Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday's spotlight - Goings on in Lincoln


There are some quite strange things gong on in Lincoln  at the present moment.  I'm not claiming that Lincoln is unique with strange "goings on"; doubtless other urban - and even rural - communities encroach upon the strange and unusual from time to time.

My morning ablutions are invariably accompanied by Radio Lincolnshire.  On weekdays the early morning programmes are, until 9 a.m., devoid of music and instead the listeners are kept up to date with such important things as the cricket test scores from Australia and one or two less important matters!

Photo by Foto43
This week it was announced that the city fathers are introducing a special Christmas Guide to the city. "In what way "special"?" you may ask.  If you didn't ask this then perhaps you'd prefer to ignore the rest of the paragraph and go on to the next one.  Well, in keeping with the Christmas festive season this guide (paper variety rather than human) is being imbibed with the scent of mulled wine!!!!!!!  If you come across any bleary eyed citizens wandering aimlessly around the city then it will probably be a safe bet to assume that they've been reading that new guide and haven't been frequenting any place of adult potential intoxication.

Photo by MiqsPix
Readers of last week's blog (thanks for being there!) will recall that when writing about the Christmas Market and how early the shops begin to sell Christmas goods that I remarked that I wouldn't be surprised to find Easter eggs on sale already somewhere in the city.

Well, on  Tuesday I was sitting on a seat in Lincoln's High Street (pedestrianized so no danger from traffic!) waiting for Pam to finish a spot of shopping (surprise!!!!!) when my eyes were attracted by an unusual poster advertisement.  It was advertising the services of "Western Union" and their ability to transfer funds on behalf of their customers.  All straight forward until your eyes take in some of the detail and then you read "make some one's Easter egg complete"!!!!  There you are.  I told you that there were some strange Easter goings on in the city.

I hesitate to say that Lincoln's Cathedral is the best in the country but I do agree with John Betjman when he remarked. "Lincoln may not be the best Cathedral in the land but its definitely worth any two of the others!".

Photo by chapmankj75

Recently the Dean and Chapter decided that the old - nay, "the very old" -Victorian paving stones that lead visitors to the Cathedral entrance should be raised and reset in a more stable and level fashion.  No need for the expense of new slabs.  The Victorians certainly knew not only how to make them but also how to make them last.

The authorities weren't over surprised to find that there were stone coffins, dating back many centuries, under these slabs.  For some time it has been believed that there was a Christian Church on the site long before the actual Cathedral was built and that much of the present Cathedral Close was part of this Church's graveyard.

Stone coffins unearthed at Cathedral Entrance

Now one of the graves exposed had been cut in half by one of the outside walls of the 10th century Lincoln Cathedral.  That could only point to one thing.  That particular grave was in situ BEFORE the Cathedral was built, thus giving more credence to the possibility of a pre 10th Century Church somewhere under the Cathedral itself.

Makes you think, doesn't it?  Well, it certainly makes me think.  Not that I suppose we'll ever know for sure unless someone demolishes the Cathedral and finds the foundations of that earlier church.

Next week sees the beginning of the annual Lincoln Christmas Market.  Don't know if we'll be going on Thursday evening or not yet.


vilterietje said...

i do agree with john betjman and thank you for your lovely story. love, riet

PeterB said...

Thanks, Riet. Betjman has always been one of my favourites.