Stories from Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings from up to 200 years ago
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.
10 years ago
September 20, 2013
A trust which helps older and vulnerable people has launched a campaign to raise £25,000 in just two months to keep up with the number of people using the service.
The board of trustees of Evergreen Care Trust, which started in 2005, has launched the campaign to raise the money, which will be used to sustain its exisiting services and enable it to help more people.
As part of the campaign, which is called Evergreen Centurions, the trust us looking for 100 people to give £250 immediately.
The trust says it is seeking to raise money within eight weeks in order to remain financially viable.
The Evergreen Care Trust currently supports more than 500 vulnerable adults each week through its projects in Stamford, Bourne and surrounding villages.
Founder Louise Marsh said: “Everything is expanding and we need our funding to expand with it.
“We are getting vast amounts of referrals for all our services and we have had to employ someone for our befriending service recently.
“We have an enormous amount of volunteer support but they can only do so much and now we need to take on more paid staff.”
Firefighters will stage a four-hour strike next week in a row over pensions.
The Government has unveiled plans to raise the pension age for firefighters from 55 to 60 in a move the Fire Brigades Union fears will put lives at risk.
The union claims firefighters will be forced to work longer than they are physically able to, or will have to retire early without a pension.
Fire Brigades Union General Secretary, Matt Wrack, said: “It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families in their late-50s: the lives of the general public and firefighters themselves will be endangered.
“None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety.”
The strike will take place on Wednesday between midday and 4pm.
Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Cambridgeshire services will all take part.
Secretary of Lincolnshire Fire Brigades Union, Karl McKee, said: “The Government insists the new pension scheme with an increase in retirement age to 60 is a good offer and that firefighters' fears of mass sackings due to age related fitness tests are totally unfounded.
“However, why in that case has the Scottish government seen fit to address this issue and as such likely avoided potential strike action?
“It is clear that this is a cynical move by the Westminster government to cut firefighters' pensions further than they have already, only this time by the back door.”
Councillors have organised an open forum to allow schools and colleges to explain what secondary education options are on offer.
Stamford Town Council will host the forum at the town hall at 7pm on Thursday in an attempt to bring the education debate out into the open.
Representatives from Stamford Queen Eleanor School and New College Stamford have been invited.
And the Stamford Free School group has also been invited to have its say.
Members of the public will then be able to ask questions of any of the schools in attendance.
Coun Harrish Bisnauthsing (LibDem) said: “It will be a free and open debate. Each school can state what they offer and we will invite questions from the public.”
25 years ago
September 18, 1998
Bus company owner Frank Searle has been told the access road he wants behind his business will create a noise and pollution nightmare.
But the site is just yards from the A1 – one of Britain's busiest roads.
“It's madness,” said Mr Searle – owner of Searle's Autos, near Thornhaugh – who fears he will go out of business.
Both Peterborough City Council and Thornhaugh Parish Council are opposed to the plans to improve the business he has run from home for 10 years.
He wants to build a garage and hard-surfaced turning area behind his house, near the junction with the A47 near Wansford, but the city council refused and wants him to move the business elsewhere.
Mr Searle said: “If I have to move, it will be the end because I can't afford any of the premises they have in mind. It will also put two drivers out of work.
“I can't sleep at night from thinking about this. It's just vindictive – they all need a good shaking up.”
Plans to expand the quarry at Castle Cement, Ketton, will have a “catastrophic visual impact” on the village – claims parish council chairman Monty Andrew.
The company intends to start quarrying from the south-west edge of the present site, across fields owned by the company, to Empingham Road and beyond.
At a meeting of the parish council on Wednesday Coun Andrew said: “Vice-chairman John Bickerley and I attended the works liaison committee meeting last week when Castle delivered this bombshell.
“We have to get our heads together and decide where we stand before approaching the village for its views.”
The cement giant, which employs 360 people at Ketton, has announced the expansion plans now before applying for planning permission next autumn.
The expansion will be across eight fields, six of which are on the opposite side of Empingham Road to the cement works.
There are three houses and a grade II listed building in the middle of the area, which is a field away from the Park View estate.
