Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Often we fail to notice gradual changes taking place in Brigg.
A relative, who has not lived here since the days of the old Urban District Council, made a return visit over the festive period and went for a walk to The Monument.
A senior citizen, she was struck by what she regards as the poor state of Brigg's footpaths.
Now this issue is quite often raised by concerned members of Brigg Town Council - but Brigg UDC (and Lindsey County Council) are long gone, and our unitary authority, North Lincolnshire, has responsibility for footpath repairs, not just in Brigg but as far afield as Haxey and Killingholme.
All local authorities face difficult decisions when it comes to spending our council tax proceeds. There's never enough to carry out every job, and you can only hope to please most of the people some of the time.
But could it be Brigg footpath repairs are not quite as high up the priority list as they used to be when the long lamented UDC (under Lindsey CC) were running the job?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


A walk across town very early this morning revealed at least one-quarter of households had failed to put their bins out for collection by the North Lincolnshire Council refuse lorry.
That's odd, given that Christmas is a peak time of year for generating rubbish.
Perhaps some of those householders failed to realise there would be a collection today, as normal, with it being yuletide.
Returning to today's spot survey, a good number of residents who had put out their general waste bins failed to add the box for glass and bottles.
But what we could really have done with this week was emptying of the Burgandy-coloured bins containing cardboard and plastic - both very, very plentiful at Christmas.
Householders with doubts about which bins are to be collected during any given week are advised to visit the council's website, where you can key in your postcode and a handy chart appears, telling you all you need to know.
Paste the string below into your browser, key in your postcode and off you go...

PS There was one general waste bin this morning, on the kerbside between Wrawby Street and Queen Street, which was so full the lid was propped open at almost 90 degrees. Will the council still empty it?

Monday, December 29, 2008


Memo to Tesco management in Brigg: A few of your trolleys are missing!
You can find them, still locked together as they were when they left your car park, on the nearside bank of the nearby Old River Ancholme - not far into the water.
It looks like some festive wag, or vandal (depending on your point of view), took the trolleys from near the store and pushed them the relatively short distance into the river.
I think they must belong to Tesco, as Lidl's are generally chained together and you need to put a coin in the slot to free each one. Not the sort of expense your average vandal is going to stump up, just for a laugh.
The trolleys should be as good as new after being given a decent wash.
Unless there are some festive 'elf and safety reasons why not, of course!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Not far from where the travellers' caravans are camped, on the old lorry wash site, off Atherton Way, there are three piebald ponies, or perhaps small horses, tethered on a tiny patch of scrub, within a few yards of the river towpath. Not much grazing to be had there.
It's always been my belief travellers have a good reputation when it comes to caring for their steeds. After all, it's in their interests to keep them healthy for trading at a later date.
This site is so far off the beaten track, not many folk will see the horses.
Could be, of course, they will be moved to pastures new in the not too distant future.


Great to see the recycling spirit of Brigg character Tansy lives.
There's a youngster, maybe 12 or 13, who can be seen scouring the Ancholme towpath, collecting bottle tops discarded by those who choose to drink on the riverside.
He uses a metal stick with a magnet on the end and, once he's collected enough to bag up, sells the bottle tops for recycling.
It's surprising how many discarded ones can be found in a small stretch, so he's doing a public service collecting litter, and saving our own Lol Hartmann from having to sweep them up.
As there's a good allocation of litter bins on the riverside, near Spring's Parade, it's a pity folk can't be bothered to use them.
But one man's loss is clearly this youngster's gain.
For those Brigg Blog readers who have not been in town long enough to remember Tansy, he used to walk our streets, pushing an old pram, and was always on the lookout for anything discarded which he could sell on for a few pence, or a shilling.
A First World War vetran, Tansy lived on Sumpter's Farm, off Elwes Street, and always carried his trusty stick.
He could often be seen, in the 1960s, in the window seat of the cafe on Bridge Street, savouring a cuppa.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Plenty of interesting adult education courses will be on offer at the Redcombe Lane centre next month.
There are some related to multi-media and information technology, others on languages and humanities, plus arts and crafts and 'skills for life'.
Everything from porcelain painting to fun with photos.
For details call 01652 657204, call in at the Adult Education Centre (next to Vale of Ancholme) or email

Friday, December 26, 2008


Brigg United Junior Football Club will be holding its Club Christmas Fun Day on Sunday at Brigg Recreation Ground, off Wrawby Road.
Three pitches will be set up for children and parents to play round robin matches between 11am and 1pm - before going to the Ancholme Inn, on Grammar School Road, for food and music.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


A very happy Christmas to all Brigg Blog readers.
Last night proved to be a very lucrative one for town hostelries, with staff struggling to keep pace with demand at some points.
Looking ahead to the new year, more than 40 people have so far confirmed to attend Simon Church's reunion.
He's coming back to North Lincolnshire from his home in Perth, West Australia, and will be meeting up with old friends on Saturday, January 31, from 7pm in the Yarborough Hunt.
You can find out more by emailing

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Many in Brigg will be sad to hear of the death of Joyce Gunnee, aged 86.
She was the wife of Chris Gunnee, the former town councillor.
Chris and Joyce made their home in St Helen's Road, Brigg, and raised their family - now all middle-aged.
Kettle's, of Elwes Street, and making the arrangements and donations in Joyce's memory may be made to Parkinson's Research and left at the funeral service at St John's Church, Bigby Street, on Tuesday, December 30 (1pm).


