Andrew Abbott's Blog

Friday, 30 November 2012

Boston Christmas Market. Not a poor mans Lincoln.

I’ve often found, coming from Lincoln but working in Boston, there’s been a sort of “anything they can do “attitude. This is the wrong way of looking at things in my view. Boston is a great little town, whatever you may have heard to the contrary. There has been some really outrageous publicity and anyone would think Boston is mired in every kind of problem. It’s not.

I do however think that any notions that the town can compete with Lincoln or Peterborough on a like for like basis is misplaced. Boston has its own treasures and uniqueness and this is where, again, in my humble opinion, they should put their efforts.

So when it was announced there was to be a Christmas Market thoughts were, here we go again. However, I do have to say, they’ve really cracked it this time. The twice weekly market at Boston has always been the jewel in the crown and the market place has recently had a lot of money spent on it, not to universal local acclaim it has to be said but I like it. Some of the old features are or are about to be re instated, principally the “five lamps” which are a reproduction of an age old feature of the market place and the place has been really smartened up. With the Assembly Rooms now also due a facelift Boston is starting, once again, to look like it always should have been, the big noise in the south of the county.

The Christmas Market itself, whilst having elements of Lincoln’s famous yuletide effort, is nevertheless a completely different proposition having a more English flavour and it really does look the part particularly on this cold and frosty morning. If you’re in the south of the county or if you fancy a ride down from the Lincoln area over the weekend I would recommend it. You won’t feel it’s a duplicated exercise.

                             Get yourself down to Boston but it won't be this quiet for long!

Ps. Having been round again and made some purchases, I'm advised that the normal market is on tomorrow, then it's back to the Christmas Market on Sunday.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

There’s a kind of hush all over the world (of Lincoln City)

Quiet isn’t it? Both Lincoln City and Mansfield Town who meet this weekend in the FA Cup, second round, a match being well and truly drummed up by the press what with red wigs and all, have suffered similar fates lately. Both are on parallel trajectories, good unbeaten runs followed by fairly ignominious exits from the FA Trophy to lower league opposition. Both clubs will have wanted to and been expected to progress in that competition given that they are both in good form at the moment and are amongst the most senior clubs in the competition. Both can now concentrate on the, er, cup.

For both clubs the FA Cup represents a good chance to do some rebuilding of balance sheets and no club budgets for doing anything at all in the FA Cup, not at our level anyway, so Saturday represents an unexpected windfall, especially when you consider City’s dire record in it. Both clubs have been holed beneath the waterline by relegation but at least they are showing some signs of regaining their buoyancy just to continue the watery analogy a bit further.

The good thing about the defeat to Tamworth (if there is one) is that expectation levels are brought slightly more into focus with the realisation that, even on their present good run, the Imps are beatable so it’s certainly not a case of simply showing up, not that the manager would tolerate such chutzpah. Having said that the mood I detect from fellow fans is that City slightly have the edge over their local rivals. Try telling that to Stags though.

Talking of the manager, not too long ago David Holdsworth could have expected a good verbal kicking from Mansfield fans with the City faithful not far behind but Holdsworth has enjoyed something of a reappraisal in the supporters mind of late even to the extent of a bit of David Holdsworth’s barmy army being heard now and again. This must be a very welcome turn of fortune for the former Stags boss and he can surely look forward to a very positive reception from home fans even given the defeat at Tamworth which was largely not laid at the managers door by the supporters who understood the need to keep our big guns in good order for this clash.

So, we enter the last few hours and there’s a sort of lull before the storm as surely it will be with Mansfield getting through their initial allocation of tickets in no time and are now into the second tranche of tickets. City fans too are starting to rediscover the joys of supporting their local club. We can but hope that the biggest gate of the season so far will be at Sincil Bank come Saturday to see if the Imps can progress at the expense of the Stags. Don’t forget it’s a one o’clock kick off so you can get your Christmas shopping started afterwards. What’s not to like?

Monday, 26 November 2012

Cup runneth not over.

A few weeks ago David Holdsworth would have been roundly condemned for sending out a below strength side to face Tamworth in the FA Trophy, only to lose the tie but now the fans seem to be largely understanding of the move.

