We were in Hull on Friday, in the company of my family at my Aunt’s funeral. So lovely to see them all and yet, so sad to have neither Jean (my Aunt) nor Edna (my Mum) there now. Our small family has moved a generation forward and the link to “the old days” has weakened a little more as a result.
Friday afternoon was glorious and we decided to take a different route home, crossing the river by the Humber Bridge. When I was growing up, before the bridge had even been planned, I’d gaze over that wide stretch of water to a place I had been told was “New Holland”, wondering what it was like. The answer was always the same, “Oh, not much – just a load of yellow bellies”!
Well, yesterday afternoon, we crossed the river and ventured into deepest, darkest Lincolnshire! How brave was that?!
Though I had been to Lincoln at least once before, I’d forgotten most of it. Shameful really, to think that two of our four homes have been relatively close to the city and yet it remains so unfamiliar to us both.
All the more surprising, because my Hero’s Great Grandfather featured large in Lincoln’s history, serving as Lord Mayor and Alderman of the city in the early 1900s. But as often happens, we pay less attention to the places on our doorstep than we do to those far away, more exotic locations!
So, late Friday afternoon, with the sadness of the funeral over, we took advantage of the lovely sunshine and walked up the aptly named Steep Hill to the cathedral, feeling better for being out and about in the fresh air and enjoying the relative quiet of the old part of the city.
Stepping inside, we wandered around, admiring the magnificent structure and doing our best to remember where to find the Lincoln Imp. Sadly, renovations were taking place, so areas were roped off. Not only that, but a service was about the begin and we had no time to linger, so that little quest will have to remain until out next visit.
But we did have the advantage of the choir rehearsal taking place, so our time there was accompanied by the most lovely music.
Out in the sunshine again, the patterns of the Norman archway framing the door were looking their best, if a little dusty.
Such a wealth of treasure on our doorsteps here. It’s not really that we take it for granted, just that sometimes, we forget to look.
As we’d driven into the city earlier, I’d spotted the street name “West Parade”, recognising it from our family history record. Checking the details on my phone (my goodness, what we are able to do!) I discovered John Mills had indeed lived at number 2, so we retraced our route back in the hope that it would still be standing. Sure enough, there it is, looking a little shabbier than it might have done in his day, but nevertheless, in relatively fine fettle.
One thing’s for sure, he wouldn’t have recognised parts of his city now and though Mummy was right about the Yellow Bellies, I’m glad we came and explored Lincoln on Friday afternoon. Of course, before the Humber Bridge was built, getting here from Hull was quite an adventure, which explains why it remained such unknown territory. All the more interesting to discover it now, though!