MACLA Newsletter

Metheringham Area Community Leisure Association


P&P by Richard Gywnn
 

NEWS INDEX - Issue 6 Spring 2002


Deliverance
- A Poem by Jill Spooner
Metheringham Playing Fields Redevelopment
Golden Jubilee Celebrations
Citizens Advice at
Metheringham InfoLinks
Focus on Metheringham Airfield Visitors Centre
Badminton Club
Metheringham Bowls Club News
Methodist Chapel / Posada
Metheringham History Group
/ Library News 
Points of View / L.I.V.E.S. update
Local Birding / Metheringham Amateur Dramatics
 
Metheringham Over 60’s Club  
PEARL (Personal Advice for Rural Learners)
Assorted Christmas Fundraisers
 
Metheringham Playgroup Nativity Play
1st Metheringham Scout Group
Metheringham Swimming Pool Association

University of the Third Age 
Metheringham Village Hall and Spring Fayre 
Time to Dust off that Sturdy Footwear
Workers Educational Association (WEA)
A Modern Voice for Women
- The W.I.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust / MACLA Website Update

Metheringham Youth Club
Newsletter Advertising Rates

 

 

Deliverance

Letter-box size: 32 pages x ½ A4
Enough for one through every door.
4 times a year the Newsletter is delivered
Even in Winter, when the deliverers shivered.
“The last one didn’t come through our box”
“Sorry! Couldn’t get in. The gate was locked.”
“He won’t hurt you, he just sounds gruff”
“No way! I’m wary of barks and woofs.”
“Hallo pussycat! You’re more my style.”
Even so it spits and runs a mile.
Shiregate “adds on” every time.
We always need that extra nine.
At least the letterboxes are waist level;
We don’t have to search and grovel.
The village streets have corners and nooks.
Apologies if you don’t receive a book.
There are always extra in the shops.
They are free. Help yourself. Take the lot!
“It is so useful, all that information.
Thank you. The Newsletter is worthwhile. In appreciation-
For the Committee, who endeavour to deliver
A Newsletter to everyone in the Metheringham area.”
P.S.
If you want to walk to become much fitter,
Contact Geoff and help deliver!

Jill Spooner

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Metheringham Playing Fields Redevelopment

MACLA is working closely with Metheringham Parish Council and others to provide better facilities on Metheringham’s playing fields.

The ultimate goal is to build new changing rooms, a pavilion, a sports hall, an outdoor multi-sports hard surface, refurbish/rebuild the swimming pool and put a roof over it!

To find out more, you are invited to a public meeting in Metheringham Village Hall on Tuesday 14th May, starting at 7.30pm.

MACLA’s Annual General Meeting will take place on the same evening.

This will be your opportunity to hear about the proposals and to have your say.

Light refreshments will be served. Put a note in your diary NOW!

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What are YOU organising for the Golden Jubilee?

FREE PUBLICITY for your event in the Golden Jubilee Issue of the MACLA Newsletter.

Phone your details to Geoff Brown on (01526) 321490.

Bunting Wanted

Do you have any bunting that we can borrow for the Golden Jubilee celebrations? 1950’s style cotton bunting would be especially welcome, but whatever you’ve got we can use it!

Contact Sally Wilson on (01526)321289.

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Golden Jubilee Celebrations

Thanks to a grant from the National Lottery’s “Awards for All” programme, MACLA will be organising a full weekend of entertainment and activity to celebrate the Golden Jubilee at the beginning of June.

MACLA Treasurer Mike Reep did most of the legwork, which resulted in an award of £1650. Sally Wilson is now chairing a Working Group to put together the details of what promises to be a cracking event. If you’d like to be involved, give Sally a ring on 321289.

A full programme will be published in our special Golden Jubilee Issue of the Newsletter in May.

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Citizens Advice at Metheringham InfoLinks

An adviser from the Sleaford and District Citizens Advice Bureau will be available at the InfoLinks office, High Street, Metheringham, between 9.30am and 12.30pm on the following Thursdays:-

14th March, 28th March

11th April, 25th April

23rd May

13th June, 27th June

Advice is free and confidential.
No appointment is necessary.

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Focus on Metheringham Airfield Visitors Centre

Many bomber airfields were built in Lincolnshire to augment those already there at the start of WWI I. 5 Group Bomber Command alone consisted of quite a number including:- Bardney - Coningsby - Dunholme Lodge - East Kirkby- Fiskerton - Fulbeck - Hemswell - Metheringham -  Scampton - Skellingthorpe -Spilsby - Swinderby - Strubby - Waddington and Woodhall Spa. Most of these airfields were built on requisitioned farmland, RAF Metheringham was one where the land of five farms between Metheringham and Martin were taken over and the farm residents had to move from their homes at very short notice, some of the dwellings, farm buildings and woodlands were flattened to make way for runways and airfield buildings.

