Looking at news from up to 200 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
August 23, 2013
Demand for pitches at the popular arts and crafts market in Stamford's Red Lion Square means it has recently expanded to as many as 15 artists.
Artisans On Friday has now been running successfully for five years and is held throughout the summer as an addition to the town's main Friday market and the fortnightly Farmers' Markets.
Initially set up just for artwork, it has gradually grown to include crafts. It gets a large footfall and is fully supported by the retailers around the square. Pitches on any one day from May through to late September can include photography, jewellery, wood turning, soft furnishings, home-made preserves and knitting, as well as paintings and other artwork.
The market was introduced following Red Lion Square's controversial £1.4m refurbishment five years ago as part of the Gateway project by Stamford Town Partnership.
The partnership decided that some colour and activity was needed, particularly on market day and provided funding for nine A-frames to allow local artists to showcase and sell their artwork.
More recently a number of tables have been added to enable other artisans to display and sell their crafts. Pitches are specifically for local artisans and cannot be used by anyone selling bought-in artefacts.
A parish council is calling on someone to step in and run a post office and village shop after the couple who run it decided to call it a day.
Janet and Peter Farrer have run Barnack Post Office and General Stores for 17 years but have decided to step down.
But Barnack Parish Council is keen to see someone else take over the reins to continue providing the valuable services.
Parish clerk Robin Morrison said: “The parish council is concerned that the village is losing something that is important. Places like pubs and shops are key to village life and it's important to save them.
“The council's view is we want to hang on to the amenities we have.
“We wish to express our thanks to Peter and Janet for a significant and important contribution to the village. We wish them all the very best for their future.”
The Post Office said it was “committed to maintaining” a service in the village.
Mr and Mrs Farrer said a drop in business had meant it was no longer viable for them to continue.
Mr Farrer, 64, said: “It was fine when we came here 17 years ago. Over the last few years especially all the sales have dropped – the grocery side, newspapers, drinks and sweet sales.”
Customers are no longer able to use the Post Office for services such as buying a TV licence and fewer people choose to pay water and telephone bills over the counter because it can incur an additional charge.
There's still time to have your say on how to shape the identity of a town for tourists.
Stamford Town Team launched a survey last month to get people's view on how best to promote the town.
The group has been working on making the town more attractive to visitors and residents and making sure it is known as a premier location since it was set up earlier this year.
A sub-committee of the group, which is made up of retailers, business leaders and town councillors, has been set up to create a brand to incorporate Stamford's key features and boost visitor numbers.
25 years ago
August 21, 1998
A former policeman from Stamford has been immortalised in bronze for his work bringing together police forces across the world.
International policing pioneer Arthur Troop was honoured in Hungary on Friday when he was invited to the unveiling of a life-size statue of himself.
Arthur (83), of Fane Close, Stamford, who founded the International Police Association in 1950, said he was surprised to see the bronze figure standing before him set in front of a 100-tonne piece of marble, as its cover was removed.
He was a guest at the opening of a park commemorating the International Police Association which was set up in Hungary four years ago, and was accompanied by the president IPA Secretary General Alan Carter.
Arthur told the Mercury: “I thought there might have been a portrait or a bust, but I was very surprised to see a life-size statue.”
Floods which swept through Stamford at Easter may have saved the town from a major rat epidemic.
Reports in the national press have warned of a major rat problem sweeping the country.
But the rodents have only been spotted in single figures on the allotments of the town – where there was a particular problem earlier this year.
Chairman of the town council cemetery and allotments committee Coun Geoff Winson said: “Up until about three days ago there had been no reports of rats seen in any quantity.
“We took action in February when quite a lot were being seen and that seems to have helped the problem.
“I also think the floods which swept through the town at Easter washed away a lot of their nests.
“I know rats can swim, but the water came down so fast that I suspect a lot of them were drowned.”
A report by the Robens Centre for Public and Environmental Health, published last week, claimed that Britain's crumbling sewer network was the source of the country's 60 million rats coming into the light.
But Anglian Water, which cares for Stamford's sewer pipes, says it is taking care of any problems.