Personally, I thought the trophy should have been very much in the sights of City although I also thought they would be able to put out a team more than capable of progressing, even a changed one, wrongly as it happens.

The problem with the trophy, in the general scheme of things, is that income will only start to accrue much later in the competition compared to the FA Cup which is next. You could say City will never win the FA Cup, not without my six numbers coming up anyway, unlike the Trophy which a club of the stature of the Imps ought to fancy their chances at but the prospect of immediate income is there in the FA Cup, substantial income if they could get past Mansfield. Maybe my imagination is running away with me but if the Imps could win the tie and draw someone decent at home and get on TV then the income from that could amount to a sizeable proportion of the budget, which hopefully the board would sanction spending on the squad.

Lets not get too carried away though.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Storm in a T Cup.

In a rare twist of fate, Lincoln City are in knock-out competition two weekends running starting with the FA Trophy and, nosebleed time, the second round of the FA Cup the following Saturday.

In many ways it’s a shame to lose the momentum built up by the excellent league run but cup success is such a rare treat for City fans that we should not complain about two cup games turning up one after the other, bus style.

All the conjecture this week has been whether the manager will use the Trophy as an opportunity to give some fringe squad players a chance and give others a rest and, as David Holdsworth said in this weeks Echo there are sound reasons for doing so with several important ever-present’s on the cusp of a ban due to the number of yellow cards accrued.

Holdsworth is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t but at least the possibility of giving the also rans a game is a viable proposition now that there is a good quality look to the squad. If however the manager plays an unchanged team and a pivotal player gets a ban which will prevent him playing in the FA Cup the natives will not be best pleased, neither will they be if Holdsworth makes wholesale changes and City tumble out of the Trophy, a competition the Imps must think they have a chance of winning, all things considered.

I do have to say that you tend to have this sort of team selection conundrum when, say a Premier League club plays a relative minnow and, of course if they subsequently lose there’s hell to pay for the manager but I rather like the analogy. I think Lincoln City have rather overplayed the financial position and portrayed themselves as no better than any other clubs in the Conference which I think is not true for two reasons. Firstly City are full time and secondly the clubs capacity to attract much bigger gates than many of their rivals as witnessed by the huge increase in gate for the last home fixture. If the Imps can continue their good run those gates will increase still and, with the quality of football being so good, as well as winning games, the club could find themselves in a considerably better financial situation than they thought they would be. I do think smaller clubs raise their game at Sincil Bank but the prospect of, say 4000 noisy home fans giving them the heeby jeebies then the lure of playing at a former league stadium might not be so appealing.

Of course City are not a home this weekend but, such has been the Imps upturn the fans will turn out in numbers to see how they get on at Tamworth, not such a happy hunting ground previously but supporters will be in confident mood as they set off for the match and there really is every reason to be in a positive frame of mind, both players and fans alike.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Grant Brown: At least the chairman can now show his face!

Grant Brown has praised the Lincoln City players in an interview carried in Lincoln University’s on line magazine “The Linc”

Man of the moment Jamie Taylor came in for scrutiny as “Hoof” reflected on that audacious 35 yard lob that had the Hereford keeper flummoxed. “It was a great pass by Gary Mills and a great run from Jake Sheridan to get there and put the defender under pressure”

“It was a really good finish, I didn’t think it was going to make it, but it just sneaked over the line. It was a fantastic time to score, right on the stroke of half time. It gives you something to hold on to, because Hereford are a good side.”

The former Imps favourite also heaped praise on an aspect of David Holdsworth’s tactics the fans had doubts about, substitutions :

“When substitutes come on the pitch, you want them to make an impact,” Brown said. “They both certainly did that; Colin with his penalty and Vadaine with his physical presence in the box.”

In a tongue in cheek aside Brown also remarked on how the fans had reacted to the upturn and alluded to the fact that chairman Bob Dorrian can at least now leave his front door without a disguise:

“It gives such a lift to the players. We ask them to come in and do it for the fans, to show respect to the fans, and they’re doing that. It’s a good time to be a Lincoln City supporter.

