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News from the Stamford Mercury Archives





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

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

25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – The light of the world – Louis Sillery, Charlotte Flaxman and Mark Garley with their lighted Christingles at Uppingham parish church on Sunday.
25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – The light of the world – Louis Sillery, Charlotte Flaxman and Mark Garley with their lighted Christingles at Uppingham parish church on Sunday.

10 years ago

December 6, 2013

The Mercury is joining a national campaign to back local traders in the run up to Christmas and we want all our readers to support them.

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, where people up and down the country are encouraged to pay a visit to the independent shops and businesses where they live.

We want readers to think about those small businesses in Stamford, Bourne, Rutland and the Deepings and just consider using them for some of your Christmas shopping.

Concerns are frequently raised over the health of our local high streets so here's your chance to help by shopping locally.

While it may be tempting to do your Christmas shopping online or visit a big city shopping centre, we think you can find plenty of great gifts in our huge range of stores which put money in our local economy.

Not only does it benefit our great traders, it also brings extra income into Stamford and has a knock-on effect on the rest of our town centre businesses.

25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Staff and children at Easton-on-the-Hill playgroup get to grips with the new computer, brought in after the group's favourable Ofsted inspection.
25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Staff and children at Easton-on-the-Hill playgroup get to grips with the new computer, brought in after the group's favourable Ofsted inspection.

Police have issued a warning to parents and stepped up patrols after receiving five reports of van drivers approaching children in the Deepings.

Inspector Mike Burnett, who is investigating the incidents, said the force was taking each report very seriously and has urged parents and schools to be vigilant and report any incidents.

The first happened on Wednesday last week at about 4.30pm when an 11-year-old girl was approached by a man driving a white van in Thackers Way, Market Deeping.

Since then four more incidents have been reported in the town and Deeping St James, in which a man, sometimes two, has approached youngsters in a white van.

In some instances, children have been asked to get into the van after being asked for directions.

Insp Burnett said: “Our patrols have increased around schools in the morning, when schools finish and in the evenings because we are very concerned.

“The children involved have been very frightened and very scared, and we are treating all incidents very seriously.

“When victims come forward we will use our expertise and everything in our power to catch these perpetrators.

“If anyone sees any suspicious activity I would be grateful if they take down the vehicle's registration number and phone us immediately on 999.”

50 years ago: December 7, 1973 –Shri Krishna K. Santani demonstrates the 'easy chair' position, watched by some of those attending a one-day yoga seminar held at Glinton on Saturday.
50 years ago: December 7, 1973 –Shri Krishna K. Santani demonstrates the 'easy chair' position, watched by some of those attending a one-day yoga seminar held at Glinton on Saturday.

Stamford's Christmas Festival on Sunday has been hailed a success and discussions are already taking place about expanding it next year.

On a crisp winter day thousands of people got into the Christmas spirit at a festive market and lights switch on.

Stamford town centre was filled with about 80 stalls selling crafts, gifts and a vast array of festive food. The stalls lined Ironmonger Street and High Street.

Throughout the day activities took place in Red Lion Square including the singing of carols by choirs from St Gilbert's Primary School and Malcom Sargent Primary School leading up to the lights switch on at 4pm.

As the sun set Stamford mayor Brian Sumner and Father Christmas left Santa's grotto and rode on a sleigh, provided by the Stamford and District Kiwanis, through the centre of the market into Red Lion Square.

There the pair were joined on stage by six-year-old Hannah Gonzalez-Ruiz, who was selected to help turn on the town's lights after a countdown by the hundreds of people who packed around the tree at the centre of the square.

25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Christmas wishes: Morton CE Primary School children Paige Gizzi and Robert Mumby give Santa their early Christmas requests at the school's annual Christmas Fair.
25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Christmas wishes: Morton CE Primary School children Paige Gizzi and Robert Mumby give Santa their early Christmas requests at the school's annual Christmas Fair.

25 years ago

December 4, 1998

Ruthless vandals destroyed thousands of pounds of equipment at Oakham Day Centre on Monday night.

Staff at Oakham Day Centre were devastated to find computers and TVs smashed up, video recorders stamped on and thrown in the pond, fire extinguishers let off, covering everything with white powder, and two CD players and cash stolen.

