Thursday, December 31, 2009


Here's wishing a very happy new year to all Brigg Blog followers and contributors.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s I remember 'first footers' used to arrive at each other's houses in Brigg (including ours in Central Square) on the stroke of midnight to bring in the New Year. And wasn't it the practice to carry a lump of coal? That was supposed to bring good luck for the year ahead. Strange!
I haven't encountered that being done for many years since moving to the other side of town. But does the practice still continue somewhere in Brigg? Back then, of course, Brigg's extensive stock of council houses had coal fires (pre-central heating) so good old 'nutty slack' was readily to hand - delivered almost to the door, on a flat-backed Bedford lorry, by the likes of Joe Brocklesby and his helpers.
Like many folk in council houses our family cleaned out the coalhouse (across the yard, next to the outside toilet) and had a concrete coal bunker, from where the scuttle had to be filled each morning to make the fire on cold winter's days.
Newspaper was rolled up for firelighters and (weren't we posh!) a gas poker could be lit to get things going much more readily after the wooden sticks, or logs, had been carefully placed for best effect.
After Brigg Urban District Council, as a parting gift, installed central heating you just had to flick a switch in the morning. Nowadays, of course, folk would think that most unsatisfactory with timers installed to ensure the boiler kicks in well before Brigg folk get out of warm beds on cold mornings.
But back to the present, and what of the year ahead?
During 2010 it would be helpful to see more public interest taken in the running of the town. Despite town council meetings and committee debates being open to the public - and arrangements being there for interested residents to address councillors with their concerns - precious few take up the offer. Sometimes there's only me - at the press table - noting what's going on. Joined - at the monthly 'full' council meetings - by the Vicar/Town Mayor's Chaplain and usually a reporter from the Scunthorpe Telegraph.
People you meet On Brigg Streets, and in shops and pubs, often have plenty of observations to make about things. So why not give up a few minutes and let the council know your views face-to-face? Meetings are previewed in advance by Brigg Blog.
So please keep watching as the year unfolds.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Brigg's Thursday and Saturday markets are not as big or well-supported as they once were - and our small shops could do with a helping hand. So Brigg Blog was interested to receive a statement from the Minister overseeing such things, headed Protecting Small Shops and Boosting Town Centres.
We've highlighted the paragraph of particular interest below...
An overhaul of the planning system that will give Town Halls the tools they need to boost business growth and provide new safeguards for town centres and local markets was published by Housing and Planning Minister John Healey, on a visit to Doncaster town centre and market with Markets Minister Rosie Winterton.
Planning policy has long supported town centres, but after extensive consultation, John Healey yesterday published new advice for Town Hall planners that replaces previous guidelines, cutting the guidance from 137 pages down to 32.
The new Planning Policy Statement 4 combines town centre and economic development policy into a single streamlined statement that supports sustainable economic growth, protects local markets and small shops and will help councils make the decisions to help speed up economic recovery in our towns and rural communities.
The revised guidelines keep the important 'sequential test' for town planners, which requires the most central town centre sites to be developed first for shops, leisure and offices rather than out of town sites that lure high street shoppers away.
A tougher 'impact test' is also being introduced, replacing the dysfunctional ‘needs test’, which will now give councils better controls over big developments that put small shops and town centres at risk. Using this test, development that could harm town centres will be assessed against key factors including climate change, impact on the high street, consumer choice, consumer spending and jobs.
John Healey said: “At this time of year when we shop in the New Year sales, we appreciate our town centres more than ever as the vibrant hearts of our communities. We need to protect and promote town centre economies, which is why I am publishing streamlined guidance strengthening the ability of councils to safeguard local services like shops and pubs – the lifeblood of our towns.
“As the country moves towards economic recovery, the government is putting in place new protections for local shops at the heart of communities as many high streets have been hit hard by a double whammy of the downturn and out-of-town retail parks.
“By strengthening the hand of local councils we are giving them the expert tools they need to put the viability and vitality of town centres first in difficult market conditions. The new tools go further than ever before to protect town centres from the harm large out-of-town developments can have.
“This new approach also gives rural and urban councils the powers to back developments while making sure that the impacts on important local services like pubs and shops are fully considered in planning decisions.
“We are helping councils plan for the recovery, so they can make the right long term, local decisions that generate growth and prosperity for the community.”
Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton said: “Yorkshire has a great market heritage and Doncaster, where we are today, is one of the biggest and finest markets in the North that has been around since the thirteenth century.
“Markets like this all over the country have had a tough time recently with competition from out of town supermarkets and discount stores but they are a vital part of the local economy creating jobs, attracting more people to town centres and providing good value fresh produce.
"As the Government's champion for traditional markets I am delighted that this new economic planning policy will make it easier for town halls to protect and enhance existing markets as part of their vision for the town centre."
Matthew Taylor MP, who produced the Taylor Review into rural housing and economies said: “The new economic planning guidance (PPS4) implements significant recommendations of the ‘Taylor Review’ (Living Working Countryside). This is a major simplification of economic planning policy, gives strong support for traditional market town centres, and clear backing for appropriate economic developments that sustain small rural communities.
“In the past too many villages have seen their local economy whither and die – in the new PPS4 there is now firm support for rural businesses, shops and other facilities that sustain rural employment and services.
“In the name of protection, too many rural villages have ceased to be living, working communities as economic opportunities have been over-curtailed – that should no longer be the case. I hope every rural planning authority will respond to this new guidance, recognising that the key to protecting a sustainable countryside is also maintaining thriving rural communities with vibrant local services and businesses.”
Specifically the revised Planning Policy Statement 4 (PPS4):
• reinforces the 'town centres first' policy and ensures the planning system promotes the vitality, viability and the unique character of town centres;
• promotes consumer choice and retail diversity;
• keeps the important 'sequential test' that requires developers to seek the most central sites first;
• removes the dysfunctional 'needs test' which can unintentionally stifle diversity and consumer choice in town. In some cases new shops in town centres were ruled out because out of town developments, such as big supermarkets, already provided that function.
• creates a new tougher 'impact test' that assesses economic, social and environmental criteria so councils can better assess the impacts on the town centre. It tests whether impact is positive or negative on climate change, town centre consumer choice and retail diversity; investment and town centre trade and gives councils powers to cap the size of big retail developments where this is justified.
• Requires local authorities to plan positively for sustainable economic growth
• Requires local authorities to make markets an integral part of the vision for their town centres, enhancing existing markets and, where appropriate, re-introducing or creating new ones.
• allows rural authorities to plan for economic development in rural areas subject to the need to protect the countryside, recognising that a site may be acceptable even if it’s not readily accessible by public transport.


Thomas Bell and Sons, of Bigby Road, are planning an office extension "due to expansion of the business" near the level crossing.
A planning application has now been lodged with North Lincolnshire Council, which is also considering the same firm's request for permission to retain storage containers on the site.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


One of the unusual annual jobs I used to enjoy when working for the Brigg-based Lincolnshire Times newspaper in the early 1980s was the new year forecast. It was a major article published at exactly this time of year, asking business and civic leaders what sort of new year they were expecting.
We used to contact people like Larry Cassidy of the Brigg and Caistor Licensed Victuallers' Association, and the manager of the Conoco plant at Killingholme (usually an American I seem to recall), plus Albright and Wilson, Brigg Chamber of Trade, Glanford Borough Council and the local rep of the Federation of the Self-Employed. Some took an upbeat view, while others were more than a shade fearful of the future.
Winding the clock forward to the present day, I don't suppose the general reaction would be much different if the Times was still with us and running the same new year forecast.
Brigg firms - other than our very largest stores - face tough times, given the overall economic climate. But I suppose we all have to put a brave face on it. And I'm speaking here as a redundancy victim of 2009.
Returning Brigg's free parking concession would help the town in general and be a well-received gesture of goodwill from the powers-that-be at North Lincolnshire Council. It wouldn't cost them a huge amount in lost revenue but would encourage more people to use the Old Courts Road facility and begin their shopping in the town centre, rather than park at Tesco or Lidl and be tempted to make their purchases at either, or both, of our biggest retail outlets.