Talk about making an early start! Eaager shoppers were queueing to get served at Water's, the quality butcher, before 7am.
Remember, if you are visiting Brigg town centre today, there's a small Christmas Eve general market, even though it's not Thursday.
Many Brigg folk will be buying their fresh fruit and veg from Barry Chilvers' stall, no doubt.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Brigg Mothers' Union members were involved in the post-nativity event on Friday evening.
Co-ordinator Pam Braithwaite says: "Many visitors came into the church and church hall for fellowship, chat and refreshments."
Pam has also passed on a release from the MU, with a seasonal message:

Eight out of 10 parents want their children to believe in the nativity story.
A survey of parents has raised concerns that the church needs to do more to support families in the spiritual nurture of their children. The data reveals parents want to foster their children’s spirituality but shrink from mentioning God.
The research, carried out by Christian family charity Mothers’ Union, shows that whilst an overwhelming majority of parents (81%) teach their children about the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas, only four percent plan go on to attend church services more with their children in 2009.
Three-quarters of parents believe the spiritual nurture of their children to be important. However, according to the survey just 7% are talking to their children about God as an avenue to lasting security in the credit crunch. Despite this desire to look after their children’s spirituality, parents are seven times more likely (49%) to cite family as the vehicle most likely to provide happiness and security to their children than God.
Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers' Union said “It is encouraging that parents see connecting children with Jesus as only a little less important [14%] than the belief in Father Christmas. In these times of financial insecurity, it is clear that parents are thinking about the spiritual side of Christmas. This gives all Christians a challenge. Parents are telling us they have a desire to nurture the spiritual life of their children, but that they lack the confidence to talk about God. The church needs to connect with that hunger and get across the message that in times of both adversity and prosperity, it has a universal message which enables people to connect with something outside themselves.

The research, involving 1,005 parents of children aged 11 or under, was carried out by the family charity, Mothers’ Union, in an online survey last week.
The MU has 3.6 million members who are committed to supporting parents as they nurture their children spiritually.
To this end they have produced a series of five leaflets Children in Church designed to help parents and congregations engage with the spirituality of children. Leaflets cost 25p for a set of five.


Sunday, December 21, 2008


It always strikes me as odd when you enter Tesco's Brigg store - a heater blazing away to warm up the place, next to wide open doors.
Perhaps something they could attend to when the extension/rebuild gets under way in the New Year.


Sorry to see all the glass smashed in the public telephone box on Central Square, near the junction with Glebe Road - and a shopping trolley abandoned next to it.
Not sure whether the two are in any way connected.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


An hectic weekend for Brigg started last night with the successful nativity play staged in the Market Place, featured a real live baby as Jesus.
The donkey didn't always want to do what the director wanted it to do, but it didn't matter.
Congratulations to Canon Lilley and the members of various churches who came together to make this event happen. Let's hope for a repeat next year.
Today's special farmers' market attracted a large crowd of shoppers to the various stalls. And it was great to see Wrawby Street so busy - proof, if proof were needed, that the monthly farmers' markets really benefit other traders in the town.
Ian Cawsey MP seems to have shares in the bandstand! Only a couple of Saturdays since he was there collecting for Jerry Green's, he popped up again today to provide guitar and vocals for Christmas songs being played to entertain the crowds.
Among his musical colleagues in the bandstand was Coun James Truepenny, Brigg's Deputy Town Mayor, who teaches music.
Inside the Angel Suite, Town Mayor Coun Mike Campion's coffee morning was well supported, and His Worship has promised to let us know the total raised for his chosen charities, when he's had chance to tot up the pennies.
Mayoress, Ann, was serving refreshments, and the Vale of Ancholme College band provided suitable music for the occasion.
Various stalls were also open in the Angel Courtyard.

More pictures I took at this event will no doubt find their way into the pages of the Scunthorpe Target in the near future.

Friday, December 19, 2008


There don't seem to be quite so many Brigg homes decked out with festive light displays this year. Maybe it's the economic climate or the rising cost of 'juice'. However, as ever, Mick Smith, in St Helen's Road, has done a great job. I took this picture the other night while passing his illuminations. Sorry it's a bit grainy but although Mick's lights are impressive, the flash on my little digital camera is worked by a couple of batteries from Tesco.


