Archive for the ‘Lincoln’ Category

Leadenham Teahouse

February 13, 2019

On the way to Grantham stopped off at Leadenham to visit award-winning Leadenham Teahouse.

What does award-winning actually mean? Not a lot as these days virtually anyone is up for an award and when given by Good Taste Lincolnshire or Good Taste Awards meaningless.

Last year Good Taste Lincolnshire awarded Coffee Bobbins the best tea and coffee shop in Lincolnshire which serving poor quality tea and coffee made the award a laughing stock, as not even the best in Lincoln.

This time around the turn of Leadenham Teahouse for this worthless accolade.

Leadenham is a village on the way Lincoln to Grantham, I say village, actually Leadenham Teahouse on the cross roads, though there is a village church and it does host to my surprise a polo club.

Leadenham Teahouse is a tea shop serving tea and snacks and cake and coffee, a Post Office, well actually a Post Office counter and a little shop selling tourist tat.

As tea shops goes quite pleasant though nothing special.

Custom was myself and a coupe of ladies. No one came in to use the service of the Post Office.

I had avocado on sourdough toast with a sprinkling of cottage cheese, and a little salad.

OK, but poor quality sourdough to what I have had elsewhere and poor offering compared with excellent avocado on sourdough toast at The Cheese Society in Lincoln, which also came with melted halloumi cheese.

In the centre a wood-burning stove emitting more pollution than a diesel lorry, but maybe ok in the middle of nowhere.

The tourist tat, but no tourists, and I could not see why there would be especially as the tea shop not open on a Sunday and closes half day on a Saturday.

Outside bench seats by traffic lights on a major road.

I had a cappuccino. It was not good, poor quality catering supply coffee and clueless on how to make coffee. Though in a all fairness a tea shop not a coffee shop and there was a wide choice of tea.

A few cakes from local bakery, but did not look at all appealing.

I was surprised no fresh bread on sale.

I was told try the farm shop down the road.

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Lincoln BIG demonstrates how to squander public money

February 12, 2019

Lincoln BIG is a parasitical organisation that extracts a levy on top of business rates on businesses in Lincoln town centre.

This levy is something few businesses can afford, for many struggling small businesses it is the final straw that breaks the camel’s back, especially as they see little in return.

The latest example of how to squander public money are the heart silhouettes that have appeared in the town centre.

People I have spoken to thought it was something to do with British Heart Foundation, maybe because it copies their logo and one is located outside a BHF charity shop, but no.

Wrong on many levels, not simply an appalling waste of public money.

Passers-by encouraged to take a selfie. That is let’s encourage and reinforce Narcissist Syndrome.

Lincolnshire, according to a recent survey, is where more than half of teens and young people are suffering mental problems, mental health problem exasperated by social media.

Once taken, encouraged to post on Instagram.

Instagram claims ownership of pictures posted, are not visible on twitter, act as bait to draw into the facebook walled garden where personal data is stolen and abused and then used to manipulate facebook users.

But worst of all, Instagram hosts material that leads teens to self-harm and commit suicide.

Is it really a proper use of public funds to promote Instagram, direct vulnerable people to a site that is complicit in teen self-harm and suicide and by directing there Lincoln BIG are also complicit.

Lincoln BIG is also squandering public money to promote Cosy Club, a ghastly corporate chain, a fake 1930s bar, so fake a Monty Python parody of fake.

It is time to bin Lincoln BIG.

Demolition in Sincil Street

February 2, 2019

The demolition of a building in Sincil Street started Monday, by mid-week building almost demolished, Friday piles of rubble.

More regurgitation of corporate press releases by scribblers at Lincolnite masquerading as news reporting.

This is not regeneration, and no matter how often regurgitate Lincoln City Council and Co-op propaganda, it is still not regeneration.

Sincil Street has been trashed, local businesses destroyed, the Central Market a disgrace, and for what, to make way for more corporate High Street chains, the same crap chains that can find in any ghastly shopping centre.

Contrary to the Lincolnite scribblers I saw no bulldozers, nor were any bulldozers visible in their pictures.

What I did see, was heavy equipment being used to demolish a multi-story building alongside a street with passers-by, a hoarding to prevent unauthorised site access and yet no other protection.

This may be acceptable on a remote factory site, it is not acceptable in a town centre.

There should have been scaffolding covered with netting to protect passers-by from flying debri.

The jobsworth who signed this off, who put people at risk, at the very least negligent if not criminally negligent.

Lunch at The Cheese Society

February 1, 2019

New Year’s Eve, I could not find anywhere open for lunch.

