Why Cliff Villages?
That is the first thing that springs to mind when anyone mentions the
second largest county in England. True - to the south and east we have
the fens and things don't come much flatter than that and the Trent valley
to the west isn't exactly bumpy; however in North Lincolnshire there are
the wolds - an area of outstanding natural beauty and running in a more
or less north/south line from the Humber towards Grantham, where it becomes
less defined as it heads south west to Portland Bill, is a ridge of Jurassic
limestone, known in this county as the Lincoln Edge. This is a rather
grand name for what is essentially a 200 feet high green slope rising
out of the Trent valley.
this edge - sometimes at the top, sometimes at the bottom and sometimes
half way up, runs part of the A607 between Lincoln and Grantham and dotted
at intervals along 10 miles of this road are what are known as the Cliff
Nearest to Lincoln at the top of Cross
O'Cliff Hill, where the A15/A607 climbs up from the Trent valley onto
the edge, is Bracebridge Heath, a fast growing village (some would say
a fast growing suburb) right on the southern outskirts. Here the A15 and
A607 part company and a couple of miles along the A607 is Waddington -
a large village partly uphill, partly downhill, with the well known RAF
station which which until recently hosted the biggest military air show
in the UK.
Then comes Harmston where the village hall was the first home of Cliff
Villages U3A and is where several of our interest groups still meet. Next
is Coleby and then Boothby Graffoe, two attractive villages where, in
common with the other cliff villages, houses are built predominantly in
the local limestone.
Just past Boothby is Navenby, one of the larger villages along the edge
which has excellent shopping facilities for a village. Several years ago
a new community centre, now known as 'The Venue', was built and since
2017, when, due to lack of space to accomodate our ever growing membership,
is where our U3A now holds its monthly meetings.
Sort of attached to Navenby is Wellingore where the road drops down off
the edge as soon as you pass All Saints' Church. There is then a stretch
of nearly two miles before you come to Welbourn where the William Robertson
School educates the children from miles around. Finally Leadenham, halfway
up (or down) the Edge, which is at the junction of the A607 and the A17.
Since the bypass was built Leadenham no longer has to live with heavy
lorries struggling up the tortuous road on the steepest part of the edge
on their way from the North of England to East Anglia.
Over the years since Cliff Villages U3A came into existence, several more
U3As have sprung up and Bracebridge and Wellingore now have their own
branch but Cliff Villages U3A continues to grow.