Friday, November 30, 2007


Brigg Blog has received a copy of a letter from a well-known Brigg man, highlighting why email users sometimes refer to the postal delivery system as snail mail.
Edgar Patchett, of Bigby High Road, wrote to North Lincolnshire Council to point out a letter from licensing manager Nick Bramhill had taken three weeks to reach him, 'in an envelope which wore a second class stamp'.
And Edgar was being contacted about a time-critical matter!
Second class service, or what?


Tonight sees one of the commmunity highlights of the year in Brigg - the Christmas fair and switching on of the town centre illuminations.
Residents, and visitors, are advised to be in the Market Place for about 4.45pm if they want to find a good vantage point to watch the official lights switch-on ceremony at 5pm.
Then you can browse the stalls and the craft fair, have a bite to eat or a pint or two, and do some Christmas shopping, as many retailers will be staying open specially.
Weather permitting, it should add up to another great night, with the tills ringing merrily.
The long-serving Betty Lewis has asked us to remind people St John's Church is offering refreshments while the fair is on, so why not pop in for a warming drink? Proceeds go to church funds.
Brigg District Lions deserve high praise for again organising the Christmas fair, as does the town council for its hard work over the illuminations.
Barrie Gray and Son, the well-known Brigg electrical firm, was out in the Market Place before 7am this morning, working on the lights. And the Christmas tree is in place near the NatWest bank.
So it's all systems go for an event which should bring a few thousand folk into the town centre!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Many Brigg households will have now received their latest free copies of Countynews, the 20-page newspaper produced by Lincolnshire County Council.
Yes, Lincolnshire County Council, not our own authority, North Lincolnshire.
Why, you may wonder, would Lincolnshire CC want to deliver its newspaper to people who are not in its area and who contribute nothing to its finances.
The answer is many Brigg homes in the North Lincs unitary authority share the same area code as those on the very edge of town just inside Lincolnshire 'proper' – a handful of houses at the very end of Westrum Lane and on Bigby High Road, near the garden centre.
Even those of us North Lincs householders living a good distance from the county boundary are getting free copies delivered to us.
We first raised this issue with Lincolnshire County Council back in 2003, and have been back to them again since then. But nothing changes.
The county council's stock answer whenever we've queried this is that it pays the Royal Mail to deliver the newspaper by postcode.
Surely it would make sense, and save a good deal of cash, if Lincolnshire CCC posted the handful of copies direct to their chargepayers who live on the fringes of Brigg, and told the Royal Mail not to deliver any copies to our town at all.
Still, disposing of Brigg’s copies of County News Monthly is not Lincolnshire’s problem – but that of our own council, North Lincolnshire.
So don’t forget to put your copies neatly in the blue plastic bin for our unitary council’s recycling team to collect.
When we first alerted Lincs CC to this problem in February 2003, their PR department said the newspaper had an enormous print run of 312,000.
A spokesman said some people outside their boundaries who received copies actually contacted the council to say they enjoyed the publication, while others felt they should not be getting it delivered.
"It’s a mixed reaction," he explained, saying the distribution was being looked at.
"If we can fine-tune it, we will," he promised.
That was almost five years ago. And nothing has altered.
Clearly the wind of change blows very slowly in certain areas of local government.
If you have a copy of Countynews from Lincolnshire County Council, but pay your council tax to North Lincolnshire, please post a comment on this story and we will pass them on to the PR staff at Lincolnshire County Council, in due course.
It made me smile but the lastest issue of Countynews (December 2007/January 2008) contains a large feature on waste services!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The former Glebe Road School site is not the only piece of Brigg real estate to go on the market at a major auction in London on Monday.
For part of what many of us still refer to as the W A Sass Garage site, at the Monument, is also going under the hammer.
If you look closely at the site, near The Monument, you will spot the auctioneer's 'for sale' sign. But don't try it while you are driving!
As readers of the Brigg Extra page in the Scunthorpe Telegraph were informed yesterday, North Lincolnshire Council is looking to sell the ex-school site in Glebe Road, with a guide price of £950,000.
Subject to planning permission being the same North Lincolnshire looks like being snapped up for the building of a housing estate.
That's better than the current untidy site, but there must be concerns about adding to the congestion in Glebe Road, as noted by Brigg Town Mayor Coun Michael Doherty.
How about the council doing a deal with the owners of the Ancholme Inn, and creating a new road from Grammar School Road to Glebe Road, through the new housing estate?
That would help allieviate congestion on two streets - and the developers of the housing estate would, in effect, be footing the bill.
Assuming the council gets a cool million, or thereabouts, for the land, there's the question of where the money goes.
The authority has stressed it will be absorbed into central funds, to be spent as, and where, necessary in North Lincolnshire.
Fair enough. But surely Brigg ought to be given some priority. Our wish list might include improvements to the sadly neglected Recreation Ground, perhaps. Not the whole million, but some of it could do a lot of good down there.
We are approaching the season of goodwill. And as North Lincolnshire Council is about to receive what is, in effect, a rather large monetary gift from the Brigg sale, it would be nice if something came back to the town in return.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Youngsters messing about on a building site in Brigg were spotted by Coun Ann Eardley on her way to a town council meeting in the Angel Suite.
She promptly rang the police but said she was disappointed it took them about an hour to get back to her.
Coun Eardley spotted the youths on the former Smith Parkinson garage site, off Market Lane, which is being redeveloped for offices and housing by Grimley Smith Associates.
She pointed out this was just round the corner from Brigg police station, and said she was disappointed with the response time.
“I don’t think it’s good enough,” she complained.
Town Mayor Coun Michael Doherty said the council would pass on Coun Eardley’s comments ‘and see what response we get’.
Coun Eardley went on to express her concerns about youths throwing fireworks about near the Ancholme Way bridge, and ‘riding mopeds up and down’.
The Mayor said that information would also be passed on to the police.

