If you’re in the UK and travelling on the north-to-south M1 motorway, then it’s worth a small detour to visit the tiny village of Linby. I’m afraid that I don’t know exactly when the village was initially founded but the church dates from the thirteenth century so we’re certainly talking several hundred years ago.
If you were settling down to form a village way back then, a source of water was important for several practical reasons. Most British villages, towns and cities have rivers and streams to thank for their location. The water source gave them essentials for a reasonable quality of life.
In many villages today, especially the tiny ones, you’ll see that the water stream runs alongside the high street. This means that in the old days it was accessible to all residents for their various needs. Over the years the streams have been enclosed within walls. See the photograph of Linby High Street below.
You can see that there is a miniature canal on each side of the road – so convenient for the villages prior to running water and plumbing in the cottages and dwellings.
The interesting thing about the Linby streams though is their local nickname – the locals refer to them as ‘
Linby Docks’ – a very grand name for these tiny streams.
But during World War Two this name caused confusion in the strategic planning departments of the Luftwaffe and the German High Command. The Germans heard about Linby Docks and decided that, just like the major ports in such places as Liverpool, these docks too must be destroyed.
After all, their goal was to destroy and disrupt British shipping and distribution systems as much as possible. They did not realise that the grandly-named Linby Docks weren’t even large enough for a rowing boat, let alone merchant ships full of cargo, ammunition and armed soldiers.
The American, William Joyce, was a propagandist for the Nazi regime and sent regular broadcasts from Germany. He informed the world – England in general and Linby in particular – that Linby Docks would be bombed and destroyed.
The Germans, still believing that the docks were a large commercial operation, did indeed bomb the area but the bombs landed in a nearby field – Linby is in a rural, agricultural area and not an urban industrial one – so no real damage was done to the picturesque village.
So if you’re in the area, stop by at Linby. When you get home you’ll have a great story to tell – about how the bungling Nazis believed that this tiny village was a strategic Luftwaffe target!
There are several legends about the area – plenty of ghosts and the like – including the legend that the humble pancake was invented in Linby. But see the video below for another claim to fame for the village.
HOW TO FIND LINBY VILLAGE
Nottingham NG15 8AB,