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Trish Takes Five: Holbeach is a place for discoveries - as blogger Trish Burgess finds out


By Spalding Today Columnist


July 5, 2012 was a special day for South Holland as the Olympic torch relay passed through the area on its way to London.

To commemorate this event, local artist Fiona Gurney worked with over 900 volunteers to create five special mosaics.

One was placed in Holbeach and takes pride of place in the centre of town. This mosaic, in Church Street, is the first stop on the new Holbeach Discovery Trail which Dougie and I tried out last week.

The Olympic Mosaic
The Olympic Mosaic

Created by members of the Holbeach Action Group to encourage the public to explore the town, this 1.5 mile route highlights points of interest of history, nature and art. Using digital technology, QR codes can be scanned on your mobile phone, revealing excellent information, old maps and photographs.

We downloaded a map of the route from the Holbeach Parish Council website and set off on a walk of discovery in our own town. You can read all the information on the website before you go, but we decided to retain an element of surprise by hunting out the signs on the walk and flashing my phone at them.

From the Olympic mosaic we walked through All Saints' churchyard which is looking so pretty at the moment with gorgeous orange blooms tumbling out of planters. We read a little of the history of the church and chuckled at the story from 1932 of Ned, Fred and the weather vane.

The Grammar School Terrace
The Grammar School Terrace

In the High Street, we learned about the history of The Chequers hotel which has been a feature in the town for centuries. There's a wonderful account from the late 1700s describing what happened after a drinking session in the pub. The details can be found when you scan the code but here's a little teaser: it involved card-players, the church and a corpse.

Number 4 on the route is The Mansion House, a stunning building in Queen Anne style which is now a hotel. It's famous for being the birthplace of Sir Norman Angell who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1933.

We continued the trail along Albert Street and Victoria Street before reappearing on the High Street to spot a sign for the Grammar School Terrace. The buildings here were dormitories and the Headmaster's accommodation for a school located behind the terrace. This school is now the location for Small Saints Pre-School.

At St John's Street we were directed to look across the road to the Co-op. On this spot was a cinema, The Hippodrome, opened in 1929. Dougie was particularly interested in the story of the doctor who lived next door who was chauffeured on his rounds in a very smart Ford V8 Pilot.

The Mansion House
The Mansion House

The first half of the walk takes in the centre of Holbeach from the church and along the High Street.

More on this next week.

You can read Trish's blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk



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