Spokesman Graham Frankland said: “The report was primarily about private sewer networks.
“Our sewers are in a good state of repair at the moment and we have an ongoing baiting programme which helps to deal with the rats.”
Investigators are mystified as to what caused a fire which gutted a former pub in Deeping St James on Sunday.
As firefighters attempted to tackle the blaze at the Three Tuns, Bridge Street, they were evacuated when the roof began to collapse in on top of them.
Crews from Market Deeping, Bourne, Stamford and Crowland were called to the blaze, and spent four hours fighting it.
But as the fire spread to the roofspace, slates began to fall through the ceiling, forcing the firefighters to pull out.
They believe the blaze was started in a first floor bedroom, but confirmed no-one was in the building when they arrived.
DC John Ellis, of Stamford CID, said: “We are treating the incident as non-suspicious. Both the police and fire forensic teams cannot find anything to suggest how the fire started – at present there is no known cause.”
The Three Tuns has been empty for some time, but five weeks ago Market Deeping councillor Reg Howard called on South Kesteven District Council to make sure the building was secure after problems with vandalism.
50 years ago
August 24, 1973
A Stamford minister this week backed plans for a covered market and restaurant in the disused St Michael's Church – by claiming the town already has too many religious buildings.
The Rev Tom Soulsby, Stamford's Methodist minister, was echoing what seemed to be general approval for the idea among local clergymen.
He said: “I think it is a good idea. Just because it was a church there is no reason why it shouldn''t be made use of.
“There are far too many religious buildings in Stamford anyway and if it is not used it will just become a ruin.”
A draft scheme by the Church Commissioners to sell St Michael's so it can be used for the market and restaurant goes before Kesteven planners on September 13.
And it seems there will be no great opposition from local clergy.
The Rev. D. A. G. Davies, of St Mary's said: “I would like to see the place put to some useful purpose rather than be left as it is.”
And United Reformed Church minister the Rev A. O. Bourne commented: “Our view of churches is that they are purely buildings in which people gather to worship. When people stop going they cease to be places of worship.”
From the profits of the Jamaican evening which they held in Bourne Corn Exchange, members of Bourne Ladies' Circle have presented a mobile telephone unit to Bourne Chest Hospital.
On Tuesday, at the hospital, Mr F. W. C. Allen, chairman of Stamford and Bourne hospital management committee, accepted the gift for Circle chairman, Mrs. Joan Vokes.
“We have great pleasure in handing you a cheque for the telephone, because we feel the unit will give a lot of pleasure to a lot of patients,” said Mrs Vokes.
She said that at the Jamaican evening they did all the food themselves and catered for about 250 people.
Returning thanks for the gift, Mr Allen said: “I do not think I have ever seen anything so nice and bright.
“I was thinking to myself that many of the things we have are theraputic, and this telephone is another sort of therapy. A patient, when he is getting better will be able to speak to his family by this telephone, and it will be good for the family, too.
“I wish that all our hospitals could have this kind of phone, but it is a question of finding the money to pay for them.”
One thing you wouldn't normally expect to see floating on the Welland is a raft. But this is the sight that net the unbelieveing eyes of may Stamford people last week.
And there were people on board. Looking as if they had just been washed up on a desert island.
The Stamford version of Kon Tiki was in fact a great effort by Stamford Scouts.
The boys wearing safety jackets, moved out into midstream with the help of paddles and poles.
The raft was a great success. By the time the boys had had enough, many people had stopped on the Town Bridge to stare at the odd spectacle.
The raft is to be dismantled, but Jeremy, of 20 Lonsdale Road, Graham, of 18 Lonsdale Road, and Giles, of 24 Waverley Gardens, will long remember the day they became Stamford's only Sea Scouts.
100 years ago
August 24, 1923
Stamford and Rutland Infirmary – Week ending August 21st, 1923. Admission and discharges of patients: In: Admitted 18, discharged 13, in house 43. Out-patients made in-patients 1, admitted 22, discharged 14, on books 61. Medical attendant, Dr. Greenwood, Mr. A. F. Young.