Monday, November 26, 2007


The airspace over Brigg will be even safer, due to changes in procedures being proposed at Humberside International Airport.
Planes from the busy Kirmington facility can be seen in the skies above Brigg every day, so the town council was invited to attend a presentation about the airport's airspace change proposal.
Coun Maureen Neal was the town's representative and produced a detailed and informative report for fellow councillors,
She reported: "The Airport is seeking to reclassify the area of airspace in its vicinity to provide increased protection to aircraft in the critical flight stages of approach to, and departure from, the airport. A proposal is to be put to the Directorate of Airspace Policy.
"At present, Humberside is registered as a Class G space but wishes to extend this to a Class D. The present Class G allows any aircraft to fly in that 'space' without permission or contact with Aircraft Control. They wish to extend to Class G so that all aircraft in their vicinity must speak to them and be spoken to by Control, therefore creating a 'dome'of protection around Humberside.
"It will also reduce the need of 'avoidance' activity, eg landing, take-off, fuel burn.
"There will be no significant change to current procedures, no increase in traffic levels and this will only affect the aviation community as clearance will be required to enter the area and pilots must comply with certain rules within the area.
"It was stressed that there will be no impact on the local community.
The primary and overriding consideration is to improve flight safety in the area."

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Tomorrow (Monday) sees Brigg Town Council's monthly meeting, which will include a report on the latest Hawthorn Avenue residents' meeting by Coun Edward Arnott.
The town council meets in the Angel Suite, off Market Place, at 7.30pm. This is a public meeting - so if you fancy hearing what's going on in your town, just turn up on the night.
Much of the town council's work is now carried out by three committees, meeting at different times during the month. So what they call 'the full council meeting' tomorrow is unlikely to be a prolonged affair, although 'Questions from Members' can sometimes produce a few surprises.
The town council will be deciding whether to continue its membership of the North Lincolnshire Strategic Partnership, and Coun Arnott's report on Hawthorn Avenue is the 13th and final item on the agenda.
See you there?

Saturday, November 24, 2007


If you believe some of the medium to long-range weather forecasters, we are facing some prolonged spells of snow in Brigg next month, with a much better-than-normal chance of a white Christmas.
We had a few flakes yesterday, but snowfalls of even an inch or two are now pretty rare in North Lincs. Maybe once or twice a winter we have to scape a thin film off our car windscreens.
Blame global warming, if you will. But the thought of prolonged snow set the old memory cells dancing...with a little help from the Lincolnshire Times picture archive, now incorporated into the digital network at the Scunthorpe Telegraph.
Bryan Robins, still living in retirement in Brigg and a former long-serving council, took this picture in 1978 of youngsters enjoying themselves on the bank at the Davy Memorial Playing Field.
There was some severe weather that winter, and I recall a famous photo of massive icicles which formed on the side of a cooling tower on Scunthorpe steelworks, near to where I was then working in the British Steel PR department.
As a child I can recall the terrible winter of 1962/3, and older Brigg residents will recall the awful one of 1947, made worse by post-war rationing and shortages of coal.
If you believe today's weathermen (and women) perhaps it's time to stock up a few provisions in case we get snowed in next month.
Hopefully over Christmas!