The families of Peter Scoley's father and uncle were amongst those who had to relocate when, West Moor Farm where Peter and his wife Zena now reside, was used as part of the airfields 'domestic site. When Peter and Zena took over the present farm in 1967, they found that there were some of the old RAF buildings still standing, the Gymnasium/Church, Squash Court, Emergency Generator station, an air-raid shelter and the old Rations Store.

Peter and Zena had the idea of constructing some kind of memorial to the members of RAF Metheringharn and the 106 Squadron that had flown Lancasters from there from 1943, when the airfield became operational until 1946 when the squadron was disbanded and the airfield closed down.

Unfortunately Peter and Zena did not have the means or ability to fulfill their dream until 1992 when they contacted the North Kesteven Dist. Council whose representatives visited the farm .On seeing the remaining RAF buildings still in reasonable condition, the council decided to help them, as a result the Metheringham Airfield Visitors Centre was constructed in one of the rooms of the old Ration Store and opened to the public in 1993.

In late 1993 with more and more exhibits being given, donated or loaned to the Centre and the increasing number of visitors attending, Peter and Zena and the few local helpers they had, were finding it difficult to cope. An inaugural meeting at the Centre was advertised in the local media and as a result the "Friends of Metheringham Airfield" was formed with a working committee and around 40 members who paid a £5 membership fee which entitled them to the privilege of painting, cleaning and manning the Centre etc.!

A local musician and artist, John Pye, constructed a memorial in front of the Centre in the form of a plinth with a Merlin engine on the top, built from bricks etc, (including the engine !) reclaimed from the old airfield site. He incorporated the propeller screw and one blade from a 106 Sqn Lancaster that had been returned from a crash site in Holland. John also built another memorial to the 106 Sqn on a part of the old perimeter track that still remains, about half a mile from the Centre, again using reclaimed material from the old RAF buildings

Since those early days other rooms of the old Ration Store have been brought into use, one being named The Dutch Room in honour of the Dutch people with whom the Centre has a great friendship, especially the people of Rottevalle where another prop blade from a crashed 106 Sqn Lancaster forms part of a memorial to the Sqn in a local school, the Dutch people have made a great contribution with various artifacts donated to the museum. In the Dutch Room, is a map produced by Dick Breedijk of Haarlem, Holland, showing the crash sites of 106 Sqn planes and a reference book which gives all the details of each crash, i.e. the original target, cause of crash fate of the crew and also photographs of the graves or memorials to those crew members who did not survive the crash.

A Memorial garden was constructed at the end of the old Ration Store, under the guidance of Peggy Wright, a local resident who lived nearby during the war and remembers the airfield being built. The garden is in a quiet area of the site where visitors, especially families or friends of the 106 Son members that did not survive the war, may spend a quiet moment remembering their lost loved ones. A bench seat has been donated to the garden in memory of Flt. Lt. Jack Netherwood, by members of his old crew, also in the garden is a sundial donated by poetess Olive Walker as a memorial, trees or shrubs may be planted by relatives or friends of those who were lost with a memorial plaque by each one.

Every year the Centre plays host for a day to the surviving members of RAF Metheringham and 106 Sqn who return to the area from all parts of the world for their annual reunion. This 106 Sqn reunion is still ongoing although their numbers are dwindling with the passing years.

The Visitors Centre contains many artifacts recovered from crash sites, uniforms and various other bits and pieces of Lancaster and memorabilia appertaining to 106 Sqn, RAF Metheringham and Bomber Cmd. Many of the exploits of 106 Sqn are explained in photographs and storyboards in the Centre. .

Entrance to the Visitors Centre is FREE, although donations are gratefully accepted towards the maintaining of the Centre as a fitting memorial to the members of 106 Sqn and RAF Metheringham who gave their all for our benefit. There is a shop at the Centre with many reasonably priced souvenirs, books, videos and prints etc on sale, also available are soft d@ and ice cream.

New members of The Friends of Metheringham Airfield are always welcome, the annual membership fee is £7.50 for single membership or £10 for family membership, this entitles you to free entrance to the various lectures etc that are held at the Centre each month. The Centre presents special Open Days each year.

