Caught by the River

Brighter Later

Brian David Stevens | 14th September 2012

7. Lincolnshire

Brighter Later is a journey around Britain looking out to sea from each coastal county

Lincolnshire is the second largest county in England, it borders Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Rutland, Norfolk and Northamptonshire. The border with Northamptonshire is only only 20 yards long, the shortest in the country, it hardly seems worth it somehow.

As I’m traveling by train I have the grand choice of two locations, Cleethorpes and Skegness. Both seem ideal but a conversation in a pub reveals Cleethorpes to be home to “Lincolnshire’s biggest doughnut” this seals it for me, you can’t beat a quest for a sugar coated, jam filled grail can you?

I get there by catching the early train from London, a change at Doncaster and arrive at Cleethorpes’ wonderful Victorian station right next to the beach. On leaving the station the traveller is confronted by ‘Fantasy World’ which is not some ’50 shades of Cleethorpes’ sex theme park but some bouncy castles in a big shed.

In 1848 Cleethorpes was described as “…much resorted to as a bathing-place, for which it is highly eligible; the air is pure, the scenery good and besides a few lodging-houses and smaller inns, there is a large hotel, built some years since, on an eminence embracing extensive views of the sea, the Humber, and the Yorkshire coast. Many of the population are employed in the oyster-fisheries.” (S Lewis. A Topographical Dictionary of England)

The location for the shoot will be at the the end of Cleethorpes pier. The pier opened in 1873 is a fantastic structure, financed by the railway to the tune of £8000. The old girl is 1,200 feet in length to span the unusually large distance between low and high tide limits, and comprises of a timber deck and pavilion (constructed in 1888), supported on iron piles. A section was, however, cut out of the pier during the Second World War to impede its use in any German invasion attempt.

Cleethorpes is where the Humber estuary meets the North Sea, and is a busy shipping lane with a constant stream of vessels entering and leaving the Humber for the ports of Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole.

The town has a rich musical heritage, Nibbs Carter the bass player from spandex clad British heavy metal band Saxon was born here as was Rod Temperton the writer of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ the biggest selling album of all time. You can’t but wonder if Jackson ever visited Cleethorpes, He’d have loved the bouncy castle and probably would have enjoyed a cone of chips on the prom. He might have even found “Lincolnshire’s biggest doughnut” something I fail do.

Brian David Stevens