Thursday, July 18, 2019


 Andy and Tracey Noon - new mine hosts at the Black Bull pub in Brigg - enjoying the sunshine in July 2019

A very warm Brigg welcome is extended to the new couple who have taken charge at one of our town centre pubs. There are already plans for musical entertainment to go with the low-priced drinks.
Andy and Tracey Noon (pictured here) are now running the Black Bull, on Wrawby Street.
He told Brigg Blog: "We plan to bring back live music and hold quiz nights."
Teams playing darts and dominoes will hopefully to be added to the existing pool squads.
Andy had been to Brigg only once before prior to taking charge at the Bull with Tracey.
But the couple, who took over on Monday, July 8, have really taken to our town.
"I love it," he said. "The people are very friendly; the most friendly I've encountered in 15 years in the trade."
Former hostelries run include one in Lincoln, the Old Farmhouse at Gunness and the Warren Lodge in Scunthorpe.
While at the latter, Andy oversaw the introduction of the famous Dustbin Challenge - a huge, meat-laden feast served on a metal lid, which "went viral" on the internet.
A young colleague of ours at the Scunthorpe Telegraph famously tried it, at our suggestion when we were overseeing the paper's website. Andy still remembers that, although it was a few years ago.
There are no plans for a Brigg version of the Dustbin Lid challenge, but FREE bacon butties have been reintroduced at the Black Bull on Sunday mornings, from 10am to lunchtime.
Feel free to drop by for a late breakfast snack and meet the new couple in charge.
They are big fans of guest beers and plan to keep changing what's on offer, in addition to their standard range.
The good news for Brigg pub-goers is that drinks are in the budget price range - £2.40p for a pint of Fosters lager and £1.85p for John Smiths and Worthington bitter.
Yes, £1.85p - very low indeed by today's standards!
Having heard the new couple were in town, Brigg Blog popped in for an hour last Friday night (July 12) towards the end of Andy and Tracey's first week in charge, following the annual Sir John Nelthorpe School sports reunion in which the cricket match was blessed with thirst-creating warm weather.
We arranged to go back a few days later to take some pictures and pen a piece about Brigg's newest mine hosts.
They were just opening up when we arrived on Tuesday morning, with some regulars already queueing at the front door.
Hot and sunny weather gave us an ideal opportunity to photograph Andy and Tracey in the south-facing beer garden behind the Bull - added during the brief tenure of Dexters Ale House & Kitchen.
On hot days the palm trees and cabanas (beach huts) at the back make it seem more like Spain and Turkey than North Lincolnshire!
The Black Bull dates back to 1820 and was popular with airmen from local bases during the Second World War.
We told Andy a bit about the hostelry's history and some of the changes we've observed since the 1970s.
It was back in the early 1980s that we first wrote a 'new couple takes charge' feature about the Bull. That was when Mal and Carol Shipley took over, and it was also a hot and sunny summer's day when we popped in for a chat and Bryan Robins photographed them outside the front door.
Tony Rampling had the Bull for a time after them; we think he'd been at Elsham Golf Club or went there after leaving the Bull.
We've lost count of the many happy nights we've enjoyed at the Bull down the decades, notably during the very length Sykes and Smith era which began in the mid-1980s.
Tony Sykes (ex-Royal Navy) was a long-serving councillor, Town Mayor and chairman of the Brigg & District Licensees' Association for some years.
It was during his tenure that the first open plan layout was introduced - much altered since.
More recently, and post-Dexters, we covered the reopening of the pub - now part of Craft Union's extensive portfolio with its original name restored.
What we forgot to mention to Andy - and apologies for that - was the Black Bull once had its own football team which played in a local Sunday morning league, with home games at the Recreation Ground.
Much has changed since the days of Black Bull FC in the 1980s, and there are now far fewer pub teams about.
But would there be sufficient interest to get one going again?
Andy, who hails from Blackburn, supports the Lancashire town's famous Rovers.
During our own sport-playing days, Brigg Men's Hockey Club and Brigg Town Cricket Club members were also frequent after-match users of the Black Bull at various times, and many a game of darts and dominoes was enjoyed.
To use the modern phrase, it became something of a sports bar.

Offering a warm welcome to the Black Bull on a warm day!

Highly regarded Timothy Taylor's Landlord ale is on offer at the Black Bull in Brigg from new landlord Andy Noon and landlady Tracey Noon.

The couple in the covered shelter at the back of the Black Bull, with its large TV screen.



