Photos from 10 and 25 years ago in Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings
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
November 1, 2013
Council chiefs have launched a nationwide drive to attract investment from across the country to our part of Lincolnshire.
South Kesteven District Council wants businesses to move in and is actively promoting Stamford and the Deepings, along with Bourne and Grantham.
It has produced a brochure and video for each area promoting the virtues of this part of the country which are being sent to landowners, major businesses, agents and potential investors. They will also be used at exhibitions and trades shows.
The Stamford video focuses on the town's heritage, making sure to mention the recent accolade of being named best place to live in Britain by the Sunday Telegraph. Business opportunity is the theme of the video for the Deepings.
Several Stamford businesses are featured in the town's promotional material, from large employers such as Cummins Generator Technologies to small firms like Stamford Cheese Cellar.
A new £150,000 skatepark is almost ready to open after getting the stamp of approval from youngsters at three successful test sessions.
The concrete park has finally been laid on the Recreation Ground in Stamford after years of fundraising and campaigning.
The skatepark is not yet open to the public as the fencing and CCTV have not been fully installed.
But Stamford Town Council, which owns the park, allowed the skatepark committee to hold three test sessions in order to get feedback from the town's youngsters.
Committee chairman Marc Stanier said: “We predominantly wanted to check the finish of the surface. It looked good but we wanted to know how it skated and see what the general design was like.
“The angles, lengths and distances were spot on and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We had bikers, skateboarders, roller bladers and scooter riders and there were no complaints.”
The town council was required to install fencing around the park and CCTV cameras as a condition of planning permission.
The park will have also have strict opening times.
The skatepark committee had to raise extra funds to cover the cost.
Residents have called on a developer to fix a pumping station near their homes after garages and gardens flooded for a second time.
Bill and Sue Christie, of Ravel Close, Stamford, expected the worst when news of Monday's storms came through.
Their garden flooded after heavy rain in August after a nearby pumping station failed. And on Monday morning they awoke once again to find their garden and shed underwater.
After the flooding in August the Christies called on developer Bloor Homes, which manages the pumping station, to fix the problem. But they heard nothing back and were distraught to see the waters rise again.
Son Gavin spent Monday morning on the phone to Bloor. He said: “We put stuff back in the garage after the first time because we didn't think it would happen again.
“The last letter I sent to Bloor was a month ago asking what had been put in place to make sure it wouldn't happen.
“We have had no real feedback.”
The Christies' neighbours Caroline Russon and Cheryl Smith also saw their garage flood.
Bloor Homes engineers were in Ravel Close on Tuesday to assess the problem.
A spokesman said: “We are undertaking a full investigation into the matter which will enable us to assess the situation and decide how to move forward.”
25 years ago
October 30, 1998
Guide leaders have vowed to fight to keep their Guide hut running despite escalating costs.
Generations of Guides, Brownies, and now Rainbows have used the wooden guide hut at Conduit Road, Stamford, for the last 66 years, but Guide leaders are struggling to pay to keep it running.
The hut is used five nights a week by around 80 girls in five units. But it costs around £2,000 a year to run, and despite fund-raising efforts in the Welland division it has become difficult to meet the total.
Woodworm has now been discovered in the walls, and Welland Friends of Guiding committee, which is responsible for running the hut has seen a drop in income from other activities.
Treasurer Bridget Orme said: “We used to have a nursery there in the morning, and we used to hire it out for children's parties, but children tend not to have parties any more – they prefer McDonald's
“The hut costs £450 a year to insure, and in 1997 the total cost to run it for the year came to £2,000.”
The hut has a special place in the history of the Guides in Stamford, and at its diamond jubilee celebrations in 1992 children's TV stars Ant and Dec made a special appearance.
Charities in Stamford are being urged to register in time for the town's annual late-night Christmas shopping extravaganza.
Town clerk Tony Wain needs to hear from those which are interest as soon as possible so he can block book a trading licence for the evening of December 2, when the town will be getting into the festive spirit.
Mrs Wain said: “Last year's late-night shopping event was absolutely brilliant, and this year's is looking equally as good.
“I need to know how many registered charities are interest in having a stall so I can book the licence for free. There are as many spaces available as people want, but I need to know a week before at the absolute latest so I can get the licence and plan out the stalls.”