Friday, November 23, 2007


Will Hull City fans visit Brigg before and after tomorrow's big derby match at Scunthorpe United?
As the game kicks off at noon, followers of the Tigers, travelling via the Humber Bridge and the A15, will have to be quick to get served and make it to the game on time. But after the match it's very likely some will drop in, hoping to either celebrate or drown their sorrows in Brigg hostelries, depending on how the Iron perform against their favourites.
No doubt Insp Brett Rutty and his colleagues at Brigg police station are fully aware of the situation.
When Grimsby Town gained promotion to the old First Division, back in the 1980s, they opened their programme against Leeds United, whose fans invaded Brigg in large numbers.
It was a very hot August day and many 'Yorkies' decided to take their drinks outside.
No trouble was reported but, once the fans had departed for Blundell Park, licensed premises (particuarly the Black Bull) noted many of their glasses had been taken away, which caused quite a shortage that night.
Police sometimes ask licensees near football grounds to close either side of matches when they think there might be public order issues. However, do they take into account the effect this might have on places along the route for travelling fans?
Only a couple of years ago I recall getting off the bus in Cary Lane, one tea-time, and finding Brigg Market Place literally awash with Geordie supporters of Newcastle United who had stopped off on their way to Grimsby for a cup-tie.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Brigg's Millennium Green, on Elwes Street, close to the Old River Ancholme, was the town's project for the year 2000, to mark that important landmark.
A steering committee was established to get things moving, after which a keen band of helpers has done its best to keep the site in order.
But, of course, any stretch of greenery requires a great deal of maintenance, particularly during the plant-growing season.
The organising committee will be holding its annual meeting 'for the members and other interested parties' at the Nelthorpe Arms, Bridge Street, on Thursday, November 29 (7.30pm).
So if you think you can help the cause, in any way, please turn up on the night, or contact chairman Chris Dodsworth. Tel (01652) 654928.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Brigg Town Cricket Club is to stage its presentation night at the Kar Restaurant, in Old Courts Road, on Saturday, December 1 (7.30pm).
Players and guests will be sitting down to enjoy one of Harry's super banquets, we understand. There will also be a disco with karaoke. Maybe someone will get up and perform I Don't Like Cricket...I Love It! (Didn't 10cc have the original hit?)
Garry Dunderdale (pictured), former club chairman, captain, long-serving wicketkeeper and umpire, has been pencilled in as guest speaker. 'Dundy' is well-known for his sense of humour, so it promises to be entertaining. No doubt there will be a bit of leg-pulling going on.
It's been a good season on the field for Brigg Town CC in the Lincoln Saturday League, the Grimsby Saturday League and the North Lindsey League (Sunday), although tempered by the failure, last month, to regain admission to the Lincolnshire League - the county's senior competition. The club also has successful junior teams.
For details about the presentation evening, or membership of the cricket club, contact Jack Richards, tel (01652) 657613.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Brigg's first town centre illuminations have already gone up for Christmas...with more to follow shortly.
Barrie Gray's well-known local electrical firm is again in charge of erecting the festive lighting, which is being funded by the town council.
In view of new Government health and safety legislation, some towns have found it impossible to continue with their illuminations. Or traders have had to take on group, or individual, responsibility for the lights on their premises.
Brigg Town Council, however, has been very much on the ball and ensured our town centre is lit up, in suitable fashion, as it has been for so many years.
The lights will be switched on in the Market Place at the start of the Christmas fair on Friday, November 30 (5pm-9pm).
Watch the Scunthorpe Telegraph and for further Brigg Blog, of course!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Contributions are now being sought for the annual newsletter produced by the Briggensians' Association, representing former pupils and staff of Brigg Grammar School, Brigg Girls' High School, Sir John Nelthorpe School and Brigg Sixth Form College.
Retired SJN headteacher and ex-Brigg Grammar physics master, Dave Brittain, who lives in Brigg, compiles the newsletter, still issued in print form to some members.
An on-line version will be made available early next year by email to those with more modern ways of communication, or, in due course, via the website
Dave tells members on his mailing list: "What I would really like is news, especially your news or just an update on what you are doing. That way the newsletter will contain more news and proportionally fewer obituaries!
"Do send items, even if short ones, so that your old friends can keep up to date. Modern communications are so easy."
The association's annual dinner will be on Saturday, March 15 at Elsham Golf Club (7pm).
Dave adds: "We hope that there will be the usual excellent response and the room will, once more, be filled with excited chatter as people swap stories and catch up on the last five, 10, 20, 30 or 40 years."
For further details email

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Cracks have appeared in the surface - less than a year after the new footpath was installed to link Bigby High Road with Brigg Garden Centre.
The problems are on Lincolnshire County Council's side of the path, the stretch nearer to Brigg having been installed by the North Lincolnshire authority.
It took a long time for the two councils to get the pavement installed, prior to which Brigg people walking to and from town to the garden centre had to share the road with fast-moving vehicles.
A street light, or two, to illuminate the path wouldn't go amiss, either. And not just so people can avoid stepping on the cracked areas of path!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Brigg railway fans and lovers of nostalgia can enjoy a very rare treat this afternoon. For one of the surviving giants of the steam age will be passing very close to the town.
A4 4-6-2 No 60009 Union of South Africa is coming to northern Lincolnshire to haul a special train early tomorrow morning. And the legendary loco will be making its way across country today, in readiness for the outing to Chester.
Last leg of the trip for the Doncaster-built loco will be from Lincoln to Barnetby, which means it will be travelling along the line which passes under the road bridge between Kettleby and Bigby. That should be about 4.20pm this afternoon, if all goes well.
Tomorrow's trip starts at Cleethorpes and goes via Barnetby, Scunthorpe and Doncaster - not through Brigg. The closest it will get to our town will be Elsham level crossing (about 8.22am)if you want to go and have a look
On the return journey, the steam loco will leave the train at Doncaster, to be replaced by a diesel.
Did you know there used to be a railway halt on Bigby High Road? Presumably it was where Brigg people (after a walk from town) could board trains on the Lincoln line. It appears in some late Victorian timetables I've seen, but I've never seen a photograph of it, nor worked out exactly where it was. Anyone with useful information please email