Cricket fans living in Brigg and district are to get this season's only chance to watch Minor Counties cricket in the north of the county.
Lincolnshire will be playing Suffolk, in a three-day championship match at the Chichester Road ground in Cleethorpes on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, July 21, 22 and 23.

Lincolnshire CCC tells us: "This three-day match is a crucial one for both counties. Suffolk currently lead the Eastern Division table whilst Lincolnshire, following their defeat against Staffordshire, have slipped to fourth place. 
"From the 2020 season both the Eastern and Western Divisions will divide into two divisions of five teams. The top five sides in each current ten team division at the end of the 2019 season will comprise division one and the remainder division two. Therefore, Lincolnshire will be endeavouring to consolidate their position in the top five."
Play commences at 11 am each day and admission to the ground is free.
If sampling a few pints from the club bar while you watch the match appeals, we suggest taking the train from Barnetby to Cleethorpes.
You can then get a bus to the Leisure Centre, which is close to the ground, or walk along the seafront.
Turn immediately right near the Leisure Centre; the ground is nearby.
This is a well-appointed venue with a fine playing surface and has hosted first class matches involving Nottinghamshire in past seasons.
Brigg Blog has been to many Lincolnshire games at Cleethorpes since the late 1970s sometimes in a reporting capacity, sometimes to spectate.
It's well worth considering a day at the cricket to support our county side.
In their latest championship fixture, Lincolnshire travelled to West Bromwich Dartmouth CC to face Staffordshire.
On winning the toss, Staffordshire elected to bat. Lincolnshire struck first, removing Kadeer Ali and Matt Morris with the total on 31. Staffordshire then added 66 for their third wicket and thereafter took control of the match. Tim Maxfield and Michael Hill added 194 for their fourth wicket and by tea on day one they had reached 347 for 5. Hill with 153 and Maxfield with 117 dominated the Lincolnshire attack with Spencer Byatt (50 not out) and Dan Richardson (35 not out) adding useful middle order runs to see them reach 451 for 6 declared in the ninetieth over. Lincolnshire’s bowlers toiled hard with Nic Keast 3 for 134 being the most successful. By the close of play Lincolnshire had lost three wickets for 55 and faced an uphill task to save the match.
On day two Lincolnshire’s batsmen struggled to handle the Staffordshire attack and only Bilal Shafayat with a fine 98 not out withstood the pressure. Lincolnshire were finally dismissed for 214 in the seventy-fifth over, still 237 runs in arrears. Richardson with 4 for 28 and James Cox with 4 for 65 were Staffordshire’s most successful bowlers. Staffordshire did not enforce the follow-on and by the close of play on day two had reached 239 for 6, a lead of 476, Hill again top scoring with 56. Nic Keast with 3 for 78 was again Lincolnshire’s most successful bowler.
Staffordshire declared on the morning of day three and Lincolnshire now faced an uphill task to save the game and to their credit they made a tremendous effort to do so. They survived into the ninety-eighth over with every player battling hard against the strong and varied Staffordshire attack. Tom Keast with 42 off 93 balls, debutant Ben Coddington with 41 off 91 balls, and Dan Freeman with 39 off 92 balls all played their part in a rear-guard action. The last wicket fell in the final hour of play, Lincolnshire being dismissed for 216, leaving Staffordshire victorious by 260 runs. 

Staffordshire took 24 points from the match and Lincolnshire 3.
This result leaves Lincolnshire fourth in the Eastern Division table.
PICTURED: Bilal Shafayat batting for Lincolnshire at West Bromwich against Staffordshire. Images kindly supplied by Lincs CCC.


Broughton has featured in a new initiative helping primary school children to explore their futures - something Brigg Blog is pleased to see.


