Brigg

The owners of an independent book shop in Brigg have thanked the local community and supporters from the industry for rallying round to help them bounce back to reopen after a heartbreaking burglary.

Nick and Mel Webb own The Rabbit Hole in Market Place in Brigg and opened for the first time this year on April 12. They had to close the next day after turning up to find their shop window had been boarded up after a break-in.

The couple were delighted to welcome their customers and friends back into the shop when they reopened again on Saturday, April 24.

They have been overwhelmed by messages and acts of support, including a fundraiser from regular customer Emma Rowson, who raised over £4,000.

Another fundraiser from a customer called Amy also raised vital funds, while books were donated by locally-based author Lynda La Plante and 2014 Great British Bake Off winner Nancy Birtwhistle.

The owners are determined to stay positive and even used the rock, which was thrown through the window on the day of the break-in, as a prop to advertise a new book in stock called The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen.

The rock, which was thrown through the window during the break-in, is now being used positively to help advertise a book on display in the shop.

Nick Webb, who owns The Rabbit Hole, told The Lincolnite: “It was lovely (to reopen) and the support has been wonderful.

“We’ve had some people we haven’t seen for a year reappear and new customers too. Emma and Amy (who set up the fundraisers) and locally-based authors have been very supportive.

“It has been an emotional but lovely time and great to see our customers and friends back again. The local community have been amazing and we will get round to thanking everyone.”

Owners Nick (left) and Mel Webb (right) were devastated after their book shop in Brigg – The Rabbit Hole – was broken into.

Humberside Police are continuing their investigation into the burglary and are appealing for information.

They previously said: “A window was smashed by two suspects who fled from the scene with a number of items stolen from the shop. A number of these items were recovered a short time later.

“Anyone with information about this burglary should call our non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 16/39946/21.”

The owners of an independent book shop in Brigg were devastated to find their store had been broken into just a day after reopening under the current lockdown restrictions

Nick and Mel Webb own The Rabbit Hole in Market Place in Brigg and were able to reopen for the first time this year on Monday, April 12.

However, the elation of the first day back turned to shock when they turned up to find their shop window had been boarded up due to the break-in, which happened shortly after midnight on Tuesday, April 13.

Police said a window was smashed by two suspects who fled the scene with a number of items stolen from the shop, some of which were later recovered.

The main damage was to the window and glass was found shattered all over the floor. Two book cases, including one hand carved in solid oak and which had previously contained over 20 books, were taken.

The window was boarded up after it was smashed during a break in at The Rabbit Hole book shop in Brigg.

Repairs could cost thousands of pounds, but the exact figure is not yet known and the owners are liaising with their insurance company.

They are determined to bounce back and hope to reopen the shop by the end of the week.

They have also been overwhelmed by the support of the local community, and from regular customer Emma Rowson, who raised over £2,800 via a GoFundMe page.

The main damage was to the window, which was smashed and glass was shattered all over the front of the shop.

Nick told The Lincolnite: “It is devastating. We just spent two weeks trying to get it ready to reopen. We had the elation of opening on Monday and seeing such wonderful people come in.

“Then to arrive on Tuesday not knowing what had happened was a shocker. It was a roller coaster of emotions.

“In December, everyone was dreading a longer lockdown after Christmas and we were unsure if we’d survive it. We got a grant from the local authority but nothing beyond that.

“On Sunday evening (April 11) we had a nice feeling to be in a position to reopen then to come in Tuesday and to have to shut straight away again was pure frustration.

“The saddest thing was we had kids and families turning up yesterday (Tuesday) with book tokens for World Book Day and seeing the mess like that.

“It will be absolutely crucial to reopen again. We operate a very community based and welcoming environment and book shops are very special places.”

Nick and Mel spent a lot of time getting their business – The Rabbit Hole book shop – ready for reopening on April 12.