A nice tradition was continued this week by Brigg's current Town Mayor, Coun Mike Campion.
He invited fellow councillors, officials and the solitary member of the Press, to enjoy a Christmas drink with him at Hardy's, following the pre-Christmas meeting of the town council, in the Angel Suite.
The Mayor dealt with the bar bill himself, by the way, before anyone thinks otherwise!
The tradition was established, if memory serves me correctly, when Coun John Kitwood was the town's first citizen. And subsequent wearers of the civic chain have kept it alive, with visits to the Black Bull and Yarborough Hunt I can recall.
Welcome trade, too, on a midweek night in December - and much nicer than standing round in the Angel, having a glass of sherry and a mince pie, as used to be the case. Well, that's my opinion.
In return for Coun Mike's hospitality, most, if not all, his guests will be popping in to the Angel tomorrow morning to support his charity coffee morning. Hopefully many townsfolk will pay it a visit, too.
That coincides with the special Christmas farmers' market, from 9am in the Market Place. You may have noticed that the organisers of the market have now included 'award winning' on their publicity material, including the banner on the railings near The Monument. And why shouldn't they? It's not often Brigg gets named the best in Britain!
Tomorrow's market should be well and truly heaving. And hopefully many of the visitors will spend their hard-earned in Brigg town centre businesses while they are in town.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Back in the days of Brigg Grammar School (pre-1976), pupils and staff marked the end of the autumn term by singing the carol O Come All Ye Latin!
The school would then be dismissed from its massed assembly for the Christmas holidays by headmaster H B Williams.
Latin was still being taught at the school - useful to those going into the medical profession - and O Come All Ye Faithful translated as Adeste Fideles.
For those of us less proficient in the classic tongue, a printed copy of the carol's translation was given to each boy when he began in the first year. This had to be stuck into the back inside cover of the green school hymn book and last you for the next seven years!
However, new information has now come to light about Adeste Fideles, which might raise a few eyebrows among older Briggensians, particularly those with keen interests in religion and history.
For according to one musical expert, O Come All Ye Faithful, also called Adeste Fideles, is actually a birth ode to Jacobite pretender Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Born shortly before Christmas on December 20 1720, Bonnie Prince Charlie was the grandson of England’s last Catholic monarch, James II.
He was born in exile in Italy and became the focus for Catholic Jacobite rebels intent on restoring the House of Stuart to the English throne.
In 1745, he raised an army to invade the British Isles, taking Edinburgh, but was defeated at the Battle of Culloden on April 16 1746.
Professor Bennett Zon, head of the department of music at Durham University, unearthed clear references to the Prince in the carol’s lyrics, written by 18th century music scribe, John Francis Wade.
"There is far more to this beloved song than meets the eye,” he said. "Fideles is Faithful Catholic Jacobites. Bethlehem is a common Jacobite cipher for England, and Regem Angelorum is a well-known pun on Angelorum, angels, and Anglorum, English.
"The meaning of the Christmas carol is clear: ’Come and Behold Him, Born the King of Angels’ really means, ’Come and Behold Him, Born the King of the English’ - Bonnie Prince Charlie!"
Prof Zon said there were other clues to the subversive political message contained in the carol. "In its earliest forms, from the 1740s to 1770s, Adeste Fideles is often found next to, or physically very near, prayers for the exiled monarch," he said.
"And in John Francis Wade’s books it and other liturgical texts with ’hidden’ Jacobite meaning are often strewn - even laden - with Jacobite floral imagery. ”
One of the books containing the carol even contains a colourful picture of the exiled monarch, as well as a Jacobite cryptogram in Latin on its title page.
"When deciphered it gives a very clear sense of its Jacobite connections," Prof Zon said.
The Jacobite meaning of the carol gradually faded as the cause lost its grip on popular consciousness.
"Adeste Fideles seems to have lost its Jacobite meanings not long after Wade’s last published book in 1773," he said. "The real meaning of the Carol, remains, however, although whose birth we choose to celebrate in it remains a matter of personal decision."
Brigg Grammar was founded in 1669, and so was well-established by the time Bonnie Prince Charlie came to prominence.
But does anyone know when the tradition for singing Adeste Fideles at the pre-Christmas assembly was established at BGS?

