For many years Brayford Pool has been a strong part of Lincoln’s Epic History, Through out time is has held a strong significance of the Local History. Throughout time it has been used for various differences, everything from a major Inland port to a place of beauty where people can come and view its splendor. But through the ages many disturbing things have happened to Poor old Brayford, including in recent years it nearly being destroy for a Car park.
Around 150years ago Brayford Pool was in it’s prime, it’s port even though not very Large held home to many Businesses, everything from Warehouses which where very common and came in vast numbers, to mills, to Breweries and even to Grain storage, and it was these many businesses that helped Brayford grow and prosper throughout the ages. Also Brayford came up to the outskirts of Lincoln so goods could be transported straight into the Town. (Picture Below was an Artists impression of how Brayford looked in its good old days). Another strong factor about Brayford is that’s connected straight to the river Witham that allowed transport of goods to be much more efficient and a lot less time consuming. But due to its poor construction larger boats could not pass through as the sides and depth where marginally short, it wasn’t until the very late 18th Century that the river Witham was dug deeper and wider so larger more important boats could pass through.
Also connected to the Brayford was the Fossdyke Canal, which was a great help for barges to come into the Town from another way. While I was in Lincoln I noticed many wonderful, extravagant, old well maintained warehouses with their Small windows, gates straight onto the edge of the Canal and river, which where for easy transportation of good to Land and straight into storage, they helped give an impression of how it use to look, even though we only had a little bit of an impression of what it was like.
The local area must have been populated with many different types of people who worked the Dock, everyone from the Rich businessmen who owned warehouses and businesses to the little folks who would help maintain and work in the workhouses, this was indeed a special community. But no matter how good the community was nothing could stop the ever growing railways, which in 1846 took a strong hold on all of Lincoln and drastically reduced the amount of ships/boats docking at Brayford, the railway was much faster, much more efficient and much cheaper, so consequently Brayford pool soon became a little bit deserted, well not deserted but slowly its need was ending, the once powerful Canal connected to Brayford was slowly being turned into a dreary, dying hole with a bit of water trickling, its need was not wanted anymore and people started to show no interest in its future. (Below: Brayford Pool quickly loosing amount of boats and at the same time business.)
Brayford was slowly falling into decline the local community started to care less and less about there once loved port, but all to foolish where the locals to see what they where doing, they where slowly destroying everything they had worked so hard for, but the fools would not realize there mistakes and would not make amends for their actions. In 1964 Brayford area had fallen into a desolate waste Land filled with junk, but no one would do anything for their beloved area, only when a threat that Brayford was to be filled in to be turned into a car park the community pulled together to make a better Brayford pool, and in doing so they where able to save their beloved Brayford from total destruction.
By 1968 the river Witham again had fallen into a derelict state, it was just a dumpsite for all the locals rubbish, but a few mentally and or physically strong people pulled together for the respect and honour of their once great work and did what they could to clean up all the junk that laid in river, many organized workers worked hard to do what they could and even many Locals lent their helping hand to do what they could to save what was once a great sight to behold. This was a great achievement for the Local people and they where pleased by what they had done.
Now Brayford is a glorious site, full of liveliness people bustling about doing what they want to do, but today Brayford is much more than a Dock it’s a place to come for relaxation, it’s a place to come for fun it’s a place people can come to do anything they want really, the boats nowadays are more for pleasure than work and that’s really what Brayford is really all about know… pleasure. As I walked around Brayford I saw many wonderful things going on, the first thing that caught my attention was the New University that has been built to attract youngsters, also to accommodate these youngsters flats have been built in great numbers for great accommodation and easy access to the University, also many Bar’s and pubs have been constructed in the Local area, this will help the flow of Business again and help to show the rest of the Country Brayford is still a glorious place to be.
But the thing I liked most was the contrast between the new and the old; I like how they’ve made the new Hotel look old fashioned, how they’ve kept the old Engineering works, how they intertwined the looks and styles of all the different types of buildings, how they’ve revamped The local area to make it more pleasing to the eye, how they’ve taking into effect the ideas of the locals and the visitors and how they’ve been able to accommodate for both and also how they have made and placed a Boat shop just of the bank so it’s easy for the people working on their Boats to have easy access to the equipment and parts they need at a Low price.
Looking at Brayford now (Look at attached sheet), Brayford has still got along way to go it is expanding within itself. At the moment there is a NEW Cinema Complex being built will help to attract many youngsters to come and spend their time is this relaxing area, and be able to do what they want, anything from Fishing, boating to going to the Cinema and watching the film of your choice. But at the moment the problem I see with Brayford is that during the long nights, the students from the collage will be out drinking till the early hours in the morning, and when they’ve finished in the bars may not be ready to retire for the night and may create havoc in the area, even polluting Brayford again, but a lot of problems will come from having a lot of Students drinking by the side of the Pool and I see many accidents happening.
Above is a very basic picture of how Brayford looks at the moment, as you can tell there are very few major buildings at the moment, but I do greatly believe than in years to come we will see many more buildings, I think this will over time become a great Historical landmark and will strive to become a thriving community with thousands of Job’s opening, tourism left, right and center coming to view it’s splendor and to show how great it IS, it WAS and it WILL be, this is a glorious site and in the near future I see it being even greater and with people’s interest growing this area it will shortly become a place to visit and a place to enjoy a combination of the new and the old.
So Brayford Pool has had it’s ups and indeed its downs but every time something has gone wrong it has always been put right, even if it did take along time, and this is the way it will stay this Landmark is as much of a part of Lincoln as Lincoln Cathedral and as long as people are willing to take a stand for what id right with this place it will continue to grow and prosper for many years to come.