Features

Time for the tragic story of HMT Lancastria to be heard

June 17 1940. Does that date mean anything to you? It most certainly does to me, writes Jane Webb, of Gedney. The beginning of June 1940 to most people brings to mind Dunkirk, when British soldiers were evacuated from France in an armada of small ships. At the time Winston Churchill told the British people that the British Army had ...

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School marks one hundred years of first class primary education

One hundred years ago this year, in a medieval manor house, two tiny rooms were opened to a few lucky youngsters from Spalding and the surrounding countryside. They were the first pupils in what became Ayscoughfee Hall School, South Holland’s only Independent Primary School, now housed almost opposite its original home in accommodation that includes a large hall, ICT suite, ...

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Sir John Hayes – Come together as one nation

Coronavirus is the greatest challenge our nation has faced since the Second World War. Yet we can find courage and confidence in a simple certainty – rooted in the kindness and resolve which has always seen the British people through, our country has overcome even greater challenges in the past. As the Prime Minister made clear in his televised national ...

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Sir John Hayes MP – Rise and shine as one nation

One hundred and forty eight years ago in Manchester, the great statesman, Benjamin Disraeli, articulated a bold mission for Britain, writes Sir John Hayes. Though his speech lasted for three hours, during which Disraeli consumed two full bottles of brandy (!), a simple phrase has come to represent his vision – ‘one nation’. January 31 at 11pm will mark a ...

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Tippler’s Memories: My first job in Spalding – part one

John Tippler returns with some of his memories for readers to enjoy. When I came to leave my first job, a business friend of my boss – seeing that I was still unsure about my longer-term career – chastised me: ‘I knew what I was going to do by the time I was 12’, he said. Maybe he did: I ...

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Time for pets to get festive and win with Rooke’s

Festive Pets is back and now is your chance to send in a photo of your pet in Christmas finery. Last year’s winner, Ozzy, received a £100 voucher from competition sponsor Rooke’s Pet Products. You can win the same this year by sending in a picture of your pet, not just cats and dogs, to the Voice. We will publish ...

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Air crashes, raids and cherryade

In the second part, John remembers what life was like as a young boy living in Spalding during the Second World War. I remember four plane crashes around Spalding. A Wellington bomber crashed and burnt out to the west of Spalding, killing all the crew. A Hawker Typhoon/Tempest fighter crashed near Beggar’s Bush Lane, the pilot reportedly killed. A Manchester ...

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Six decades for family at store

This week marks 60 years since 14 and 15-year-old siblings took over a Spalding business which their family has turned in to a local High Street icon. Hills Department Store & Hills Furniture Store has been built up by the Turner family ever since and they’re celebrating six decades of serving the town on Friday, November 8. The shop, then ...

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When the bombs fell on Spalding

For the next two weeks, John Tippler remembers the Second World War. I was ten when the war began. Young people got the first indication that war was something real when gas masks were distributed in 1938. They were fitted and issued in temporary places around the town – in our case a classroom at the Council School in Westlode ...

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Spalding’s rivers were not always so passive

This week, John Tippler talks about the waterways of Spalding. Spalding’s main river is, of course, the Welland, whose town section we now know as a pleasant, but passive, feature of the town.It was not always so passive. In the 1930s and earlier 40s it was still connected directly to the sea and was a salt-water river.Its personality was demonstrated ...

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Memories of the 1930s railways in Spalding

John Tippler has put some of his memories down on paper for readers to enjoy. In the 1930s, crossing the King’s Road footbridge, which spanned the 13 tracks of the shunting yard, was a small boy’s delight. There were usually several shunting engines at work, backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, with great puffs of smoky steam billowing upwards to ...

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Meet one of the men making a difference in the district

He’s the father of one, a former national kick-boxing champion and his team are looking to make a difference in South Holland. Rob Duckett is one of South Holland District Council’s Community Wardens and they’ve been traipsing all around the district for around 18 months.But to get a better idea of what they do, we joined Rob on one of ...

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Every spin’s a win with new facilities at gym

The Castle Sports Complex unveiled its state of the art spin class facilities last week, on National Fitness Day. A brand new spin class facility is among the updated offerings at the Castle Sports Complex gym in Spalding. Now operated by LEX Leisure, a division of Parkwood Leisure, the gym’s currently undergoing an overhaul – with brand new running machines ...

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COLUMN: Healthy body and smile

Summer is just around the corner and already the supermarkets are stocking up on their variety of salad and fruit produce. Nutritious foods are not only healthy for your body but also for your teeth. The health of your teeth just like your body is dependant on a good variety of foods, if your diet is low in nutrients your ...

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COLUMN: Get moving for mental health

by fitness columnist Tracey Vowles. Most of us know that taking some regular exercise can make us generally feel physically better about ourselves, however evidence shows that regular activity can also improve our mental wellbeing just as much as our physical wellbeing. Being more physically active is thought to cause a chemical change in the brain which helps to positively ...

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Explorer returns to his Holbeach roots

The first British person to cross the Antarctic solo and unaided returned to his roots in Holbeach, close to where he was born amid a blizzard. Fresh from his record breaking trip British Army Captain Louis Rudd MBE (49) was back in town last week with family and friends from the area at granddad Arthur’s home. The member of the ...

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OPINION: Civility in political discourse

Since being honoured with a knighthood by Her Majesty the Queen, numerous people in South Holland and the Deepings and beyond have offered their congratulations. Thank you all. None mattered more than the unexpected tribute paid to me by Stephen, the son of former Labour MP, Tony Benn. He said simply: ‘My father would have been delighted’. The friendship I ...

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Churchill AND Hitler medals for celebrated Matron Casswell

Casswell is a well-known South Holland surname and this week’s Spalding Gentleman’s Society celebrates Margaret ‘Madge’ Casswell who had the rare, if not unique, distinction of commendations from both Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill. Margaret was born in Gosberton in 1884 and served as a nurse during the First World War and worked in a military hospital in Gibraltar, where, ...

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Spalding United’s centenary plans are out of date

Spalding United’s plans for celebrating the club’s centenary in three years time have been firmly kicked into touch, writes Ray Tucker. Spasmodic conversations had been taking place on how best to celebrate the club’s 100 years of activity. Documentation had shown the club forming in 1921, but recent research revealed the club had missed the birthday boat by quite a ...

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Ozzy’s fantastic legwarmers win him the Festive Pet competition

It was such a tough decision to pick the winner of our Festive Pets competition this year – but someone had to take first prize and Ozzy is the 2018 Festive Pet champ. Almost everyone who took part was rocking the Santa look with hats, bandanas and suits galore. But there was only one soul brave enough to take on ...

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