Friday, December 31, 2010


Happy new year - slightly in advance - to all Brigg Blog followers living locally, elsewhere in the UK and abroad. I hope 2011 proves to be a good one for you all. OVER AND OUT TILL NEXT YEAR. Ken Harrison can take that as an RAF saying AND one to do with cricket!


North Lincolnshire Council announces: "Revellers in Scunthorpe who need help or are taken ill over the New Year will again be offered assistance at a temporary Safe Haven in the town centre."
North Lincolnshire's Coun Darrell Barkworth, from Scunthorpe, said: "This is a fantastic initiative aimed at helping pub and club goers in need over the Christmas and New Year period. It's proved a success in the past and I'm pleased that we are able to offer this vital service once more."
Very commendable indeed.
And those revellers in need in Brigg.....?


When Brigg Blog posted a recent picture (reproduced below) of the branch that had come down on the Spring's Parade car park during the rough weather, we used the headline Woodman Spare That Tree. We didn't realise at the time that the whole tree would have to be removed, not just the fallen foliage (see picture above, taken yesterday). It's always sad to see a tree in a prominent position in Brigg disappear. This one can't have been there all that long. We estimate it was planted in 1981/2 when the area was redeveloped for retail use from the former Spring's jam factory site.
Ashes to ashes, (saw) dust to dust... Or maybe it wasn't an ash.


Here's a serious but simple idea to help the economy, North Lincolnshire Council's funds (in these times of cutbacks), boost the efficiency of the penal system and ensure bits of Brigg land remain forever green and pleasant - and don't get built on.
During the Second World War, Britain undertook to Dig For Victory - a vital campaign to feed the nation when imports of food from abroad were very difficult due to cargo ships being sunk by German U-boats in the Atlantic.
Brigg Blog suggests we should now turn over unused parcels of council-owned land to growing vegetables. In Brigg we have York Road field (pictured above) - part of which could be kept for dog-walkers, if you like, and the rest used for cultivation. There's also the former railway station yard, behind Tennyson Close/Albert Street. Useless "scrub" land for many years and serving no purpose (see picture below). But they could leave a little spare to ensure Stennett's Market continued on the same site.
Both these areas seem to have survived being allocated for further housing development in the latest North Lincolnshire Council blueprint, but eventually they will be earmarked for covering over with bricks and mortar. Surely it would be better to keep them green.
Council market gardens like this could be tended by the ever-growing numbers sentenced by the courts to undertake commmunity service, there being real reluctance to commit to prison for all but the most serious crimes. Given the throughput of our courts, there would be no shortage of labour and some of the "scally" types would learn a useful skill, boosting their prospect of getting regular employment.
The produce of their efforts - potatoes, carrots, cabbages, etc - would then be used in council-run school kitchens. This would save a mint (pardon the pun!) buying in produce. As part of the national curriculum, the pupils could be taken down to the market gardens and shown how the veg is grown and harvested. Fully supervised, of course, and not when the community service types are on-site, avoiding the need for CRB checks and other sundry red tape.
Think of the carbon footprint of spuds from Egypt and Jersey we currently ship into Britain in huge quantities. Grow them on our own doorstep and we can cut this down to virtually nothing, therefore earning Prime Minister Cameron and his ex-Etonian colleagues further kudos within the influential world climate change community.
A French Queen may once have said of the poor: "Let them eat cake!"
Mr C. and the Coalition could coin the catchphrase Let Them Eat Kale!...
Grown in British schools' market gardens - by "crims" putting something worthwhile back into the community!

Across in "Sunny Scunny" there's even more scope for our idea. North Lincolnshire Council's Pittwood House HQ is close to acre-upon-acre of flowerbeds and grass, all in public ownership. It has real potential to become even more of an industrial garden town - make that industrial MARKET garden town.


The PM's lovely wife, Victoria, comes from the Sheffield family, which, for many years, enjoyed the produce of Normanby Hall's Victorian Walled Garden, now operated by North Lincolnshire Council, to its great credit.


By Ken Harrison

I thought North Lincolnshire Council's Planning Department had assured us that the Tesco application's 'Comments By' date would be extended. Despite assurances, it (the online planning portal) is still showing the 3rd Jan 2011 - a Bank Holiday! If NLC's planners say it's because of the disruption of the festive season and they haven't had time, then the same disruptive circumstances apply to those people who would like to comment. It was for this very reason that NLC was asked to extend the date to, at least, the other side of the Brigg Town Council's open meeting when the application is to be discussed.
And what's happened to Lidl? There was a big thing about Tesco and Lidl making 'combined' applications. These juxtaposed applications would have been helpful in debating the whole scheme of we have fragmentation, hesitation and a lack of clarity of 'it is, it isn't!'

NF adds: We have invited North Lincolnshire Council to comment on what Ken says and to explain why the date has not been changed on the planning website. We will report any reply received.


Following our earlier posting about the two large potholes around manhole covers on Bridge Street, Brigg (close to the fishing shop), we are pleased to report North Lincolnshire Council has undertaken repairs. Before anyone comments, we know there are many other potholes on various roads in Brigg and district - mostly caused by the icy weather. But these two were on our busiest stretch of the A18.


The phrase "it couldn't happen to a nicer chap" certainly applies to Brian Taylor, 77, who in rewarded with the MBE in the New Year's Honours List.
One of life's gentlemen, Brian continues to serve as an official of the Briggensians' Association, representing former pupils of Brigg Grammar, Brigg Girls' High, Sir John Nelthorpe School and Brigg Sixth Form College.
He's also worked hard down the years as a school governor at SJN and as a magistrate (JP), plus undertaking fundraising for the British Heart Foundation.
Brian worked in personnel for the Brigg-based Glanford Borough Council - a job for which he was ideally suited.
Our picture shows him at an annual dinner of the Briggensians' Association. At the next one in March some of us will have the opportunity to raise a glass to our area's newest MBE "for services to the community in North Lincolnshire."
The Scunthorpe Telegraph has produced a warm tribute to Brian, viewable online through this link BRIAN'S HONOUR

Thursday, December 30, 2010


From Nicola Trussell

From 4 January 2011, people across North Lincolnshire can apply for more jobs to help with the running of the 2011 Census. Please share this information with your customers, colleagues and friends as it is a great opportunity for people in North Lincolnshire.
Jobs that will be available include:
Census coverage survey team managers - train and manage a team of up to 18 Census coverage survey interviewers, making sure they complete the fieldwork to specifications and timetable.
Census coverage survey interviewers - carry out short doorstep interview with households.
Census coverage survey regional managers - manage around 10 Census coverage survey team managers who in turn manage approximately 18 interviewers.
Non-compliance coordinators - lead a team to resolve cases where people have not completed a census questionnaire. This may ultimately lead to criminal prosecution.
Non-compliance officers - investigate cases of non-compliance and encourage completion of census questionnaires whilst gathering evidence for a successful prosecution.
Non-compliance assistants - assist in the resolution of cases where people are identified as not having complied with the legal requirement to complete a census questionnaire.
Capita, on behalf of the Office for National Statistics, is looking to recruit 35,000 people across the country to help compile the 2011 Census.
There jobs are temporary full and part time posts so many can be fitted around full time work or other commitments people might have. You can find out more about the different jobs and apply online by visiting
The 2011 Census takes place on Sunday 27 March 2011.