Monday, December 28, 2009


It was sad to hear the Brigg County Bridge improvement scheme has been rejected for lottery funding. The long-standing plan is to remove the cordoned-off walkway area and to replace the ugly, decaying metal railings with stone so the bridge regains the look familiar to townsfolk down the decades when the balustrades were such a feature of this prominent structure.
Some folk may well wonder why the early 19th century bridge is not being sorted by the Environment Agency (responsible for our river system) and/or the highway authority. Maybe even central government. And that's a fair point. After all, the others along the Ancholme seem to be attended to, notably the listed Rennie suspension bridge at Horkstow. No disrespect intended, but most of them are in the middle of nowhere, serving only farm tracks and being used by a few walkers/ramblers.
Ours is in the centre of a town and crossed by hundreds of pedestrians every day. Plus some vans and cars, but that's another story entirely. It's also a secondary route into the town centre for emergency services vehicles.
Coun Tom Glossop has been leading a group called The Friends of the County Bridge, pressing for improvements to be carried out in Brigg. The lack of progress has proved very frustrating to him and his fellow supporters of the project.
I took the picture (reproduced below) last year at the request of Keith Nutting and Ian Smith, who were officials of Brigg Civic Society until it halted operations. Some cosmetic work has been carried out since then to the railings, we think. But the image certainly highlights one of the problems.
So where do the campaigners go from here? Do they give up? Do they make another lottery application? Will the authorities finally get the message and carry out the work themselves?
Hopefully 2010 will become The Year of the Bridge. And not A Bridge Too Far...again!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


A pleasant surprise was in store this morning after loading up the back of the car with all the extra bottles and cans generated over Christmas. For we found the Tesco car park reycling banks had plenty of room to take our family's donation to the green cause.
The other year, you may recall, the containers at Tesco were full to overflowing a few days after Christmas, meaning some of us had to take our cans and bottles back home again, and make a second trip some days later.
Clearly someone deserves credit for planning ahead this time, but we are not sure who.


Classes in ballroom dancing are being suggested for the New Year - the venue being Brigg's Angel Suite, formerly the ballroom in the decades of the town centre Angel Hotel.
Strictly Learn Dancing evening classes will start in January, dates yet to be announced. Call Laura on 07734 671400 for further details.
Many Brigg organisations used to hold annual dances at the Angel, the bowls club's New Year one being described at length by John Rhodes in his recently published book about growing up in Central Square during the 1930s.
Moving into the disco age, a number of sports clubs used the Angel for regular functions up to its demise, and I can recall attending hockey club dinners there in the 1980s, plus cricket club presentation nights in the mid-1970s.
Happy days!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


For some years in the late 1980s there used to be a Boxing Day tradition at Brigg Recreation Ground - an annual friendly hockey match, involving members of the men's and ladies' clubs. A bit of liquid refreshment used to be taken along and kept on the sidelines!
Somewhere I have a picture taken at one of these games but it's not to hand today so we'll have to make do with one showing some of the regular supporters of this festive fixture from a similar annual event - the Briggensians match (Old Boys v Sir John Nelthorpe School), also played at The Rec.
Umpires for both were often Len Marshall, from Wrawby (inset right), and Peter Cox, of Scawby Brook (left on the group image). Third left is 'yours truly'
Nigel Fisher, then (looking left to right along the row) Steve Baggott, Keith Smith, Val Jeffrey, Simon Weightman, Jack Moore and Mike Weightman. These days grass hockey is a thing of the past for the Brigg club in the Yorkshire League, matches being played on artificial surfaces outside the town.
Retired Brigg teacher Len Marshall was one of the great characters of the game and a very hard worker for the club. He umpired in his own way but had the respect of everyone on the field. What he called "apres hockey" was very much part of his weekend - relaxing over a few after-match brandies and chatting to visiting, and home, players and officials in the Queen's Arms. He produced the monthly Short Corner newsletter - again in his own style. It was always packed with interesting gossip about club events, matches and players. Its content would have slotted nicely into Brigg Blog.
A true sporting gent who died just a few hours after officiating in a club away match. A very sad loss to sport in Brigg.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Empringham Demolition - headed by Brigg-educated Derek Empringham - is busy working at the Cedars, on Bigby Road. Doubtless some of the bricks from the old outbuildings that are coming down will be recycled for future use.
In recent years, Derek's firm has demolished the Victorian former refectory building at Sir John Nelthorpe School and the last outbuildings of Woodbine Farm, off Wrawby Road, adjoining the Recreation Ground. Again, the bricks were re-purposed, to use the modern term.
The Cedars - the large detached property near the Monument - was originally a private resident but has enjoyed a number of different uses down the decades, including being a doctors' surgery and clinic. It is now being redeveloped yet again.


Here's wishing all Brigg Blog contributors and site visitors a very happy Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Best of luck to Brigg pubs, and clubs, for a bumper Christmas Eve - given that the state of the economy (no political blame apportioned) means they are hardly likely to see out-and-out spend, spend, spend by most customers.
There was a time when I'd have looked forward to sinking a few beers in town centre hostelries in the run up to the big day, but all that stopped when the Scunthorpe Telegraph switched to producing a Boxing Day edition and 'yours truly' offered to do the solitary Christmas Day editing shift, in return for time off either side of the New Year.
However, I'm sure younger members of the family will be out and about tonight.
In these troubled times - no Brockleby Ox, no Gladiator, pictured - licensees have to use every possible method to draw in the punters.
A-boards prove effective (eg Phil's outside the Britannia), but the Jolly Miller at Wrawby - popular with many Brigg people, especially in the summer - has posted details of the Christmas Festivities on its Facebook social networking site, which generated an email to inform me, and other possible patrons, what's happening.
The Holiday Party opens tonight - karaoke from 8pm until midnight with Alison. "Welcome in Christmas Day with a singalong," they suggest.
The full line-up of festivities is then explained on the pub's Facebook site, together with declarations from 'members' who will be attending and who might be popping along.
What would some of Brigg's legendary licensees of the past make of all that? I couldn't really see Tom Merriman or Jean Cunningham going to those lengths to get us through their doors.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Brigg and district women are being encouraged to get back into netball, with sessions starting in the New Year at Glanford Leisure Centre - still known by many as Brigg Leisure Centre. Our local sessions will be part of a programme across both banks of the Humber. Here's what the organisers have to say....

Thousands of women have played and enjoyed the game but have lost touch with the sport since school. Get Back into Netball, a new initiative which begins in mid-January has been created to help attract these people back into the sport throughout the region.
Women may have played the sport during school days and although they may have enjoyed the sport and the competition this offered it may have taken a back seat to work and family considerations in past years. This initiative offers an opportunity for people to come and play the sport once again in a friendly environment where fun and participation has more significance than competition, technical skill or winning matches. The emphasis to come and play, make new friends and have a couple of hours of exercise within the netball environment. There will be experts at hand to offer advice on rules or technical skills but the main emphasis will be on trying out the sport once again without your old PE teacher breathing down your neck!
Back to Netball sessions were first developed last year and six clubs were created in this period with some people playing netball for the first time in 30 years. This is to be expanded across the region and open up this opportunity to local ladies keen to regain the old netball buzz.
One-hour sessions begin in January at a range of venues across Hull and East Yorkshire, Glanford Leisure Centre's being on Thursdays, 9.30am-10.30am. The cost is £2.80.
Contact Marie Bailey on 01724 297181 or email via this link MARIE BAILEY
For more information about the initiative you can contact netball development officer Pauline Hardy on 07540 126591 or email
More details of the courses can be found on the news section of the Humber Sports Partnership website

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


How many passengers do you think use Brigg railway station?
Official figures from the Office of Rail Regulation – available on the internet – show 665 “entries and exits” by passengers in 2007/8, which works out at about 13 a week. Or, to put things into true perspective, 13 a day (as our rail link only receives trains on a Saturday). Brigg gets six trains – three in each direction between Sheffield and Cleethorpes – so that’s an average of just over two per train. If you want to see the figures for Brigg, and all other stations in the UK, follow this link STATION USE

Monday, December 21, 2009


A planning application is now with West Lindsey District Council proposing further development at Pingley Camp, off Bigby High Road, Brigg (just over the North Lincs border).
It's a so-called full application (dated December 2) for construction of one dwelling, with attached garage, at Plot 4, and has been lodged by Pingley Development Co Ltd, c/o Barford Buildings, North Wall, Grimsby Fish
Docks, agent being John Derbyshire Design Partnership Ltd, 6a St Mary's Lane, Louth. The public consultation period is under way.
There are plans for detached housing, with some industrial use, on this site which, during the Second World War, housed Italian and German prisoners of war.
In January’s Nostalgia magazine, produced by the Scunthorpe Telegraph and on sale from January 8, there will be a special two-page feature article on memories of Pingley Camp, including the post-war period when people from the continent used to come over to work on local farms and at Spring’s jam factory, while staying in the huts.
They have now been demolished and the site cleared for re-development – except for the brick water/watchtower.

