Snippets of History

Snippets of HistoryI was born in Lincoln a few years after the end of World War II. Lincoln in the 50s and 60s seemed a grey colourless place: buildings covered with the grime of centuries, the smoke and smell from the many engineering firms polluting the atmosphere.

By the 1970s many of the large companies of Lincoln had closed down or had been taken over and moved to other parts of the country. The social impact on the employees of these companies was massive: the announcement of redundancies seemed a regular occurrence so there was little opportunity for workers to move to other Lincoln companies.

There were many derelict sites in the City, some were closed factories, some bomb or fire damaged from World War II.

The 1970s were a bad time for Lincoln’s buildings, many fine buildings that didn’t suit the requirements of their commercial owners were replaced with glass and steel or pre-cast concrete structures. Such buildings do not fit in with the other fine buildings on Lincoln’s High Street, they are very much of their time, a time when building were plain and totally lacked ornamentation. Other characterful buildings were destroyed to make way for road ‘improvements’.

Lincoln seemed to continue to sleep through the 1980s, life carried on but nothing happened to lift Lincoln out of its slumber.

One event in the 1990s caused a catalyst which brought new life into Lincoln: The Lincoln University. The University was built on the former railway marshalling yards on the south bank of the Brayford. This area was a derelict wasteland that had been almost completely abandoned 20 or 30 years before. The area that surrounds the Brayford has been redeveloped over the last 20 years into an area of bars and restaurants where food from many different cultures is served. New hotels have sprung up and so has a multi-screen cinemas.

Lincoln is now a modern, vibrant city that cherishes its past: The Castle is going through “Lincoln Castle Revealed”, a multi million pound development to restore and preserve its buildings and walls and provide a new building where the Cathedral’s copy of the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest can be viewed. The Cathedral has recently announced “Lincoln Cathedral Connected”, a plan to enhance the area in and around the Cathedral for residents and visitors.

The Collection Museum and Art Gallery is situated between the city centre and the Cathedral. Apart from the normal exhibits and regular exhibition, talks and lectures are also held.

North west of the Castle is the Lincolnshire Life museum showing many varied things from Lincolnshire’s past as well as the history of the Lincolnshire Regiment.

There is so much to see and do in Lincoln, it you have never visited give it a try, I am confident you will enjoy it and want to come back again.

In the meantime you could read my book containing 30 articles about Lincoln’s past, many of them not normally seen in history or guide books about the city.  

To view details of the book and to purchase please click this link

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2 Responses to Snippets of History

  1. Alan Skeates says:

    Hello Phil: like you I was born in the late 1940s. My personal recollection of life in Lincoln in the 50s and 60s was that it was quite monochromatic and quiet. I lived next to Curtis’s garage at the junction of Burton Road and Yarborough Cresent, so open country was quite close. Nothing much seemed to happen. The biggest event in the 50s that I can remember was the opening of Pelham Bridge in (?) June 1958 when we all went to Sincil Bank to see the Queen and it poured down with rain all day! Did you go to that? I don’t think that Lincoln was much different from a lot of provincial towns. Nothing was open on Sundays for example. Shops that had ice cream were rare until the early 1960s because many didn’t have freezers. I could go on for pages! Laurence Elvin’s illustrated books give a very good idea of what Lincoln was like in those days. I assume you have them?

    • Hello Alan, Many thanks for your comments. I think people of our generation have experienced a greater change than any other (I used to think it was my grandparent generation). Your ‘monochrome’ comment is interesting, that’s how I see it too, but ist becn’ause most photographs until the mid 60s were black and white?

      I have a group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/itsaboutlincoln/ where you may like to share your experiences there and read the many interesting discussions.

      Best wishes

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