If time permits a visit to June's Lincolnshire Show, you can always spy plenty of Brigg folk - there in a business capacity or merely as spectators.
My first introduction to this annual county event came while with the Brigg-based Lincolnshire and South Humberside Times 30 years ago, when we were required to report on who'd won what (best pigs, sheep, crafts, etc). We also carried very regular stories about the planning of the event during the winter and spring months, leading up to the big two days. One of the duties of the "duty corporal" sent into the office at 57 Wrawby Street every Saturday was to pen the Farming Notes for the following Friday's edition. The flow of very well-written press releases from the Lincolnshire Agriculural Society made this a much easier task. I think the letter-headed paper used for these updates (this was still the age of the typewriter) carried the name of society official Joe Skehel.
Once you've been to the Lincolnshire Show, it's habit-forming - so I was very disappointed to miss the 2010 event, having been made a working offer I just couldn't refuse on the North Bank.
We hope to make it to the 2011 show, which these days has a permanent home just north of Lincoln, off the A15. In decades past the event use to visit various venues round the old county, including Brigg.
A new President of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, which oversees the show, takes over on Thursday, January 6. A renowned academic figure who is committed to developing education and sustainability in agriculture, Professor David Chiddick (pictured), CBE, former Vice-Chancellor of Lincoln University, says it is a privilege to follow in the footsteps of other distinguished Presidents, who have included HRH Princess Anne and the Earl of Yarborough.
Married with three children, Professor Chiddick is now Emeritus Professor at Lincoln University. He is working with the Agricultural Society development committee to bring together the Society, University and other key partners to develop agricultural programmes in a way that best integrates education and community. He will also be focussing his attention on driving sustainability in agriculture, a vitally important theme for the Society.
His interest and involvement in agriculture dates back 20 years to his time as Pro Vice-Chancellor at De Montfort University, when he took the lead in rationalising the agricultural training on offer through the three sites in Lincolnshire – at Holbeach, Caythorpe and Riseholme. That process resulted in the consolidation of agricultural education at Riseholme and food sciences at Holbeach, providing a springboard for the college to become part of the new University of Lincoln in 2001 and Holbeach to achieve the distinction as the National Food Manufacturing Centre.
He said: “Education on the Showground site has expanded significantly over recent years, and now brings together agriculture, countryside and community with increasing involvement across higher and further education and amongst schools. Getting more young people involved in understanding the agricultural community in its broadest senses is crucial and we have the facilities to achieve that at the Showground.
“I grew up in an agricultural community in Norfolk and coming to Lincolnshire with its agricultural heritage was like coming home. I have been involved in the Farm Board in the county for the last 20 years and have seen major changes in agriculture during that time. As President, I am keen to see a successful County Show which drives these vital themes of education and sustainability in agriculture.”
The appointment come at an exciting time for the Society, following the publication of a recent economic impact survey which shows that a massive £44-million is being injected into the national economy thanks to the Lincolnshire Events Centre, which attracts over 215,000 visitors a year.
The Lincolnshire Events Centre is the Agricultural Society’s commercial operating arm and brings together agricultural, educational and conferencing activities.
The £7-million EPIC Centre at the Showground was opened two years ago, providing a conference and events facility, capable of hosting conferences, balls and seminars, and is designed also as an educational resource and state-of-the-art events centre for up to 1,900 people.
Environmental sustainability is at the core of these recent developments, and is a defining theme of a proposed master-plan now being drawn up for the Showground.
Also leading the Society during 2011 is John Lockwood, who continues in his role as Chairman for a third year. Master of the Burton Hunt and a former High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, he runs the family property company, Castle Square Developments, alongside the family farm.
The Lord Taylor of Holbeach, CBE, has been named President-Elect.
Brigg Blog will bring you further details of the 2011 event as the Society passes them on to us. So keep watching! The 127th event will be on Wednesday, June 22 and Thursday, June 23, 2011.
To find out more visit use this link LINCOLNSHIRE SHOW

Brewery boss Tom Wood - familiar to many Brigg Blog followers for his connections with the Yarborough Hunt, in Bridge Street - seen at the Lincolnshire Show where he launched a new range of bottled water from his famed Melton Ross spring.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Just spotted four lorries, seemingly in convoy, heading down Cary Lane to park up overnight in the car park near Lidl's store. Not an unusual sight, but what will happen to such trucks if/when the new Tesco store is constructed? This isn't really an issue for Tesco, but it set me wondering what, if anything, the Brigg community gets from these trucks parking up overnight. Do the drivers pop into town pubs for a soft drink or maybe one or two pints? Do they do a bit of food shopping (you'd hope including Lidl) to take back to eat in the cab, or perhaps enjoy an Indian or Chinese meal or takeaway? In the current economic climate, Brigg doesn't want to lose any regular trade, however small it might seem.
It remains to be seen where these drivers will find to park their lorries overnight - presumably away from our town - if Tesco's store wins planning approval.


How old do Brigg folk have to be to think in degrees Centigrade, millimetres, Kms and Mls?
Writing nostalgic articles as I do for newspapers like the Scunthorpe Telegraph and the Hull Daily Mail, I find it easy to convert old pence to new pence, despite it being the best part of 40 years since D-Day (of the monetary kind).
I'm half there will weather forecasts, knowing 0C is 32F, 20C is not far short of 70F and 30C is somewhere beyond 80F. That seems to be enough to get me by.
In newspapers I can tell you the page is 27cm wide, but, having started my career in the age of hot metal technology, can quite happily tell you how high 72pt type stands - but only in inches.
I just can't judge distances in Kms - it has to be miles. And as long as Her Majesty's Government keeps up the good old-fashioned signposts (without metric distances) it will stay that way.
It's the same with pounds and ounces. On the very, very rare occasion I have to measure water in the cookery department, I reach for a jug which shows imperial on one side and metric on the other (as instructions these days seem to be printed in the latter).
Those in Brigg who have tried to convert to the metric system deserve praise, but what do they ask for at Brian's DIY when a six-inch nail is required?
Down at Brigg Rec you will find the pitch remains 22 yards long - that's a chain to older Blog followers, a vital measure of length on British agricultural holdings when "strip farming" was in use before the Enclosure Acts grouped things together into larger, more efficient units. There must be a metric length equivalent to 22 yards for marking out cricket pitches, but it's doubtful whether many of the older groundsmen use that side of the tape measure.
We bet they bat for the other side, so to speak.


By Ken Harrison

We are fed up with ice! But this ICE is different.
With the Humberside Fire & Rescue Service advising us, through Brigg Blog, to ensure that our fire alarm batteries are sound and secure, it may be also an appropriate time to remind you of ICE - In Case of Emergency.
ICE is particularly useful for the elderly and/or those suffering from an enduring medical condition. Just enter 'ICE' on the person's mobile phone as one would do when adding new contact details and then enter the phone number should there ever be a need to contact somebody.
For example:
ICE 1 - Son Dave - xxxxxxxx
ICE 2 - Doc -Diabetic - xxxxxxxx
ICE 3 - Dot -Warden - xxxxxxx
ICE started some years ago with the Leicestershire Ambulance Service and is now recognised as a very convenient contact tool should the need arise. Obviously, it can also be used by quite healthy people - one never quite knows if we'll ever become incapacitated going about our normal business - so teenagers could use, ICE - Home xxxxxx, while couples could indicate ICE - Hubby Jim.
Obviously, those folks listed under ICE can also be listed separately in the phone's contact list. At this time of year, while visiting friends and relatives, it may be useful add, with permission, ICE to their mobile phone.
Have a nICE day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Many people, local authorities, groups and organisations regard today, December 28, as a bank holiday - even though it's three days after Christmas Day. There's also some doubt over whether Sunday, or yesterday, was Boxing Day. However, surely - for the benefit of hard-pressed businesses in small towns like Brigg - it's time for a Government review into what happens when Christmas Day falls on a Saturday. It must have been hard for some small outlets in Brigg to decide whether to open their doors today, gambling extra staffing costs against the number of folk who might visit the town centre to do a bit of shopping.
Can the country really afford to see a virtual shutdown for four successive days?

PS Congratulations to Tesco on claiming a Brigg Blog record. Our posting on December 13 entitled BRIGG TESCO FESTIVE OPENING HOURS has enjoyed more readers than any other story posted on Brigg Blog since Google first started providing us with a "stats" service. We put that on Brigg Blog free of charge as a matter of public information. Maybe next year we should be chasing Tesco for a contribution towards our running costs. We think the firm could just about afford it!


