I have lived in Scunthorpe all my life. My brothers and I were all born here. My Mum was born and raised here and my Dad was actually born in nearby Grimsby but moved here when he was young. So I've got to say there must be something good about the place if we've all stayed here so long. I've often thought about moving away and to be honest it isn't the town that keeps me here, I could just never leave my family.
Like any town it has its good points and bad points. There are run down areas with houses in states of disrepair and posh areas with houses worth millions. There are some beautiful parks and gardens which is surprising in a industrial town that is surrounded in most part by the steelworks and various industrial estates.
The town centre has grown over the years and is nearly unrecognisable from what it was when I was little, let alone what it was when my Mum was young. At the moment like most towns you visit a lot of shops stand empty, there are still plenty of shops still open though but it probably wouldn't suit you if you have a real passion for shopping. If you want more shops and better quality you probably need to go out of town. It's good enough for me though as I don't like shopping. The other problem with the town centre is the amount of pigeons. We seem to be over run and they always seem to fly at my head. Not a good thing when you have a fear of birds.
Regarding entertainment there's a few things to do but the majority of people would probably prefer to travel to larger neighbouring towns such as Doncaster. We do have a large cinema but I tend to stay away as its so expensive. There's a heck of a lot of pubs and a few nightclubs but to be honest I don't go to them. If you go past them at night you'll see lots of girls who barely look old enough to be out on their own, wearing very little by way of clothing. This worries me slightly as I don't want my daughter to turn into one of them.
The best place to go when I used to go out was The Baths Hall. This has now unfortunately closed down and has been partly demolished awaiting a rebuild. In its day it played host to many excellent bands and I had lots of great nights there. It was actually where my husband and I got together. Strangely enough my parents met there too but that was back when it was actually a proper swimming baths, hence the name.
All in all Scunthorpe always seems to be the butt of many bad jokes but I can't see anything so wrong with it. To me it is just like any other town.
I am not from Scunthorpe, nor do I live in scunthorpe but it is my nearest town and I work in Scunthorpe.
I have moved a round a bit over the years I was born near york, moved to somerset when I was eight then shropshire, suffolk then this area and I have to say I can't wait to get away. I think you only really love Scunthorpe if that is where you were born! Sorry Scunny!!!
There is limited opportunities here. Decent jobs are scarce which I know is a bit of an issue everywhere but it has been like that here for years.
There are too may factories and then there is the steel works too. There are some decent jobs but they are few and far between. Most of the people I knew around here have gone to uni and never come back.
Its quite a depressing place really. There is not much range of shops for the size of the town, too many bargain shops which is ok but if you want decent party wear without looking cheap you have to go elsewhere like lincoln, grimsby, doncaster or sheffield.
Although a lot of money has been spent on Scunthorpe recently it has made little difference. There are some pretty areas but these are also few and far between. Then there is the population. I don't know what it is about this area but the majority of the people aren't that friendly. I have lived in somerset and spent a lot of time in cornwall where the people are as friendly as they get I also find the same with York and the surrounding areas. Sorry if I offend I may just be meeting the wrong people.
The nightlife is quite lively but the clubs are all very similar not really offering anything special there is a couple in particular which are complete dives there is also a lot of fighting too.
I used to dirnk in the Lincoln Imp which was known to be one of the roughest pubs in Scunthorpe but I loved it there. It is known for being an alternative pub with a lot of local bands playing but there is a good mix of people; locals, students both older and younger generation. I have seen more trouble in town around the clubs than I have in this pub.
I'm sorry Scunthorpe I'm just used to the yorkshire way!
There is nothing that would draw people from other towns and cities, there is nothing that stands out about the place apart from the lack of flair and originality!
As I was born and raised in Sunny Scunthorpe it truly is an honour and a priviledge to write a review of my place of birth.
There used to be a sign on the outskirts "Scunthorpe - the industrial garden town" to which someone had helpfully added in black spray paint "needs diggin!!". It doesn't help either when the unfortunate letters in the name have been known to cause issues with internet searches and the like.
But as a proud Steel town, having gone through the pain of massive job losses in the late 70s and early 80s, Scunthorpe has emerged as a pretty decent place in its own right, with plenty of parks and gardens to enjoy, and a footy team at least capable of flirting on the borders of the Championship - how I pray we can stay up this year!
Over the years the night-life in the town has been interesting to say the least, but back in the day the Scunthorpe Baths hall had quite a reputation for gigs and Henry Afrika's was always good for a laugh.
