Stamford, Bourne, Rutland and the Deepings news from 10, 25, 50 and up to 200 years ago in Mercury Memories
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 15, 2013
A man's dream diving holiday to the Philippines turned into a nightmare when he was caught in the strongest typhon ever recorded.
Nigel Walters, 47, who is store manager of Morrisons in Stamford, feared for his life as the tropical island he was holidaying on was flattened by the high winds.
Keen diver Nigel was at the end of a seven day trip to Malapascua island to swim with the world's rarest sharks, Thresher sharks, when Typhoon Haiyan hit on Friday last week,
The storm is one of the most powerful ever recorded on land and battered the island with winds up to 170mph.
The confirmed death toll for the country stands at more than 2,300 but officials say it is likely to rise.
Nigel said: “It was awful. It has been a shocking experience.”
The island's infrastructure was devastated, with roads and paths unaccessible because of the debris.
It was only when they landed on the mainland that the full extent of the devastation caused by the storm became clear to them.
Barnack's Hills and Holes National Nature Reserve is to have its own friends' group.
Natural England, the public body responsible for the protection and improvement of the natural environment, is inviting anyone interested in helping with the reserve to attend an inaugural meeting in the Wilfrid Wood Hall in Barnack on Saturday, November 23.
The internationally-renowned wildlife site, also known as the Hills and Hollows, is a former mediaeval limestone quarry and is a limestone grassland Special Area for Conservation. Its steeply-sided holes and humps, as well as providing a great countryside walk, have long been a mecca for children and their sledges in the snow.
Although only 50 acres, the site is one of Britain's most important for wildlife. It is home to eight species of orchid, the pasque flower and many other rare plants, including mountain everlasting, purple milk vetch and common dodder. Butterflies, among them marbled white, chalkhill blue and green hairstreak, also thrive and glow-worms can be seen on warm summer nights.
Members of the new friends' group can contribute ideas and be kept informed about decisions affecting the site.
Among the subject for discussion will be possible newsletters and leaflets about the site, a website and social media outlets. A series of guided walks, talks and events may also be organised.
Practical activities such as habitat management, site maintenance, checking livestock, carrying out surveys and monitoring rare species will be on the agenda, as will projects based on members' interests, such as photography, history or archaeology.
A grateful town turned out in force to show their support for the airmen who put their lives on the line to defend their countrymen and the people of Afghanistan.
Waving flags, and shouting “well done” and “thank you” the hundreds of people who lines the streets, clapped as 3 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment marched through the centre of Stamford, led by the Band of the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell.
Among them was Kirsty Hampton,23, and children Kyla, six, Bradley, four and Brandon, two, who applauded as their dad Stewart marched past them.
“It is very emotional,” said Kirsty. “It's just been a long six months.
A flag-waving Kyla said she felt “happy” watching her dad marching past because she was “sad when he went away.”
25 years ago
November 13, 1998
A controversial housing plans which would have drastically altered Stamford's historic skyline has been thrown out by planners.
The Cecil Family Estate Trust had hoped to create 16 properties on Bath Row, but at South Kesteven District Council planning meeting on Tuesday councillors wholeheartedly rejected the plan.
The design had caused a public outcry and before the meeting began a 1,768-signature petition was handed in demanding its rejection.
Groups such as English Heritage, Stamford Civic Society and Men of the Stones had also attacked the demolition of buildings which they feared would ruin the view of Stamford from the River Welland.
Councillors backed their views.
SKDC chairman Coun Joyce Gaffigan said: “What makes the view of Stamford from the Meadows so nice is the fact that the buildings are of different heights.
“To stick something there that is so bland would ruin that part of Bath Row.”
Planning officer Graham Oxborough was also opposed to much of the plan and claimed there was something “awry” with artists' impressions supplied by the applicants. However, parts of the plan allowing for the conversion of certain buildings were allowed by the committee.
Alan Dawn, of Stamford, will be appearing on BBC's Blue Peter next week to talk about a dinosaur skeleton he discovered.
Alan, founder member of Stamford Geological Society, was on a dig in Whittlesey, four years ago when he spotted a small piece of bone sticking out of the cliff face.