Humberside Fire Service advises today: "Before you tuck into (more) turkey leftovers, go and check your smoke alarm."
Sound advice, indeed. However, Mrs F recently replaced both ours - at either end of the stairs. The one on the landing even has a light which comes on to show you the way out, should the power be cut off in a blaze.
How about popping down to Wilkinson's, Brian's DIY, or other Brigg outlet of your choice, and replacing the ones you have?
We used to test our old ones from time to time - and replace the batteries if they started to "beep" - but we'd had them for years.
Better safe than sorry!


Brigg Blog's posting earlier this week about green issues and climate change created plenty of interest. Since then we've noted that Hull's Lord Mayor is to get an electric civic car, councillors having accepted Nissan's offer to provide a £28,000 Leaf saloon free of charge to replace one of the petrol-driven vehicles used to take the city's first citizen and his deputy to functions.
For the benefit of those who do not know, the Brigg Town Mayor usually drives his/her own car to official events outside our boundaries, for which mileage can be claimed back at an approved rate.
However, it would seem to us that North Lincolnshire Council, which has a Mayor and Deputy Mayor attending functions throughout the district, ought to be pointing out to Nissan that North Lincs is not far from Hull and would certainly be glad of such a generous offer.
Something for nothing, in this day and age, is definitely worth chasing!
A search of the North Lincolnshire Council website reveals an online form that organisations can fill in to request the attendance of the Mayor/Deputy at functions. "Please state what, if any, parking spaces exists at the event for the civic car," it says. The Nissan Leaf is a very compact-looking vehicle - certainly not what many people in Brigg would regard as a typical mayoral car. Good luck to this venture north of the water - it will be interesting to see how it maps out.


Boxing Day in Brigg used to see a mixed hockey match played at the Recreation Ground, usually umpired by the late, great Len Marshall, from Wrawby. I recall playing in some fun encounters, from about 1984.
I was reminded of the great days of grass hockey - prior to the arrival of synthetic pitches - when I saw stalwart Brigg players Keith Smith and Mike Burbidge on Christmas Eve, while having a drink in the Black Bull.
Keith, who went on to become a well-respected and successful manager of the first team, had the more mundane role of fourth team captain when I first started playing for Brigg's lowest XI. One Friday we suffered a heavy overnight snowfall and Keith called us all down to Brigg Rec the following morning, with shovels, to clear the pitch of snow. The game went ahead, but we lost. Keith liked to win and, despite playing deep in defence, had a fine goalscoring record from penalty corners, in tandem with inside-forward Val Jeffrey. So much so that it was dubbed the Smith-Jeffrey Short Corner Routine.
Short Corner was the name of the very topical monthly magazine, produced year in, year out by the aforementioned Len Marshall. I have kept a few down the decades. The cover was green (Brigg's club colours) and the contents included everything from match reports to snippets of information about funny incidents on the field, plus Len's personal observations while relaxing, brandy in hand, at our Queen Arms HQ.
This enjoyable evening period was dubbed " Après hockey" by Len, adapting the French phrase Après ski (going out, having drinks, dancing, and generally socialising after skiing - popular in the Alps).
We didn't play on any mountains like the Alps, but Len, who enjoyed the great outdoors through Scouting, always looked forward to Brigg's matches in West Yorkshire against Ben Rhydding, whose ground was in the shadow of elevated Ilkley Moor, famous as the inspiration for the Yorkshire "county anthem" On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at.
Short Corner was produced by Len in his own bungalow, using duplicating machine technology which seemed antiquated even then. But it was the content, rather than the layout, which mattered. And the pages of every issue were devoured with interest. Once leagues replaced friendlies and the arrival of Astroturf made it possible for a club to stage three or four matches every Saturday, from mid-morning to early evening, the social side of the game came under real threat. In the days when everyone played friendlies on grass, all the Brigg teams would meet up for a few drinks between 5pm and 9pm. However, once leagues and staggered start times arrived, players in different teams sometimes never saw each other for weeks, if at all. Especially as Brigg had no synthetic pitch and had to hire facilities at Quibell Park, Scunthorpe, and Yarborough School, Lincoln.
Len's Short Corner newsletter helped to bond together the teams and players within the club.


Recently, while most housing estate roads in Brigg were still caked with snow and ice, I followed a bus down St Helen's Road. It was one of those subsidised "shopping day" buses which operate a service round some of our estates. There weren't many passengers aboard, but I'll bet those who got off in Yarborough Road with their carrier bags were very glad of the service. We very much hope that when the next review is carried out by the council, this contract will be renewed with the relevant bus company. We can't recall the service receiving recent publicity and wonder how many Brigg homes know of its existence. With many newcomers (or incomers) to the town in recent years, perhaps it would merit another campaign by the council.
Brigg Blog will be delighted to run the full timetable, if the council thinks that would help. Just email us the details. And we'll gladly do it free of charge!


Just a reminder: Despite this being a bank holiday, North Lincolnshire Council is collecting black/green (general household waste) bins today, plus boxes containing paper, tins and bottles. But not brown bins (garden material, potato peelings, etc) or mauve (plastic and cardboard).

Monday, December 27, 2010


Not so long ago the issue of Brigg's boundaries was raised within the Town Council. Presently, Water's Edge housing estate (adjoining Cake Mills Bridge and the New River Ancholme) is in Broughton; Ancholme Leisure Centre and the former Brigg Sugar Factory site are Scawby's; Brigg Garden Centre (hugely popular with visitors arriving by bus and car) is in Bigby, and therefore outside North Lincolnshire, as are some properties at the far end of Westrum Lane; while housing development suggested for the area behind Western Avenue would encroach into Wrawby.
The questions are:
1) Do residents living in these areas look to Brigg for the majority of their services (eg shops, banks, petrol stations, children's schools)?
2) Do the majority of the general public currently believe facilities like Ancholme Leisure Centre and Brigg Garden Centre are in Brigg already?
So far it's just talk and IF, and we stress IF, things went any further, adjoining town and parish councils would need to be fully consulted, together with North Lincolnshire Council, and, of course, the people and businesses affected.
Four things brought this topic back into my thoughts:
1) Seeing written reference to "Ancholme Leisure Centre, Brigg" in a document (no mention of Scawby).
2) Observing many people walking into, and out of, the entrance to the Water's Edge housing estate and heading for, or returning from, Brigg (shopping bags in hand).
3) Seeing schoolchildren tracing the same route (clearly not educated in neighbouring parishes).
4) The current Government's introduction of a Locality Bill, under which it is pressing for local folk/communities to have a bigger say in running things, rather than have to go along with instructions "from above" in central government.
This being so, surely it would be simple just to hold a local referendum to determine the will of the people about Brigg's boundaries being extended to take in places like Water's Edge.
Perhaps Andrew Percy (PICTURED), Brigg and Goole's Conservative MP, would care to comment on that one.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Minor changes are being proposed at a small housing development at what was John Draper's joinery workshop, between the Lord Nelson and adjoining the Angel car park, Brigg. The go-ahead was given by North Lincolnshire planners some time ago, but now a change in the roof pitch angle is being sought. That's not very interesting, but this development, some time ago, alerted Brigg Blog to a rather strange requirement of the planning system: The welfare of bats.
Hidden away in the supporting documentation was the requirement for a survey showing bat activity in the area, plus the need for bat (roosting) boxes. Since then we've noticed bats' well-being taken into consideration on other planning applications in the district.


