Photos from 25 and 50 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
October 11, 2013
Police are hunting arsonists who struck at a cocktail bar in Stamford in a mystery attack during the middle of the night.
Emergency services were called to tackle the blaze at Opus Dai, in Broad Street, at about 2.40am yesterday.
Police believe the culprits broke into the premises to set the venue alight.
Staff at nearby businesses were woken by police and forced to flee their premises as a precaution as firefighters dealt with the fire.
It is believed Opus Dai was empty at the time of the attack and no-one was hurt, but both the police and fire service would not confirm this.
A ground floor extension in the bar was damaged, with heat and smoke damage to the remainder of the premises.
Newgates, a minor road which runs between North Street and Broad Street, was cordoned off, as well as part of Elm Street, off Newgates.
Opus Dai was opened in April 2011, by proprietor Jax Singh with his business partner Phil Singh. The Mercury tried to contact the owners without success.
A hotel's plan to reduce noise from a marquee by moving it away from housing has been scuppered after planning permission was refused.
The William Cecil in High Street St Martin's, Stamford, was this week told it could not move the marquee to another site within the grounds because it would spoilt the character of the area.
The existing marquee, which lies 33ft from the nearest home, does not have planning permission.
The hotel applied to move the marquee after complaints from neighbours about late night noise.
In August South Kesteven District Council told the hotel to take measures to cut the noise from parties in the marquee and added several conditions on to its premises licence.
At the licence review Christoph Brooke, managing director of The William Cecil's parent company Hillbrooke Hotels, told the council the eventual goal was to move the marquee.
But the refusal of planning permission now puts the future of the marquee in doubt.
A retrospective planning application to retain the marquee in its current location was turned down in July 2012.
The hotel appealed the decision and on Wednesday a planning inspector heard the case. A decision is expected in two weeks.
Work on a £5m football round and sports complex has finally begun after planning conditions were fully satisfied.
On Wednesday excavators started to prepare the site that will soon become the new home of Stamford AFC.
Work on the land, off Ryhall Road, had been delayed while South Kesteven district councillors discussed changes to a planning condition.
Burghley Estates, which owns the site, asked councillors to change a condition imposed when the plans were approved in March that required a new junction to be built before work on the football ground could begin.
Burghley asked to use an existing access point at Borderville Farm instead and finish the junction at a later date. The change was approved on Tuesday.
Stamford AFC director John Burrows said: “It is great that we can finally start to build our new ground which will deliver our ambition of bringing together the whole of the football club into an exciting new stadium.”
The complex is a joint venture between Burghley, the football club ad New College Stamford. Students will be able to use a range of sports facilities on the site.
25 years ago
October 9, 1998
Residents have been promised a long-term solution to combat the problem of travellers camping near their villages.
East Northamptonshire MP Phil Hope attended a public meeting in Woodnewton on Wednesday to face villagers who say they have been living in fear since travellers came to Nassington in February.
The meeting follows one held at Nassington in August which Mr Hope was unable to attend, and representatives from neighbouring parish councils, the police and county council were present.
Mr Hope told the meeting: “I'm well aware of the problem which has been with us for the last nine months, and I know people feel threatened by these large groups.
“I have written to the Prime Minister and hope the Government's Social Exclusion Unit will tackle the problem.
“I'm not going to try to make myself popular by proposing the hanging and flogging of travellers. We need a long term solution to this national problem.”
A King's Cliffe farmer is calling for a ban on imported pig meat in an attempt to save the industry.
Bernard Howard has been farming pigs for the past 30 years and in the last six months has seen his investment of £1.5 million halve in value.
He said: “If we don't stop importing pigs, we won't have an industry left. I have been farming for 30 years, and this is the worst the industry has ever been - and I can't see an end to it.”
Market prices for pig meat are approximately 68p a kilo at the moment, with production costs averaging 98p a kilo. This means farmers are losing between £15 and £20 a pig.
The problem stems from the glut of pork on the world markets. South east Asia and Russia have both reduced the amount of meat imports due to the strong pound and economic decline. This has led to meat that would have been sold in these markets being sold in Europe.
British farmers are also being hampered by feed prices. In Europe, competitors are feeding pigs meat and bone meal, but in this country such feed has been banned since the outbreak of BSE – adding about £4 a pig to the cost of production.
Castle Cement may be known for producing cement, but the Ketton works also provided the building blocks for some of the country's finest academic institutions.
