth-century monk.

The 400-seater Festival Hall is another long-standing attraction in the town. Within the last few years this notable building has undergone a major regeneration.

The completion of this project has enabled the Festival Hall to welcome touring theatre groups and music artists to the venue. The venue also has a sprung ballroom floor, which is said to match the best in the country.

Recently the Colebrook School of Dance and Performing Arts held its annual awards ceremony at the venue and on Saturday 14th July the group returns with its annual show – this year entitled Summer Goes Bang.

With this much in store, the town is continuing to give visitors and locals plenty of opportunities to discover something new.

A PERFECT GETAWAY ON YOUR DOORSTEP
Discover a tranquil retreat only a short distance away at Wold View Fisheries and Leisure Park. Located close to the village of Claxby, in the rolling Wolds landscape of outstanding natural beauty, the park is home to modern, luxury lodges, set around seven large fishing lakes.

Each of the generously proportioned, two and three-bedroomed lodges are immaculately fitted out with leather sofas, flatscreen TVs, as well as a hot tub on the raised deck. The well-equipped kitchens are stocked with plenty of appliances, cutlery and crockery. In the boot room you will find a dishwasher, microwave, fridge freezer and washing machine – in fact there is everything you need to entertain family and welcome friends while you enjoy your self-catering mini-break or holiday. The lodges are available for short breaks or weekly rental and make an ideal place for a relaxing getaway, and from which to explore the Wolds and surrounding areas.

The beautifully landscaped grounds are secure and private, within a sheltered, picturesque valley. No wonder Wold View Fisheries and Leisure Park was the winner of a Hoseasons Diamond Award 2017. Owner Tony Flint runs the park with his daughter Jess.

“We are starting our 2018 season with a terrific sense of pride in this award,” he said. “Our stunning new lodges have proved popular and they perfectly complement these established fishing lakes, where there are countless places to fish.”

The lakes are managed by fishing manager, Terry and are linked by a series of bridges, with pleasure pegs and regular fishing matches. With plenty of parking and easy accessibility, there is also a limited number of touring caravan pitches and the site is dog friendly too.

If you would like more information visit: www.woldviewfisheries.com Contact Jess for all lodge enquiries on 07984 682477 and for all fishing enquiries contact Terry on 07742 220204.

GUIDANCE IN YOUR TIME OF NEED
Founded in 1953, J Marshall Funeral Directors is a truly independent family business right in at the heart of the Market Rasen community, offering the utmost assistance and service to families when they are most in need of care and consideration.

William Marshall is the second generation of the family to run the business which was started by his late father, Jack. As he served past generations of Lincolnshire families, so William is keeping those values of professionalism and sensitivity but adapting to the specific requests and styles for funerals in the twenty-first century.

“From our base in Market Rasen, we serve not only the town but also a central swathe of the county from Gainsborough to Louth, Caistor to Dunholme and beyond,” said William. “I have a very experienced, dedicated team, many of whom live locally. Their knowledge is invaluable, allowing us to offer a bespoke, personal service tailored for each family’s needs.”

Whether it be a traditional funeral service or a more modern green ceremony, J Marshall will be on hand to provide the comfort of advice and guidance for an appropriate ceremony for a loved one.

You can find out more about J Marshall’s services at: www.jmarshallfuneraldirectors.co.uk or call 01673 843725

PROFESSIONAL TREE SPECIALISTS
Have confidence in contacting professionally qualified tree specialists, Lincolnshire Tree Services Ltd, for all your tree surgery, felling and tree reports.

Based at Bully Hill Top, Tealby, the company is run by directors James Kendall, Ben Redford, Amy Prentice and Simon Friend. You can be assured of NPTC qualified staff, also certified in Professional Tree Inspection and Tree Risk Assessment, with £10m public liability insurance and wide experience in all manner of arboriculture, site clearance, stump grinding and hedge cutting.

Lincolnshire Tree Services is a council approved contractor which can provide quotations for all your tree needs as well as a friendly and efficient service – taking the strain of management and disposal of wood waste.

