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Holliday's Lincolnshire Holiday - Modelling inspirations, hopefully


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Having spent a week in August in Lincolnshire I thought I would share some of the modelling inspirations that the county offered.  In spite of the totally ineffective Lincolnshire Tourist website, and the complete indifference of the staff in the Lincoln Tourist Information office, my wife and I were eventually able to find some interesting places to see, even if the official line seemed to be – Visit the cathedral and the castle, spend a day on each and then go home, we don’t really want tourists here!

 

Another thread “Ruston locos in Lincoln” http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/112188-ruston-locos-in-lincoln/?hl=lincoln  has covered the railway relics at the Museum of Lincolnshire Rural Life, but this charming (and free) museum has a wide spread of other exhibits which should be of interest. (The cakes are good, too!)

 

Alongside the railway locos are various steam powered road going vehicles, such as a Marshall stationary engine and the mighty Fowler ploughing engine. (They have a pair but only space for one)  The Fowler is much larger than the run-of-the-mill traction engine, and it was such a pity that KeilKraft chose one of these to make a plastic kit of, to the slightly larger scale of 1:72, so that it dwarfs all correct 4mm vehicles.

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There are also galleries of other road vehicles, cycles, motorcycles, cars and carriages.

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In the courtyard of this former military establishment is a cast-iron toilet, so beloved of modellers. post-189-0-72681100-1474373071.jpg

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Having spent a week in August in Lincolnshire I thought I would share some of the modelling inspirations that the county offered.  In spite of the totally ineffective Lincolnshire Tourist website, and the complete indifference of the staff in the Lincoln Tourist Information office, my wife and I were eventually able to find some interesting places to see, even if the official line seemed to be – Visit the cathedral and the castle, spend a day on each and then go home, we don’t really want tourists here!

 

 

As a Lincolnshire Yellow-Belly I can safely say visitors are not encouraged! Why do you think the County has no motorways, the main railway line runs straight past it Eastern side, and some parts voted heartily to leave the EU (they'd leave the UK too if they could).

 

Seriously though, it is a beautiful place once you get through the boring Fens, and even they have their beauty. Plenty of history, historic towns, famous personages (Henry 1V was born in Old Bolingbroke) and engineering history. Largely ignored by anyone outside the County  but well worth a visit. Have another try sometime.

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As a Lincolnshire Yellow-Belly I can safely say visitors are not encouraged! Why do you think the County has no motorways, the main railway line runs straight past it Eastern side, and some parts voted heartily to leave the EU (they'd leave the UK too if they could).

 

Seriously though, it is a beautiful place once you get through the boring Fens, and even they have their beauty. Plenty of history, historic towns, famous personages (Henry 1V was born in Old Bolingbroke) and engineering history. Largely ignored by anyone outside the County  but well worth a visit. Have another try sometime.

I am not sure about another try - 3 days in Skegness was enough!

I am intending to post a few more pictures, not of railway sights, necessarily, but of things that might make interesting models, and, coincidentally, Bolingbroke Castle is one of them.

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You don't often see ruined castles modelled, and they usually portray a restored touristy version.  There must have been hundreds of such ruins around the country, and most of them would have looked like ivy or grass covered mounds, with the stonework showing through in places, only known to roaming sheep and mischievous boys. The Victorians were quite fond of these antiquities, but very few ruins were actually restored until fairly recently.

On the subject of stonework, Coningsby church is not far away.  Noted, according to my guide book, for having the largest single hand clock in the UK, I was intrigued how it managed to display three completely different types of stonework.  Coarse, almost rubble, masonry for the main building, with finer coursing to the upper walls, whilst the clock tower is built of ashlar masonry that looks almost like modern concrete block.  It would be a brave modeller that dared to incorporate all three styles into one building.