A new auditorium and accommodation block at Magdalen College, Oxford (now almost completed) is being built from Ketton freestone dug from Castle Cement's quarry.
Builders are constructing a new quadrangle with an entrance tower, as well as the auditorium and residential accommodation, within the 15th century walls of the college, overlooking an historic deer park.
Although the Ketton quarry exists mainly to provide limestone – the raw material for cement – employees occasionally unearth beds of Freestone, a yellow-coloured building stone that is proving to be increasingly popular for prestigious construction projects.
It is more than 10 years since former Castle employees, Andre Vrona, leased a piece of ground from the cement company to set up Ketton Architectural Stone and Masonry.
Stone has enjoyed a revival and this company now markets Freestone over a wide area.
Andre said: “I have always been interested in stonework and knew how difficult it was to get good quality materials.”
Freestone has been used on two other building programmes at Oxford colleges and two at Cambridge.
50 years ago
October 12, 1973
A health chief this week revealed the real danger behind polluted water supplies in three Stamford area villages.
If villagers at Yarwell, Nassington and Fotheringhay drink their water without boiling it, they could be helping to spread infections, said North Northamptonshire Medical Officer of Health, Dr Frank Lynch.
But residents at the villages, which are among eight affected by the pollution, claim they are being kept in the dark about the dangers.
Major J. D. Wallace, chairman of Fotheringham Parish Council, thinks that the warnings given are “inadequate”.
He said: “By now we should have had an explanation about what is going on.
“All that I have seen are two ten-word notices stuck on telegraph poles in the village advising us not to drink the water without boiling it.
“'Advise' in itself is a stupid work to use – it's not telling us to do anything at all and it should be more definite.
“I am not criticising the council and the water board for the pollution, but I am criticising the lack of publicity. We do not know what the water is polluted with, how dangerous it is, or when we can drink the water again without boiling it first. We don't even know if we are safe having a wash in unboiled water.”
And he added: “If the scare goes on much longer, we are going to go to Oundle and Thrapston Rural Council and demand to have an explanation.”
Parish councillors at Empingham have dropped their fight against the noise from scrapers on the reservoir site.
They had protested to the Gleeson Civil Engineering Company.
But now they understand work on the site is to end next Friday (October 19), for the winter, because of unfavourable weather. So no further action will be taken.
The parish council will also do nothing more about the problem of dogs fouling pavements in the village.
But they are hoping to help the newly-formed Empingham United soccer club for boys under 15.
The council are to write to Mr Clough asking if the boys could use land near his orchard as a pitch.
Tenders are to be invited for grass cutting – but the council have decided that loose grass will not be picked up, because of the extra cost.
Bourne Chamber of Trade chairman, Mr Don Ross, has written to Bourne Urban Council to voice concern that, since the installation of traffic lights in the Market Place, fewer people are coming to the town to shop on Thursdays and Saturdays.
He called for more publicity for car parking facilities and the provision of more parking space; further thought to be given by the council to the market; a more tolerant attitude to be shown towards car owners in an effort to promote a pleasant shopping atmosphere; and consultation with the Chamber of Trade before the council makes important decisions affecting traders.
At its meeting, on Wednesday, the estates committee, considering the letter pointed to the “Free parking” signs, ordered in June, not yet being delivered.
Expressing sympathies about the parking problem, the committee emphasised that it was inquiring about the provision of more land.
It also recommended the advertising of Bourne market in a market journal.
The surveyor, Mr Michael Silverwood, was asked to give variety in the arranging of the market stalls, and to invite Bourne branch of the Market Traders' Association to co-operate in extending the market.
100 years ago
October 12, 1923
Stock From Burghley – Messrs. Richardson, Stamford and Bourne, conducted a very successful special sale of store cattle and sheep on Thursday, the property of the Marquess of Exeter. Thirty-two Shorthorn bullocks made from £24 5s. to £30; 6 first-cross Polled-Angus Shorthorn bullocks, £30; 10 3-year-old first-cross Shorthorn Hereford bullocks, £25 5s.; 10 barren heifers, £22 15s.; 12 21/2-year-old first cross Shorthorn and Hereford steers, £24 15s.; 18 21/2-year-old Shorthorn steers, £22.; 32 cross-bred barren cows to £25; 100 cross-bred lambs averaged 61s. 6d.; 32 draft ewes £4 3s.