The main local paper the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph was always trying to raise the town's profile. I fondly remember when they ran the story that the disused Normanby Park steelworks was reckoned to be in the final shortlist for providing the film back drop for Superman III no less - funnily enough it never quite happened. Brings to mind so many parallels with Chicago, which like Scunthorpe grew up from nothing in the late 1800s, founded on the Steel industry, and then went on to be a spectacular setting for so many blockbuster movies (well two out of three is really quite good)
That said there's certainly never been a shortage of real community heroes in the town, as I discovered for myself one fateful morning as I headed towards the Railway Station.....
Imagine the scene if you will, it's a busy traffic light controlled cross-roads, its around peak time when the unthinkable happens - a milk float, making its way across the lights suddenly loses all power and breaks down - marooned in the middle of everything.
Quick as a flash I ran over to see if I could help push it to safety as the traffic started to build up. I knew I couldn't push it far alone, but almost as soon as I'd got there other people just seemed to appear from nowhere, and join in the noble effort. And so, not only did we push it to safety, we actually ended up pushing it right up the hill as well, allowing it to drift its way sheepishly back to the depot. And after exchanging a few jokey comments, all of us quietly left the scene, no fuss or bother, no headlines sought or attention craved. How proud it makes me thinking back!!
Another town highlight was when the tiny Majestic cinema suddenly went multi-screen - basically, over night they knocked a couple of walls through and lo and behold proudly reclassified it as a 5 screener, with at least two of the screens being roughly the size of a punch and judy puppet show! To be fair, it didn't last long, and nowadays there's a proper VUE multiplex.
So for me, Scunny is a fine old town always full of surprises, it even has a fantastic michelin star restaurant just on its outskirts- Winteringham fields - have a look for yourself at http://www.winteringhamfields.com/, and at least one things for sure compared with most small towns at least most people around the country have heard of it.
And for all the comic hall jokes, I can confirm that I haven't put the horpe in Scunthorpe or anything else for that matter!!
So here's my Poguesque tribute to the town, sung to the tune of fairytale of New York to get us all in that festive spirit - with deepest apologies to Shane McGowan and co !!!
Twas Christmas evening,
in the Baths Hall,
when an old man said to me,
they're going to close it down.
And then we heard a song,
a rare old John Peel tune,
I turned my face away,
and drank my special brew.
And when the strikes were on,
back in eighty one,
opened the Humber bridge,
my dad's steelworks gone
They had bars full of beards,
Like a gran's paradise,
Where the sparrows flew backwards
to keep soot from their eyes
When you first took my car
For a spin over to Leeds,
You promised me Cleethorpes
was waiting for me
You were gormless,
You were zitty,
Like a fan of **** City,
When the band finished playing,
We were chucked on the streets.
Henry's was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing,
We kissed on Brit corner
And tramped through the night
The boys of the Iron brew football choir
Were singing Keegan's name
And the balls were bursting nets
On Scunny days
You're a scun,
You're a thorpe,
You're an old heap of slag,
Dancing down Donny road
with an old carrier bag
You worked down the market
Flogged scraggy old carpets
And for xmas you bought me
two packets of fags
Those bad old days are gone,
Now Scunthorpe's number one,
Top of the league again,
My dearest, oldest friend.
Lets start afresh and new,
They say dreams can come true,
It's up to you,
(a la New York New York Finale...)
~~~~Remaining ramble ~~~~
Alas the legendary Baths Hall and Henry's night spot are no more, Britannia corner is a mere shadow of its formal self, and scunny are pretty much top of league 1, and yes Kevin Keegan really did start his career at Scunthorpe United - honest!!
And finally, in true pub trivia style, can you name the 3 England captains who have played for Scunthorpe United? (one big clue in the previous paragraph!!)