Elsewhere everything is in place for the town's traditional start to the festive shopping season.
The Mayor Coun Colin Evans will switch of the Christmas lights at 7pm, outside St Michael's Churchyard, with school pupils from the town providing a musical backdrop with a range of festive carols and hymns.
Ruddles Beers could soon have a new logo saying they have special regional characteristics – even though they are no longer brewed in Rutland.
The European Commission has registered the brand under its Protected Geographical Indication scheme – along with 500 other produced such as Stilton cheese.
The beer was originally registered when it was still brewed in Rutland using local products.
However, the beer is being produced by brewing giant Morland at its plant in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, following the closure of the Langham-based Ruddles brewery. And no-one appears to have told the European Commission that Ruddles has moved.
This means, if Morland were to use the scheme, the beer could now display a new yellow and blue European logo which shows the specific qualitities of a product are linked to the region where it is made and will be the product's guarantee of authenticity.
CAMRA has reported the matter to the Advertising Standards Authority as they say the advertising campaign misleads consumers.
50 years ago
November 2, 1973
A 22-year-old Stamford man was overcome by fumes as he dashed back into his blazing home early Sunday morning in a vain bid to save the family budgie.
Mr Kevin McHugh, of Conduit Road, had to be taken to Stamford Hospital after his frantic rescue attempt.
But the budgie, Joey, which he had been given by his step-mother, Edith, four year before, died in the charred remains of the McHugh's living room.
The fire, which Mrs McHugh said had been started by a dropped cigarette lighter, started around 1 am while the family were asleep.
But they had nothing but praise for the way their neighbours had helped out.
One called the fire brigade, another cooked them breakfast, and another consoled then with chocolates and cigarettes.
“I couldn't even use the cooker,” said Mrs McHugh. “It and the spin drier were completely burned out.
Now the family are hoping to get the house back to normal before December – when Kevin marries and brings his bride home to live while the couple search for a home of their own.
Said Mrs McHugh, who was still clearing up on Monday morning: “We didn't even have time to put our slippers on and my husband, Michael, went down in his pyjamas.
“It was a miracle we all got out,” she added.
A “don't forget the children” plea is being made for play space on a big new homes project planned for Ketton.
The development of 58 homes on the village's Park View Estate is being proposed by Stamford Contruction Ltd.
But now Ketton Parish Council have joined the Rural Council in asking for play space to be provided in the plans.
Both councils have told Rutland County Council, who must make the planning decision about the scheme, of their feelings.
Ketton Parish Council will also stress the need to keep building density down on the estate, which will be the last major extension under the existing village plan.
Ketton parish councillors are fighting “dangerous” plans to lift the speed limit in the village.
The County Council want to raise the 30 mph limit over a quarter-of-a-mile from just east from the cement works entrance to 179 yards west of Pit Lane.
Milk supplies to scores of customers in Bourne will be cut off unless they return empty bottles.
For Pinchbeck Dairies – worried by the big bottle shortage – are telling people: “No empty bottles back, no milk.”
They started operating the scheme yesterday - although they expect the crisis to come at Chritmas.
Mr Peter Scutt, manager of the dairy, which serves nearly 60,000 customers throughout South Lincolnshire, said: “If we do not get our bottles back every day over the Christmas period, milk will have to be rationed.”
The milk bottle shortage was already crtical, he said, and it was up to every housewife to prevent the situation getting worse.
Customers will basically be allowed only as many empties as they can produce under the new “get tough” scheme.
But at weekends a double order will be allowed – providing bottles are returned on the Monday.
Mr Scutt expects people to pour surplus milk into a jug so that they can return more empties at the end of each day.
100 years ago
November 2, 1923
Electricity Charges – By way of comparison with the local charges for electricity, a correspondent writes to point out that the average price of electricity for power at Luton (where the supply is a municipal undertaking) is a half-penny per unit and the highest charge for current for lighting is 31/2d. per unit. How, in the face of such figures, he asks, can the charge of 1/- per unit in Stamford be justified?
Property Sale – Messrs. Richardson offered for sale by auction at the Crown Hotel, Stamford, on Friday a freehold residence, 2, Broad-street, with garage, garden and lawns, lately occupied by Miss Savill, deceased. The lot, however, was withdrawn, but was later sold by private treaty.
