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definition - Spalding, Lincolnshire

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Spalding, Lincolnshire


Coordinates: 52°47′09″N 0°09′10″W / 52.7858°N 0.1529°W / 52.7858; -0.1529

Spalding Water Taxi, Coronation Channel - geograph.org.uk - 191090.jpg
Spalding Water Taxi on the Coronation Channel
Spalding is located in Lincolnshire

 Spalding shown within Lincolnshire
Population 30,000 
OS grid reference TF245225
District South Holland
Shire county Lincolnshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SPALDING
Postcode district PE11
Dialling code 01775
Police Lincolnshire
Fire Lincolnshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament South Holland and The Deepings
List of places: UK • England • Lincolnshire

Spalding is a market town with a population of 30,000 on the River Welland in the South Holland district of Lincolnshire, England. Little London is a hamlet directly south of Spalding on the B1172 road.

Spalding is well known for its annual Flower Parade which attracts many regular visitors from all over the world. Since 2002 it has also held an annual Pumpkin Festival (not linked to Hallowe'en) in October.



Excavations at Wygate Park in Spalding have shown that there has been occupation in this area from at least the Roman period, when this part of Lincolnshire was used for the production of salt to which it was suited as coastal siltland. At Wygate Park salt making seems to have come to an end by the mid 3rd century AD however, when climatic change and flooding may have made such activities difficult.[1]

  Spaldingas tribe

The settlement's name is derived from an Anglian tribe, the Spaldingas, who settled in the area during the 6th century, and who retained their administrative independence right into the ninth and tenth centuries, when the region formed one of the Five Boroughs of the Kingdom of York.



  SS Mary and Nicolas parish church
  Willow trees next to the Welland
  • 1838 - The High Bridge over the River Welland was re-built.[3]
  • 1842 - The Sessions House in Sheep Market was built.
  • 1847 - The Spalding Free Press newspaper was founded.
  • 1848 - The Great Northern Railway opened their railway station.
  • 1851 - The population of Spalding according to the census was 8,829.[citation needed]
  • 1854 - Spalding Cemetery was consecrated in November.
  • 1855-56 - The Corn Exchange was built.
  • 1857 - The Butter Market was opened.
  • 1858 - The police station was built.
  • 1860 - An Act was passed to pipe fresh water to Spalding from Bourne.[citation needed]
  • 1866 - Spalding Amateur Dramatic Society formed.
  • 1866-67 - St Mary and St Nicolas, Spalding was extensively restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott.
  • 1870 - Goodfellows National School was opened.
  • 1871 - The population of Spalding according to the census was 9,111.
  • 1874 - The ecclesiastical parish of St. John the Baptist was formed on 1 December from the civil parishes of Spalding and Pinchbeck.
  St Paul's church, Fulney
  Springfields Factory Outlet
  • 1887 - The Methodist church in Broad Street was opened.
  • 1891 - The population of Spalding according to the census was 9,014.
  • 1916 - Spalding Arts and Crafts Society was founded by surgeons at the Johnson Hospital in Spalding for recovering soldiers wounded in the First World War. Spalding Town Council sponsored their first exhibition in 1918.
  • 1921 - Spalding United F.C. was formed.
  • 1941 - In May, during World War II, a stray Luftwaffe bomber dropped its bombs on Spalding, destroying much of Hall Place and causing damage to several businesses.
  • 1958 - The first Spalding Flower Parade took place.
  • 1960 - St Nicolas Players Amateur Dramatic Society was formed in Spalding. The group's name came from the use of the St. Nicolas Church Hall for early meetings.
  • 1967 - Barbeque 67 took place featuring the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Geno Washington, Cream and Pink Floyd
  • 1974 - In April Spalding moves from Holland local authority (based in Boston) to the new South Holland council, based in Spalding. South Holland is the larger of the two former districts of Holland.
  • 1977 - Location filming for Episodes of BBC TV series Murder Most English starring Anton Rodgers, based on the work of Lincolnshire author Colin Watson. The town stands in for the fictional Flaxborough.[5]
  • 2008 - Tulip Radio was awarded a full time broadcasting licence from Ofcom and announced that they will start broadcasting in early 2009.

