The Red Hal built circa 1605

THIS WEB SITE  was launched in August 1998 to give a glimpse of the history and heritage of a South Lincolnshire market town from the earliest times to the present day. The subject matter includes descriptions of our buildings, roads, local administration, schools, former hospitals, the railway era, business and industry, and people associated with the town both past and present.

It began as a modest undertaking but now contains many popular features including a weekly diary commenting on issues and events, a Family History section, Friends, a page of links to other web sites of interest and a discussion forum. We also carry a series of articles written by outside contributors including councillors, religious and community leaders and individuals who have something to say.

The web site is a voluntary project with no commercial support or advertising and is financed entirely by myself and my wife, Elke, our son, Dr Justin Needle, having been responsible for the original concept and design. It is now 50MB in size and containing over 1,000 pages and some 700 photographs, and is updated every week. In the past twelve years we have collected eight awards, notably the Golden Web Award in July 2000 for design, content and creativity, and the Médaille d'Or for excellence in April 2001. We were also given the Web Site of the Month award by the Oldie Magazine in August 1999.

Many young people find valuable information here because I am often emailed by pupils engaged on school projects or examinations relating to Bourne's social history and I try to assist wherever possible. The information I have already provided, or at least pointed the inquirers in the right direction, must be the stuff of many papers submitted at all of our local schools. We are also consulted by many universities, in Britain and abroad, who are studying the way of life in England and I receive many emails requesting information and the use of text and photographs. All inquiries are answered.

The web site now attracts around 2,000 visitors a week, many from around the world, and has not only reunited families, but has also enabled many people who left these shores for foreign parts to keep in touch with their home town. We regularly record those places where our visitors live and it is an enlightening geographical lesson to read them. Britain and Europe account for a large proportion but the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Lapland, Russia, Thailand, Japan and China, Finland, Argentina and Brazil, can also be found among them as well as many academic and institutional organisations in various countries.

Rex Needle
January 2012

NOTE: This web site is also licensed by the Office of Public Sector Information at the
Cabinet Office to reproduce Crown copyright information, licence No C2006010669.

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