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Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings news from 10, 25, 50, 100, 150 and 200 years ago





We’re on our weekly stroll down memory lane looking at news from up to 200 years ago.

Our Rutland & Stamford Mercury Memories is produced thanks to the support of the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust.

10 years ago

Cousin hopes to help Ethan get to Paris

A woman hopes to raise £3,000 to take her young cousin to Disneyland Paris following the tragic death of his sister.

Ethan Byatt, six, lost his little sister Hope aged just three to a rare genetic condition in January.

Jon Byatt and Laura Goodliffe-Byatt with children Hope and Ethan Byatt, and Kobu and Nieve Goodliffe 10 years ago.
Jon Byatt and Laura Goodliffe-Byatt with children Hope and Ethan Byatt, and Kobu and Nieve Goodliffe 10 years ago.

Ethan had already lost his mother Alex to cancer about two years ago. Life has not been easy for the Stamford youngster.

So his cousin Gemma Mansell decided to do something to put a smile back on his face. Accountant Gemma, 28, from Peterborough, set up a website to try to raise £3,000 to take Ethan to Disneyland Paris.

In just a few weeks she has managed to raise £1,200. Gemma said: "Ethan is only six and it just would be nice to see him smile again and be a normal little boy with something to look forward to."

Ethan, Jon, his wife Laura Goodliffe-Byatt and her two children Nieve and Kobi Goodliffe live in Caledonian Road, Stamford.

Ethan's mother Alex died of a brain tumour at the age of 34. She was pregnant with Ethan's sister Hope when she was diagnosed and died a year-and-a-half later.

Hope suffered from Tay-Sachs, a rare condition which causes progressive damage to the nervous system.

The family first found out about her condition after she had a fit on an aeroplane just before take-off.

Gemma said: "It was on the aeroplane on Ethan's first holiday abroad when Hope turned poorly and they never got there.

“The family have been through so much since then."

The fundraising page has been set up through Have Soul, which is run by Enya Mooney, from Stilton.

Each month the site supports a different cause. A fundraising target is set and people pledge money, but if the target is not met the money is not donated.

Gemma needs to hit her £3,000 target by May 21. She wants to raise enough to pay for Ethan's Disneyland tickets and travel, so he can come on holiday with her and her two sons George and Mason.

And she also hopes to give some money to Jon and Laura so they can finally have a honeymoon. She said: "The first few weeks were brilliant. It'sgone a bit slow since then but we've still got about two weeks to go."

Cycling event entertains thousands

Thousands of people lined the route of the Friends Life Women's Tour cycling event and packed into Oundle to see the Grand Depart on Wednesday.

Cyclists pass through Geddington 10 years ago.
Cyclists pass through Geddington 10 years ago.
Olivia Hunnikin from Cottesmore meets her idol Marianne Vos 10 years ago.
Olivia Hunnikin from Cottesmore meets her idol Marianne Vos 10 years ago.

The event, which ends in Bury St Edmunds on Sunday, has captured the imagination of cyclists and non-cyclists.

Crowds gathered at the startline and along nearby streets well before the race got under way at 11am, and cheered on the teams as they signed in, with particularly loud cheers for the British cyclists, including Olympic silver medallist and British national champion Lizzie Armitstead and local girl Hannah Barnes.

There were also loud cheers for the reigning world champion Marianne Vos, who also paid a visit to Rutland Cycling on Wednesday night.

New art project needs your help

Creative residents are being invited to help develop an exciting new art project in Oakham. Oakham Town Council has been given funding from Arts Council England to create a new mural in Gaol Street which will celebrate the industrial heritage of the town, as well as reflecting the present and future.

From left, Oakham mayor Adam Lowe, Michelle Meynell, Monica Fernandez, Peter Lawson, Jayne Woodcock and Mo Gardner 10 years ago.
From left, Oakham mayor Adam Lowe, Michelle Meynell, Monica Fernandez, Peter Lawson, Jayne Woodcock and Mo Gardner 10 years ago.

The site of the artwork, on the wall of the Co-operative Funeralcare, was previously home to a mural, and public opinion and consultation has confirmed that residents want to see something creative happen in that space again. The project, led by Oakham based artist Monica Fernandez, is titled ‘Now Then’.

Monica said: “This will be a great opportunity for residents of all ages to take part in the creative process, and share a sense of ownership.