Thursday, November 15, 2007


It's sad Brigg courthouse and magistrates no longer operate on Wednesdays and Fridays, dishing out 'summary justice' to people from the town and surrounding villages. Some years ago the Brigg facility, like the one at Barton, was merged into the Scunthorpe court, with some of our JPs moving there. This amalgamation was said to be more efficient (meaning it would save money!). Fortunately, the Brigg court building, dating from mid-Victorian times, now houses records staff and is kept in a good state of repair. So we haven't lost it.
Prior to 1978, when the new Brigg police station in Barnard Avenue was built, the Boys In Blue also occupied this building in Wrawby Road, the court part being on the right of picture.
Covering Brigg court cases was part of the duties of reporters on the old Lincolnshire Times weekly paper, and we did not have to walk far down Wrawby Street to do so. Sometimes on your way in you could exchange an 'hello' with people you knew, or went to school with, who were waiting their turn to appear before the magistrates. Or about to give evidence.
Before the current bureaucracy that is the Crown Prosecution Service came into being, Brigg police handled the minor criminal cases coming up before the local bench.
Helpfully, Brigg police provided local newspapers with a neatly typed 'court sheet' - a few days in advance - which listed the names of those due to appear, plus the charges faced and the Act of Parliament they were alleged to have contravened (eg Theft Act, Offences Against the Person Act). The dates these came onto the statute book were also added (eg Justices of the Peace Act 1361, under which people could be bound over to keep the peace in the sum of £50, or perhaps more).
The cases coming before the Brigg bench back then were many and varied, including minor assaults, vandalism, petty theft, poaching, motoring offences, failure to have a valid TV licence, and mistreatment of animals.
Farmers in dispute over drainage also appeared from time to time, and the court met once a year (the Brewster Sessions) to review licensed premises and hear a report on how things were operating in the area from the local police chief.
There were also one-offs, such as the Brigg shopkeeper who refused to provide information for the Census, believing it was an invasion of his civil liberties.
The court was overseen by vastly experienced clerk Alan Booth, while Rose Parker was the usher who brought witnesses in from the waiting room to give their evidence. For years she could be seen driving round Brigg in a little Mini.
Magistrates included Lord Yarborough (not the current one), S D Wicks, Lt Col Nelthorpe (whose family had probably been on the bench for decades if not centuries), Brian Taylor, Mrs Barr, Mrs Foxton and Mrs Atkin.
The latter once presided over a case alleging mistreatment of a cat (it would have been about 25 years ago). It was 'a not-guilty plea' so we had to hear all the evidence and witnesses. It took a very, very long time and, unfortunately, was just a few days before Christmas when we would all rather have been somewhere else. In the end they found the case proved, and the story duly appeared on the front page under the heading 'Pet cat was famished'.
Lawyers who appeared in court back then included Michael Heath (now Judge Heath, sitting at Lincoln Crown Court), Steve Baggott, Michael Johnson, Michael Whiting, David Bains, Joe Ford and Roy Foreman. Many of them were Brigg-educated, or lived in the town. Steve's dad became a judge, while Roy's father, Ernie, was a police sergeant based in our town for many years.
Police prosecutions were usually carried out in person by Chief Insp Bill Horsfield, another Brigg resident and a very helpful and likeable man. Later, the police hirecarchy reorganised things and set up a department to carry out prosecutions in several local courts, which brought Sgt John Overton and Insp Dave Skipworth over to Brigg. They were also highly efficient and helpful to those on the press benches.
It remains a skilled job to accurately and fairly condense hours of evidence into a newspaper report, giving due balance to evidence from the defence and the prosecution. Fortunately, the Lincolnshire Times (especially in its broadsheet days) had acres of space to fill and few staff to do it, so we were not called upon to condense our reports as much as, say, the legendary Jack 'Scoop' Clark, of the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph.
We were general reporters who covered a wide range of topics (including sports and features); Jack specialised in crime and court reporting, and only visited Brigg for the biggest cases. Having covered the case he wanted on the list he would depart across the road to The Britannia or the Queen's Arms.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


This was the scene after fire struck reycling bins put out on York Road, Brigg, ahead of this week's collection. Obviously the blaze did not start itself.
Bin fires like this are, unfortunately, fairly common. And dangerous. For they might easily spread to nearby fencing...or worse.
The new, modern plastic bins are much more hygienic than the old galvanised metal ones of years ago. But they don't stand up to fires in the same way.
Presumably those whose red, brown or green bins are 'torched' get replacements free of charge delivered by North Lincolnshire Council.
And talking of bins, within a few days of Brigg Blog highlighting the vandalised litter bin near The Monument last week, it was restored to its rightful place on the nearby lamp-standard.
We love a happy ending!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


