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News from up to 200 years ago from Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings in Mercury Memories

A missing tortoise enjoyed a trip to a film festival.

This is just one of the stories from our archives which look at stories from up to 200 years ago with the support of the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust.

50 years ago: August 10, 1973 – Wicksteed Park was invaded by about 40 Stamford children on Saturday. The picture shows the party before their departure.
50 years ago: August 10, 1973 – Wicksteed Park was invaded by about 40 Stamford children on Saturday. The picture shows the party before their departure.

10 years ago

August 9, 2013

A popular restaurant in Stamford is fighting to keep its name, just months after opening in the town.

The Fat Turk opened in February in St Paul's Street and soon gained an enviable reputation.

Its food, staff and service were all being praised by people who returned to dine there time and again.

And it was named number one out of 71 restaurants in the town by TripAdvisor.com – a website that provides travel information based on users' own experiences.

Now an eatery with the same name, some 83 miles away in Ongar, Essex, has taken legal action to force the Stamford restaurant to change its name.

Ertunch and Shelly Kazim are owners of the restaurant, which offers a Turkish and Cypriot-inspired menu.

The couple, who were both born in the UK, met while living in Cyprus.

Shelly said: “We've had to put everything on hold – creating a website, even advertising – until a court makes a decision.

25 years ago: August 7, 1998 – The streets of Wansford come alive with umbrellas.
25 years ago: August 7, 1998 – The streets of Wansford come alive with umbrellas.

A family's tortoise which went missing from a garden before taking a trip to Burghley Film Festival has been returned after a public appeal.

Motoring journalist Jonny Smith, 34, lost Ken the tortoise when he let it out for some exercise in his garden at his new home in Greatford Road, Uffington.

The 7in tortoise, which Jonny described as a “treasured member of his family,” went missing about 4pm on Thursday.

But Jonny announced on Twitter on Saturday: “Tortoise update. Ken the lost tortoise is alive and well and has been to a film festival. I kid you not. Being brought home tomorrow.

“Many thanks to everyone for their tweets and grapevine activity. Weirdly, Ken the tortoise was rescued from certain roadkill by a Jonathan Smith.”

Mercury photographer Jonathan Smith picked up the tortosie after having to swerve to avoid it on the road.

He enquired about who owned the tortoise with neighbours but no-one knew who owned it so he took Ken with him to Burghley Film Festival where he was heading to watch The Duchess and The King's Speech.

50 years ago: August 10, 1973 – After the parachute descent at Sibson are (left to right) Steve Riley, John Rutland, Sally Riley, John Sadler, “Mercury” reporter Graham Sanderson and far right, Dick Jones, pictured just before being taken back to base.
50 years ago: August 10, 1973 – After the parachute descent at Sibson are (left to right) Steve Riley, John Rutland, Sally Riley, John Sadler, “Mercury” reporter Graham Sanderson and far right, Dick Jones, pictured just before being taken back to base.

Children in Tallington can now swing, slide and climb on new play equipment.

Work to install a multiplay area with overhead ladder, a roundabout and a swing has been completed.

It follows a successful bid for a £24,000 grant to the SITA Trust, an independent funding body that provides grants through the Landfill Communities Fund, for projects that enhance communities and enrich nature.

Plans to improve the playing fields were prompted by the increasing number of families with young children moving into the village.

Andy Yates is a member of Tallington Village Hall committee. He said: “The playing fields were aimed more to older children.

“We didn't have anything for children aged two, three and upwards.

“We have been wanting to do something about it for some years.”

In October last year Mr Yates and chairman of the village hall committee Wally Knox teamed up with parish councillor Tom Klimes and chairman of the council Geoff Mayling to get funding for new play equipment.

Working with Peter Sessions from the SITA Trust they applied for a grant of £24,000, which was successful.

Although aimed at the children of the village the playing fields and new play equipment is available to all children.

25 years ago: August 7, 1998 – Residents of Church Street, Deeping St James, take to the street to protest against traffic problems.
25 years ago: August 7, 1998 – Residents of Church Street, Deeping St James, take to the street to protest against traffic problems.

25 years ago

August 7, 1998

Forget the idea of a bypass for Stamford – it's not going to happen.

The Government has dropped the scheme from the Roads Review, announced in the House of Commons on Friday.

And in the week when the Deepings bypass was officially opened, campaigners in England's finest stone town were left feeling bitter and angry after more than 20 years of fighting.

Stamford MP Quentin Davies said: “We need a bypass as much as ever. There'll be more traffic in years to come. My priority now is to fight for an HGV ban across Stamford, except for access.