After using a bulldozer to remove the top layers of the cliff, Alan and his colleagues spent two weeks digging down and removing the bits of skeleton before piecing together what turned out to be a previously undiscovered dinosaur – pachycostassaurus.
Alan, who works as a volunteer at Peterborough Museum, said: “The skeleton is unique in the world. We didn't even know this dinosaur existed until we found its skeleton.”
The carnivorous marine reptile, which dates from the mid-Jurassic period of 150 million years ago, is a type of plesiosaur – the same creature which is thought to inhabit Loch Ness.
Alan said: “The nearest relative to this creature today is the manatee, or sea cow, which lives in the Florida Keys – which is fresh water.
“What we don't know is how this creature came to be where it was. It might have been a fresh water reptile, or it might have got caught up in a flood. Hopefully over the next few years, more discoveries will be made to explain how it lived and how it came to rest where it did.”
The head chef at The George Hotel, Stamford, has been presented with a roll of honour in recognition of the hotel's support fort British farmers.
Nick Benson received his award at the start of the Proud to Serve British campaign, organised by the regional branch of the National Farmers' Union.
It was presented to him by the chairman of the Rutland and Stamford branch of the NFU, Percy Gilman, and David Creasey, vice-chairman of the Holland Lincs county branch.
Mr Benson said: “We always try and buy British produce where possible.
“We have tried other sources but British does seem to be best - especially the beef.
“We have tried beef from other counties, but it didn't compare.
“British beef is very tender and has a lot more flavour.”
50 years ago
November 16, 1973
Local Government reorganisation may cost South Kesteven district ratepayers as much as £100,000 extra in council workers wages alone.
This shock follows the Government's claim that the reorganisation would make local councils more economic.
But on Tuesday the new South Kesteven District Council's personnel committee chairman Coun. G. Swallow denied that the council were “empire building”.
He said a management team has worked hard to prune the number of posts to a bare minimum.
“Some officers have had to forsake costs that they genuinely thought were essential,” he said.
Nevertheless the new council's 250-strong staff will cost an estimated £570,000 plus-a-year.
The existing projected salary bill for the five authorities who will merge to form the new council is only £470,525.
The personnel committee had asked the management team to keep the salary bill down to a maximum 121/2 per cent increase on the £470,000 figure.
But that target was exceeded by about £40,000.
The committee had also hoped for a big saving on professional fees paid by the outgoing authorities. Yet the new council will have to pay £39,000 in fees.
Coun Swallow said: “We are not empire building. Members of this council know my views on this, I would not tolerate it.
“But the number of staff cannot be pruned any more. The pruning has already been done.”
A suspected parcel bomb from Ireland was sent to a Stamford firm on Monday.
The parcel, which measured about eight inches by 12 inches, and was 12 inches deep, was addressed to Park Air Electronics Ltd, of Ryhall Road.
A spokesman for the firm said: “We thought the parcel may contain a bomb when we saw the postmark for Crumlin, in County Antrim.
“There was no name and address of the sender, and we were not expecting a parcel from Ireland.”
The parcel was sent to Stamford police station and was opened on Tuesday by a bomb disposal expert from Nottingham – and was found to contain radio parts.
Coun Mrs Margaret Cooper asked Bourne Urban Council, on Tuesday, to fill in as quickly as possible, the ditch immediately in front of council houses at the eastern end of Dyke.
“This must be done to ensure safety on the road”, she said.
The surveyor, Mr Michael Silverwood will discuss the matter with the County Surveyor.
Stamford Hospital's maternity ward was re-opened on Monday after an eight-day closure because of an infection risk.
The risk emerged when tests on a baby showed it had an organism which could have caused an infectious stomach upset.
Doctors and maternity staff consulted infection control officers at Peterborough Hospital before the closure decision was made.
The ward was closed to new admissions from Sunday last week – although women already there stayed.
Other mothers-to-be who were due to have their babies at Stamford Hospital had to go to Peterborough instead.
Meanwhile a thorough cleaning of the ward was ordered.
Miss D. Roxby, principal nursing officer for midwifery for Stamford and Peterborough Hospitals told the Mercury: “The closure was purely a precautionary measure.
“None of the babies was ill. A routine investigation swab from one of the babies showed there was this organism which was potentially harmful and I stress potentially.