Our archive picture shows the camp a few months before demolition of the huts began.

1,000 NOT OUT

Only the most ardent Brigg Blog followers will have noticed but we've just made our 1,000th posting. Thanks for your support over the past couple of years - punctuated by that unfortunate gap - and please keep paying regular visits to our site. Suggestions for future articles are always welcome.


North Lincolnshire Council caught us out this morning - and probably others aswell - by coming early (in terms of days) to collect the red (paper and plastic) recycling bin.
Doubtless they put the arrangements in Direct Magazine, which we'd foolishly thrown away without cutting out the relevant list. However, a check of our bin reveals the council sticker on the top lists collection dates for last year, not this. Not that we are using that as a valid excuse.
Years ago - going back to the days of Glanford Borough Council - they used to take our prominent adverts in the Scunthorpe Telegraph and Target, listing the revised collection dates for Christmas and New Year.
This Blog has also offered, in the past, to publicise the Brigg area collection dates if the council sends us the relevant list.
That offer still stands.
However, as nothing has been received, we've had a trawl round the council website and found our street's collection dates, which may be of use to you.

Brown organic waste wheeled bin Monday 21/Dec/2009
Plastics kerbside wheeled bin Monday 21/Dec/2009
Blue kerbside box - paper Tuesday 29/Dec/2009
General waste wheeled bin Tuesday 29/Dec/2009
Green kerbside box - cans, glass and aluminium foil Tuesday >29/Dec/2009
Salvation Army textile bag Tuesday 29/Dec/2009
General waste wheeled bin Tuesday 05/Jan/2010
Plastics kerbside wheeled bin Tuesday 05/Jan/2010
Blue kerbside box - paper Tuesday 12/Jan/2010
General waste wheeled bin Tuesday 12/Jan/2010
Green kerbside box - cans, glass and aluminium foil Tuesday 12/Jan/2010
Salvation Army textile bag Tuesday 12/Jan/2010
Brown organic waste wheeled bin Tuesday 19/Jan/2010
Plastics kerbside wheeled bin Tuesday 19/Jan/2010


Liz and Colin Mumby.

A special surprise 60th birthday party was staged for Brigg’s Col Mumby on Saturday night.
Wife Liz made the top secret arrangements, sending out undercover invitations to his many mates in the Brigg area who met up in the function room at the Ancholme Inn to give amazed Col a very warm welcome when she led him through the door.
Good enough to have played football for Scunthorpe United Reserves (alongside Kevin Keegan), Colin is still turning out – and scoring - for Brigg-based Briggensians FC in the Scunthorpe Saturday League. And many of his clubmates were at the party.
Col’s also still playing cricket for Broughton, and clubmates (past and present) were there, plus others from his spells with Brigg Town, Brigg Sugar Factory and Elsham.
Friends, family and neighbours also turned out to mark the milestone of a very popular Brigg character, whose humour on, and off, the sports field many of us have enjoyed down the decades.
There were newspaper cuttings and photos on display featuring some of Col’s achievements.
The fact he really enjoys sport – summer or winter – and always plays with a smile on his face is a major factor in why he’s lasted so long. Plus having a lot of ability, of course, which certainly helps!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


A couple of inches of overnight snow raised hopes of a very rare white Christmas in Brigg. It snowed quite heavily from 8pm last night - by our standards. Although to the members of our community from Eastern Europe this would hardly merit a mention!
Years/decades ago there would have been dozens of youngsters, with sledges, utilising the steep grassy bank from Bigby Road into the Davy Memorial Playing Field - but there weren't many to be seen mid-morning today. Perhaps many are waiting until they've been warmed by a big Sunday roast.


Brigg Christmas Farmers’ Market yesterday seemed to attract only half the visitors it did last year (my estimate). The cold, frosty conditions – with a sprinkling of snow – may well have been to blame, with some who would have driven in from outlying towns and villages leaving the car in the drive, or garage, and staying at home, in the warmth.
Some Brigg folk planning to walk along slippery paths might also have thought twice and not bothered, although there were signs of sanding being carried out in Wrawby Street.
It was a shame for the stall-holders and town centre businesses which would have benefited from additional visitors.
Music came from a Salvation Army band in Wrawby Street and musicians in the Market Place fronted by Town Mayor Coun James Truepenny and Ian Cawsey, Brigg and Goole’s MP.
The weather conditions gave a bit of a Dickensian feel to the town centre. Global warming theory supporters presumably wrapped up in woolly hats, scarves and gloves like the rest of us!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Many of us will have watched this week's BBC TV Panorama programme about the state of the postal service. It was a balanced report, giving workers and management a chance to state their views.
They were delivering mail on our estate in Brigg around 8am today - a Saturday, in the run up to Christmas, and despite snowy/icy conditions.
Paying a visit to one local business earlier this week I noted a decent bottle of wine on the reception desk, together with a thank-you note to their postie.
Clearly the old concept of "Christmas boxes" has not entirely died out. And while on that topic, let's not forget the service Brigg households get from the North Lincolnshire Council refuse crews (not just one bin anymore!), the newspaper and milk delivery folk, and others whose efforts many of us, sadly, seem to take for granted.
Yes, they get paid for the job, but these workers don't exactly fall into the high-earner bracket.


The obituary page is my favourite in the quality national newspapers, so it was with great interest some weeks ago that I read of the dead of Eric Kemp (94), Bishop of Chichester, and a former pupil of Brigg Grammar. He was the longest-serving English Bishop of modern times and a very, very senior figure in the Church of England.
It didn't take long for me to tip off the Scunthorpe Telegraph with the suggestion here was a famous man worthy of a story, and it was also of interest to readers in North East Lincolnshire, as he hailed from the Grimsby area.
Together with David Yelland (ex-editor of national newspaper The Sun), Bishop Kemp is one of Brigg Grammar's most famous and high profile old boys.
They have done him proud on the Briggensians' website. Follow this link then look in the News section BISHOP KEMP


Picture and report from David Brittain, Brigg Rotary Club

Brigg Rotary Club, with the support of local businesses, will be able to bring a welcome gift in the shape of a Christmas hamper to many families and people in need at the festive season. All hampers are generously stocked with food items especially tailored to this time of year.
Organiser Ambrose Fowler said “Some of the people on my list may only receive this one visit over the Christmas period and the hamper shows that we are thinking of them and trying to make a difference to their otherwise lonely lives.
The gifts are organised and distributed by Brigg Rotarians but the donations come through the generosity of local businesses and other fundraising.”
Tesco staff kindly package the items so that they look splendid and brighten delivery day especially for those in need who are still finding it difficult to return to normal after the experience of having their homes flooded, losing a loved one, unemployment or lack of family.
On behalf of all those who will be receiving gifts Ambrose wishes to thank everyone who has given time, food and money in support of this Christmas appeal.

Pictured, left to right: Tesco Staff responsible for preparing the parcels, Jilly Whitehand and Nichola Morrison, with Ambrose Fowler (Brigg Rotary).

Friday, December 18, 2009


Applications lodged with North Lincolnshire Council by Cutler Financial Ltd, relating to 11a Market Place, Brigg have been withdrawn.
They were for advertisement and listed building consent to display two fascia boards and one A-board.
Brigg Town Council's comments on these applications was reported previously on Brigg Blog.


