Destruction of Sincil Street

Sincil Street Lincoln

Sincil Street Lincoln

Sincil Street Lincoln

Sincil Street Lincoln

Sincil Street is to be destroyed, oops, redeveloped. No, let’s be honest, it is being destroyed.

Sincil Street is virtually all that is left of the market area in the city centre of Lincoln. All long gone. Even the Central Market has an ugly glass building cloaking it at ground level. The market itself, a shadow of what once was. A crying shame in what is all said and done a market town.

Sincil Street is to be demolished to provide larger shop units.

Who benefits?

Not local retailers who need small shop units. The beneficiaries, as always, High Street stores, the same crappy High Street stores that have ruined town centres across the country. Clone towns that all look the same.

The redevelopment provides a development opportunity for developers. Fast bucks is all that matters.

The City Council as usual showing their usual lack of vision. Having destroyed most of the town centre, having put The Lawn up for sale, the City Council seems hell bent on destroying what little of character remains in the city centre.

Not for Sale! Hands off our Lawn!

Look to the North Laine area of Brighton. Three streets very similar to Sincil Street, quirky shops, independent businesses, quality shops. The area is thriving. On a Sunday it is packed.

Why visit Brighton?

Meanwhile in Sincil Street retailers are being kicked out, or are leaving because the future is now uncertain, the area blighted.

One such shop is the Oxfam Bookshop. This is an excellent second-hand bookshop, the people in the shop know their books, love books, and a pleasant change for Oxfam do not rip you off. They are being forced to relocate to larger premises which they will share with an Oxfam shop. A few shelves in an Oxfam shop is not a bookshop.

Small retailers give an area character. That is why North Laine in Brighton is so popular. But they also recycle money within the local economy. High Street retailers drain money out of a local economy.

Talking to local people, no support for what is proposed. No doubt they will be ignored as that is what usually happens.

Across the country traditional markets are being destroyed, bastardised and yuppified. Queen’s Market is one of the few remaining London east end markets. It was under threat when the mayor got into bed with property developer St Modwen who have track record of trashing town town centres (eg Farnborough and Hatfield), it was to be destroyed for a supermarket, but after a six year fight, Friends of Queen’s Market have sent St Modwen’s packing with their corporate tail between their legs. Remaining is to be answered is how much taxpayers money has the mayor wasted on this ill-thought-out scheme? He and the councillors who backed him should be surcharged and made personally bankrupt to recover ever last penny.

Queens Market
Asda v Queens Market
Victory for Queens Market!!

The irony is that those towns that have retained their traditional markets are thriving, the markets major tourist attractions. But that does not provide development opportunities, enable fast bucks to be made.

Bury Market in Lancashire – 300 stalls, a quarter of a million visitors every day! Tthe success of Bury Market is down to two factors, quality stalls selling quality products and that the market worked with the local council to a common ethos, a common agenda.

BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards 2008

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2 Responses to “Destruction of Sincil Street”

  1. Paul Geehan Says:

    One of my great great grandfathers, Thomas Hibbert ran a bakery at 36 Sincil Street as early as 1841, so it must be one of the few shops to have remained as it was (at least in part) for 171 years. Thomas’s daughter helped in the shop and that’s probably how she met my great grandfather, a local watchmaker. What a shame to lose Sincil St to River Island or whatever.

  2. keithpp Says:

    Yes, it is a shame.

    What we are seeing is greed, corrupt planners, coupled with a lack of vision and failure to value and protect our heritage.

    Sincil Street is all that is left of the heritage around the old market area. These premises are also valuable for local businesses, that give character to an area and make it worth visiting.

    Coming into Lincoln on the train from Newark, one used to get a view over the Brayford of the historic skyline. Now, it is the ugly university buildings, then the ugly Odeon Cinema with its neon lights. Now even worse, a row of ugly fast food chain restaurants. Even the floating restaurant, which used to be an independent restaurant is now a chain.

    It is tragic. Up until the 1960s, there was still the old warehouses lining the Brayford. These could have been renovated, the Brayford turned into an attractive area only a few minutes walk from the town centre.

    Usher Art Gallery has a fantastic painting by James Wilson Carmichael of Brayford when Lincoln was a major port with sailing barges.

    Small businesses, apart from adding interest to an area, also recycle money within the local economy. Contrast with chains which drain money out of the local economy, with a small trickle down to minimum wage staff (or nothing if forced labour who are unemployed).

    Many of the chains are zombie companies, kept alive by bank loans, barely able to keep up with interest payments let alone pay off the capital, unable to compete with on-line retailers like tax dodging Amazon. When they fold, they will leave behind ghost towns, having already killed off the independent retailers.

    Sadly it s not only Lincoln, Aldershot is little more than fast food outlets, large bars, gambling joints. Aldershot once had a Victorian Arcade, its plastic replica is now under threat as are the row of shops outside The Arcade. It is now rare, to find a town like Totnes, that values its heritage and small retailers.

    Passing through Newark yesterday, with a 45 minute wait for the Lincoln train due to dysfunctional train service, I was in the waiting room which had fantastic pictures of how Newark used to be (I doubt any more).

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