“The chairman can walk around town safely now, he’s not afraid to be seen out and about.”

Ever the realist though, Brown is not letting his enthusiasm run wild:

“We haven’t done anything yet. It’s November still, we’re ninth in the table which is a better position than we’ve been in for quite a long time. We need to propel that; we need to move forward, keep winning games and not rest on our laurels.

“If we get to January and we’re still up there, we can look to strengthen or kick on with the players we’ve got.”

Well, we’re tenth now after last nights results but even so it’s certainly a good time to be an Imp and long may it continue.

Monday, 19 November 2012

A better place to play.

I looked round Sincil Bank on Saturday afternoon. It was so happy. The crowd, noisy and supportive. You can always tell when the crowd are pleased with the team at the Bank. They sing winter wonderland. There was a time when they sang it all game long. In those days the words were “there’s only on Gareth Ainsworth” no matter, but we’ve got our own hero now or heroes, so many of the team are playing probably the best football of their lives.

Man of the match went to Jake Sheridan, yes, the one that couldn’t pass tackle or shoot, well he can now. There was an exquisite finish from Jamie “anything Zlatan can do” Taylor an own goal, well it was forced on the unlucky defender, even a penalty converted. Fancy that.

Saturdays match against Hereford had banana skin written all over it. Could the Imps go ten games unbeaten? You bet they could but the beauty of this game, the beauty of football indeed was that no one in the ground knew that City would extend their run until the final whistle. When the game was poised at 2.1 I felt one more goal would finish off the Bulls. City duly got it, Sheridan powering through to goal leaving Hereford defender Gallinagh no choice but to upend him to give City a penalty no referee could deny. The last two efforts at Sincil Bank giving little comfort but up stepped Colin Larkin to dispatch the conversion with aplomb. Earlier, Bulls’ Simon Clist powered the ball into his own net to get the Imps noses in front, it was that sort of game. Having gone three one up, City proceeded to give a soft goal away. It’s not all good. But a lot of it is and there was a big increase in home support there to see the Imps emerge triumphant in a terrific advert for the division.

City are now up to ninth in the table, an astonishing upturn in fortunes. I still refuse to believe they can mount a challenge on the play offs but first it’s the trophy then round two of the FA Cup. That’s right, round two and City are in it.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Boyd by success

The Echo said it was on, BBC Radio Lincolnshire said probably but now has confirmed that Adam Boyd has signed a short term contract that will see him at Sincil Bank till early January.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Boyd in, Nutter out but that means........

News today, courtesy of Leigh Curtis of the Lincolnshire Echo, that City are set to sign Adam Boyd who has been training with the club.

On the way out, on loan to Woking, is John Nutter. Any disappointment at that, apart from the fact that I liked having a defender called Nutter at the club, is that Peter Gilbert will be staying for the foreseeable which for me is a definite plus.

Finally, after complaining of little to cheer us lately we've been getting good news after good news and a team to be proud of.

I've just got a horrible vision of red faces on Saturday but never mind. Sincil Bank will be the place to be and you never know, we might be rewriting the record books the way the team are playing.

#itsagoalmichael #II

I watched the goals from the Walsall game on Imps player this morning and, ironically the commentary disappeared from the pictures so I got what Michael got, with the exception of the crowd noise. Now the crowd noise is important because you can usually tell from that when the home team has scored but, apart from that it’s far from apparent that the ball has crossed the line.

So Michael Hortin will forever be itsagoalmichael rather like Michael Fish will forever be the man that failed to spot the hurricane.

Both will protest their innocence till the cows come home. It will make no difference.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Poor old Michael Hortin. Like a lot of other local radio hacks I’m sure Michael dreams of fame and fortune, being discovered and making it onto the national scene.

Well now the BBC Radio Lincolnshire sports editor has. In his commentary last night on the cup tie at Walsall, Michael completely missed the fact that Walsall had scored, bringing the tie back to a 2.3 scoreline.

As Hortin was musing over whether City might get a free kick, the deadpan voice of match summariser Steve Thompson chimed in “it’s a goal Michael” . “Is it?” said the nonplussed commentator. The recording was picked up and played on BBC Radio 1. Now it’s trending on twitter. Fame at last!