The Royal Hotel, Scunthorpe has to be one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed in. It cost me eighty pounds for the night and I must confess that I have had better service and a cleaner room in a ten pound a night B&B in Blackpool. My first impression of this hotel was the dirty paintwork and untended plant pots around the outside. The paint was peeling from the windows and nobody on reception seemed to know that I has booked a room and paid for it. It wasn't in their day book so a portly gentleman in a greasy black evening suit decided to look on his computer. He announced that he was new to the hotel and only there temporarily, so he might be a while looking. When I did eventually get the keys to my room I was told to climb the stairs, turn right, turn left and go to the end of the corridor. It was baking hot as I climbed the stairs (no lifts available) and made my way down a rat run of corridors. I must admit that when I opened the door to the room I wa squite shocked. The room had an over powering smell of cigarette smoke and I had asked for a non smoking room. It had a smell of must and stale beer. I decided to put up with it as it was for one night only. The bathroom was dirty and that's putting it mildly. There were hairs on the cistern and round the bath and all along the edge of the tiling was a growth of white and blue mould. I rinsed the bath and decided to risk a shower. The water oozed out all over the place and I actually burned my foot when the water became very hot and started to come out of the tap as well as the shower head. It was red hot during the night and I tried to open the window in the room. It did open a few inches after some effort butt he smell from dirty guttering and bird droppings below the window on the ajoining roof was so bad that I had to close it. I ventured down stairs and ordered a brandy at the bar when I eventually managed to get someone to stop watching TV an
d serve me. It cost me 7.50 for two brandies and one bottle of mixer. I decided that one enough was enough after the price of that. Eighty pounds for a room and 7.50 for a couple of drinks seemed a ridiculous price to pay. Breakfast was fine and I cannot complain about that. However, checkout was much more difficult than checking in. First of all no one could find a record of my name, the room I had, or anything else. I opted to pay by cash which caused some consternation but in view of the general incompetance of the reception staff I was reluctant to offer credit card details. It took almost twenty minutes to check out and there wasn't a queue. There was only me waiting. I left he Royal Hotel with a feeling of relief and I vowed never to go there again. So, if you need to stay in this area don't opt for the Royal Hotel. It looks good on the internet and sounds good but was dirty and the staff were hopeless when I stayed there. I believe they are due to be taken over by another hotel group, so perhaps the standards will improve after the take over. So, if you stay here, wipe your feet on the way out!
A few weeks ago my sister and I had to attend a family funeral in Scunthorpe We looked on the internet for a nice hotel for our overnight stay but to be quite honest we could only find two that looked reasonable and they both charged about the same eighty pounds for a double room with breakfast. The Berkeley looked a little bit run down so we opted for the slightly more expensive one and booked a twin room for the one night at The Royal. We were told over the phone that it was very close to the town centre and five minutes away from the railway station by taxi. I must admit the photograph on the internet looked very nice so we were looking forward to a nice treat. On arrival at the railway station we managed to get a taxi more or less immediately and were at the hotel within five minutes. The car park had dead flower tubs and all up the steps to the main door the flower pots were tatty looking a drop of water once in a while might have given the poor plants a chance to survive. I was not very impressed at all. The reception area was quiet and the lounge bar was dark and dreary not a guest in sight. Oh dear what have we come to are we the only ones in? On checking in the receptionist a nice young man made a lewd comment about our allocated room having a double bed and maybe he should look for an available twin bedded room my sister and I are not prudish in any way but the comment was very distasteful, but being the nice pair that we are we ignored the silly comment and trekked off to find our room after requesting an early morning call so that we were up in time for breakfast.. The room was very basic, television, tea and coffee facilities bathroom and a phone that did not work until I pulled the bed out and found that it wasn?t even plugged in. The window would only open a fraction because the screw on the metal bar was so rusty mind you our room was overlooking a roof top and the guttering was all blocked up and pigeo
n droppings every where so we didn?t really fancy having the window open. The bathroom was dirty all the tiles around the shower were mouldy and we even found some remains of a Chinese take away under one of the beds Never mind we were only staying the one night so we thought we would make the most of it. Off to the bar we went, one round was more than enough very expensive at eight pounds twenty for two brandy and cokes?. (There is an excellent bottle store about two minutes walk from The Royal). Back in our room with our own refreshments we settled down to watch some television that was working ok Next morning we were both awake early so went down for breakfast nervously wondering what we were going to be served (the early morning call didn?t happen I don?t think reception was very organized.) Breakfast was really good I cannot fault it at all. We both went for the full English and cleared our plates. The dining room was light and airy flowers on the table and the waitress was a local lady and so friendly. She informed us that the hotel was being taken over that day and all the staff were waiting to find out if they still had a job. That will explain why the reception gave us bad service they no longer cared and the dirty room was because the chalet maids had gone on a go slow for the past few weeks, not the best way to ensure keeping your job I would have thought. I do think the breakfast waitress will be kept on by the new owners she was a nice lady. Over all I would not go back to this hotel it is very run down and dirty and for the price we paid I think the management had a cheek to charge so much. Maybe the next time I am in Scunthorpe I will stay in Cleethorpes and commute they have some very nice hotels so I am led to believe.