Our picture was taken in 1969, during my time at the school, when singing Adeste Fideles was an annual ritual at this time of year. It shows French master Vernon Atkin (left) chatting to maths specialist Harold Stinson. Both were strong singers during school assemblies, particularly Harold who used to sing the bass part of the tunes. Or that's what it sounded like.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


A Christmas treat is in store for guests attending a special event in Brigg today at Golden Living’s Ancholme Mews retirement apartments, including hot drinks, mince pies and a chat with TV legend Wendy Craig!
The midday event will give guests the opportunity to look around the popular new development, off Bigby Street, that opened earlier this year, including a tour of the available apartments, resident’s lounge and taking in the beautiful landscaped gardens before heading to the guest suite for refreshments.
Ancholme Mews offers superior retirement apartments, specifically designed to provide the ultimate choice in retirement living. The 53 private residences are all high on style and security, and low on maintenance.
Wendy, star of hit TV shows such as The Royal and Butterflies, and ambassador for Golden Living (the apartment developers), will be attending the event and will be on hand to chat to visitors.
She commented: “I’m looking forward to coming back to the development in Brigg after helping with the launch this summer. The apartments are beautiful and set in lovely surroundings – a great place to relax during retirement.”
Stephen Daubney, Chief Executive at Golden Living, added: “We are very proud of our Ancholme Mews development.
“As always we are located close to transport links and amenities, but just as importantly we put massive emphasis on the security and welfare of our residents, aiming to provide a cost effective, stress free retirement.”
“We’ll be opening our doors for people to come and get a real feel for living in one of our apartments, whilst enjoying a bit of fun and festive cheer!”
To register your interest or book your attendance at this event please telephone 01652 658949. Spaces are limited.


There was an early wake-up call for some town centre traders in Brigg this morning.
A power cut, about 6.40am, set off a number of burglar alarms, alerting traders who had to get out of bed to drive in and see what all the fuss was about.
Most lights came back within a few seconds. However, it was a little surprising not to see the arrival of the police, especially as their Brigg station is only a few dozen yards from where the shop alarms were blazing away.
Staff at one shop, which shall remain nameless, had arrived within 20 minutes and switched off their alarm, with no sign of the police.
It could be, of course, Insp Rutty's team had quite correctly worked out the reason for the alarms going off, as we had.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Bryan Robins continues to serve Brigg, despite being a retired town councillor.
At last night's monthly meeting of the town council, held in the Angel Suite, Bryan was re-elected to represent the authority for a further term on the Sir John Nelthorpe School Foundation Trustees.
Bryan's public service goes back to the early 1960s, when he was a prominent member of the old Brigg Urban District Council, continuing, from 1974, on the town council.
A former Town Mayor, he is pictured here in July 1977, on Brigg Recreation Ground, being presented to Her Majesty the Queen. With him is his mother Mary, the Mayoress.
Older Brigg Blog readers will remember Bryan as the staff photographer on the Lincolnshire Times, based at 57 Wrawby Street. When that weekly closed in the mid-1980s, he switched to the Scunthorpe Telegraph.

Monday, December 15, 2008


For many years, students at Brigg Sixth Form College have raised money through their TWAG Week - similar to university students' famous Rag Weeks.
The Brigg students carry out a range of fundraising events and then present the proceeds to charities at a pre-Christmas get-together.
That event will be staged today at 11.30am at St John's Church, with cash being handed over to Brigg and District Breast Cancert Support, Wish Upon a Star, the Lindsey Lodge Hospice, Lincolnshire Air Ambulance and World Vision.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Monthly meetings of Brigg Town Council used to take three hours. But since the council expanded its role and introduced committees to carry out much of the business, monthly 'full council' get-togethers in the Angel Suite have become pretty much rubber stamping exercises. And they don't take up much time.
Tomorrow's, starting at 7.30pm, does not look like going against the modern trend.
As always, a 15-minute period has been set aside for questions from members of the public. But it's very rare for anyone to exercise this democratic right.


Have you noticed Brigg's Britannia Inn is using its coal fire as a plus factor to help entice customers into the Wrawby Street hostelry?
Its merits are flagged up to passing motorists and pedestrians on a board outside the premises.
Sitting beside a roaring fire, pint in hand, watching the football on TV: Just the thing for many sports fans on a Sunday afternoon.
What surprises me is some group of officials have not banned businesses from using coal fires to generate custom. They are 'not very PC' amid all this talk of global warming.
Make the most of it down at 'The Brit' while you can!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Town Mayor Coun Mike Campion has said he's pleased to see new businesses arriving in Brigg.
To that we would add it's very good two prominent buildings have been occupied again - one in Wrawby Street (where Cooplands used to be before switching to the former Shoefayre premises) and the other on Bigby Street (previously Lloyds Bank).


Today's Daily Telegraph - described as Britain's top-selling quality national newspaper - includes Brigg's Christmas farmers' market in its top 10 of the best in the UK.
Our market next Saturday (Dec 20), from 9am-3pm, is listed at number nine, and the Daily Telegraph says it offers 'good food and atmosphere'.
What price publicity like that?