Luckily I managed to squeeze on the sharing table at The Cheese Society.

The same today, early afternoon, I thought I may be lucky, and again just managed to squeeze onto the sharing table.

Excellent avocado on sourdough bread topped with grilled halloumi cheese.

My companion Boston sausages on toasted sourdough bread topped with melted Lincolnshire Poacher (Cheddar-like local cheese, not to be be confused with finest adulterated fake cheddar from Skegness).

Served with a small salad, generous portion size.

I have no idea Boston sausage, maybe a variant of Lincolnshire sausage.

Whilst waiting, I tried a brie from Scotland. I will have to pop back and buy.

I recommended Ambrosia to add to their reading material.

I fancied a coffee from Base Camp, but closed, closed for the foreseeable future, change of ownership. Nothing to say closed, or when it may reopen.

Excellent cappuccino at Madame Waffle.

Walking through the High Street, a van and a lorry in what is a pedestrianised street. Every day the same, no Enforcement.

Demolition in Sincil Street, started Monday, by Wednesday almost demolished. And no bulldozers as reported by Lincolnite. Part of the ongoing destruction of Sincil Street by Lincoln City Council in cahoots with the local Coop.

The demolition scant regard for safety of passers-by. There should have been scaffolding and netting to stop debris landing in the street.

Lincoln Central Market

January 28, 2019

Lincoln Central Market is disgusting, shabby and drab.

The couple of excellent stalls, spice stall, wholefood stall, have gone.

Well done Steve the fruit and veg stall guy for speaking out.

More traders need to speak out, they do so privately but fear to speak publicly.

The City Council jobsworth is talking nonsense.

‘The council prides itself on having a great relationship our traders’, if this is a great relationship, I hate to think what a bad relationship looks like.

I have yet to speak with a single trader who is happy with the way the Central Market is run.

If the Council unaware traders not happy, why did they order the banner be taken down at the fruit and veg stall?

No rent increase. Considering the atrocious state of Central Market, the near zero footfall, the traders should be seeing a rent decrease.

I have never seen anything in the bus station promoting the market. I have seen promoting Greggs.

But in its present dire state, there would be little point in promoting the market as it would be counterproductive and show Lincoln in a bad light.

Lincoln is a market town in the middle of an agricultural county, and yet lacks a market.

Nor does Lincoln have a farmers market in the town centre, not if class one stall, two if lucky, maybe half a dozen stalls if very very lucky, as a farmers market.

The one and only stall has relocated to beside the River Witham, but no one knows, no information in the High Street, no information at its current location of the relocation.

People looking for the farmers market in the High Street assume it has finally collapsed.

On a Friday, one stall representing the farmers market, plus a cake and bread stall and a fruit and vegetable stall.

On a Saturday the fruit and vegetable stall and Curry Jacks a curry stall.

York has a market and a street food market.

Chichester a small market town and yet has a thriving market and farmers market.

Guildford has a thriving Friday and Saturday weekly market with three excellent fruit and vegetable stalls, that if in Lincoln would stretch the length of Sincil Street, once a month a farmers market, that if in Lincoln would stretch from St Mary’s Street up through The Stonebow.

Mercado Municipal en Puerto de la Cruz en Tenerife, ground floor little shops, including an excellent little bookshop, first floor fruit and vegetable stalls, a deli cum wine stall, a deli cum little restaurant, a fishmonger. On a Saturday, many stalls selling everything, the fishmonger serving cooked seafood with champagne, the delis also serving up food.

Lincoln Central Market needs gutting, most of the traders kicked out, then revamped with the emphasis on quality independent traders.

Look to Trinity Market in Hull Old Town. Light and airy, quality food stalls, indie specialty coffee, craft beer, bench seats to sit either inside or out. Then contrast with the disgrace that is Lincoln Central Market.

One of the ironies, at a time when we should be moving to eliminate plastic, when Tesco is looking to close its fresh produce, when we should be supporting markets, local shops, zero waste stores like Hisbe, Lincoln instead of moving ahead by supporting its local markets, is doing its best to kill them.

Trashing of Sincil Street has not helped.

Sincil Street was once a busy street of thriving indie businesses. Now look at it. Most of the businesses destroyed, buildings destroyed, new build with large plate glass windows, large size units, neither matches the Victorian street scene, nor of suitable size for the small family businesses that have been kicked out, let alone afford the rent.

Moving in, rubbish chains that find in every ghastly shopping centre up and down the country.

I have yet to meet a single person who is happy with the trashing of Sincil Street.

