Posts Tagged ‘Lincoln Castle’

Lincoln Steampunk Festival Asylum X1

August 23, 2019

The eleventh Lincoln Steampunk Festival, day one of the four day event held over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

A very hot day, and due to get hotter over the next few days.

Today possible to walk through the grounds of Lincoln Castle, as can do every day, but next few days, will be charged the same entrance fee as though walking the Castle walls, simply to visit a few stalls. This is not acceptable and something the steampunk organisers need to resolve. Those who have a stall in the Castle grounds pay a lot of money for their stalls and a barrier is then created to deter those wishing to visit their stalls. It also hits local businesses either side of the Castle entrances

Not many steampunks around, but next for days will be very many.

Bailgate, Steep Hill, The Strait, five o’clock nearly every single business, shop, tea room, cafe, closed, many would have closed at four if not earlier. Sheer madness, biggest steampunk festival in the world, brings in thousands of people, people with money in their pockets, and nowhere open to spend that money.

For visitors a few recommendations.

For coffee avoid the chains and their undrinkable coffee. Walking up the High Street

  • turn left before The Stonebow, Coffee Aroma on the right
  • through The Stonebow, a little further up the High Street, Madame Waffle on the right

For quality beer forget the pubs, pick up a bottle or two of craft beer.

  • on the left in The Strait, Crafty Bottle, craft beer and a bottle opener

For gear no better than

  • The Strait, J Birkett
  • bottom of Steep Hill, antique shop

Easter street food festival Lincoln Castle

April 20, 2019

Chow Down travelling circus Easter street food festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle.

A pleasant walk along Minster Yard running south side of Lincoln Cathedral.

People enjoying the sun on the grass on the east side outside the Chapter House.

Passed through a farmers market in Castle Hill, with a mental note to return later, but first the street food festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle.

Long queue to get in, £3 entry fee for what is usually free access.

Inside packed.

Dogs are usually welcome in the Castle grounds. Not today. Not acceptable no dogs. No street food festival I have a visited has barred dogs. But then can usually access and walk through the Castle grounds for free.

£3 entry fee, £5 for French fries, £3-10 takeaway coffee.

Recently a new shed has been built at the West Gate. Usually manned. When queried why build a new shed which is no longer manned, told only manned when pay to gain access to Castle grounds.

West Gate closed for Chow Down which hits local businesses either side of Lincoln Castle. Something Bailgate Guild must raise.

A problem for disabled, and possibly illegal. A car park at The Lawn, a ramp for easy access. West Gate closed.

Claimed to be largest street food festival in the country. Not true.

Street food market in Lower Marsh, South Bank street food market, Godalming street food market, Street Food Picnic in a park in Guildford a couple of years ago, all much larger, all far better street food.

The burger at the Guildford Street Food Picnic, grilled on a charcoal grill, served with a side of new potatoes.

Claimed 25% of the offering being either vegetarian or vegan. I did not see a single vegetarian stall let alone a vegan stall.

Claimed craft beer breweries from across the UK will be attending so you can sample some of the finest beers the country has to offer – whether it be draught or in cans.

Really? Where were they?

A craft beer stall, but nothing to say what was on offer. Same true of the beer tent. What was really weird, what was being served behind a partition to block sight of what was being served.

Later I had an excellent local craft beer off the farmers market outside.

Chow Down yet another travelling circus. A couple of weeks ago, a travelling circus of disgusting junk food in the the High Street.

Yes, Chow Down better than the junk food in the High Street but it would have had to have been pretty disgusting to be worse. Not a high bar to exceed.

They also appeared to have minimum environmental standards. Stalls using recyclable containers. Though then let down with no obvious bin for compostable waste. My burger served in a card box went in general waste. Only later did I see a bin for recycling. But saw no bin for compostable waste. I saw a grand total of two bins, with one young man going round collecting the rubbish ignorant people had tossed on the ground.

Chow Down also had better food offering than the disgusting offering at the Lincoln Vegan Festival a couple of weeks ago in the Drill Hall, though vegans and vegetarians would have been very disappointed by what was on offer.

I expected to be spoilt for choice. I was not.

I settled for a burger. It was good, but I have had far better. Dirty Organic Burger in Brighton, burger from street food festival in a park in Guildford a couple of years ago (and it was charcoal grilled and came with a side of new potatoes).

