©Kirton News 2023
As 99% of my letters to you start with me mentioning the weather, why stop now? What wonderful weather we had over the Easter break. It was our first BBQ of the year and hopefully the first of many!
Meet The Locals
This month we’re talking to Donna Dixon who runs a business from home creating beautiful accessories and gifts using Harris Tweed.
1) What are your best selling items?
My best selling items are usually my bags, covered notebooks and wash/cosmetic bags.
2) If someone wanted a custom order, is that something you could do?
I do lots of custom orders, sometimes someone sees the perfect bag, but would prefer it in a different colour, no problem at all. I’m always happy to help.
3) Do you have any fayres coming up this year?
I have got lots of fairs booked in for this year. I always put a notification on my facebook page of where I will be. I shall be doing a couple of the new farmers markets in Bicker, Revesby Country Fair and several around Lincoln including a large artisan market at The Collection Museum in Lincoln on 11-12th June. I always attend the craft fairs at The Beonna at Benington and Heighington Christmas Market which is a fabulous market. I was so inspired by it that I even joined the committee!! I’ll also be at The Old Kings Head for their Easter Fair on Saturday 16th April.
4) How long have you been making things from Harris Tweed?
I have been a registered Harris Tweed artisan maker for about 2 years. I applied to the Harris Tweed authority as you need to gain their permission to use their cloth to be able to make and sell as the cloth is the only cloth in the UK which is protected by an act of parliament. They supply me with all my labels, tags and branding. I have always had a love of tartan and after making a few bags and gifts for family and friends I decided to try and make a little business from it. I am very passionate about what I do and spend a lot of time making sure everything matches perfectly, from the tweed itself, to the linings, zips, hardware and even the thread, everything I make is my new favourite!
5) How can people contact you if they would like to purchase something or place a custom order?
Anyone can get in touch with me via my Facebook page, 3 Poppy Designs. I am always open to new ideas, and often draft my own patterns from scratch, I do love a challenge!!
Gardening Time with Tim Hewett
As we enter May the expected last dates for frost are past, and we should avoid any more cold snaps. Some less hardy shrubs and perennials may have suffered damage, but should recover in time.
Spring flowering bulbs should be dead-headed, but refrain from tying leaves into knots or removing them as this will weaken the bulbs and reduce flowering in following years.
The soil should have warmed enough to allow for seed planting outdoors, most seeds require a soil temperature of 10 degrees or higher to germinate.
Tender perennials e.g. Dahlias, may also be planted outside at the end of the month, and that have been started under glass should be hardened of before moving to their flowering positions. Many will require staking and this is more easily done when planting, and any wood ash from burners can be used as a fertiliser.
Grass cutting will now be a regular task, the cuttings may be used to make compost or can be used as a mulch.
As the soil warms weeds will proliferate in herbaceous and mixed borders. If cleaned out now and the ground mulched this will reduce the number of annual weeds germinating. If using grass cuttings layers of up to 2 inches deep should be used, this to avoid the grass rotting. Wood chip requires deeper layers I have seen recommendations of up to 4-5 inches.
Plant up tubs and hanging baskets to provide colour in the summer.
If anyone has specific questions please email them in and I will endeavour to reply in a subsequent issue, and, finally, where possible take advantage of the many gardens open in this area to visit and ‘steal’ ideas.
Kirton Church Fund
Having received the books back after their annual audit I have again checked through them to update you on the winning streaks as promised.
In the last year there has been 20 different numbers winning with 4 of them winning twice!
Since we started the draw in June 2012 we have paid out £5866.23 in prize money and had a total of72 different winners with 55 of those winning more than once.
Currently we have 48 players. Three of them have only won once, 5 members are yet to have a win and these are all members who have only been in the draw for a few months. The other members have all won several times. Of our March winners, both have had previous wins. Congratulations to both of them.
While writing this report I have also had a look back at my reports for the last three years. Looking back at my report for May 2019 I see that I said “ Currently, money is being raised to repair the roofs of the chancel and both side aisles, all of which are leaking quite badly when it rains heavily. “
Unfortunately, we are still in this position and we now need to raise money to replace the lead.
Kirton Church Fund is one way we raise money for the church. You could help us do this and be in with a chance of winning the monthly draw. Why not come and join us? We have plenty of room for more members and there is a very good chance of winning. Anyone over 18 may take part.
Registration forms are available from Fay, (01205 723529) or call in Kirton Church.