David Holdsworth’s barmy army!

That’s a chant you won’t have heard before, unless you were at the Bescot Stadium last night. I don’t think I can remember an incoming manager who received less benefit of the doubt from the supporters. Downright hostility might have been an apposite description of the reception David Holdsworth was afforded. Viewed as the stooge of an unpopular chairman his first two tasks were to keep the club in the division, this was achieved, just, and to slash the wage bill and slash it again this season.

My main beef with the club was the negative publicity which I was convinced contributed to the catastrophic reduction in the numbers attending home games. Even with a struggling team fans do not want to hear about the many problems affecting a club. They’ve got problems of their own. They want to hear that their club are working hard to make things better, that rosier times will follow. We heard little of that.

Nevertheless, it was becoming apparent some time ago that Lincoln City’s fortunes were about to improve. The loss at home to Luton was, in fact a good performance. The team had not yet learned how to capitalise on good periods of play but they now seem to have fully embraced David Holdsworth’s philosophy and are turning good play into wins. I’ve been critical but I’m also happy that things are, at long last, starting to improve. I’m happy for Holdsworth, I’m happy for Bob Dorrian. The pair have had to listen to an almost untrammelled tirade of criticism and even accusations of dishonesty in Dorrian’s case. They’ve carried on regardless doing what they think is right. Neither have been blameless, who is? The major problem, for me was the appointment of Steve Tilson but who amongst us can say they disagreed with that? I can’t.

I’m happy for the players, it can’t have been easy being booed off virtually every home game but above all I’m happy for us, the supporters. It’s been a tough old road but now is the time for us to do our bit. The next stage in the rehabilitation process is for gates to return to something like what they were and for the club to be self supporting. We can’t expect the chairman and others to keep putting their hands in their pockets and it’s not a good future for the club to be reliant on people who have every right to walk away. Look what is happening at Gainsborough.

So I’m asking, if you read this blog and you’ve stopped going to home games, give your club another chance, you’ll notice a big difference.

Of course, as night follows day all good runs have to end some time and City are at home this weekend in a winnable mid table game. If that’s not a recipe for disaster I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Riverside Museum: Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel.

Just try to forget the word museum, this is boys toys basically with a few prams thrown in, we’ll forget them.

If you’re in Glasgow and looking for something to do on a rainy day and let’s face it, they do rather specialise in rainy days, you could do a lot worse than catching the bus down to the banks of the Clyde and take a look round this fascinating collection of locomotives, cars, motorbikes, cycles, lorries and, best of all trams, lots of trams. You can (almost) go in them and they do have a sort of nostalgic pull although most of us are too young to remember them first time around, Blackpool excepted.

The only thing missing, for my money, was buses, I would have liked to have seen some more but, not to worry this is a slice of Glasgow’s history and captivating it is too. The museum is arranged so that you walk round it in a set pattern. It’s a bit like going to IKEA but you’re not bored after five minutes. In fact I wasn’t bored after a couple of hours, I could have gone round again but of course one is not allowed too much fun as there are, it was pointed out to me, numerous shopping opportunities in this great city.

Glasgow’s maritime history is not ignored and there are models galore of some of the many boats and ships that kept the workforce in gainful employment before, sadly, shipbuilding in Britain died out. There is just one shipyard on the Clyde these days.

It’s one long trip into childhood and well worth a visit as is Scotland generally, I have to say. Glasgow, and Scotland’s other great metropolis, Edinburgh may seem a bit of a pull from Lincolnshire for a weekend break but the effort is amply rewarded and, contrary to the impression you may have gained from a certain politician who wants away from the union, there is a very genuine and warm welcome for us English to be had north of the border.

Riverside Museum
100 Pointhouse Place
G3 8RS

0141 287 2720

            Daybreak in George Square Glasgow. You'll want to be up early to see all the sights.

The things that dreams are made of.

Don’t know about you but it seemed that the day would never come that, once again a fan could check on Lincoln City’s results or attend a match with any kind of confidence of success. The club and even the manager seemed to be on a course of acceptance that the Imps would never again operate at the level they once did what with talk of ever reducing budgets and even part time football.