The River Ancholme - Old and New cuts - offers plenty of opportunity for leisure, if you belong to certain clubs and organisations. But, like the railway, it's an asset not fully utilised.
The Ancholme is popular with anglers, especially if there's a match. And you might see members of Ancholme Rowing Club, based in Manley Gardens, out enjoying their sport. During the summer, particularly, there are craft from Glanford Boat Club, or people caneoning, especially on the New River, near the Leisure Centre.
But many Brigg residents and visitors never go near the Ancholme, apart from passing over the town's bridges in their cars, or on foot.
It was great when, for a few years, pleasure boat trips were laid on round the Island, starting from near Lidl's superstore. Sadly, they are no more.
Some us can remember when barges plied their trade to Yarborough Mills (now the site of a housing estate). That continued into the early 1970s.
Going back many decades, the town was served by a passenger service running the length of the Ancholme and taking people to and from Hull.
Today, some Brigg residents enjoy walking beside the river, particularly on the course of the old towpath, where horses once pulled the barges along.
So it to be hoped long-term plans to extend the public walkways on the Island come to fruition so there's much more available.
Likewise the scheme - progressing slowly - to upgrade the County Bridge, including removal of the ugly metal railings.

Monday, November 12, 2007


It's obviously a sign of the times but you did not see so many youngsters riding on footpaths in Brigg 30 or 40 years ago. These days it's a common sight.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s you would expect to be stopped and dealt with by any policeman who spotted you riding along the path. More to the point, if you were 'nicked' you would certainly not get the coveted Cycling Proficiency Certificate we held in high regard.
Police used to visit Glebe Road School and supervise the tuition for this in the playground, one of the tests being a difficult obstacle course at low speed to make sure you could control the cycle properly. There were also safety checks.
Today it's a common sight to see kids cycling on the pavement, and not all of them move to one side to give pedestrians the right of way.
Is it because they do not have the confidence to ride on the road? Perhaps some have never been shown the correct way to align the cycle to make, say, a right turn, giving the correct hand-signal. This was something we had to master in the playground during Cycling Proficiency training.
On the other hand, today's youngsters might be a little confused, as North Lincolnshire Council encourages cycling on the footpaths, in a number of areas of Brigg, with its designated cycle lanes. Nothing wrong with these, many will say - and I agree, to a point.
But when the young rider comes to the end of the designated cycle lane (eg at the junction of East Parade and Wrawby Road, or at the top of Churchill Avenue) he, or she, might see it as easier, and safer, to just continue along the footpath rather than cross oncoming traffic to get back onto the left-hand side of the road and continue their journey in a legal manner.


Spotted a CCTV camera actually moving in Brigg this morning - just after 9am, scanning the Market Place. This one, clearly, was switched on and in use.
I'm not a great fan of these spy cameras. Not so much because of infringement of human rights: Should law-abiding members of the public be 'spied on' going about their lawful business On Brigg Streets?
More to the point is how much of what goes on in full view of the cameras is actually filmed? How much of the footage is really studied by expert eyes? And how many convictions result from a system we pay for?
The powers-that-be should reveal the CCTV 'information leading to prosecution' statistics in public through the Brigg Community Policing Panel when it meets every three or four months in the Angel Suite.
Over the past couple of years I can recall CCTV footage from Brigg proving useful in the search for a missing person, but that's been about it. And I attend almost all town council and community policing panel meetings.
Town centre vandalism, like smashing windows, you'd think would be a surefire thing for CCTV to pick up. Especially as the offenders are hardly likely to be going to great lengths to conceal their identities.
And what about all those drivers passing through the pedestrian area without justifiable cause? Surely a quick on-screen look at the numberplate and a check with the DVLA is not too difficult.
If we get fewer police officers patrolling the streets because the CCTV cameras are there, surely the effectiveness of the system should be subject to public scrutiny.
Let's have the facts!


The For Sale sign has gone up at The Vines Restaurant, in Wrawby Street.
That's the second set of Brigg licensed premises to go on the market in a couple of weeks, joining the Brocklesby Ox pub, in Bridge Street.
Before being transformed into The Vines, these premises housed The Fish Inn, operated by Bob and Sue Nicholson, who created the eatery from the former Queen's Arms pub they ran for some years.
For more information about The Vines visit the website

Sunday, November 11, 2007


A 30-year anniversary is being celebrated by Andy Pang, proprietor of The Garden fish and chip shop, in Grammar School Road.
Just goes to show there will always be a place for good food and service.
Andy always offers a warm welcome - even if you are something of an irregular customer, like me.