Quarry manager Barry Bedford said: “The impact, we hope, should be minimal.
“The biggest impact will be on those properties that we don't own and we are hoping to reach some sort of agreement with the owners.”
There are 11 years of limestone in the quarry at present. If the expansion plan gets the go-ahead it should secure the future of the quarry for a further 19 years.
A woman living on a Stamford housing estate claims children are making peoples' lives hell.
After a quiet period over the summer residents of the Mountbatten Road area in Stamford are now on the receiving end of anti-social behaviour.
Joan Smith had a hole ripped out of her hedge when teenagers playing football on Elizabeth Road play area kicked the ball into her garden.
Instead of using her front gate, just six feet away, they tried to climb over the hedge.
Mrs Smith said: “The council put in two wooden posts in the play area as goal posts – but you need two ends for a game and my house is being used as the other end. We had a quiet time over the summer, due to the wet weather, but now the kids are back at school they are out in the evenings going absolutely manic.”
50 years ago
September 21, 1973
Hundreds of people are backing a revolutionary plan to turn a disused Stamford church into an indoor heated swimming pool.
Stamford Swimming Club have drawn up a 672-name petition supporting the idea for St Michael's Church in the High Street.
It will be passed on to the Church Commissioners and Kesteven County Council.
Another scheme to use the church for a mini-market and restaurant has already been suggested to county planners – but their views on it have not yet been made public.
Meanwhile the Swimming Club are convinced that the grey-stone Victorian church would be an ideal place for winter swimming in the town.
The council-owned baths are open air and can only be used during the summer season.
Club official Mr William Stacy feels that an indoor heated pool would be a great boost for the town's amenities.
He said: “We teach people – children and adults – to swim in the town pool during the summer.
“But from September 15 this year until the outdoor pool re-opens again next May there are no facilities for them to practise what they have learnt.”
A family of four fled from their Helpston home after it was struck by lightning during Saturday's fierce storms.
Keith and Janet Jackson, and their two children, were watching the spectacular storm when they saw a flash of lightning hit the fence opposite their home at 34 Maxey Road.
Mrs Jackson said: “At the same time, the bungalow shook, and we knew that it had hit something, even though we didn't think it was us then.
“And about 15 minutes later, the children said that they could smell something burning, so we looked in all the rooms before we realised that it was in the loft.
“My husband saw the flames, put the trapdoor down, and went to ring the fire brigade – but, of course, our phone was out of order, so he had to race into the village.”
She added: “The first thing I did was to grab the children and bundle them next door.
“The funny thing was that we had unplugged everything that we thought was likely to be struck by the lightning – and it didn't do any good at all.”
The damage was confined to the loft of the bungalow.
Damage was estimated at about £100.
There are more than fairies at the bottom of housewife Patricia Peachey's garden … or so it seems.
For a 1,700-year-old Roman statuette was found there during a spot of weeding.
Now Mrs Peachey, of 2 Melbourne Road, Stamford, will sell the three-inch tall relic to the Lincoln Museum.
She said: “It's a marvellous looking at something complete with Roman dress, a plate, and the rest. I think I could have got a lot more money selling privately, but my husband said it should go to a museum where everyone can see it.”
Mrs Peachey reckons the family's pet Alsation indirectly helped then to discover the statue.
They had to dig three-foot deep holes to put up a wooden fence to keep the dog in - and she thinks that's how the Roman relict got dug up.
“I washed it under the tap with a toothbrush and called in Miss Christine Mahany, of the Stamford Archaeological Research Committee.
“She said was was about 1,700 years old.”
100 years ago
September 21, 1923
Gift To Band – The Kitson Engineering Co. have presented the Stamford Town Prize Band with two of their well-known hurricane lanterns for use at evening concerts, etc. These were used for the first time at Oakham Feast at the week-end, and there was much favourable comment on the beautiful light they gave.
Death Of Miss Savill – All Saints' church, Stamford, has lost the services of a devoted and ardent worker in the person of Miss Emma Savill, who died at her residence in Broad-street, on Thursday, following a protracted illness. The deceased lady, who was in her 80th year, was a member of a well-known local family. The funeral took place on Monday, the service at All Saints' being conducted by the Rev. E. Louis C. Clapton, R.D. (Vicar).