  1887 gazetteer description

In John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887), Spalding was described as; "market town and par. with ry. sta., Lincolnshire, on River Welland, 14 m. SW. of Boston, 12,070 ac., pop. 9260; P.O., T.O., three Banks, two newspapers. Market-day, Tuesday. Spalding is an important railway centre, while the river has been made navigable to the town for vessels of from 50 to 70 tons. It is situated in a rich agricultural district, and has a large trade, by river and by rail, in corn, wool, coal, and timber. It has also flour, bone, and saw mills, breweries, and coach works. There are remains of a priory of 1501, a fine old church (restored 1860), a grammar school, a corn exchange, and a spacious market place."[6]

  The River Welland

  Draining of the Fens

  The Welland

The River Welland flows north from Crowland, through Spalding and passing the village and port of Fosdyke before leading out to the Wash, bisecting Spalding from east to west; the town has developed as a linear settlement around the river. Land had been reclaimed from the wetlands in the area since mediaeval times, and Spalding was subject to frequent flooding. The Coronation Channel, opened in 1953, diverted the excess waters around Spalding and ended the flooding,[7] allowing the area around the banks to be safely built upon. Although this area has become heavily built up, the river retains its recreational usage and fishing is still popular.

  Water Taxi

  Water taxi

In July 2005 a "Spalding Water Taxi" service was launched, running from Easter to late October. Its route is from just off Spalding's High Street (behind Hills Department Store), upstream along the river, turning onto the Coronation Channel, and going to Springfields Outlet Shopping & Festival Gardens, and back. It is mainly used as a recreational tourist attraction, described as "a relaxing 30 minute cruise".[8]

  Vernatt's Drain

  Vernatt's Drain north of Spalding

Around the north-west of Spalding is a large waterway called Vernatt's Drain, named after one of the civil engineers who drained the fens. A South Holland council nature reserve is situated on part of the old Boston railway line at Vernatts Drain.

Fulney Lock is the point where the Welland is no longer tidal.[9]

Spalding falls within the drainage area of the Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board.[10]


The town has a population of about 22,000 (26,000 including the large village of Pinchbeck, to the north). The population is growing fast, due in great part to many retired people coming to the area and migrant workers from eastern Europe working in the many food processing factories or on the land.


The Johnson Hospital,[11] named after long-standing local dignitaries the Johnson family of Ayscoughfee Hall, is in Spalding. The maternity ward was closed in the 1990s and it now serves as a casualty hospital; provision for the elderly and care-patients are now made at the Welland Hospital. Limits on expansion due to the historic nature of the building and space limitations (it is in a densely developed area) and lack of funding are causing trouble for the hospital.

  The Pilgrim Hospital in Boston is one of the two nearest main hospitals

A new nurse-led hospital was built in 2009[11] off Pinchbeck Road in the north of the town, near the Pinchbeck Industrial Estate. The hospital is known as "The Johnson Community Hospital" with its name keeping the historic connection with the Johnson Family. The Princess Royal opened the new Hospital officially in January 2010. This draws together existing scattered sites into a modern central unit. The nearest major hospitals to Spalding are at Boston (18 miles north) and Peterborough (20 miles south-east). The Johnson Hospital has 32 in patient beds in the Welland Ward, including the four beds of the Tulip Suite for palliative care. There are two major local doctors' surgeries, Munro Medical Centre, West Elloe Avenue, and Church Street Surgery. There are smaller surgeries on Pennygate and in surrounding villages.


  Spalding Grammar School (a boys' school)

  Primary schools

  Secondary schools

Spalding's two secondary modern schools (11-16) are the Gleed Boys' School and the Gleed Girls' Technology College. On leaving many transfer to nearby sixth forms or attend Boston College or Stamford College which also have Further Education centres in the town.

