Tag Archives: Lincoln Cathedral

A – Z Blogging Challenge – Day 12

After a two day posting last night, I’m still behind on the challenge. We’re now on Day 12, which is the letter L.

As I’m from the county of lincolnshire, I could have had L is for Lincolnshire
As I work at Lincoln, I could have had L is for Lincoln
As I work at Lincoln University, I could have had L is for Lincoln University
As my one of my favourite buildings is Lincoln Cathedral, I could have had L is for Lincoln Cathedral

But instead, I ve gone for L is for Lincoln Yellowbelly!

What is a Yellowbelly?, I hear you say
For years, anyone born and bred in Lincolnshire has been known as a Yellowbelly.

But why Yellowbelly? I hear you say
Well there are a number of explanations….

The most popular explanation is that the officers of the Royal North Lincolnshire Militia would wear bright yellow waistcoats on the battlefield. The plus point, being that their men could easily spot them, the negative being that it made them rather obvious targets!

Another explanation is that apparently there is a breed of newt common to the Lincolnshire Fens that has a bright yellow underside.

A further explanation is that the mail coach that ran from Lincoln to London had a yellow undercarriage. The story goes that on its arrival in London, the locals would shout “Here comes the Lincolnshire Yellowbelly“.

Yet another explanation comes from the farming community. The traditional sheep of the county is the Lincoln Longwool, with,surprisingly enough, fleece that was long. These sheep would often graze in fields of mustard, and as their shaggy coat dragged along the ground, it would pick up pollen from the mustard flowers, and give them,surprise, surprise, a yellowbelly!

The most gruesome explanation is that in the Lincolnshire Fens there was a disease similar to malaria that caused severe stomach cramps. To try and cure this ailment, farmworkers would rub opium on to the stomach, this caused the skin to turn yellow, giving them, you’ve guessed it, a yellowbelly!

There you have it, a few explanations of the origins of the term yellowbelly.

So L is for Lincolnshire Yellowbelly

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