Stamford Chamber of Trade president Don Lambert accused the Government of double standards: “They are encouraging traffic management and getting people to leave their cars at home, but doing nothing to keep lorries out of Stamford.

“Stamford is a special case with narrow street and high buildings which trap pollution. We need a bypass.”

Coun Helen Dawn, chairman of Stamford Town Council bypass committee, was also disappointed but said: “We always knew the bypass was a long way off, and we have been looking at traffic management rather than a new road.

“We must continue to pursue this, and hope the diversions in place with the roadworks in North Street and East Street will be running smoothly soon, and will be a beacon for the future.”

A Deepings man has called on councillors to turn the area's disused health clinic into a centre for the community.

Dr Ian Wood (68), of Park Road, wrote to Deeping St James Parish Council asking if a project could be launched to purchase and develop the site in the centre of the Deepings.

GPs moved from the building to a purpose built centre on Godsey Lane last year, since when the old clinic has stood empty.

Dr Wood believes it could become a valuable amenity.

He said: “Here is a prime site in terms of location and amenities which no-one wants to do anything about.

“We have halls but they are at peripheral locations. Many places smaller than the Deepings have very good facilities, while we have nothing.”

The site is owned by South Lincs Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust, which has confirmed its wish to dispose of the site. However, a trust spokesman was unable to say when a new owner might be found.

Deeping St James parish clerk Louis Jones fears the site could be used for residential development.

He said: “I think it would be worrying if the NHS sold it off at the soonest opportunity.

“It would be a tragedy if it was to be swallowed up in further housing.”

A dream could turn into a reality for Ketton villagers if proposals to re-open a village railway station get the go-ahead.

Rutland County Council has included plans for the village station in its new structure plan – a blueprint for the future for the county, Leicester city and Leicestershire.

The re-opening could see trains stopping at Ketton for the first time since the village station, part of the Leicester to Peterborough line, closed and was demolished in 1974.

But the scheme will only go ahead with the backing of track owners Railtrack and train operators Central Trains.

Railtrack would have to be commissioned by the council to build a new station.

50 years ago

August 10, 1973

Discussions on a report and recommendations of a committee set up to consider the functions which the district councils might be allowed to perform under agency arrangements took up most of the time at Wednesday's meeting of the new Leicestershire County Council.

Following a meeting of this committee and representatives of the nine new district councils, a paper setting out their views was prepared by the Acting Clerk of the Leicester District Council.

The only specific reference to Rutland was in connection with highways and traffic and it was stated that Rutland sought no agency arrangements if the County Council set up a highways department for the district.

There was no opposition to Rutland's library service and the county museum becoming the responsibility of the new county authority.

The committee, if fact, recommended that the County Council should make no agency arrangements in respect of libraries.

Trouble is looming again over plans to create a sportsman's paradise in the Deepings – just as it seemed the last hurdle had been cleared.

For a Government clampdown on local council spending may mean the expensive sports complex may have to be shelved yet again.

The complex – estimated cost £654,000 – was due to have been started in the auturm, next to the Deepings Secondary School.

It would provide a flootlit soccer pitch, hockey, badminton, squash, tennis, and dozens of other sports facilities, along with bars and lounges, for the Stamford, Bourne and Peterborough area.

But since the Government ordered a £70m cutback on local government spending in 1974-75, the plans have been thrown back on jeopardy.

It was only a few months ago they were given the go-ahead by Kesteven County Council after a petition was signed by more than 2,000 people calling for the complex to be built promptly.

Although the County Council aims to cut back a lot of its spending by chopping some road schemes, the sports complex is thought of as a way of making the necessary reductions demanded by Whaitehall.

South Kesteven Rural Council's Medical Officer of Health, Dr H. Ellis Smith pungently criticises the continued use of night-soil vehicles in his annual report to the council.

“Sums running into £3 million have been expended on the sewerage disposal scheme, and, in some instances, modern systems have been available for lengthy periods,” he says.

In such cases, it seems anomalous that the night-soil vehicle should still have to call at some premises.

“It makes for thought whether some houses which cannot be serviced without recourse to such unaesthetic methods, are, in fact, 'fit' within the currently accepted meaning of the word.

“It is certainly ironic that, with a colour television aerial on the chimney pot, and a VTO Harrier jet flying overhead, to see the night soil vehicle, with attendant buckets, standing outside the door.”

The number of pails in the South Kesteven area being emptied, where modern alternatives are available, are Castle Bytham, six; Little Bytham, five; Pointon, one; Billingborough, four; Langtoft, seven; Baston, four (and two on the playing fields), Market Deeping, seven (and four on Barsby's and Worsdale's caravan site); Deeping St James, 17 (four have no sewer available); Thurlby, four (all condemned properties); Haconby, one (no sewer available); Morton and Hanthorpe, three; Uffington, two and Swayfield, two.

