Thursday 14th November 2019
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Words: Kate Chapman
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the October 2019 issue

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There are ongoing efforts in Horncastle to transform areas of land for the benefit of the whole community and bring the town’s rich past to new life, as Kate Chapman finds.

As one of Britain’s oldest towns, Horncastle has a rich and varied history, renowned for its stunning Georgian and Victorian architecture, but it is another of its impressive features which is currently uniting the community – its Roman wall, which needs works costing around £100,000 in order to save it.

An area of the Scheduled Ancient Monument near the community centre has suffered from vegetation growth and erosion for many years, while drainage problems in some places have all contributed to its continued decay.

The Government’s heritage advisors Historic England (the funding arm of English Heritage) are very concerned about the state of the wall – believed to be part of the late Roman defences of Britain – and provided funding for a condition survey to highlight what repairs are needed.

Now Horncastle Community Centre and the town’s history and heritage society are hoping to secure 90 per cent of the funding from Historic England to carry out the repairs and maintenance – on the proviso they raise the remaining £10,000.

Community centre chairman, David Dean said: “The wall is in a very poor state of repair because nothing has been done to it for years and years.

“If we can get this work done it really will become the talking point of the town; a monument everyone can be proud of and something that will draw visitors in, but the work needed is expensive.

“We have to hire highly qualified tradesmen, or tradesmen who are employed by historic renovation companies, and that does not come cheap.

“They can’t just use normal mortar for instance – it has got to be made just as the Romans made it.”

The Roman wall gave Horncastle its name, sheltered its ancestors in times of war and shaped the streets and buildings of the modern-day town.

It dates to the third century AD and is Grade I listed in several parts – making it as important as sites like Lincoln Castle and Stonehenge. It is thought to have been a second line of defence, from where troops could be sent to intercept any barbarians that did manage to land on the coast.

To help raise funds the history and heritage society has launched a scheme asking people to Sponsor a Stone for £10. In recognition donors’ names will be added to a special plaque at the Community Centre and receive a handmade thank you card.

To find out more, or to make a donation, email info@horncastle.org.uk

It’s a busy time for Horncastle Town Council too. Clerk Amanda Bushell said the authority is currently working on several exciting projects including one to create a new recreational area for residents of all ages to enjoy.

The scheme involves transforming an area off Prospect Street, which is one of fifteen parcels of land whose ownership has recently been transferred to the council by East Lindsey District Council.

Plans for the new recreation area – set to cost in the region of £250,000 – include a skate park, outdoor gym equipment as well as seating areas.

“The idea is that we will have something for all ages. As well as a skate park for the youngsters we’re also looking to install some outdoor gym equipment and then some seating, so people can sit and stop and watch everything that’s going on,” explained Mrs Bushell.

In order to secure the necessary funding, the council is currently working on several grant applications and has also set aside £50,000 of its own money.

“We’re in the process of applying for several large grants and will then be applying to some more local funds as well as doing some fundraising ourselves,” she added.

“This is going to be a great community facility and will be of benefit to everyone and all being well, we’d really like to get it done as soon as next year.”

Another of the council’s projects, which will shortly be coming to fruition, is the new burial ground on land next to Horncastle’s community woodland area.

Mrs Bushell said the existing cemetery is near capacity, so a new area is desperately needed.

Work is about to begin on a new storage building and roadways at the site neighbouring the woodland, which should then be open next year.

And a year after Horncastle Town Council was one of the first local authorities to receive delegated powers to determine minor planning applications – including house extensions and new garages – Mrs Bushell said the move is going well.

“So far we’ve dealt with fifteen applications ourselves and it’s great as people can come and speak to us directly about what they are doing and why, and then the council can make an informed decision. It’s working very well.”

Gifts and gardens at Sir Joseph Banks Centre
The Sir Joseph Banks Centre is located just a minute away from the main Market Square along Bridge Street.

The Centre and tribute garden have been running for twelve years and they are proud of their achievements and development during this time.

“Our Centre is all about people and the community, we provide a beautiful gift shop, Banks Room and tribute garden to visit and learn about the plants collected by Joseph Banks during his trip with Captain Cook on the Endeavour.

“We are a not for profit organisation supporting people back into work. In addition, our talented local crafters show and sell their unique products. We continue to support the Joseph Banks Society in its mission to expand knowledge about Banks, his achievements and relevance today.

“Our wonderful staff and volunteers work hard to make this a great place to visit and buy that truly special gift, plus so much more…”

Creative imagery
Based in Horncastle, and with a first class honours degree in Commercial Photography, Vicki Head is a Craftsman of the Guild of Professional Photographers specialising in creating perfect images for her clients while making their experience easy and enjoyable.

“I offer commercial and family photography as well as teaching people how to get the best from their cameras,” Vicki explained. “Wedding and portrait photography requires an approach which reflects natural, relaxed images capturing the day. My commercial photography is focused towards helping businesses showcase their services and engage with prospective clients with strong, creative images for a range of purposes including editorial, events, websites, advertising campaigns and headshots.”

Vicki teaches photography at The Grimsby Institute in addition to local night classes and one-to-one bespoke training – helping people get out of ‘auto’ and learn new processes.

“I listen to my clients and to their needs. I care about providing high quality images that work effectively for them. Whether that is precious moments of wedding photography or powerful images that help businesses drive forward.”

Contact Vicki on 07900 252423 or visit www.vickihead.com

Family bakers introduce delicious patisserie range
For one of the largest selections of handmade bread in the county, head to Myers Bakery. Family bakers since 1901, their small team of craft bakers work with only the best ingredients to provide the finest quality loaves, rolls and baps. Their range includes traditional favourites like granary, wholemeal and milk bread, alongside more artisan varieties like low GI, spelt and honey, and corn bread. More recently the bakers have been busy perfecting a sourdough loaf, which is already proving very popular. 

Another area which has seen expansion over the last few weeks is their naughty but nice patisserie range. New desserts such as tiramisus, trifles, speciality cheesecakes and mousses have been created to sit alongside their fresh cream range. The family feel strongly about supporting other local Lincolnshire food suppliers, which is why you’ll always find an array of local food and drink in their deli, along with over 60 varieties of local, regional and European cheeses. Of course, all this shopping is bound to tire you out, so where better to take a rest than their café tearoom, which serves breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas.

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