Brigg Town Council is seeking an Assistant Clerk, based at the Angel Suite, working 20 hours per week, on a salary of £8,407.95 per annum (70% of S.C.P. 26– pro-rata).
Closing date for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 13th January.
Full details are on the Town Council's website - but here's a handy direct link ASST CLERK


From Coun James Truepenny, Town Mayor of Brigg

First of all, Merry Christmas to all readers. It is a busy time of year for civic leaders and as we sat around comparing notes at the Driffield Christmas Lights Switch On, the Mayors of the area realised how much everyone else does. In the last two weeks I have been at two Christmas concerts, a performance in the town centre, church services and Christmas Lights Switch On ceremonies; but what stands out to me through all of this, is that Christmas truly is a time where everyone does think about other people. Something worth remembering when all the fuss is over and done with and you’re sat in front of the Queen's Speech at 3 o’clock on Christmas Day; and something to take forward into 2010 when I hope that we can all continue working together for the benefit of Brigg and our neighbours.
As you join together with friends and family to relax and enjoy our Christmas break, I ask you to spare a thought and give thanks to those people who cannot be with their loved ones and friends over Christmas, particularly the men and women who are serving in our armed forces, and to those people who may be closer to home but still have to work over the Christmas period in order to ensure we are safe, and to care for those who are ill, infirm or in need.
I hope you do have an enjoyable time, I hope you have a great break and I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


North Lincolnshire Council refuses to back down and re-introduce the free concession for motorists using Brigg's main car parks. But how about a bit of goodwill being shown, seeing as it's the festive time of year?
The council owns a large staff car park, off Station Road, which could easily be opened up to the general public on Saturdays as an alternative to Tesco and Lidl. The authority could still charge for parking in Old Courts Road and the Angel, for those folk who are happy to pay to be very near the shops; those who choose to park FREE off Station Road, at the council staff facility, would obviously face a short walk to the town centre.
The benefit of this would be shoppers coming into Brigg from the Wrawby and Caistor directions could use Bigby Road and Albert Street to get to and from Station Road, keeping many vehicles away from severely congested Barnard Avenue.
What do you think?


Don't forget this Saturday sees the annual Christmas Farmers' Market in the Market Place, from about 9am-4pm. Our monthly farmers' markets are always very busy, but the pre-Christmas one brings even more shoppers than usual into the town centre to buy quality fresh produce straight from the producers.
Even some of those Brigg residents on low budgets who don't usually frequent such markets make an exception to stock up on a few treats and goodies for the festive season.
Last year's December Farmers' Market saw Ian Cawsey, our MP, team up with Coun James Truepenny, in the Bandstand, to provide some festive music to entertain passers-by. Ian tells Brigg Blog he will be joining up with James (now our Town Mayor, of course) for a repeat performance this Saturday.


By Jim Allcroft

Fresh Start (Brigg and District) is proposing to commence holding a Tai Chi class on Monday afternoons at a location in the centre of Brigg (3.30) if there is sufficient interest to make the class a viable venture.
People can register their interest by contacting Carole Roberts on 01652 658574 or Marilyn Demott on 01652 651127.
Tai Chi is an activity suitable for people of all ages and abilities and is a gentle form of natural movements carried out in a controlled, slow, smooth and graceful manner with an even transition between the movements.
The practice of Tai Chi can contribute to people enjoying a better quality of life by reducing stress levels and has been shown to help with a variety of other health conditions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Brigg Town Council is the first link in the planning process - it's members don't have the power to give the green light to applications in our community. But - by law - they must be consulted. And they are able to make their views known to North Lincolnshire planners before any decision is reached. Not that the unitary authority is legally bound to take such local opinion onboard.
Most applications go through Brigg Town Council without any objections being raised, or comments made.
So this week's meeting, in the Angel Suite, was very unusual, as three of the four applications listed prompted observations.
Let's get the 'no problem' one out of the way first: Planning permission to erect an extension to 10 Woodbine Avenue presented no difficulties at all.
However, there were some concerns about Thomas Bell and Son's retrospective application to retain four storage containers at its Bigby Road premises, near the level crossing.
Coun Penny Smith suggested the containers were "quite visible now there are no leaves on the trees." Describing Thomas Bell as "a very good and popular retailer" she said the containers would be better placed side by side. Deputy Town Mayor Coun Ben Nobbs felt them to be "out of keeping with the rest of the area".
Town councillors were also unhappy about North Lincolnshire Homes' application to change the use of one of the Ancholme Gardens dwellings in Cadney Road/Elwes Street to office use. The meeting heard suggestions that the organisation now operating the area's former council house stock intends to use this facility as a base in the event of some sort of "disaster" situation arising locally.
Coun Smith pointed to a long waiting list for housing and did not feel that would be helped by turning a dwelling over to office use.
Coun Jane Kitching then questioned North Lincolnshire Homes' wisdom in suggesting a base so near to the Old River Ancholme, which might flood.
Coun Julian Kidd agreed with her about the location, suggesting: "Surely they could find somewhere else!" Again, North Lincolnshire planners will be informed of town councillors' reservations.
Finally, our representatives decided they needed more time to consider an application to retain a timber extension at 12 Birch Avenue - after Coun Bell pointed out a reference on the plan to a 'child balcony' about which they had no other information.
During the meeting, Coun Bell made several strong attacks on the Government's planning system allowing retrospective applications to be made for buildings already in place. At times, she suggested, the process was becoming 'a joke'. She felt all plans should be submitted, and approved, before anything was allowed to be built.
However, Coun Tom Glossop pointed out that although some might see retrospective applications as 'morally wrong' they were still permitted under current procedures laid out by the Government.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Having spoken to a member of Brigg District Lions, Coun Tom Glossop (pictured) is hopeful there WILL be a firework display at the recreation ground next November.
He relayed the information to last night's monthly Town Council meeting in the Angel Suite.
An update was given on the 3Bs youth project, prompting Coun Ann Eardley to say some local people, including herself, had noted a general improvement in the overall behaviour of a number of young people in the area since the scheme's introduction.
The agenda item about donating the cost of a gate for refurbished Woodbine Park, off South View Avenue, had to be postponed as important information from North Lincolnshire Council was only received just prior the meeting. The town's property and services committee will now deal with the matter.
A letter of appreciation has been sent to retiring councillor Neil Taylor, who tendered his resignation last month. His seat, and two others, remain vacant, with more information expected on those in the new year.
No members of the public were there to exercise their democratic right to raise issues of interest/concern prior to the council meeting. And for the second successive "full council" meeting no representatives had issues to raise under the heading Police Matters, which can only suggest the Boys (and Girls) in Blue at our local station are doing a very satisfactory job, as this section of the monthly meeting used to generate quite a few comments about crime incidents and issues unresolved.
Keep watching Brigg Blog for a report on the planning and environment committee meeting (also held last night at the Angel) which saw councillors raise a number of concerns over applications in the North Lincolnshire pipeline.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Brigg Town Cricket Club held its AGM at Scanlon's, on Bridge Street, which unfortunately I didn't manage to attend.
However, we've now been brought up to speed: All-rounder Dylan Hildreth (pictured) is the new chairman, with veteran batsman Dave Willey his vice-chairman; Lee Fielden continues as secretary; Jack Richards is the new treasurer.
The club will continue to offer competitive sport to youngsters of various age groups, plus running Saturday men's teams in the Lincolnshire League and the East Yorkshire Alliance, and a Sunday team in the North Lindsey competition.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


A workman was attending to the traffic lights on Barnard Avenue a few days ago leaving us to wonder whether North Lincolnshire Council just might have heeded suggestions to alter the settings.
Not so - judging by the situation this morning when traffic waiting on the A18 (in both directions) was held up by red lights while no cars at all were waiting to exit either Old Courts Road or Wesley Road, where green lights were showing.
Meanwhile, the traffic islands/road humps on Glebe Road continue to prove annoying, especially at weekends when so many residents' cars are parked along the street. Road safety specialists will doubtless point out these 'measures' are effective in slowing traffic, but the vast majority of motorists using Glebe Road were never guilty of speeding. All they wanted to do was get from one end to the other in a reasonable time. Now, even with the removal of the school, that's not always easy.