100 years ago

August 10, 1923

Rabbit Throws Motorist – On Wednesday night week, whilst Mr. J. C. Belton was motor-cycling from Bourne to Stamford, with a friend, Mr. T. Clarkson, riding pillion, at Toft-hill, a rabbit crossed the road, got entangled in the front wheel, and threw the riders off with considerable force. Mr. Belton sustained partial concussion and superficial wounds, whilst Mr. Clarkson had his left arm rather severely injured. Both are happily making good progress towards recovery.

Archaeologists Visit Historic Spots – On Friday, about 50 members of the Rutland Archaeological Society made the journey by char-a-banc to Kirby Hall, and spent an enjoyable time under the guidance of Mr. J. A. Gotch, President of the Royal Institutute of British Architects. After a thorough exploration, the party went on to Deene Hall, and, by kind permission of Mr. G. T. Brudenell, viewed the hall and grounds. Mr. Gotch again supplying valuable information. A visit to Deene Church was then made, Mr. H. F. Traylen, F.R.I.B.A., giving an outline of the history and architecture of the buildings.

Knocked Down By Motor Cycle – By being accidentally knocked down by a motor-cycle in Red Lion-square, Stamford, on Saturday night, Mrs. Elizabeth Brown, of Bull-lane, Ketton, received slight injuries to her leg and had to be conveyed home by motor-car.

Town Band's Success – In an open band contest at Upwell, near Wisbech, on Bank Holiday, the Stamford Town Prize band won the second prize in the march section. The march played was “Lefebvre” (Geo. Allan), Mr. J. Woolley, of Kettering, conducted the Town Band, Mr. G. H. Steele being unable to make the journey. The judge was Mr. Worth, of Grantham.

Fire – On Tuesday night, about 11.40, a fire broke out in a building used for smoking bacon, belonging to Mr. J. Conington, behind the latter's premises in St. George's-street, Stamford. The Fire Brigade were summoned, and upon arrival found the flames burning fiercley; they set to work, and cleared the place of its contents, and soon had the outbreak in hand, returning to their station within an hour of receiving the summons.

Cropping Sale – On Thursday afternoon, at the Nag's Head Hotel, Bourne, Messrs. Richardson offered for sale 29 acres of cropping in Thurlby Fen. The first two lots were wheat, and were withdrawn at £9 15s. per acre; 5 acres of barley were withdrawn at £7 10s. per acre, and 12 acres of oats were withdrawn at a similar price. The above lots were on Mr. S. S. Harvey's land. A further 7 acres of oats, on Mr. Needham's land, were withdrawn at the same figure. The auctioneers then offered nearly 6 acres of grass land in the South Fen, in the occupation of Messrs. Aughton Bros., and this was sold to Mr. Faulkner at 22s. 6d. per acre.

Church Choirs' Help For Hospital – A sacred concert was given in the Market-place, Bourne, on Sunday evening by the united choirs of the Baptist and Wesleyan churches. Mr. J. Reade presided, and Mr. A. E. K. Wherry (president of the Butterfield Hospital) thanked the promoters of the concert and also those taking part. Mr. Alf. Stubley was the conductor, Rev. G. Kirby White read the lesson, and Rev. G. Morgan gave an address. A collection aounted to £10 13s. 3d.

150 years ago

August 8, 1873

The Baroness Willoughby de Eresby has left her town residence in Belgrave-square for Drummond Castle.

An excursion train from Leicester to Hunstanton on Friday was was so completely filled before it left Oakham that at Stamford extra carriages had to be attached, a large number of passengers having been booked at Stamford station. Among the excursionists were the Union-house children, who were accompanied by the master and school mistress and two large hampers of provisions, the funds for the trip having been saved from a Christmas present of £10 given for the benefit of the children last Christmas.

The children attending All Saints' schools in Stamford had their annual treat on Wednesday. They with their teachers and friends had tea in the Rev. S. Walters' garden, after which they adjourned to a field near Melancholy-walk, where various amusements were provided for the juveniles.

Stamford Union – Harvest operations and other pursuits are telling upon the attendance of the Guardians. At the Board meeting on Wednesday last only seven were present, viz., four from the town and three from the country. The number of pauper inmates has slightly increased, the number this week (125) being 6 in excess of the number in the correspnding week of last year. The warm weather is also producing more tramps, as many as 40 having been admitted to the house during the week. The cost of out-relief (£89 7s. 11/2d. for 770 recipients) is 9s. under that of the correspnding week of last year. It was agreed to borrow of the Public Works Loan Commissioners the sum of £1000 (the repayment to be spread over 30 years), to meet the cost of the proposed enlargement of the workhouse infirmary and the provision of probationary wards.

