News from Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings published in the Mercury 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 6, 2013
Businesses in Stamford have received a welcome boost this summer as thousands more visitors have flocked to the town.
The “significant increase” in visitors in June, July and August saw the tourist information centre hand out a record number of maps, handle more individual inquiries and welcome double the number of coaches into the town each week.
And Stamford Town Council, which launched tours at the town hall, has made it a regular Friday fixture with a tour every hour from 10am to 3pm because of demand.
Nearby attractions also may have benefitted with Anglian Water, which owns and manages Rutland Water, reporting a 25 per cent rise in visitors on last year.
Thousands of tourists flock to the market town every year. But this year's boom is though to be the result of Stamford topping the Sunday Times list of Best Places to Live, which was published in March.
A spokesman for South Kesteven District Council said: “The phones never stopped ringing after that. More people than ever before have wanted to find out about Britain's most complete stone town.”
The team behind plans to set up a free school in Stamford will hold a public meeting to explain their next steps.
People have been invited to attend the meeting in the ballroom at Stamford Arts Centre from 7.30pm on September 20.
The Stamford Free School team hope to see as many residents as possible as they explain the application process for the proposed facility.
Team member Daniel Evans said: “We would like to extend an invitation to all Mercury readers to come along and find out more about our plans.
“As well as presenting our vision for the school we will outline the application process to the Department of Education and the remaining steps we need to take to make the school a reality. We also hope to announce our preferred education partner.”
The group revealed plans to apply for Government funding to set up a free school to offer a “genuine alternative for pupils and parents seeking the very highest quality education.”
Since the idea was first publicised, parents of more than 1,000 children have registered their support.
Three siblings have sent messages to the most important people in the land asking them to help save their library.
Rhiannon, Sian and Rhys Morgan Plowright are regular visitors to the Deepings Library in High Street, Market Deeping,
They were distaught to learn of Lincolnshire County Council's plan to close the facility, along with 31 others in the county.
So they joined the campaign to save it and decided to get in touch with the highest powers to ask for help.
Rhiannon, 11, wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron; Sian, nine, wrote to the Queen; and Rhys, five, wrote a prayer to God.
Deepings School pupil Rhiannon said: “I wrote to David Cameron because he can do something about it.
“I have been coming to the library for years. I read a lot of books about horses. I take out about 10 books a month.
“I would be missing out on a lot if it wasn't here.”
William Hildyard Primary School pupil Sian said: “I asked the Queen if she could keep the library open because it's important and a lot of people in the Deepings use it.”
25 years ago
September 4, 1998
Stamford Volunteers Bureau has a range of opportunities open for anyone in Stamford and Market Deeping interested in Befriending.
This is an extension of being a good neighbour, with people offering support and friendship, advice and guidance on a one-to-one basis.
The role and responsibilities of a Befriender vary, depending on the age and needs of the 'client'. For example, one organisation aims to discourage young people from offending by giving them aims and responsibilities, with the help of a volunteer who befriends them. Another group offers friendship and pratical help to people with young families.
Many people find themselves socially isolated or housebound, perhaps because of a learning disability, 24-hour caring responsibilities, physical impairment or because they are recovering from a mental health problem.
Volunteers can play a vital role in improving quality of life and promoting emotional and mental well being.
Stamford's newest church has opened its doors to the public.
The Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints has built its church on Tinwell Road after years of holding its services in temporary venues.
Branch president Graham McKee said: “The object of the open day was to let people know who we are and to speak to friends and neighbours about the work of the church.
“We had a very special time talking to people and seemed to get a lot of positive responses from the presentations about the various aspects of the church.”
Special guests who visited the church included Bourne mayor Coun Don Fisher and his consort Coun Lesley Patrick, and Stamford deputy mayor Cedric Cadman.
Mr McKee said: “The mayor of Bourne was particularly impressed with our new building and the work of the church. He almost seemed reluctant to leave! The deputy mayor of Stamford said he was very impressed as well.”
Stamford is one of the most thriving towns in the UK, according to a new survey of local businesses.