Brigg duly had a White Christmas, courtesy of one fairly light "big day" snow shower which didn't last too long. It added to the white stuff already deep and crisp and even on Brigg streets from earlier falls over recent weeks.
I will readily admit that, over many years, I've been increasingly annoyed with, and angered by, the Climate Change lobby. Among my favourite reading of the week is Christopher Booker's column in the Sunday Telegraph in which he highlights the billions being wasted on this topic and the ludicrous nature of it all. Plus the weather experts' general inability to forecast colder winters happening year after year. If they can't provide accurate, long-range advice, then what's the point of funding them?
Chris's recent offerings have been even more interesting, given that - if you glance up from reading for a moment - the view outside your window in Brigg will show a decidedly wintry scene of snow and ice.
Successive UK Governments have no problem stumping up billions to ensure Britain is a full paid-up member of the global warming club, including carbon footprint-busting flights to conferences round the world, but can't ensure North Lincolnshire Council, and other local authorities, have enough cash to get gritters and snow-clearing crews round our streets. Or make sure 21st century railway companies operate modern trains in conditions which proved no problem to Victorian technology steam locos, even in the deep midwinter of 1963.
However, let's finish with a word of praise for central government. I've just renewed the road tax on Mrs F's car... on Boxing Day. It took less than a minute on the internet. Much better than the old system when you first had to rifle through your "filing system" to locate the MoT certificate and the current certificate of insurance, then make your way to Brigg post office (now in Martin's, Wrawby Street) to join the queue, hand over the necessary cash and get your new tax disc. Use the online system and the technology emails you a receipt within 20 seconds, to be printed off in case you are stopped by Brigg police during the period before the postal service delivers the envelope containing your new disc (snow and ice permitting). Brigg Blog doesn't always take to new ways of doing things, but online car tax is very much an exception. Give it a go next time your reminder notice arrives.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Humberside Fire Service says: "Have fun, but please don't take the batteries from your smoke alarm to power anything else."


Due to the bad weather-related cancellation of the official switch-on ceremony in the Market Place, Brigg Blog never brought you the usual pictures showing the Town Council-funded Christmas Lights, erected by Barrie Gray and his team. No Christmas tree in the town centre, either, this year - again because of the problems relating to the snow and ice. So, just for the record, here are three pix taken last night, Christmas Eve, showing the festive illuminations shining down on Wrawby Street and the Market Place, with a bit of snow and ice to add to the backdrop.
As we have clear, blue skies and no clouds visible this morning, will Brigg enjoy a true White Christmas? This is generally defined as taking place when snow falls on December 25 - however briefly.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Coun Mark Kirk, from Scunthorpe, Labour Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, has issued his personal festive message to the populace you can view on the authority's website. (Double-click on the link below to read it in full).
Perhaps we could suggest the most important bit is: "We have a lot of work to do, but I am determined to make sure that we put the people of North Lincolnshire first and where possible continue to maintain the services they expect from us. But it’s not going to be easy. The scale of cuts imposed on us by the coalition Government has never been seen before."
Well said, sir.
Crosby and Park Ward representative Mark mentions the Scunthorpe Baths Hall redevelopment, Central Park (Scunthorpe) and big new name stores in Scunthorpe High Street. But there's no mention of Brigg, or the major population centre of Bottesford, either. Barton isn't actually named, but there is reference to the Humber Bridge. The Isle of Axholme fails to feature.
If North Lincolnshire Council regards me as rather a parochial stick-in-the-mud, then I couldn't really argue and must plead guilty. Obviously the Leader couldn't be expected to mention every town and village in North Lincolnshire. But, judging by the contents of Mark's message, Scunthorpe - admittedly the biggest place in our area - seems to have done rather well in 2010.
Anyway, you make up your own mind.


There was a very interesting feature in one of the "quality" national papers yesterday about Germany and France both allowing smoking in special rooms on licensed premises, as long as they are well-ventilated and no staff are present.
As pub-visiting British, and particularly Brigg, nicotine addicts have to venture outside for their cigs and cigars - even in this weather - how come our legislation appears to be at odds with what operates in these two Continental giants of the European Community?
Over in France and Germany, more and more of these premises are appearing. Rather than being smokey "dives" some are quite swanky, even providing lockers in which the well-to-do smoker can stash his supply of Havanas.
When Winston Churchill stayed at Brigg's Exchange during the Second World War, the great man would have been able to sit back - brandy in one hand, cigar in the other - as he plotted the next stage in Adolf's downfall.
In this day and age, presumably Winston, like other smokers, would have been forced, by law, to go outside for his "fix". Had he tried that in 1944, of course, the Brigg answer to Dad's Army's air-raid warden Hodges would have bellowed: "Put that ruddy light out!" and Winnie might have faced a night in the cells for allegedly attracting the attention of German bombers overhead.
Many British (and Brigg) pubs have suffered great loss of trade since the smoking ban was introduced. The vast majority of folk who enjoy a puff with their pint, so to speak, do not expect the general public to share their smoke. But they would very much like old-fashioned smoking rooms to be permitted. Or to see the Continental concession which operates in France and Germany introduced over here.
Perhaps some enterprising backbench MP could make a name for him/herself with a Private Member's Bill. POTENTIALLY PLENTY OF VOTES IN THAT ONE.

For the benefit of smokers visiting Brigg, covered areas are provided behind the Black Bull, the Britannia and the Yarborough Hunt.


I would just like to raise my glass to all Brigg Blog followers, supporters, contributors, councillors, council staff, business people and comment posters and wish you all a merry Christmas. As always, Brigg Blog intends to keep operating over the Yuletide period - along the lines of No Rest for the Wicked! If you log on during this time of festivities, however, please be careful with your drink near the keyboard. The above picture was taken at the Black Bull, in Wrawby Street, if you were wondering about the location.


It's now some time since this large branch came down in the Spring's Parade car park, close to Lidl's Brigg store. Years ago - when most of our households still had coal fires - enterprising folk would have been round, at night, with saws and axes and chopped it up for free firewood. No risk assessments required!
Anyone remember the annual pre-Christmas delivery of firewood undertaken, in the 1960s, by Scouts from the troop allied to Brigg Grammar School? They used to tour Brigg on the back of a lorry, handing out bundles to the elderly, the wood having been sourced from Lt Col Roger Nelthorpe's Scawby Estate (he being chairman of the BGS governors). Chris Horan and myself selected a picture showing this task being carried out on, or near, Newlands for inclusion in one of the nostalgia books we wrote about a decade ago, while both still on the staff of the Scunthorpe Telegraph. Grammar School geography chief Jeff "Shoddy" Jarvis was featured, being the master in charge of the Scouts. I haven't seen the print for years but it will be in the Telegraph's digital archive. The boys shown, I think, included Steve Baggott, later to become a well-known solicitor, based in Bigby Street, and stalwart member of Brigg Hockey Club. Next time I'm at the Scun Tel I'll take another look at the image and confirm whether my memories are correct. Unless Steve's reading this and can save us a job.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Some weeks ago, and long before the current bad weather arrived on the scene, we warned that the road surface around manhole covers on Bridge Street, Brigg, close to Kiln Lane, needed attention. North Lincolnshire highways staff must have missed our piece. For since the snow and ice arrived, the potholes surrounding the metal grates have got much bigger. Earlier today I dipped a wheel in one while trying to negotiate a car waiting to turn right.
Our advice now to motorists is to watch out for these manholes, close to the angling shop and the bus shelter. We will also suggest AGAIN that council repairs are required. This is, after all, an important A-road we are talking about - not some residential cul-de-sac.
Doubtless we can rely on the Couns Sherwood to chase things up. The problem area is close to the family cycle business but surely that doesn't mean they have to declare an interest under the rather strange rules the current Government is, very wisely, trying to tackle!