For more information visit their website: www.lincolnshiretreeservices.co.uk or Tel: 01673 838901

ADVOCATING FRESHNESS AND EXCITEMENT
Following their double award success back in November, The Advocate Arms has seen a noticeable rise in popularity and has high hopes for 2018. They are now taking reservations for Good Friday, Easter Sunday and also Father’s Day. These dates will all feature some special hand-crafted delicacies along with wholesome family favourites.

Booking is essential for any of the above dates – contact details below.

Alongside this the restaurant will be continuing with the usual trend of updating the menu seasonally.

General manager, Scott Dunn said: “This helps us keep our offering fresh and exciting for our guests, especially when we do have a number of regular diners who visit us weekly!”

All dishes at The Advocate Arms are specially selected and freshly prepared by the award-winning team.

Built in the eighteenth century, The Advocate Arms, in the centre of Market Rasen, is one of the town’s most historic buildings. Their five-star rated accommodation consists of ten recently refurbished en suite bedrooms, which have all been finished to a high standard. Prices start from £60 per room per night and after a comfortable night, a full English and continental breakfast is available in the restaurant.

Standing proudly at the helm in the kitchen is head chef Josh Kelly. In 2016 Josh and his team earned their second AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence and have proudly retained this accolade ever since.

Josh said: “We are always looking for exciting new ways to enhance the Advocate’s offering, including a 7-Course Tasting Menu which is now available every Friday and Saturday evening. We have also seen a big rise in the popularity of our Afternoon Tea this year, which we serve every day between 12noon–5pm. Booking is preferred.”

COVERS AND BELTING FROM BELTEC
Market Rasen is home to Beltec, a company which supplies unique services to agriculture and industry as a manufacturer and repairer of canvas, PVC and rubber belting in the UK and Europe.

Their skilled workforce has seen the business develop into one of the leading companies providing a comprehensive manufacture and repair service of covers and belting to the farming and food processing sectors. All materials can be supplied to both general and food hygiene standards. The firm provides a rapid response, onsite repair service which their customers particularly value. In addition there is an in-house ability to design, create and repair according to customers’ needs. Beltec’s versatility means they are able to meet the requirements of most companies.

Bespoke covers can be created which are ideal for trailer and playground equipment use but there are many more applications which can be fulfilled depending on specification.

If you have a project which you would like to discuss with the team at Beltec (Market Rasen) Ltd visit: www.beltec.co.uk or tel: 01673 844181

DRIVE TO DELIVER THE BEST OF LAND ROVER
Few family businesses can boast a similar pedigree of dedication to precision engineering, their county customers and motor vehicles as Duckworth Land Rover of Market Rasen.

Managing director Ben Duckworth is the third generation to continue to drive this business forward, following on from his father Martin and grandfather James who firstly built a strong local reputation as Land Rover specialists and established their independent dealership for the marque in Market Rasen in 1980.

As the model range and appeal of Land Rover grew, from the launch of the Land Rover Discovery in 1989, the Freelander in 1997, to the Range Rover Sport in 2005, Duckworth’s maintained their investment in staff training, new showrooms and customer care. Expansion with the purchase of a dealership in Boston took place in 2007. This business relocated to purpose-built premises at Avalon Road, Kirton only one year ago, offering superb facilities for both Land Rover and Jaguar customers.

The Market Rasen site continues to be the flagship for the company, meeting the demand for new vehicles, parts, servicing and an impressive showroom which will be revamped during 2018/19 to harmonise the presentation of the Land Rover brand across the groups’ sites.

Connection and service to the county community is part and parcel of the business. During the recent extreme snow conditions, Duckworth were pleased to provide vehicles to help non-emergency hospital patients get to their appointments and home safely again in Market Rasen and Boston, with Land Rovers proving more than a match for the difficult conditions.

For more information and a test drive contact: Duckworth Land Rover, Market Rasen, Racecourse Garage, Willingham Road, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire LN8 3RE. Tel: 01673 842101
www.duckworth.co.uk

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