A study by business information suppliers Experian claims Stamford is the 16th most profitable town in the country and easily the most profitable in the East Midlands.
Its findings are based on the results of limited companies and show that Stamford firms enjoy average profit margins of almost 11 per cent.
A total of 285 towns and cities were included in the survey and Peter McNally – personal business adviser at Business Link Stamford – is encouraged by the town's high placing.
He said: “This is very encouraging news for Stamford. It shows companies are trying and that there is a sense of enterprise in the town.”
This year's Wansford Horticultural Society Show was a great success despite the wet weather earlier in the year.
Held in the village at The Haycock Hotel, there were more than 400 entries including an abundance of cookery and craft displays.
Society secretary Jim Ferris said: “It was an excellent show. There was a good crowd, excellent exhibits and everyone enjoyed themselves.
“The cookery and craft displays made up for the slightly lower number of entries in the fruit and veg sections caused by the bad weather earlier this year – but what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts.”
This was the 12th year the show has been held at the hotel, and it looks like it will be there for a good few years yet.
50 years ago
September 7, 1973
A family blackberrying expedition nearly ended in tragedy, on Sunday, after a seven-year-old boy fell into a water-filled well at Morton.
David Kidd, of Millfield Road, disappeared under water twice before he was pulled out unconscious by a family friend.
He fell into five feet of water in the well in a cornfield near the village just after the party arrived to pick blackberries.
David, the youngest of five children, raced on ahead with his sister Deborah (9) and her 10-year-old friend Helen Stubley.
Said his widowed mother, Mrs I. K. Kidd, “Deborah saw him fall in and dashed back to tell us.”
“David went under the water twice before we could get him out.”
Mrs Kidd, and a family friend, Mr Teddy Fowler, ran to the road and stopped a passing car to get help.
The woman driver in it held on to six-foot-tall Mr Fowler's ankles as he stretched down in a desperate attempt to pull David from the water.
The boy was given artificial respiration by his mother and Mr Fowler, and was rushed by car to hospital in Bourne. He was later transferred to Peterborough District Hospital, where he stayed overnight before being released.
Nearby homes had to be evacuated as a spectacular blaze raged through the night near Market Deeping at the weekend.
More than 100 tons of baled straw in a stack had burst into flames at 1 am on Saturday, at Mr Gordon Charity's farm, Frognall.
It was seven hours after the first crews had arrived that firemen finally left the burned-out stack.
Brigades from Bourne, Market Deeping, and Peterborough had been on the scene.
Later Mr Charity's wife Barbara told the Mercury: “The straw was our entire harvest crop. It came from about 70 acres of our land.
“We don't know how much the damage will work out at, but it will run into hundreds of pounds.”
Mrs Charity said she and her husband had been told that the fire could have been started deliberately – or perhaps caused by a cigarette left by a courting couple.
“But we're not really sure,” she added.
A proposal which would have meant closing the traffic exit from Uppingham Market Place during the Friday market was shelved at Monday's meeting of the Parish Council.
But later it passed a resolution inviting the market traders to make formal application explaining why they want the stalls re-arranged and the exit closed.
The original proposition was tabled by Coun Keith Toon who, said the chairman (Coun Alan Snodin) was unable to be present because of district council business.
It proposed: “That in future the stalls be set up in a rectangle starting from Gailey's shop, going south to the public conveniences, east to the end of Steward's shop and then north to the edge of High Street East.
“It is further proposed that the exit of traffic from the Market Place through this area be prohibited, the traffic normally leaving by this exit to be directed through the opening between the Post Office and cafe on the south-western corner of the Market Place.”
The Clerk, Mr Noel Branston, said that the men who erected the stalls had a proposal for re-arranging them which would be better.
100 years ago
September 7, 1923
Two Hundred “Penny-Pushers.” - The annual meeting of the Stamford Push Penny League was held at the Queen's Head inn on Thursday, Mr. F. Wyldes presiding. The balance-sheet showed a credit of about £2 4s., and the secretary reported that ten clubs, with 200 playing members, were in the league. Officers elected include: - President, Mr. Harvey Dixon, M.P.; chairman, Mr. F. Wyldes; secretary, Mr. G. Walsh; committee, a delegate from each club. Thanks were accorded Mr. A. Gilbert for his work as secretary.