The Visitors Centre is open to the public from Easter until October, Saturdays and Sundays, 12 noon until 5pm and Wednesdays 12 noon until 4pm. Special group visits such as school children, can be arranged for other times providing sufficient notice is given.

Donations or loan of any memorabilia photographs or stories appertaining to RAF Metheringham or the local area during WW II would be very much appreciated by the Museum.

On 4th May 2002, the friends of Metheringham airfield will be holding their 1940’s Allied forces Dance in the wartime gymnasium at the Visitor Center. Dress in 1940’s style will be optional and the music will be provided by the Ockbrook Big Band. The players dress in American uniforms and play in the Glen Miller style; an evening of pure nostalgia.

Further details can be obtained from Zena & Peter Scoley on 01526 378270 or Jack Wakefield onOI526 320640. The Visitors Centre is situated on West Moor Farm and can be reached by the entrance on the B1189 opposite the junction with the B1191.

Ron Mitchell

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Badminton Club

The badminton Club that plays in Metheringham Village Hall on Monday evenings from 7.30 to 9.30 is looking for a new member.

If you would like to play, please contact Eamonn Fitzmaurice on (01526) 321145

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Metheringham Bowls Club News

The 2002 season will open on 21st April with an informal “Roll-up” starting at 2.30pm. All existing members and any potential bowlers are encouraged to attend.

If there is anyone out there who would like to see if bowling is there for them, but are not sure, please pop along to the green on the 21st and one of our Club members would be pleased to gently introduce you to the game and the club.

A date for non-bowlers; the Club will be holding a Spring bric-a-brac sale on the 20th April starting at 2.30pm. There will also be a cake stall and tombola. This event follows on from the very successful sale held at the Club in December.

We are also planning 2 special bowling events for later in the year. Scheduled for the end of August is a Ladies triple Competition. This will be followed on 7th September by a Jubilee Open 4’s Competition. These events will bring bowlers from all over to the Metheringham Club, so if any of the MACLA advertisers wish to become Event Sponsors, please contact Mike Reep on 01526 321119. Potential competitors should call John Browett on 01526 321967

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The Methodist Chapel

What sort of events are going on at Metheringham Methodist Chapel these days?

In addition to the regular weekly activities - Children's Club for 6 to 10year olds, Women's Friendship Group, fortnightly Morning Bible Study and a monthly mid-week Holy Communion and we are planning our second Alpha course to begin after Easter.

Are you tired of all the bad news in the papers and on TV? Do you sometimes think "there must be more to life than this?" Would you like a chance to ask your questions? We believe that Jesus is the answer.

One evening a week for 12 weeks, you can investigate the Christian faith in the company of friends. If you would like to know more speak to Rosemary on 322551.

Other special one off occasions are:

Friday 1st March at 7pm a Sausage & Mash Supper, followed by entertainment, in the Village Hall
Easter Day 31st March at 10.30am Holy Communion with Revd. Donald Harper in the Chapel.
Sunday 5th May at 10.30am a United Service to celebrate the Chapel's Anniversary with Rev. David Payne and Derek Creasey. This will be followed by a BBQ
Saturday 11th May at 7pm an Anniversary Celebration with the vocal quartet "Hi Notes", from Grantham, followed by refreshments.
Saturday 25th May at 3pm Open Day at the Manse, 11 High Street Metheringham, stalls, games, refreshments and an evening concert to raise funds for the local Agricultural Chaplaincy .
Sunday 9th June at 10.30am is Ladies Sunday at the Chapel with a visiting Preacher.

For further information telephone Joyce Sellars on 321729

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Posada

Developed from a Mexican tradition, the Posada takes place during advent as figurines of Joseph and Mary travel around the village staying at different homes each night.

The figures were welcomed into homes, where stables, candles and other special places had been prepared for the families who were visited to take some time out to think or pray. Following their tour, which included a week in school and a couple of parties, Mary and Joseph returned to St Wifrid’s Church in time for the Crib service at 2.30pm on Sunday 23rd December.

Later the same day there was the traditional Service of Nine Lessons and carols at St Oswald’s, Blankney, and a lively candle-lit carol service at the Methodist Church involving children and sketches. The collection at this service raised £103 for Afghanistan Relief.

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Metheringham History Group

To those who bought the “Views of Metheringham” Christmas cards, Thank You. We sold all but two and raised £34 towards the Metheringham Old Post Office Fund.

There will be more “Views” on sale in various shapes and sizes during the year, again to raise funds. Thanks to Pete Ford for his computer skills and Pete Leggett for the use of his photos.

