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Mentioned Part 26

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 29/08/2001

Home > Features > Mentioned > Mentioned #26


"No disrespect to the likes of Grimsby..."

wednesday 29th august

What's the most boring place on Earth?

From an online poll by BBC

Grimsby: been there, done that, wouldn't be seen dead in the T-shirt...

Paul, UK

Spotted by Jonathan Parkes.

Grimsby look to 'Houdini' Lawrence

From the BBC

BBC Sport Online believes Grimsby will do well to avoid relegation this season.

It is hard to envisage anything but a season of battling against relegation for Grimsby.

But they have a manager in Lennie Lawrence experienced in such matters and nicknamed Houdini from his exploits of steering his former side's away from the drop.

Lawrence took over at Blundell Park in August 2000 and helped the club narrowly maintain their Division One status last term.

The club have lost several key players during the summer, in particular influential midfielder Kevin Donovan moving to Barnsley.

In contrast, only two signings have been made which signals difficult times ahead.

But the arrival of striker Phil Jevons from Everton could prove an inspired acquisition if he can score the regular flow of goals any side needs.

Jevons found first team opportunities limited at Goodison Park and will be out to prove himself.

Spotted by Grim Rob.

Great drives: The A16 from Stamford to Grimsby and Cleethorpes

From the Motoring Telegaph

Geoffrey Williams ignores cynical jokes about north Lincolnshire and discovers much to enjoy in this proud, down-to-earth region

THE best thing to come out of the adjacent towns of Grimsby and Cleethorpes is the A16 - or so the cynics say. Grimsby seemingly shuns the notion of heritage, and Cleethorpes has been the butt of more "end of the earth" jokes than any other seaside resort bar Morecambe. But have you ever visited north Lincolnshire? If not, the A16 is the ideal route.

We begin 80 miles to the south, though, at Stamford, beloved by TV producers as a set for Georgian costume dramas. It is a grand town, but with a long drive ahead there is little time for dallying. Join the A16 north of the River Welland and head east. Soon, you are swooping over low hills and round fast bends before the B1525 takes you through Market Deeping.

Rejoining the A16, wide vistas, a big sky and huge fields of rich dark soil herald the Fens. Yet Lincolnshire is not entirely flat, and certainly not tedious, as the this area has numerous fine churches and pleasantly ramshackle farms.

Watch out for the B1172 to take you into Spalding, home of the Tulip Festival.

Spalding has many houses of grace, charm and grandeur, particularly near the River Welland. It was once criss-crossed by railway lines, and two desolate foot bridges are forlorn reminders of a more elegant mode of transport. If you want to explore the old main line to Boston, the new A16 occupies its former route after bypassing Spalding - just follow the signs.

The old A16, though, is much more interesting, so from central Spalding take the B1356 through Pinchbeck. This twists and turns to such an extent that, by Surfleet, St Lawrence's church tower appears to be keeling over. Your eyes do not deceive you - it has been like this for centuries. Thereafter, join the A152 to Gosberton and follow the B1397 through Sutterton and Kirton into Boston, enjoying the road's wide, fast, sweeping curves while the convoys of trucks stick to the former railway line.

Boston is renowned for its stately, 272ft "Stump". The great octagonal lantern is still a sighting point for ships in The Wash, though the days are few and far between when you can see Lincoln cathedral from its summit. As with so many small towns, Boston's centre has succumbed to successive traffic mismanagement schemes, but look out for the restored Maud Foster windmill as you leave.

From Boston, the A16 spears north across yet more fens, seemingly drawn towards the looming Lincolnshire Wolds. At Keal Cotes, the road rises to begin a roller-coaster journey towards Spilsby. Here, the market displays its proud agricultural roots - this is working rural England, not second-home land, with a down-to-earth feel.

Beyond Partney, the A16 rises and falls over and round the rolling Wolds. Hereabouts are several Neolithic long barrows: communal burial mounds that date back more than 5,000 years. One of the best, "Spellow Hills", rises on the left of the A16, about three miles north of Partney.

There is a distinct beauty about the Lincolnshire Wolds, and they provide cracking motoring. Burwell's octagonal butter cross is passed in the blink of an eye, and during the last few miles to Louth the A16 climbs to more than 300ft. Who says the county is flat?

Avoid Louth's bypass, for it is a lovely country town. The market is a glorious bustle: a splendid agglomeration of agriculture, trade and gentility. The Town Hall, Corn Exchange and Market Hall vie for attention, while the 295ft spire on St James's Church is omnipresent. Most pleasingly unusual, though, is the 1836 Centenary Wesleyan Church: a wonderful survivor in this once fiercely non-conformist county. Unfortunately, the original interior was stripped out years ago.

For the final 15 miles to Grimsby, the Wolds accompany you to the west, with the Lincolnshire Marsh to the east. Fotherby, Utterby and Ludborough retain their village identity, but Holton-le-Clay is now commuter-land, partially built over the former Second World War airfield of Waltham.

Few towns can have been subjected to as many crude developments over the past 30-odd years as Grimsby. Still, somehow, its character shines through. The Dock Tower is a soaring majesty, and the Town Hall is not entirely without architectural distinction. As for Cleethorpes, it will never match Scarborough or Blackpool, but with its sea views and forts, narrow-gauge railway, squat Saxon Old Clee Church, lofty Beaconthorpe Methodist Church, truncated pier and many seaside amusements, the resort is bustling once again. On a sunny day it is full of smiling faces, laughing with, not at, the town.

Distance: 80 miles.

Traffic forecast: Light, though avoid peak times in towns.

Pubs/restaurants: The George Inn, Stamford; The Deeping Stage, Market Deeping; The Lincolnshire Poacher, Spalding; The White Hart, Spilsby; The Stag's Head, Burwell; Ye Olde Whyte Swann, Louth; Yarburgh Hotel, Grimsby; The Leaking Boot, Cleethorpes.

Landmarks: Ayscoughfee Hall (Spalding); Pinchbeck Engine, Bulb Museum (Pinchbeck); St Botolph's Church, Hussey and Rochford Towers, Maud Foster Mill (Boston); Gunby Hall (Nat Trust); St James's Church (Louth); National Fishing Heritage Centre, Dock Tower (Grimsby); Seaside amusements, Humber sea forts, Beaconthorpe Methodist Church (Cleethorpes).

Spotted by Jonathan Parkes.

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