Lyn Spence, manager of the centre for people with learning difficulties and physical and sensory disabilities, said: “The saddest fact of all is that the most vulnerable people in the community can be targeted in this ruthless way.

“Many items have been damaged beyond repair – computers, televisions were damaged, and fire extinguishers were let off.”

Staff had to wear protective masks and goggles when they began the clear-up on Tuesday.

Mrs Spence added: “But the negative experience had been balanced to some extent by the wonderful support of the local community, and we have also been offered practical help by Rutland Lions Club, for which we are extremely grateful.”

The centre re-opened on Wednesday, and Mrs Spence pledged its Christmas fair would go ahead on Saturday afternoon, despite the theft of donated prizes.

25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Dominic and Louisa Pini ring the old school bell when Uffington CE Primary School staff and pupils took a step back in time to celebrate the present building's 150th birthday.
25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Dominic and Louisa Pini ring the old school bell when Uffington CE Primary School staff and pupils took a step back in time to celebrate the present building's 150th birthday.

Thieves posing as charity box collectors are duping members of the public into handing over their cash.

The Bourne Lions traditional Santa sleigh tour around Bourne began on Tuesday night and was immediately hit by commen tricking residents into making donations.

Lions' spokesman Phillip Briggs is furious the organisation's work has been targeted by devious thieves.

He said: “This is a despicable act by as yet unknown individuals. They have really spoilt it for the people who give money and those who collect it.”

The Lions' sleigh is pulled around Bourne and the surrounding villages on almost every night from the beginning of December to Christmas by a hard-working team of volunteers.

But on Tuesday night, as the sleigh made its way along Beech Avenue and other streets on the west of the town, conmen were several minutes in front of the sleigh.

They tricked members of the public into handing over cash which they thought would be going to a range of good causes.

Mr Briggs said: “It only came to light when someone told one of the collectors we had been around 10 minutes ago. They said they were Bourne Lions and people were handing over money.”

25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Lots of toys: Nursery nursing students and children from the Rutland College creche with stacks of shoeboxes filled with gifts for Operation Christmas Child.
25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Lots of toys: Nursery nursing students and children from the Rutland College creche with stacks of shoeboxes filled with gifts for Operation Christmas Child.

Both of Bourne's two secondary schools have excelled in the latest exam league tables to be released by the Government.

Bourne Grammar cemented its reputation as one of Lincolnshire's top schools, while the Robert Manning School was selected as one of the most improved schools in the country.

The Robert Manning School's GCSE results have improved by more than 100 per cent in the last six years, with 43 per cent of pupils now gaining five of more A-C grades.

Head Michael Kee said: “We were extremely pleased with the results and to be named as one of the most improved schools.”

Bourne Grammar was placed fifth in the county with 96 per cent of its pupils gaining at least five A-C grades.

Head Dr Stuart Miles had criticised the league tables, but was still encourgaed by his school's performance: “I'm pleased we have done well in the tables, but what I'm concerned to know is that students and colleagues have worked hard – which they have.”

25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Guides good-bye: Guides, Brownies and Rainbows with retiring Rainbow guider Margaret McGregor at Bourne Rainbows 10th anniversary anniversary party.
25 years ago: December 4, 1998 – Guides good-bye: Guides, Brownies and Rainbows with retiring Rainbow guider Margaret McGregor at Bourne Rainbows 10th anniversary anniversary party.

50 years ago

December 7, 1973

Stamford soldier John Carmichael's last day in strife-torn Belfast nearly turned out to be the last day of his life.

Only a foot stood between 19-year-old John and a sniper's bullet through the head.

Said John: “I was walking across the road chatting away and laughing when suddenly a lump of concrete disappeared from the wall a foot above my head.

“I just dived for cover – that's all you can do. But I realised afterwards how lucky I was.

John, who is home on leave at Adelaide Street, Stamford, was posted to Northern Ireland for a four-month stint ending last month.

It's perhaps a measure of a soldier's life in the tragic Ulster capital that the number of shots aimed at him far outweighed the number of pints of beer he drank during the tour.

He reckons about 10-15 bullets were fired his way, and he only downed three pints during the entire four months.

“Sometimes the patrols were like a walk through the streets of Stamford,” he says “It was only when you were shot at that you got scared.”

