Boasting extensive acting and TV presenting credits, Julie Peasgood is one of the best- known acting talents to come out of Lincolnshire.
Julie Peasgood has appeared in some of the best loved soaps and TV shows including Emmerdale, The Bill, First Born, Casualty, and of course Brookside.
The Cleethorpes born actress who looks half her age is not just a hit as an actress on TV or the stage, she is a successful writer who loves to travel and has a passion for crafts. She combined her passion for crafts by co-producing and presenting the series Crafty Beggars’ for Discovery TLC and Together TV, as well as leading crafting workshops all over the UK.
Julie loves to travel and loves cruises, and combining her love of cruises and craft, she launched a ‘Supercraft Cruise’ venture. This craft cruise holidays have become a huge hit, and if you love to cruise and love crafts, then you really need to book your place.
Although she no longer lives in Lincolnshire, Julie Peasgood will always be that girl next door from Cleethorpes. So, we decided to sit down with Julie and find out more about growing up in Lincolnshire and her favourite places to visit when she returns.
Julie, you were born in Cleethorpes, what was it like growing up in Cleethorpes?
I was born in the old Croft Baker hospital in Cleethorpes (so I’m a true Meggie!) but I actually grew up in Grimsby. We lived in Newmarket Street (off Freeman Street) until I was five and then we moved to Lyndhurst Avenue in Scartho, where I stayed until I was sixteen – before going to ballet school in London.
I do remember spending most of my free time in Cleethorpes though – I loved it, especially the amusement arcades, Wonderland and the Beacholme Club. My best friend June and I didn’t have a lot of cash (we lost a fortune in pennies in those arcades), but we always made sure we had enough for a bag of chips (with free scraps of course). Later on, I got a job in a fish and chip restaurant on the sea front, so I smelt permanently of chips.
I then moved on to selling gifts, jokes and novelties in West’s Bazaar, also on the sea front, but I couldn’t resist trying the jokes myself, and I eventually got the sack for leaving a plastic dog poo on the shop floor. I’d made it seem authentic by positioning it in the middle of a small pool of orange juice, to look like pee. I thought it was hilarious, but unfortunately the manager didn’t share my enthusiasm.
When was the last time you visited Cleethorpes, and how different is it from when you grew up there?
I last visited Cleethorpes when I was shooting a small film with local producer, Julia Thompson, who runs East Coast Pictures. The beach, station and a little café were our locations and being in Cleethorpes again brought back some very happy memories. Sadly, Wonderland no longer exists and most of the shops and restaurants that I knew are gone, although I’m delighted that Steels Corner House fish and chip restaurant is still going strong (I’m a huge fan of Steels – in my opinion they serve the best fish and chips in the world!)
I also really enjoyed shopping in Seaview Street – it’s lovely around there, and there is a thriving Buddhist group nearby where I enjoyed going to a meeting. I’ve been a Nichiren Buddhist for 37 years and I chant (Nam Myoho Renge Kyo) every day, which has been a very positive influence in my life.
What is your favourite moment from growing up in Lincolnshire?
Cycling from Grimsby to Louth with June when we’d just received our GCSE results. We both went to Wintringham Grammar School, and I’d done better than I’d dared hope – given that I hadn’t put nearly enough revision in. It was a beautiful sunny day, so we also visited Hubbard’s Hills (a favourite place of mine and close by) and I remember feeling a mixture of exhilaration, relief and happiness because of my results, the weather and maybe the exercise!
Do you still live in Lincolnshire?
No, but I return regularly to see dear friends in North Somercotes and Walesby and to put flowers on the graves of my parents and my brother David. I also pay a visit to Hemswell Antique Centres when I can – I have some treasured pieces that I’ve bought there over the years.
I will put you on the spot now, which seaside resort or beach do you like the most in Lincolnshire?
I love Donna Nook for its grey seals, but of course it has to be Cleethorpes – my birthplace!
Would you like to see Grimsby become home to a big university like Sheffield?
