Nicholas Beaumont


Nicholas is studying at the University of Lincoln for an MA in Creative Writing. He is a published poet, and an editor of arts magazine b[liminal].

A High Court Judge has ruled that people should not be charged for swearing in public after upholding an appeal from a defendant charged with hurling obscenities at a police officer. The judge ruled profanities are so commonplace that they no longer cause distress.

But does this mean it is now acceptable to swear in the street? We asked the people of Lincoln what they thought:

Daniel Lavey – 26

“Swearing in public is usually done in conjunction with antisocial behavior, and that is what people should be charged for, not the verbal abuse. In the spur of the moment sometimes you need to just swear. It’s only if you then go and punch someone then it is a problem. Words only mean what we allow them to mean, if we find the word offensive, then the problem is with us.”

Colin Padgett – 60

“I don’t approve at all. I tend to feel if people swear then they haven’t got a full grip of the English language. There are words in the English language that are lot better than the four letter words used in public. I don’t think people should go to prison for it, but swearing is an offense, and I think they should get a heavy fine in the hope they won’t repeat what they had done.”

Phil Cherratt – 23

“I’m not offended by it. I think there are certain words that are not reasonable to use in public, and I think you have to be particularly careful about words you use around young children, but it’s not something I am particularly offended by. People should only be punished if it is seriously abusive or offensive. Just general bad language is accepted now.”

Fen Chen – 26

“I definitely don’t think people should be charged for swearing in public. Sometimes you just can’t help it. I think perhaps a lot of foul language can be linked to a person’s background and education. I don’t think it’s a good thing to swear too much, but as far as I’m concerned the law should not be used to force people to stop.”

Photo: Jimmy Jack Kane

Nicholas is studying at the University of Lincoln for an MA in Creative Writing. He is a published poet, and an editor of arts magazine b[liminal].

Steep Hill has recently been voted the Best Street in Britain by the Academy of Urbanisation, who recognised not only the street’s history, but also its thriving independent retail outlets.

The Lincolnite asked residents what they think of Steep Hill, and is it indeed the best street Britain has to offer?

Jo Housham, 36

“It won because it’s so oldy worldy, and the shops are also quite unusual, so I think that’s why people like it. I come from Hull, but am originally from here, so know Lincoln well. People like it because of the history. The shops are fitting to what’s around here, with some nice tea rooms. It’s very pretty, and it’s just nice. A lot of Lincoln is new, so it’s nice to come into the older parts with the cathedral and castle, and the independent shops which are nice, rather than the chain shops.”

Jon Hanston, 23

“I’m not 100% sure it’s the best street in Britain. I’ve been to places like York that have similar sort of streets, maybe a bit better, but obviously York is a bigger city. I’ve grown up here, and I’ve got a lot of admiration for Lincoln itself. Steep Hill is one of the most historic places in Lincoln, and of course it’s surrounded by the Cathedral and Castle. If you bring a date here that doesn’t know about the city, it’s really good because they feel the history and get really excited. So I think it’s up there, but maybe not the best.”

Michael Hyde, 44

“It seems like quite a nice street. I’ve only just arrived in Lincoln, but it seems really good from the time I’ve spent here. There’s lots of galleries, and the cobbled area is nice – you don’t see much of it about in Britain. There’s also a lot of old buildings which are quite interesting. There are other streets I like in Britain, and York has some good ones too. But the cobbled effect and narrow width of Steep Hill make it really nice to see. It’s nice to see a city keeping its character rather than tarmacing it over and widening it to allow vehicles through.”

Sarah Hanely, 37

“I like the difference in the shops, everything’s different and they’re all independent. Nice clothes, nice tea, good book shops. We went to a tea shop earlier, and we’ve just come from the Harlequin book shop, and it was absolutely lovely. I come from Scunthorpe myself, but I come here a lot. I like the history, and my kids absolutely love it.”

Nicholas is studying at the University of Lincoln for an MA in Creative Writing. He is a published poet, and an editor of arts magazine b[liminal].

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