The town's state grammar schools (still selective by 11+ exam) are Spalding Queen Elizabeth Royal Free Grammar School (11-16 for boys) and Spalding High School (11-16 for girls), both of which have mixed sixth forms (16-18). At A-level, the girls' school does considerably better than the boy's school, being in the top ten schools in the East Midlands.

There are also schools for children with special learning needs; The Priory School (for those with mild to moderate learning difficulties) and The Garth School (for those with more demanding educational needs).

There is also a new college joined on to the Gleed Girls' Technology College called the post sixteen centre offering further education to those aged 16–18

  Sixth Form Colleges

A Vocational 6th form was established and launched in September 2008 as part of the Gleed Campus. It is not an automatic transition as with other schools in the area, like the Grammar, High, and the Deepings. Previous to this, there was no sixth-form available for pupils not attending the grammar schools, although pupils from Gleed schools can and do transfer to the Grammar and High for A-Levels.

  Industry and commerce

  Flowers and vegetables

  A field just north of Weston Hills. The area around Spalding is strategically important for Britain's vegetable industry

Spalding is located at the centre of a major region of flower and vegetable growth, due to the rich silty soil which mainly comprises drained recovered marshland or estuary. There are many garden centres and plant nurseries, as well as a thriving agricultural industry and various vegetable packing plants. The main vegetables are potatoes, peas, carrots, wheat, barley, oats, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. The vast majority of these are sold to large concerns such as supermarkets, with little being available for sale locally.

Despite this, local fruit and vegetable shop Booth's sells lots of local produce to Spalding's citizens. They sell all major fruit and vegetables ranging from the famous, locally grown 'Boston' potatoes to imported rarities such as custard apples.


Known as The Heart of the Fens, Spalding is famous as a centre of the bulb industry, and has close links with the Netherlands (origin of the Geest family, who were former major local employers). The annual Tulip Parade takes place on the first Saturday in May, and is a major tourist attraction, comprising a procession of floats on various themes, each decorated with tulip petals, a by-product of the bulb industry. In years when the tulips are late, daffodils or hyacinths are sometimes used in their place. When the tulips are early, crepe paper has to be substituted. The flower industry has, however, become less important in recent years, and the bands of bright colours that covered the fenland are now essentially gone.

  Main companies

  Bakkavör (former Geest) is based in Spalding

Many small and internationally famous products are supplied from the area including:

  • George Adams local butchers with long standing heritage
  • FESA UK LTD Fruit importers and packers, based in Clay Lake. Internationally recognised for working directly with growers of fresh produce worldwide and supplying most of the UK's supermarkets, processors and food service companies.
  • Welland Power generators from the Farrows family.
  • Uniq plc (formerly Unigate) have a factory for their prepared salads.
  • Fowler-Welch Coolchain, historically a Spalding transport company, have their UK base in the town on West Marsh Road near the power station, and were bought by the Dart Group in 1994.
  • In May 2005, the Icelandic company Bakkavör purchased the main Spalding-based company Geest, for £485 million. It had a large operation on West Marsh Road as well as factories in Holbeach and Peterborough. It began in 1935 has Geest Horticultural Products by John and Leonard van Geest who imported tulip bulbs to the UK. The salad preparation factory in Spalding opened in 1972. It launched on the London Stock Exchange in 1986. In 2010 Bakkavor moved its central operations and registered head office to their Spalding site.
  • Guttridge, based in the large Wardentree Business Park, is a leading designer manufacturer of conveyors, elevators, bulk bag systems, valves and ancillary equipment for bulk product handling. The company operates across the UK and often into Europe and further afield.
  • Lincolnshire Field Products (LFP) are large farmers and growers based on the outskirts of the town. Suppling produce to supermarkets and food manufacturers, the business transports much of its own produce and that of other firms through its subsidiary transport company FreshLinc.
  • The EMAP publishing company, now mainly based in Orton and formerly known as East Midlands Allied Press, was started by Sir Richard Winfrey in Spalding[13] when he bought the Spalding Guardian in 1887. This would become EMAP in 1947, and launched the Peterborough Evening Telegraph in 1961. Sir Richard Winfrey's first local newspapers were initially designed to promote his Liberal politics.
  • Lloyd Loom of Spalding, situated on the Wardentree Lane estate still produce handmade British Furniture in the traditional styles of the 1917 original designs. Their furniture can be found throughout Spalding cafes and restaurants.
  • Kerry Foods Bakery, an Irish food company based in Tralee, situated in Fulney Lane, is a leading producer of sausage rolls & Armadillo pasties to the UK markets
  • Spalding Bulb, a long-established garden mail order company based in the Georgian Market Town. Founded soon after the Second World War, at a time when quotas were in place for the import of many products, including flower bulbs. The company has an expansive range of plants and bulbs, that are sold directly to the end consumer, working with top nurseries across Europe, particularly Holland.
  • TransFlor Ltd a fresh cut flower repacker and haulage company situated in Bicker, Nr Donington. Main UK stoarge and distribution contractor for UK flower importers from countries such as Columbia and Equador. Established by Neil Dobney.