Brigg Amateur Social Historians' next meeting will on Tuesday, January 5 - "Sing to Win" with Elly Dolan, the venue again being the Servicemen's Club, Coney Court (8pm).
This will include original radio broadcasts from the war years and is a patriotic World War Two show featuring all the old songs that helped to win the war. Free admission.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Just to explain for the benefit of the many Brigg Blog readers who may not be 'anoraks' when it comes to the finer points of Statutory Instrument 1987 No. 764 The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987...

B1 use (as proposed for 1A Ancholme Gardens, Brigg, in the current planning application) is defined by the powers-that-be as:

Use for all or any of the following purposes —
(a) as an office other than a use within class A2 (financial and professional services),
(b) for research and development of products or processes, or
(c) for any industrial process,
being a use which can be carried out in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit.

So now you know!

Memo to planners: We've commended you for the amount of information made public through your excellent on-line applications/decision portal, but how about a bit of plain English? Please explain what these terms actually mean.

At which point Brigg Blog had better define A2 for the benefit of the masses..

Financial and professional services
Use for the provision of —
(a) financial services, or
(b) professional services (other than health or medical services), or
(c) any other services (including use as a betting office) which it is appropriate to provide in a shopping area,
where the services are provided principally to visiting members of the public.


Coun Neil Taylor's resignation from Brigg Town Council has been received with sadness, meaning there are now three vacancies, as Couns Maureen Glossop and Maureen Neal have also stepped down.
Within any committee or organisation it's always healthy to have a good age range - and Neil was at the senior end of the scale. Maureen Neal also contributed usefully to the authority during her relatively short time in office. We've previously commented on Maureen Glossop's hard work for the community - over many years.
The three vacancies are now being advertised by the council. So if you want to be considered, contact Town Clerk Jeanette Woollard. It's normal practice these days for co-option to follow, rather than the expense of an election. But the proper procedure needs to be gone through. Interested people are asked to write a letter about themselves and their interests, and the council will then consider all applications. If there are more received than vacancies, a vote will be taken among existing members to decide who gets offered places.
Use this link if you wish to ask Mrs Woollard for further details TOWN COUNCIL - or call in at the Town Council office on Monday or Thursday mornings before noon (entry via the Angel courtyard, off the Market Place, through the glass doors). You don't get paid for being a town councillor, by the way. It's voluntary - for the good of the community.
Monday sees a meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee in the lounge of the Angel Suite, 6.45pm. This meeting is open to the public (to listen, not take part in the discussions). If you wish to go along, entry is via the rear entrance, off the Angel car park (on foot via the Market Place along Exchange Place). The lounge is down the steps on the lower floor (lift available).
Main business will be to consider the latest Brigg planning applications, the town council being able to pass on its thoughts to North Lincolnshire planners before final decisions are made.
Application Number 2009/1390: Permission to retain four storage containers, Thomas Bell and Son, Bigby Road, Brigg.
Application Number 2009/1359: Permission for change of use from residential to B1 use, 1A Ancholme Gardens, Brigg.
Application Number PA/1009/1331: Planning Permission to erect an extension to existing dwelling, 10 Woodbine Avenue, Brigg.
Sometimes additional applications are considered at these meetings, if received after the preparation of the agenda.
The planning meeting will be followed at 7.30pm by the monthly meeting of Brigg Town Council in the main part the Angel Suite (what was once the ballroom of the hotel).
As always there will be a 15-minute period set aside for Public Question Time prior to the formal meeting. Unfortunately Mr Dimbleby, of the BBC, is unlikely to be present! However, here's an opportunity for Brigg folk to go along and raise issues or comment on matters affecting the town which they feel are important.
Some people do go along and exercise their democratic right - but relatively few.
As most of the council's work is now carried out by its various committees, the so-called Full Council meetings are not very long affairs.
However, an item about the refurbishment of Woodbine Park - site of the old prefabs, now a play area in front of South View Avenue - may prove of interest to residents with young children from the Spring Bank estate.

Friday, December 11, 2009


The new issue of Brigg Matters 'goes big' on an apparent intention by the police to get tough over vehicles found inside the town centre pedestrian area without lawful excuse. There's also a helpful list of exactly who, and what, is allowed to venture beyond the No Entry signs.
As regular readers will know, Brigg Blog has highlighted this issue many times and any action (at long last) to get to grips with the problem is very welcome.
It will take fines/penalty points to deter offenders.
What I'm unsure about is how the police's wish to tackle parking/unlawful entry into the pedestrian area fits in with the on-going process which will allow North Lincolnshire Council "as opposed to the police" to enforce the parking restrictions on the public highway. Doubtless that will work itself out in the next few months.
Meanwhile, we'll be keeping an eye on Wrawby Street and the Market Place to see whether any of the errant drivers are being ticked off by the police.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


There are a couple of stores (at least) in Brigg where 'unaccompanied' teenagers are not allowed in, or where admission is controlled to a few kids at a time...'one in, one out'.
It's a pity things have got to this stage and that the actions of a few 'bad apples' have resulted in the vast majority of law-abiding youngsters being inconvenienced.
Do you remember during the early 1980s when the manageress of Woolworth's, in Wrawby Street, banned anyone wearing a certain school uniform from the premises?
The story made the front page of the Lincolnshire Times - our office was almost directly opposite in Wrawby Street - and was then taken up with enthusiasm by some of the national newspapers, along the lines of Entire School Banned.


Well done, North Lincolnshire Council, for repair work to the public footpath linking Yarborough Road and Churchill Avenue.
Hard to see from the photos but they've put down some hardcore and added a light covering on top, so it's not a hard surface. No criticism intended - it's a welcome improvement.
If the council didn't have an official launch - with interested ramblers invited - they really should have done.
My own observations suggest more people are using this public right of way now there's no longer mud underfoot.
Why, after all these years, it was decided to take action over the state of the walkway I've no idea. But that really doesn't matter.

Next time we bump into our voluntary footpath warden, Tony Parker, On Brigg Streets we will invite his observations. If our paths don't cross (pardon the pun!), I'm sure Tony will make reference to the work in his report delivered to Brigg's annual town meeting.
Walking types have campaigned hard over the years to keep this right of way open to the public, and I seem to recall a public inquiry being held over its future not that long ago.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Planning permission to erect two single-storey retail units here in Chapel Court, Brigg, has been refused by North Lincolnshire Council, which ruled such development would have a detrimental effect on this part of the Brigg Conservation Area.
The application came from G W Rowbottom and Son Ltd.


Planning permission to erect a single and a two-storey extension to 54 Hawthorn Avenue, Brigg, has been granted to Mr and Mrs S. Tindall by North Lincolnshire Council.
Meanwhile, permission to retain four storage containers is being sought by Thomas Bell & Sons Ltd, of Bigby Road.


A legendary figure in the world of sailing took a leisurely trip along the entire River Ancholme in the 1930s, including a stop off not far from Brigg.
His extensive description of that journey, which included an overnight stop somewhere between Brigg and Cadney, forms a chapter in Tony Watts' fascinating and lavishly illustrated new book Holmes of the Humber.
Subject of the book, George Holmes, was a very talented artist and sketches he made of bridges along the Ancholme help illustrate the chapter.
The book also takes in-depth looks at sailing trips along the Humber and its tributaries and vessels to be found in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The new book costs £25 and is available from bookshops or through the website via this link HOLMES OF THE HUMBER

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Former reporter John Wright, now running a public relations company, has been in touch today to put his name down for next summer's Brigg reunion to mark the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Lincolnshire Times, whose editorial offices were at 57 Wrawby Street.
John says he's pleased to see the memory of the newspaper is being kept alive as it served the local community very well.
He recalls news editor Edward (Ted) Dodd going round town in his Morris 1000 with the ears of Loony, his black spaniel, flying out of the window. Doddy, he says, was a magnificent teacher of junior reporters like himself, but a hard taskmaster.
"In those days we started work at about 8am by making the fire in the newsroom on the first floor and finished about 9.30 at night, or even latr, putting the news packets into the station mailbox before heading off to the Angel Hotel for a pint with Tom Almey or to the Black Bull (opposite) when John Donovan was the landlord."


