Middle Rasen Parish Council - Middle Rasen, the people, history and place in Lincolnshire
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   MIDDLE RASEN A SHORT HISTORY

Early history records a Roman settlement on Osgodby Top Road, to the north of the Parish.

For governance the parish of Middle Rasen was in the ancient Walshcroft wapentake, a political unit similar to a Hundred in Anglo Saxon England. The wapentake is a collection of parishes and is a term used in former Danelaw region of England. It derives from words meaning “show your weapon”, that is all in favour would raise their swords/axes to show agreement.

In Henry I's time, the 14 th century, a certain William Paynell was lord of the manor in Middle Rasen and he built and endowed St Paul's church. Having also built Drax Priory in Yorkshire, he gave St Paul's church to that Priory. St Peters church was built by the monks of Tupholme Abbey around the turn of the 12 th century. By the 19 th century both churches were in a state of disrepair and in 1860 St Peters was thoroughly restored using some parts of St Pauls in restoration.

According to the book 'Like a Rasen Fiddler' by Mary Shipley, “In 1539, Middle Rasen was able to supply forty nine able men for the wars - archers or billmen. With two churches and two vicars, many farms, outlying cottages, two water mills and a pottery, it was an important place.”

During the reign of Henry VIII churches in the main Lincolnshire towns were extremely rich and possessed very valuable treasures which they thought to be under threat of confiscation by the king. This resulted in the Lincolnshire Uprising in November 1536, when there was general unrest and people marched from Horncastle, Louth, Caistor and other large towns to try to resolve the matter. On their way to Lincoln, marchers camped on Hambleton Hill.

In 1720, John Wilkinson, who owned property in the parish, stated in his will that the interest from one hundred pounds and the remainder of his personal estate shall “cause to be taught with reading and writing sixteen poor children… eight to be chosen out of the parish of Rasen Drax and eight out of Rasen Tupholme…“ This resulted in the setting up of the first schooling in the village. The school, originally known as the ‘Middle Rasen John Wilkinson's Charity School' was built in 1874 to hold 120 children. In 1911 the average attendance was 79. The Charity still supports the school.

In the 19 th century there were Wesleyan, Primitive and Reformed Wesleyan Methodist chapels in the parish. The Primitive Methodist church (1838-1956) was opposite the Nags Head pub on Gainsborough Road. The other two were on Church Street . The present site of the Methodist chapel on Mill Lane was purchased from the Brown Cow pub and the building was erected in 1911 at a cost of £1350. Forty thousand bricks from another village chapel were used in its construction.

Middle Rasen mill on Mill Lane was built circa 1827 and was a working mill until the 1920‘s. Losing its sails by 1931 it was then engine driven. When the last miller died in 1932 it became disused and was later dismantled.

In the early 1900's a villager remembers that “church and chapel were well attended. There were two butchers shops, four general stores, a post office, two cobblers, one bootmakers shop, a tailors shop, one windmill, one watermill and about nineteen thatched cottages.”

More recent memories recall a Canadian bomber, struck by lightening, that crashed in a field behind the church during the Second World War, resulting in the death of its crew.


 

Middle Rasen Parish Council


Over the past few years Middle Rasen Parish Council has been responsible for a number of improvements around the village.

In 1999 it took over responsibility for the maintenance of the old St Paul's churchyard on Low Church Road. Now known as God's Acre, with new planting and the addition of bird and bat boxes, it has been transformed into a sanctuary for wildlife.

As commemoration of the millennium, the Parish Council installed a clock in the St Peter and Paul's church. A later addition was the striking mechanism which utilised one of the old bells.

In 2005 three decorative village signs were erected as gateways to the village.

Repairs have been made to the bridges over the river Rase on Church Street and North Street.

New playground equipment was installed at the village playing field in 2002.

The reduction of the speed limit on the A631 from 40mph to 30 mph which the Parish Council has worked hard to achieve will come into force on 17 th August 2006. It is hoped that the addition of crossing facilities on the Gainsborough Road will follow. The council is still in negotiations with Lincolnshire County Council Highways Department.

Additional land was purchased in 2006 to be used as an extension of the burial ground at St Peter and Paul's church. A new iron fence and gate has been erected along the western boundary. Future plans include a commemoration plaque and tree planting.

New notice boards are to be acquired for erection at the eastern end of the parish on Caistor Road and Walesby Road.

A restoration project for the bridge on Low Church Road is planned for next year.

Middle Rasen Parish Council is working towards Quality Status.

With the assistance of the community, the council will be looking to produce a Parish Plan.

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   Parish Council News

News from Middle Rasen Parish Council

Meetings of the Parish Council are held on 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Church Hall, with the public forum starting at 7.20pm – all are welcome.

