Archive for the ‘Lincolnshire’ Category

Messingham show. 2013










below is an article about last night’s Skint documentary which I had published on the Scunthorpe Independent news web site earlier today.

The entire hour long program was nothing other than a vicious prejudiced attack on the working classes, the poor, the vulnerable and those with dependency issues made for no purpose other than to increase viewing figures.

Here’s the article in full.

Last night the main stream media proved once again that they are no friends of normal working class people. Not only are Chanel 4 to blame for this, but we should also look to the shocking coverage in the press who’s interest was nothing more than sensationalising the situation to sell more papers in the run up to the show.


Many of our readers expressed their concerns when Visit Scunthorpe suggested a year ago that this filming would be negative in its nature and would not reflect well on those who were portrayed in it. Last night this was proved by the biased, one sided attack made on a small group of residents who are clearly in need of help and support, not further victimisation.


No effort was made to investigate why these people were in the predicament they were by Chanel 4, rendering the entire 60 minute documentary nothing other than a vicious attack on some of the weakest elements of society in the interests of popular entertainment.


Every one accepts that times are hard, but in times such as this, communities should be encouraged to pull together and supporting each other, not going around stigmatizing people in need of help. Unfortunately Channel 4 have played very nicely in to the hands of the governments war on benefits, stigmatising further those with large families, dependency issues and health needs who are not getting the support they need, as these very services are being reduced.


And all this in the name of entertainment


Sadly, The West Cliff Precinct has become run down over many years and ignored by many administrations, not just the current one. For a long time there has been a rumoured re-development program, but a lack of investors willing to become involved in the scheme has seen the area become more rundown and the shops empty. Shortly before the program aired yesterday, we spoke to North Lincolnshire Homes, and asked them what was being done from their perspective to make improvements on the estate, they provided us with a statement (also carried in the local press) from Steve Hepworth, the director of operations at North Lincolnshire Homes.


“We work closely with residents and organisations such as Humberside Police, North Lincolnshire Council and the Safer Neighbourhoods Partnership as well as many other local and voluntary groups to help improve the neighbourhood and the opportunities available to the residents living in the West Cliff area.


This joint working approach has seen improvements made to homes and neighbourhoods and reductions in reported ASB incidents  – for example a joint campaign around the use of motorbikes in the area has seen calls reporting motorbikes being used in a nuisance manner to stop.


Whilst there are still some problems in the area we are committed to working with the local community to address these and since the beginning of the year action has been taken against a number of residents for breaching their tenancy agreements including action to close down five Cannabis factories.


“We will continue to work with our partners to improve the local communities in which our tenants live in and we will take robust action anyone in breach of their tenancy agreements.”


Unfortunately Chanel 4 failed to touch on any of the positive improvements there are in the West Cliff area, or the personal triumphs and success stories. For example, on West Cliff a new primary school has been built, community association started, there’s the hub, a support centre for families operated by volunteers, and what’s more, while they were filming the family fun day was on going, not one scene was shown of this.


Neither did the program seek to explore some of the down side of West Cliff, it failed to question the state of the precinct, or to investigate why the Library was closed in January 2011 due to “asbestos” and is still closed now, while new facilities have been opened in Broughton, and the estate residents having lost a focal point in their community have to make do with a once a week bus.


None of these positives emerged, nor were the important questions about the estate asked, in what was a piece designed to do nothing other than fuel class prejudice towards the vulnerable, the unemployed and those on benefits.


We’ve also been talking to a family from Scunthorpe who were filmed, but were then cut from the final footage by Chanel 4. Their story was one of success telling of how one of their family members had been given a place at the Royal Ballet’s Junior Associate Class in Leeds. Speaking to the mother this morning, while wishing to remain nameless, she told Visit Scunthorpe:


“As a parent of a boy from Scunthorpe, who was filmed for 8 months last year, I feel he has been very badly let down by channel 4. I must stress though, our issue is not with the film crew, but channel 4.


I can’t believe they allowed the filming to carry on with my son, knowing that across the other side of town they were filming prostitutes, drug taking and shoplifting! Foul language, coming from the mouths of children, and every adult.


We feel as a family, we were badly mislead into wasting our time, energy and 8 months of our lives.


We feel they followed my son and gave him false hope, when they must have known all along which way they were going with this!


Shame on you channel 4, Scunthorpe is a good place, and you had perfectly good footage of other stories, that showed the town in a good light, and I’m sure the public would have enjoyed watching those. And Scunthorpe as a whole could have been portrayed so differently!”