We are slowly raising money, but we do need your input. If you have any ideas, or would like to help raise money for the Old Post Office Fund, please let me know. And don’t forget that you can always help by donating you’re your dividend points when you shop at the local Co-op. Just mention it to the assistant at the checkout.

We have to repair the roof as soon as possible. This is not going to be cheap. But the refurbished building will eventually be there for the benefit of the whole village. It will be used as a community facility with a tea shop, and a garden area at the back for BBQ’s etc.

There will be another village walk on Sunday 24th March, meeting outside Metheringham library. We will be walking along the oldest part of the village, Drury Street, then back to the Methodist Church Hall for tea and buns. All donations will again be going to the P.O. Fund.

Sunday 23rd June will be the second walk this year, investigating the “Moated Site” and the fish ponds that Medieval Metheringham knew. The last walk of the year will be on 23rd September, with the theme yet to be decided.

Golden Jubilee Weekend (1st and 2nd june) will see the return of Lord Burgh’s retinue (last seen at the Feast). They will be camping in the village all weekend and there will be a Medieval Banquet in the Church Hall on the Saturday evening, with a BBQ for those who do not wish to “dress up”. Money raised will be shared between the P.O Fund and St Wilfrid’s Church. More information nearer the time.

Meetings of the History Group take place as usual on the last Monday of the month, at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall. For a £1 subscription we can promise you an interesting evening, tea and biscuits - and good company!

Contact Heather Routledge, 20 Drury Street, Metheringham (01526) 320156.

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LIBRARY NEWS

On behalf of the Library Service, may I wish all MACLA readers a (belated!) Happy New Year! I trust you all had a good Christmas and are now remembering to write 2002 in your chequebooks instead of 2001!

Our “Christmas Celebration” in the Library was held on December 13 2001. Mr Lowery kindly brought a group of his students from the Primary School to entertain us with a selection of songs and readings from their Christmas production of “Babushka”. The children performed brilliantly and were a credit to all the hard work put in by their Teachers and helpers. Everyone participated in some “Community Singing” (ably assisted by Mr Wall on his keyboard) but the star of the day was Samuel Darling (4) who sang a wonderful rendition of “We wish you a Merry Christmas” all on his own! Santa put in an appearance (supposedly for the children although we had to restrain some of the adults who wanted a chocolate from his sack!) and festive refreshments were served. A good time was had by all!

Our Christmas Colouring competition attracted lots of entries and was hard to judge but the winning entry was coloured by Jillian Crombie who is now the proud owner of a disposable camera. Well done Jillian and thank you to everyone who took part!

2002 is looking to be a very exciting year for Metheringham Library as the long-awaited link up with the County Council’s computerised Library system, Galaxy, is finally about to happen! When we go “on-line” readers will only need to use their white, plastic computer card to borrow books rather than the brown cardboard ones we have at present. Most readers will have been given their cards by now but if you haven’t had yours yet, ask at the Library. In addition, these cards will allow you to use any Lincolnshire Library to borrow or return books. At the same time as all this is happening, we will also be receiving 2 PC’s through the People’s Network. These machines will be for public use and will have a number of programs for Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Databases etc. running on them along with Internet Access. It’s all happening!!

If you’re still a computer novice, do not fear! The latest CLAIT (Computer Literacy and Information Technology) course being run at the Library on Thursday mornings will have finished by the time this is published and the next course will have just begun, If you are interested in joining a future course, call in at the Library and put your name on the list as there will hopefully be another course run after the Summer holidays.

February Half-Term should have seen shouts of “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!” as hoards of small (and some NOT so small!) pirates take over the Library for our children’s holiday activity! These are always popular events costing 75p for an hour’s fun and games for kids during the School holidays. Each session lasts an hour and is suitable for ages 5 - 11. If you’ve not been yet - come and look at our “Kidzone” display in the porch and see for yourself!

See you soon!

Sue Miller
Customer Liaison Officer

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Points of View

Litter, what litter? Thankfully Metheringham does not suffer as many other communities do from a severe problem of litter pollution but it still does have a problem. You will all have seen the takeaway wrappers, beer and soft drink cans, empty crisp packets and chocolate bar wrappers lying in our streets and front gardens, the empty carry bags that are adorn our hedgerows and the multitude of other rubbish discarded in ditches and on our local country lanes.

