An old girl of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Horncastle, who was a British suffragette and socialist, is now commemorated through a blue plaque, mounted on the school gate post in West Street.
Connie Lewcock, nee Ellis, was born on the 11th April 1894 and lived at 7 West Street in Horncastle, the only child of Thomas Henry Ellis and his wife, Emily Mary, née Lessware. Connie won a scholarship to the grammar school in Horncastle where she remained until she was seventeen.
Aged 14, Connie became an ardent women's suffragist after hearing a speaker on the promenade at Dunoon, who made her feel “that equality and freedom were the most important things in life”, she later recalled in an interview, in 1976. As a school girl, she saved up money in order to travel to London and take part in a suffragette procession and demonstration in Hyde Park. Inspired by the "Votes for Women" campaign Connie joined the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU).
As a suffragette, Connie was responsible for burning a wooden railway building at Esh Winning, in an attempt to raise awareness for the women’s cause. She had designed a system where a jar of flammable liquid was set alight when a candle burnt down. This meant that by the time the wooden building was alight she was miles away establishing an alibi; she later described the event as the “perfect crime” as the Police could not make formal charges as she had over thirty witnesses who could testify that she was with them at the time of the fire.
In 1918, after being engaged for four years, Connie married William Best Lewcock at Horncastle Congregational Church; they had three children, Sheila, Peter and Cynthia. Connie’s later life was dedicated to serving the public as a councillor; from 1960 she represented the Benwell ward on Newcastle City Council, acting as chairman of the housing management committee and the parliamentary and general purposes committee and vice-chairman of the finance committee. In 1961 Connie was awarded an OBE for her public service. After a fall, in 1980, Connie died at Newcastle upon Tyne General Hospital.
On 10th May 2018 Connie Lewcock's family received an honour on her behalf from the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Linda Wright, and from the Deputy Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Jill Green. Connie is commemorated too with her own plaque on the "Local Heroes Walk of Fame" which runs along the Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside. And now she is also celebrated in Horncastle, at her old school, QEGS, where the blue plaque, unveiled by Cynthia, her daughter, together with four generations of her family, memorialises her contribution to others.
Ethan, Year 11 student and air cadet with 17 (Coningsby) Squadron, is pictured with Headteacher Mrs Payne, holding two recent awards. As well as being awarded Cadet of the Year 2018, Ethan was recently presented with a certificate of merit by the Regional Commodore. This was as a result of first aid given by Ethan to an elderly lady who collapsed at the RAF Coningsby firework display. Summoned by members of the crowd, Ethan assessed the situation and sent another cadet for assistance while he put the lady in the recovery position and cleared and ensured the area around her was safe until an off-duty paramedic came to the scene. Ethan would like to be a paramedic in the future.
On the weekend of 11th – 12th October, Georgina Hadley took part in one of the five International Irish Dancing Championships that are held each year. Georgina produced an outstanding performance, gaining a position that placed her in the top twenty competitors on the international stage. A personal best gave Georgina 12th place overall (and also 4th British girl). Her hard work, determination and intensive training (up to 18 hours per week) has seen her gain 62 ranking places in just a year. She has qualified to represent England at the World Championships to be held during the Easter Holidays in USA next year.
Irish Dancing is an athletic art form that teaches true competitive spirit, resilience and determination as well as great comradery, respect and hard work. Georgina’s successes proves that nothing in life can be achieved without effort! Well done, Georgina. Below is a photograph of Georgina performing in the competition.
A couple of months ago Ian Scott (the LSCA Coach) put together and then entered a team of Lincolnshire students into the Junior Four Nations Chess League (J4NCL). This is the elite league for junior chess in the UK. All the other teams are based at chess clubs or chess associations and have significant coaching programs and funding behind them. One club, for example, has over 150 junior players, many of the teams have weekly grandmaster coaching sessions. The Yellow-Bellied Knights were the only team of privateers.
It has taken Ian Scott 4 years to find suitable players and he also coaches three of the four team members. In September the team, accompanied by Ian Scott, went to Daventry to compete in the J4NCL. The weekend consisted of 5 games for each team member (3 games on Saturday, 2 on Sunday). Each game averaged between 1.5 and 2 hours. The standard of the opposition was significantly higher than the last time that a team from Lincolnshire had played in the league so the Yellow-Bellied Knights were up against it. Other teams that entered were representing Wales, Manchester, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Chess in Schools (a heavily funded national organisation) to name just a few!
David Scott who has just started the Sixth Form at QEGS, has been a regular on the chess circuit for a number of years and beat his first International Master last year at the London Chess Classic. On the Daventry weekend, he played board one for the Yellow Bellied Knights so was up against the top player of all the other teams they faced. He came away with two wins, one draw and two losses. David was incredibly focused and put in a level of effort and concentration that would put many experienced adult players to shame. Playing Board One is not just about being the best player but also about leading the team. The result was the team came second out of twenty-two teams. David was an absolute credit to himself and his school. The other team members come from Boston Grammar School, LSST and QEHS (Gainsborough).
We are very grateful to Ian Scott who organises, supports, coaches and funds the team himself. Below is the successful team with David Scott in the middle of the photo, third from the left). Coach Ian Scott is standing next to David.
On 10th July 2018, I was lucky enough to go to the RAF 100 parade and flypast in London !! The RAF was formed on the 1st April 1918, from a mix of the Royal Flying Corp ( Army), and the Royal Naval Air Service. Since 1918, the RAF has participated in operations from the famous Battle Of Britain, in World War 2, to current operations, fighting in Afghanistan and Syria. However, the RAF also supports numerous humanitarian operations, for example, airlifting people out of danger, and delivering vital food, medicines and shelters to areas hit by natural disasters.
Back in London, the celebrations began with a march of over 1000 men and women of the Royal Air Force. All the Squadrons standards (flags) were paraded. The band of the RAF and the RAF pipes and drums, accompanied the march. I found this march very moving because their drill was immaculate and so was their uniform. I found it inspiring because they all looked very proud and as the crowd cheered some of them smiled.
The next part of the event was the flypast, 100 aircraft of the Royal Air Force flew over central London, down the Royal Mall, and over Buckingham Palace. This was the largest flypast in memorable history, even Heathrow airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, had to close for 25 minutes! It started off with helicopters, including the Chinook, followed by slower aircraft, such as shadow and training aircraft including the Prefects. The crowed roared as the Battle of Britain flight came into view. Lead by the Dakota, we saw Hurricanes, Spitfires, and then, amazingly, the only Lancaster capable of flying, named, The City Of Lincoln. Next in the flypast there were the heavy aircraft, for example, the Voyager, Globemaster, Rivet Joint, Sentry ( which my mum flew in for 10 years!). Next, it was the turn of the fast jets, the Hawks, Tornados and the RAF’s latest fighter jet, the Lighting.
Then the crowd gasped, as the Typhoons flew past in the formation of the figure, 100!! The flypast was brought to an end by Britain’s favourites, the Red Arrows, streaming red, white and blue smoke across the sky. I felt honoured to be there and I will never forget this truly astonishing experience. It was a once in a life time event and I was thrilled to see it in person and to share the celebration with my family. I am thinking of joining the RAF as a career and watching these events has made me more keen to do so.
Written by Cara Walker