The prize fund is 1/4 of the money taken each month. The rest goes to Kirton Church. The more people that join the higher the prize fund and the more money we raise for the church.
If you would like more information about Kirton Church Fund please give Fay a ring on 01205 723529.
The April winners will be in the June magazine and the May draw takes place on 29th May and will be in July magazine.
March 2022 Winners
1st PRIZE - £45.00 - TICKET NUMBER: 54
Data protection. All information (name, address and phone number) of Kirton Church Fund members is held solely for the purpose of managing Kirton Church Fund and is not passed on to any other organisation or used for any other purpose.
Kirton Kids Club
This term has been a very busy one again and had Mother’s Day and Easter tucked in there too!
The children gave their Mum’s a little bouquet of flowers for the first and they have been making Easter art for the last few weeks that they took home.
Our main and most exciting news is ..... we were Ofsted inspected and had a ’glowing’ report!
We can’t be happier or prouder and I’d like to thank everyone involved in the inspection – we have always been proud of the club but when an Inspector comes and tells you you are doing it right and the club is good - it means a lot.The inspection report can be accessed via Ofsted online.
The next bit of news is also good - I wrote to Lincolnshire Highways recently relating to the road closure in Kirton – concerned about how we would access the Kids Club, how we would walk the children to and from school safely and how our parents and carers would get to us each day.
A gentleman from the construction team carrying out the work came to talk to us on the last day of term.
He said they have watched the route we take each day , times and amount of children we have and his team will : *keep the car park to the Kids Club ( and obviously the Youth Centre) open at all times to be accessed from the A16 and down past the Co-op.
*The footpath that we use to escort the children to and from school will now stay open too and they have made arrangements for us to use the crossing in front of the church as normal making it so much easier for the children and ourselves and an awful lot safer for us all.
There will probably be some construction equipment taking up the first three parking spaces on the left at the Centre (but this might not be the case) and the Kirton Cottage has some spaces of their own on the right of the entrance too, but please ....... don’t take up other parking spaces, they are for the people who work at the Youth Centre , like Kids Club staff during the day time and for use of those dropping off or picking the children up.
If we cannot get parked then all this planning will have been for nothing.
Easter will have been and gone by the time you read this report but I wish everyone a safe and happy one (with lots of chocolate!).
Happy 100th Birthday Jack & Joan
I recently visited Jack Hall, a lifelong Kirton resident who turns 100 years young on 9th May.
Born in Kirton Skeldyke, Jack is a descendant of the last wildfowlers and fishermen on Kirton Marsh (he showed me the pictures of his great-grandfather and grandfather which hang proudly in his hallway). After attending Skeldyke University (as he put it) with his future brother in law Stan Naylor, he became an apprentice plumber and remained in the trade until retirement.
After serving in World War 2, he met his wife to be, Mildred who was from Rotherham and she was serving in the land army at the time. They went on to have two sons. Jack now lives on Horseshoe Lane in a bungalow he built himself in 1975. We looked at some more photographs of Kirton in bygone years, had a moan about the roadworks and chatted about his forthcoming birthday bash at Graves Park where his two sons will be coming along with many more family members and friends.
One of his sons will be flying in from New Zealand after not seeing Jack for 5 years which will make the occasion extra special. I very much enjoyed our chat. It was very humbling hearing Jack speak with sadness about his pals lost in the war and there was definitely a twinkle in his eye as he reminisced about his childhood, cycling from Skeldyke to Skegness for a bit of fun and endless summers camping at the Marsh. Those were the days.
Thank you for your time Jack and I hope you have a wonderful birthday.
Mrs Joan Hodgson also turned 100 in November last year. We would to send our best wishes to Joan and we hope she enjoyed her party at the Town Hall!
Help at Hand
For several centuries there have been local philanthropic bodies providing a little help for some of the less advantaged of the village of Kirton not quite from the shadows but very much in the background as far as the majority of the population is concerned. Many of you reading this will not know of the existence of Kirton Consolidated Charities.
The Trust is, as its name implies, a fusion of several individual and public-spirited institutions, some with quite a history.
For example, the earliest (Coney’s) goes back to 1589 and provided small cash payments for food or winter fuel.
The small cottages next to the old fire station on Willington Road (now a listed property) attest to the slightly later Robert Hunt Charity. Built in 1664 they were dwellings to specifically house “poor widows of the Parish”.
The Speake Cottages on London Road (to the right as you leave the Village) were completed in 1928 financed by John Speake — a textile manufacturer — “for spinsters and widows of great character of the Parish”.
