In response to a question at this year’s Annual Parish Meeting, champion motorcyclist Steve Plater agreed in public that the state of our local roads was a disgrace and potentially a matter of life and death. “Don’t get me started” he said, but encouraged by the positive reaction in the primary school hall, he did just that, criticising Lincolnshire County Council Highways Department’s apparent indifference.
This year’s meeting had got off to a heart-warming start at the Primary School Hall, as a small but excited group of younger children sang songs that many will remember with affection from their own schooldays. Most of the audience joined in, before taking part in a new venture – the village bake-off, scoffing delicious tray bakes and marking them out of ten. The outright winner was Jill Hilton and there was no shortage of scrummy leftovers taken home after the meeting.
Once the cake frenzy had subsided, local artist and historian Edward Mayor gave a scholarly and witty presentation about the tradition of historical map making, of which his own work is a notable example. Edward instantly captivated his audience, many of whom had been involved in the recent success of his Kirkby on Bain historical map, which he placed in the context of the rich European tradition of historical map-making, particularly as practiced in the Netherlands.
Edward also agreed to judge the photographic competition, choosing a shot immortalising our village postman Ian, taken by Martin Briscombe.
Our second speaker was Amarylis Midgley who talked about the aims and achievements of Woodhall Spa’s unique community-owned Jubilee Park, which also aims to serve surrounding villages. She gave a succinct account of the history of the Park, which receives not a penny of public money, and a rundown of current projects and future plans for development, reminding us all of what a valuable resource Jubilee Park is, and suggesting how we might all benefit from it as a leisure and fitness attraction.
Steve Plater’s presentation was a genial and fascinating account of his life, from his childhood days in Kirkby on Bain right through to the present, including his attendance in the very same school where we were listening to him. This by way of 4 wins and 17 podiums in the British Superbike Championship, becoming 2009 British Supersport champion after finishing as runner-up in the series twice in the late 1990s, winning the prestigious Isle of Man Senior TT, and the North West 200. He mentioned also his recent successes in endurance racing, managing a race-team and riding in demonstration events. He also talked frankly about the mental and physical toughness required to compete at the top level in this sport, his injuries from collisions and his current preoccupations. All this with infectious humour and joie de vivre.
Finally the floor was opened for the public forum, giving an opportunity for everyone to have their say about living in Kirkby on Bain, warts and all.
Picking up on Steve Plater’s remarks about the poor state of the roads in this County, especially when compared to continental Europe, and on research done by Tessa Tucker, there was a lively discussion regarding the ever-increasing nuisance of lorries using our village as a heavy goods vehicle rat-run, damaging the road surfaces and possibly causing structural damage to the bridge in Rimes Lane, which we are told was last officially inspected in 1993.
Both of these related issues were identified as top concerns among residents in a local survey organised by the Parish Council last year, but nothing has changed since then, and concern is turning to anger in the face of what is perceived as the dismissive attitude of the County Council.
Finally, Councillor Briscombe announced our intention to hold an autumn village celebration on the theme of apples, possibly featuring duck racing and worm-charming, lubricated by cider! Ideas welcome folks…………
Kirkby on Bain Parish Councillors wish to thank Edward Mayor, Amaryllis Midgley, Steve Plater, Kirkby on Bain Primary School and all those who came along to support us this year.