Quite a few folk from Brigg and district like to make a day at Market Rasen races part of their festive programme, and the organisers say they are preparing to welcome 11,000 on Boxing Day this year (OK - not just from our town).
Visitors have every incentive to buy their tickets in advance and get along to the racecourse early - for they will not only avoid traffic but they will also get free tea and coffee.
The free warm refreshments are on offer for those who book their tickets in advance - by calling 08445 793009 and quoting MRBDFD - and arrive before 11am.
Once again, the tapes will fly up for the first of six races on Saturday, December 26 at 12.20pm.
So, what should visitors know before they set out and as they arrive at the racecourse?

The entrance gates will be open from 10am. The sooner people arrive, the less time they'll spend in traffic.

Dress for the weather. The County Enclosure does require smarter dress - no ripped denim for example - but otherwise there are no restrictions. Warm is best! People move around the racecourse quite a bit, so put on comfortable shoes.

The great news is that accompanied under-16s get into the racecourse free of charge.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at the racecourse in person, by calling 08445 793009 or going online at But there are plenty of tickets available on the day.

* Picnic Car Park £7 per car + Family Enclosure admission per adult;
* Family Enclosure £9 in advance (£10 on the day);
* Tattersalls £15 in advance (£16 on the day);
* County Enclosure £20 in advance (£22 on the day);
* Premier Enclosure £27 in advance only.

General parking - with the exception of the picnic car park - is free. Preferential parking areas are provided near the entrances for disabled visitors who are holders of the Blue Badge parking label.

Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic into the car parks or into the Family Enclosure, but food and drink may not be brought into any other areas of the racecourse. There are numerous places to eat.

The official racecard is invaluable. The silks worn by the jockeys are displayed in colour. The racecard shows the recent record of each horse running, the weight the horse will carry in the race, and the name of the jockey and trainer.

People put their money on with the bookmakers who stand in front of the grandstands or with the Tote. They 'take a price' with a bookmaker at the time when they put your money on, whereas with the Tote the bet goes into a pool, with the winnings decided after the race.

Visitors can watch the horses in both the pre-parade ring, where the horses are saddled, and the parade ring itself. They read the form - or just choose their favourite jockey or a horse whose name they like or whose rider is wearing their favourite colour. After all, it's just a bit of fun.

Now watch the races from the grandstands and cheer the winners as they come back into the winners' enclosure. The highlight of the racing during the afternoon is the Clugston Lincolnshire National, a steeplechase run over three and a half miles.

Sian Williams, the racecourse's commercial executive, says: "I would really urge people to set off in plenty of time to get to the racecourse on Boxing Day. This is the racecourse's most popular meeting of the year, and the attendance averaged no fewer than 11,200 spectators between 2002 and 2008. The racecourse is clearly signed, with a number of alternative routes in place, and we urge all visitors to follow these routes, and to get here early. The racecourse gates will be open from 10am, and the first race is off at 12.20pm. We are looking forward to a great day - which has become such a part of Lincolnshire's Christmas celebrations."

More information can be found at or by calling the racecourse on 01673 843434.

Monday, December 07, 2009


Ancholme Rowing Club, whose HQ is on Manley Gardens beside the Old River Ancholme, is seeking planning permission to carry out work to an ash tree within the Conservation Area.
The club says it seeks to keep the tree in good order but some branches are very close to the boathouse - and it has a strong junior section and is very aware of safety on the site 'as the tree covers a large area'.
Brigg Town Council has been consulted by North Lincolnshire planners, as part of the process, and raised no objections.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Brigg Sixth Form College will be holding its annual prize evening on Thursday, December 17 at 7pm in Westmoor Hall, Grammar School Road, when Dr Eric Stainton, retired deputy headteacher of Sir John Nelthorpe School, will be giving the address and presenting the certificates.


Anyone else having trouble loading up North Lincolnshire Council's website this morning? Is it down for maintenance? Has flood water again got among the computer servers? Perhaps it's just a temporary maintenance issue, but disappointing for me as I'm trying to access details of a Brigg planning application.
Should have snipped the cutting of the public notice out of the Scunthorpe Telegraph and done it the old-fashioned way!
I think the North Lincolnshire on-line planning system is brilliant, when it's working (which, to be fair, is almost all of the time I need it). But seemingly not this morning.


This Blog supports no political party or faction. We are happy to be on good terms with Ian Cawsey, Labour MP for Brigg and Goole, and now want to balance things up by giving a helping hand to his opponent in the next general election campaign, Conservative Andrew Percy, who describes himself in literature as "prospective MP."
In the Tories' latest newsletter, delivered to Brigg homes (and many outside the town), there's a brief update on Fighting Car Park Charges.
"Having abolished free car parking in Brigg last year, Andrew fought the Labour Council's attempts to increase parking charges yet further this year."
Andrew, I don't believe you want local electors thinking YOU abolished free car parking. That was, of course, a decision of North Lincolnshire Council, with which you (and many others) disagreed very strongly.
Happy to set the record straight on your behalf, just in case any of your readers got the wrong end of the stick!


"Yours truly" (second left) after giving a talk on the History of the Lincolnshire Times weekly newspaper to a well-attended meeting of Brigg Amateur Social Historians (BASH) at Brigg Servicemen's Club, during which members of the audience were able to look over old copies from 30 years ago. Also pictured are BASH officials Denise Torpey (left), Chris Witty and Pat Parkinson (right). Thanks go to my old mate Graham Austin for supplying the picture. BASH is preparing a report on the night's entertainment(?) to post on its website shortly.
Not often the reporter gets reported!

Saturday, December 05, 2009


Last night saw a huge turnout in Brigg town centre to see the switching on of the Christmas illuminations, accompanied by late night shopping and the District Lions' Christmas fair.
Many believed it to be the best-attended 'switch on' they could remember, with loads of people staying in town until 9pm - or later (in the pubs).
From the stage erected in the Market Place, Town Mayor Coun James Truepenny was master of ceremonies, being accompanied by civic guests Coun Sue Armitage (Mayor of North Lincolnshire and ex-Brigg resident) and Brigg and Goole MP Ian Cawsey.
There was entertainment provided by cast members from the Civic Centre pantomime in Scunthorpe, with a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown to the switching on of the lights, again provided by Brigg Town Council and erected by Barrie Gray's Brigg-based electrical firm.
A nice touch was the bells being rung at St John's Church - and the vicar, Father Owain Mitchell, was at the event.
The stalls in the Market Place and Wrawby Street did very good business, and the evening again provided a welcome pre-Christmas boost for shops which stayed open late.
The weather was perfect - cold but dry - although a bit of snow would have added to the festive feel of the event. Better luck next year, perhaps.

Pictured above, in the yellow jacket, is Lions' president Heather Johnson, clearly enjoying the night - despite all the hard work involved for her and her team. Below are various views of the evening, including an on-stage presentation by the Town Mayor to some youngsters from the 3Bs youth project who had done well in a football competition.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Brigg Town Cricket Club is to be invited to re-apply for a grant from the Town Council. The club - based at the Recreation Ground, off Wrawby Road - submitted a specific request for help in replacing a diesel roller, which councillors seemed happy to support. However, the club has not subsequently needed to purchase such a major item of equipment, leaving town councillors on a bit of a sticky wicket when it came to releasing a grant.
For the receipts submitted by the club covered other items of necessary expenditure but not a new roller. When the matter came up for consideration by the policy committee, Town Mayor Coun James Truepenny stressed he would "like to help them out" but felt that was impossible because of the specific nature of what the club had applied for in its letter to the council. Coun Jenny Bell agreed, saying she was also "very sorry."
The council's maximum grant available to groups in the town is £250. Those wishing to apply should do so in writing to Town Clerk Jeanette Woollard at the Town Council Office, Angel Suite, Exchange Place, Brigg. A current balance sheet must accompany all applications.


