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The Friday Five 12.08.22

Written by: Simon Percival
Published on: 12 Aug 2022


Location: Grimsby, Lincolnshire

The job: “EQUANS is North East Lincolnshire Council’s long-term regeneration partner delivering a number of services on their behalf, including the planning service. This role is to support the planning service, to ensure that it delivers a first-class service to its customers and fully contributes to delivering sustainable development and growth in North East Lincolnshire. You will be part of the spatial planning team, which deals with the preparation of development plans, supporting evidence base documents, and associated planning policy documents. The team is currently preparing a full review of the local plan on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council.

“What will you deliver?

  • Prepare and contribute to work on statutory and non-statutory planning policy documents, including the formulation of planning policies and their justification through robust evidence; undertaking consultation; liaising with council officers; attending public examinations, inquiries and appeals
  • Work closely with other teams to support regeneration and economic growth projects
  • Liaise with private sector developers regarding development and investment opportunities
  • Work across a broad range of environmental and socio-economic disciplines.”  

Elton John [square]Fun fact: Grimsby may not appear to be the British town or city most likely to be celebrated in song – especially not by an artist known for his camp glamour. Yet, Grimsby, a track extolling the virtues of the fishing town, was recorded by Elton John, of all people, in 1974. He even performed it on the Old Grey Whistle Test.

In fact, Grimsby was written by John’s right-hand man and lyricist Bernie Taupin, a Lincolnshire native who spent his teenage years in the town. Taupin had been born farther south near Sleaford, spent a good part of his childhood living on a farm in Owmby-by-Spital, then discovered the delights of carousing, dancing and, er, snooker in the pubs and clubs of Market Rasen and Grimsby.

It’s this period of his life the song celebrates with lyrics surely unlike any that have been written before or since about the town:

Oh oh Grimsby, a thousand delights

Couldn't match the sweet sights

Of my Grimsby

Oh England, you're fair

But there's none to compare with my Grimsby.
Now imagine peak Elton John – seated at a piano in extravagant glasses, a feather boa and a sequinned outfit – singing this. Aside from Grimsby, Taupin penned some of the greatest songs of the 1970s, from Rocket Man to Tiny Dancer and Candle in the Wind. So he can be forgiven for this one...

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Location: Northampton, Northamptonshire

The job: “Miller Homes is a respected national homebuilder with an established reputation for building outstanding quality family homes and providing excellent customer service. We believe in building homes safely, in a way which is considerate to the environment 

“A vacancy has arisen for a strategic land and planning assistant to join our team at Miller Homes in the south midlands region, based out of our Northampton Office. The role will see the successful candidate working closely with the strategic land team to assist in the securing of new land opportunities and promotion of the existing portfolio.

“You will provide support to the strategic land team – enhancing the existing strategic land portfolio and securing new site opportunities. Your key responsibilities will include:

  • The identification and appraising of new land opportunities
  • Assisting with the promotion of the strategic land portfolio
  • Undertaking planning policy and housing market research
  • Contributing towards general business development.”

Witch's hat [square]Fun fact: Northampton, it seems, has a bit of history with witchery. First, there are the infamous Northampton Witch Trials of 1612, in which five locals – four women and a man – were accused of crimes such as bewitching a noblewoman and murdering a child by sorcery. Three were apparently found riding on the back of a sow (as witches do, obviously) and arrested. All were found guilty and hanged.

At the other end of the century, in 1692, a Northamptonshire man became the only person to be ‘pressed’ to death in America during the even more infamous Salem Witch Trials. Giles Corey and his wife Martha were arrested on suspicion of witchcraft and pleaded not guilty. Nevertheless, they were convicted.
Giles Corey was then subjected to ‘pressing’, a grim form of torture designed to get people to plead guilty to crimes that involved having boards and stones placed on the victim’s chest. Corey was apparently tortured for two days and when urged by the local sheriff to confess to his witchery simply said “More weight!”.

Unsurprisingly, he died, on 19 September 1692. Martha was hanged three days later. They were absolved in 1712. 

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Location: Folkestone, Kent

The job: “Folkestone & Hythe District Council have an ambitious development agenda and are looking to expand our planning team to help us deliver our ambitions.

“Our district is a dynamic and innovative place to live, work and visit. While our modern offices are based in the heart of Folkestone, with easy access to transport links, local shops, entertainment facilities and the seafront, we have an agile working culture that supports and encourages flexible and home working where possible outside of our team office days. 

“Our mission is to create a world class quality environment that will stand the test of time whether relating to a householder extension or one of our exciting and ambitious projects such as the proposed garden town at Otterpool Park and regeneration plans for the Town Centre, Harbour and Seafront.

“We are looking for dynamic, creative, driven individuals with good people skills who want to make a difference and help shape our district. In return, we can offer you the environment to thrive, develop and make a lasting impact on Folkestone and its surrounding areas.”

St Mary and St Eansywthe's Church [square]Fun fact: Saint Eanswith – you know her, right? – founded what’s thought to be England’s first nunnery, at Folkestone, some time before 650CE. Folkestone Priory was a Benedictine community. Although destroyed by Danes, its church survives as the present-day parish church of St Mary and St Eanswythe’s (pictured).

Eanswith herself is one of those figures, of which there are many in pre-modern history, who achieved impressive feats at what we now consider to be a very young age. She was born the daughter of Eadbald, the King of Kent, some time around 630CE and died a mere 20 years or so later. Her grandfather, Æthelberht of Kent, had been the first king of Anglo-Saxon England to accept Christian baptism in around 597.