Presentation – Mrs. Edward Joyce, who for many years was superintendent of the primary department of the Star-lane Congregational Sunday School, retiring last year, was on Sunday afternoon presented with a silver-plated muffin-dish by the primary department helpers. The Rev. J. D. Carnegie, who made the presentation, voiced the best wishes of all to Mrs. Joyce, and wished both her and Mr. Joyce many years of happiness in their new home.
Newspaper Staff Entertained – A most enjoyable evening was spent at Mrs Barton's restaurant on Tuesday evening, when Mr. Edward Joyce, J.P., entertained the members of staff of the Lincoln, Rutland, and Stamford Mercury on the occasion of his retirement from the position of manager. Mr. Joyce presided, and was supported by Mrs. Joyce, Mr. H. Fox-Wright (general manager), Mr. Clifford Joyce (assistant manager), Mr. H. Ll. Evans (editor), Mr. W. Giles (Fleet-street branch office), Mr. W. G, Burcombe (Lincoln branch office), Mr. H. E. Munday, and Mr. R. Blades. An excellent dinner was served, and various toasts, including that of the “Proprietoress” (Mrs. Todd-Newcomb) and “The Chairman” were honoured. During the evening a pleasing entertainment was contributed to by Mr. Clifford Joyce, Mr. H. Ll. Evans, Mr. W. G, Burcombe, Mr. and Mrs. A. Lenox, Mr. A. Hall, Mr. H. Bolland and Mr. C. Hardy. Mrs. Clifford Joyce acted as accompanist. The proceedings terminated with “Auld Lang Syne.”
Hard Court Tennis – Meeting on Monday, those interested in the Free Church Hard Court Tennis Club, accepted the offer of Messrs. Sommerfield and Co., Nottingham, to lay three courts, the work to be put in hand forthwith. Mr. W. Goy asked to be relieved of the secretaryship for a year, owing to other engagements, and Mr. J. W. Sones was elected to the vacancy.
Remarkable Car. Looks To Be Travelling Faster Than It Is
An uncommon departure in the motor line was described at Peterborough Police Court on Wednesday, when Raymond Mays, Eastgate House, Bourne, was summoned for driving a motor car in a manner dangerous to the public at Peterborough.
Mr. A. H. Mellows appeared for defendant and pleaded not guilty.
Police evidence was given that defendant was driving near St. Paul's Church, where there were cross roads, at a speed of fully 30 miles an hour.
Mr. Mellows said the defendant was a well-known racing motorist and had passed many stringent driving tests, and was not in the habit of using the roads for racing. During the last eight years he had driven about 20,000 miles and had not scratched a mudguard or knocked anyone down. No complaints had been made against him.
Defendant's car was so built that it looked to be travelling faster than it really was.
Fined £3 and costs.
Removals by Motor; Any Distance; consult Williamson's the Removal Experts, Peterborough. Advt.
150 years ago
October 10, 1873
The Dowager Marchioness of Exeter intends to pass the winter at Brighton.
The Baroness Willoughby de Eresby has arrived at Grimsthorpe Castle from Drummond Castle.
We have been requested to state that next Sunday is the day appointed for making collections on behalf of the Stamford Infirmary in the various places of worship in the town.
The following are for trial at Stamford sessions on Monday: Eliza Yates, 38, and Eliza Hibbins, 16, for larceny from the person; and Sarah Rudkin charged with larceny under the Bailee Act.
The Barn-hill Mutual Improvement Association opened the season last Monday evening with an address by the Rev. J. Escott, president, on “Friendship.” The association, which is in a flourishing condition, now numbers 40 members. Young men are earnestly invited to join.
The Stamford Commercial Cricket Club had its annual supper at the Half Moon inn on Tuesday, when an enjoyable evening was spent. The company was smaller than had been expected, only 21 being present.
The Oddfellows' Lodge “Pride of the Village,” which held its 33d anniversary at Easton on the 29th ult., dined at the Exeter's Arms inn, and had the Nassington brass band in the procession. The capital of the lodge is £703 2s.9d., and there are 112 members.
The last cheap trip of the season to London, by the Great Northern railway, was run on Monday, when 41 persons from Stamford availed themselves of the opportunity of visiting the metropolis.
Accidents – On Saturday last a boy named Chas. Kellham, of Falkingham, got one of his hands severely crushed in a chaff-cutting machine. He was taken to the Stamford Infirmary on Monday, when it was found necessary to amputate one of the fingers. He is going on well. On Tuesday another lad named David Hurcock, of Wing, met with a serious machine accident. One of his arms was drawn into a cake-breaking machine, and sustained a compound fracture. He also was taken to the Stamford Infirmary, where the fracture was reduced.