A blood donor session for the Brigg area is to be held on Wednesday, December 9 at Ancholme Leisure Centre, Scawby Road, 1.45pm-4pm and 5pm-7.15pm. You can do your bit to help save lives if you are aged 17-65 and in good health.
Prospective new donors are being asked to call 0300 1232323 or use this link to get information through the NHS Blood and Transplant website BLOOD

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Would you and your child like to meet in a happy and convivial atmosphere? Then go along to Brigg Methodists' Toddlers' Group on Mondays, from 1.30pm-3pm, during term time, at the church on the corner of Barnard Avenue and Wesley Road (near the traffic lights).
Administrator Frank Chapman says: "We have heaps of equipment for the children to entertain themselves while mothers and carers are able to exchange experiences between themselves."
Children aged 0-4 are welcome, and visitors are asked to pay £1 each time they go along, which includes tea, coffee, squash and biscuits.
If you want to find out more, speak to Frank on 01652 652059.
This group started up again in early September but attendances could do with a boost. Brigg Blog is, as always, happy to help a worthy cause in the town.


Tomorrow - depending on the weather - we can hope for a couple of thousand people to throng Brigg town centre for the switching on of the festive illuminations, the Lions' fair/market and late night shopping.
It now enjoys the biggest turn-out for any annual event in the Brigg calendar.
Whether you want to have a bite to eat, see Santa, enjoy the street entertainment, pick up a bargain, sink a few pints in the pub (or sample all those activities) it's a great night to be out and about.
If you are a newcomer to Brigg - or just reading this on the internet and live within easy driving distance - why not pop over for a look? The lights - courtesy of Brigg Town Council - go on at 5pm, launching the start of what will be another great evening's entertainment.
Fingers crossed for dry weather; the pre-Christmas tills will be ringing merrily-on-high!


Brigg Amateur Operatic Society has been entertaining show-lovers in our district for more than a century, its interesting history being chronicled, in great detail, by Peter Bell in an excellent book not so long ago (Brigg Library will have a copy if you haven't seen it).
One of the features of annual shows down the decades has been Civic Night, when Brigg town councillors attend a performance and are joined by civic leaders from other towns and villages in the area.
This was done on a Wednesday - but a recent switch to Thursday has proved beneficial, and that is now to be made a permanent alteration, as a matter of policy by Brigg Town Council.
The main benefit is avoiding a clash with various Wednesday meetings involving town/parish councillors in Brigg and surrounding villages.
Proposing the change to have Thursday Civic Operatic Evenings, Town Mayor Coun James Truepenny (pictured) said the latest one had been "a full house, enjoyed by all."


As responding to future River Ancholme flooding will be central to the proposed new Brigg Emergency Plan, Brigg Town Council is to combine it with an already-planned meeting involving other parties also interested in cleaning up/improving the river.
The double get-together will be on January 11 in the Angel Suite (6pm). Hopefully, Ian Cawsey MP will be able to attend. Obviously the Environment Agency - responsible for the river - is bound to be represented, together with North Lincolnshire Council. Other "potential partners" will include Brigg voluntary organisations and businesses.
The town council's policy committee agreed the double approach last night, Deputy Town Mayor and flood warden Coun Ben Nobbs saying: "It's important that we do them both together."
Town Clerk Jeanette Woollard pointed out it would save everyone's time if they were joined together, rather than expecting people to turn out on two different evenings.
One of the other major inclusions in the Brigg Emergency Plan - how we respond as a community in times of strife - could relate to our relatively close proximity to the airport. Hopefully something that will never need to be tested.
If you, or a group/business with which your are connected, wishes to come to the New Year double meeting, or commit to helping with the Emergency Plan, contact the Brigg Town Council office by email through this link 3Bs

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Young people in Brigg, Barnetby and Broughton continue to benefit from the 3Bs Project - a worthy joint initiative between the respective town and parish councils.
Central government funding has been secured, and the project will run until June 2011.
Various worthwhile and enjoyable activities, indoors and outdoors, are made available at regular sessions - keeping teenagers occupied and off the streets.
The committee which oversees the project held its latest meeting at Brigg's Angel Suite during which several references were made to the general "misconception" about young people. It was pointed out the vast majority were well-behaved, but still attracted some unfair comments and even unfounded complaints to the police.
The project management is keen to attract more girls to its sessions, and two additional part-time workers are to be taken on to help encourage this. Sufficient money is available within the budget.
Coun Sue Nicholson, one of Brigg's representatives, wondered whether the currently out-of-use Brigg Skatepark, near the leisure centre, might be adapted as a venue for 3Bs sessions,
She suggested it was "a perfect central site" and believed the project would benefit from establishing a permanent base.
But Coun James Truepenny, committee chairman and Brigg Town Mayor, said although called Brigg Skatepark it was located in Scawby Brook..."and at the present time the Town Council has no power to spend substantial monies in a neighbouring parish. This may, of course, change if the Council secures the right to use the new Power of Wellbeing.”
The project has already received national recognition, having been chosen as one of only seven projects in the country as an example of good practice by the Children’s Workforce Development Council Share! Project.
Recognising that the project is only in its infancy, and that it will take time for it to become a trusted and valued resource for young people to use, Brigg Town Council has determined that, in order to continue the work that the 3Bs team has achieved so far, and with the aim of building a positive relationship and mutual respect between the council, young people and the community as a whole, and in particular diverting those who are at risk away from less desirable activities, sufficient funding will be included in the Precept to sustain the project beyond Year 3 (i.e. when the Big Lottery Funding runs out in June 2011).
Broughton Town Council was due to consider the matter earlier this week.
At the present time Barnetby-le-Wold Parish Council has determined that it cannot set aside the funds required for the project to continue in Barnetby-le-Wold after the Big Lottery funding runs out, but it would like to project to continue if further grant funding could be secured.
Parents, or youngsters, wanting to find out more about the 3Bs project, and forthcoming sessions, can contact the Brigg Town Council office by email through this link 3Bs


It's for others to judge whether last night's talk to Brigg Amateur Social Historians (BASH) at the Servicemen's Club was a hit or not - but I enjoyed recounting the history of the Lincolnshire Times, from mid-Victorian times to 1985.
Ex-Times colleagues Penny Smith and Mike Hills are determined to see the 25th anniversary of the weekly paper's closure marked in some way next summer.
Great interest was created by the old copies of the Times from 1979-81, passed round for the audience to browse. Some found references to themselves, relatives and friends among the yellowing pages.
Rather than repeat the contents of the Lincs Times talk given to BASH six years ago - in the organisation's infancy - we tried to do something a bit different, with reference to the old copies. The adverts were enjoyed by many - featuring businesses long gone from Brigg streets, and a few which have survived to the present day.
Many people stayed on to look through further old copies, and the articles and photos brought back many memories.
BASH's Graham Austin took a picture, and we'll post that when it arrives, in due course. Plus details of forthcoming meetings.
Chairman Josie Webb has asked for another appearance next November, to talk about The History of the Scunthorpe Telegraph (1937-present day), or Railways of Lincolnshire. Probably the former. However, we'll leave it up to Josie to make the final decision.
Last night's estimated attendance was 60, a raffle was held and a fine buffet enjoyed. BASH has certainly stood the test of time, and gone from strength to strength, since its formation over a chat one Friday night at the White Horse, its first base. Credit for that goes to Josie and her team down the years. They put in a great deal of hard work, not only with the monthly meetings but also special events like the Brigg Ghost Walks.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


There's plenty of Brigg content in the latest issue of the Scunthorpe Telegraph's Nostalgia magazine - now on sale for 75p.
Stephen Hill's latest evocative painting of the town in years gone by - showing the Market Place - is accompanied by an article about life in Brigg circa 1910.
Shaw's Outfitters feature prominently in a two-page feature, and there's an illustrated piece about Brigg Amateurs Football Club.
Plus lots more of interest!


