In August 2000 I was appointed to a job at South Holland District Council in Spalding, Lincolnshire which is about sixty-five miles from what was my home in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. In my previous job I had been used to travelling long distances (I once drove daily from Rugby to Southend for three years) so I assumed that this tiny distance would present no problems at all.
How wrong I was!
This turned out to be the most tortuous, energy sapping and soul destroying journey imaginable. First of all I had to negotiate the city of Nottingham which is a busy place in early morning rush hour and then the long drag to Grantham and by now I had been on the road for an hour and was only just over half way there and about to begin the worst part of the journey.
Lincolnshire has no motorways and is also desperately short of dual carriageways and the A52 is a single carriageway nightmare. It is permanently full of lorries from the south Lincolnshire food distribution centres, caravanners making for the coast and tractors, hundreds of tractors, who all seem to come out on the roads together at a time certain to cause maximum inconvenience to motorists.
If I was lucky I could do the journey in an hour and forty-five minutes but sometimes (especially going home on a Friday night) it could take two hours! Even though I was still driving the Onyx UK company car and they were fuelling it for me for six months as part of my redundancy deal this was not sustainable and when this perk disappeared and I had to pay for my own diesel I had to make alternative arrangements.
The solution was to rent a house and live closer to work and I found a delightful place in Moulton Seas End about seven miles from Spalding and what I was saving in fuel more than paid for the modest rent on the two bedroom, one hundred year old, ex agricultural farm workers cottage and on 6th June 2001 I signed the tenancy agreement.
I don’t remember thinking that I would still be there ten years later but I enjoyed working at South Holland District Council and living in South Lincolnshire and after a while I came to consider it my natural home with a good job and an excellent quality of life.
Unfortunately, good things come to an end and with the Tory assault on the public sector the good job was gone and so was my happy enjoyment of Moulton Seas End and South Lincolnshire so after ten happy years I terminated the tenancy and started a new life in the north of Lincolnshire instead, sad to go but happy to move on.