Church Festival – All Saints' Church, Stamford, dedication festival was commenced on Wednesday evening, when the Rev. J. H. Charles (Vicar of Oakham) preached at evensong. The choir rendered Elvey's “Over the hills with the righteous,” Mr. T. Robins being at the organ.
Stamford Borough Police Court.
Saturday – Before the Mayor (Mr. J. W. Pepper), Mr. E. Joyce, Mr. H. T. Daniels, Mr. G. Chapman, and Mr. F. W. Williamson.
Two youths Charles P. Taylor, 27, Water-street, and George Harold Arthur Goate, Stretton, were charged with stealing an acetylene lamp each, the property of Mr. and Mrs. Ball, Ketton. It was stated that prosecutors' cycles were left in the Crown Hotel yard, Stamford, on Saturday night, Oct. 13th, and later both lamps were found to be missing. They were valued at 15s. each. P.c. Beaton recovered Mrs. Bull's lamp from Taylor at the Anglo-American Oil Co., Cemetery-road, Stamford, and the other lamp was found in the possession of Goate at the Ram Jam garage, Stretton, by P.c. Gale (Empingham). A fine of £2 in each case was imposed.
Four youths, Eric V. Starsmore, Thos, W. Starsmore, 14, St. Mary's-hill, Ronald W. King, 16, St. Mary's-hill, A C. Feetham, 98, Conduit-road, were charged with riding cycles furiously to the danger of the public. Mr. H. Kelham appeared for the two Starsmores and Feetham, and Mr. R. C. Dalton for King. Evidence as given by seven witnesses to the effect that on Sunday, Oct.14th, the four defendants were cycling down Empingham-hill at a speed estimated at between 15 and 20 miles per hour. Eric Starsmore knocked down a boy, whose leg was broken. The defence was that the speed was not more than eight or ten miles per hour. Each defendant was fined 20s. and 7s. costs.
Death of Miss Lucy Johnson – The funeral took place on Monday at Stamford cemetery, of Miss Lucy Johnson, who died after a long illness at the age of 43. Miss Johnson was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. George Wolsey Johnson, land agent, of Stamford.The interment was conducted by the Rev. L. H. Cooley, Witham-on-the-Hill, and amongst those present at the ceremony were Capt. D. Johnson, Major Maples, Mrs. Drew, Misses Thorpe, Miss Tiptaft, Mr. Henry Wing, Dr. T. P. Greenwood, Miss Hewitt, Mr. F. A. Watson, Mr. and Mr. Blunt (London), Miss Ludlow, Miss Edmonds and Capt. A. Bacon. A large number of floral tributes were received. Miss Johnson has for the last twelve or fourteen years been living away from the town, but the esteem in which she ad the family were held was evident at the obsequies.
150 years ago
October 31, 1873
Stamford Soup Kitchen – Mr. Langley, the hon. treasurer, has just issued a statement of the receipts and expenditure for 1873, from which it appears the donations amounted to £153 7s. 2d., and the pence from the recipients to £32 19s. 2d.; total £186 6s. 4d. The expenditure, including a balance due to the treasurer at the commencement of the season, amounted to £156 6s. 8d.,so that there is at present a balance of £29 9s. 8d. in favour of the kitchen.
Stamford Union – At the Board meeting on Wednesday it was determined to borrow £1000 necessary for the enlargement of the infirmary and alterations in the receiving wards from the Clergy Mutual Insurance Society, at 41/2 per cent., to be liquidated by equal annual payments, not exceeding thirty, of the principal sum borrowed, with the interest on the balance remaining unpaid each year. Six or eight other offices had been written to, but their terms were either five per cent, or they declined to lend so small a sum as £1000. The aged paupers' out-door relief list was revised: In all cases the allowance was renewed, and 6d. per week additional during the winter, in consequence of the dearness of fuel, was allowed. The inmates of the house were the same in number as the corresponding week of last year, viz., 128, and the recipients of out-relief were 777, at a cost of £85 19s. 03/4d., as against 810 at a cost of £91 6s. 91/2d.
Fifteen special constables for the borough of Stamford were sworn in on Saturday evening last before the Mayor and Mr. Paradise. They are to be allowed 3s. per night when on special duty.