50 years ago: December 7, 1973 – Ken Greaves, landlord of the O'Brien Arms Inn, Stamford (centre) with members of Great Casterton Plough Inn team, runners up in the Stamford and District Summer Darts Leaque foursomes at the presentation night. The players are, from left, Derek Want, Richard Sandall, Eric Kalguvee and Stan Dolby.
50 years ago: December 7, 1973 – Ken Greaves, landlord of the O'Brien Arms Inn, Stamford (centre) with members of Great Casterton Plough Inn team, runners up in the Stamford and District Summer Darts Leaque foursomes at the presentation night. The players are, from left, Derek Want, Richard Sandall, Eric Kalguvee and Stan Dolby.

Housing for old people occupied a good deal of the business of Uppingham Rural Council's meeting.

The Clerk (Mr Noel Branston), reported that the planning authority had refused permission for the council to build AP bungalows on South Luffenham Road, Barrowden.

It appeared that the refusal was mainly because of strong representations by Barrowden Parish Council, who did not consider the site suitable.

This was because it was situated at the northern extremity of the village, away from shops, post office and community facilities, which might caused unnecessary hardship for elderly people.

The planning authority felt this type of accommodation should be nearer the centre of the village and also considered the site rather cramped.

Coun Ray Elsey suggested that the application for planning permission should be resubmitted, pointing out that there was no other suitable site nearer the village centre and that this one was close to existing council houses, AP bungalows and the bus stop.

This was agreed, Barrowden Parish Council to be informed of the Council's decision.

50 years ago: December 7, 1973 – Father Christmas is pictured surrounded by some of the local 'braves' and squaws, during his flying visit to RAF North Luffenham, on Saturday, to help raise money for the station church.
50 years ago: December 7, 1973 – Father Christmas is pictured surrounded by some of the local 'braves' and squaws, during his flying visit to RAF North Luffenham, on Saturday, to help raise money for the station church.

Petrol-hungry motorists in Stamford were feeling the pinch as official rationing crept nearer this week.

Big queues formed at some of the town's garages as opening hours were cut back in a bid to make supplies stretch.

And the bad news for drivers is that only one of the town's garages is planning to open for petrol sales on Sunday.

Mr Frank Sawyer's Water Street Garage, ran out of petrol on Tuesday.

He is angry because he says his suppliers, Shell, have broken promises to give him a fresh delivery.

“Shell have also told me that after December 12 they just don't know what is going to happen to supplies. I am livid about the whole thing. I can see my business going up the spout,” he said.

Most garages are rationing petrol to regular customers and others are limiting the amount of petrol they sell per day.

Old folk's trips to day centres are being hit by the “emergency calls only” action by Stamford and Bourne ambulancemen.

The ambulancemen say they are “extremely sorry” about this and the inconvenience being caused to other outpatients.

But they are determined to press ahead with their action, which has been going on for two weeks.

50 years ago: December 7, 1973 –Barrowden and Wakerley WI bazaar on Saturday raised £73.63 after expenses. Pictured, from left, Mrs R. Ellis, Mrs J. Bailey, Mrs C. M. Smith, Mrs F. H. Smith and Miss J. Ellis.
50 years ago: December 7, 1973 –Barrowden and Wakerley WI bazaar on Saturday raised £73.63 after expenses. Pictured, from left, Mrs R. Ellis, Mrs J. Bailey, Mrs C. M. Smith, Mrs F. H. Smith and Miss J. Ellis.

100 years ago

December 7, 1923

Sunday Hours At Post Office – On and after Sunday next, the 9th inst., the hours of attendance at post offices on Sundays, Bank Holidays, Good Friday and Christmas-day will be uniformly 9 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.

Stolen Lamp – Before the Bourne Justices, on Thursday, Fred Pick, of Stamford, pleaded guilty to stealing a bicycle lamp at Thurlby, the property of Thomas C. Bottom. P.c. Presswood said that when questioned defendant denied any knowledge of the lamp, but later when his mother produced the lamp he told the constable he would pay for it. Defendant was fined 5s.