Not much is known about Eanswith, probably because she died young, having spent her last years at the abbey she founded. However, a remarkable piece of modern research has identified a body that may be hers, uncovered during restoration of the parish church in 1885. Human remains were discovered in a lead reliquary embedded within the church's north wall. This was identified as a 12th-century vessel and the bones those of a young woman.

It was immediately supposed that these could be the relics of Saint Eanswith, hidden during the Reformation. In 2017, osteoarchaeologists were given permission to examine the remains. Tests revealed that they had come from one person, probably a woman aged between 17 and 21 who lived in the 7th century and who had no signs of malnutrition. Although it can’t be definitely proved, this is consistent with what we know of Eanswith. If the bones are hers, they would be the earliest remains yet discovered of an English saint and of a relative of the British monarch.

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Location: Southend-on-Sea, Essex

The job: “As the senior planner, you will play a key role in the preparation and delivery of our new local plan and a range of other related planning policy documents. You will also assist the team leader in matters relating to a range of sub-regional and regional planning work the city is collaborating on.

“Key responsibilities include:

  • Playing an important role in shaping the future of Southend as we continue to prepare our new local plan
  • Working with neighbouring authorities on a number of exciting projects in the wider area
  • Contributing to evidence based documents and working with consultants to deliver projects
  • Assisting with planning policy formulation and responding to representations
  • Conducting site visits
  • Preparing responses to a wide range of consultations

“Working for Southend-on-Sea City Council offers a challenging and rewarding career in local government within a collaborative and innovative environment.  As a unitary authority we are responsible for all local government functions ranging from regulatory services, transport, public health and parks through to planning, social services, community safety and education, so we offer a wide range of career opportunities.”

1960s television [square]Fun fact: Southend-on-Sea was once pretty much the home of the British television manufacturing industry. By 1960, when the firm merged with Pye, Southend’s Ekco electronics company was making around one in five TV sets sold in the UK.

Ekco had been founded by Southend native Eric Kirkham Cole (E K CO, geddit?), who started out making radio sets in 1924. Innovative and entrepreneurial, he formed Ekco in 1926 after meeting a challenge to power a radio set from the mains electricity supply rather than from a battery.

By 1930 Ekco was a plc with a large factory in Southend, in which over the next 15 to 20 years it built up to an 8,000-strong workforce designing and manufacturing mains-powered radios, early car radios, radiograms, electric heaters, and electric blankets, as well as working on radar systems, aircraft radios and portable wireless receivers during the Second World War.

Oh, and televisions, both mains and portable. Lots of them, to feed a burgeoning industry.

Ekco merged with Pye in 1960 to form British Electronic Industries Ltd, with Cole as vice-chairman. He retired a year later and sadly died in a bathing accident in the Bahamas in 1966, aged 65. The Ekco factory was later demolished and replaced by a housing development which bears the Ekco name, not least in the Ekco social and Sports Club. there’s also a statue of E K Cole, radio and television innovator and pioneer.

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Location: King’s Lynn, Norfolk

The job: “The planning control team is expanding in an exceptional place in which to either get your career off to a great start and develop with us, or join us for a new challenge. With our reach extending from the historic market towns of King’s Lynn, Downham Market and Hunstanton, through to the beautiful Norfolk coast, plus The Fens and The Brecks, it is imperative that we have an ambitious team in place who will help us secure high-quality developments without impacting on the historic character of the area, or negatively affecting the environment. 

“We have lots of opportunities and you’ll have the scope to tackle fascinating urban, rural and coastal planning projects. Assisting in all aspects of planning control, you will handle a wide range of planning application duties ranging from pre-application enquiries, planning applications of differing complexity through to dealing with discharge of condition applications. You will draft appeal statements and depending on level attend appeals or as a senior, attend larger public inquiries. 

“Whether offering design advice on prospective planning applications or carrying out site visits to identify potential issues that may impact on the success of an application, this is a great opportunity to work with everyone from elected councillors through to the public and agents in order to find effective resolutions.”

King's Lynn Guildhall [square]Fun fact: St George’s Guildhall in King’s Lynn is the oldest working theatre in Britain and the only theatre still in existence where William Shakespeare is known to have performed. A grade I listed building, it’s also the oldest and largest complete medieval guildhall in England.

Its origins can be traced back to 1406, when the Guild of St George acquired land beside the River Ouse to build its hall. It’s known to have been in use by 1428. By 1547 it was the property of Lynn Corporation and used as a courthouse, merchants’ exchange, a French school and an armoury.

Even by this stage it had long been used for theatrical productions. The earliest known is a nativity play in 1445. After the dissolution of the guilds in 1547, it was used by companies of players as a theatre, including the Queen’s Players. Research suggests that Shakespeare himself performed at the Guildhall with the Earl of Pembroke’s men in 1593, when London theatres were closed because of the plague.

By 1945, the hall was more or less derelict and under threat of demolition. It was bought by a local landowner who led its conversion into an arts centre in 1951. It was vested into the National Trust, which continues to own it while it is currently managed by the borough council.

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Image credits | Kraft74, Shutterstock; Abrams Design, Shutterstock; Steve Wall, Shutterstock; Milous S K, Shutterstock; iStock