Blog New Website Header

Plucky Lincolnshire Village Unites for Music Show Despite Flooded Homes

Thursday, 22 February

Community Spotlight

Last month, storm Henk swept through the UK, causing chaos and damage everywhere. In Lincolnshire, the village of Greatford suffered flooding from burst river banks, affecting 29 homes and forcing residents into temporary accommodation. However, one building remained above water - the Village Hall, which was scheduled to host a Live & Local show by acclaimed singer Ma Bessie in just three weeks' time.

But with residents displaced, promoter Alison Horton had a difficult decision to make, stuck between postponing or proceeding with the show. After some supportive discussion with the team at Live & Local as well as with local residents, Alison decided to roll the dice, and go ahead with the show. Trusting in the resilience of her community to pull together for the night, this gamble paid off with a sold-out show and an evening filled with music, dance and camaraderie. Alison says: 

“Everyone I spoke to was very keen for it to carry on and for us to get together as a community and have some fun. On the night, everyone turned up, including many people who had been forced to find alternative accommodation away from the village. A number of people even bought their tickets on the night!” 

Flooding in Greatford on January 3, 2024. Photo: Adam Brookes


Our Community Engagement Officer for Lincolnshire, Lesley Gibson, has been in awe of the community’s pluck since her first few days on the job, saying: 

"Greatford was one of the first halls I visited for a show when I took up my post as it is my nearest promoter to home and I was very proud. The village and the hall itself are beautiful and I felt lucky to be watching in something akin to a cricket pavilion. Everyone was so welcoming. I'm not in the least surprised that their community spirit shines through adversity." 

DSC 0068

Julia Titus (aka Ma Bessie) was overwhelmed with the welcome she and her band received on the night.  

“The audience was amazing and so appreciative of our visit.” She says. “It was heartbreaking to hear the stories of some of the residents that had still not been able to return to their properties and yet they still made the effort to come out for an evening of music, laughter and dancing. It was a really special evening.” 

This wonderful display of village camaraderie highlights the importance of Rural Touring. It gives performers like Julia unique opportunities to entertain communities who may not otherwise be able to access the arts or who live too far away from theatres and arts centres.

“Rural touring is so important for communities such as Greatford. Julia adds: “Bringing the village together to enjoy music as a catalyst to create happy memories. For many of the attendees, it was the first time returning to the village since having to leave.” 

Life is Too Short

Promoter Alison observed the common themes between what the village was going through at the time and the themes of Ma Bessie’s show, called After Hours. 

“The show was high quality and great fun. The songs from the prohibition era often reflected the feeling that we should not let bad times get us down, and although based on very different reasons this touched a supportive nerve among the audience. People suffering from the effects of the flood said how good it was to put their troubles to one side for a few hours.” 

The sold-out event also served as a platform to raise awareness about the ongoing recovery efforts and resources available to those affected by the flooding.  

South Kesteven District Council has created a flood recovery fund with an initial £35,000 to help the areas most affected. It will cover the cost of sandbags, Portaloos, clean-up costs and general support for residents affected by flooding.

Flooding in Greatford on January 3, 2024. Photo: Adam Brookes


Having forged ahead against the odds, Greatford Village Hall is on a roll now proving that even amid the most challenging circumstances, unity and community spirit can prevail. 

They’re currently selling tickets for their next show Jack’s Ashes on 19th April 2024.

For our full listings, visit

Join our mailing list