The Show Houses – Tackling the Housing Problem in an Age of Austerity


St John’s Church, Ermine Estate, Lincoln – justly acclaimed as ‘a church of tomorrow’. Is Ermine Estate, Lincoln the housing of tomorrow?

An invitation to view

At 6.15 pm on Friday, July 4th 1952 the Mayor of Lincoln (Councillor J.W. Giles) used a “specially inscribed key” to open officially one of four show houses on Lincoln’s Ermine Estate (at that time called the Riseholme Estate) and proceeded with other members of the Council to inspect the four houses.1 One of those accompanying the Mayor was the Chairman of the City Housing Committee, Councillor W.A Hughes, and it was his idea to invite Lincoln’s citizens to view the houses. For the following two weeks they would be open for viewing from 3 pm. to 8 pm., with members of the City Architect’s Department on hand to explain the design and construction. Continue reading

John William Blakey (1879 – 1916)

Bill Blakey – a Life Cut Short


Poppies Wave by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper – an installation at Lincoln Castle in 2016 to remember the fallen of the First World War

My Great-uncle, John William Blakey, was born at Hameringham near Horncastle, Lincolnshire on 17th December 1879 – the third child of Tom and Emma Blakey. Eventually he would be part of a family of 9 children: the first, Eliza Mary, being born on 29th September 1876 and the last, Ethel, on 10th October 1892. Tom and Emma Blakey were married on 14th May 1877. His brothers and sisters lived to a ripe old age but Bill didn’t. Continue reading

Lincoln’s Cinemas in 1916


Still from The Battle of the Somme

‘If you want to ENJOY yourself come to the CENTRAL and be HAPPY.’

 Cinema was a popular way to escape temporarily the horrors of the First World War. Home on leave in 1916, Sgt. W F Martin told The Lincoln Leader about his experiences running a cinema seven miles behind the firing line ‘ while the shells whistle over head’……’we went to Pathé’s place in Paris and bought a complete set, with which we ‘rigged up’ a ‘show’……..We specialise of course in comedies, particularly Charlie Chaplin. That is what the boys come to see. They like anything but the war.’

Lincoln’s Cinemas in 1916

In the same year, on the home front, there were three operational cinemas in Lincoln:

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