15th November 2010
On the 10th of November I had to travel to Lincoln in order to see my university doctor about the statement of physician that “all” JET applicants are required to obtain (future prospective applicants reading this: Sort yours out now! And make sure your medical records are still at your local surgery and not anywhere they may have been transferred while you were at university).
As one of the main purposes of JET is internationalisation and not simply helping to teach English, I took the time to snap many pictures of Lincoln to show my future students. I also quite miss the city, it’s a beautiful place. For some reason quite a lot of medieval buildings survive in Lincoln that would have been demolished elsewhere. However time hasn’t stood still (well in some ways it has, there’s a “family run” supermarket there! I’m pretty sure that sort of thing died out in the early 80’s in most of the rest of the country) and there’s also several up-to-date blocks of flats in the city centre.
The waterfront, marina and university
The narrow river continues on past the high street. I’m standing in the small market square, on the other side of the river is a new-but-looks-old shopping centre, an ancient pub and a block of flats finished in 2006.
An archway that probably once formed part of the wall around the town, that’s how old it is! Unfortunatley it’s not all quaint “old town” buildings behind this, in fact just on the other side is a horrendous 60’s monstrosity of a department store. But that just adds to the interesting variety!
The aptly-named Steep Hill area. The “Jews House” is another preserved-against-the-odds building. It’s now a tea room and bookshop. And the inside is like the library that used to be in my village in 1990, shame the old architecture is all covered up except for the exterior.
Pubs, Cafe’s and the Tourist Information place. Lincoln is divided into “uphill” and “downhill”, with most of the interesting old buildings being uphill. The art college of the university is also up the hill, the students quickly discover there are roads that are not as steep!
Lincoln Cathedral. It’s a little known fact that this was the tallest building in the world for over 200 years, and would have held the record right up to the 1880’s, when overtaken by the Washington Monument, had the spire not fallen off in the 1500’s. These two towers also used to have tall spires on that were about half as tall again! But they were also removed in the 1500’s because they were likely to collapse.
Around the cathedral
Lincoln is one of the few counties of England that has it’s own flag. Others being Essex and Cornwall. The Lincolnshire flag is actually quite a recent creation and can be seen flying all over the county.
One of the less-steep backstreets that leads away from the cathedral area. The wonky house is the back of my favourite book shop (unfortunately i had forgotten it was closed that day!). The odd-looking modern house (looks more like it belongs on a cliff near Nice in 1982 if you ask me) has been under construction for ages. It’s still not finished!
Around one side of the university, and looking back across the water. In the third picture the smoke trails in the sky are caused by the Red Arrows practicing! They are based near Lincoln. They never do any very interesting moves in practice though, just big loops.
The other side of the university, it is divided in the middle by railway lines, though does have two if it’s own bridges to make the journey a little less annoying. The Student Union, Science Building, Architecture Building and… something new.
In the days of barges being the main form of transport “over land” Lincoln was an important city and this pool was a hive of distribution in the county. Now however Lincoln is not really served by any major roads or railway lines. The nearest airports are all RAF ones. A bloke at my graduation called the city “England’s best kept secret” and that’s something i’d have to agree with. However should i be lucky enough to get on JET i’ll be able to promote the charms of the city to children on the far side of the world!