Fortunately, we have a village caretaker, who informed me that he collects at least 11 black bags of rubbish every time he sweeps the roads and collects the litter in the centre of Metheringham! Unfortunately, the Parish Council only has sufficient funds for the roads to be swept for a few hours each week. Clearly, unless we all help the situation in the village and surrounding area it will only continue to deteriorate.

What is required is a good spring clean of Metheringham and your help is vital if we are to succeed and produce a clean environment in which we all wish to live. You will also be surprised the effect it will have on visitors to our village and on property prices that are likely to increase as a result! Everyone can help. From ensuring that litter is cleared away from front gardens and adjoining paths to perhaps picking up litter whilst walking your dog. Also by educating children as well as ourselves not to drop litter and leading by example.

If you find any large items that have been discarded carelessly you could help by either contacting North Kesteven Council, who have already been extremely positive in arranging suitable collection of such items, or ideally by taking it to the council provided rubbish collection vehicle positioned at the Council Depot on Sleaford Road which is available on the 1st Saturday of each month during the winter and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month during the summer (April - September), from 8.30am to 11.30am.

Please let us all make the effort and make 2002, the year of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, a year to remember when Metheringham became the cleanest village in Lincolnshire. Thank you.

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L.I.V.E.S. update

Metheringham and Dunston L.I.V.E.S. First Responders are still looking for more people to volunteer to help them save lives in Lincolnshire. The group has raised 2/3 of the money towards their total of £4500 but would like more people of any age or background to volunteer for training in basic life support and use of a defibrillator so they can become a First Responder. The more volunteers in the group the fewer shifts they will asked to be on call to give the 24 hour , 365 day cover hoped for. No prior medical knowledge is needed , anyone who is over 18 and reasonably fit can volunteer. We have a larger community than most villages so it really shouldn’t be a problem finding people prepared to help out a friend in need, neighbour and possibly even save their life. Local Co-ordinators are Karen Atkin on 320152 and Shane Searlby on  323636.

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Local Birding

The winter with its long nights and short days is a difficult time for birds struggling to find enough food to survive. People who feed birds in their gardens contribute greatly during this difficult period, especially when frosty. Recent Winters have been fairly mild and the survival rate of small birds such as wrens, robins, blue tits and great tits has been very good.

There are still good numbers of blackbird which winter here from the Continent around the village, but as soon as daylight gets longer they return to their breeding grounds in continental Europe.

In December, a mistle thrush was singing in Blankney Park for long periods, claiming his territory for the approaching Spring. In January, greater spotted woodpeckers were claiming their territories in Station Wood by rapid hammering on dead branches with their beaks. This could be heard over a wide area.

Also worth noting was a pair of bullfinches. The male is exceptionally beautiful with his bright pink breast, black crown and white rump.

In and around the churchyard, collard doves with their three-syllable (uni-ted) call were starting their courtship displays, being especially noisy in the mornings.

On any new water there will probably be a pair of mallard duck looking for a breeding territory. These ducks are one the earliest of our breeding birds to raise a family. Another early breeder is the tawny owl, which can be heard claiming its territory around the village on most evenings in January.

As Spring approaches, birds will be selecting their mates and protecting their chosen breeding areas, hoping for a successful breeding season.

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Metheringham Amateur Dramatics

Thanks to all of you who supported this year’s successful Pantomime. From the feedback we have received, it’s good to know that you all enjoyed it as much as we did. Our reputation is growing, and we look forward to welcoming you and new guests to future productions. Talking of which…..

Future Productions

April - Village party

May - “Outside Edge”, the play by Richard Harris. Set in a cricket pavilion, this was a stage play before becoming a series on television with Alison Steadman and Timothy Spall.

June- Queen’s Jubilee Review

September - Remembrance Review held at Metheringham airfield Museum

November - Remembrance Review held at Metheringham Village Hall.

November - Farnsdale Ladies’ Townswomen’s Guild Amateur Dramatic Society proudly present “A Christmas Carol”. An hysterically funny play where everything that can go wrong does so. DON’T MISS THIS ONE!

February 2003 - Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The annual Pantomime.

For more information phone (01526) 322563, or take a look on the MACLA website (www.macla.co.uk)

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Metheringham Over 60’s Club

We meet in the Metheringham Village hall on the first Wednesday of each month from 7pm to 9.30pm.

We have entertainment from September to May. In June, July and August we go on coach outings and we try to cater for all people’s tastes. We are a friendly group of people, so please give us a call. R, better still, pay us a visit.

For this Spring we have our AGM in March, a visit from the Caistor Male Voice Choir in May, and the Ladies Barbershop Singers in May .