Yes, I think that would be a great idea for Grimsby – anything that raises its profile and reputation is good news.
You have a passion for cruises, but have you ever been on one of the weekend ferry ships from Hull, and if so where did you go?
I haven’t ever been on one of the weekend ferry ships – but it’s never to late to add it to my must-do list!
Lincolnshire is so lucky to have some of the most amazing countryside in the UK, what is your favourite countryside walk?
Well, it used to be through all the fields and lanes in Scartho near where we lived and where the Grimsby hospital is now sited, but they obviously don’t exist anymore, so now I enjoy exploring the Lincolnshire Wolds. The walk from Walesby to Tealby on the edge of the Wolds is a lovely one, but best in summer as it can get seriously muddy in winter.
You love crafting, how did you get into it, and would you like to see more young people take up crafting?
I first started crafting when I was about six and the Ladybird Book of Things to Make became my bible. My mum Pearl recycled everything, and she was incredibly supportive of all our early attempts at crafting: I remember my younger brother David and I making Christmas bell decorations at our kitchen table, using cardboard egg boxes along with copious amounts of cotton wool, red poster paint and glitter. We then sold them to our (very forgiving) neighbours to make some pocket money!
I would very much like to see more young people take up crafting – I wish it could be a regular part of the school curriculum. Crafting focusses the mind and can lift depression, increase self-esteem and bring a real sense of calm and wellbeing; crucial now that so many young people are struggling with mental health issues. The life-enhancing benefits of being creative shouldn’t be underestimated.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the country going into lockdown, a lot of people found new hobbies, while other people turned to exercise to keep their minds active, how did you deal with the COVID lockdown?
By crafting – and sorting out all my craft materials (something I’ve been meaning to do for years) and by walking every day too. My husband Patrick and I are very lucky to have some beautiful countryside near where we live, and we became addicted to our daily exercise.
Although sadly, lots of pubs are closing down in Lincolnshire like the rest of the UK, we still have some amazing countryside pubs in Lincolnshire, do you have a favourite?
The Bay Horse Inn in North Somercotes is good, but my favourite has to be The George of Stamford.
When you go out in Lincolnshire where do you like to eat?
I like Abby’s Wine Bar and Bistro in Grimsby, Petit Delight and me2raj in Cleethorpes – and I was once treated to a delicious meal at Winteringham Fields. And, as I mentioned, Steels Corner House Restaurant in Cleethorpes.
We have the Lincoln Christmas Market coming soon, after it being cancelled last year, for those people who have never been to the Lincoln Christmas Market, how would you describe to them, and why would you recommend people should go there?
I think the Lincoln Christmas Market lasts for about four days, and it’s in the Cathedral Quarter, which is superb in itself. It’s a very traditional festive market, with mulled wine, entertainers and over 200 different stalls – selling everything from mince pies to hand-made Christmas decorations. It’s well worth a visit as the local shops stay open late too…
What would class as your favourite day out in Lincolnshire?
Breakfast with my friend Lindsay Henson (who makes the best eggs and avocado on toast) followed by a visit to Hemswell Antique Centres, then fish and chips for lunch at Steels, followed by a walk along the seafront. We’d then drive to our friends in North Somercotes – they have a gorgeous garden and are both keen cooks, so supper is always delicious. (That’s a lot of eating isn’t it!)
You are so busy with your acting career, being an author and your crafting, how do you relax?
I think of myself as more of a writer/journalist now, as I currently have four columns in travel and craft magazines, which I love writing. I also formed a new company www.SupercraftCruises.com in 2018 and despite the pandemic, we are doing surprisingly well. I take groups of expert craft tutors on cruise ships worldwide, so passengers have the benefit of enjoying a huge variety of craft workshops onboard (crafting and cruising is a good combo!)
I’m about to start work on my 86th cruise in January, so I guess the short answer is that I don’t really relax. Maybe when I’m in the bath I do – or watching a good film…but to be honest I think I’m actually happier being busy!
Follow Julie’s Supercraft news on Twitter @Supercrafters8