Friday, December 12, 2008


Maybe you visit Brigg Blog quite often, or perhaps you are seeing it today for the first time. Whichever is the case, please recommend it to your friends, relatives and colleagues as a way of keeping in touch with Brigg gossip and events which, given the limitations of the printed page, are unlikely to find their way into the columns of the Scunthorpe Telegraph.
If you wish to make a contribution, or just suggest a topic we might feature, please post a comment here, now, or, if you prefer, email:

Brigg Blog is updated most days, including weekends. We like feedback, so feel free to post comments.


Is my memory playing tricks, or was it not once the custom for Brigg shopkeepers to deal with snow and ice outside their premises (car parks included)?
Negotiating a shopping trolley out of Lidl and along the adjoining car park this morning was no joke, given the icy conditions. Not that we wish to single out Lidl, by any means. Their area was no worse than others.
Brigg's footpaths - and there are miles of them - have also been very slippery, although finding the resources to salt and sand the lot would be very difficult for North Lincolnshire Council. If not impossible.
Unfortunately, given today's litigation culture, if the council did commit to doing some footpaths, and a resident suffered injury after slipping on one they had not been salted or sanded, the authority might, in theory, face a compensation claim.
Unfortunately, more freezing weather is forecast. Infact, sod's law will probably apply once again, with cold conditions up to December 24, with mild, wet weather the following day to rob us of that rare dream, A White Christmas, just like the ones we used to know.
Put away the film clip of B-B-B-Bing Crosby crooning by the tree for another year!


Keigar Homes, the North Lincolnshire company with planning permission to build a new development on the former Glebe Road site in Brigg, has now responded to Brigg Town Council's views on the name to be used for this cul-de-sac, once the job is finished.
Keigar's original name was not favoured by councillors, and the firm has made a 'further suggestion' to be considered at Monday's meeting of the planning and environment committee, meeting in the Angel Suite at 6.45pm.
Despite paying big money for the site, Keigar is duty bound to consult town councillors about street names. And North Lincolnshire Council will also have to agree with the final choice.
Having heard Keigar had now started work on the site, I had a look the other day but couldn't see any signs to suggest things are up and running. However, despite the currently depressed housing market, it can't be long before the construction crews move in, as no firm can afford to sit on unrealised assets for long.
Personally, I think it would be been nice to name this street after a former headmaster of Glebe Road School, such as Bratley, Stocks, Wass...or Steve Pearce, the final head before it closed and switched to the new purpose-built facility down Atherton Way.
In Glanford Borough Council's time they didn't like to allocate 'tribute' street names while the recipients were still alive. But there were exceptions, such as Appleyard Drive, in Barton-Upon-Humber, named after Ted Appleyard, who today is still serving his beloved community with distinction, despite being 90-odd.
So will our new street off Glebe Road eventually become Old School Close? Or will some other name be selected? We shall have to wait and see.
To me, Reg Stocks Road has a nice ring to it. And it's not long since the new addition, off Horstead Avenue, was called Foxton Way, after long-serving Brigg GP Dr John Foxton, with members of the family being invited down for a look by the developers.
Reg was still headmaster when our year left Glebe Road in 1967, and I think he went on for a year or two after that before taking retirement.
Have you any views?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Bret Butler, a former pupil and boarder at Brigg Grammar School from 1951-58, has penned some interesting schoolday memories from his home in New Zealand and has forwarded them to the Briggensians' Association, representing ex-pupils and staff.

I have just come to the realisation that it is almost exactly 50 years to the day that I left Brigg Grammar School, as it then was, in December 1958, shortly after being offered a place at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
I was at Cambridge from 1960 to 1963 and graduated with a degree in history. I came to New Zealand as a ten pound pom in 1965 and stayed three years before returning to the UK for 1968 and 1969. I then emigrated permanently to New Zealand at the start of 1970.
I was Headmaster of Huntley School in Marton from 1970 until 1987 and then Headmaster of King's School in Auckland from 1988 until 2000. Since then I have been involved with educational consultancy for Massey University, the Ministry of Education and Multi Serve Education Trust. I was in the Arabian Gulf state of Qatar in 2004 and 2005, where I headed up a programme of introducing self-managing systems into the local Qatari schools.
My mother is still alive near Grimsby and I get back there most years. I have called in to Brigg on a number of occasions and have driven into the school grounds, but it is greatly changed. The old Grammar School Road seems much diminished and I am sure that the tuck shop across the road is long gone.
I was at the school as a boarder from 1951 to 1958. We were thoroughly and rigorously taught by some long-serving and dedicated staff such as Knight, Henthorn, Richards, Atkins, Jarvis and Barker among others. Quite a lot of boys won state scholarships or Lindsey senior scholarships and Matthews seemed fairly successful in getting boys into Oxford or Cambridge in those years.
Football and cricket were the dominant sports and I remember some fine players such as Roger Holmes, the Oates boys, Roger Dobson and Rick Carter among others. There were also some fine swimmers and athletes. Cross country appeared to dominate the cold middle term and the name Brickyard Lane is forever etched in the memory.
Peter Jarvis was a contemporary and I was sad to miss him when he made a trip to New Zealand, since I was out of the country at the time.
The structure of the school is much changed with a larger roll, co-education and no boarding. I think that we had about 50 boarders in School House out of a total roll of about 350.
My wife Sue, who is a New Zealander, and I have three sons and four grandsons. We live in the central North Island at a place called Lake Taupo and have magnficent views over the lake and the mountains. It's starting to get warm here now and we are looking forward to a good summer.
I follow the school news on the website and must try to get back again one day.