Big-hearted Lions from Brigg are among people and groups supporting a homeless drop-in centre so it can stay open over Christmas, serving needy people in our area.
North Lincolnshire Council's spokesman explained: "The Forge, at New Brumby Methodist Church, Cottage Beck Road, Scunthorpe, has been given a £1,400 grant to help homeless and other vulnerable people over the Christmas holiday. This is the 10th year North Lincolnshire Council has helped fund the project. The Forge supports people with a variety of housing problems, from individuals sleeping rough to whole families who have lost their home."
People can drop-in for breakfast and a hot lunch, to pick up clean, dry clothes and find help with everything from finding a place to stay to family support and benefits advice.
Volunteers at The Forge will be serving a full Christmas dinner to people in need and all the food is donated by the White Heather Hotel at Caenby Corner.
The Forge is open everyday this week except Sunday, 26 December, from 9.30am to 2pm, and will be open all next week except Monday 27 December, from 9.30am to 1pm.
People can call outside those hours and leave a message if they need help or advice.
Donations of coffee, sugar, long life milk, tinned meats, toys and other items that can be given as presents are always needed. Volunteers are always needed to help at both the child contact centre and the drop-in centre.
To find out more call Maria Franks on 01724 276742.
Coun Mick Grant, Cabinet Member for Housing and Strategic Planning at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Christmas can be a very stressful and depressing time for people who have no place they can call home. The Forge helps make the festive season more enjoyable. It is the only project of its kind in Scunthorpe and the council has supported its good work for ten years now. I would like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who contributes to providing this vital service.”
Maria Franks, manager at The Forge, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has been kind enough to support us this Christmas and indeed throughout the year. We’ve had financial help from North Lincolnshire Council, Glanford and Brigg Lions, Rotary Club, local schools and churches and two town businessmen. Then there are the donations of food, cash and gifts we receive from individuals and groups which we distribute to people who are in need and, of course, our hardworking army of volunteers deserve a well-earned thank-you, too. “We could not do this without your support so thank you once again. It all helps and we’re very, very grateful.”


Temporary, one-off alterations will be made to Brigg's bin collection during the first week of 2011.
We aren't due a fortnightly black/green general waste collection on bank holiday Tuesday, January 4. However, that day's scheduled collection of brown organic waste bins and mauve plastic/carboard bins will take place a day later on Wednesday January 5.
This is due to North Lincolnshire Council's arrangements for collecting bins throughout the district, some of which (not in Brigg) will be done on Saturday, January 8, to make up for non-collection on Monday, January 3.

Here's the full explanation issued by North Lincolnshire Council, if you wish to study it in further detail:

Christmas and New Year bin collections dates have changed this year.
Week commencing 27 December there will be a full collection service. This includes the bank holidays of Monday and Tuesday.
However, in the week following, there will be no collections on Monday 3 January.
On this occasion, collection days for wheeled bin and kerbside recycling boxes will move forward a day.
For example, if your collection falls on Monday 3 January, your collection that week will move to Tuesday 4 January, Tuesday collections will move to Wednesday and so on through to Friday collections which move to Saturday.
Brown bin collections have been temporarily suspended over the Christmas period and will start again from Tuesday 4 January.
Burgundy bins will continue to be collected but please check your calendar for collection dates.
To make sure you don’t forget your bins this Christmas check your collection calendar for your collection dates.
If you don’t have a collection calendar check your collection dates online at or request a collection calendar from our Customer Helpline on 01724 297000 or email
From now until the end of February, winter opening times are in effect at all eight Household Recycling Centres across North Lincolnshire.
The site at Cottage Beck Road in Scunthorpe is open 8am to 4pm seven days a week. Other sites are open from 10am to 4pm, Friday to Tuesday.
All eight sites will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Coun Len Foster, cabinet member for Neighbourhood, Environmental and Communities, said: “We will be collecting your bins and recycling boxes on the Christmas bank holidays this year but not on the New Year bank holiday, 3 January. If you’re not sure about when to put out your bins please feel free to call our customer helpline on 01724 297000 or email”


Brigg Tourist Information Centre, housed in the Buttercross, is not affected by the severe funding threat to the organisation Visit Lincolnshire, which is good to hear, as the Buttercross-based facility is one of our town's best-known and is housed in one of our major buildings.
A North Lincolnshire Council spokesman made it clear to Brigg Blog today: "The Tourist Information Centre is run and funded by us and will not be affected by the proposed cuts to Visit Lincolnshire funding. We pay a membership fee to Visit Lincolnshire of about £4,000 per year and they help market North Lincolnshire's tourist attractions and tourism-related businesses."

Brigg Blog has no figures to say how many visitors to the Brigg area result from the efforts of now-threatened Visit Lincolnshire. However, we note that North Lincolnshire Council "works in partnership with" Visit Lincolnshire, as do neighbouring West Lindsey and North East Lincolnshire.
West Lindsey, whose borders meet Brigg on Bigby High Road and Westrum Lane, clearly feels concerned about Lincolnshire County Council potentially withdrawing funding from Visit Lincolnshire from April 1. This will mean Visit Lincolnshire is very unlikely to survive beyond next March.
West Lindsey District Council's Economic Development and Regeneration Committee Chairman, Coun Jeff Summers, points out 42 tourism businesses in West Lindsey are members of Visit Lincolnshire - giving the district the second largest membership in the group.
"We realise that members of Visit Lincolnshire will be concerned about how this will affect the future marketing of local tourism businesses and Lincolnshire as a destination," he says. "We are also very concerned and although there are no definite plans in place would like to assure you that we are in talks with other partners and investigating options available in order to find a working solution to this situation."
Letters have been sent to businesses in the area inviting them to a meeting to discuss the future of Visit Lincolnshire. It will take place at 11am on January 31, in the Council Chamber at the Guildhall, in Marshall's Yard, Gainsborough.
Coun Summers added: "This will give them the opportunity to let us have your thoughts and to discuss the future of tourism marketing in Lincolnshire."
Brigg Blog has suggested before that our town's potential as a tourist destination is not being realised, believing we have things people would want to see and enjoy, if they knew about them. Having got West Lindsey's response on Visit Lincolnshire, we approached North Lincolnshire Council for its views on the topic, which are given at the top of this article.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


The Latest Press News from Visit Lincolnshire suggests Lincolnshire County Council is threatening the existence of Visit Lincolnshire, the organisation set up to market our county as a visitor destination. It was formerly known as Lincolnshire Tourism. Visit Lincolnshire works in partnership with VisitBritain, East Midlands Tourism, Lincolnshire County Council, all local district authorities, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils, plus all tourism businesses.

Press Statement – Embargoed until 7am, Wednesday 22 December 2010

In direct opposition to Government policy, Lincolnshire County Council has proposed to withdraw all future funding support for Visit Lincolnshire, which amounts to £268,680 in the current year. This will mean that Visit Lincolnshire is very unlikely to survive beyond March 2011.
Despite having cut operational costs by 46% in the last year, the organisation is still reliant on continuing public sector support following the recent loss of £400,000 funding from the soon to be abolished East Midlands Development Agency. In total this represents a cut of 72% of Visit Lincolnshire’s core cost funding.
Marc Etches, Interim Chief Executive, said: “This is a very disappointing decision that will leave Lincolnshire out in the cold in terms of promoting the County nationally and internationally. With the opportunities that the 2012 Olympic Games represent, and the relatively low profile of Lincolnshire nationally this flys in the face of Government policy. David Cameron wants to see domestic tourism grow in the UK from 36% to 50% of all tourism expenditure and Lincolnshire is well placed to help make that happen but it requires partnership working between industry and the public sector. Unfortunately, Lincolnshire County Council has seemingly decided that it no longer wishes to engage in what has until now been a successful partnership.”
The announcement comes in the week that two tourism guides, Visit Lincolnshire 2011 and Enjoy Skegness and Mablethorpe 2011 are published. However, there appears to be no thought given to how these important visitor guides will be distributed and marketed next year.
Marc Etches said: “Some 270 businesses have spent £125,000 in taking advertisements in these two guides. The question to be asked of the County Council is if it will not fund Visit Lincolnshire to distribute and market these valuable business generators, has it set aside sufficient money to undertake the necessary marketing activity itself, and if not will it refund those businesses?”
Jon Grubb, Chairman of Visit Lincolnshire, said: “I am astounded, baffled and disappointed by the decision to withdraw all of Visit Lincolnshire’s funding. In essence the county council has decided to close the county’s tourism body yet seems to have no plan in place for how they will continue the task of encouraging ever more people to visit this fantastic county. Given the importance of the tourism economy to the county it seems puzzling and somewhat irresponsible to make this decision without any clear idea of what they will do next. Our neighbouring counties have already committed to continuing to fund their tourism bodies - giving them a competitive edge. There are literally thousands of people who rely on tourism for their jobs and future and we’ve seen the devastating effect that cancelling the Christmas Market has had on the economy of the city. To respond to the challenges ahead by closing Visit Lincolnshire seems a huge gamble with the county’s £1 billion tourism industry. Of course those who have made the decision will not be the ones who suffer if the gamble turns out to be a mistake.”
The Board of Directors of Visit Lincolnshire will meet on January 6 to discuss the future of the organisation.