Many Brigg residents will be sad to learn of the death of John Quirke - known to so many as Paddy - aged 51.
The funeral service is tomorrow (Monday) at St Mary's Catholic Church, in Barnard Avenue (11.45am).
Like many of us, Paddy's early years, in the late '50s and early '60s, were spent living in the prefabs in Woodbine Grove (now the site of the children's play area alongside South View Avenue). And, like many of us, he stayed on in Brigg.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Perhaps a reflection of newcomers coming to live and work in the Brigg area, there's a prominent sign in the window of Rhythm and Booze off-licence, in Springs Parade, advertising specialist lager from Poland. I haven't tried any...yet!


Almost 150 former Royal Air Force National Servicemen and their families from all over the UK, including a number from the Brigg Branch, visited the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel le Feme, near Folkestone.
This took place during the annual get-together and annual general meeting weekend of the National Service (RAF) Association, in Eastbourne.
On their arrival, the party was welcomed by Group Captain Patrick Tootal, secretary of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.
Unfortunately, the weather was not very kind with high winds and light rain.
But two flights of veterans formed up, under the command of a former RAF Drill instructor Neil Trotter, and led by standard bearers of the RAF Association and Royal British Legion, marched smartly out to the memorial.
There a short service was held, conducted by association Padre, the Rev Dr Clifford G Taylor.
During the service, a trumpeter sounded the Last Post and Reveille, and standards were dipped.
Wreaths were then laid on behalf of the association.
After looking round the site, and admiring the very impressive Christopher Foxley Norris Memorial Wall where the names of RAF personnel lost during the battle are recorded, many photographs were taken of the memorial itself which is in the form of a seated pilot at rest, together with the Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft permanently stationed on site.
A memorable occasion for ex RAF members who served, in the main, during the time of the Cold War.

Friday, November 09, 2007


An organisation with an outlet in Brigg has been praised by Government inspectors.
Following an extensive inspection of Havelok Homes’ housing services, the Audit Commission has praised the Grimsby-based housing association for its focus on customer care and its commitment to providing good quality homes and services.
Havelok operates Tennyson Court, off Albert Street, Brigg, along with four other sheltered schemes in Grimsby and one in Keelby.
The Audit Commission, a government body working to promote high standards of service in the housing sector, has awarded Havelok two stars (good) with promising prospects for further improvement.
The commission awards star ratings between zero and three.
The report praises the support given to vulnerable residents to help them remain in their homes and retain independence.
The repairs service is also commended, with recognition for the involvement tenants have in shaping and evaluating this service area.
Estates are seen as being well-maintained and anti social behaviour addressed effectively through partnership working.
Managing director Peter Osborne, said: “It is good to see the inspectors acknowledge the clear vision and leadership of the board and management team.”

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Motorists heading through Brigg late on Sunday morning will be held up for a short time as the A18 is closed while the Remembrance Day parade makes its way to the Monument and the wreaths are laid in memory of the town's war dead, whose names are listed on the memorial.
Most residents will be familiar with this happening and will either drive through this stretch of road at a different time, or take alternative routes through the housing estates to by-pass the procession as it makes its way from St John's Church, where the traditional service will be held.
A Royal British Legion Memorial wreath will continue to be bought by Brigg Town Council every year.
The authority, which now has a number of new members, has re-affirmed its policy.
It is expected the wreath will again be laid by Brigg resident Ron Morris, a veteran of the Second World War.
In addition to those taking part in the parade, many members of the public make a point of turning up on Sunday to see the wreaths being laid - a solemn moment, always marked with dignity.
Tomorrow, primary school children from Brigg will be at the Monument, paying their own tribute to The Fallen.
Lawrence Binyon (1869-1943) captured the mood of the occasion so perfectly with his famous lines:

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


We are all being encouraged to keep Brigg (and Britain) tidy, which is fine. But the litter bin on the footpath close to the Monument (near the window company's showroom) has been on the ground for some days now, and no-one seems to be getting round to re-hanging it on the lamp-standard.
No doubt it's the result of vandalism, but one less place to put litter might result in more being spread On Brigg Streets.
Perhaps someone at North Lincolnshire Council will notice the bin on the floor, or read this article, and get someone out to fix it.


Work is progressing on building luxury apartments for those in the 55-plus age group on the former Ernest Ward company site in Bigby Street.
This huge crane was brought in to help with some heavy lifting and could be seen from all parts of town. Golden Living is the firm behind the ambitious redevelopment of what is a prime site near the town centre.
The Golden Living development, set in its own landscaped gardens, will consist of 40 one-bedroom and 13 two-bedroom apartments over three floors.
For further information telephone 0800 085 0855, email or visit the website

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


The forces' veteran selling Royal British Legion poppies at the entrance to Tesco's Brigg store the other day had the most impressive display of medals you could possibly imagine.
They must have done a great deal to help sales of poppies, as Brigg looks for another £5,000 effort for this worthy cause.
Collectors are going round door-to-door in some areas, or you can find poppies on sale in a variety of town businesses.
If you haven't already put a few quid in the tin, please do so at the earliest opportunity.