“Working together we will create a mural that Oakham can be proud of for many years to come.”

A happy family portrait

It’s always a joyous occasion to see four generations of a family together. But lucky great great grandfather Cliff Shepherd, 100, has had the pleasure of meeting the fifth generation of his family.

Hillary Close (above) with Garry Handford, Thelma Handford, Victoria Donnelly and great great granddaughter Millie Donnelly 10 years ago.
Hillary Close (above) with Garry Handford, Thelma Handford, Victoria Donnelly and great great granddaughter Millie Donnelly 10 years ago.

Cliff, who lives in Hillary Close, is pictured with Garry Hanford, Thelma Handford, Victoria Donnelly and great great granddaughter Millie Donnelly.

25 years ago

Curates babies born two days apart

Heavens above! Two neighbouring curates got the shock of their lives when they both had bouncing babies within days of each other.

New arrivals Anna May Seal and Nathaniel Malcolm Taylor with parents from left, the Rev Rosamund Seal and husband Roger and the Rev Martyn Taylor and wife Phillipa 25 years ago.
New arrivals Anna May Seal and Nathaniel Malcolm Taylor with parents from left, the Rev Rosamund Seal and husband Roger and the Rev Martyn Taylor and wife Phillipa 25 years ago.

The Rev Rosamund Seal, curate of All Saints and St John's Parish, and her husband Roger were amazed to see the Rev Martyn Taylor, curate of St George's parish, with his wife Philippa in Peterborough District Hospital.

The expectant wives from Stamford first discovered they were pregnant when they bumped into each other last year at the hospital, where they were having ultrasound scans.

Several months later, on April 29, the Taylors were celebrating the birth of Nathaniel Malcolm, who weighed in at 91b 3oz.

And on May 1 the Seals were rejoicing over the arrival of 81b 10oz Anna May. The babies were due to be born on April 22 and 23 but both were a little late — but still just two days apart.

Rev Seal said: "I was gobsmacked to see the Taylors. At first I wondered what they were doing at the hospital.

"When I realised it was a shock - possibly more for them than me."

Rev Taylor was also surprised. He said: "It was a surprise seeing them and not knowing you're both in on each other's secret."

Roger Seal said there were laughs all round but, since the couples chose to be discreet, both pregnancies stayed secret for many weeks afterwards.

A further coincidence is that both babies are likely to be christened by their paternal grandfathers.

MP helps promote Cancer Research campaign

Quentin Davies MP was in Stamford this week to help promote the Cancer Research Campaign's 1999 Starflower Appeal.

Quentin Davis MP (right) with manager Bobbie Brown 25 years ago.
Quentin Davis MP (right) with manager Bobbie Brown 25 years ago.

Mr Davies called into the charity's Stamford shop in St Paul's Street and joined in the appeal for people to ‘Help Buttonhole Cancer' by wearing a Starflower throughout the month of May.

The Cancer Research Campaign adopted the Starflower as its emblem because it has been used throughout the world in the research and treatment of cancer for over 700 years.

The silky blue Starflower buttonholes will be available nationwide for a suggested donation of £1.

Mr Davies said: "I am delighted to be supporting the Cancer Research Campaign's Starflower Appeal and I hope people right across the region will join me in wearing a Starflower with pride."

Prof. Gordon MeVie, the director general of the Cancer Research Campaign, added: "We're really encouraging everyone to pick up a Starflower this May and help fund us in our work and research to fight cancer."

The campaign will invest £55m in more than 700 research projects this year and is a European leader in anti-cancer drug development.

Starflowers are available from all 271 Cancer Research Campaign shops as well as a number of high street stores in-Euding UniChem chemists, Barclays Bank, Mother Che Plate, and Costutter

Nursery celebrates 30 years

Oundle Nursery School celebrated its 30th anniversary this week.

Nursery leader Madeleine Sewter celebrates 30 years in the job 25 years ago.
Nursery leader Madeleine Sewter celebrates 30 years in the job 25 years ago.

Madeleine Sewter established the playgroup back in 1969. Originally based in New Road, Oundle, it moved to its present address at 48 Glapthorne Road about 13 years ago. Madeleine Sewter (56) said: "I can't believe I've been doing this for 30 years, it just seems to have passed so quickly.

“The anniversary day passed really well, we entertained the children with Uncle Wizzy, a magician from Peterborough, and made 30 cakes to represent the years we've been working."