Mind you, part time football might yet be on the cards if City’s fans do not come to the realisation soon that things have changed at Sincil Bank. It’s been said many times and I’ve said it myself in this blog that fans are a lot easier to lose than gain and whilst this current run and much improved performances are a very welcome diversion it’s not a promotion bid and even in November the opportunity for that has probably passed once again for another season. Perhaps now is the time for another initiative to get the Bank rocking again and if the spectacle is as good as it has been lately, surely people will realise it’s a lot better than shopping.

Promotion of course is not on offer tonight and, when the FA Cup tie v Walsall was announced Imps fans didn't give  the club much of a chance of going further in the competition. All that has changed and whilst few would disagree that City are still underdogs, the fortunes of the two clubs has altered dramatically since the 1.1 draw at Lincoln. Not many would disagree, and I suspect this may be true of Walsall fans also, that City deserved to go through on the evidence of the first attempt with a late goal bringing Imps fans back to reality and Saddlers back into the tie.

Late goals are something of a speciality of City’s mores the pity and the cruise to victory last Saturday was steered dangerously towards the rocks once again as the team reminded their fans of their continuing frailty. City will have to be anything but frail if they are to get past the wounded beast that is Walsall tonight and the Saddlers will want to use this match to show their fans that there is life in them and of course the manager is fighting for his job.

Nevertheless, City can go into this game knowing that there is every possibility of success what with the defence performing decently and several players demonstrating what the manager saw in them when he signed them and of course, the jewel in the crown, a goal scorer. Yes, it’s been a long time since things felt this good.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A relaxing evening.

If you’ve managed to keep going down to Sincil Bank regularly I wonder if, like me you thought you detected signs of better times ahead over the last few weeks, the cup performance, that win at Wrexham, even the defeat to Luton showed signs that the management team was starting to get their ideas across and that the side were starting to respond.

Eagle eyed readers will have spotted that reference to management team but I’m not going to get involved in the talk that is doing the rounds of the improvement all being down to Grant Brown. I think we have to give credit where it’s due to David Holdsworth and acknowledge the job he has done in very difficult circumstances. Having said that, the improvement has taken place over the last few weeks and this has coincided with the arrival of Grant in the dugout. He has been successful with his charges and he no doubt has an influence on match days and there has been an improvement so let’s give thanks for small mercies, we’ve all earned it.

I say we all, there was another poor attendance last night, champions league on TV and a full league program so the fact that things are better at Sincil Bank is not yet getting through to those who have given up. It needs to if the club are to survive and the players and management deserve better support now. It’s not a one way street. Fans that stopped going will see a rejuvenated side and some players who will, in my view do well in football.

Firstly Jamie Taylor, who I erroneously described as a Holdsworth prodigy. It was pointed out last night on Radio Lincolnshire that he was signed by the much maligned Steve Tilson but I do think his (Taylors) renaissance has taken place under Holdsworth’s watch so I maintain we have him to thank. Andrew Boyce, I really like this defender ditto Peter Gilbert and he has given us much needed stability on the left. He’s on an even shorter contract than most but I’d like to see more of him and of course Paul Farman. Maybe I’m going to ruffle a few feathers here but I think he’s the best keeper we’ve had in a long while.

As to the game, some very welcome and rare luck came our way early on when Sheridan had a shot which hit the back of a defender and looped outrageously into the net then City huffed and puffed a bit without looking too threatened and then, after the break two goals in quick succession gave way to a rare occurrence lately, a nice relaxed second half where we could all sit back and enjoy the game, followed by. Wait for it. Applauding the team off at the end. Happy Days.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

No Brainer.

Lincoln City have been on a decent run of late, unbeaten in six games and the fans will really be looking for the team to kick on from the recent good form and start to put some distance between themselves and the pack down at the bottom of the league.

Where better to make a start in this quest than to put Braintree Town, one place below the Imps in the table, to the sword at the 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium tonight?

After Saturdays excellent display against Walsall, City will, presumably hope and indeed expect to continue in the same vein and treat their supporters to another entertaining display, this time hopefully garnering all three points on offer.