An ambitious project has been launched by North Lincolnshire Council to inspire primary school children to broaden their horizons and consider a wider range of career options.
Industry role models are being sought to help deliver the scheme which will also help primary school children better understand the link between their education and their future.
The Primary Futures initiative connects schools with local volunteers who visit and speak to pupils about their jobs. Meeting people with different career backgrounds helps to open children’s eyes to the range of potential opportunities available to them in the future.
Research by the charity Education and Employers has found that children as young as six have already started to form opinions about what they can – or can’t – be in the future, with gender and socio-economic stereotyping influencing their ideas about their own futures.
The council’s Director of Learning, Skills and Culture, Peter Thorpe, said: “We’re in a really good place in education in North Lincolnshire, with the highest proportion of good and outstanding schools in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Starting from this strong platform we can begin to think about what else is possible to ensure all our children have the best start in life.
“Research has shown that encounters during education with people from the world of work has a direct link to whether or not children and young people end up not in education, employment, or training further down the line. So by bringing volunteers into classrooms across North Lincolnshire through Primary Futures, we’re bringing learning to life and making school seem more relevant to pupils, whilst raising their aspirations about their futures.”
North Lincolnshire Council piloted the project in a number of local primary schools during spring 2019.
Broughton Primary School was one such school which held a Primary Futures event with over 40 local volunteers coming to speak to the school’s pupils, from the youngest aged 4, to the eldest at 11.
Daniel Clayton, Head of Broughton Primary School, said: “Children have a limited view of the world of work – they know what their parents and grandparents do, and what they see on TV and social media. We wanted to show that there’s a wealth of opportunities out there that suit every type of personality and skills.
“The exposure was important for us. Even if children listened to our visitors and thought ‘this isn’t for me’, it’s still important to have these early experiences to help shape their lives.
“The volunteers were happy to see how they’d inspired these keen, young minds. We could see the affect that the Primary Futures event had on our pupils; you could see the lights turning on behind their eyes during their day.”
Cllr David Rose, cabinet member responsible for education on North Lincolnshire Council, added: “Children in North Lincolnshire are already receiving the best standard of education our area has ever seen, but through innovative schemes like Primary Futures, and our continued commitment to the Imagination Library and investing in our learning environments, we’re ensuring we give all our children and young people the best start in life.”
Primary Futures is now open to the 61 primary, junior and infant schools in North Lincolnshire and volunteers and schools are welcome to register through the Primary Futures website.
Volunteers from any business or organisation are welcome to register with the free programme and pledge as little as a few hours a year to visiting schools to talk about their jobs to pupils.
For more information about Primary Futures and to register a school, or as a volunteer, visit
PICTURED: Broughton pupils find out about the fire service. Image from North Lincolnshire Council.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


The only grade two star listed building in Brigg - built in 1760 - still houses many features that would have been familiar to people who visited it, or worked there, during previous centuries.
What's now the Exchange Coach House Inn, on Bigby Street, has had various guises down the years, including a gentlemen's club and a girls' school.
Current owner Joe Mullen kindly gave Brigg Blog a detailed guided tour of the premises, including parts of the upper floors that do not have public access.
Brigg couples who held wedding receptions at the Exchange years ago used to pose beside a large picture window, still in place today halfway up the period staircase (pictured above), so the official photographer could record the scene in the souvenir album.

What later became a conference room (seen above) had been used to trade locally-grown cereals before the Victorians built the town's Corn Exchange.
There's an ornate card table, dating back to William IV's reign in the 1830s, around which some properties, farms and fortunes are said to have been wagered and lost long ago.

The floors of the Exchange, when it was built, were laid down using an early kind of concrete spread over brushwood frames, producing a rock-hard finish.
Still visible in one room is an alcove (below) where Brigg Home Guard stored its rifles during the Second World War when the Exchange doubled up as the detachment's headquarters.

With the Luftwaffe active and fears about fifth columnists ever-present, fire-watching and surveillance were carried out from the roof of the building which today still has panoramic views over rooftops in the centre of the town.

These buildings include ones added during the early part of Joe's ownership, when a courtyard extension (seen above and below) was constructed on the former Lincolnshire Times newspaper car park to provide additional sleeping accommodation for paying guests.
The brick archway is still there to provide pedestrian access to the Exchange from Wrawby Street, but it's many years since any cars passed through.

In 1988, Brigg Town Council gave Joe an award for the careful and sympathetic restoration of what was described in the citation as Raffles Club.
Two years later a plaque was erected in the courtyard, paying tribute to the efforts of Master Builder Bruce Finch.

Many people in Brigg will remember towards the end of the last century when the Exchange boasted the town's only late night entertainments licence, with dance music on offer on the ground floor at weekends.
Entry was gained through an entrance off the side car park, and fun-seekers often had to queue, with doormen operating a 'one out, one in' policy to ensure things did not get too crowded.
An additional bar, known as Scruffy's, was also established close to the parking area.