Madeleine's eldest son Philip who is now 32 - and one other child were the first children to pass through the playgroup's doors.

Since then it has steadily progressed and today it has about 20 members.

Madeleine added: "Children are much more alert and inquisitive these days. Parents seem to spend more time talking to their children at an early age, and make use of the excellent children's books which are available. It makes a massive difference."

When asked about her future plans, Madeleine replied: "I've no plans to retire yet, but I don't think I'll be going on for another 30 years! I got this far because of the hard work of all of my staff over the years.”

Art to go under the hammer

Oil paintings, watercolours, prints and posters will be going under the hammer on Friday (May 14) in a grand auction to raise money for the restoration of St Mary and St Augustine's Church in Stamford.

John Chapple, Marie Hare, Pat Dancer and Shelia Fountain with some of the paintings 25 years ago.
John Chapple, Marie Hare, Pat Dancer and Shelia Fountain with some of the paintings 25 years ago.

A number of original works by local artists will be on sale including a View of Yarmouth by Wilfred Wood, Evening Over Stamford by John Nicholls, and Flowers by Bernie Atter.

Other artists showing will be Vivien Faulconbridge, David Seamer and John Orchard.

Pat Dancer, of the church picture auction committee, said: "A lot of hard work has gone into organising the sale.

“We've got the paintings and plenty of enthusiasm, we just need people to turn up on the day!"

Money raised will be given to the Church Fabric Repair Fund which is being used to pay for the restoration of the building.

Father Malachy Brett, of St Mary and St Augustine's, said: "The church needs quite a lot of work, inside and out. The exterior brickwork needs repointing, and there is damp and a number of ceiling leaks to attend to. I'll be at the auction because I'm a bit of an art fan when I'm not doing church work!"

Wedding couple want ‘The King’

Tired of traditional weddings, engaged couple Simon McQuiggan and Emma Bryant are desperately seeking an Elvis impersonator to liven up their big day.

Simon McQuiggan and Emma Bryant 25 years ago.
Simon McQuiggan and Emma Bryant 25 years ago.

The couple, of St Paul Street, Stamford, are planning to tie the knot on October 9.

But they are keen to have a fun reception with a difference and think an impersonation of The King will help do just that.

Simon (30) is the real Elvis fan but he has been converting Emma (28) since they met seven years ago at college in Carlisle.

Simon, a chef, said: “I think our friends and family will love it.

“It’ll make the night. I’m sure anyone who does it won’t have to worry about applause - they’re sure to get a standing ovation.”

Emma, a designer, thinks it’s a great idea to liven up the reception.

She said: “We don’t want a conventional wedding.”

But Simon and Emma have searched high and low but have not been able to find anyone willing to don sideburns and blue suede shoes to entertain their guests.

50 years ago

Two 15-year-old youths and another of 16 years, all of whom admitted trespassing on British Railways land dangerously near to the railway lines, had exemplary characters, Bourne juvenile court magistrates learned, on Thursday.

The offences were committed at Deeping St James, on March 16. In addition, one of the 15-year-olds admitted trespassing on land when he had an air rifle.

100 years ago

Shop Fire - Had it not been for the prompt attendance of the Fire Brigade, under Capt. A. Bacon, a fire, which broke out on the premises of the International Stores in High-street, on Wednesday evening, would probably have resulted in the total destruction of the building. The outbreak, the cause of which is unknown, originated in a storeroom at the back of the shop, and so fierce was the conflagration that in a short space of time volumes of thick smoke were pouring from all the windows.

150 years ago

On Saturday evening crowds of spectators assembled on Stamford-bridge, Albert-bridge, and at favourable points on the banks of the Welland to witness a canoe race which had been announced by handbill to take place.

At the time fixed upon one of the parties (who, we understand, had been in training for the contest, and had duly deposited his stake) put in an appearance attired in blue and white cap and striped shirt. His "antagonist" did not show up, so he paddled over the course "to claim the stakes."

200 years ago

A most pitiful attempt having been made to remove the Stamford Lodge of Odd Fellows from the New Salutation Inn, by a few of the members belonging thereto, who brought forward an accusation against which they refused to give the landlord an opportunity of defending himself; and as notices of a special and general meeting are to be sent round to request the members to assemble at the Exeter Tavern on Friday the 14th of May.



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