Nearly A Ton Of Goods - “Pound day” was observed at the Stamford and Rutland Infirmary on Friday, and, as usual, served a very helpful purpose to the institution, a goodly number of articles being received by the matron. The miscellaneous nature of the assortment may be gathered from a persual of the following, extracted from the list: Apples, 21lbs.; butter, 16lbs.; beetroot, 21lbs.; beans, 16lbs.; cornflour, 23lbs.; currants 58lbs.; celery, 14 heads; 29 cabbages; 55 eggs; flour, 135lbs.; ground rice, 17lbs.; honey, 17lbs.; jam, 114lbs.; macaroni, 17lbs; onions, 51lbs.; parsnips, 17lbs.; potatoes, 303lbs.; Quaker oats, 78lbs.; rice, 238lbs.; raisins, 47lbs.; sago, 32lbs.; sugar, 333lbs.; soda, 25lbs.; soap, 85lbs.; sultanas, 40lbs.; tea, 70lbs.; treacle, 10lbs.; tapioca, 67lbs. The total weight of articles received was 2023lbs.

A Needed Improvement – At Monday's meeting of the Stamford Board of Guardians, presided over by the Marquess of Exeter, it was suggested by the Medical Officer that electric lighting should be installed in the Workhouse mortuary. The Clerk remarked that the Medical Officer had recently carried out a post-mortem examination by candle light. It was decided, upon the recommendation of the House Committee, to carry out the improvements.

Bourne

“Specials” Sworn In – At the Police Court, on Thursday, Messrs. T. Holland, C. A. Holmes, A. J. Bradshaw, W. Covill, and R. Dolby were sworn in as special constables by Mr. R. A. Gardner.

Property Sale - On Thursday Messrs Hodgkinson and Son sold by auction a residence, Herne House, West-street, in the occupation of Mr. Ed. Ayre, to Mr. Smith for £650. Four cottages, Nos. 53, 55, 57 and 59, West-street, were withdrawn at £190.

Licence Extensions – At the Police Court, on Thursday, Mr. J. B. Shilcock was granted an extension of licence on the occasion of the Fat Stock Show on December 3rd. The application was on behalf of the proprietors of the Angel, the Nag's Head, the Bull, Crown, and Six Bells.

Poaching Charge – George William Ellington was charged under the Poaching Prevention Act at the Police Court on Thursday. Mr. H. Kelham appeared for the defence. P.c. Talbot stated that he saw defendant upon land in the occupation of Mr. Lupton. He said he had permission to be there, but when they went to Mr. Lupton the latter said that at one time defendant had permission to shoot over his land, but it was withdrawn about last April. There were two cartridges in the gun, neither discharged. Ellington said he could have shot a rabbit, as he saw several, but did not attempt to do so, and Mr. Kelham argued that there was no case as neither game nor discharged cartridges were shown. Defendant was convicted and fined 20s. and 5s. costs.

150 years ago

December 5, 1873

The illness of Lord Thomas Cecil, which we briefly announced last week, has, we regret to say, resulted in his decease. His Lordship was the only brother of the late Marquis of Exeter and uncle of the present Marquis. He was born in 1797, was educated at Eton, and entered the 10th Hussars in 1816. In 1838 he married Lady Sophia Georgiana Lennox, daughter of the 4th Duke of Richmond, and has left no issue.

The Stamford Penny Bank being in want of funds to enable it to carry out its useful and much appreciated operations, the committee have determined to give an entertaiment of readings and vocal and instrumental music. The arrangements for the former department are left to the Rev. C. Nevison, and those of the latter to Mr. Langley. The town has been canvassed for subscriptions on behalf of the same object, but with what success we have not heard.

Up The Rhine – The Committee of the Stamford Institution are in a spirited manner catering for the entertainment and instruction of the members and the general public, Mr. B. J. Malden, of the Royal Polytechnic Institution, London, is announced to give in the Assembly-rooms next week a lecture on the above subject, illustrated by splendid dioramic views. The apparatus employed will be that in use at the Polytechnic, so that when shown on the large screen the pictures may be expected to be what the metropolitan press declares they are - “wonders.”

The Weather of November, 1873 – Observations made at Tickencote, Rutland, daily at 9 a.m. (166 feet above mean sea level). Rail fell on 16 days during the month. The greatest fall in one day was on the 10th, when 0.29 inch was registered. The total fall of rain for the month was 1.85 inch. That for the corresponding month of 1872 was 2.80 inches. W. Hayes.