A meeting of the Assessment Committee of the Stamford Union was held on Tuesday for passing certain amended lists. Only one overseer appeared and very little business could be transacted. It was ordered that 5 overseers should be served with notice to attend the next meeting, and that if they failed legal steps should be taken to compel their attendance.
5th Lincolnshire Volunteer Rifles – This company now numbers 73, including officers and non-commissioned officers, all of whom, except three, have rendered themselves extra efficient during the year. A general meeting of the members will take place at the Corn-exchange, Stamford, on Tuesday evening next, for the purpose of adopting means to induce recruits to join the ranks, this being the most suitable time for acquiring the preliminary drill necessary to make a good appearance on parade and sustain the credit of the corps. Any who are desirous of joining would do well to attend the meeting and hear the conditions of membership, which are of the most liberal kind.
Billingboro' – Batty's Equestrian Troupe attended at Falkingham on Monday last, and gave two performances of a somewhat ordinary and meagre character. The attendances were not large.
Bourn - The disruption of the Rifle Corps is frequently a topic of sore conversation; but it is feared that no efforts now can replace it.
On Friday the 24th inst. a very successful concert was given by the members of the Choral Society of Edenham in the new schools lately built by the Baroness Willoughby de Eresby. The programme, a lengthy one, consisted of overtures (by an orchastra of 10 performers), glees, quartets, and solos, all of then being very creditably rendered.
200 years ago
October 31, 1823
On Friday last, as Mr. Dalby, shopkeeper, of Exton, was returning from Stamford market, he was accidentally run over by a cart, which occasioned his death on Tuesday last.
On Friday last Daniel Springthorpe was committed to the gaol of this borough for one month, for stealing fruit from the garden of Mr. De Merceilleux, surgeon.
There are now living at Hough on the Hill, near Grantham, four males and seven females whose united ages amount to 880.
On Tuesday se'nnight an inquest was held at Belton, Rutland, before J. E. Jones, Gent. Coroner, and a respectable jury, on the body of Thomas Swift, who met with his death under the following melancholy circumstances. It appeared in evidence that the deceased was a cottager living at a lone house called Johnson's Lodge in Belton-leigh-fields, and that he also rented a little land at Skeffington pasture, to which place he sent his wife and two daughters on the preceeding Saturday, as he was at times wont to do, himself being occupied at home in making a staked hedge. The wife and children returned home on the following day, and on entering the house found the deceased sitting in a chair, with his head resting upon a tub, quite dead and stiff. It seemed, from the tracks of blood and other circumstances, that in cutting off a branch of a tree the hatchet had slipped, and wounded an artery on the side of one of his feet, to which he first applied paper, then attempted in search of assistance to reach the village of Belton, but had from faintness been obliged to return to his house, where he took off his stocking and tied a handerchief over the wound, but in a short time died for loss of blood, no assistance being at hand. Verdict, accidental death.
On Tuesday last an inquest was held at Hambleton, by the same coroner, on the body of Harriet Penny, an interesting little girl about 5 years of age, whose clothes having caught fire, she was so dreadfully burnt as to occasion her death next day. Verdict accordingly.
And on Wednesday Mr. Jones held an inquest at Morcott, on the body of John Bradshaw, farrier and blacksmith, who met with his death from an attempt on the 18th inst. to dock the tail of an unruly young horse, the property of Mr. Clarke, farmer, of that place. The animal reared up and struck Bradshaw upon the head with one of his fore feet, by which his skull was fractured and other injury sustained. He lingered ten days. Verdict, accidental death.
The Oundle troop of yeomanry cavalry assembled at that town on Tuesday se'nnight for five days' exercise, and in the afternoon partook of a sumptuous dinner at the Talbot inn, given by J. W. Russell, Esq. on his taking the command of the troop.
Wright, the fellow who was tried at Huntingdon last Spring assizes for cutting his wife's throat at Farcett, when a verdict of insanity was returned, and who, with four others, had escaped from gaol, was on Thursday the 23d inst. secured again in his quarters. He had taken refuge for some time with a brother in Norfolk, and in return for the asylum afforded him, robbed that brother of £12 10s. He was afterwards found secreted in the same barn in which he was discovered after committing the murder.