Website of the Laceby History Group

Laceby Ponds

There were in existence up to the early 1970's at least ten interesting and very individual ponds in our village. The lowering of the water table due to the industrial needs of the Humber Bank plus the acquiring of land for building, saw to the demise of these sustainers of life for many small animals and insects.

The first pond was in Miss Knights's paddock in Butt Lane upon which land Mr. Barwood built houses in 1965/ 66. The pond was just a small enlargement of the roadside ditch. Although it wasn't very big it was quite deep and did prove dangerous on one occasion as a small Laceby boy drowned in it. A broken fence stood one side, the roadside hedge another and a weeping willow tree gave a deceptively pretty appearance to this sinister pond which is reputed never to have dried up even in the hottest of summers.

The second pond was at the bottom end of Mr. Isaac's first field down Butt Lane (built on now). One child who broke the winter ice on it was greatly surprised when a tiddler popped up and landed on top of the ice. Some winters the ice was strong enough to walk on and slide across. It was a favourite watering hole for Mr. Isaac's riding horses in the 1940's and 50's.

The third pond was Mr. Curtis's duck pond down Grimsby Road. Numbers 20 and 22 are the approximate site. Children regularly took bread to feed the farmyard ducks. If they weren't throwing bread in they would throw stones in to marvel at the resulting concentric circles of water, as the pond was a big round one. The roadside path by the pond had fallen away under the iron railing and children standing on a bar of the railing could see over into the bottom of the pond also giving them a daredevil feeling.

Pond number four was in Cocking field where the cutting starts from Keith Crescent through to Knight's Close now. It had banked sides with a big hawthorn bush to the north and a lower side to the south for Mr. Coulson's cattle to enter and drink. Children taking the short cut over the fields from school home to Caistor Road usually stopped to play by or in it.

Lopham Lane was the site for the next three ponds. One was called Bruster's as the field it was in was leased by the Stanford Trust to William Bruster a former Headmaster of Laceby Stanford School. It was another cattle watering hole; small but deep in the middle and dark because it was surrounded by mature trees and dense bushes. It was eventually filled in and the trees cut down by Mr. Clayton. The field was once rented by Mr. Reg Isaac and village boys camped in it using the water from the pond for their needs. The second Lopham Lane pond was where the electricity sub station is now. The indentation is still evident but there's no water and it seems to be full of rubbish. This pond was a good source of frogspawn to be kept in stone pump troughs at home or taken in a jar to Laceby school and kept in a bowl on Miss Ream's nature table.

The last Lopham Lane pond was in a corner of a field by the lane hedge; quite pretty, very small and used for cattle again. It was pinpointed opposite the hazelnut tree (which isn't there now). Of couse that pond which seemed a lovely place to sit and rest by after taking a walk down Lopham Lane, has dried up and has been levelled.

An eighth pond was in a field at the bottom of Gibraltar Lane. It once belonged to Squire Field but was known in latter years as Plant's field. It was big enough for children to sail on it using salting tubs for boats.

Weatherhog's Goss (Gorse ?) was the site of a ninth pond. It was in a field belonging in early years to Traffords. It was deep and was claimed to be bottomless and it too was the scene of drama whenFred Parker was pulled out of it in a successful rescue attempt.

The tenth and last pond, not counting the three gravel pits which filled with water, was Ben Davy's pond at Aylesby Mill.

What ponds can Laceby children dabble in now and learn some biology and botany? Is it all learnt from television and books?

Perhaps now instead of frogs in buckets they are content with turtles on tee-shirts.

Brenda Anderson.