Exhibition to commemorate 50 years since the closing of the Railway Line
Following the success of our Virtual VE Day Exhibition, and with the Archives still closed because of the pandemic we have launched a brand new virtual exhibition.
Its focus is the story of the Horncastle Railway as part of our plans to mark the 50th anniversary of its closure on the 5th April 1971.
Our volunteers have tracked down photographs, plans, and objects, many of which have never been seen before. If restrictions continue to ease we hope to stage a physical exhibition at the Joseph Banks Centre in the summer.
Thomas Sully - Artist
A lot of work has been undertaken by Colin Gascoyne on the life and works of the famous American painter who was born in Horncastle and he ha already given one talk on the subject and another one was due for July 2020 but was sadly postponed.
Despite the pandemic we erected a new plaque in his honour in autumn 2020. You can find this in Dog Kennel Yard on the brick wall facing the Co-op Food Store.
Click here to find out more, or pick up a leaflet from the Co-op, or visit our Town Archives at the Joseph Banks Centre for full details of his life and artistic output.
New Planter on Wharf Road
We are very pleased to see the installation of a new planter on Wharf Road adjacent to the bridge over the River Bain. Earlier in 2019, the Town Council asked if any Society members would wish to undertake maintenance of an additional planter to enhance the town and, if so, where they would like it placed. Ashleigh Bird offered to carry out the maintenance and specified the above site. The planter was duly installed in July 2019 with initial planting by the Town Council, but Ashleigh will now continue to maintain and plant it on behalf of the Society.
This planter is an addition to the planters on West Street and Jubilee Way which are maintained by Mr & Mrs Hieatt and Mrs Paige. In addition, the hanging planters on the High Street are also maintained by Mr Mrs Hieatt. The Town Council staff help with the watering.
Mareham Le Fen booklet
Two books of notes were donated to the Society recording life in Mareham Le Fen from the 1920's onwards. They were just ad hoc memories and in no particular order but very evocative of those times. The memories could relate to any small community at that time with lots of shops and small businesses and the church being the mainstay for many people.
The project is well under way to put these notes into some sort of order without losing the simplicity of the original memories. We are currently trying to obtain some photographs of the family involved and hope to publish this year. Update: First 100 books sold out, 50 books due 5/9/20- now in stock @ Perkins Newsagents
Saving Horncastle's Roman Wall
The Society is working in partnership with the Horncastle & District Community Association to preserve the Roman Wall around the Community Centre and St Mary's Square. A detailed specialist survey has been carried out by Dr David Watt of the wall's condition and costed the works required to save it. This complex and specialist work is estimated to cost c.£100,000.
We helped lead a very successful fundraising campaign including a major grant from Historic England, and match funding from the Pilgrim Trust, Horncastle Town Council, East Lindsey District Council's Councillors Community Grants, The Leche Trust, Tesco Bags of Help, the Medlock Trust, the Michael Cornish Charitable Trust and over 100 public donations to our Sponsor a Stone appeal.
Then in March 2021 after delays caused by the pandemic work finally started on site to conserve the wall for future generations. This is being carried out by experts from Cliveden Conservation and overseen by our lead advisor Dr David Watt.
Over the past few years many attempts have been made to provide improved tourist guide information around the town.
Working with the Horncastle Walkers are Welcome we have helped create a new Horncastle Heritage Trail, with printed copies funded by East Lindsey District Council. Together with local partners we are now working towards installing a series of interpretation boards around the trail to further bring to life the town's history for locals and visitors alike.
Pig Market Sculptures
The area of The Wong adjacent to the Old Drill Hall was the site of the Pig Market and still contains the old weighing machine. The area has been allowed to fall into disrepair and is a blemish on the Boston Road entry into the town.
The Society is investigating installing some sculptures (similar to the horse sculptures) depicting the Pig market and the people attending. A great deal of investigative work has been done by Dr Lawrence and a report produced. Planning permission will be needed as this is in the conservation area. Funding will also have to be sought and expenditure is estimated as being in the region of £10,000.
Anyone interested in getting involved please contact the Chairman.
Ongoing Projects and Work of the Society
Maintenance and provision of flowers in planters on West Street and Jubilee Way plus hanging baskets on the High Street, in collaboration with the Town Council.
Archive Centre - continual work on cataloguing and preserving documents which provide the history of the town.
Joseph Banks Centre - Working with the Joseph Banks Society to develop a local heritage and natural science centre for the town, including a gallery for temporary exhibitions, education resources, tourist information centre, and Joseph Banks tribute garden.
Rivercare - cleaning work regularly undertaken.
Maintaining Website and other social media sites.
Other Projects Under Consideration
An indication of the wide range of projects that the society is involved with.
All ideas from members are considered by the Society and funding can be sought.