With the Cornavirus posing a threat throughout, 2021 has been a testing year for Brigg but there have been many positives, including events and achievements of note which we reported.
Local people have shown Dunkirk-type spirit and stuck at it, to paraphrase a famous saying by war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The famous politician who visited Brigg used a more basic term to enforce his point!
Welcome work has started to revamp the long-closed White Hart pub by the river, while businessman Joe Mullen's Exchange Tavern, on Wrawby Street, continues to take shape. We are making arrangements to bring you a further update on the latter project in the New Year - this time with some pictures taken inside the premises.
There is also the Vault Bar venture to come in the former HSBC bank.
Brigg Town Council launched something new in 2021 which has been much admired - projected displays on the front of the Buttercross in the Market Place. So far we've seen fluttering poppies for Remembrance Day and snowflakes for Christmas... with other themes to follow in 2022.
Refurbishment of the Tintab shelter, located on East Park near the Monument, was completed with inscribed plaques explaining its name and history.
In a green initiative, scores of saplings were planted on York Road Field (an area of public open space) to grow into mature trees over the coming years.
New CCTV cameras were introduced by the council to keep an eye on the Donkey Field play area, on the edge of the Newlands estate.
Oikos opened its new town centre shop in the vacant former Greggs premises, and Brigg Food Bank has continued to assist many local families in need throughout 2021.
Brigg also welcomed the new Gracie's cafe/eatery in the Market Place, and (quite recently) the Curry Corner takeaway located nearby.
National retailer Pavers Shoes opened a new outlet at Brigg Garden Centre, off Bigby High Road, in June.
In October we were sad to report the impending closure of Barclays bank in the Market Place (yet to take effect).
On a more positive note, that month saw Lincolnshire Day 2021 marked by a very enjoyable Friday Food Fest in the Market Place, with a host of stalls. This was arranged by North Lincolnshire Council. The Brigg Town Business Partnership also organised an event later that weekend.
One of the most pleasing features of the year has been the staging of regular Totally Locally and Antique/Craft markets on Saturdays, in addition to the long-established monthly farmers' market, which 'came of age' in June. It completed 21 years' successful trading since Coronation Street actor John Savident (butcher Fred Elliott in the TV series) attended the launch. I say, attended the launch!
The Brigg in Bloom group again contributed colourful floral displays in 2021, and the town enjoyed success in a regional competition which judged various communities' efforts across the region.
The competition to select Brigg's best gardens and allotments was able to resume, with certificates and trophies being presented from an al fresco base in the Market Place - a change from the previous practice of making the presentations in the Angel Suite.
Late summer saw famous tune Brigg Fair feature in the national Last Night of the Proms event covered by the BBC, helping to publicise our town and resulting in many online searches for background information about historic Brigg and its links with composers Frederick Delius and Percy Grainger.
Brigg & District Servicemen's Club marked its centenary with a special social event at the Coney Court venue, songs being provided by nostalgic group The Blighty Belles, from Lincoln, who proved very popular.
The Independent Brigg Line Rail Group continued to campaign for greater use of the Saturdays-only passenger train service calling at our local station, but various factors (some related to the virus) mean even the sparse timetable failed to operate on a number of occasions.
Brigg Horse Fair 2021 went ahead under blue skies in August on its traditional site adjoining the railway station.
This year has seen the demolition of the former Sherwood cycle shop premises on Bridge Street to make way for new housing and a retail unit (scheme yet to be completed).
Sadly, Brigg Bike Night in July was unable to take place, but we very much hope to bring welcome news of its return in 2022.
Keith Simpson proved a very popular choice as winner of the coveted Joseph J. Magrath Award for public voluntary service, being presented with his trophy during a council meeting held in the Methodist Church. Coun Brian Parker was installed as the new Brigg Town Mayor, with Keith serving as his Chaplain.
While she was still Town Mayor early in the year, Coun Sharon Riggall staged a Big Virtual Brigg Quiz online to raise money for her charity appeal fund.
Volunteers were praised for their litter-picking efforts across the town, with a number of organised sessions undertaken to bag up rubbish for disposal.
Newly-elected Humberside Police & Crime Commissioner, Jon Evison, gave an informative presentation to Brigg Town Council at one of its monthly meetings in the Buttercross. He addressed many points, answered questions and set out plans for the future.
Anti-virus jabs (first, second and boosters) were administered at medical surgery sessions in Brigg and also at an NHS walk-in one held in the Buttercross on the day when the Christmas lights were switched on. So many people turned up for injections that queues formed in the Market Place from early afternoon through to the evening.
December saw one of the biggest Santas ever in Brigg erected on the frontage of a house on Hawthorn Avenue.
For the record, Brigg Blog (founded in October 2007) brought its followers well over 1,100 posts on a wide range of topics during 2021 - keeping up our three-a-day target despite the difficulties posed by the virus emergency which restricted or led to the cancellation of some events and get-togethers.
PICTURED: Top row - A snowflake display projected onto the Buttercross, The Blighty Belles performing on stage at the Brigg & District Servicemen's Club 100th anniversary event, and Gracie's eatery soon after it opened to the public. Second row - Keith Simpson after receiving the Magrath Trophy, enjoying the Food Fest held on Lincolnshire Day (October 1) and visitors to Brigg Horse Fair 2021.