The Parish Council met on 19th September 2017.  It had been confirmed by WLDC that there is an official Councillor vacancy to be filled by way of co-option by the Council.  If anyone is interested in joining the Council, please contact the Parish Clerk on middlerasenparishcouncil@gmail.com in the first instance. Sadly, some vandalism has occurred in the Parish – the new noticeboard on The Furlongs has been smashed, and the cemetery gate has sustained damage – the Council would be grateful for any information from parishioners regarding these incidents.  The noticeboard will be taken down and repaired as soon as possible.  The Council had a frank exchange of views with Cllr T Smith (District Councillor) with regard to the lack of Section 106 monies from the new Caistor Road development being paid to the parish despite a request from the Council.  The Council has once again secured contractors for winter maintenance in the event of snowy weather – please will all parishioners try not to park on the roads when the weather is bad – this will allow salt to be spread across all the roads and prevent damage to cars.  The Parish Council agreed a small grant to the Christmas Lunch Project in Market Rasen – this project is for those who may be alone on Christmas Day to access a lunch with others – a worthy cause.  Parishioners are encouraged to engage with WLDC with regard to the budget and green waste consultations – have your say if you don't want to pay!

The July meeting reports :- The Council received information on Crime related matters at the July meeting from PCSO Harrison.  Crime statistics in the parish are low, and parking issues both in the parish and in Market Rasen were discussed.  The Council has received reports of speeding on outlying areas of the parish, and the PCSO team will work over the summer period to minimise speeding in the parish.

Once again, Councillors have been stopped by members of the public regarding overgrown hedging in the parish – whilst the Clerk will write to property owners – please can all parishioners be mindful, and ensure that their hedging is not overhanging the footpaths.

The Council are particularly disappointed at the decision to approve the planning application of 300 houses on Caistor Road.  The CLLP which is in force has not allocated development of this size to the parish, and the Council were not invited to attend the committee hearing.  The Council have asked the WLDC representative, Cllr T Smith to look into this matter further, and are also writing to Cllr J Summers to complain about this decision.  Planning continues to dominate, with ever increasing numbers of applications year on year.

Whilst it almost seems to far in advance to contemplate, the Council are planning a Christmas Event for all parishioners to be held prior to the December meeting on Tuesday 12th December 2017, at the Church Hall from 6.15-7.15pm, where Councillors would welcome members of the parish to come to talk to them about parish matters – all are welcome to attend the meeting afterwards.

The May meeting of the Parish Council saw the election of both Cllr M Stamp and Cllr D Pattison resume their roles as Chair and Vice Chair of the Parish Council respectively. The majority of the meeting was devoted to the more legal element of the Parish Council's work ensuring that the the policies and external paperwork for Audit are up to date and correct. The Council continues to have a stable membership and meets every month on the 2nd Tuesday at the Church Hall. All parishioners are welcome to attend, and the public forum opens at 7.20pm.

The Council were made aware that it is likely that a decision will be taken at the end of May by WLDC Planning Committee on the application submitted for 300 homes on Caistor Road - the Council continue to oppose such a large scheme in the parish. WLDC Cllr T Smith is working with both the Council and the RAG group to ensure that the planning committee are aware of the concerns of all parishioners.

Works in the burial ground to fix the fencing are now complete, and the locking of one gate at the burial ground seems to have curbed the fly tipping issue seen over the winter months. The driveway is the next area to be reviewed as it is also in need of repair, and the Council have also agreed to halve the costs of the maintenance and servicing of the Clock on the Church over the next three years.

In January we learnt ......  the Council were entering the last phase of maintenance works at the burial ground – however due to fly tipping and damage over the last few months, have taken the view that one of the gates to the burial ground will be locked as from 1st February 2017.  A key will be held in the Church for disabled access to the burial ground, however the Parish Council have taken the view that disrespectful behaviour in the burial ground must be discouraged.

The Council also undertakes a review of the grass cutting at this time of year, and agreed to contract the grass cutting to Lincolnshire Landscapes and Green Grass Contracting.  However, following on from the budget preparation, the County Council have written to all Parish Councils to inform them that there is the likelihood that the amenity grass cutting service will no longer be carried out by LCC in the 2017/18 year and beyond.  Whilst quotes were sought, the Parish Council were in agreement not to fund the amenity cut at this juncture, given the lack of budget planning for such a costly service. 

The Council are aware that a great deal of parishioners cut areas of grass outside their property as a matter of course, and would encourage such community mindedness in the future.

In the December report said ...., whilst the Council has kept the precept at the same level for 2017-18 as per the previous 5 years – this year parishioners will see an increase in their Council Tax due to the withdrawal of the Council Tax Support Grant by WLDC.  The Council agreed that whilst costs are rising, they are committed to ensuring that parishioners are not overburdened by large rises, and will use reserves to cover any shortfalls in funding for the next financial year.

Clerk to the PC : Mrs Jo Trotter ~ 01673 838690 ~ middlerasenparishcouncil@gmail.com

Middle Rasen Parish Council performs a vital role in the community
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