Our county of Lincolnshire should be celebrated every day, says Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies
With all our county has to offer, every day is Lincolnshire Day as far as I’m concerned, says Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies.
Nonetheless, last weekend was a great occasion to hoist the county flag, tuck into some plum bread, and raise a toast to Lincolnshire in a local pub with even more relish than usual. We are so fortunate to call this ‘blessed plot’ our home.
I was delighted to hear that local children had a special opportunity to get in on the act, gathering at Lincolnshire Showground for a shared celebration, with workshops laid on by local businesses and charities covering food, farming, sport, the environment and art.
Among those taking inspiration will no doubt have been the next in a long line of Lincolnshire yellowbellies to push boundaries across the life of our nation, from the breakthroughs of Sir Isaac Newton and Margaret Thatcher to Ollie Chessum battling for England at the Rugby World Cup.
The nickname ‘yellowbellies’ hints to perhaps Lincolnshire’s greatest national contribution through our Armed Forces. It is thought to describe the old uniform of what is now the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment of the British Army, who maintain a significant presence including at Prince William of Gloucester Barracks in Grantham. Our deep ties with the Royal Air Force account for another nickname: ‘Bomber County’.
Duty and service are enduring themes which I also see upheld whenever I meet and speak with Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue, the whole range of Lincolnshire NHS services, and teachers in our excellent local schools.
Their endeavour gives me great confidence when I think about the future and the shared challenges we face. For instance, while our rurality offers great natural beauty, it means that we must work harder than elsewhere to extend public services to all, as well as maintaining significant lengths of road from the stunning east coast to the fields and rivers of Kesteven.
Whatever the issue, I am fortunate to be joined by the six other MPs who represent our county and ensure its voice is heard. This has been heeded with significant investment in local services and connectivity, from additional NHS capacity through community diagnostic centres, to the millions invested in upgrading our stretch of the A1, to tens of thousands of households now with full fibre broadband.
Of course, the many local champions who make up the vibrant fabric of our communities make our case for us – better than we ever could. I am always particularly impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit I see, from Alltech in Stamford at the cutting edge of farming technology, to England’s oldest Inn, the Angel & Royal in Grantham.
Our farmers are also integral to our community, and I make sure to catch-up with them regularly, so I know how best to support our local agricultural sector. They maintain so much of the natural beauty we see, and I continue to engage with the local tourism sector, so that more can come and admire their work, fill our hotels and restaurants, drop-by on the whole range of local businesses, create more Lincolnshire jobs, and support our high streets.
As far as I’m concerned, Lincolnshire shouldn’t just be celebrated every day, but by everyone.