Carnival Dance – The first of a series of carnival dances, under the auspices of the Athletic Club, was held in the Drill-hall, Stamford, on Saturday. Over 150 couples participated, and a most enjoyable time was spent.
Unsuccesful Vote Claimants – Five applications to be placed on the voters' list came before Mr. Charles Atter deputy-Registration Officer for the Rutland and Stamford Division, at the Revision Court at the Town-hall on Monday, but all were disallowed on the grounds of invalidity. After welcoming Mr. Gutteridge, the recently-appointed assistant overseer, Mr. Atter congratulated both him and Mr. Leonard Smith on the excellent way in which the register had been compiled. Mr. A. E. G. Dixon (Conservative agent) was present, and the Court was closed with the usual votes of thanks.
The Legionaries – Mr. T. H. Wright presided at a fully-attended meeting of the local branch of the British Legion, held at the Drill-hall, Stamford, on Tuesday evening. A letter was read from the Town Clerk (Mr. C. Atter), stating that the Legion's complaint regarding the omission of names from the war memorial would receive attention at the next meeting of the Memorial Committee. Preliminary arrangements were made for the proposed dinner to celebrate the first anniversary of the branch, and it was decided to co-operate in a Poppy Day collection.
“Blooms” of Benevolence – On Friday and Saturday a joint appeal for funds was made by the local branches of the Red Cross Society and St. John Ambulance Association. A sale of artificial blooms was organsied for Friday by the committee of the Red Cross, and the sale, carried out by a large number of young ladies, met with a generous response. The committee, of which Mrs. F. M. Walker is hon. secretary, is to be congratulated on the success achieved. On Saturday the local members of the St. John Ambulance Association of which Mr. W. A. Newell is the hon. secretary, were successful in a box appeal. Both organisations benefit substantially, the joint appeal realising the splendid total of £43 8s. 6d.
Country Residence Unsold – At the Angel Hotel, Mr. H. J. Foote (Messrs. Richardson, Stamford and Bourne), offered for sale a country residence situate within one mile of Bourne, which was withdrawn at £1200. Messrs. Burnham, Son and Lewin were the solicitors for the vendors.
Board of Guardians – At the fortnightly meeting of the Board of Guardians, on Thursday, Mr. E. B. Binns presided. The Housing Committee reported that there were 78 and 80 inmates during the past fortnight against 76 and 77 during the corresponding period of last year, and that there had been 252 vagrants relieved during the past fortnight.
150 years ago
September 5, 1873
About 60 members of the voluntary choir of Peterboro' cathedral visited Stamford on Tuesday, and inspected Burghley House. They dined at the Assembly-rooms.
The eagerness of the bakers of Stamford to take advantage of a small rise in the price of wheat was to the poor painfully manifested on Saturday last, when bread was raised one half-penny a loaf, although the wheat trade on the previous day showed a very trifling advance.
A house and garden on the Bourn-road, Stamford, lately occupied by Mr. Gurney, the owner, was offered for sale by auction, by Mr. W. Langley, on Thursday the 28th. The highest bid, £370, being £10 less than the reserve price it was not sold.
The first of September produced very fair sport in the neighbourhood of Stamford, but not so much as had been anticipated, for though the coveys were large they were not very numerous. Lord Exeter, Lord Burghley, and Lord Wm. Cecil are reported to have had two good days on the outskirts of Burghley park, as many as 81 had having been bagged in the afternoon of Monday on Mr. Whincup's and the Wothorpe farm.
Stamford Union – There was very little business at the weekly meeting on Wednesday last. The attention of the Board was called to the slow progress being made in the work of enlarging the infirmary, only one man having been employed thereon for two days; and as great inconvenience will be experienced in attending to the invalids, and finding them proper accommodation until the infirmary is again available a communication was ordered to be sent to the contractor, urging him to proceed with the work expeditiously. The family of a man named Maxey, who are at present chargeable to the Walsall Union, were ordered to be received into the house without a magisterial order, it being clear that the settlement of the father, who is in trouble at Nottingham, is in the parish of All Saints'.