Lidl's development spokesman has been in touch to tell Brigg Blog the application for the firm's new store, off Atherton Way, will be registered "before the new year" with North Lincolnshire Council.
"We will write to members of the public who left feedback at the open day, to advise them when the application is registered," says. "Thank you for your continued interest in our proposals."
The open day was in the Angel Suite, for those who didn't manage to get along.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We gather that comments on Tesco's planning application to create a big new store in Brigg will now be accepted up to mid-January - not January 3 as originally indicated by North Lincolnshire Council.


Burst pipes have been suffered by some Brigg households during the current very cold snap. Just in case - heaven forbid - such a terrible misfortune befalls you, the following may be of use:
Anglian Water has a helpline for reporting water leaks - 0800 771 881. Or email


Each day we check to see whether North Lincolnshire Council has put Lidl's planning application for a new store at the top of Atherton Way, Brigg, into the public domain (replacing the existing one in Spring's Parade). Today's look at the council's planning portal has again drawn a blank. And we don't believe council staff are dragging their heels. There is a suggestion that the Lidl and Tesco new store plans ought to be considered together because they are closely connected in terms of location. We've had all Tesco's proposals revealed in extensive detail, whereas Lidl's plans, which were outlined at an open day in the Angel Suite BEFORE their rival's, have yet to surface in terms of an application and supporting documentation.
With only four shopping days to Christmas and two bank holidays at the start of next week, plus the New Year shutdown to contend with, we are beginning to wonder whether the first stage in the planning process - the Brigg Town Council meeting on January 5 - will be able to take place. We will, of course, keep you all posted on developments.

Sod's Law to Apply: Now we've said there's no news on the Lidl front, it's a fair bet the information will go up later today! It's over to BetFred, Brigg, for the odds.


We note today that Brigg Town Council's Facebook site is thanking Brigg Blog comment poster-in-chief, Ken Harrison, for his generosity and sense of public duty "for stopping off to help Coun Ben Nobbs (Town Mayor) put the wreaths back into an orderly display at the War Memorial, and to re-tie them to prevent them flipping over." The Town Council says Ken's help was very much appreciated. We presume it's the weather that caused the problem.
Kind-hearted Ken (pictured above), also popped round Brigg Blog HQ last night with a surprise early Christmas present, having enjoyed following our internet site through another year. Much appreciated, sir - you really shouldn't have!
The Fisher household has also received edible festive gifts from Brigg pensioner Josie Bratton, who makes the best cheese straws in the area. Possibly the UK. Whether any of her baking will be left in the large tin by Christmas Day looks in severe doubt. Other seasonal goodies also came with the straws. Many thanks, Josie.
My late Nanna, Dolly Taylor, of Hawthorn Avenue, could also bake for Britain. She was much in demand to provide cakes for charity stalls, etc. My boyhood friends used to inquire whether we might pop round and see Nanna, as they knew a display of freshly-baked cream buns would soon be on the table, with the invitation to tuck in. All washed down with a glass of LAWS pop. LAWS, for those who can't remember that far back, being Brigg's very own Lindsey Aerated Water Supplies. Weekly deliveries came to the door on a lorry driven by the genial Cyril (Brunt?), with a satchel slung over one shoulder to take the money. We can't recall whether among his superb range of illustrations of Brigg scenes and characters of the past, artist Stephen Hill has done one of Cyril. If not, he would make a great subject for a future sketch. Stephen's work is quite often featured in the Scunthorpe Telegraph's Nostalgia magazine (75p). As "yours truly" provides the content for this monthly publication, it always includes something of interest about Brigg. The December issue should be in the shops now. Snap up a copy!


Brigg householders should be aware that we are all due for an extra collection of our green/black general waste wheelie-bin today (Tues 21st). North Lincolnshire Council is also planning to send the boys round for our mauve plastics/cardboard bins.
During a drive across Brigg last night, surprisingly few green/black general waste bins had been put out for collection, which explains this reminder.
This is the time of year when households generate most general waste - so congratulations to North Lincolnshire Council for its response.

Update 10.37am Tuesday: They've already been to our street and emptied the plastics/cardboard bin and are now here dealing with the general waste bin. Perhaps there's still time to get your bin out in the street, as the lads are a couple of hours later than usual emptying ours. No criticism intended - keep up the good work in trying conditions!

Monday, December 20, 2010


International interest in Brigg Blog continues apace. Hits for the past four weeks show the following top 10 countries:

United Kingdom 6,179
United States 466
Netherlands 259
Germany 121
Russia 115
Saudi Arabia 110
Spain 86
Ukraine 76
Australia 42
New Zealand 34

The most popular stories of the past month, in terms of hits, are:
LAST POST - no postal collections to many Brigg households during the snow.
SHED ON DRAWING BOARD - commercial planning application.

Pageviews today - 197 (up to 6.45pm Monday)
Pageviews yesterday - 169
Pageviews last month - 7,876.

Source of figures: Google.

NF adds: Many thanks to all our followers - local, elsewhere in the UK and abroad - for their support. It is appreciated. Keep posting those comments!


A worthy plan to get more Brigg area youngsters involved in the sport of angling has been discussed by the 3Bs Joint Project, which manages the provision of events for young people. This is a joint initiative between Brigg Town Council, Broughton Town Council and Barnetby-le-Wold Parish Council.
Two meetings of the management committee in Brigg's Angel Suite have included talks about the development of fishing as an additional 3Bs activity and buying the necessary equipment.
3Bs Project senior street leader, Wayne Pigott, explained there was growing interest among young people to take up angling, resulting in some start-up equipment being bought to "facilitate" angling sessions. Wayne said the enthusiasm for those continued to grow and he had contacted Mick Smith, owner of Smithy's Pond, Brigg, who was happy for his facility to be used and for 3Bs to be invoiced monthly for the pegs used. Mick was also willing to work with the project to allow the pond to be used for full-day fishing and for matches.
Members of the 3Bs Project management heard the initiative had the full support of PC Mick Tune, Humberside Police's youth diversionary officer, who was promoting angling among young people.
It was acknowledged that Smith's Pond, being off Bridge Street, made it "extremely easy for young people in Brigg to access the opportunity to participate in fishing, as the pond is within walking distance of the town centre."
Committee members from Broughton and Barnetby were assured the sessions would be open to young people from all three parishes and that transport would be arranged, where necessary.
It was agreed to buy equipment to enable five pairs to fish at any one time and that the project's senior street leader should be enrolled on a level two angling course to enable him to deliver tuition to interested youngsters.
At the next meeting of the 3Bs Project - again in Brigg's Angel Suite - Wayne Pigott said the fishing was going really well, and that he was now working with PC Tune to arrange fishing competitions and with Mick Smith with a view to holding an "inter-generational" fishing match in Brigg.
These meetings of the 3Bs Project were chaired by Couns James Truepenny and Chris Pope, both of Brigg Town Council.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Brigg Tourist Information Centre, The Buttercross, Market Place, is now selling two local history books which will be of interest to readers in the town and nearby villages. Brigg Blog has read them both and found them of real interest. So if you are still looking for a stocking-filler present for a friend or relative, or you receive some cash as a Christmas present, these are worth considering.