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Yes, well, Skegness is probably an exception. Half a day there is usually more than ample. The place looks nothing like it used to, with the station being a mere mockery of it's heyday. But, as you've found, there are little gems to be found, and some of the architecture in spots like Spilsby or Horncastle is beautifully quaint, ideal for that 'Madder Valley' look.

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Yes, well, Skegness is probably an exception. Half a day there is usually more than ample. The place looks nothing like it used to, with the station being a mere mockery of it's heyday. But, as you've found, there are little gems to be found, and some of the architecture in spots like Spilsby or Horncastle is beautifully quaint, ideal for that 'Madder Valley' look.

Unfortunately Horncastle was closed when we visited!  But Lincoln itself can offer some excellent architecture, particularly if you are not afraid of modelling hills. Not for nothing is the main street called Steep Hill!

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And there is the Norman House

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Continuing my saga holiday, our visit to the castle was interesting, but of little modelling interest itself, unless you have a tennis court to spare. 

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Prison with castle battlements and cathedral in distance

However, the view form the battlements revealed roofscapes that, if they appeared on a layout would be laughed at for being completely implausible. When I saw them I though immediately of the Castle Aching thread from Edwardian.

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As a Lincolnshire Yellow-Belly I can safely say visitors are not encouraged! Why do you think the County has no motorways, the main railway line runs straight past it Eastern side, and some parts voted heartily to leave the EU (they'd leave the UK too if they could).

Being pedantic, I feel the need to point out that the main railway (the ECML) runs through the western side of the county. Most British people's experiences of Lincolnshire consisting of driving past Grantham on the A1 and/or going through Grantham on the train. 

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Thanks to the execrable tourist information in Lincoln I missed the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Museum completely, although I was vaguely aware of its existence.

Just to make up for that, a bit of road transport!

Lincoln, being an old Roman town, has a number of Roman remains tucked away in unexpected places. There is a Roman Trail, which has informative boards at each relic, but, again, the tourist board don't really push it.  There are a number of old Roman gates, which, in the past, were incorporated with dwellings, but have more recently become "detached" as the more modern buildings have crumbled, and traffic built up.  Again there are echoes of Castle Aching in these remnants.

Pottergate, now completely isolated on a grassy island between carriageways

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and Newport Arch post-189-0-07366400-1474639555.jpg

Just for those who like layout clichés, but in reverse, I can offer a bridge on a lorry! Many years ago a loaded fish lorry tried to negotiate the Newport Arch, failing to notice that the modern roadway was several feet higher than in Roman times. Nigh on 2,000 years of masonry was almost demolished in one fell swoop, but the arch has been reinforced and rebuilt to last another thousand years, perhaps.

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The museum at Lincoln containing the Ruston bits is well worth a pilgrimage, although it seems to take forever to get from anywhere else to Lincoln by road - I got the impression that it might be in The Netherlands, going on how long I seemed to be driving east-by-north-east for. My advice is "go by train", that way you can read,or go to sleep, more safely!

 

There are several "prize exhibits" for people who are into early-ish internal-combustion power, my favourite being the Ruston-Proctor oil-engine locomotive that is a near-copy of a Deutz, c1914. Others of these are preserved, and I think one has now been restored to operating condition, but the great thing about the one at Lincoln is that is is displayed in a way that allows one to get a really good look at how it goes together, and how all the bits work.

 

Kevin

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Being pedantic, I feel the need to point out that the main railway (the ECML) runs through the western side of the county. Most British people's experiences of Lincolnshire consisting of driving past Grantham on the A1 and/or going through Grantham on the train. 

Just goes to show that I don't know my a... from my elbow at times. Must have been a senior moment!

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Yes, the County neatly divides into the haves and the havenots !

 

Lincoln is where all the money is spent and so we Council Tax Payers stumped up for the repairs to the Castle (£1M from the County Council) and Lincoln is about to start work on its fourth bypass !  No really, since it is apparently unfair to have a major route - the A15 - running through the 'city'.