Look to North Laine in Brighton, three long streets, each one longer than Sincil Street, side streets, similar street scene, except it is busy, full of indie businesses not a chain in sight and very rare to see empty shops, and if empty do not remain empty for long.

Instead of building on Sincil Street and highlighting it was different to the High Street, it was trashed.

How it could be.  The Central Market used for start ups, as they grow, expand into an empty shop in Sincil Street.

Lincoln lacks a wholefood store. If Gaia Wholefoods was still in Central Market, and successful, it could have relocated to Sincil Street.  Not possible as pulled out due to lack of footfall, and even were it still there and successful, no longer anywhere in Sincil Street to relocate to.

That is how shortsighted Lincoln City Council, not only killing existing local businesses, but killing off the growth potential of any future new businesses.

The difference between Hull Old Town and Brighton where they value their cultural heritage and Lincoln, is a lack of vision, useless jobsworths who are clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning, clueless on how local economies function, on the need to recycle money within a local economy, lack of support for local businesses, but only too happy to fall over backwards to facilitate greedy developers and corporate chains.

It is quirky indie businesses, markets, that make a town, give a sense of place.

The City Council in cahoots with the Co-op have done an excellent job destroying Sincil Street, Cornhill and the Central Market.

Lincoln would make an excellent case study in bad planning.

It is not only Sincil Street, Cornhill and Central Market, ugly tower blocks ruining a historic skyline, accomodation for students, temporary residents at best, homeless living on the streets.

Lincoln Co-op a disaster as a retailer, but by historic accident owns large parts of the town centre, and abuse their position to destroy local businesses.

Sincil Street, the frontage of the buildings should have been restored to Victoran frontage, no garish signs.

Central Market the foodie area cf Trinity Market Hull Old Town.

Sincil Street a mix of retail, bakeries, little restaurants, boutiques, bookshops, music shops, coffee shops cf North Laine Brighton.

I have no problem coffee shops, but these have to be high quality indie coffee shops eg Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle, Base Camp, no chains

No corporate chains.

Corporate chains destroy towns, lead to sense of isolation, sameness, drain money out of the local economy, then go bust or a head office spreadsheet exercise leads to store closure, leading to boarded-up shops never to be filled, desolation.

This has happened to too many town centres, Aldershot the classic example, stores pulling out weekly, the few remaining waiting for lease to expire, main street shop after shop down the street boarded-up, junkies and losers lost on the streets.

it is not only the market area the Council has trashed.

Up until the late 1960s early 1970s, Brayford Pool was lined with mills and warehouses.  These could have been renovated. Ground floor indie businesses, workshops, indie coffee shops, first floor studio and office space, top floors flats and apartments. A pleasant urban park leading off the High Street, accessed down the side of Stokes on High Bridge.

Instead what do we have, a desolate wasteland, an ugly urban eyesore.

Yet another example of City Hall jobsworths completely clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning.

Shanti

January 26, 2019

I tend to avoid any town on a Saturday.

The town was busy, it seemed even busier than when shoppers out Christmas shopping or the January Sales.

Everywhere was packed.

I had intended to eat at Shanti around one, arrived at two.

It too was busy, two spare seats at a table for four.

I was asked to come back in forty-five minutes.

I took a walk up The Strait, Steep Hill and into Bailgate.

I noticed yet another business on Steep Hill closing. No surprise, one of the junk shops that is rarely open,

On the way back down, a chat with Fools on the Hill, fools with a table urging people to support a Second Referendum, only they lack the integrity and honesty to call it a Second Referendum and call it a People’s Vote.  No surprise, entirely clueless the EU and having a hard time gaining any support.

No change at Shanti, but the couple on the table for four about to leave.

To my annoyance told we have to check our bookings.

It was then, ask a group of Indians on a table to move up to create space for me.

Begs the question, why not put me on table where there was room when I first walked in?

Half an hour before a couple of rostis served with a small portion of salad. I was asked vegetarian cheese or vegan cheese? In other words real cheese or fake cheese, fake cheese which actually cannot be called cheese.

A vegetarian cum vegan fake Indian restaurant.

I was looking forward to eating at Shanti, I was very disappointed.

I found it to be very cramped and claustrophobic.

The food was ok not great. Not sure what was dumped on top. It tasted like jam.

I have had a far better dosa off a stall at the Guildford farmers market, and far far better Indian food elsewhere. I have also eaten at far better vegetarian restaurants.

The irony was, I passed Curry Jacks by the river. I would but the fact a cold location, been better off trying their food.

