‘New’ Angel takes shape

Cllr. Rob Waltham is the Angel as the future Brigg Heritage Centre takes shape.
Cllr. Rob Waltham is the Angel as the future Brigg Heritage Centre takes shape.

NORTH Lincolnshire councillor Rob Waltham invited Rasen Mail correspondent Peter Thompson to take a look at The Angel last week as the conversion work from office block to heritage centre gathered pace.

The Angel, once a thriving market place hotel and coaching inn, has in more recent times housed North Lincolnshire Council office workers.

From June it is set to serve the town in a more practical way as the local link office and library move there, but most exciting of all the town’s new Heritage Centre will open its doors...

I will start by letting you into a secret.

Rob Waltham popped over to Caistor Heritage Centre last week, took a few mental notes of what has made it such a huge success story, and drove back over the Wolds to Brigg mulling over a few thoughts.

He liked what he had seen. but knows that while there are some similarities there are also different challenges in the project he is leading.

The shell is in place at the Angel, workmen are everywhere, but there is already an atmosphere and feel about the old place where I had my first pint. This is one big adventure as a new era dawns at Brigg’s most historic landmark.

We went through the courtyard which will house the cafe, passed the old smoke room and made our way upstairs:

Coun Waltham said: “The library will be in the downstairs from June and the cafe will be up and running.

“Upstairs is where the heritage aspect will be. The Brigg raft presently housed in the maritime museum at Greenwich will not be ready to come at that time – there is still work to do on it down there – but many of the historical items on Brigg presently in the North Lincolnshire Museum in Scunthorpe will be brought here.

“These will include items of pottery found in local digs and the old Lord Nelson bay window. Quite rightly, these belong to Brigg and will be coming home. That I find exciting.”

It was hard to believe, standing surrounded by bare walls and electricians’ wire, that in two months’ time when the Diamond Jubilee is celebrated display boards and interaction boards will be in place.

“We shall have touch-screens for children to use and they, like adults, will be able to soak up the atmosphere,” added Mr Waltham.

“I liked the display boards about the town’s heritage in Caistor and similar ones will be part of this heritage centre too.”

At the front of the first floor at The Angel is a room overlooking the market place. That will be developed in stage two of the transformation as a resourse and activity base for children.

“It is important that we lay on activities here for the town’s young people; they are our future.”

I was impressed with what I had seen and also impressed with the drive and energy Coun Waltham is putting into the project.

Less than two months from opening day much remains to be done, but it will happen I have no doubt.

Volunteers are still wanted for Brigg’s new heritage centre to act as guides. Contact Coun Waltham on 01652 652021.