Bowls Match – The postponed bowling match between Mr. T. S. Duncomb's team and Mr. R. A. Brake's team was played on Thursday on Mr. Duncomb's green. Mr. Brake's team proved the winners by 86 to 74 points.
Poor Children's Outing – In aid of the R.A.O.B. Poor Children's Outing Fund, a well-attended dance was held at the Drill-hall, Stamford, on Saturday evening. The M.C.'s were Messrs. H. Banks and H. Newbon, and the R.A.O.B. Orchestra supplied the music. A spot waltzing competition was won by Miss Bradley and Miss Dunkley.
Japanese Disaster Fund – On Sunday, at All Saints' Church, Stamford, collections were made on behalf of the sufferers in the Japanese earthquake disaster, and £16 was realised.
Thanks For Harvest – The Salvation Army harvest festival services were commenced on Sunday, when three services were conducted by Capt. T. McGladdery. A public meeting followed on the Monday, when Mr. C. Sandall sold the fruit and produce. The citadel was handsomely decorated, and all the services were well attended. On Wednesday evening Staff-Captain Crawford, Leicester, presided over a harvest tableau. The collections were in aid of the local funds.
Mistook Death For Sleep – A domestic tragedy was revealed on Monday. William Henry Bradshaw, decorator, Church-street, Stamford, returning home at dinner time, asked his little daughter how her mother was, and was informed by the child that she was asleep. On entering the room he was shocked to discover that what his little girl had mistaken for sleep was death. Mrs. Bradshaw was the mother of eight children, the eldest being 15 years of age and the youngest nine months. Only five weeks ago deceased was discharged from the Infirmary, where she had been twice a patient.
On Tuesday Mr. Godfrey Phillips, deputy-Coroner, sitting without a jury, held an inquest at the Town Hall.
Dr. E. A. Hutton-Attenborough stated that the cause of death was heart failure following pernicious anaemia of long standing. He had treated deceased several times, but the case was a hopeless one.
After the evidence by the bereaved husband, the Coroner recorded a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony, and expressed sympathy with the husband and family.
Grave Condition – In the Stamford places of worship, on Sunday, prayers were offered for the speedy and complete recovery of Mr. C. Harvey-Dixon, M.P. This was done at the special request of Mr. Dixon himself.
Mr. Dixon made satisfactory progress during the earlier part of last week. On Monday, however, he had a relapse, and his condition has since occasioned the gravest anxiety to his friends.
150 years ago
September 19, 1873
We are requested to state that the Marquis of Exeter has kindly contributed £50 towards the deficiency in the funds of the last race meeting at Stamford; Chas. Phillips, Esq., of Shillingthorpe Hall, has also given £5. As the deficiency is nearly £200 the committee hope to receive other contributions from those favourably disposed or interested.
At a quarterly meeting of the Management Committee of the Stamford and Rutland Infirmary, held on Tuesday last, letters were read from Dr. Robbs and Mr. Morgan resigning their appointments as surgeons to the institution on the ground that the duties interfered too much with their private practice. The medical gentlemen who retain their position at the Infirmary are Mr. Eddowes, Mr. Heward, and Dr. Newman. It was ordered that a circular be issued to the clergy and ministers of religion in the district (within a radius of 15 miles) reminding them that the second Sunday in October has been named as Infirmary Sunday, or the day for sermons in aid of the funds of the Institution. It may be as well to mention that from the opening of the institution to the end of last year there had been admitted 7956 in-patients and 25,449 out-patients - total 33,247; of whom 23,504 were cured, 4953 relieved, 3301 discharged at their own request or did not continue their attendance, 471 were incurable, and 784 died.