“We decided that the safest thing to do would be to close the ward for a few days.”
100 years ago
November 16, 1923
Fat Stock Show – The schedule of prizes at the Stamford Christmas Fat Stock Show, which is to take place on Monday, Dec. 10, is now available. Prizes are offered to the value of £143. The annual luncheon takes place after the show.
Street Improvement – Stamford Town Council have accepted an offer of 5, St. Paul's-street at £250. The estimated cost of the Star-lane improvement is £1091 17s. 6d., and application is being made to the Ministry of Health for permission to borrow money. The Ministry of Transport is being asked for a grant towards the cost of the scheme.
Territorial Dance – Organised by the Supporters' Club of the Stamford Territorials, an enjoyable dance was held in the Drill-hall on Saturday, when nearly 200 attended. Cpl. Popple and Priv. Duff acted as M.C.s and Sgt. Major Peasgood also rendered assistance. Excellent music was provided by Harrison's orchestra.
At the request of the British Legion. Mrs. Pinder organised a very successful sale of garden produce, etc., at the Red Lion cafe, Stamford, which were kindly lent by Mr. German, on Friday and Saturday. This sale was run in conjunction with the sale of poppies in response to Earl Haig's appeal for the British Legion. There was a great miscellany of gifts – fruit, flowers, vegetables, cakes, eggs, butter, live poultry, kittens, etc.
The Legion entertained to tea at the Albert Hall, Stamford, on Saturday about 120 widows and children of men killed in the war. During the repast the Town Band, under the conductorship of Mr. G. H. Steele, played popular airs.
Amidst moving scenes the two minutes' silence on Armistice Day was observed at the war memorial in Broad-street. At the first stroke of the hour intense silence prevailed. Among the large crowd heads were bared and bowed in memory of those who made the great sacrifice.
Objectors To Drainage Order – At a meeting of the Bourne North Fen Drainage Trustees on Thursday to consider the proposed new order of the Black Sluice Commissioners, it was decided to lodge an objection against the amended order.
Workhouse Bread – At a meeting of the Board of Guardians on Thursday a letter was read from the Holland branch of the Farmers' Union asking the Board to insert a clause in its next tender that the bread used should be made from Yeoman wheat, and a resolution to that effect was adopted.
Private Building Subsidies – At a meeting of the Rural District Council on Thursday Mr. E. Clark, in accordance with notice previously given, re-opened the question of the subsidy to private builders of houses under the Government scheme. He urged that it was the duty of the Council to get all possible houses built to relieve the present shortage. The Council had to face a loss on each house which they provided or an increased subsidy which the Government were prepared to pay at a rate of £5 per house for 20 years, and he urged that instead of sustaining an annual loss it would be much better to give the builders an extra £25 from the rates and the liability of the Council would then cease. Mr. Clark moved that the whole question be referred to the Housing Committee to consider and report on at the next meeting, and the resolution was unanimously agreed to.
150 years ago
November 14, 1873
The deputation appointed at a public meeting at the Corn-exchange to submit to Mr. Sanderson resolutions in favour of the Marquis of Exeter continuing to supply the town of Stamford with water, had an interview with that gentleman on Friday last. He told the deputation that Lord Exeter would have no objection to retain the works in his own hands and adopt means to increase the supply provided he could obtain power from the Corporation to compel all householders to take the water at a prescribed rental. The deputation left under the impression that it would be desirable to call another meeting. The interview between Mr. Sanderson and the Water Supply committee, which had been arranged for the 6th inst., did not take place, owing to a misunderstanding.
Four freehold brick and slated messages in Austin Friars-lane, Stamford, producing a rental of £21 14s., were on Wednesday evening sold by auction, by Messrs. Royce, at the Crown Hotel: they were knocked down to Mr. Chas. Thurrell at £200.
A painter named Wise, in the employ of Hare and Son, of Stamford, while at work in Bath-row on Saturday, sustained such injury by the slipping off a ladder that he is still under medical treatment. Two years ago he met with a similar accident while at work at Walcot Hall.