 

No regard for the well-known large town where both the A52 and A16 combine at one point in a single carriageway and the A17 is nearby !!

 

Still I suppose the bin emptying charge - otherwise known as Council Tax - is reasonable...

 

Rant over

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Sorry, I drifted off-topic !

 

Railways in the County were removed by Ernest Marples, Transport Minister.  I know Richard Beeching always gets the blame.

 

Marples owned a road-building firm but transferred ownership - to avoid a clash of interest - to his Wife  :jester: :jester:  :jester:  

 

154 stations were closed and most of the lines ripped up.  Still who needs food when we can get it from the Commonwealth..........

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Caistor is a pretty little town with some very moddelable building scenes and of course a very good model shop.  Also the drive along Caistor top shows off the wolds and puts to rest any notion that Lincolnshire is flat.  To this day I still miss that scenery having spent much time on my old Leader or in my Herald Convertible accompanied by various girl friends exploring all the back roads.

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Modelling inspiration abounds in the County, if you know just where to look.

 

Caistor - mentions previously as the home of one of the best model shops around.

 

Stamford - reputedly England's finest stone built town with one station still open (home of an exceptional railway book emporium) and another closed but restored as homes.

 

Woodhall Spa - a town from a bygone era with Georgian and Victorian architecture in a timeless setting.

 

Gainsborough - another model shop worthwhile visiting and with two stations an some remains of the town's trading and industrial heritage worth a look.

 

Grimsby - sadly devoid of most of its railways but still with enough of the dock areas to make it worthwhile. Also home to the fishing heritage centre, well worth a look.

 

Boston - one time home of the GNR loco works and although its been stripped of a lot of it, there's still one or two gems such as the swing bridge, octagonal control cabin, the station itself and West St box. Additionally the wayside stations on the Skeggy branch are worth a look (see the Havenhouse and Wainfleet thread on here for a flavour) as are the buildings in Boston Town Centre, particularly along the river.

 

Skeggy - home to a variety of historical NG stock on the Lincs Coast Light railway. Despite having been much reduced, the Station retains some of its former charm and a nice GNR box.

 

Louth - retains its characterful station building and signal box as well as some interesting artefacts and items of railway interest in the museum. Sadly the model shop in the market hall closed in 2014 but just up the road is the Lincolshire Wolds Rly, well worth a look.

 

The wolds themselves have the remains of the Louth and Bardney Rly to explore, most of this remains and with the usual caveats of respecting private landowners wishes, can be accessed from local roads and footpaths.

 

Bardney - has a great heritage centre in the former station and the Lincoln to Boston Lin is open for most of its length as a footpath and cycleway.

 

Alford - Some railway related material in the Manor House Museum and some interesting buildings in the town itself. Not sure if its still there but a SH bookshop there used to be good for railway books.

 

Sutton on Sea - sadly now totally devoid of its railway heritage but an archetypal English seaside town from a bygone era. Also has some fascinating bungalows/ houses built around Victorian railway coaches.

 

Anderby Creek - a fantastic beach and more inspiring for artists but the remoteness and the setting of the houses on the beach is fascinating.

 

These are the bits that spring to mind, no doubt there's others I don't know or have forgotten but the outstanding part is the unspoilt and remote rural beauty of the Wolds. Take a trip along Caistor High St from Horncastle to Brigg or along the Bluestone Heath Rd from Burwell.

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The thing which always comes to my mind about Lincoln, is seeing the Cathedral brightly sunlit on its hilltop, above a bank of low fen haze, a real "castle in the air". Very impressive.

 

My daughter is a great fan of Stamford, which is a quite striking place in its own way.