A cappuccino off Laynes Espresso coffee stall using Dark Woods Arboretum espresso blend. It too was good, far better than usually get at such events, undrinkable coffee served from a van and better than the undrinkable coffee served in the Lincoln Castle cafe which is to insult visitors, but not in the same league as Coffee Aroma or Madame Waffle.

And on a hot day, why no cold brew coffee? A very refreshing drink on a hot day.

Nor were the waffles on a waffle stall in the same league as Madame Waffle.

Laynes espresso claimed the Chow Down travelling circus was curated, in other words they have selected the best. If this was curated, I hate to think what it would have been if not.

If this is the best the North and Midlands has to offer on street food, then a poor reflection of street food culture in the region.

Not last year but the year before, Steam Punks had a far better street food offering.

I was there lunchtime, the Castle grounds were packed, and yet what was noticeable the food stalls were not busy.

There was better food on offer at the local farmers market outside the Castle in Castle Hill, from where I was also able to pick up an excellent local craft beer

After returning to the farmers market, where I found better food on offer, then walked down Steep Hill.

Drunks spilling out of the Magna Cart were blocking the street.

If Lincoln is to host a street food festival, then do not invite a travelling circus, organise own street food festival. If stalls not of quality, then do not invite again. For example, South Bank street food market has regulars, plus a couple of pitches for guest stalls.

Follow the example of Staycation Live in Godalming (underwritten by the local Town Council). Host in the Castle grounds a weekend of live free music in the summer, Lincoln BIG or the community fund that hopefully replaces Lincoln BIG as Lincoln BIG not fit for purpose underwrites, performers have their expenses covered, sell albums, and not only music, also drama and poetry, a collection for a worthy cause, street food, quality street food, around the periphery and dogs welcome.

Free summer weekend music festival in the grounds of Lincoln Castle, street food, finish at 2000 to give time to pack up in daylight, then continue in the evening in the town, for example Coffee Aroma street party, jazz with pizza from clay oven at Caffe Portico.

AsylumX – Day 0

August 23, 2018

Welcome to the Asylum, a four day SteamPunk Festival in Lincoln, the largest known SteamPunk Festival in the solar system.

I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clock maker. — Voltaire

Day 0: The advance guard arrives.

This year, local shops take SteamPunk now in its tenth year seriously.

In Sincil Street, check out a charity shop, amazing SteamPunk creations.

A craft beer shop in the Strait, a special SteamPunk craft beer.

Near the top of The Strait, a wine shop with specially distilled SteamPunk gin.

Coffee connoisseurs are spoilt for choice with the Lincoln coffee culture, do not even think of going in any of the chains. Three coffee shops as walk from the town centre to Lincoln Castle.

Walking up the High Street, just after passing over the River Witham, turn left before passing through The Stonebow and find Coffee Aroma.

Pass through The Stonebow, up the High Street and find Madame Waffle.

Continue up the High Street, up The Strait, up Steep Hill, and as pass the cobbled section find Base Camp.

AsylumX a four day SteamPunk Festival over the Bank Holiday Weekend, Friday 24 August to Monday 27 August 2018.

Kings of the Sky

May 6, 2018

Celebrating 100 years of military flying.

May Day Bank Holiday Weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, a three day event at Lincoln Castle to mark 100 years of the RAF.

An Avro Lancaster aircrew, Special Operations Executive, music from WWII, a replica biplane, a replica Spitfire, and much more.

Hot and sunny clear blues skies.

Towards the end of Sunday, a flypast by a Dakota, which then circled around. Excellent vantage point for those on the castle walls.

Three days of clear blue sky, each day hotter than the preceding day.

Bank Holiday Monday, 28.7 C outside of London.

Around the City of Lincoln, 100 Voices celebrating 100 Years of the Royal Airforce.

Lincoln Knights’ Reunion

September 20, 2017

The Lincoln Knights are back.

Having been removed from the streets at the beginning of September, much to everyone’s annoyance and disappointment, they are now lined up in Lincoln Castle.

All 36 knights are reunited at Lincoln Castle for one last time before being auctioned off for charity.

The Lincoln Knights will be sold at auction in Lincoln Cathedral to raise money for The Nomad Trust. A local charity which serves the homeless community of Lincoln and provides emergency accommodation for those who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets.

 

Lincoln Castle Food and Drink Festival

September 17, 2017

Sadly yet another excuse to charge for access to Lincoln Castle, access that is normally free.

I was there when vehicles arrived Friday. A convoy in Castle Hill, others blocking nearby streets as no idea where to go. Engines left running.  From what I could see, too many vendors of junk food.