Curry Jacks once a month an evening of their food at Coffee Aroma.

Crystal merchant atop a hill

January 24, 2019

The crystal merchant knew all there was to know about crystal, from where to buy, the quality, at what price to sell.

He used to be busy, but times had changed, few people climbed the hill, the crystal on display was collecting dust, but after 30 years it was too late to change, crystal was all he knew.

One day, just as he was about to shut up shop to go for his lunch, he saw a boy looking at his display. He had sufficient experience to appraise the boy to know he had no money and was not going to buy anything. He nevertheless delayed closing his shop until the boy walked on.

The boy walked in, offered to clean the dusty crystal on display if the merchant bought his lunch.

The merchant agreed, as the boy was cleaning the crystal two customers walked in.

Over lunch, the merchant told the boy he had no need to clean the crystal, he would have taken him for lunch, it was an obligation in the Koran.

The merchant seeing that he has already sold crystal that day, saw the arrival of the boy as a good omen and asked the boy if he wished to work for him.

The boy agreed, he would work for the day as he wished to raise enough money to travel to the Pyramids in Egypt.

The boy was crestfallen to learn the Pyramids were far away and he would have to work for at least a year to raise the money to travel that far.

He abandoned his dream.

He would work long enough to buy a ticket back home and buy sheep, he was a shepherd and sheep was all he knew.

The boy cleaned the stock, was good with the customers, and businesses once again picked up.

 

Two months on, the boy asked could he build a cabinet at the bottom of the hill to display the crystal, as this would tempt visitors to climb the hill to the shop.

The merchant was reluctant, business was picking up, the crystal would get broken, and anyway he did not like change.

But he saw the boy was correct and agreed.

One day the boy overheard from those who climbed the hill how tired and thirsty they were and would it not be a nice idea a drink of tea.

The boy suggested to the merchant they should serve tea in crystal.

The merchant was reluctant, more change, and what did he know about tea, but he agreed.

Business again picked up, word got around, tea was being served in crystal. Many of the men said how their wives would love to serve tea in crystal and bought crystal as a gift for their wives.

In less than a year, the boy bid farewell to the crystal merchant, he had saved enough money to buy a ticket, buy 120 sheep, knew about crystal, could speak Arabic, obtain an import licence for Spain.

The crystal merchant reminded him of his dream, that a caravan was about to depart, that he should follow his dream, that was his destiny.

Steep Hill follows the route of an old Roman Road, it used to be lined with shops, many people walking up the hill to the Castle and Cathedral, stopping part way en route to visit one of the many tea shops.

Now there are few visitors, a bus carries visitors to the top of the hill, many shops have closed, when there are holidays the tea and coffee shops are closed, we too deserve a break they say, then reopen when few visitors are around and bemoan their lack of customers.

There are few businesses of quality, little to draw people back.

At the top of the hill there used to be a tea shop, it closed, premises gutted. Now a cheese shop and coffee shop, the cheese shop selling plastic-wrapped adulterated fake cheddar cheese, the coffee shop serving undrinkable coffee.

The story of the crystal merchant and the boy is taken from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The boy is the shepherd boy Santiago who follows his dreams.

The illustration by Jesús Cisneros from the illustrated Folio Society edition of The Alchemist.

Steep Hill is the tale of a real street in terminal decline.

 

Steep Hill another one bites the dust

January 11, 2019

A soap shop at the top of Steep Hill is to close.

According to the Lincolnite, regurgitating what they find on facebook, a popular soap shop is to close due to lack of customers.

Er, spot the oxymoron.

I never knew there was a soap shop.

I was told adjacent to the Russian Doll shop.

I decided to investigate.

Yes, between the Russian Doll shop and a clock shop. A clock shop that is never open.

A tiny nondescript shop, easy to see why I had missed it before.

I found it to be in darkness, closed, which at least explains why no customers.

As I was looking, a lady popped out of the Russian Doll shop with a key in her hand offered to open for me.

I declined, but said I may look on my way down.

On my way down, I again found to be closed.

Lincoln hosts smallest farmers market in the country

January 11, 2019

At one stall, Lincoln can proudly lay claim to the smallest farmers market in the country.

The farmers market used to be held in the High Street, to be pedantic two different locations in the High Street, one week north of the level crossing, the following week south of the level crossing.

By swapping locations, guaranteed to ensure the market was never a success. A couple of stalls, maybe three, if very very lucky six.

It has now relocated to the side of the river, outside the side entrance to the Central Market, with little footfall, maybe out of sight, out of mind.