Stamford Local Board – At the monthly meeting on Tuesday last, an application from the Midland Railway Company for the Board to take on the New-road (leading from the bridge to the railway station was agreed to, and highways sub-committee were directed to obtain estimates of the cost of planting trees on each side of the road. A letter from Captain Sandys, R.N., of Infirmary-terrace, was read, complaining of the stench arising from a candle-manufactory in the vicinity. The inspector of nuisances was ordered to attend to the matter. The Town Clerk called attention to the awarded footpath from Stamford across the fields to Wothorpe, and said in consequence of the height of the stiles and the absence of stepping-boards the path had become practically useless for females. He said it was the duty of some one to look after the public interests, and he considered it came within the province of the Local Board to prevent encroachments and obstructions. He had given notice to the occupier of the Ryhall fields that if the footpath from Stamford to Ryhall should be ploughed up proceedings will be taken against him to ensure the public convenience. General concurrence with the Town Clerk's remarks was expressed, and that had it not been for the interference of the Town Council the footpaths across the fields both to Ryhall and Tolethorpe would have been completely lost.
200 years ago
September 5, 1823
We are assured by a considerable farmer in Stamford, that the wheat sheaves are heavier this year than he ever before knew them, and he has farmed extensively both in this neighbourhood and in the North. There seems not to be a doubt that the harvest will be one of the most abundant on record.
Yesterday the tolls of Whitewater bar, on the great road South of Stamford, were let to Mr. Headdey, of Eaton, Beds, for £604, there being a reservation to the Trustees of the tolls (about £840) on horses drawing coach, van, or stage-waggon, conveying passengers or good for hire, and which are liable to pay toll every time of passing. Newstead and Deeping bars were also taken for three years by Mr. Headdey, the former at £326, the latter at £194 per annum. Ryhall bar was taken at £280 and Bourn bar at £182, by Mr. Bower, of Hunslet, near Leeds.
A Sword Fish was caught on Tuesday se'nnight off Mare Tail, near Wisbech Deeps, by the crew of one of Mr. Glass's fishing boats belonging to the port of Boston. It was about 10 feet in length (including the sword, which measured 3 feet 6 inches); the tail was semi-circular, and upwards of 3 feet wide; the eyes very large and brilliant. The fish was sold for 30s., and was forwarded to Lincoln for the purpose of exhibition.
A few days ago a person at Surfleet had a narrow escape from the fury of a beast which was grazing in a field through which he was crossing. The animal ran at him, knocked him down upon his back, and attempted to gore him with its horns, which, being rather wide asunder, ran into the earth a considerable depth on each side the man's body. In this alarming state he remained pegged to the ground for a considerable time, until another beast came up, which attracted the attention of the infuriated animal, and caused it to release its terrified prisoner without material injury.
On Monday last a melancholy accident happened at Warmington, near Oundle. Some labourers reaping in a wheat-field belonging to Mr. Berridge became playful with their sickles, when a poor man named Cawthorn got caught on the leg with one of the hooks, and was wounded in a very shocking and alarming manner, so as certainly to prevent his following his work for the harvest, if no worse consequences ensue. He has a wife and family, who by this accident will be deprived of the support which the liberal wages of the harvest month should ensure.
Notice is hereby given,
That a Plan and Specification of the intended Alterations and Improvements to be made at Newstead Bridge, situate upon the said road between Stamford and Uffington, are lodged at the office of Mr. Torkington, the Treasurer, in Stamford, where the same may be inspected by any person or persons willing to Contract for the completion of the work (subject to the inspection of Mr. pear, surveyor); and who are to deliver Proposals (in writing) for the purpose to the said Mr. Torkington, on or before Saturday the 13th of this month.
By order, Nath. Farrant, Clerk to the Trustees of the said Road.
Stamford, 4th Sept. 1823.