A Saturday Morning in Caistor

December 4th : chatting and snapping in caistor

Most Saturdays in Caistor see a lively little market where for a few hours you can buy things like your meat and veg, jams and bread and little crafty nick-nacks. You can also have some amazing conversations. I spent an hour there on Saturday the 4th of December with my camera.

As I snapped away, I chatted and learnt that Stuart Overy, the man in the butchers has been coming to Caistor for 33 years, and his father, Bill, and his grandfather before him were butchers too, and his grandfather had worked for Dewhurst, who wanted a butchers in every town, and would send ships to New Zealand to bring back lamb.

Stuart started in the meat trade when he was just 11, and he also learnt how to cook, and really can’t understand the microwave generation. Sadly his family butchers in Scartho, Grimsby closed and is now a hairdressers. Wiki describes Scartho as being a ” a suburban village in the southern part of Grimsby, England, and in the unitary authority of North East Lincolnshire. Scartho’s population is approximately 11,000. Up until the end of the Second World War it was a village; subsequent post-war expansion on the greenfield areas between Scartho and Grimsby has resulted in the village becoming an outer suburb. Its population has increased through recent urban developments such as Scartho Top.

I had thought Scartho was a road and housing estate, that was near the Grimsby hospital, until my chat with Stuart led me to look it up. It is interesting to rethink Grimsby as a set of smaller communities, like villages that have merged to form the town, like London is thought of by many as a city of merged villages.

I learnt something else, and that is, not all Pork Pies are from Melton Mowbray! Back in 2004 Martin Wainwright wrote in the Guardian “Civil servants and lawyers are in for a tasty and prolonged piece of adjudication over the nature of a pork pie”, and referred to the Melton Mowbray pork pie as being a ‘protected geographical product’ (click here to read Martin’s report) but Vale of Mowbray pies come from a company based in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, whose headquarters are in a street called Mowbray Terrace, and that must have been enough for them to be allowed to carry on using the name because 17 years later they are still with us. Stuart told me though that they are struggling because of a loss of workers, and recently they were 30,000 boxes short on what they normally produce.

While I was chatting to Stuart, Gill Maund wandered by with her grandson Jamie, and stopped to buy her choice of bacon, something to sizzle later on.

Another stall holder who is usually with us is the vegatable stall, well you need your veg with your meat, as our Mums constantly tell us, and what a selection the stall offers.

The lady with LOVE on jumper bought a fabulous looking selection of veg, she told me they have recently returned to Caistor after 15 years away

Who can remember VHS, and Betamax video recorders that we all had before ‘streaming’ and Sky TV was invented? With calculators on our smartphones, how long before we never see a calculator in use, and school children view it as something from history, like the abacus?

Whilst we are talking about things soon to be a thing of the past, how much longer will they let us use ‘coins’? One day future historians might tell their audience that in Stewart’s photograph Sandra Wood is swapping a 50p coin with Yulia Millushine for a loaf of bread, just like our teachers told us that our ancestors used to barter skills before coinage was introduced. Mind you, it is hard for government to swop skills, so maybe some form of money will always exist…now then, that is enough politics for one day!

Talking about swopping skills, what was Tom, the local scout leader up to as he walked past, was he earning a ‘bob a job’, do scouts still do that?

Back to Yulvia’s stall, I learnt…if you want to make a lady smile on a cold Saturday morning hand her a warm loaf of bread to hold to her heart

These two little fellows were to be seen hanging from the Methodist Church stall all morning. I think they are blue, and not turned blue because of the cold, but who is that behind them?

It was Colin Wood, of course. Colin is the local stonemason, who has lived in Caistor all his life, and worked from the same 12ft square workshop that his father and grandfather worked from before him. I created a project based around Colin and his work in 2015, and the Royal Photographic Society made me an associate of the society because of the work. The work was exhibited in the Arts and Heritage Centre, and if you are interested you can read more about that by clicking here.

Before I moved on from the Methodist Church stall,  Louis, one half of the local King twins turned up to man the stall. He is seen here offering marmalade made by his brother David. The brothers were presented with an award in 2018 for their outstanding contribution to the community of Caistor, which you can read more about by clicking here

Next to the Methodist church stall was Sylivia Richardson with what she called a hobby, she works in print in Lincoln. These bottles were very clever in that when you twisted the cork they lit up

As I left the market the day to day activities of a community were happening all around me, such as new supplies for Boots the Pharmacy, and then as I headed to the Post Office to withdraw some money….

I stopped to speak to Cliff Rust, a retired Fire Chief who told me how the owners and staff at Stalf (The Settlement) had dressed the front of the building up beautifully ready for the switching on of the Christmas tree lights at 4pm the following day (Sunday December 5th). Cliff had then put the reindeer together and fixed them into place. It all looked amazing.

The settlement used to be a place to eat, called The Settlement and Parkers Restaurant, and was once a printing firm. Now it is the base of a fashionable clothes maker called Stalf, click here to discover more

I got to the post office and fed my little plastic card into a machine, and got some bigger plastic feeling notes back in exchange. Post office owner Martin Sizer asked me if I was on assignment for the Citizen, and I said yes, and I asked if I could take his photograph. He told me they are planning a surprise for the people of Caistor, for when the switching of the lights happen on Sunday.

Having enjoyed all the chats at the market I wandered down to the Caistor Arts and Heritage where Mags Bradley was having her ‘Meet the Artist’ session….

…although she was a bit busy at the time, wrestling with the tables…

…I had to rush off, but the work looked lovely so I will try to get back.

..but before I left it was great to bump into David Riddall, who like me roams around Caistor with his camera, and talks with a southern accent as well…Come in number 5, shoot some pixels!

2 thoughts on “A Saturday Morning in Caistor

  1. Hi Stewart, good article but just one slight observation to be corrected. I didn’t decorate the frontage of Stalf ( Settlement). They did this beautifully themselves. All I did was put the reindeer together and fix them into place on the balcony.

  2. Thanks Cliff, correction to the article made. Thanks for spotting it, and letting us know.

    I think it means the front of Stalf means even more now, if we can say that it was created by a collaboration between themselves as a local business, and yourself , if it acceptable to say you were representing the community. Happy days.

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