Wrawby At War 1914-18 is by the Wrawby Local History Group and includes some fascinating pictures of soldiers marching through Brigg, including one used across two pages, taken in Bigby Street, showing the Territorials the month before the First World War broke out, and another of soldiers awaiting a train at Brigg station, also in 1914. I've been studying the pictures closely to try and find my late grandad, Charles Taylor (1896-1990), a Brigg man who served in the 5th Lincolns. Other Brigg folk with ancestors who served in the First World War will do likewise. Our very own comment poster-in-chief, Ken Harrison, contributes an interesting chapter about how a bomb from a German Zeppelin came to be dropped on Wrawby. The book is listed at £7.

Tapestry: The story of a Victorian businessman, by Anne Astling, tells how a Brigg Grammar School pupil of the early 19th century went on to make a mint in London as a carpet magnate. During his time at BGS in the late 1820s, the school was run by the Rev James Walter.
Anne told Brigg Blog: "Thomas Tapling was of fairly humble origins, born in Wrawby in North Lincolnshire in 1818, the third of seven children. By the time of his death 63 years later he was the equivalent of a multi-millionaire. Thomas lived through the period of huge change in Great Britain known as the Industrial Revolution. The coming of the railways transformed personal transport as well as facilitating the movement of goods. Sea transport too was revolutionised, with sail giving way to steam and shortening intercontinental journeys. New industrial processes enabled mass production of goods. International and domestic markets expanded rapidly. This was a great time for entrepreneurs to build their own empires, and Thomas grasped the opportunity with both hands. The company he founded a century and a half ago is still in existence. His eldest son was to leave the foremost unbroken stamp collection in the world to the nation, and his youngest daughter was to marry into an aristocratic family. However Thomas was a family man too, and it is from his letters, and those of his family, that an insight can be gained into his character and his personal life. His biography is illustrated with photographs of family members and places associated with them."
If you are a Brigg Blog follower who has moved away from North Lincs, even abroad, and so can't get in to the Buttercross, please note Tapestry is now available direct from the author for £5 per copy, plus postage and packing. (P & P in the UK is currently £1.30; overseas surface is £2 and airmail £3.50. If requiring multiple copies, please enquire for additional costs.) Please make cheques out to Mrs A Astling. Address: 18 Worcester Close, Scunthorpe, DN16 3TL. You can also email for details -
With her own, Anne kindly sent us a copy of Wrawby At War and we don't think she will mind taking inquiries about the Wrawby book from Brigg Blog followers.


By Ken Harrison

Just in case we have any lunatic anoraks about, that very bright star that can be seen, fairly low down towards the east before dawn is the planet Venus*. It's obvious and much brighter than any star. Easily seen with naked eye, but a telescope would improve clarity.
For the really keen, just before sunrise (about 8.15am) on Tuesday, 21st December there will be a total eclipse of the Moon. It's not expected to be spectacular as the eclipse will occur just before the Moon sets below the horizon.
If the weather is clear, find an viewing point unobstructed by buildings and such like, as possible.
Advanced info: there will be a partial Solar (Sun) eclipse on January 4th. Then a few nights later, yet another meteorite shower storm (shooting stars).

*Venus is the 2nd planet from the Sun. It is covered in a highly reflective cloud layer .......of sulfuric acid (H2SO4). It lower amosphere is essentially carbon dioxide, while atmospheric pressure is about 90 times that of the Earth.
The planet is named after the Roman

Saturday, December 18, 2010


The cold weather has clearly put many people off from venturing out to attend today's Christmas farmers' market in Brigg. That's a shame, as a great deal of fine festive fare is available on the various stalls. Despite Ian Cawsey losing his seat as MP for Brigg and Goole he's still continuing the Christmas tradition of picking up his guitar and joining former Brigg Town Mayor Coun James Truepenny in the Bandstand to provide Christmas tunes for those attending the market. A Salvation Army Band is also in Wrawby Street, where a collection is being made to help the organisation's good work among less fortunate members of society. Brigg shops and businesses, plus stallholders on the adjoining general Saturday market, aren't enjoying the bumper number of visitors they usually do on this Saturday of the year, but the tills are still ringing. Down at Brian's DIY Christmas shop, on Grammar School Road, the mechanical Santa is delivering his own yo-ho-ho welcome to customers. There's still time to get down to the farmers' market, which is expected to continue until 3pm or 3.30pm.

Ian Cawsey (centre) and Coun James Truepenny (right) playing Christmas tunes in the Bandstand this morning.

Santa welcoming customers to the Brian's DIY Christmas Shop, on Grammar School Road.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Just spotted Mastin's coal lorry delivering some bags to an address in Bigby Road. Yes, there are still some Brigg households with old-fashioned coal fires. Boyhood memories abound of the Brocklesby and Son lorry making deliveries to our council house and proprietor Joe dropping by for his payment - in cash, of course - after his men had topped up the bunker.
Meanwhile, down St Helen's Road, a Bobcat machine is clearing snow and ice off the highway. We aren't sure whether the snow-clearing team has been sent by North Lincolnshire Council or whether it's bit of private enterprise. The same thing's been going on in Central Square, King's Avenue and Burgess Road.


Barrow Concert Band will play Christmas carols at Brigg Christmas Farmers’ Market tomorrow (Saturday 18 December). The award-winning market is open from 9am to 3pm. That's weather permitting, of course. The pre-Christmas market is generally one of the best-supported of the entire year. Just the place to go to stock up on special items and last-minute gifts. But please also have a look at the nearby shops and businesses in Brigg and/or sample the wide range of refreshments on offer (not just alcoholic).


All the supporting documents sent by Tesco to North Lincolnshire Council with its planning application for the big new store, off Barnard Avenue/Cary Lane/Springs Way are now in the public domain and viewable on the council's helpful planning portal. Use the link here to reach the portal, select Access the Online Application Register, then select Brigg and Wolds (parish name) and Brigg (ward). For legal reasons, you need to agree to some conditions before viewing (hence the roundabout route we are suggesting). CLICK HERE FOR THE PLANNING PORTAL
Such thorough and comprehensive documentation has been submitted it's no wonder it took North Lincolnshire Council a few days to get everything scanned for upload to the website so interested members of the public can have a look. Please do!
The retail giant says a publication consultation it carried out identified strong public support for the replacement store - 367 respondents at its exhibition showing the proposals.
The new store, if granted planning permission by North Lincolnshire Council, will provide 100+ new jobs (mix of full and part-time) to add to the current "equivalent" 150. The size of new premises will be 6,180 square metres, not far short of double the current 3,617.
There will be more than 100 additional car parking spaces (318 in total) and free "short stay" car parking (2-3 hours) will remain.
On the topic of traffic congestion, which has been raised as a concern already by some Brigg observers, the firm says "the scheme will enable various improvements to the surrounding highway network." These will include, from Cary Lane, "a right turn lane to improve the flow of traffic onto Barnard Avenue."
It is proposed to add two further petrol pumps and to provide a "manned" kiosk, while inside the store there will be a customer cafe and a much wider range of goods on sale.
Tesco provides figures to demonstrate many people still go out of Brigg to shop. It suggests the new store will keep a good number of those shoppers in Brigg.
NF adds: How many of those shoppers will then venture into the town centre to visit other Brigg businesses and how many will merely shop at the new Tesco and go home? That's the million dollar question. But no-one can give an accurate answer. Members of the public can go on North Lincolnshire Council's planning website (above) and add their comments about Tesco's scheme online. Or send them in writing. The first stage in deciding the application will come on Wednesday 5th January (7.15pm) in the Angel Suite when Brigg Town Council will meet to discuss the proposals. Representatives of Tesco and Lidl have been invited to attend and answer any questions. A suitable period of question time will be allowed - both for members of the Town Council and the general public - following which the formal meeting will be convened for the Town Council to determine its response.


