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Nick Holliday

Holliday's Lincolnshire Holiday - Modelling inspirations, hopefully

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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!))

 

The signal boxes in Lincoln are all out of use, everything controlled from a signalling centre at West Holmes although I believe there may be preservation orders on them?

Opposite East Holmes box is the student union building which is based around the old loco shed which stood derelict until about 2005(?). There have been so many alterations to it it's difficult to visualise it's previous use without a reference photo. Also alongside is a goods warehouse now home to the university library,

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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.

 

Boston is of course the origin of a daily train of imported steel usually worked now by a class 56, previously 47s. Occasionally a 60 will turn up and it has even produced a pair of 50s :O

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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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You missed Heckington's 7 sail windmill, and the small Railway Museum in part of the station next door.

Dave

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Boston isn't alone in being a port apparently miles inland; Wisbech is still listed as a container port. I can't recall the last time I actually saw a ship there but it is listed on various maritime sites, and there is a vessel there now according to Vessel Tracker. It's one of the few places I know where you could sit at traffic lights with an oceangoing ship literally across the railings.

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Continuing my travels, Tattershall Castle would be a wonderful project for a brick-counter.  A very early example of a brick built castle, but Cromwell's men destroyed all apart from this bit. If anyone wants to count courses I would be happy to send a higher resolution file!

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Apparently Tattershall Station building survives, and is open to the public as a gallery

http://www.arthurwatson.com/ but, as elsewhere in the county, I only found out it existed after the event.

Just south of Skegness there is an extensive bird reserve, at Gibraltar Point, where the Wash meets the North Sea and the creeks are home to various sailing vessels

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As a tantalising glimpse of a future instalment, any ideas where you might get close to an English Electric Lightning whilst travelling on a railway?

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I cheated and looked at the list of preserved Lightnings on Google to work out where there are Lightning trainers in Lincolnshire. There's a T.5 at Skegness Water Park, which is also the current home of the Lincolnshire Coast Railway.  

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Well, grapple my grapenuts, that didn't keep anyone on tenterhooks for too long!

Having been flushed out of the cover, I suppose I'd better look at the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway, hidden away in a large camping site a short distance from Butlins, with limited opening hours. You can have a short ride on open trucks, some still with the shrapnel holes from service in the Great War, but the best bit is being allowed to ramble around their workshops.

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They have a couple of beautifully restored coaches from the Ashover Railway, which show how the limited 2' gauge can be exploited.

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but the real gem is an enormous carriage from the Sand Hutton Railway, which started off as only 18" gauge. The SHR coach is the blue one on the right, the one in the centre is on a MOD wagon chassis and looks positively anorexic compared with the railway company stock.

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I do like those Ashover coaches. The Midland Railway centre has one it's 2' line. 

 

There's even an iconic Lincolnshire railway feature in the first photo - the GNR somersault signal. 

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Just to round off the story of my adventures.  It was purely by chance (yet again) that we discovered the delights of Woodhall Spa.  Well past its heady heyday, but still a busy and attractive town.  The particular delight we came across was the local museum, which ranks alongside the Lincolnshire Countryside Museum for interest.  It also acts, at least for the moment, as the best (only decent) Tourist Information centre in the county. with such a wealth of brochures etc.  that clearly show that there was more to Lincolnshire than initially met the eye.  Direct funding for this is apparently to be suspended, but the Museum intends to continue providing this service as long as it can.  I would recommend supporting this organisation in its aims, and having an entertaining visit thrown in.

 

What is particularly interesting about the museum is that it is housed in a corrugated iron bungalow, that had been the home of the local photographer and bath chair maker since it was built.

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The bath chairs that were made there, in a shed at the rear, were unusual in being donkey-drawn, something I hadn't seen before.

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The cottage was built right next to the branch line that ran to Horncastle, in very close proximity, and the noise and vibration must have been considerable, although the service was not that frequent.

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This closeness was partly due to the way the railway line had been built, at a fairly late date, straight through the town, at a very shallow angle to the main road, The Broadway. The cottage is highlighted as well. Anyone building a model that did that would be laughed out of court!

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This meant that, at the end of the station platform, there was one of the widest level crossings I have seen.

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That's the lot, (Do I hear a collective sigh of relief?) apart from this PS - another challenge for the modeller -

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