I've always loved parks. Proper town parks, with neat flower beds, crazy paving and aviaries have a real appeal to me. I think it may have been because I was brought up in the depths of the countryside, so I was used to bluebell woods, and ploughed fields where you have to teeter along a minute space left as a 'public right of way' by the farmer. In my childhood, if you went anywhere, you took wellies, and I invariably ended up beestung, nettled and sitting on a thistle. Going to a park was a real treat. There were swings, and statues buried in undergrowth. If I was really lucky, there was crazy golf! Much later, living in the country again I find my tastes have gone full circle, and I happily teeter, with wellies, round fields that make me sneeze. But I still wanted to find a proper park. There's just something about proper parks, especially if you've an independent toddler in tow who cares nothing for trampled crops, and thinks jumping in cowpats is the greatest game ever invented. Now, I live in Lincolnshire, so I had a good look around. There's a nice park in Lincoln, yes, and we go there a lot. There's a park in Gainsborough, which I love for it's overgrown fifties crazypaving in the shape of flowers, so we go there too. But I think, I really do, that I've found the nicest park yet. So I'm going to tell you all about it, because it really is a nice place to visit on a sunny day with a toddler and a squishy picnic ( grumpy husbands optional). Normanby Hall Country Park. This is situated just outside of Scunthorpe, in North Lincolnshire, and is run by North Lincolnshire Council. I'll do all the tedious 'how to get there' bits at the end of the op. According to my husband, Scunthorpe has the worst road signs he's ever seen, so you may need them if you don't want to sail merrily around industrial estates for hours. Normanby park was the rural home of the Sheffield famil
y, who also owned Buckingham Palace. We're talking serious wealth here, which shows in the scale of the Hall and the Park. There are 300 acres to explore here, including a huge deer park. When you arrive, there's ample carparking space, all nicely tarmacked. All those sort of dull things are present and correct throughout. You pay on entry to the carpark. I'll tell you all the prices later. The first thing we saw was a peacock, strolling nonchalantly across a lawn in front of us. Peacocks are conspicuous for their absence in most council-run parks, so that was our first treat. There are a lot of them around in Normanby Park, casually draped over flower borders and the like, and they let you get quite close. Not quite so close that a toddler can grab a tail feather, but she nearly did. You enter into a courtyard (the stable block) where we saw ponies being led around by various children. This is partly a riding club, and you can't get close to the ponies, but it's relaxing to watch all that frantic grooming activity anyway. There were also some old coaches on display. If you like old coaches, then you'll probably find these fascinating. I found them interesting, and amongst them is a lovely old red horse-drawn fire engine. Eat your heart out, Sam. Walk through the courtyard and you enter the park proper. There's a drive that sweeps around to this beautiful old regency house, all yellow stone and portico'd entrance. And there's a lawn. Not a teensy little bit of grass dotted with little circles of flower beds, but a huge great expanse of grass, complete with daisies, and happily lacking in thistles. When we went, the lawn was also decorated by families, not so many as to make it sardined, but just the right amount of people throwing balls around, and snogging, and having picnics. There were still lots of trees left for us to find a nice shady space to picnic, and there was plenty to watch. I only
ever find the time to read when we go to a park. Toddler happily roams free, under a semi-watchful eye, and I sit under a tree with my book. There's no litter, no dog dirt, and all the people I've met there have been really nice. So toddler wanders off to watch someone else's game of cricket, and I sit there with her sandwiches, just fondly watching, and thinking how lovely she is when she's happy. Picnic over, we go to feed the ducks. In the middle of this enormous lawn there's an equally enormous duckpond, with enormous ducks to match. There are loads of them, mainly Mallards, but also some of that big white variety. There are ducklings there, too, at the moment. So we wander past the huge pond, past a little weir, and into a wooded bit of the park. There aren't any paths in this bit. Here, it's all cool and shady, and you suddenly feel like this is an exploration. The trees get closer together, and you come across huge rhododendron bushes, and incredibly ancient trees. You come to various clearings, where, I know, if I was eight, I'd have had a grand old time playing various 'pretend' games. In the midst of this bit is a little cemetary. A 'pet' cemetary, where all the animals loved by the Sheffield family from about 1840-1890 have been buried. If you've a sentimental turn of mind, you may love this. I tend to hate it. I think of all the children dying, during that particular time, in industrial towns located around this park, and I blench that amidst all this human disaster, the rich and privileged were putting up pretty headstones for their ponies. That's just me, though. I must hurry along now, because I haven't even touched on a third of this park yet (blench, dear reader, blench). We come out of the woody bit the other side of the pond, past a sculpture of the : "Look at the pretty tiger" "No....that's a rabbit" " What