Saturday afternoon it poured with rain.

More or less the same Sunday afternoon.

By the time I arrived the Castle Grounds turned into a quagmire and stalls packing up.

Walking into one marquee, and this was inside the marquee not outside, the mud oozed over the top of my sandals.

My initial reservations of Friday were more than confirmed. A travelling circus of mainly junk food, and they had the gall to charge a ten pound entrance fee.

Stallholders, based on a complex formula, were paying several hundred pounds, some a thousand pounds, to exhibit.

A coffee vendor, a franchise. No, I did not have a coffee. I asked why waste money on a franchise? Learn about coffee by working at a speciality coffee shop, then set up with quality coffee, but do not waste money on a franchise to sell poor quality coffee.

Another coffee stall, I asked where was their coffee from. They refused to say, rivals may steal their coffee.

What complete and utter garbage.

Speciality coffee shops make a point of where their coffee is sourced from, right down to the farm, it is all about transparency and traceability.

Whilst waiting for the rain to ease off, I just made it from one end to the other before the rain came down, a man with quality cakes, and lovely painted bowls. Very much Spanish influenced.

I contrast with others, cakes from a  factory frozen.

Chunky chips, burgers. Yuk.

If to repeat a food festival, hold an annual street food market in Castle Hill, as it grows extend into Bailgate, invite quality food stalls, wood-fired pizzas, vineyards, real ale, bread, cakes.

There are sufficient good examples from around the country, and they are free, but please do not insult people who appreciate good food and coffee with a repeat of this travelling circus.

Armed police were patrolling inside and outside the Castle Grounds.  An over-the-top security presence to gain access to the Castle. And why were private security directing traffic on Castle Hill?

The Battle of Lincoln

September 10, 2017

King John was a bad King. He bled his subjects dry with punitive taxes, embarked on a disastrous war with France.

The Barons had had enough.  At Runnymede, on the banks of The Thames, King John was forced to sign, strictly speaking apply his seal, he was illiterate, to the Great Charter, Magna Carta.

All done and dusted.

Only it was not, he reneged on the Charter, he appealed to The Pope, who annulled Magna Carta.

With the help of the French, the Barons rebelled, most of the country was lost.

Lincoln Castle, under the stewardship of Nicola de la Haye held against the rebels and the French.

King John mounted a counter offensive.

Crossing The Wash, he lost baggage, money and jewels.

The chest was bare,  there was no war chest, all monies had been spent on disastrous campaigns, he had lost most of the country and thus his tax base.

He then died.

His legal successor, Henry III, was nine years old.

William Marshal was appointed Regent.

Following the Coronation, the French decided to press home their advantage and seize the Throne.

With Lincoln Castle likely to fall, it had been under siege for two years, and the town  under the control of the rebels, William Marshal decided to mount a counter-offensive and relieve Lincoln Castle.

He arrived at Newark, but instead of crossing the Trent at Newark and travelling the Roman Road to Lincoln he headed north and crossed further up.

Had he entered Lincoln from the south, he would have entered a rebel held city, then had to fight his way up Steep Hill.

By heading north, he was able to approach Lincoln Castle across what was then open country.

The French set out to meet William Marshall, over estimated the size of his force and retreated.

The rebels were now behind the Roman and Medieval Wall of the city.

A recce was carried out, a messenger came out of the Castle, explained the lie of the land.

William Marshal was able to get crossbow men into the Castle.

This had a strategic advantage, from the Castle Walls, could fire from behind at the French manning the outer wall.

William Marshal was able to break through, then mount a charge along the medieval road which ran alongside the ditch outside the Castle Walls.

They charged around to the East Gate.

The French were routed.

The French and rebels then made a last stand in front of Lincoln Cathedral. Their leader Comte du Perche was killed and it was over.

The French were chased down Steep Hill. A further skirmish took place down the hill.

The victors then looted the city.

One of the most decisive battles in English history, it determined who took the throne, and yet it is all but forgotten.

Had the French won, England would have become a French province.

Nicola de la Haye who had held the Castle was rewarded by being removed from her post and the position  given to one of the supporters of Henry III. She fought through the Courts and a couple of years later, got her position back.

Thanks to Lincoln Archaeological Society who organised the guided walk as part of Lincoln Heritage Day.

One of the four surviving copies of Magna Carta can be found in a vault in Lincoln Castle.

The Charter of the Forest was drawn up.

