Village Spotlight: Changing times as thriving village looks to develop new facilities
We have relaunched our popular I Love Bourne campaign and as part of that we are running a series of Village Spotlight features. The Bourne area has so many picturesque villages and we are taking a look at what makes them great places to live, work and play. This week it’s the turn of Billingborough.
Billingborough is “a vibrant and healthy community” which is overcoming the speed bumps along the way to grow stronger.
With a population of about 1,200 Billingborough is one of the area’s larger villages.
Parish council chairman Mike King of Folkingham Road, Billingborough, said: “We are large enough to support a good number of services including a vibrant general store and Post Office.”
The village is also served by two pubs, The Fortesque Arms in High Street, and George and the Dragon in Victoria Street.
A source of pride for its hive of activity, particularly in the summer months, is the village cricket club in Victoria Street.
The first team won the South Lincs and Border League Premier Division last year and will defend their title once again in 2012.
The club enters six sides into competitive cricket.
Including a junior section at under at U9,U11 and U13 playing in the Border Counties Youth League.
Coun King said: “We have a highly successful cricket club based in what is generally thought of as one of the best cricket grounds in Lincolnshire.
Villagers were saddened by the closing of Aveland High School in July.
In 2010 the school merged with St George’s Academy in Sleaford, where the pupils have now moved to.
But rather than lament the loss of the school, the parish council is working with the district and county councils to transform the space into football pitches and an allotment area to fulfil a need for both facilities in the village.
Mr King said: “We hope that we will be able to deliver this facility for 2013.
“It will belong to the community for their use.
“We are already keeping a list of people who would like an allotment plot.
“We have got a strong community but this can make it stronger.”
The village still has its primary school based in a 19th century Grade II listed building.
The school recently achieved an outstanding grade in its Ofsted inspection.
Billingborough is perhaps most well know for its Spring Wells which hit the headlines in September 2011 after drying up for the first time in 35 years.
The historic Spring Wells, in Church Street, Billingborough, are believed to have been used as a water supply since Roman times and had not run dry since 1976.
Mr King said: “The community rallied around that with great interest to protect the wildlife.”
Because the water dried up so suddenly the ducks and eels had to be transported to other environments.
A couple of residents even housed the animals in their own ponds.
Now the parish council plans to improve the Spring Wells area refurbishing the duck house and benches around the beauty spot.
Mr King said: “We are very proud of it as our own little tourist attraction.”
Other notable sites in the village include St Andrew’s Church which soars 150 ft over the surrounding and serves the parishioners.
The name Billingborough is believed to be named from the post-Roman Billings tribe of invaders.
The school name, Aveland, was taken from a pre-conquest Wapentake of that name, dating back to 921AD.
The area was populous in the Middle Ages, and includes the lost village of Ouseby and shrunken village of Birthorpe.
St Andrew’s church dates to the 13th century and is in a mixture of perpendicular gothic and decorated period styles. The tower and the church are mainly 14th century but there are traces of earlier work in the south aisle. The chancel was rebuilt in 1891 and the most impressive part of the building is the nave with four great arches on each side and the light streaming through the 12 windows of the 15th century clerestory.
Among the oldest buildings in the village is the Old Hall, a former Tudor mansion.
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Weather for Bourne
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west