Spalding is one of the homes of the Lincolnshire sausage, ranging from the traditional recipes of Brownings and Bennetts Butchers in Winsover Road (A151) to the more peppery flavours of T Law in Hall Place or the perfectly acceptable mass-produced sausages of George Adams. The key ingredient of the Lincolnshire sausage is sage. One town-centre fish-and-chip shop, Turner's (known locally as Sheddy's) in New Road, sells Spalding-produced butcher's sausage in batter

  World Tulip Summit

Spalding was chosen to host the World Tulip Summit in 2008, from Thursday, 1 May to Friday, 2 May, alongside a broader Tulipmania festival from 13 April to 24 May. This coincided with the date of the Flower Parade (Saturday, 3 May), which was the fiftieth anniversary of the parade. The Summit was estimated to attract about 200 delegates from around the world.

Accompanying the Summit and Festival were many entertainment activities, all with a general focus on promoting the local area.

Spalding has a popular, reasonably-sized, market every Tuesday and Saturday and on the first Saturday in every month a Farmers' Market.

  Landmarks and facilities

  Historical buildings

  Ayscoughfee Hall

The best-known building in Spalding is Ayscoughfee Hall, formerly a 15th century country house and now a museum). Visitors to Spalding can find other local attractions at the Pinchbeck Engine Museum (just north of Spalding), Bulb Museum (situated at Birch Grove Garden Centre, Pinchbeck) and the Gordon Boswell Romany Museum, to the south of the town. There is also a nineteenth-century Blacksmith's Forge on the River Welland which has retained much of its original features, and has been marked out for development as a museum.

Spalding and the surrounding area is famous for its parish churches; St Paul's at Fulney, on the eastern side of the town, was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the designer of St Pancras Station London, who was a friend of Spalding Gentlemen’s Society. St John's, the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, built in 1875 at the same time as the Church school next door,Spalding Parish Church itself (St Mary and St Nicolas, Spalding) has a handsome spire visible for miles around and dates from the 13th century. The Chatterton Tower is near Sainsburys.

  Commercial and civic buildings


Five supermarkets are available to locals: a Tesco Express store, a Sainsbury's in the centre of the town, a Co-op in the Winsover Centre, a Marks and Spencer Food Hall, and a Morrisons in Pinchbeck. Outside of the town centre, Springfields Shopping Outlet and Gardens offer a wide range of outlet stores set in a variety of landscaped gardens designed by Charlie Dimmock and Chris Beardshaw among others.[14] The Castle Sports Complex provides fitness facilities throughout the day and evening. The South Holland Centre is an arts centre on Market Place that stages concerts, theatre productions and film showings.

