‘People need to support village’
“USE it or lose it” - is the hard-hitting message to villagers from Hemswell Cliff’s Residents’ Group.
Members at the ex-Ministry of Defence (MOD) base say they are working hard to re-build the community after the government sold off land to private owners.
Group chairman Chris Cooper said is is important residents and the wider community get involved to support the future of the village.
“We are in a really difficult situation but we are making the best of it,” she said.
“The Hemswell Cliff community is starting to get itself back on its feet and has an exciting future ahead of it but we need more support from residents here and outside organisations.”
The MOD began selling off land in stages at Hemswell Cliff a few years ago, with the community centre shutting its doors around 2010.
Secretary Tasha Dolton said the closure the centre, which provided important services and amenities, had a great effect on the community.
“It used to have everything in it, from a pre-school, youth club to hairdressers and doctors,” she said.
“The dynamics of Hemswell Cliff also changed when they sold all the houses off. We were a very close-knit community and then we had new people come in who weren’t used to village life.”
But community spirit has now started to shine after residents rallied together to prepare for the village’s annual Big Lunch event on Sunday 3rd June.
Tasha said on-going issues about those responsible for grass-cutting meant a lot of work needed to be done prior to the event.
“The land is officially classed as ‘meadowland’ and is only cut twice year. The parish council arranged for the grass to be cut a few days before the event but it needed much more to be done,” she said.
“We started working early on the Saturday, raking and mowing the grass and didn’t finish until 5pm.”
“By the end of the day loads of people had come out to help and it was really heartening to see them wanting to make the effort.”
Hemswell Cliff is one of four ex-MOD sites in the area, including Scampton, Brookenby and Newtoft.
The four groups meet every three months to discuss how to push the communities forward for the future.
West Lindsey councillor and chairman of the MOD steering group Paul Howitt-Cowan applauded Hemswell Cliff Residents’ Group’s efforts.
“I really admire their work - they are doing a splendid job and the community needs to support them in every way,” he said.
“Hemswell Cliff is a trailblazer for current and soon to be ex-MOD sites, and they are setting a great example.”
For more information about the group and activities, email [email protected] or call 01427 668028.