Each month we go to the bowling alley in Lincoln to have a friendly game of bowls. Three times a year we hold a Coffee Morning to help a charity and also help our fund raising.

Contact names and numbers are:- Chairman, Margaret Amos 321049; Secretary, Rita Bell 320895; Treasurer, Rita Blow 320892.

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PEARL (Personal Advice for Rural Learners)

The Pearl project is a Lincolnshire-based initiative with Personal Education Advisers located throughout the County. Their task is to provide advice and information free to the adult (19+) community on the range of university and college courses available within Lincolnshire, and to help individuals to identify opportunities which are suitable to their needs.

You may feel that you missed learning opportunities earlier in your life, or may wish to explore how additional learning could help you in your work or leisure activities.

Alternatively, you may be seeking employment or looking for a change of direction, and think that an additional qualification might help in that search.

If any of these suggestions ring true for you, and you would like to see if studying could be a realistic option, contact your local adviser, Sue Brisland, on 01522 886939, who will be happy to offer advice and information on the courses and support services provided for students.

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Assorted Christmas Fundraisers

Father Christmas found time to call in to St Wilfrid’s Christmas Fayre on Saturday 8th December at the Church Hall, where there were cakes, books,and gift stalls, games and coffee and mince pies. A good time was had by all, and the organisers are most grateful to everyone who helped in any way. They raised over £420.

A Christmas item and cake stall at the Senior Citizens’ weekly coffee morning on November 29th raised £97.

The Methodist Church Christmas fayre had the church hall buzzing on Saturday afternoon 15th December, and the bric-a-brac, cakes, crafts, refreshments and tombola stalls together raised £272.

Carol Singers raised £72 for the NSPCC in just over an hour on Tuesday 18th December, and afterwards were treated to mulled wine and mince pies courtesy of the Capps family.

First Metheringham Scouts Christmas postal service ran for the month up to December 18th. Stamps were 10p and were on sale in Brackenbury’s garage in Scopwick, Metheringham DIY and Townsends. Over 1000 stamps were bought, and deliveries made to Metheringham, Dunston, Nocton, Blankney and Scopwick.

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Metheringham Playgroup Nativity Play

The playgroup Nativity was a charming production. So good they performed it twice!

The first performance was to parents and families on Monday 10th December, and the second for the Senior Citizens on Thursday 13th December.

There was a delightful mixture of traditional and more modern music and the children had their audience entranced. There was a point where Mary and a shepherd nearly came to blows over where the Myrrh should be placed, and some of the angels were suitably in a world of their own. But the children behaved and performed well, and the audience really appreciated the hard work of the playgroup leaders.

To allow for the watching of the Nativity, the Thursday Coffee Morning was held in the village hall, and supplies were provided by the Village Hall Management Committee.

The Playgroup children also enjoyed their Christmas parties with the younger children partying separately to the pre-school ones. Each party consisted of food and games and an entertainment before the arrival of Father Christmas, who had presents for all the boys and girls.

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1st Metheringham Scout Group

The 1st Metheringham Scout group is a well established group based in Metheringham, with their scouting centre situated behind the Star and Garter car park.

The group has a large membership which consistently has around 126 members aged between 6 and 20 in Beaver Colonies, Cub Packs, Scout troops and Adventure Scouts.

The groups meet every evening of the week and offer a large range of activities ranging from conventional scouting skills in the centre to outdoor games on the adjacent playing field, and activities around the village. There are a range of camps away at various locations around the UK and the Group is proud of its large stock of tents and associated camping equipment.

The group has worked hard over the years to fund raise and as a result we have an excellent range of games and equipment to support our activities. A recent high spot was the successful application for National Lottery grant which allowed us to move into a purpose built Scout hut which for many years was just a dream. This facility itself has become an asset for the village to use.

We still share a common problem encountered by all Scout Groups - Leaders and Helpers. I had two sons who went through the group from Beavers to Scouts. They enjoyed many activities and I know they still retain many happy memories and stories of camps past. I was roped in as a helper many (too many!) years ago and although my sons departed from the group a long while ago I am still serving on the executive committee and regularly help out with fundraising.

Fundraising takes many forms, from asking parents to complete Deeds of Covenant (which produces huge benefits for the Group), to manning the twice- yearly 50/50 Auction. There have been Larder Raids, Music Quizzes, General Knowledge Quizzes, and Jumble sales. I have derived a great deal of pleasure at many of these activities and I have certainly got to know a lot of people in and around the village over the years. The highlight of the year is probably the Fayre and Feast where we traditionally man a stall to publicise our cause and try to raise funds at the same time. Last year was particularly successful and we really enjoyed the day, had a lot of fun and raised money for the Group.