One of the most important items on the agenda at tomorrow night's meeting of Brigg Town Council's policy committee will be to fix a new date for, and determine the format of, a meeting with voluntary organisations, businesses, and other potential partners to progress the creation of a Brigg Emergency Plan.
The plan will be vitally important if the town suffers flooding or similar unfortunate events.
The meeting - open to the public - will be in the Angel Suite Lounge (7.30pm).


Updates to recent Brigg Blog postings:

We now have a final total raised from Saturday's charity football match at The Hawthorns - "a fantastic £841."

Work is now fully underway on the Yarborough Road-Churchill Avenue public footpath improvements, and we understand North Lincolnshire Council is behind the work. Nice one!

A small bundle of old copies of the Lincolnshire and South Humberside Times will be laid out for visitors to browse through at tonight's BASH meeting devoted to the history of the weekly newspaper, which had its editorial offices at 57 Wrawby Street. The get-together is at Brigg Servicemen's Club (8pm start). Free entry - all welcome.

Monday, November 30, 2009


This public footpath - linking Yarborough Road and Churchill Avenue - has now been closed off for the best part of a week - at least.
However, close inspection this morning suggests it has been tidied up. There's nothing to say by whom - or, indeed, who was given the authority to close it off. Just signs and small barriers at both ends.
Isn't it usual to pin public notices up when rights of way are being closed off to the public or affected in any way?

North Lincolnshire Council is the authority which oversees public rights of way. It North Lincs is responsible for the apparent tidy-up, congratulations and thanks; if it's not North Lincs, maybe their staff should be taking a look to see when the path will reopen.
The walkway is little-used and we don't think many people can have been inconvenienced by the (hopefully very temporary) closure.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Through a magnificent, all-round effort an estimated £800+ was raised for charity last night during, and after, a highly successful football match at The Hawthorns between the Brigg Amateurs Old Boys' X1 and a team representing Brigg Town FC. The final total will be published on Brigg Blog, once confirmed.

Prior to the match, the players lined up around the centre circle and they, and the crowd, observed a minute's silence in memory of members of the Armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Much hard work went into organising the game - on and off the field. Notably from Mark Cawkwell and family and Chris Faill, who masterminded the Brigg Amateurs X1. That took some doing as we had enough players to field two teams, resulting in frequent substitutions.
A buffet and disco were both enjoyed after the match in the clubhouse.
The result was unimportant but those Amateurs stalwarts reading this who didn't manage to get to the game should look away now...

...It ended in an 8-4 win for the Zebras, although Amateurs are claiming they scored the best goal of the night, Nigel Beacock drilling the ball into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
Brian Clark, from Broughton, kindly refereed the game - played under lights - and everyone involved is keen to thank Brigg Town FC for so generously making available their fine facilities. (Some of us could remember the old wooden green-painted changing rooms).
In turn, the players tried very hard to boost bar takings - putting back fluids being so important after strenuous exercise!
Many spectators turned out, and Brigg Town clubhouse regulars gave very generously during, and after, the match to help swell the coffers.
Last night's cash will help a team of local service personnel in their quest to undertake a sponsored trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, in Africa, which is planned to be a really massive fundraiser for the Help For Heroes charity next year. Each team is being set a fundraising target of £3,400 to qualify for the trek.

Here are the details, taken from the Help for Heroes - Support For Our Wounded website
The Kilimanjaro trek is a very ambitious and inspiring H4H challenge. Travelling through all four seasons in one week, from humid rainforest to freezing summit, you will push your senses to the limit with outstanding rewards.
This is a challenging trek at altitude, climbing one of the most impressive and well-known mountains in the world. Extreme hard work, training and dedication is rewarded by awe-inspiring scenery, unique wildlife and a life changing experience you will never forget.
The highest freestanding mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro is also the highest mountain on the African continent at 5896m. It’s also one of the biggest volcanoes on Earth, covering an area of approximately 388,500 hectares. Huge permanent glaciers flow down from the snow-capped summit, rising high above the dusty plains below. Our trek takes the less-trodden Machame route, allowing us to camp and fully appreciate the splendour of our surroundings and the clear night skies. We pass through thick forest, moorland and scree enroute to the highest point in Africa; Uhuru Peak.

Kilimanjaro Trek Guide Itinerary
DAY 1: Fly London to Kilimanjaro International airport
DAY 2: Arrive Kilimanjaro; transfer to Moshi town
DAY 3: Trek through dense jungle to Machame camp, 3100m
DAY 4: Through forest to Shira Plateau; on to camp at Shira caves, 3840m
DAY 5: Trek high moorland (4800m) via Lava Tower to Barranco Hut (3900m)
DAY 6: Into Great Barranco ravine; trek via Karanga valley over scree to camp (4600m)
DAY 7: Steep trek to summit glaciers, including Uhuru Peak (5896m); begin descent
DAY 8: Descend through rainforest and finish in Moshi for a large celebration
DAY 9: Free time in Moshi; chance to visit local community project; flight departs
DAY 10: Arrive UK

Registration Fee: £400.00
Fundraising Target (minimum): £3,400.00 - (Excluding Registration Fee).

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Brigg should have its own Community Plan for the first time, the town council believes.
Community Plans are wish lists of projects and initiatives residents want to see developed, or progressed, in the future - set out in nicely-presented form and made available to the public.
It shouldn't prove a burden on council tax payers in Brigg, as a grant can be sought from the North Lincolnshire Strategic Partnership.
Coun Tom Glossop told fellow town councillors he took a positive view of working towards a Brigg Community Plan, which might take 18 months, or two years, to complete. But he urged speedy action while the money was available.
Coun Ann Eardley thought it would be a good idea to put a Commmunity Plan questionnaire in the Brigg Matters newsletter.
Mike Campion was not against the idea, but pointed out it would take up a lot of time within the council.
Deputy Town Mayor Coun Ben Nobbs revealed he had been involved in producing a Community Plan for Winterton, which took about a year. As it reflected public opinion, the plan was useful when it came to bidding for grants.
But Coun Jenny Bell said although some things looked good on paper there was not always a positive end result.
The town council agreed to support the idea of a Brigg Community Plan. Watch Brigg Blog for developments. Perhaps a public meeting will follow sometime next year.
No thoughts have yet been given to what the Brigg Community Plan's contents might be. But how about kicking off with development of the Recreation Ground, off Wrawby Road (seen below)?

Friday, November 27, 2009


Brigg Town Council is now looking to find evidence to support its contention that Market Lane has long been a public right of way, North Lincolnshire Council having granted planning permission for gates recently erected at one of its entrances (off the Market Place).
Carl Sherwood, one of the Brigg area's representatives on the unitary authority, told Brigg Town Council's monthly meeting that he had spoken to North Lincolnshire staff but it had been explained to him that there was "no right of appeal" against the planning decision.
Instead, he suggested getting "as much information together as possible" to present "a very good case" to the highways department on the right of way issue.
The Town Council has already studied Nick Lyons' local history group book on the Courtyards of Brigg (circa 1982), which includes a picture looking along Market Lane in the 1950s, plus other information about the lane, gleaned from long-standing Brigg folk.
Next step for town councillors could be to visit Lincolnshire Archives, in Lincoln, to look for further information in the files. A small budget of up to £100 has been set aside for research purposes, although it may not be needed.
A report prepared by planning staff for North Lincolnshire councillors said: "Market Lane is not shown as a public right of way on the Definitive Map and it has been confirmed that the land is not a highway. Therefore the principle of erecting a form of boundary treatment such as a gate on private land is considered to be acceptable. The gates do not open onto the highway so no issue has been raised by the council’s
highway department.
"At the previous committee meeting on 14 October a query was raised about whether Market Lane is an adopted highway. Subsequently the council’s highway department have confirmed that their records show that Market Lane is not an adopted highway on the Definitive Map.
"The applicant has stated that the gates are left open during weekdays to allow continued access between Market Place and Springs Way. However there is no planning requirement for these gates to remain open to the public at any time during the week and, as stated previously, Market Lane is not shown as a public right of way on the Definitive Map. Furthermore the public can still gain access to the Market Place from Springs Way via Cary Lane and Springs Parade. Therefore access to the Market Place is not restricted by the retention of these gates."