How about a special offer from Tesco for those of us middle-aged men who visit the Brigg store but get a bit impatient queuing behind people with masses of family shopping?
Could we have a checkout assigned just to us, on Friday and Saturday evenings when we pop in for a pack of lager, or a few bottles of real ale?
The aim should be to get us grumpy old-ish men through the checkout in a couple of minutes, including time spent in the queue.
I'm talking here about customers who don't want to fiddle around in a pile of cards till they locate the correct Debit one, who don't have any interest in points on a Tesco Card, who have no children young enough to take School Vouchers along to gain a few Brownie points from teacher, who are in no need of cashback, who do not need help with their packing, and haven't the time for a quick chat about something or other.
We would also promise to tender cash in the old-fashioned way!
This is on my wishlist but obviously won't be regarded as a good idea by Tesco. There can't be much profit on their excellent special offer ale (three bottles for four quid!

Monday, November 05, 2007


Most of the men and women from Scunthorpe's 147 Workshop Company REME, including one from Brigg, opted to go climbing, trekking and scrambling in the Canadian Rockies with their battalion commander, Lt Col Jock Murdoch.
Their fellow soldiers either settled for lessons in survival – including a never-to-be-forgotten course in how to skin a muskrat, or went indoor climbing.
Over at the survival course, Craftsman Stewart McLean (26), from Brigg, said the seven–hour session in the outback with Canadian technical adviser Dave Holder had been a truly amazing experience.
Dave, who normally charges bonding businessmen $120 a day each to share his secrets, showed the soldiers how to live off their wits in extreme conditions.
He demonstrated a range of hand–made weapons including spears, slings, bows and arrows and boomerangs!
Site manager Stewart, who admitted he was missing his two daughters having been away from home for the first time, said he had joined the TA last year in the hope of learning new skills.
"But I never expected anything like this," he added.
As well as skinning a muskrat, the survival rookies were shown how set snares for rabbits, make improvised bush saws, backpacks, string and whistles, forage for food and to light fires with flint, tinder and tree moss.
"The cat had better look out when I get back to Brigg", Stewart laughed.
After an all–action day, the weary soldiers from 147 headed off to the nearby Lazy H Ranch for a barbecue party and dreams of their time Home On The Range.


A report on the street-testing work undertaken on the brackets supporting the Christmas lights in Brigg town centre - and approving the final cost - will be considered by town councillors meeting at the Angel Suite on Wednesday (7pm).
They will also be asked to confirm the Christmas lights installation can now proceed and to approve the contract for the work, to be exchanged with Barrie Gray, of Barrie Gray and Son, the Brigg firm.
The meeting of the properties and services committee is open to the public.
Also on the agenda are allotments,the Angel Suite and indoor bowls equipment.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Tomorrow (Monday, November 5) sees the withdrawal of the free car parking concession in Brigg's main car parks - by North Lincolnshire Council.
Today I've just popped into Brigg, parked free in Old Courts Road (for the last time), and made the short walk to Martin's, in Wrawby Street, for the Sunday papers. From tomorrow we'll be asked to stump up 60p to do the same.
It's not rocket science to work out people who might have frequented town centre shops for purchases like this will now go elsewhere. Tesco's management must be rubbing their hands in glee! But it's not good news for the small traders.
More than 3,500 people have signed a petition asking North Lincolnshire's rulers to rethink their plans - but to no avail. The authority says Brigg should not have a concession other places in the area don't get, such as Scunthorpe and Ashby.
If I'm reading the signs in the Old Courts Road car park correctly, you still have to pay and display on Sundays and bank holidays. Did you realise that was the case?

Saturday, November 03, 2007


The shuttle bus which runs round some of the main housing estates in Brigg on Thursdays and Saturdays, taking people to and from the town centre to do their shopping, is a lifeline for some of our pensioners. Without it they would really struggle - or have to impose on the good nature of friends and neighbours, when they'd much rather preserve their independence.
Having seen the little bus this morning, on Burgess Road, with many empty seats I just hope some 'jobs-worth' does not sit down one day in the future and decide the service should 'be reviewed'.
North Lincolnshire Council is to be commended for supporting this, and other bus services. Long may it continue!
But why should councils have to subsidise local bus services like this? Surely the Government should foot the bill. That's if it really believes public transport is the answer to getting more cars off our roads and reducing the carbon footprint, or whatever the current buzzwords are.
Consider the crazy situation with the Wolds Villager and the Isle Villager services. Government funded these buses for three years, then left it to North Lincolnshire Council, which cannot afford to keep things going at the same level.
So there will have to be cutbacks, which means less journeys on offer to the public, which will result in fewer people using the service. And so the downward spiral continues, with the next 'review' being even more negative.