Nigel's note: The website to which Bret refers will be

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This morning, on one of the early Hornsby buses taking people from Brigg into Scunthorpe, there was a courteous chap carrying out a survey of passenger numbers and destinations. I thought I glimpsed the North Lincolnshire Council logo on the foot of the sheet he was filling in, attached to a clipboard.
As you may know, North Lincolnshire Council subsidises some of the early morning and late evening services on this route. No-one will have a problem with scrutiny of how public money is expended. That's only right and proper.
However, if, or when, passenger survey information is considered by the powers-that-be, they should bear in mind the importance of these services to people getting to and from work. And the 'green' merit of public transport, rather than lots of journeys being made in cars containing only one person.
Some of us who use these buses are lucky enough to have cars we can use as an alternative. But the Labour Government - and North Lincolnshire Council is also controlled by the same party - bangs on about the use of public transport as a way of helping the environment. A worthy argument. And surely one in keeping with continued bus subsidies.
Perhaps a dozen folk from Brigg and Broughton were on our bus this morning by the time it reached Ashby, which may not look impressive to the bean-counting brigade. But surely other factors need to be taken into consideration.

Our picture shows one of the Hornsby Service 4 buses leaving Cary Lane, Brigg, in better light than we had at 7am today!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


How will the impending closure of Brigg Preparatory School, on Bigby Street, affect the numbers taking part in the North Lincolnshire Music and Drama Festival?
Hopefully, when the Prep pupils move into their partner school in Hull, they will still be able to take part in the festival. But the difficulties, and expense, are obvious.
Even in our school days, back in the 1960s, the Prep dominated many classes.
The 2009 festival will run from March 16-28 and will be the 89th. Tel (01652) 652084 for further details.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Sorry to hear of the death of Stephen Lilley (54), well known in Brigg for his ambulance work. His funeral will beat 11am on Friday (Dec 12) at Woodlands Crematorium, Scunthorpe.


Listed building consent has been granted to NFU Mutual for a non-illuminated hanging sign above 14/15 Wrawby Street, Brigg.
North Lincolnshire Council is also being asked to give permission for a revised parking and amenity area on land off South View Avenue, the application being made by Longhurst Group Ltd.
Permission is also being sought to erect a storage shed at Brigg Youth Centre, on Grammar School Road.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Earlier this afternoon it took me 10 minutes to get from St Helen's Road, past the Monument and down Barnard Avenue, as far as Ancholme Way, despite there being no accident, roadworks or procession of 'Sunday drivers' crawling along.
The reason appeared to be the timing of the two sets of traffic lights on Barnard Avenue.
Very little traffic will exit the Old Courts Road car park on a Sunday, and not much from Cary Lane, either. So why not alter the timing of the lights at slack periods like this, to allow more 'through' traffic on the A18?
These days you can control just about anything by computer, over huge distances.
Still on the question of traffic flows: Things would be speeded up considerably if people in Brigg (other than those living in cul-de-sacs) parked vehicles in their drives, if they have them.
Why do they insist on leaving them on the streets?
Insurance companies used to give discounts for parking cars on your own property. And there's much less chance of vandalism or accidental damage.


Residents with views for or against the proposed Brigg Biomass power plant - on the old sugar factory site - will be interested to learn of a decision made by a neighbouring authority.
West Lindsey District Council's planning committee refused to grant permission for a biomass demonstration project comprising seven live/work units and a biomass boiler with associated infastructure to provide heating and hot water to these units at Church Farm, Harpswell.
The application was submitted by Geoff and Pauline Kealey, of Church Farm, throught agents Hodson Architects, of Cleethorpes.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Everyone makes mistakes - and I've been responsible for many misprints in my long career. But having picked up the latest issue of Fresh Start's excellent monthly glossy magazine in Brigg's Angel courtyard last night, I spotted an entry on page five which made me chuckle.
Listing the menu for a Christmas lunch, the magazine refers to the main course of beef, turkey, mice and potato pie.
Festive elf and safety staff have no need to act!