Dr. Sargent's Wedding – The marriage arranged between Malcolm Sargent, Mus. D., only son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sargent, of Stamford, and Miss Eileen Horne, younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. Horne, of Beyton, Suffolk, will take place at All Saints', Drinkwater, Suffolk, on September 11th, at 2.30.
Holed In One – R. H. Osborne, assistant professional to the Luffenham Heath Golf Club, playing on Walton Club links on Thursday, holed his tee shot at the 7th hole, a distance of 170 yards, in one.
Sale Of Work – A sale of work and tea, held at the Grey House, Stamford, on Monday, realised £20 for the “One by One” Mission. The speakers at the subsequent meeting were the Rev. A. Jardine and the Rev. K. White.
Salvationist's Death – The funeral took place on Friday with full Salvation Army honours, of Miss Elsie Evans, 161, Ryhall-road, Stamford. The deceased, for many years, was an earnest soldier in the Army, and took great interest in the work. A service was conducted outside the house, and later at the cemetery by Capt. McGladdery. The local Salvation Army band was in attendant, and played appropriate music. A memorial service was held at the Citadel on Sunday evening.
The Big Ball Game – A large number of spectators witnessed the final trial match by Stamford Town Football Club on Saturday. A collection take for the Stamford Infirmary and St. John Ambulance realised £2 19s. 3d.
Motor Collision – On Monday morning, Mr. Dudley, of Seaton, was driving his car from the Crown Hotel, Stamford, when a large Vauxhall car came around the corner for the North-road, travelling in the direction of London, and both cars collided in Red Lion-square. The Vauxhall car was only slightly damaged, and proceeded on its way after a time. But Mr. Dudley's car had the front axle twisted and the left front wheel torn off, whilst the wings and radiator were also damaged. Fortunately none of the occupants of the cars was injured.
Prize-Winning Rams Sold – A consignment of prize-winning Oxford Down shearling rams, belonging to the Mayor (Mr. J. W. Pepper), were offered for sale by private treaty at Stamford Cattle Market on Monday, when the best realised £40 each, and others changed hands at prices ranging from £30 to £17 10s.
Pedigree Pigs For Abroad – Mr. Edmund Wherry, the owner of the famous herd of Large White pigs at Bourne, has disposed of a considerable number of valuable animals for exportation, the majority of them going to Canada and Latvia. Three boars, one of them brother to the first prize winner at the Royal, Peterborough, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire Shows, and other successful animals in the show ring, have been consigned to the General Stock Breeders' Association of Quebec, while the Ontario Swine Breeders' Association have purchased seven boars and two gilts, one of the latter being a sister to the first prize young boar at the above-mentioned exhibitions. Eleven boars and twelve gilts have been dispatched to the Latvian Ministry of Agriculture.
150 years ago
August 22, 1873
Stamford and Rutland Savings Bank – The third quarterly meeting of the year was held at the Bank to-day (the Rev. D. E. Jones in the chair), when the securities and accounts were examined and audited. The receipts from depositors amounted to £2364 15s. 6d., in 385 sums, against £2238 9s. 11d., in 344 sums, for the corresponding quarter of last year. The withdrawls amount to £3881 11s. 4d., in 205 sums, against £2584 3s. 4d., in 162 sums, in the corresponding quarter of last year.
At Stamford petty sessions on Saturday, Mr. Dixon applied to the Magistrates for their signature to a borough rate of 4d. in the pound for the parish of St. Martin. The Bench pointed out that the rate ordered by the Town Council was one of 3d. only. Mr. Dixon replied that a 3d. rate would not be sufficient to meet the requirements of this parish, and he was authorised by the Local Government Board to collect as much as would meet the demand of the Council and pay the cost of collecting. Mr. Dixon was requested to renew his applicatn at the next petty sessions, the Clerk undertaking to ascertain in the meantime whether it would be proper to authorise the collection of a 4d. rate.