Stamford Union – The business at the Board meeting on Wednesday last was very light; but the number of paupers in he Union-house continues slightly in excess of the number in the corresponding week of last year. The cost of out-relief during the week was £95 1s. 41/2d., which is 10s. more than in the corresponding week last year. The Clerk reported the results of the proceedings taken against two persons for refusing to have their children vaccinated. The relieving officer having applied for instructions in another case of refusal to permit vaccination, two of the Guardians expressed their dissent, and said that no further proceedings ought to be taken against Mr. Bettle. The Clerk said it was optional with the Guardians to order or decline to order a prosecution; but the majority contended that the Vaccination Act was a most wholesome one – that it was the law of the land – and that its provisions ought to be enforced against all who did not comply with the law. The relieving officer was ordered to take out a summons in the last case of refusal.
On Friday afternoon as a Midland Railway trolly heavily laden was descending St. Mary'-hill, Stamford, a large package slipped on to the hind quarters of the horse, causing it to bolt. A carrier's waggon and a barrow of goods from a druggist's soon came to grief, a can of paint and other things being sent flying, and a wheel and spring being broken. A youth on the trolly, who had hold of the reins, was jerked from his position, and the horse continuing its career the lad clung tenaciously to one of the shafts, not daring to relax his hold for fear of being crushed to death by the wheels. Turning into Wharf-road the trolly just missed a North-Western waggon, and went into collision with a vehicle near the Boat Inn stables, smashing a seat and a shaft, and scattering apples in all directions. The animal was stopped near Messrs' Robert's yard without doing further mischief.
200 years ago
November 14, 1823
Mr. Heathcote, eldest son of Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bart., will shortly lead to the hymeneal altar the amiable and accomplished Lady Emma Brudenell, daughter of the Earl of Cardigan. M. Chron. Nov 13.
His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex has been graciously pleased to appoint Mr. Whitby, Surgeon, High-street, Stamford, to be his Royal Highness' Surgeon Oculist, and Aurist extraordinary.
Stamford fair on Saturday and Monday was well supplied with good sheep, which were dull of sale, partly in consequence of the flooded state of the lands below Peterborough, the occupiers of which have commonly been purchasers at the fair. The horses shown were neither numerous nor valuable. The quantity of beasts on Tuesday was very large, but the sale of both stores and meated cattle was brisk, at the highest prices lately known. Only some very ordinary culls remained unsold at night.
Stamford bull-running yesterday (the 13th of Nov.) was tolerated as usual, and happily passed off without any particular accident, although several persons were tossed by the spirited Scotch bull, said to have been the best the followers of the sport had been able to procure for many years. A Mrs. Jordan, the wife of a mason in Scotgate, has succeeded the noted Mrs. Roberts as patroness of the sport, and yesterday levied her contributions in the old style of the defunct Lady Nan, dressed magnificently in blue, and bearing about her all the insignia of her high office.
On Tuesday last, a man whose name he says is Wm. Buckman, and who also says that he is a native of Friskney near Wainfleet, and that he has been employed in inland navigation under Wm. Marshall of Boston, and lately wandered from Nottingham, &c., was apprehended at Morton near Bourn, having in his possession six new silver tea-spoons, which he declares he found. He has been committed by the magistrates as a vagrant, further examination at Bourn town-hall to-morrow (Saturday). He offered the spoons for sale at 4s.
On Wednesday a large barley-hovel, in length not less than 30 yards, in the farm-yard belonging to Mr. Shillcock, farmer and innkeeper, of Oundle, fell by the posts giving way. Although generally there were persons or cattle under it, fortunately at the time there was no living animal so near as to be injured by the fall of the immense mass: a waggon and two carts were broken to pieces, which is a heavy loss to an industrious man.
Hoax - One of these tricks, so annoying to the deceived parties, was practised at Uppingham lately; and this public notice of it may be useful as a caution. A person little known in the neighbourhood, but representing himself to be a corn-factor, purchased several loads of grain of different respectable farmers who usually attend the market. The grain was to be delivered at Uppingham on Monday and received by the buyer, who of course was to make immediate payment. At the time of delivery, however, no buyer appeared! and the affair was discovered to be a hoax, to the no small chagrin of those who were earliest in forwarding their loaded teams, and to the self-gratulation of those who were more lucky than their neighbours in having suspected the trick. A more complete case of wanton deception has seldom occurred.
We understand that it is intended to start again the Yarmouth mail-coach from Stamford.