So, now you know a little about our Group, can we tempt you to offer up some of your time to help us in some way? We always need leaders, and training and uniforms are provided at no charge to the individual. Training is comprehensive and includes the different levels of leader and food handling certificates to mention a couple. If you have a particular skill you could offer that would be helpful (a cycle enthusiast can always carry out a bike maintenance evening as an example), then it would be much appreciated.

If you would like to come down and see us at a meeting or just want to look around the “Hut”, pop in and see us any weekday night. We would ask you to bear with us if a meeting is in full swing, as the leaders are busy people! If you would like to contact our GSL, Brian Crombie (phone 320917), I am sure we could arrange to show you round and perhaps coerce you into giving up a little of your time for a very worthwhile cause.

Thank you for your time.

A D Cragg

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METHERINGHAM SWIMMING POOL ASSOCIATION

In the last newsletter the Annual General Meeting was highlighted in a bid to attract new blood. The good news was that we had more members of the public turn up than had done for the last seven years; the bad news was that there were only three, including Dot Howes and a local councillor. Things got worse when the Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary all announced they were standing down following the meeting. The already busy Dot was persuaded to take on the role of Treasurer.

The other good thing to come out of the meeting was Dian Robinson's brainwave that the pool have a stand at the school's Christmas Play in an attempt to drum up some support from the parents of those currently attending the school, and for whom the pool is an important facility.

Dian and Alan Jones talked about the pool and the need for support, and as a result of their efforts fifty three people put their names forward!

A special general meeting took place on 15/01/02, and twenty three people attended. The main items for discussion were the coming season, and the election of officers.

Stephen Wildgoose was elected Chairman, and Linda Sisley became our new Secretary. Others present offered their services in a variety of different ways. Brian Creasey, on behalf of the Parish Council, welcomed the high turnout, and offered the Council’s support for the future.

On behalf of the current Pool committee I thank all those who have offered their support, a clear message that the people of Metheringham have no intention of allowing their swimming pool to close. Good on you!

Oh, and if there is anyone else who wishes to lend a hand, please come along; the more the merrier!

PS A huge vote of thanks is due to those outgoing Committee officers who have devoted countless hours of their time to the Association over the years, whilst struggling to find the finances to ensure that the pool survives as a village amenity.

Look out for the Swimming Pool Association fund raising teams at the Metheringham Village Hall car boot sale on 13th April, and a barn dance with Reel Jiggered in the village hall on 27th April. Other events have been provisionally organized and will be confirmed in a future Newsletter.

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University of the Third Age

The Cliff Villages (Lincoln) U3A continues to meet at Harmston Memorial Hall on the second Friday of each month. All being well, the programme for the next quarter will be as follows:-

8th March, Liz East “Tracing Your Ancestors”

12th April, David Start “Lincolnshire From the Sky”

10th May, Peter Brown “A Sunny kind of Morning at The Gossiper

The speaker and topic for the meeting on 14th June have yet to be announced.

You are invited to arrive for coffee at 10a.m., and the meetings will start at 10.30. However, the meetings have proved to be very popular, so anyone wishing to attend for the first time are asked to kindly let the organisers know well in advance.

For more information, contact Mrs Marshall on 01522 720641

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METHERINGHAM VILLAGE HALL IMPROVEMENTS and Spring Fayre

As many of you will be aware there were a number of options being put forward for improvements to the Village Hall. These ranged from a major extension to the hall to carrying out a number of improvements to meet current and future regulations, in particular, facilities and access for the disabled. The various options were considered at a number of meetings. It was concluded that the major extension to the hall was not feasible due to the amount of money that had to be raised towards any possible grants that may have been forthcoming from either the local county council or from bodies such as the National Lottery. Additionally, as the village had already received a substantial grant from the National Lottery for the Scout Hut, it was considered that it was unlikely to gain another such award in the relatively short term ie the next 5 years.

What was considered to be feasible was to concentrate our efforts on making a number of key improvements to the hall. These include:

a. A new entrance to the hall from the car park at the rear of the hall that would also include disabled access and toilet facilities.
b. Installation of a “loop” system for the hard of hearing.
c. A folding lightweight ramp to allow wheelchair access to the small hall.
d. Radiator Guards to prevent children burning themselves on the radiators.
e. Refurbishment of the kitchen area.