's that on it then?" " I think it's a mouse" variety. There's another little bit of woodland, with bluebells, and a proper path, with a little field full of peacocks next to it. Then you enter the Walled Garden. The first bit of this is all flowers. It's owned by the Royal Horticultural Society. I'm not a gardener, but my Mother is, so I'll give you her verdict: "Oh yes, superb planting, darling, but then I was expecting that from the RHS" Forgive her, she's a member, and knows about these things. All I can tell you is that it looks very pretty. Once you've gone through that, you enter the Victorian Vegetable Garden. This is just plain lovely. It is what it says, a vegetable garden, full of pristine rows of beans and peas, with espaliered fruit trees along all the walls. It's manned by gardeners dressed like victorian gardeners, and is a true recreation of how the vegetable garden used to be when the Sheffield's lived in the Hall. Then, fresh produce was demanded on the table at all times, and so we see the peach house, and two greenhouses, dedicated to providing out of season delicacies, even in the inclement weather conditions of the North East. The gardeners used to send produce down to London, and it took 27 of them to man the garden. This is a beautiful garden, and entering it is like walking into a period illustration. We go through the fern house, through the geranium green house, and in to the back buildings, where the offices and cookhouse of these victorian gardeners are re-created. The re-creations aren't that great, but it is interesting, and all the staff I met (one gardener, and a 'victorian' cook) were very nice indeed. We exit the walled garden into a little playpark, with swings and things. Baby daughter is very asleep by now, so she doesn't go on these particular swings, but they look fine. There's all the u
sual 1950's park things here, like a little ride-on lamb, and a metal seesaw, but the floor is nice and modern. No 'ouchy' knees. Out of this and you're back into the main park bit, in front of the house. If you haven't brought a picnic and you're feeling hungry, then there's a cafe in the stable block. This is clean, friendly, and incredibly cheap. The food is fine, but certainly nothing special, but quiche, chips and a salad costs only £3.50, and a huge slice of carrot cake is 85p. There is plenty of room, there are highchairs, should you need them, and the loos are very clean. One major plus ( I think) is that both the ladies' and mens' toilets have baby changing facilities within. Yes, I went into the men's loo to look. It's just me. I rate loos wherever I go. These got 8/10. Very clean, but basic. No frills ( I like a bit of perfume and some nice pink tissues, but then I'm picky). I promise that I'm nearly finished now. You head out of the stables, and if you like, there's a little train ride to go on. This is all run by model railway club volunteers, and so is only open on Sundays and BH Mondays. Rides cost 10p. Yes, that's 10p. And it looks really fun. Little steam trains and things. Past the train ride there's a shop, which is nice, but full of the sort of thing you'd expect - novelty bookmarks and the like. It does have a nice selection of children's books, though, some vegetable seeds, and some plants that my mother sniffed at. Past the shop there's another little playground area, but this one is more modern in feel. You thought I'd finished? Well, nearly. There are three things that I haven't really explored in this park (I bet you're relieved). One is the Deer Park, which is currently closed due to Foot and Mouth precautions, another is the farm museum, which I shall visit, and report on, when we go on a rainy day. I haven't me
ntioned the house, as I'm writing this on the park, but the house is well worth a look. It has a costume collection, hosts differing art exhibitions, and displays various 'period' rooms. One last thing. The Park runs 'themed' days. These range from 'Teddy Bear Trails' to 'Poetry in the Park'. There is a free craft workshop for children most Sundays between 2-4. The RHS also run lots of special events called things like "Annuals in the Summer Border". I just never have time to go. I'm too busy sitting in the park watching my baby daughter roam happily around, and reading a book. So there you go. Normamby Park. I know that I've gone on, but it is a lovely place to visit. Like I said at the start, I'm a park addict. I met my very first proper boyfriend in a park, during an 'Australia' themed event. He wasn't a tall, bronzed Australian, but he was a surfer. Short, Welsh, and with with a toned, muscular back to kill for. Just thinking about it makes my legs go wobbly. I want to end up as one of those old ladies you see in parks. Sipping my tea, and staring at a floral display. I bet they aren't thinking about the bedding plants either. Prices and how to get there follow: Prices: Adults £3.50, Concessions £2.50, Family £9.50 If you live in N. Lincolnshire you can get a discount card that lets you in for £1.00. We've bought a season ticket for £20.00 that lets us in free all year. How to get there: Normanby Hall Country Park can be found on the B1430 4 miles to the North of Scunthorpe. The easiest way to reach the B1430 is to travel along the M180, turn off onto the M181 (signposted Scunthorpe), carry on along the road and turn left at the roundabout with the Peugeot garage on your left and the Rover garage on your right. (Courtesy of grumpy Husband). If you want more details, the phone number listed in my leaf
let is: 01724 720588. .