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The least visited bit of Lincolnshire is probably the south eastern corner. The one surprise to me on a visit was that Boston, which on the map looks at least 6 miles from the coast, and without an obvious waterway, is a fully functioning port. Vessels approach from the Wash, which I thought of as a superior kind of mudflat, up the Haven river. Here's a shot I took in 1999 of a pint sized container ship, the "Lys Colonel" heading up the river to Boston, the "stump" being on the left near the big pylon.post-26540-0-01448300-1474837541_thumb.jpeg

The river curves off into the Wash in a totally deserted area. Once Skegness is left behind, heading south, this must be the loneliest stretch of coast in England, right on past the Norfolk border to Kings Lynn. You stand on the sea wall, and no picture can really catch how all the way round the horizon is totally flat, and the sky seems really huge.

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I completely agree Northroader. I have family at Butterwick and walked from their house to the sea wall. It looks like you're on the edge of the world. Bleak and beautiful.

 

The Stump is worth climbing in Boston, and the market is pretty good. There's a memorial to the pilgrim fathers just outside of town. I always spend a day in Louth when I'm back home, and a couple hours in Wainfleet, but then that's where I'm from, so I imagine I see more beauty in the town than others might. And I remember how it used to be before the bypass turned it into a sleepy backwater.

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Although parts of my journey seem to have been pre-empted, I will carry on regardless.  I thought I'd add a few views of the remaining railways in Lincoln itself, still dominated by the level crossings although the main road traffic is now largely diverted, with a new section of by-pass being opened a few days after our visit.

The main station is a fine brick building

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whilst there are still signal boxes to be seen, although others can advise as to how long they will last.

High Street

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East Holmes

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(Those barge boards look worthy of preservation, and the bridge and water are very modellable!))

 

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The least visited bit of Lincolnshire is probably the south eastern corner. The one surprise to me on a visit was that Boston, which on the map looks at least 6 miles from the coast, and without an obvious waterway, is a fully functioning port. Vessels approach from the Wash, which I thought of as a superior kind of mudflat, up the Haven river. Here's a shot I took in 1999 of a pint sized container ship, the "Lys Colonel" heading up the river to Boston, the "stump" being on the left near the big pylon.attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

The river curves off into the Wash in a totally deserted area. Once Skegness is left behind, heading south, this must be the loneliest stretch of coast in England, right on past the Norfolk border to Kings Lynn. You stand on the sea wall, and no picture can really catch how all the way round the horizon is totally flat, and the sky seems really huge.

I've always liked the road sign near Sutton Bridge, where the road runs along the bank top, that says "Cars must dip headlights when ships are approaching"

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Continuing my saga holiday.  Windmills have already been mentioned.  We managed to find three, Ellis in Lincoln itself, a surprisingly small mill, tucked away in a gap between terraced houses on Mill Road, where once 9 mills had been strung along the crest of the ridge.  Run by volunteers, very enthusiastic and informative, but limited opening hours.  Small enough not to dominate any layout it might grace.

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We visited Alford Mill, imposing from the outside but a disappointment to visit as it is run on a "professional" basis, which meant total indifference when dealing with the punter once the money has been extracted, at least on the day we called in.

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RANGERS has mentioned earlier an interesting looking museum in the same village.  As usual in the county, there was no signage or information mentioning its existence, so this more interesting experience passed sadly us by!

Burgh le Marsh (pronounced Borough) mill near Skegness was altogether more enjoyable.  Volunteers again, full of enthusiasm, and the addition of an excellent tea-room, absolutely vital, and a small but interesting museum made up for the previous disappointment.

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A feature of many of the surviving mills in Lincolnshire is that they are built of a local brick which is apparently rather porous, so the outsides of all of them are given a coat of a bitumen type paint to seal them, very different from the white painted post mills I am familiar with from the south east.

Mentioning Skegness, I thought I'd add its iconic Jolly Fisherman, as there is very little else to write home about. 

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However, the view form the battlements revealed roofscapes that, if they appeared on a layout would be laughed at for being completely implausible. When I saw them I though immediately of the Castle Aching thread from Edwardian.

 

 

If in doubt, always assume it's a compliment!

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