definition of Wikipedia
Spalding Water Taxi on the Coronation Channel
Spalding shown within Lincolnshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
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|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.
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.
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."
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, 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.
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".
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.
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, 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.
A new nurse-led hospital was built in 2009 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'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
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.
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.
Many small and internationally famous products are supplied from the area including:
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
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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 , 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 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 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.
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