The heavy rain which fell last night clearly affected the number of people attending Brigg's Christmas fair and lights switch-on. However, those who braved the wet conditions had a good night.
The rain sent many people scurrying into shops and our pubs, which could certainly do with the extra trade.
Congratulations must be extended to Brigg District Lions and the town council for the hard work put into organising the event.
I accompanied the Scunthorpe Telegraph's new editor, Mel Cook, to the now traditional pre-event buffet and drinks in the Angel Suite, attended by invited guests and characters from the Plowright Theatre Pantomime.
After a drink and a snack it was time to venture out into the cold for the official ceremony.
Brigg Christmas Fair night is a bit like the old Victorian tradition of promenading: You bump into lots of people for a chat. And if you are in our line of work, that's often a good source of information.


Simon 'Chozzy' Church' - returning to Brigg from his home in Australia for a New Year reunion - has now made an unusual request: He wants all those who attend to don Aussie shirts.
Strewth! Perhaps the boys has spent too long in the sun in Perth, West Australia, and does not realise what the temperature might be like for those of us walking to his get-together.
Simon's event will be in the Yarborough Arms, Bridge Street, on Saturday, January 31 (from 7pm).
He wants to see old friends from Brigg Grammar School, Sir John Nelthorpe, Brigg Town Cricket Club, Barnetby Football Club, plus family, friends - and teachers!
Please not Simon Church's email is:

Friday, December 05, 2008


Anyone remember when some Brigg teenagers used to try climbing up the Market Place Christmas tree, to see who could get nearest to the top?
Not mentioning any names, but at least one of them - now middle-aged - still live in the area.


Brigg's largest communal event of the year is tonight and the town centre will be packed for the annual Christmas fair and switch-on of the festive lights.
The fun starts about 4.30pm, with the lights going on at 5pm. Brigg District Lions offer a host of stalls, and the tills will be ringing merrily at town centre businesses - pubs, shops and eating establishments.
The weather will be a big factor in the final attendance.
Brigg Town Council funds the cost of the Christmas lights, erected, as they have been for many years, by Barrie Gray's team from the long-established Brigg electrical business.
Given all the modern health and safety requirements, many UK towns and villages have dropped their illuminations. But Brigg council is determined to see this tradition continue.
Sorry, for 'health and safety' let's substitute 'elf and safety' - given that we are talking about Christmas!
Yo! Ho! Ho!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Many months after the initial complaint about bad visibility on Cadney Road, Brigg, North Lincolnshire Council has had the offending foliage (near Candley Beck bridge) trimmed back. However, it's not quite what the original complainant was hoping for.
She says: "They have trimmed the tops of the shrubs back to the top of the fence, which has improved visibility a little, but not much.
"What they should have done is cut back to ground level as they always used to do. By June, they will be just as tall again, and we will be in the same position as this year."
Brigg Town Council put pressure on the highways authority to get things sorted but when the issue was raised at a recent meeting was unclear whether the necessary action had been taken.
Coun Ben Nobbs (pictured) thought it had - but Brigg Blog will alert the town clerk about what now seems to be a partial success.


Having returned to Brigg by bus at about 5.45pm last night I took the usual route home from Cary Lane, via Coney Court - but could get no further because a firecrew was busy dealing with the aftermath of a blaze outside the Hungry Fisherman.
Official word - reported in today's Scunthorpe Telegraph - was it was just a bin fire. It looked a bit more dramatic than that, with a fire tender parked in the Market Place and a couple of hoses running down Coney Court to the scene of the blaze.
Hopefully there wasn't too much cleaning up to do and business will not be unduly affected.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Brigg Blog has banged on before about congestion on Bigby Road, near the junction with St Helen's Road. And the matter has been raised by concerned town councillors.
Now someone, or some firm, has decided to cure the problem by placing eight cones in a line to deter people from parking there. They have been there for a couple of days.
It's certainly a help to drivers trying to get out of St Helen's Road and onto the A1084. But obviously only a short-term measure.
Anyone know who put the cones there?


A 'for sale' sign has gone up on the Dying Gladiator, in Bigby Street, Brigg, the pub having closed several weeks ago, with the economic climate a factor behind the shutters going up.
If you fancy taking on the historic hostelry, the sale is being handled by Davey and Co, call 0800 9803866 or visit the website
Brigg's Dying Gladiator is the only pub carrying that name in the UK.
The White Horse Inn, in Wrawby Street, is still trading - we must stress that - but the business is now available to let.
If you fancy that one, ring 08448483280 or visit
Brigg's Brocklesby Ox, on Bridge Street, also remains on the market. There have been hopes of a new owner, with some people taking a look, but so far no sign of its doors re-opening to Brigg drinkers.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


In today's Brigg Extra page in the Scunthorpe Telegraph we report how Brigg Town Council has agreed to make a £50 donation to the Army Benevolent Fund, after considering an appeal for help from Major General Sir Evelyn Webb Carter KCVO OBE, the fund’s controller.
You will have to make your own mind up about whether, like me, you think it’s a sad indictment of the way things are run in Britain today when charitable donations have to be sought from town councils up and down the country to care for our brave boys and girls who have served their country in uniform.
Here’s the full text of the General’s letter, explaining why Brigg’s money is needed, and what it will help to provide.