There is no information in the High Street to say the farmers market has relocated, therefore it is assumed it has finally collapsed.

Nor is there any information at its new location.

I found by pure chance.

I hoped last week to find the fruit and vegetable stall, but too late, it had already packed up and departed. I was in time to see a van for Redhill Farm departing.

In the week, I checked with Redhill  Farm shop in Bailgate and they confirmed, the farmers market had relocated.

Sincil Street has been trashed by the local Council in cahoots with the local Coop, the Central Market trashed by the local  Council, which guarantees very little footfall.

I found the regular Friday fruit and vegetable stall, this one stall is what constitutes a market in Lincoln, a market town, a bread stall, a disgusting doughnut stall and one stall for the farmers market.

At two o-clock, the one stall for the farmers market had already packed away his stock. I visited the fruit and vegetable stall. When I looked around, the guy running the stall had gone.

The doughnut stall should be kicked off. The stomach churning stench is guaranteed to kill any market.

Curry’s demonstrate why buy on-line from Amazon

January 10, 2019

Last week freezer of a fridge freezer failed.

Food rescued and stored in the garden, which at least kept viable for a couple of days.

To repair, quoted a price of £175, or £50 if no repair,  therefore decided to buy a new fridge freezer.

Last Friday paid a visit to Curry’s, a large shed on an inner city bypass, a large superstore of household appliances.

Settled on a Grundig fridge freezer, in the Curry’s Sale, £200 down from £300.

Price of many ridiculously high, for what is little more than an insulated box with a coolant system.

Grundig fridge freezer displayed on the door available in white or brushed metal.

When asked for white, an extra £20 was demanded. This was illegal, something Trading Standards should investigate, as there was nothing displayed to say white was extra. The model on display was brushed metal, a dull gun metal grey.

A moot point white, as not in stock, earliest the following Friday, with delivery some time after that.

The performance of the fridge freezer not prominently displayed. Displayed at the bottom of the lower door. Ideal for a dog to read. What were customers expected to do, get down on their hands and knees to read?

Grundig Fridge Freezer ordered. Free delivery not available until Wednesday of the following week, could arrive any time during the day.

Paid an extra £20 for removal and disposal of the old fridge freezer.

Wednesday morning, ie yesterday, delivery arrived at eight in the morning. A call fifteen minutes earlier to warn of imminent arrival.

Delivery said they could not take the old fridge freezer, a service paid for, as no room on their van, but would return within the next hour to collect.

Old fridge freeze dumped on the back lawn. Why, when hard standing where it could have been placed?

This caused a problem, as lawn maintenance service arrived in the afternoon, and had to work around the dumped fridge freezer.

Day turned to evening, no collection of fridge freezer.

Curry’s not only failed to take away the old fridge freezer for which they were paid £20, they also dumped the packaging for the new fridge freezer in the garden.

On checking today to ensure Curry’s had actually delivered the correct model as ordered, to my surprise, or maybe I should not be surprised,  I discovered the delivery was actually intended for someone else.

Curry’s were called this morning. They refused to accept any responsibility. Said the earliest they could collect would be some time next week.   They are in clear breach of contract. They were told, payment would be cancelled, and they could collect the delivered fridge freezer.

Curry’s then backed down said the earliest would be Friday, ie tomorrow, two days after the fridge freezer was delivered and old one should have been collected.

At minimum will expect refund of £20 paid for collection, as Curry’s in breach of contract.

Note: Curry’s turned up 9-30 Friday morning, 48 hours after old fridge freezer should have been collected. Two guys and a van. They had not a clue what it was they were to collect. Yet another example of Curry’s poor service.

Fridge freezer turned on after leaving to rest for five hours.

Had not reached temperature after one hour, had after two hours.

A slight adjustment of thermostat, and now with food returned from garden to fridge, has stabilised at correct temperature.

Freezer is still empty.

A bad design feature, no digital readout of fridge or freezer temperature. These days would expect as a standard feature.

Another bad design feature, bottom of fridge curves upwards towards the door. This makes very difficult pulling out the drawer for vegetables and salad and for gaining access to contents.

To compare with Amazon. A book ordered Saturday evening was delivered Sunday morning.

High Street chains are collapsing. Latest casualty HMV, which is no great loss.

High Street chains are failing because of their poor service. They compete with online by cutting service.  Thus enter a death spiral.

Latest results show failing retailers M&S and Waitrose did not do well over Christmas. This comes as no surprise when their service is so bad. Premium prices, fresh produce wrapped in plastic, bananas rotting on the shelves,  and yet cannot man the tills at checkouts.