From Brigg Town Council

The Planning Application from Tesco has now been received. The plans from Lidl are still awaited - but it is understood that they should be received very soon.
Copies of the plans are at the Town Council Office and in the Local Link at Hewson House. However, the public are asked to please bear in mind that the Town Council Office is closed over the Christmas period (see below).
If anyone would like to look at the plans between Monday-Wednesday next week, 20th - 22nd December, outside of the normal office opening hours of 9.30am-12 noon - please ring 01652 659402 to make arrangements with the Assistant Clerk to view them between 10.30am and 2.30pm.
The plans can also be viewed via the North Lincolnshire Council On Line Planning Register. Planning Application Number 2010/1415 - Brigg and Wolds Ward.
The office will close for Christmas on Wednesday 22nd December 2010. The office will re-open to the public on Thursday 6th January 2011.

NF adds: Brigg Town Council's office is in the Angel Suite, off Market Place.


The following statement about the Market Place's traditional seasonal attraction has been received from Brigg Town Council

The tree was due to be delivered and decorated on Monday, 29th November. As you are aware, the snow had started to fall the previous day, therefore, it was not possible for the Highways Team to collect the tree as they were clearly involved in the more pressing duty of clearing and treating the roads. The weather then deteriorated further. The tree has now been cut and laid in the snow waiting for collection for three weeks, but the Town Council has not pressed North Lincolnshire Council to collect and deliver the Christmas Tree, as it was not considered to be a priority for the Highways Team when compared with the mammoth road and street clearing task they have been faced with. After a discussion earlier today with the Chair of Property Services, the Town Mayor and Barrie Gray, (contractor for the Christmas Lights installation), and having considered the severe weather conditions that are once again been forecast, the consensus is that, regrettably, the tree will not be installed this year. North Lincolnshire Council only deliver the tree on our behalf. It is the Town Council that organises all the lights and the tree - North Lincs just assist with collection and delivery so there is no contractual obligation on their part.

NF adds: North Lincolnshire Council has been offered the opportunity to comment this morning. If a statement is received from the press office we will add it to this posting as soon as possible.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Humberside Fire Service advises:
Always remove the plug from the mains before changing bulbs on Christmas lights.
Check to ensure that your Christmas lights are fitted with an approved plug with a 3 amp fuse or a mains transformer.


Planning permission is being sought from North Lincolnshire Council to erect a single storey rear extension at 5 St James' Road, Brigg.


Prior to the arrival of the dismal winter weather, Brigg Town Cricket Club held its annual trophy night at The Hawthorns, home of the town's senior footballers, when award winners were:
Clubman - Phil Dewfall
Sportsman - Phil Dewfall/Simon Dickson
1st team batsman and bowler - Dylan Hildreth
1st team fielding - Paul Neil
2nd team batsman - Matt Bell
2nd team bowler - Richard Lancaster
2nd team fielder - Simon Dickson
Best performance - Matt Bell
Most improved player - Liam Mcintyre.
Trophy winners are pictured above, courtesy of club secretary Joe Hebblewhite.


Did you see the wonderfully quirky story on Look North last night about Mablethorpe councillors writing to the Prime Minister to ask for the redundant Ark Royal aircraft carrier to be berthed at their resort, as a tourist/visitor attraction and a function/meeting venue?
One councillor, in particular, seems to be spearheading the project and we should all take our hat off to him. A man of vision, even though some local residents interviewed seemed to think it all a bit pie in the sky (if you can use such a phrase about matters nautical).
It's to be hoped there will always be a place in local politics for those who might be felt a shade eccentric. When Glanford Borough Council held meetings in the wonderful, wood-panelled meeting chamber in what's now Hewson House, off Bigby Street, Brigg, we could enjoy the contributions of true characters like Fred Cook (New Holland). Fred, 30 years ago, was a veteran independent and you could never forecast what view he was going to hold on any particular issue. But as a true backbencher - he literally sat on the back bench of the chamber - he always had something to contribute. And his comments were always worth reporting.
In the early years of Brigg Town Council, Ivor Strudwick, of St Helen's Road, also expressed some strong views from time to time. Once, after Glanford Borough Council had taken over running Brigg Corn Exchange and the building was not getting the finance for repairs Strud though it needed, he hit out at "the backwoodsmen of Glanford" whom he suggested came from places of which no-one had heard.
Now that rebuke, once reported in the Lincolnshire and South Humberside Times, hit home with some of the village people, including Coun Terry Atherton (Kirton Lindsey), later to be the very successful Conservative leader of Glanford Borough Council and have Atherton Way, Brigg, named in his honour.
However, Terry sometimes spoke in similar vein when taking a swipe at the Labour stronghold of Scunthorpe, which he famously described as being "that little island in our midst." Meaning, of course, the steel town was surrounded by his borough.
Returning to the Ark Royal, Brigg had an old barge for many years, moored not far from the County Bridge, near Riverside House and the White Hart pub. Anyone remember it? Not exactly a tourist attraction, this vessel slowly sank into the Old River Ancholme. Somewhere in my late father's archive a picture exists of it, circa 1970, when the end was near and it faced the final (watery) curtain.
Of course, Brigg had a few prehistoric boats of note which, if still with us, would definitely draw the crowds, just as they did in the late 19th and early 20th centuries after being dug out of the mud. The best was sent to Hull Museum where, during the Second World War, it sadly perished during an air-raid by Hitler's Luftwaffe. Preserved for thousands of years underground, only to be written off by a Flying Pencil!
(German nickname for a type of Dornier bomber, if you didn't know.)


Planning permission to erect a warehouse on land at 9 Atherton Way, Brigg, is being sought by Jonro Properties (John Rowbottom) from North Lincolnshire Council.


You had to feel for the accordian player in the Bandstand in Brigg Market Place late this morning. The rain was lashing down and he must have been suffering in the cold and wet; this open-sided structure doesn't offer much protection against the elements.
The Thursday general market got back to normal today, although the weather meant some shoppers who might have paid it a visit didn't bother.
It was a joy to turn off Bigby Road and be able to negotiate St Helen's Road in third gear - until we reached the cordoned-off hole in the road, previously mentioned on Brigg Blog. It's still blocking one lane.
Highways staff were on the ball this morning, filling in pot-holes (probably snow-related) on the A18 between Briggate Lodge and Castlethorpe Corner.
Perhaps not a moment too soon as it was snowing in Brigg again by lunch-time (for the benefit of those Blog followers no longer living locally). The forecast is for more of the same and for mercury in the thermometer to head down towards the bottom of the glass.


By Ken Harrison

I've got me crystal weather ball out again! But I don't believe in guesswork - throw in the factuals and one can achieve a reasonable prediction.

Let's examine the factuals:
1. Many road drains are still blocked/covered by the residue of snow clearance operations.
2. Over the last few days, there has been rapid thawing.
3. Owing to '1' & '2', the run-off is forming standing-water puddling.
4. The run-off and recent drizzle will have diluted any road-salt residue.
4. It is expected to rain tomorrow (Thursday), exacerbating the extent and depth of standing water.
5. The temperature during Thursday night is expected to plummet to around -4 about Brigg. Sleet is expected.

Extremely dangerous driving and walking conditions on Friday + - the last Friday before the festive season.
Standing water will have turned to sheet ice, possibly masked with a veneer of snow.
As a solid form, gritting salt is less effective on sheet ice than friable snow.
Even deep-soled footwear offers little, if any grip on ice - equally applies to tyre treads.

At least you can clearly see snow and fresh snow is, at least, drivable with care. Sheet ice can give the illusion of 'just a wet road'.
Think twice and don't dice with ice. Take extreme care.

PS In odd and peculiar occasions of such conditions in the past, I've been know to wrap my walking boots in chicken wire to give me that extra grip in an emergency.