Heritage survey available in libraries across Lincolnshire

The ‘Our Lincolnshire’ heritage survey is available in paper format at libraries across Lincolnshire and in the Lincoln Archives.

If you, or someone you know, prefers filling out a paper form, call in to your local library for a copy.

Completed forms can be returned to the libraries, where they will be sent back to the Our Lincolnshire project team. We’d like to say a big thank you to the library staff who have offered to help make the paper questionnaires available.

If you know of a community group or organisation who would like to have a set of paper copies to fill out contact Anna Scott.

The survey is open to all ages and is available in three formats: for the over 18s, for 11-17 year olds, and for the under 11s – we’d be keen to hear from youth groups for example who may not have internet access for their sessions but who would still like to take part.

The online form is also available – there’s still time to give us your thoughts on heritage in Lincolnshire, and what heritage is important to you.


The Project Diaries: The Ghost of Gordon Boswell’s Romany Museum Part III

Part III – To start from Part I, click here!

“What’s it like? When you see her, I mean?”

“Well at first, of course, it was very frightening. It would only happen when I was here alone, usually when it was late, or dark.”

I shuddered at the thought.

“On a handful of occasions our visitors have reported an odd feeling over by that wagon as well, without knowing anything of the story, mind you. Quite strange. But after a while, I suppose I ended up feeling like she probably didn’t want to do anyone any harm. She’s a little girl after all. So these days, no, I’m not frightened anymore. There’s a little doll on the step to her wagon so you should be able to spot which one is hers. The ghost hunters put it there last night to try and lure her out to play. They seemed pleased with whatever they found so hopefully we’ll know some more soon.”

I was uncharacteristically lost for words. A moment passed before Mr Boswell slapped his hands on his knees and said “Right, I’m going into the house for some tea if there’s nothing else you need? You’re more than welcome to poke around for as long and you like and take your photographs.”

“You’re…you’re leaving me here on my own?”

“Well I’ve not eaten yet and it’s getting late – it’s alright love, I trust you!” he assured, missing the sentiment of my query. “Come and say goodbye before you go!” And with that, he left me alone.

Alone. In the haunted museum. I took a breath. I still needed to gather some photographs for the project, and wasn’t about to let the knot in my stomach prevent an opportunity for research so, hesitantly,  stepped back into the museum, camera in hand.

I walked as slowly as I could, looking hard at the things that I had missed on my first run around. As the knot in my stomach continued gradually to inflate, I tried desperately to recapture my happily inquisitive initial impressions of the museum. But I could swear it felt a lot colder than it had an hour earlier. And were those creepy wind-chimes there before? It was all in my head (of course?!) and, determined not to scare myself out of valuable project investigation time, I forced myself to read the displays properly, humming Justin Bieber (sorry, World) to calm myself as I went.

In the back of my mind, I knew that I would need to take some photographs over by the haunted vardo but, as you can imagine, I was none too keen to rush over there. So instead, I decided to build myself up to it by taking photos of other slightly creepy things nearby. For example, this vaguely spooky collection of boots:

Stirring with the spirits of footsies passed

Stirring with the spirits of footsies passed

My dread threshold rising, I turned my camera on the inside of the wagon beside the haunted vardo. I closed my eyes for the flash and (thankfully) didn’t look at the resulting photograph until I was safely back in my car:

If I had seen this at the time, there is no way I’d have made it to the actual haunted vardo. This is one scary photograph, and it was only meant to be a warm up for the real thing!

Still feeling bold(ish) in my ignorance of how frightening the photograph I had just taken actually was, I figured that the sooner I collected the photos of the haunted vardo, the sooner I could run away. I steeled myself and, thinking I was ready, marched right into the corner where it sits.

It turns out I wasn’t really ready. This is the one photograph that I managed to take of the haunted wagon before losing my nerve and hurtling away to the other side of the museum with a squeak:

The doll that sits on the step of the haunted vardo

The doll that sits on the step of the haunted vardo

According to the timestamps on my camera, I managed less than ten minutes in the museum after my meeting with Mr Boswell, and you know what? I’m not ashamed. It was a terrifying experience. Additionally, all of the photos that I took after having taken that one of the ghost vardo turned out strange and shadowy:


The sceptic in me says that this probably is just the shadow of and object behind me, caused by the camera’s flash, but I don’t suppose I’ll ever know for sure…

I have since seen photographs of Gordon Boswell’s Romany Museum during opening season and I have to say, it depicts a rather different experience to mine. Full of people and with all the lights on, it looks like a wonderful place for a day out, something that my initial impressions of the museum can absolutely attest to. It is full of beautiful and informative displays about the Romany way of life and holds a truly remarkable collection of the wagons and memorabilia collected over Mr Boswell’s lifetime. I only suggest that you don’t stick around if he pops out for tea.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about The Ghost of Gordon Boswell’s Romany Museum. Look out for more from The Our Lincolnshire Project Diaries coming soon!

The Project Diaries: The Ghost of Gordon Boswell’s Romany Museum Part II


Mr Boswell looked down at the table between us, inhaled deeply and began to explain the haunting.

“A few years back, my son and I were driving down to a fair when we saw this green bow top wagon sat in a drive off to the side of the road. I thought to myself that it’d be a wonderful addition to the museum, so I went and knocked on the house next to it, to see if it was for sale. A lady answers the door and tells me immediately that it isn’t. I was disappointed, but she said that if she ever changed her mind, she’d get in touch.

I left my contact details with her and we went on our way. To be honest, I didn’t really think about it again until one day, about a year later, I get a call from this lady. She says she thinks she’s ready to sell the wagon if I still want to buy it. Of course, I’m thrilled, but then she says to me that there’s one condition. She tells me that I have to take the little girl that comes with it.”

The haunted green-top vardo (centre)

My eyes widen. “What did you say to her?”

“Well I didn’t know what she meant! I thought that perhaps there was a doll that she’d bought with it or something, and that she didn’t want the two separated. So I agreed!”


“Anyway, I drove down to pick it up the following week and as I was pulling away I suddenly remember what she said. I ask her whether the doll is inside one of the cupboards in the wagon. She looks at me for a moment, and tells me that I’ve misunderstood. It’s not a doll that comes with the wagon but an actual little girl. A little girl who comes out to sit on the step of the wagon, but runs back inside and disappears when approached.”

Now, as mentioned I consider myself a sceptic, but if anything can creep me out it’s child-ghosts. You’ve seen Guillermo Del Toro’s El Orfonato (The Orphanage)? Don’t, it’s terrifying (except do, because it’s excellent). Anyway, at this point in Mr Boswell’s story a rare shiver frequented the length of my spine.

image source: http://upcdg.com/di-14-2a/jeri/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/t1.jpg

El Orfonato Movie Poster #SorryForTheNightmares

“So you took the wagon anyway?” I asked.

“Yes, it’s just over in the corner, beside the red kite wagon.”

It was my turn to inhale deeply. Unsure of whether or not I really wanted to know the answer to my next question, I whispered, “…Have you ever seen her?”

“Oh, a couple of times,” he says, “out of the corner of my eye…”

Read the chilling conclusion to ‘The Ghost of Gordon Boswell’s Romany Museum’ in Part III.