The Weather of September, 1873 – Observations made at Tickencote, Rutland, daily at 9 a.m. (166 feet above mean sea level). Rain fell on 14 days during the month.The greatest fall in one day was on the 15th, when 0.29 in. was registered. There was thunder on the 3d, 14th and 15th. The total fall of rain for the month was 1.85 in.; that of the corresponding month of 1872 was 2.80 in.
Billingboro' – Several large crops of potatoes have been dug during the last few days, but the result, we regret to say, is unsatisfactory: in some cases above two-thirds are diseased.
Bourn – On Tuesday the annual meeting was held for the purpose of passing the accounts of the gas inspectors, for electing two inspectors in the place of those who retire by rotation, and for determining upon the sum of money to be voted for the ensuing year. The accounts were examined and passed; Mr. R. J. Shilcock and Mr. W. Todd, the retiring inspectors, were re-appointed; and £190 was voted for the purposes of the Act for the ensuing year, being the same sum as voted for the previous year.
Miss Fanny Edwards gave a first-clss concert in the Corn-exchange, Bourn, on the evening for the 2d inst., being assisted by Miss Annie Kinnaird, Mr. Redfern Hollins, Signor Francesco Gualtieri, Mr. G. O. Foote, and Mr. Julin Edwards.
200 years ago
October 10, 1823
Yesterday Mr. Alderman Scott entered upon the office of Mayor of this borough for the year ensuing; on which occasion he entertained a numerous party of friends with an excellent dinner at the town-hall.
On Tuesday, Christopher Thorpe, horse-dealer's assistant, of this place, met with a severe and singular accident. Two young ladies of a respectable family in the neighbourhood, were coming to Stamford on a visit to a relation, when the horse in their chaise, driven by a servant lad, was beset in St. Mary's-street by a bull-dog kept by a person in St. Martin's. The consequence was that the horse, unmanageable, overturned the chaise upon Thorpe (who happened to be standing near the shop of Mr. Dawson, baker,) and broke one of his legs. The two young ladies also were much hurt with cuts and bruizes, that after being attended by a medical gentleman and bled, it was found expediant tht they should immediately return to their home, about five miles from Stamford, in a post-chaise. - Even after the overturn, we understand, the dog kept hold of the breast of the horse, and continued to hang at it till the poor animal was freed from him near St. Mary's church.
On Sunday evening last the house of Mr. Myers, parchment-maker, at Barrowden, Rutland, was broken into whilst the family were at chapel, and robbed of 4 sovereigns, 18s. in silver, some half-pence, a singular old-fashioned family watch with curious silver face, a quantity of linen, and some silk hankerchiefs; also a drab great coat belonging to Mr. M.'s man. At present, nothing has led to detection of the offenders.
On the 25th ult, an inquest was taken at Asfordby, near Melton Mowbray, by Thos, Clark, Gent. coroner, on the body of Thos. Shepherd, an infant of the age of 9 years. The deceased was the companion of a boatman, and was on his passage from Melton to Loughborough; when opposite the village of Asfordby, the boatman took his horse there, leaving the deceased in the boat in perfect health. The man was absent about an hour, and on his return the deceased was missing. Every enquiry was made without effect until Thursday morning,when the body was discovered flaoting in the canal a short distance from the boat. It was supposed that the deceased had been washing his hands and face over the boat-side, and reaching too far, fell overboard. Verdict, accidental death.
On the 1st inst, an inquest was held by Mr. Atkinson, coroner of the Hundred of Norman Cross, on view of the body of George Thompson, a lad about fourteen years of age, who had been found dead near a road by the house of his master, Mr. Lyon, of Caldecott, in the said hundred. A quantity of blood had flowed from the right ear, but it did not appear, whether the deceased had died from a fall or by the visitation of God; the Jury, therefore, returned a general verdict of “found dead.”
On Monday morning, about nine o'clock, a stack, containing eight loads of hay, suddenly burst into flames in the stack-yard of Mr. Borkwood, at Firth Bank, near Boston, where it had been secured six weeks ago. The progress of the fire, which was so powerful as to threaten destruction to all the adjoining buildings, was happily arrested by the seasonable aid of several persons employed with a thrashing-machine, who, fortunately, were in the yard at the time.