The Battle of Lincoln was the inspiration for Lincoln Knights, a series of sculptures that roughly follow the route of The Battle of Lincoln. They have proved to be highly popular It is unfortunate they have been removed, a big mistake, they should have remained in the street until at least the end of September, if not longer.  The only Knights to remain are miniature Knights in shop windows.

Magna Carta by David Starkey provides a useful overview of the events that led to The Battle of Lincoln. Henry III by Matthew Lewis of the events that followed. David Starkey will be speaking at the Lincoln Book Festival.

Nigel Burn will be giving a talk entitled The Battle of Lincoln Fair 1217 at St Hugh’s Hall, Monks Road, 1900 Wednesday 13 September 2017, admission members £1, non-members £5.

Cappuccino in Makushi

April 6, 2017

A pleasant sunny morning.

A walk to the top of Steep Hill, then how to get to The Lawn?

I asked at Lincoln Castle. Walk straight through and out the other gate, the helpful guide explained. But I do not have a ticket. You do not need a ticket, it is free.

This surprised me that it was free. Apparently Lincoln Castle has been free since 2014, though there is a fee to access parts of Lincoln Castle.

The Lawn has been purchased by Stokes for the princely sum of £250,000. It looks derelict and unlikely to be open any time soon.  When open it will house a coffee shop, a roastery, a tea and coffee museum, and provide coffee training.

Outside Lincoln Castle, a guy playing classical guitar.

On my way back down, cappuccino in Makushi.

I had hoped for their new beans from Brazil, but no, maybe by Friday.

Bottom of The Strait, a new coffee shop is due to open Good Friday.

Top of the High Street, just through The Stonebow, Bartek Dabrowski playing acoustic guitar. He ws quite good.

Misty morning The Strait and Steep Hill

January 10, 2013
Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Steep Hill in the mist

Very foggy this morning.

Walking up the Strait and Steep Hill, very misty, very atmospheric, the stuff of a Victorian melodrama, which explains why many such dramas have been filmed here.

The towers of Lincoln Cathedral were shrouded in mist, as was the entrance and walls of Lincoln Castle.

Westgate, which follows the walls of the castle, freezing cold fog.

Walking back down, the sun came out for a brief period, but not for long, back came the mist.

Lincoln Cathedral

January 22, 2012
Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral sits atop of a hill. It is visible from miles around, but within the city not so as the short-sighted Lincoln City Council has allowed the erection of appalling multi-story eyesores. The same city council that has presided over destruction of the heart of the city, has put the historic Lawn up for sale and now plans the destruction of Sincil Street, the one area of character left in the city centre. It used to be policy to not allow any building to obstruct the historic skyline, but now greed and fast bucks is all that matters.

The best way to approach the Cathedral is on foot. From the top of the High Street, up The Strait, passed Norman Houses, up Steep Hill and more Norman Houses, and the cathedral is there when you reach the top. On the way up you will get tantalising glimpses of the cathedral.

Resist the temptation to tarry, if you do, you will not have time to look around Lincoln Cathedral. Though there is lots to see on the way up. If you do tarry, then make the most of it and save the cathedral for another day.

I did tarry, with the result that on the two days I made it to Lincoln Cathedral, before Christmas and in the New Year, I had no time other than to look in the door, have a chat with the Duty Chaplain and light candles.

Lincoln Cathedral was founded by the Normans not long after they invaded, as was Lincoln Castle. It is the finest Gothic Cathedral in Europe, as you will see when you step through the door and look down the nave. The view down the nave literally takes the breath away. Worth the climb if you only look down the nave then have to turn around and set off back down the hill. As did I.

Inside the Cathedral the Lincoln Imp, Cathedral treasures and lovely cloisters that are very tranquil to walk around.

Lincoln Cathedral owns one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, currently on loan to Lincoln Castle.

Lincoln Cathedral was used as the set for The Da Vinci Code, with Tom Hanks staying at the nearby White Hart.

I have a knack of being in the right place at the right time. The light on the walls is the winter sun filtering through the stained glass windows at midday.

The cathedral on the hill is the cathedral being caught by the morning sun not long after sunrise. But note the ugly building on the left, a blot on the landscape.

Candles in the side chapel are a bit of a disappointment. A sand pit! I would have at the very least expected wrought iron candle holders.

The book to get on Lincoln cathedral is Capturing Lincoln Cathedral, though you will have a job as it was a limited edition edition and I picked up the only two remaining copies. It captures the cathdral in all its moods.