A bird's eye picture of Brigg town centre with St John's Church and the Dying Gladiator pub in view - June 2019

Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, called at the Exchange in Brigg during her royal visits to the town.
Police marksmen, posted for security reasons, found the Exchange's lofty roof an ideal spot, following in the footsteps of the Home Guard based there during the Second World War.
Dad's Army privates from Brigg on top of the roof in the early 1940s would have spied Wallhead's shop (established in 1897) far below them on the corner of Cross Street.
From the top of the building now, on a clear day, you can see the so-called Golf Ball monitoring station on top of the distant Lincolnshire Wolds.
As we surveyed the scene, owner Joe Mullen pointed out the M180 by-passing Brigg and (much closer to home) the roofs of town houses built a few years ago on the site previously used by Draper's Joinery.
We watched traffic progress down Bigby Street towards the Dying Gladiator pub and then made our way back down the winding steps from the flat roof with its protective battlement-like surrounds.
Once we had returned to ground level, Joe pointed out an inscribed metal plaque listing those Exchange Club members who served their country during the First World War, in a variety of roles.
Sadly, some did not survive the conflict. But among those who did was Sir Berkeley Sheffield (6th Baronet), 1876-1946, local landowner, Brigg MP for some years and High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1905.
During our guided tour we also popped in to take a look at the historic Tiffin Room, on the Bigby Street side of the ground floor. View details here...
Brigg Blog reckoned we had seen most things of note in the town over the past 60+ years, but visiting the roof of the Exchange was a first for us.

PICTURED ABOVE: St John's Church and Bigby Street,  with the Dying Gladiator pub on the left.

Looking down Bigby Street towards Albert Street.

The Exchange with its lofty roof from where our bird's eye pictures were taken.

The Golden Living housing development in Brigg town centre. - June 2019
The Golden Living housing development in Brigg town centre.

A view across the roof of the Exchange with protective wall.

Wallhead's shop, founded in 1897, on the right.

Looking towards Cross Street and Garden Street.

Trees as far as the eye can see!


A scheme to create up to 48 new homes within the Brigg area is to be considered by decision-making councillors at a meeting today (Wednesday, July 17).
North Lincolnshire Council's Planning Committee will rule on an application seeking outline approval for the dwellings off the B1207, Station Road, Hibaldstow.
The council says there has been "considerable public interest" which is why this application is being considered by the committee, comprising councillors from across the unitary authority's area.
A report prepared by council staff outlines objections to the scheme from the parish councils in Hibaldstow and Scawby.
There have been "numerous objections" from members of the public "and some in support" of the scheme.
Opponents are suggesting the site is outside the village's development boundary, say that agricultural land will be lost and suggest it will put a strain on local services.
Supporters have told the council this development will contribute to the economy and provide housing for families wanting to stay in the village.
The application, from Maltgrade Ltd, will be considered by the Planning Committee at Church Square House, within Scunthorpe town centre during a meeting starting at 2pm. It is open to interested members of the public.
Councillor Nigel Sherwood (Brigg & Wolds) chairs this committee.
Options open to councillors include approving or refusing an application or holding a site visit before reaching their decision at a later date.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Brigg Horse Fair 2018 on Station Road - pictured on Nigel Fisher's Brigg Blog

Brigg Horse Fair 2019 will be held on Monday, August 5 with members of the gypsy/traveller community expected to begin buying and selling steeds from 9.30am and continue trading well into the afternoon.
In recent years the fair has featured a number of stalls, trailers and vans selling various horse-related items, including brasses, while refreshments have also been available within the site.
This free-to-attend fair takes place on land near Station Road  - postcode DN20 8XH - and will attract spectators from a wide area.
Historic Brigg Horse Fair is one of a dwindling number still held across the UK.
The first travellers in their caravans will start arriving up to a week before the big day, parking up ahead of the event.
If you go along, please watch out for approaching horses being paraded for the benefit of potential purchasers.
And note that no spectator parking will be available on Station Road during the horse fair.
Car-driving visitors are advised to use the town's main car park, off the A18 on Old Courts Road, at DN20 8JD.
Not being seen as an official event, Brigg Horse Fair does not usually appear in listing guides.
It is organised by gypsy/traveller community members who meet up in Brigg each summer as generations of their families did before them, going back many decades.
Some years ago when the Brigg Amateur Social Historians (BASH) group organised an exhibition of black and white Brigg Horse Fair prints of the past at the White Horse pub, some adult travellers - in town for the event - spotted themselves as children and picked out friends and relatives in the pictures on display.
Seen here - a couple of images from Brigg Horse Fair 2018.

Taking a ride past one of the refreshment vans at Brigg Horse Fair 2018 - see Nigel Fisher''s Brigg Blog