Nick and Mel worked in the education sector for a combined total of 45 years before deciding to open a book shop, which has been located in its current premises for around three years.

In response to Emma’s fundraising, Nick added: “We are gobsmacked and astounded by what Emma did and the support from the local community, as well as the Booksellers Association.

“She is amazing and we are very overwhelmed. It shows how tight knit the indie bookshop community is, they are a lovely group of people to be working with.”

Emma told The Lincolnite: “It’s been quite overwhelming to see the campaign take off as it has, but certainly on a local level the support is a reflection of the time and effort that Nick and Mel put in passionately encouraging young readers, supporting events within the book community and particularly in their work with schools.

“The last year has been filled with uncertainty for small, independent businesses and my aim was to simply raise enough to help them reopen as quickly as possible while showing them how much they mean to the local area. The level of support they have received from the book community has been astounding.”

Humberside Police said: “We are investigating a burglary at a book shop on the Market place in Brigg which happened shortly after midnight, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

“A window was smashed by two suspects who fled from the scene with a number of items stolen from the shop. A number of these items were recovered a short time later.

“Anyone with information about this burglary should call our non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 16/39946/21.”

Overnight road closures will be in place from Monday as part of a 15-week project at an accident hotspot on the A1084 between Brigg and Caistor.

Eleven collisions resulting in injury have happened on the stretch of road over the past five years.

Work to increase safety and replace worn out carriageway will be carried out from Monday, March 22.

The scheme expected to last for 15 weeks, Monday to Friday, and will be carried out in two phases.

As part of the works, overnight closures of the A1084 will be in place from 7pm to 6am.

Access for residents and emergency services will be maintained throughout the project.

Phase One: March 22-April 24

  • Road reconstruction works on a section of A1084 between Brigg and Bigby
  • Diversion via A1173 & A46 junction/A46/A18 (Brigg)/A1084, and vice versa

Diversion Route 1 for the A1084 works. | Photo: LCC

Phase Two: April 26-July 3

  • Road reconstruction works on a section of the A1084 between Bigby and Searby, and on two sections of the A1084 in Caistor, between Caistor Lakes Leisure Park and East High Street, and at the A1084/A1173/A46 junction
  • Construction of a pedestrian crossing, lay-by and footway near Caistor Lakes Leisure Park on Brigg Road (A1084)
  • Footway resurfacing and kerbing replacement at the A1084/A1173/A46 junction
  • From Monday, April 26 to Monday, May 10 and from Saturday, May 22 to Saturday, July 3: Diversion via A1173 & A46 junction / A46 / B1205 / B1434 / A1084 & B1434 junction, and vice versa
  • From Tuesday, May 11 to Friday, May 21: Diversion via A1173 and A46 junction / A46 / B1434 / A1084 & B1434 junction, and vice versa

Diversion Route 1 for the A1084 works. | Photo: LCC

Karen Cassar, Assistant Director for Highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Using the funding we were awarded from central government’s Safer Roads Fund, we’ll be carrying out major improvements to the A1084 starting next month to increase safety along this dangerous stretch of road.

“As part of the project, we’ll be digging up two and a half miles of road and using 15,000 tonnes of tarmac and other materials to fully rebuild it – leading to smoother and safer journeys for drivers.

“We’ll also be upgrading skid resistance; installing rumble strips; building a pedestrian crossing, layby and footway near Caistor Lakes Leisure Park on the A1084 Brigg Road; and implementing new speed limits.”

Lincolnshire County Council, along with North Lincolnshire Council and North East Lincolnshire Council, were awarded £4.6 million in funding from government’s larger Safer Roads Fund programme in 2018 towards improvements to the following sections of road:

  • A18 between the A16 and the County Boundary (in partnership with North East Lincolnshire)
  • A1084 between Caistor and Brigg (in partnership with North Lincolnshire)
  • A631 between Bishop Bridge and Middle Rasen
  • A631 between Louth and Middle Rasen

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