How sad to hear of the death of Harry Williams - a magnificent servant to Brigg Town Football Club. No-one can ever hope to eclipse his work for the Zebras. Or come close to it.
Although a small man in stature, he was a Goliath in terms of commitment and dedication to the club.
As kids we used to pass Brigg Town's ground on our way to play football and cricket on the field near South View Avenue. Whatever the season, Harry always seemed to be there, usually working in tandem with 'Banger', his right-hand man.
Harry seemed to do everything off the field, and sometimes on it. Some of us were persuaded to try out for a new intermediate team he wanted to start, and when the coach didn't turn up, Harry took the session himself.
His choice in music, however, did not go down too well with teenagers of the time. In the late 1960s/early 1970s he would blast out tunes on the loudspeakers to alert the public to the fact Brigg Town had a home game. Unfortunately his playlist was very limited, and 'Please Release Me Let Me Go' and 'I Hear the Sound of Distant Drums' became very tiresome when played over and over again. There were a few other songs, but not many.
During Harry's time, Brigg Town progressed up the footballing pyramid from the Lincolnshire League. And who will ever forget their FA Vase triumphs?
No sports organisation can succeed on the field unless it has an efficient structure off it. Harry Williams, in various roles, helped to ensure that was the case over many decades.

Friday, November 02, 2007


There's not much hope but it would be useful if the powers-that-be had a look at putting a mini-roundabout at the top of St Helen's Road, where it joins Bigby Road, not far from The Monument.
The increasing amount of traffic on the A1084 towards Caistor, the all-year-round popularity of Brigg Garden Centre, and the number of people visiting the town to work, or returning home (including many council employees) means quite a bottleneck at this junction, particularly early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
In Scunthorpe, along West Common Lane, they allow traffic to merge from sidestreets through the use of mini-roundabouts. The same solution can also be found at a number of other locations in the steel town.
But that, of course, is Scunthorpe!


Brigg folk are being asked to dig deep this year when supporting the annual Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.
Coun Maureen Glossop (pictured), who co-ordinates collections in the Brigg area, is urging people to give generously.
There are many outlets where you can donate in return for a poppy, knowing your money will be put to good use supporting old soldiers and their families.
As a community we've topped £5,000 before - so this year let's make it a record amount!
With all the problems in Afghanistan and Iraq, British forces are very much in the news - and the frontline. So when you see a collecting tin in Brigg - perhaps in a local shop - chip in a bit more than you usually do.
The Poppy Appeal and the Royal British Legion have strong personal connections for me, as grandfather Charles Taylor (1896-1990) was heavily involved with both in Brigg for many decades, and laid a wreath at The Monument every Remembrance Sunday until he was into his 80s.
Charles, from Hawthorn Avenue, who senior Brigg residents may well remember, was injured in action during the First World War. Being too old for the 1939-45 conflict, he did his bit as a sergeant in the town's Home Guard detachment, plus holding down his full-time job as a painter/signwriter at Layne's garage, in Bigby Street.
In the early 1920s, when Brigg Servicemen's Club was established, he was one of the first members and enjoyed his final drink there just a few months before his death.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


The Scunthorpe Telegraph's archives contain some fascinating Brigg pictures - some recent, some not so recent.
One of my favourites was taken at the Recreation Ground, off Wrawby Road, and shows a three-wheeler in a skip.
Shame it's not a yellow one, but there might be a few spares here for Del Boy and Rodney to keep Trotters Independent Traders' company pool car going for a bit longer!
These days North Lincolnshire Council, and the Government, implore us to recycle all we can. But had they considered Reliant Robins?
You can view the Scunthorpe Telegraph archives at your leisure - and buy copies online - by visiting


Improved marketing of Brigg’s loss-making Angel Suite for functions seems to be paying off.
Assistant town clerk Alison Hannath (pictured) reported a couple of inquiries from people who had seen the facility mentioned on the internet.
Councillors also passed round a copy of a certain well-known telephone directory in which the Angel Suite is advertised.
"There it is – in between forklift trucks and funeral directors," joked committee chairman Coun John Kitwood.
Monthly bookings for the Angel Suite totalled 39, including 18th and 21st birthday parties and a formal dinner.
For further details, or to make bookings, contact town clerk Jeanette Woollard on (01652) 659402. Or email


Official Neil Scott has been in touch to say Brigg Town Football Club Under-15s would like to thank Nigel and Christine Janney, of TJ’s Coaches and Private Hire Ltd, of Brigg, for their generous sponsorship of a new playing kit for this season. The team are past winners of the Jack Kalson (Scunthorpe) League and the Grimsby Intermediate League and are currently playing in the Grimsby League. The team is urgently looking for a new goalkeeper as well as outfield players. Home games are played at Brigg Town FC. Anyone interested should contact Neil Scott 07711417020 (mobile) or 01652 650048 (home.
On a personal level, it seems a very long time since 'yours truly' appeared between the sticks, at this level, on the hallowed turf at The Hawthorns, when legendary chairman Harry Williams was trying to persuade some of the local Brigg lads to get involved with the Zebras. Seems a long very long time? It was...1970, or thereabouts.
Best of luck to the current crop of lads for the season ahead!