Of course it’s not always as easy as that, no doubt Walsall expected something of a more straightforward progress to the second round of the cup but were swiftly disabused of that notion. Every victory has to be earned but after the run the team has been on and after that performance last weekend, for me the Imps have shown they are now ready to start to make some progress on the long journey to recovery of our pride. The foundations seem to have been laid now.

Braintree manager, Alan Devonshire spoke of his disappointment at losing two games to a waterlogged pitch, one of which was to be a televised money spinner and told the Braintree and Witham Times:-

“We trained after the game was called-off on Sunday and the mood was a bit sombre, but we have to focus on a really important game coming up now.

“We had them doing some running, but it’s definitely not ideal preparation, especially at this level.

“With us being part-time, I really don’t like us missing games.

“We’ll put the postponed game put of our minds and be professional about going to Lincoln.

“It’s a big game for us now.

He went on

“We haven’t played for a couple of weeks and we need to get down and work hard in this one.

“I’m not worrying about where we are in the league as one win could take us up six or seven places.

“It’s a very tight league so I’m not going to put pressure on the players by going on about it.

“We just have to make sure we get a result to make sure we don’t drop into the bottom four.

City’s job, which they’ve shown themselves capable of doing, is to ensure that is exactly what happens. I do hope I don’t read this tomorrow morning with a rueful look.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

City finally put a smile on their fans faces

Those of a red and white hue will surely have been delighted with the showing on Saturday with only a late goal drawing Walsall back into the competition. City must venture to the Black Country to do battle once more. Maybe their big chance has gone but I’m not so sure, the Imps have looked a different kettle of fish of late. Maybe I’m wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time but I do wonder if City have it in their locker to win this one even given the gulf between the sides status.

Sincil Bank was like a stadium reborn as the fans took their cue from the team and made it an occasion to savour singing and clapping throughout the game as the team did us proud and delivered the sort of performance we have been praying for. Saddlers didn’t know what hit them and it was the 86th minute before they finally hauled themselves back in to this FA Cup tie cancelling out Jamie Taylor’s exquisite strike in first half injury time. If you missed it on ITV and you have Imps Player make sure you put your password in and have a look at yet another classy finish from this mercurial striker. Best of all he’s our man so the very worst that will happen is we’ll be forced to accept a bid for him but in the meantime if you’ve stopped going to Sincil Bank you really must come and have a look at this fantastic player.

I can’t emphasise too much the difference around the stadium on Saturday, whether it was the fact that it was the cup or the decent unbeaten run which adds another match to its tally after this enthralling encounter but it was certainly more like the old days with only the visitors late late show putting the damper on a really very decent performance indeed.

Roll on Tuesday.

Friday, 2 November 2012

In the unlikely event of………………

Yes, we’re up for the cup again and, surprise surprise on a bit of a run at the moment although a few more wins would have been a bonus. After last weekends late late show to rescue a point the Imps will, presumably, be buoyant. Whether they should have been in the business of needing to rescue a point is another matter. Letting a lead slip out of their grasp is becoming a speciality but progress into the second round of the FA Cup would definitely be a pointer that happier days are round the corner.

City tied up Peter Gilbert’s short term future during the week and that is bound to please fans. City imploded at the weekend after a good first half but the defensive collapse after the break will have convinced Imps, not to mention the management of the need to have the defender, who has made a good impression so far, on board.

Walsall will, it goes without saying, present the sternest of tests for the five games unbeaten Imps but with Conference Premier Player of the Month Jamie Taylor looking to add to his impressive goal tally and if the defence can perform as they did in the first half against Stockport and particularly if they can avoid any early setbacks then who knows? City as giant killers, not sure I like the sound of that when referring to the likes of Walsall but that’s the way it would be expressed. Got to get there first.

City, of course didn’t even make it into the first round last season after that awful defeat to Alfreton Town that certainly brought it home to us Imps that there was a long way to go if we’re to regain our former status but with £18000 up for grabs for the winner, not to mention the prospect of a decent draw in round two there is every incentive to pull out all the stops to get through, not that they have particularly risen to the occasion when similar opportunities have arisen previously.