Monday was observed as a general holiday in Stamford, the shops and other places of business, with one or two exceptions, being closed. A great many persons availed themselves of the opportunity to have a day's trip by rail to different places, upwards of 600 going by the Oddfellows' and Foresters' excursion to Hull, and many others to Uppingham to witness the All England cricket match. The amusements at Stamford consisted of two cricket matches, and some hastily got-up rural sports on the Recreation-ground, which were followed by dancing.

A stack of hay in the Chequers' inn yard, Foundry-lane, Stamford, the property of Mr. Thomas Scholes, was on Tuesday accidentally set on fire by some children who were playing with matches. Fortunately there was assistance at hand, and the flames were extinguished with buckets of water before they had obtained much hold.

A sad illustration of the risk run by agricultural labourers who indulge in the oft-condemned practice of riding without reins was given at Ryhall on Monday. During the day Mr. Marriott , farmer, had been carting manure, and after the last load had been taken Joseph Cottrel, aged 12, who was in charge of a cart, got up to ride home. The horse started off, threw the lad, and one of the wheels passed over his head crushing it very severely. Mr. Heward, surgeon, was speedily in attendance, but death ensued early next morning. Mr. Keal, coroner, held an inquest at the Millstone inn onWednesday, when a verdict of accidental death was returned.

200 years ago

August 8, 1823

At Coventry assizes on the 26th ult., Robert Judd, better known by the appellation of Irish Bob, late of Boston, was convicted of stealing a black blood horse, the property of Mr. Thomas Fisher, of Wyberton, in the night of the 4th of June last. He rode the horse 95 miles without a saddle, to Coventry, on the 5th, at which place he arrived at half-past ten at night. Sentence of death was recorded against him.

Wm. Walcot, Esq. of Oundle, with his habibitual attention to the wants and comforts of the distressed, has presented one of Earles's fracture beds to the Infirmary attached to the Peterborough Public Dispensary.

Awful Event at Birmingham – On Monday afternoon the 4th inst., the whole of St. Mary's-row, Birmingham, was thrown into the utmost consternation, from an explosion on the premises of Mr. Daniel Wilson, a respectable percussion-cap-maker, and button burnisher. A quantity of percussion powder was on the back part of the premises, No. 11, St. Mary's-row, occupied by the unfortunate tradesman above named, between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, this very dangerous article took fire, and caused an explosion to a most melancholy extent. The roof of the back part of the premises was thrown off, and even all the glass in front of the building, opposite the Chapel, was entirely shattered, scarcely a square being left in any window on the premises. The explosion being heard for a considerable distance, numbers of people soon flocked around the fatal spot. The remains of Mr. Wilson were found shattered in the most dreadful manner; a young female servant, of the name of Cope, had also fallen a victim; and Ann Pardoe, who was among the number taken to the General Hospital, it is reported has since breathed her last. Sarah Vale, and it was believed five others, received serious injury. Mr. Wilson was a single man, and only a few months ago another fatal accident happened in his family.

Theatre, Stamford.

Mr. Manly respectfully informs the patrons of the Drama, that he has engaged that highly popular actress, Miss S. Booth, from the Theatre-Royal, Drury-lane, who will perform Three successive Nights. Her first appearance here this season will be On Tuesday the 12th of August, 1823, When will be acted Shakespeare's Play of As You Like It.

Rosalind (with the Cuckoo Song)...... Miss S. Booth. A Variety of Entertainments.

To conclude with the Farce of The Romp. Priscilla Tomboy (with Songs)..... Miss S. Booth.

Tickets, and Places in the Boxes, to be had of Mr Rooe, stationer, High-street.

An inquest was taken at Sewstern on the 19th ult., before Thos. Clarke, Gent. coroner, on the body of Frances Priestman, a cottager. The deceased was a servant of Mrs. Rowe, of that place, who not having seen her as usual during the whole of the morning, was fearful something was the matter, and communicating her doubts to a neighbour, they both went to the house, and found the door locked withinside; they then entered at the chamber window, and discovered Frances Priestman lying on the floor upon her face, in a dying state; she survived only a few hours. From the evidence adduced, it seemed that the deceased was subject to apoplectic fits, and was attacked by one when in bed, from which she fell, and was found as above described. The jury returned a verdict accordingly.

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