Day 58 – 9 June 2012. Distance travelled today is 80 miles
After publishing the report last night, keeping my open was proving difficult so I took the best course of action and went to bed allowing my eyes to take responsibility for their actions. That would have been about midnight and I slept well until about 0400 this morning. I woke suddenly finding myself on the floor having slipped unceremoniously out of bed. I lay quietly for about an hour hoping to drift effortlessly back to sleep but without success. So by about 0500 I try the strategy of turning over to see if that would help. This process, simple it’s true was effective and I woke again at 0645. At this time it was still raining and I raised the blind gently to reveal the world outside. A lively morning with the rain ricocheting off the motor home, a rabbit, darts around at great speed across the wet lush green grass to its home after a night out. Some pigeons and a thrush were also foraging about seeking an early breakfast. I had put some seed out last evening which so far had been neglected by the smaller birds that usually take up my generosity, but the small ground feeding contingent kept up their good work. There are only three other caravans on the site and apart from a gesture of hello during the rain none of us had ventured out the evening before for conversation. At 0730 the variable cloud is beginning to show signs of weakness and patches of bright blue sky are beginning to emerge all around me. Hopefully this will be the trend for the rest of the day.
I get ready to leave and whilst filling up with water I meet two people who are also preparing to leave. They were from near Heathrow airport and were returning their today. We discussed the positive features of where we were staying and they told me it was such a nice place to stay they come back each yes to use it as their base.
Leaving Barrow Haven at around 1000, Derrick the owner came to see me off and thank me for staying there and saying that he hoped I would come back again on a future occasion. I proceed east from here and my first call would be Immingham. The port is most well known for its association with the petro Chemical Industry and much of the plant is owned by the Total oil company. I remember providing some training for the Total tanker drivers from Immingham on courses at the Berystede hotel in Ascot many years ago. My passage past the refineries and chemical processing plants showed them to be gigantic and complicated structures which are amazing pieces of design and engineering. The village of Immingham is of medieval origin and there is a memorial in the village to the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers from Immingham to the Netherlands in 1608.
Grimsby is next on my list and is found on the Humber estuary in Lincolnshire. It was known originally as Great Grimsby. The town was established by the Danes during the 9th century and is listed in the Domesday Book as having a population of 200, A Priest and a ferry. In the 12thcentury it developed as a fishing port and was granted a royal charter in 1201. There is a Dock Tower in the dock built In1851 and I spent some time trying to find a good position from which to photograph the tower. I stooped at the port gate in the hope I could go inside just to get a photograph, but the security guard would not agree to it. However not to be put off I found the best place I could to get my picture without getting into trouble and here is the immediate result. When I get home and can remove the fencing and possibly 1 or 2 other obstructions I may have a reasonable image.
This will be a challenge for Malcolm at the photo society to see what results we can achieve at a Photoshop learning evening. A former ferry the PS Lincoln Castle was moored at the Alexandra dock in the 1980’s when it was used as a Bar/Restaurant. The design of the ship was unique and was Britain’s last surviving coal fired Paddle Steamer. Sadly she was broken up in 2010. Today the Ross Tiger is moored in its place at Alexandra Dock and this ship is the last surviving Sidewinder Trawler. Grimsby is also where our daughter Victoria received her college education at a special college, Thorseby College where they did outstanding work with Vicki to prepare her for a successful passage through life.
Cleethorpes, a couple of Miles further down the coast shows evidence of Danish occupation from the 6thcentury. In its early days it developed as a fishing village but diversified into becoming a successful holiday resort in 1820.
The longest travel distance on today’s journey brings me to Saltfleet about 18 miles from Cleethorpes and 8 miles north of Mablethorpe and although it is surrounded by open countryside it is close to the sea. There is a 19th century windmill, a pub The New Inn, which dates from the17th century.
Mablethorpe is my next stop on the journey to Skegness and it has been around for many centuries. Some of the town was lost to coastal erosion in the 1540’s. Mablethorpe was visited by the Poet Andrew lord Tennyson in the 19th century and some of the streets in the town are named after him. In the novel “Sons and Daughters” by DH Lawrence Mablethorpe is the setting of the first holiday of the Morel Family from the book.
Sutton on sea is the next place I pass through and here at low tide it is possible to see the remains of an ancient submerged forest on the beaches. Going through here and from just outside the village Carol and I would bring the children and subsequently the Grandchildren to Huttoft bank along the coast beyond a Golf Course and down a narrow road to arrive at a long quiet beach of Golden sand and a must for children who want to run on an open uncrowded beach and bathe in a gentle sea. I stop here for a nostalgic lunch where we had consumed many a grand Carols’ picnic and after lunch I rested to recharge my batteries and I woke almost 2 hours later.
Moving on from my unplanned interlude I came to Ingoldmells and the church here has a tower dating from the 15thcentury. Butlins opened the Skegness Holiday camp here in 1936 and my eldest son Neil worked here on the camp for a number of years. During world war two the camp was closed and became a Royal Navy Shore base called HMS Royal Arthur. It also hosts the very glittering and vibrant Fantasy Island containing some of the most hair rising fairground rides I have ever seen.
Next and finally my arrival at Skegness is soon here and originally it was a fishing village until the arrival of the railway in 1875. Much advertising was given by the Great Northern Railway for excursions to Skegness and this would change the face of the town as it became more popular as a holiday destination. A statue of “The Jolly Fisherman” was used to promote Skegness which is now internationally famous.
Arriving at the caravan site just behind the Promenade and next to the Convalescent home established for Derbyshire Miners, I quickly settled in, although somewhat weary. The site warden was very welcoming and most helpful when I requested to stay for a second night. Cheryll, Carols close cousin and her husband Bob were coming to see me at Skegness this evening and were staying overnight. The second night here would give me a rest and be able to spend some time with them during Saturday evening and Sunday looking at some places of interest in the area. It will be good to park the motor home up for the weekend and give it a well earned rest before resuming its duties on Monday. Cheryll and Bob arrived with me at about 1900 this evening and after a sit down for a chat we went out for a meal and had a delightful evening. We parted company for the night as they left to go to their B&B that Bob described as a lovely place with and outstanding friendly welcome from the owners. Tomorrow I will join them for Breakfast and I will report to you about the activities on my non travelling Sunday and I am looking forward to spending the time with Cheryll and Bob.
Take good care