Dear Mayor and Mayoress (Coun Mike and Ann Campion)

I am writing to you at a time of considerable concern here at the Army Benevolent Fund.
Please allow me to explain. The casualty figures from the Army's operations in Afghanistan make for very sobering reading, every week seeming to bring news of further attacks on soldiers.
My concern about the possibility of such a casualty rate led me to set up our Current Operations Fund, to support soldiers injured or families of those killed as a result of their Service during the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and in future operations.
As Controller of the ABF it is precisely at times like this that I have to keep a sharp eye on where we are headed, what we are managing to achieve, and the resources we require in order to meet the need — both current and future. It is as a result of this sort of review that I am writing to you today.
My fear is that the continuing stream of casualties, from Afghanistan in particular, will place an even greater call on our 'war chest' than I envisaged. There are the physically injured we know about, but there are also the mental scars that we do not yet know about. Whilst soldiers remain in the Army they are well looked after. But it is when they leave, at some time in the future, that their problems will arise and they will need help.
My concern is that it will be no use asking for help in ten years' time, when I believe the need will really bite, because, unlike the Falkland’s Campaign, most of us will wish to forget our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Therefore, we must prepare now to cope with the needs of the future as well as the needs of today.
Otherwise, I am extremely concerned that we may not be able to help those members of the Army family who come forward to ask for help, both immediately and in the years to come.
I am therefore asking you today to enable us to meet this increasing need. Such a request is not made lightly and I have asked some members of the Army family to help me to give a fuller picture than can be given by my own letter.
For instance, I have enclosed a letter from Colonel Stuart Tootal. Colonel Tootal commanded the Third Battalion the Parachute Regiment on their deployment to Afghanistan in 2006. The Battalion served with distinction in Helmand Province. However, over the course of their service, 14 soldiers were killed, and 46 more were wounded, many of them gravely. Acting in the finest Army tradition of standing up for his men, Colonel Tootal wanted to get the very best of care for every one of those who had been wounded, and to ensure that families were supported in their time of need.
One such soldier was Sergeant Paddy Caldwell, shot by the Taliban whilst directing mortar fire in Sangin, Helmand. An AK47 bullet passed through his neck, severely injuring his spine and leaving him paralysed, with limited muscle and nerve function below the site of his injury.
Paddy made a magnificent recovery, driving himself through a punishing regime of physiotherapy and through sheer determination getting to the point where he was well enough to accept the Battalion’s offer of a job in 3 PARA's Welfare Office.
Colonel Tootal knew that Paddy wouldn’t ask for help for himself, so he contacted the ABF on his behalf. This brave soldier desperately needed an adapted vehicle so that he could be driven safely by his fiancee to work. But the cost of such a car was well beyond his means. It looked as if all his hard work to continue an Army career was going to be in vain. I am delighted to report that the ABF was able to swing into action and get Paddy on the road.
The men and women who are bravely serving in Afghanistan and elsewhere deserve to know that help — prompt, sufficient and respectful — is there when they or their families need to call upon it. I am resolute that the ABF should be able to provide such assistance; however, as the enclosed memo from our Director of Grants and Welfare shows, we are predicting a very considerable increase in the demand on our resources. A gift from you today will go straight to work for the members of the Army who need it:

£30 for example, could contribute towards the cost of an adapted vehicle for a soldier wounded in action.

£60 could help us to support the family of a soldier killed in action — giving them the ability to cope with financial hardship.

£90 could help to cover the costs of retraining for a soldier invalided out of the Army who wants to embark on a new career.

With many thanks for your past support of the Fund.

Yours sincerely,

Major General Sir Evelyn Webb Carter KCVO OBE

Monday, December 01, 2008


The Brigg Extra page story in the Scunthorpe Telegraph explaining how Brigg Town Council is trying to get more organisations to book the Angel Suite interested one of our readers, who makes a very fair point.
He asks: "Do you think the marketing of the Angel Suite would be more successful if Brigg Town Council were to set an example by reverting to their former practice of holding their Civic Dinners in the Ballroom?"
The council usually keeps an eye on Brigg Blog, so maybe a response will be forthcoming. We will let you know.