Lincolnshire this week.

Rumours abound that Lincoln Prison is to be down graded or turned into a detention centre. Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council has said that closing the prison would damage the local economy although the Ministry of Justice has said the jail will not close but did say changes were being considered. "We are considering changes to the future role of HMP Lincoln," the Ministry said in a statement.

"No decisions have been made, and there are currently no plans to close the prison.

"We are committed to ensuring our Estate meets the needs of the prison population, and best suits the current capacity."

This did not go down well with Mr Hill who said "What we are aware of and led to believe is that there are certain options being considered, one of which is an immigration centre or downgrading the prison to a lower category,"

"That doesn't sound very big news but it's quite important for the health of both the criminal justice system in Lincolnshire and the local economy.

"There's a real need for a prison in Lincoln. It's essential for driving down reoffending rates and making sure justice is delivered locally."

As far as Lincolnshire is concerned if the prison is downgraded there will be nowhere in the county for remand prisoners to go, having an effect on families and legal representatives who will have to travel further and could even lead to Lincoln losing it’s crown court.

England captain and Lincoln Ladies player Casey Stoney has signed a new contract with the ambitious Women’s Super League outfit. Despite having no manager at the moment the club have not been slow to secure the future of Stoney and were delighted to do so. "Casey is a fantastic captain and has shown that at international level and by captaining the Great Britain team at London 2012," said Lincoln chief executive Luke Negus-Hill.

"Securing the services of Casey for a further two years shows the ambition of this club to progress and ultimately win silverware, in the not too distant future."

A local MP who is also a government minister has put the wind up the establishment but earned himself praise from local politicians. John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings says Lincolnshire has more than enough turbines echoing the viewpoint of the county council. Councillor Eddy Poll, Executive Member for Environment Services, said:

"It's heartening to have a senior minister so in tune with what people think.

"This is an issue the county council has been concerned about for some time. We're not calling for a blanket ban on wind farms. We have a duty to protect the environment and are in favour of renewable energy. However, there's been an invasion of wind farms across Lincolnshire in recent years, and we can't ignore the impact this is having.

"We need to make sure we balance our need for green energy against inappropriate developments that ruin the environment we're trying to protect. Wind energy is unreliable and costly. For that reason, we want to raise the bar even higher for anyone wanting to construct a wind farm in the county.

"To that end, we'll be carrying out a public consultation towards the end of the year with a view to making our position an official council policy."

Quite what Mr Hayes’ Liberal Democrat boss will make of it all is an entirely different matter.

Boston’s on off immigration protest is er back on again. So far 85 people have signed up to attend the protest by the Ingram Memorial in the Market Place. The organiser, Dean Everitt said "We are holding this to raise awareness to the ever increasing issues caused by uncontrolled mass immigration.

"We are hoping for a peaceful protest and would like many people to come on the day to show their support for something everyone is moaning about in the town - immigration."

Given that the event is a possible target for rent a mob the police are naturally taking an interest. A spokesman for the force said "We are working closely with the organiser to ensure that the protest remains a peaceful one with the minimum of disruption possible for the community of Boston.

"Before, during and after the event the police will be engaged in ensuring that anyone seeking to turn this protest into anything other than the peaceful protest planned, will be dealt with according to the circumstances and existing legislation.

"The organiser has a right in law to hold a peaceful protest, part of the planning by the police is to ensure that we have the ability to respond against a number of contingencies, to maximise the safety of everyone concerned, and to this end there will be an appropriate and proportionate number of officers on duty on the day."

It’s time to buy your poppy again and this year the Lincolnshire was opened, appropriately enough by Just Jane, resident Lancaster bomber at East Kirkby Aviation Heritage Centre. Brigadier Barry Reeves said: "The Legion's national fundraising target is a record-breaking £42 million, so this is going to be the biggest Poppy Appeal ever.

"Lincolnshire is going to play a huge part in this, and we want to raise £850,000 and show the strength of support for the Armed Forces family in Lincolnshire."

Wear your poppy with pride. Back again next week.