Stamford Union – The business at the Board meeting on Wednesday last was entirely routine. Among the applicants for relief was a man named Lee, of Thornhaugh, one of whose hands has become paralysed, and who said he was treasurer of the Labourers' Union fund for the district: he collected 2d. a week from the members, which was paid over every week to Mr. B. Taylor. He stated that he himself got nothing out of the fund during his inability to work, and he explained that the fund was to maintain labourers during an authorised strike, and to pay their travelling expenses when they migrated to other parts of the country. Lee has a wife and four children dependent on him, and he has 8s. a week from a Wansford benefit club. The Board allowed him 5s. per week and three 4lb. loaves. An old woman who applied from St. George's parish for 6d. a week in addition to her allowance of 2s. and a loaf was asked if she would prefer 6d. in money to the loaf. She eagerly replied that she preferred the loaf, remarking that such good bread could not be bought at the bakers' shops.
Another case of typhoid fever has occurred at West Deeping, and a rural sanitary meeting was held at Stamford Union Board-room on Wednesday to take the matter into consideration. Dr. Syson, the medical officer of health, attended specially. It was recommended by the authority that the owners of the property in the occupation of Edw. Revell close the present well on the premises, which receives the contents of a neighbouring drain, as was clearly shown from the circumstance that the water in which a scarlet petticoat had been washed on being thrown down the drain coloured the water of the well. It was also recommended that a new well be sunk at a distance from the drain, and that the drain be repaired. It was further recommended that the school well be disused for the present, and that the drain near it be diverted. A supply of disinfectants was ordered.
200 years ago
September 19, 1823
The harvest all around Stamford may now be said to be quite finished; scarcely even a solitary crop of beans remains abroad. A harvest generally better got, or one more productive, has rarely been known. Beans, the only grain which lately seemed likely to yield a defective crop, turned out much better than had been expected.
The handsome patronage bestowed on the Rutland Musical Festivals, together with an eminence of the performers engaged, will render these musical treats a considerable source of attraction to the votaries of the “sphere-descended-maid.” Should the weather continue fine, the little garden-county will be full of melodious gaiety.
On Friday night last as ---- Johnson, groom to Sir G. Heathcote, Bart., was returning to Normanton, from Stamford, he was stopped at Shacklewell Ford by two Irishmen and a woman, and robbed of £4 in money and a pair of spurs. One of the men held Johnson and the other pony on which he rode, whilst the woman ransacked his pockets.
At the town-hall, Stamford, on Monday, Wm Bryan was fined 10s. and expenses, for carelessly placing his master's waggon aslant the street, whilst he called for some beer at the Millstone inn in Wednesday morning se'nnight, and which carelessness caused a gentleman to be thrown out of his gig. Wm. Turner, driver of the Sheffield van, and Jacob Wortley, driver of the Leeds waggon, were each fined 20s. and costs for driving through this borough on Sunday se'nnight. Also, William Parker, of Empingham, for indecently exposing his person in a public street of this town.
Extraordinary Increase – There is now growing in the garden of Mr. Pilkington, of Uffington, near this place, the produce of a single barley-corn, two hundred and three branches or straws upon one stem, each straw having one ear, and each ear containing an average produce of thirty barley-corns, amounting altogether to the astonishing number of 6090. We understand, that about three years ago the Earl of Lindsey's gardener gathered 19,000 oat corns, the produce of one corn, when grew in his lordship's garden, in the same parish.
Mortality Amongst Pigs – One-half the herd in Stamford fields have died this season of a disease called the gargle murrain.
Death By Poison – An inquest was taken at Tilton on the Hill, on the 9th inst., before Thomas Clarke, Gent. coroner, on the body of Sarah Atkins, the infant daughter of Mr. Atkins, of that place. It appeared that a servant maid was carrying the decesed through the cheese-room, where she observed some bread and butter lying on some drawers, and she immediately champed three pieces and gave them to the child: perceiving the last piece to be very gritty, and thinking it had fallen on the floor, she did not give her any more. On going down stairs, the young woman asked her mistress how the bread and butter came to be in the cheese-room, and said she had given some to the infant. Nothing could equal the distress of the mother on hearing this, as the bread had been dressed with arsenic to destroy mice. An emetic was immediately administered, but without the desired effect, as the poor infant expired in consequence of the poison a few hours afterwards. Verdict, that the deceased came to her death by arsenic being unintentionally administered.