The work involved is estimated to cost in the region of £20,000 and the aim is to raise the necessary funds both from fundraising and applications for a number of smaller grants to a variety of agencies including possibly the local council and registered charities who concentrate on providing such grants to village halls such as ours. It is also the aim to complete the majority of the work as soon as possible.

A good start has already been made with sufficient funds being made available through generous grants from the Local Cooperative Society Good Causes Fund and The J. W. Wright Trust to provide the necessary radiator guards. We have also set about applying for a number of further grants and set in motion a number of fund raising events.

The first such event, a Village Spring Fayre has already been planned for Saturday 13th April 2002. Any village charity or group can hire a table for £5 to raise money for their group. There will also be a carboot sale in the village hall car park, on that day, open to anyone, price £4 payable on the day.

If you would like to hire a table or car space, or help with fundraising to make improvements to the Village Hall, we would be very grateful. Please contact the secretary Jan Munday on 01526 323180 or any committee member for further details.

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Time to Dust off that Sturdy Footwear

Now into the New Year and we are still walking!
10am every Sunday morning at the Star and Garter, Metheringham. Everyone welcome.
One of our walkers, Mrs Pat Bennett, received an “Achievements Award” for an impressive display of fortitude and humour during our Sunday morning walks. Why Pat? - because she is 80 years young!

Walking is fun and, of course, HEALTHY.
Join us!

For more information call Wendy on (01526) 320686.

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Workers Educational Association (WEA)

The WEA are hoping to set up regular classes in Metheringham. We already offer a wide range of courses, including such diverse topics as art and aromatherapy, but we are always open to suggestion (how about Vikings or Tudor Society?).

Although a modest fee is charged, the WEA is non-profit making, and the courses are not like school; there are no exams. This is learning for fun!

The next series of classes will start in September.

If you want to know more, contact Heather Routledge on (01526) 320156

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A Modern Voice for Women - The W.I.

Every day, 250,000 women of all ages meet up to develop interests, get involved in their local communities and have a great time together, through their membership of the country’s largest women’s organisation, the W.I.

Why not join us?

Metheringham W.I. meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall. “One-off” visitors or potential members are welcome. Posters are displayed in local shops, but here is our programme for the next few months:-

March 20th: Annual Meeting
April 17th: Magic Lantern show by Mike and Elizabeth Haynes. This is an open meeting in the Village Hall, with a cheese and wine supper. Tickets at £2.50 will be on sale from W.I. members.
May 15th: Golden Jubilee Celebrations and resolutions
June 19th: Pergomano with Elaine Savage (a hands-on demonstration of parchment craft).

Get out - get active - get more involved!

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Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

The Trust was formed in 1948 by people interested in nature conservation, and now has some 105 Nature Reserves in Lincolnshire. Gibraltar Point and Whisby are two of the larger ones. Our own Metheringham Delph is cared for by the trust.

At present we have 14000 members and would like more. The headquarters are at Banovallum House in Horncastle, and we have a gift shop in Lincoln’s Castle Square which is open 7 days a week and staffed by volunteers.

Further information can be found on our website www.lincstrust.co.uk

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Website Update - www.macla.co.uk

Jeff Bird, the keeper of our award-winning website has been burning gallons of the midnight oil in recent months. As a result, we now have the whole of the 1881 Census for Metheringham on the site.

It’s an impressive achievement, and well worth a look. Even if you think that you’ve no roots in the village, you might be very surprised at what you find.

Not content with that embellishment, Jeff has also put an Interactive Register of Events onto the site.

If you’re thinking of organising an event in the area covered by the Newsletter, you can check what other people are organising and then register your own event so that other people can see what you’re doing! As a precaution, only Jeff can delete an entry. So don’t worry that someone else can change your details.

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Metheringham Youth Club

We had our first meeting on 11th January, which was very well attended. We now meet fortnightly on Friday evenings, with our next meeting being 15th March. We shall keep going for as long as we have the funds and the volunteer helpers.

We would like to say a big “thank you” to the Vicar of St Wilfrid’s and the Church Hall Committee for allowing us to use their facility. However, we are still on the lookout for somewhere with bit of land. So, if anybody knows of an old barn or other building we could use, we would be very interested to hear from you.

Volunteer helpers are very much needed at the moment, especially MEN to help supervise.

The Youth Club is open to all youngsters aged 11 to 16. The fortnightly subscription is only 50pence to help with expenses. We look forward to welcoming you!

For more information contact Angela on (01526) 321900, or Lesley on (01526) 323414.

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