And there are more besides.
The work of these benevolent individuals is kept alive today by a small group of Trustees who administer these Alms Houses and, now, several other properties in and around the village, providing low rent accommodation - and not just for ‘widows’ these days you’ll be glad to hear.
We also have several parcels of land around Kirton, Kirton Holme and Holland Fen, the rental from which similarly goes towards our fund.
In the spirit of Anthony Coney and others the Charity also continues to make small annual cash donations to a number of local people who, in the opinion of the Trustees, deserve a little recognition for their often unheralded local service and commitment. The money is traditionally given at the end of the year.
Now KCC isn’t a wealthy body but what money we do have (after setting aside funds for maintenance and housekeeping) is to this day entirely intended for the benefit of the people of the Parish.
We give small annual donations to several local groups and have provided funds to help with student transport, equipment and books. We have also sponsored disability scooters, powered armchairs, et cetera — or at least helped substantially with the cost — and are always ready to help where we can.
Our body of Trustees (it is dictated by our charter that they number five plus the present incumbent of SS Peter and Paul’s) has unfortunately seen almost total change over the past two years. Time and tide has decreed that we have had to replace four of our number: but new heads sometimes herald fresh and different visions.
We have come to realize that our profile isn’t perhaps as ‘high’ as it should be and we may be able to spread our influence a little wider. Hence this missive.
I reiterate that our funds are not in the realms of Bill Gates or, perhaps more relevantly, your average Oligarch but we are here to help if and where we can at the discretion (of course) of the Trustees.
We meet at least every other month and, if you think you have a need, or know of someone who could benefit from a little donation then please get in touch.
Initially please e-mail our Clerk, Joan Barnes on: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can contact me, Sam Chapman, former Editor of Kirton News. If you don’t know where to find me look up an old copy at Kirtonnewsonline.
I can assure you all your communications will be read and considered. We can’t change everyone’s life but sometimes a little can go a long way!!
As always, respectfully yours;
Dame Sarah Swift Park update
I met with Peter Watson, the Parish Council Chairman, at the park along with Steve Slater from The Wyberton Wombles and another Parish Councillor. It was confirmed that the land belongs to the Thomas Middlecott Charity and the Kirton Parish Council (KPC) pay a peppercorn rent.
We walked around the park and I pointed out all the areas of concern. Although the Chairman acknowledged the issues it wasn’t too clear what the KPC would be doing to rectify them. I did see it was discussed at the next KPC meeting which was recorded by video. Sadly, I have to say I didn’t hear many things that were very encouraging. The actual skate ramp is in poor condition, despite the KPC saying they pay for a maintenance report with the Borough. Monitoring has obviously been lacking. It would be easy to blame the recent problems the KPC have experienced but there really is no excuse, nor should there be a blame game.
I have had messages of support since my article but I have yet to find out if anyone actually contacted the Clerk using the information in my last article. I have been informed that a group of local teenagers tried to raise money for the installation of the skate ramp many years ago. Funding was applied for which was successful. Again, all their hard work could be wasted if the Park is closed. With all the new houses being built in the village we need to protect the green spaces.
Steve and I did raise the issue of very little equipment for younger children. The concern appears to be all about vandalism which is such a same. I pointed out the ONLY solution would be CCTV. The KPC are concerned about the associated cost of installation but like most things, where there is a will, there is a way! You just need to speak to the right people. I made a few suggestions.
Who was Dame Sarah Swift? Do you know? She was the founder of the Royal College of Nursing in 1916 and introduced Nurse registration. She was born in Kirton in 1937. I think she would be ashamed of how something named after her is viewed in the village today.
The ball is firmly in your court Kirton Parish Council.
Wombles continue to do an amazing job around our locality. Average weekly bag count is between 80-100, much less than where it all started a year ago.
Easter Egg Hunt A Success
A big thank you to all the businesses in Kirton, for displaying the Easter egg shapes with the numbered pictures which were part of the Kirton Church Easter Egg hunt. Also thank you to all those who helped to distribute the” eggs”and the Scout Shop and Paula’s gifts for handing out and taking in the application forms.
All money raised will go towards the church roof repair fund. Although a drop in the ocean to what is needed, every little helps as the saying goes. It has been a little challenging at times, but those who took part said they enjoyed it. There are still a few days to run as I write, so we don’t yet know the winner, but they will be informed on Easter Saturday 16 April. There will also be a small second prize .
Hopefully they will be able to open again soon.