Another major omission on behalf of Channel 4 was the day in June last year where 27,000 residents lined the streets of Scunthorpe to celebrate the passing of the Olympic Torch through our town.


We were inundated by messages of support for the town, and indeed for the families living on the West Cliff estate.


Chris Skinner, head of communications at North Lincolnshire Council told us “I don’t mind a critical piece as long as its balanced. There was no balance in that at all. Polarised a town and an estate in the worst possible way. Purposely filmed to look that way. So much for Channel 4 and Keo Films code of ethics. As predicted cut and shut from day one. The majority of Westcliff is NOT like that and neither is Scunthorpe”


We think however that episode one was best summed up by Scunthorpe resident David Plumtree who said “Jeremy Kyle isn’t about solving people’s problems, it’s about exploiting them. And similarly, this isn’t a documentary about life on limited means. It’s exploitation.


It’s a biased, narrow, manipulated portrayal of a tiny segment of one community that has deliberately edited out good news stories for the purposes of ‘entertainment’. This isn’t Scunthorpe, this isn’t life on benefits, on an estate.  That life is a rich mix of people, a story of neighbours, community and people trying the best they can.


Prod people with a stick and you’ll get a reaction. Showing people just one truth of one thousand is misleading, immoral and is just plain shit television.”

IMG_7430Yesterday morning I had a wonder around the more urban areas of my local town looking at some street art.

So in the afternoon I went back into town again, this time to visit a small area of ancient woodland which has been there since neolithic times and still remains right in the middle of the town.

Brumby Woods, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, contains many ancient trees and is home to a wide variety of animals and birds including woodpeckers and foxes.

Archaeologists have also found signs that the area was used by bronze age settlers and the Romans.

Here’s some photos taken yesterday afternoon after the rain. (more…)

IMG_6399So, the British Government have decided to enforce Foreign Policy against Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Yemen by allowing drones to be controlled from an air base at Waddington, near to where I live.

Clearly I’m not happy about this. Obviously I don’t think that British lives should put at risk on behalf of the UK & USA foreign policy, but even more worrying is the way in which information regarding the effectiveness of the use of Armed Drones is not being reported to the public at large.

What information I hear you cry? Is this not a good thing? Are we not wiping out nasty terrorists without putting our soldiers at risk?

Well I don’t think that in reality we are. What we are doing is killing hundreds of innocent people while trying to enforce a flawed foreign policy.

How about this for a fact, only 2% of people killed in drone attacks were the intended victims.

Still happy about drones now? Thought not.

Enjoy the pictures, non commercial use only please.

Oh… and the little missile thingies dotted around the place? That was a community arts group called FerricStreets, give them a like on facebook


Lincolnshire is considered by many to be flat and featureless  Indeed the part where I live overlooks the Trent valley, an area approximately 20 kilometres across stretching from the Humber down through the county. To me this is what I love about lincolnshire, the big wide skys which give such character to the landscapes and fantastic sun-sets. I really must make an effort to go and photograph some of them a bit more.

To the east of this the rises the Lincolnshire Wolds, and its here where they rise in Barton upon Humber that in around 790 the Vikings landed. They decided to then track across the Wolds heading south, down to Oakham in Rutland.

This is a journey of 147 miles, and over the bank holiday weekend has been run by 38 long distance endurance runners in what is called the Viking Ultra. This unique event sees runners starting at 07:00 in Barton upon Humber, and following the route down through the county non stop, reaching the end some 40 hours later.

Here are the photos of them passing the nearest point to where I live at Barnetby-Le-Wold in North Lincolnshire. The first runner arrived at 08:55.

As always, these pics can be shared for personal, non-commercial purposes. If you’d like to buy any then prices etc are on my commercial web site

In no particular order, just a few more photos I like, mainly local to North Lincolnshire but with a few others thrown in from Whitby in Yorkshire which is another favourite place.

No “Lincolnshire” related blog would really be complete without some mention of Lincoln Cathedral.

This is my most recent visit in May 2012 which I made with my parents. As part of the Cathedral’s fund-raising the public were allowed up the scaffhold on the North West tower while renovation work is underway.

Other photographs are taken from inside the building, and also from the “Roof Tour” which lasts about 90 mins and takes you up into the roof space above the main North Facade.  As well as the roof tour, there is also a tower tour and a floor tour, but its probably best to check the availability of these tours as they tend to run “in season” – here’s a link to the tours on their web site