East Midlands Food

East Midlands Food

Lincolnshire life…

Museum of Lincolnshire Life

Those of you who read the blogs by my colleage Rod Duncan, the MuBu Digital Writer, will know that we recently paid a visit to the Museum of Lincolnshire Life in Lincoln. It was rich in displays relating to food, from agricultural tools and machinery to shop scenes and domestic  implements, and is well worth a visit to see the range of what is on display. Several things struck a chord from my childhood, not least an array of hand-operated mincing machines! I used to enjoy mincing the left-over meat from the Sunday joint for dinner on Mondays, made into rissoles with a beaten egg or two, fried and eaten with some chips. Not so healthy, but – Monday being washday with all the hard work that involved before automatic washing machines – quick to make, economical and very tasty.

As the museum points out to visitors, Lincolnshire is much more than an agricultural county – see the display of the World War I tank made in Lincoln, for instance – but this is perhaps how it is best known to people living elsewhere. Here’s a very evocative description of the north-east of the county from 1891:

Museum of Lincolnshire Life - agricultural display

‘…among the wolds especially, there are snug little hamlets, nestling under the shadow of the chalk hills, sheltered by magnificent trees, fringed by meadow and cornland, and possessing a beauty peculiarly their own. There are isolated villages, approached by winding lanes, with their flower-covered banks, and hedges of hawthorn… grand old-fashioned farm houses, with their yards crowded at times with noble-sized stacks of straw, teams of well-fed and well-groomed horses slowly moving here and there, on farms which can boast a thousand acres of tilled land, streams or “dikes”, teeming with pike and eels, pastures dotted over with sheep and cattle, or well-tilled fields rich with waving corn’ (W. Andrews, Bygone Lincolnshire, A. Brown & Sons, Hull, 1891).

In the fenland and coastal areas fishing had long been a major part of the local economy, both to feed the family and for sale to wider markets. There is a very informative display about Fenland life at Ayscoughee Hall in Spalding – so if you’re planning a day out in Lincolnshire sometime, why not include a visit to one or another of these museums.




    Felicity Austin March 17th, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I recently read a book called ‘A Pride of Tigers’ by Sybil Marshall, in which the author recalls growing up in the Fens before WW2; absolutely fasicnating reminiscences of a forgotten world, but what struck me reading your blog, was how little memories of food seem to feature in this type of book…….
    We too, often had rissoles for lunch on a Monday, or sometimes cold roast meat with mashed potatoes if that was all there was time for on washday!

About this Sponsor

A research project that looked at various aspects of food in the East Midlands, linking them with museum displays and objects in the region, and making the results available to as many people as possible in different formats.