Reepham is a parish and village situated some four miles north-east of Lincoln and a mile south of the A158, the busy road which provides the main direct route from Lincoln to Skegness. The A158 also provides a connection to the other popular east coast resorts such as Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea.
Reepham, which appears in the Domesday Book as “Refaim” and “Refam”, is within the area of Lincolnshire now known West Lindsey under teh Cherry Willingham Ward. The area of the village is somewhere around two thousand acres that are today mainly farmed by three local farmers – Messrs Good and Ward, whose ancestors have farmed the area for several generations and Stuffins, who also follow their grandfather and father in farming the area. The latest West Lindsey District Council information advises that the population in now around 1250 and that there are 747 payers of the Council Tax.
The village has its own Parish Council consisting of nine members who are elected usually on four yearly terms under the organisation of West Lindsey District Council. The Parish Councillors endeavour to protect the village interests and report back to both the West Lindsey and the Lincolnshire County Councils. Information on the Parish Council may be found under Council Members section.
Village amenities have during the past fifty years seriously diminished and what was once a fairly self-supporting community has become like many other villages adjacent to large towns something of a dormitory for people employed in Lincoln or its near confines.
St Peter & St Paul’s church has an early English nave and retains the old decorated windows in the more modern chancel. The porch, tower and north aisle have also been rebuilt and the pedestal of the Parish Cross still stands in the churchyard. Although in past years Reepham, Cherry Willingham and Fiskerton have had their own vicar, eight parishes are now combined with the vicar Rev Penny Green residing in Cherry Willingham vicarage. Services are currently held on most Sundays. Details may be found on the notice board outside the church.
The Methodist Church on the High Street still flourishes with Fiskerton and Cherry Willingham providing extra worshippers at the weekly services. Iin more recent times carried out modernisation works to improve heating, new windows and a surfaced car park. Website:http//reepham-methodist.freewebpages.org. United Parish Prayer meetings are held every Thursday.
The village school (Reepham C E Controlled Primary) is extremely popular and constantly receives high marking at Ofsted Inspections thanks to the dedicated staff led by Headmaster, Ian Randall. Initially a Church of England School, it came under control of the Local Education Authority in 1955. It has trebled its number of pupils in the past thirty years to currently being full at 180. The demand has seen a major extension in 1995 that saw part of the old school carefully retained within the new and a further extra classroom being built in 2000. The Friends of Reepham School (FORS) are a very active and highly organised body who raise considerable funds to provide extra equipment or books for the school.
The village still keeps its post office and general store, currently run by Amanda and Steve aided by son Rob. This provides an important link for villagers in providing banking and pension facilities and mail is collected daily. The post office also acts as a newsagent with a paper delivery service for both daily nationals and the local Lincolnshire Echo. It also strives to provide the friendly corner shop image although in this respect it faces severe competition from the supermarkets in Lincoln. The shopping Parade at Cherry Willingham also offers a choice of shops for Reepham villagers, who can travel the mile to that village.
The Fox & Hounds Inn provides a fresh, modern image as the village inn complete with a full menu of delicious meals. The village’s other public house – The Chequers (now a private residence) closed in 1974 when both Inns were acquired by the same brewery.
Reference to the “Reepham News”, the monthly village publication, will indicate many expert services on offer from local residents including architectural and engineering design, decoration, electrical, plumbing and roofing plus television and computer repairs, hairdressing and clothing alterations.
The village has a modern village hall, shared with nearby Cherry Willingham, which can cater for any local event. It is run by a committee who endeavour to fund the running costs by organising a popular weekly Cash Draw to which many villagers subscribe.
There is a scout group again combined with Cherry Willingham and the Reepham & District Tennis Club play on their courts near the Village Hall. The Reepham Women’s Institute (disbanded in 1999 after many years in existence) has now been reformed and other local functions include the Pre-School, Indoor Bowls Club and the Friendship Club.
Like most villages Reepham has its Village Green although it lost some of the area and perhaps some of its charm when it was kerbed round some years ago. Apart from trees, seat and at the appropriate time, Spring flowers, it contains a feature for geologists or those interested in such things in the four glacial erratics set in a concrete slab. Experts have identified them individually as albite, quartzite, quartz dolerite and calcareous sandstone.
In 1980, B.P. were granted a Government licence to make exploratory drillings for oil in the Reepham and some surrounding areas. In November 1981 a major strike, subsequently named the Welton Oil Field, was discovered. In March 1984, the Lincolnshire County Council granted approval for the construction of a Gathering Station in land situated between Barfield Lane and the main Lincoln to Cleethorpes railway line approximately half a mile east of the village green. After much discussion with the Parish Council, local residents, the County and District Councils and many other bodies, the find became the Welton Gathering Station. It was a multi-million pound development with its own pipelines bringing in the oil from various centres and its own rail connection for the transportation of the oil to the refinery at Immingham. Within ten years Reepham could boast the second largest onshore oilfield in the country. (The largest being Wytch Farm in Dorset).
The village still has a useful ‘bus' service but the once very popular and well used railway station, which provided a thrice daily passenger service to and from Lincoln in only six minutes, like many other similar village stations sadly disappeared under Dr Beeching’s axe in October 1965.
Reepham Today originally compiled by Cllr Hugh T Wilson for Reepham Parish Council June 2007, occasionally updated by the Parish Clerk.
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