  History of the barcode

On 7 October 1979, the first barcode was used[15] in the UK at Key Markets in Spalding.

  Power stations

  Power station next to the Welland on the former British Sugar site

A new £425m, 860MW combined cycle gas turbine power station, owned by Intergen, was built on the former site of British Sugar on West Marsh Road by Bechtel in October 2004. Intergen have also consent to build a second 900 MW expansion to its existing Power station which is due to commence construction 2011. In mid-2006 a new wind farm (operated by Wind Prospect UK) became visible from much of Spalding, located in nearby Deeping St Nicholas.


Spalding United

The local football team is Spalding United F.C., who play in the United Counties League (UCL).

The local Rugby team is Spalding RFC, who play in Midland Division - Midlands 1 East. They play at Memorial Field.

The local cricket team is Spalding Town Cricket Club [1], who have three teams on a Saturday in the South Lincs and Border Leagues and a Rutland League team and a Friendly XI on a Sunday for 2012. This as well as youth teams at multiple age groups competing in the BCYCA Leagues.



Spalding, like nearby Boston, is a regular destination of heavy goods vehicles transporting processed vegetables and other food produce. The A16 used to pass through the town until August 1995, when the Spalding-Sutterton Improvement (by-pass) opened. The twelve-mile (19 km) A1073 between Spalding and Eye Green in Peterborough is being re-built at a cost of £70 million and is due to open in mid-2010. It is being classified as the A16. The current stretch of the A16 from Spalding to Stamford is being renumbered as the A1175.


  Spalding railway station (looking south-west)

Spalding is situated on the Lincoln Central - Peterborough railway line, operated by East Midlands Trains. The service is irregular, and non-existent at night or on Sundays; however, it is of great convenience to Peterborough for employment and shopping. A spur from March, which carried the so-called 'Boat Train' between Harwich and Sheffield, closed in 1982.

Spalding was also on the east-west Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway, which had Bourne to the West and Holbeach to the east.

  Tulip Radio

Spalding also has its very own local radio station, Tulip Radio broadcasting on 107.5FM (full time) from Friday 12 June 2009, meanwhile training local media students while off air. These students are also involved in local promotional activities with the station, in notable local events like the Flower and Pumpkin parades.

  Twin cities

  Notable people

  The Lincolnshire Poacher pub and the terminus of the water taxi

  See also


  1. ^ {{Wide Horizons - a History of South Holland's Landscape and People|http://www.sholland.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/1243ADCD-CA9A-4F20-B2D1-9080A3182AE5/0/WideHorizonsTextOnlyVersion.pdf]
  2. ^ Spalding History - local history, historic sites and famous people from Spalding
  3. ^ Details from listed building database (197245) . Images of England. English Heritage. High Bridge, Spalding
  4. ^ see Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, Spalding
  5. ^ Coward, Simon; Down, Richard; Perry, Christopher. The BBC Television Drama Research Guide 1936-2006. 3. Kaleidoscope. http://www.kaleidoscopepublishing.co.uk/books-bbcdrama.html. 
  6. ^ Spalding Lincolnshire through time | Local history overview for the place
  7. ^ The History of the Land
  8. ^ Spalding Water Taxi - Welcome
  9. ^ "EA page for the Welland". http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/boating/31565.aspx. 
  10. ^ Welland and Deepings IDB
  11. ^ a b United Lincolnshire Hospitals
  12. ^ , a school with close links with St John's ChurchSt John the Baptist School
  13. ^ http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/businessfeatures/Feature-Highs-and-lows-of.3718917.jp PET History of EMAP
  14. ^ Springfields Gardens website
  15. ^ The rise of the barcode - BBC
  16. ^ Ian Cashmore's Official Website
  17. ^ Ian Cashmore on BBC Website
  18. ^ Ian's IMDB listing
  19. ^ Murder UK

  External links

  Farmland just north of Springfields (looking south) with the power station to the left

  Video clips



All translations of Spalding, Lincolnshire

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