We hear that the valuer under the Stamford Inclosure Act has been threatened with an injunction to prevent the metalling of the footways set out between Stamford and Ryhall and Stamford and Tolethorpe. It was agreed at the appeal meeting that the roads should be set out and certified, and the metalling was authorised by the Assistant Commissioner. Before the work could be commenced the agent of the Marquis of Exeter interfered, and the making of the road was suspended. The Town Clerk, as agent of the Corporation, then took up the case, and had an interview with the Inclosure Commissioners, the result of which was that the valuer was instructed to make the roads forthwith. The Commissioners took the view that the course of the original path had been materially diverted, and that therefore the new line of the road must be made substantial and be certified. The footpaths had been cut out and were being metalled, when Mr. A. Walford, the London solicitor of Lord Exeter, wrote to the valuer and threatened an application for an injunction if the metalling were not immediately stopped. The valuer being unwilling to encounter legal proceedings, ordered a suspension of the work, and arranged for a meeting of all parties with the Inclosure Commissioners; and at a meeting of the General Purposes Committee on Tuesday, the Town Clerk was authorised to appear for the Corporation. More than half the footway to Ryhall fields has been already stoned.
At a meeting of the Stamford Race Committee on Tuesday evening last it was resolved that, in consequence of a loss of nearly £200 on the races held on the 24th and 25th July last, a subscription be commenced for the purpose of providing for the same, and that the stewards, the gentry in the town and neighbourhood, and all others interested, be solicited to subscribe. In all probablity Stamford races will now become an “event of the past,” for it is not likely the committee or any one else will care to incur an annual loss.
200 years ago
August 22, 1823
The auction sale of the effects of the late Henry Fryer, Esq. of St. Martin's, Stamford, took place last week and this, and has been extremely attractive. The number of booksellers, from London and from the provincial towns of all the neighbouring counties, who attended the sale of the library, was considerable, and the prices given for the books were in general extremely high. The sale on the whole has been productive beyond expectation. It is supposed that the surplus which will remain (after the payment of the specific sums in legacies) for the founding of a public Infirmary for Stamford and the county of Rutland, will amount to many thousand pounds: but, agreeably to the tenor of the will, we understand, the sum will not be appropriated for five years to come, - nor at all, unless a subscription of the neighbourhood be raised for permanently maintaining the Infirmary.
On Monday last William Middleton was convicted by the magistrates at Stamford town-hall, in two penalties of 20s. each and costs, for driving two wains or vans through the streets of this borough on the sabbath-day.
On Saturday night the premises of Mr. T. Laxton, miller and baker, of Uppingham, were broken into, and robbed of a quantity of wool and a bag of feathers. The depredator obtained entrance by climbing over an entire building and forcing open an outer door. In the course of Sunday the articles stolen were discovered upon a hay-stack in the neighbourhood; in consequence of which, several men were placed to watch near the stack during the night. About midnight a man named Robert Vines came to the stack, having with him a horse, the property of Mr. Charles Pochin of Morcott, which he had just stolen, for the purpose of conveying away the articles in question. He was immediately seized and secured by the party in waiting, and next morning was examined by G. Fludyer, Esq. of Ayston, and committed to Oakham gaol for trial at the sessions.
An inquest was held on Wednesday at Harringworth, on the body of Ann Letts, widow, who dropped down in the street on Monday, whilst going on an errand, and instantly expired. Verdict, by the visitation of God in a fit of apoplexy.
On Saturday last an inquest was taken at Caldecott, Rutland, before J. E. Jones, Gent. coroner, and a respectable jury, on view of the body of Thos. Browne, a baker at that place, who on the preceding evening, after eating a hearty supper, went to bed in his usual state of health, and next morning was found a corpse. Verdict, died by the visitation of God.
On Thursday the 14th inst. an inquest was held by S. Edwards, gent. coroner, on the body of John the infant son of Mr. Stapleton, of Rippingale Mill, who was burnt to death on the previous Tuesday. The child had been left by his mother, for only a few minutes, in a room where there was a fire, and his clothes by some means caught the flames: the back-door being open, the poor little fellow ran into the garden, and the flames being incresed by the wind, he was so much burnt about the arms, neck, and other parts of the body, as to cause his death on the following morning, after most severe suffering. Verdict, burnt to death accidentally.