Two accidents occurred at Essendine railway station last week. On Saturday morning, about 1 a,m., as a coal train from Retford to Peterboro' was passing the station the axle of one of the trucks broke, and 18 waggons laden with coal were thrown off the rails, and their contents scattered about the line. Two of the waggons were smashed to pieces, and the permanent was for some distance was much injured. The break-down gangs from Grantham and Peterboro' were at once telegraphed for, and were soon at the scene of the disaster, accompanied by Mr. Symons, district superintendent, and Mr. Rouse, locomotice superindent, under whose energetic directions the down line was cleared of debris, and got into working order by about eight o'clock. The up line was not cleared until about 2 o'clock, and from 8 o'clock to that time all the traffic had to be worked on one line between Tallington and Essendine. This was accomplished with as little delay as possible through the exertions of Mr. Richardson, the station-master, and he was commended by both Mr. Symons and Mr. Rouse for the indefatigable energy he displayed. On the same day an engine-driver named Savage, of New England, whilst trying to uncouple some waggons attached to his engine fell and rolled on to the other line just as an engine was passing. He was caught by the fire-box, and very seriously cut about the head and otherwise injured. He was conveyed with as little delay as possible to Peterboro' Infirmary.

200 years ago

December 5, 1823

The funeral of the Hon. E. A. Noel took place at Exton on Friday last, and was conducted with considerable state. The corpse was drawn on a car under a canopy, and the band of the South Lincoln Militia attended in the melancholy procession.

Lectures on Ancient History are about to be delivered in Stamford, by a gentleman who comes very highly recommended in Lincoln, Boston, Louth, Grantham, and other places. We direct the notice of our neighbours to Mr. Wood's advertisement.

Wonderful Escape – Yesterday afternoon, as Mr. Moses Lumby, jun. of St. Martin's, was riding in the High-street of this town, the horse suddenly turned restive, and fell backwards into Messrs. Mills and Newman's cellar! Fortunately the young man escaped with very slight injury, and the horse was drawn up by ropes, apparently no worse for his extraordinary descent.

We understand that 713 yards of linen, 239 yards of flannel, 564 yards of calico, and 99 blankets, were distributed last month by the Peterborough Ladies' Charity, among 284 subscribers; the cost was £85 4s.; of which two-thirds were paid by the poor, who are most anxious to have the benefit of the charity next year.

On Monday last, Charles Newborn, of Barnack, gardener, Newborn Pask, of Ryhall, shoemaker, and John Thompson of Pilsgate, mason, were committed to Peterborough gaol, the two former as principals and the latter as accessory (and intending to be a witness for the prosecution) in the stealing of geeese from the premises of Mr. Burbidge and Mr. Mean of Ufford, in the night of Wednesday the 26th ult. Same day, Edward Kingsland, of Langtoft, poulterer, was committed to the gaol of this borough, on the charge of receiving the above stolen property, knowing it to be stolen. On Tuesday, Thomas Squires, of Barnack, shoemaker, was committed to the same gaol, on the charge of stealing a quantity of leather value £4 from the premises of Mr. Lincoln, currier, of this place, on Friday last. And yesterday Richard Sturgis, of Duddington, poulterer, was convicted before the magistrates of this borough in the penalty of £25, being £5 each for five hares bought by him on Friday last of the above-named John Thompson.

The house of Mr. Hill, baker, of Oundle, was broken into on Tuesday night the 27th ult., and 25s. in half-pence taken away, also six silver spoons and sundry other articles. The thieves, not content with this, cut in pieces two hats belonging to Mr. Hill. The same night the house of Mr. C. Yorke was attempted in two places; and a fat pig was stolen from the sty of Mr. John Chapman, of Oundle.

Committed to the gaol at Oakham, on Monday last, (by the Rev. T. K. Bonney,) James Lank, on suspicion of having stolen some wearing apparel the property of Mr. Remmington, of Greetham; the same day, Chas. Crowston, for poaching in the parish of Empingham; and on Wednesday, Samuel Lowe, of Exton, for want of sureties to keep the peace towards his wife.

A melancholy accident happened at Newark on Sunday morning last, to Mr. Wm. Sales, nephew to Mr. Pearce, miller, of that place; he unfortunately slipped amongst the wheels of the mill adjoining the Winthorpe road, and his head being caught by the cogs, was crushed in so dreadful a manner as to cause instant death.



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