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The then Prince Charles pays a surprise visit to RAF Wittering and other news from the Rutland & Stamford Mercury archives from 10, 25 and 50 years ago

We’re on our weekly stroll down memory lane looking at news from up to 200 years ago.

Our Rutland & Stamford Mercury Memories is produced thanks to the support of the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust.

School chess competition in 2014
School chess competition in 2014

10 years ago

Youngsters face chess tournament

Eighty youngsters took part in a battle of wits as they competed in an inaugural primary school chess tournament.

Malcolm Sargent Primary School in Stamford was a hive of mental activity for the under-11s competition last month.

Teams from Malcolm Sargent, Stamford Junior School, Witham Hall School, John Clare Primary School and Laxton Junior School took part in the event.

The contest was organised by Malcolm Sargent parent and former under-18s Scottish Borders chess champion David Lees.

Mr Lees said: "All-day chess tournaments such as this are a test of players'® mental and physical capabilities.

“Children have been required to closely follow congress rules, so it was a real test of discipline and endurance for them, and they performed impeccably.

"This tournament, together with the annual South Lincolnshire Festival of Chess held at Stamford Junior School, is reviving primary school chess in Stamford.

“Prior to this, nothing was really going on.”

Fun run rebrands in memory of Anna

A fun run that raises thousands for good causes has been officially rebranded under the banner of a brain tumour charity.

Athlete Clare Hardy 25 years ago.
Athlete Clare Hardy 25 years ago.

The charity race held alongside the Perkins Great Eastern Run in Peterborough has been renamed the Anna's Hope Fun Run from this year.

The October run has previously raised thousands for the children's brain injury charity. But organisers now hope to raise even more awareness of the cause through the rebranding. Anna's Hope was set up by Carole and Rob Hughes, from Pilsgate, after the death of their daughter Anna, to support children and young people with brain tumours.

Race director Annette Joyce also revealed that Children In Need would be the charity partner of this year's half marathon. She said: "We have not had a title charity before, and it has taken a lot of hard work to bring in a national brand like Children in Need.

"Last year we increased the number of people taking part in the race by 20 per cent, and we are looking to increase the numbers every year.

"People taking part do not have to run raising money for Children In Need or Anna's Hope, and you can choose your own.”

Father and daughter to take on hike in memory of loved one

A father and daughter are ready to lace up their walking boots in a bid to conquer a mountain challenge in memory of a loved one.

Emily Brown, 16, and her dad Steve, from Stamford, are hoping to tackle four of the highest peaks in the country in just 24 hours to raise funds for The British Heart Foundation. Stamford High School pupil Emily set her and her dad the task as a tribute to her grandmother Jackie Horwood, who died from an aortic aneurysm in 1992, aged 52.

Emily, who lives in Exeter Gardens, said: "My grandma still lives forever in my family’s memory and I would like to help raise money for others who could go through this same tragedy so these individuals can be happy, healthy and live life with their family and friends.

Rower to inspire children into sport

The first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska is set to inspire children to become leaders and take up sport.

Sarah Outen, who completed the 3,750-miles across the North Pacific, spending 150 gruelling days at sea in her boat Happy Socks, has been appointed ambassador for Inspire+.

Sarah Outen was getting ready for the next stage of her London2London challenge 10 years ago.
Sarah Outen was getting ready for the next stage of her London2London challenge 10 years ago.

The charity aims to encourage young people to get involved in activities including sports and volunteering.

The 28-year-old, from Oakham, who is poised for the next stage of her LondonLondon: Via the World challenge - a 1,400-mile kayak trip from Adak, in the Aleutian Islands to mainland Alaska - said she was delighted to be chosen by the charity, set up to optimise the London 2012 Olympics legacy.

The former Stamford High School pupil said: "Sport and adventure have always played a big part in my life and, I believe, shaped the person I have become and will continue to do so forever.

"I am delighted and proud to be Ambassador for Inspire+ and support the fantastic work it does in providing opportunities for young people within the context of sport and adventure."

Eggs all around: Samantha Lawson, Sarah Mitchell, Gemma Steele and Tim Hind with eggs used in the school's Easter egg hunt 25 years ago.
Eggs all around: Samantha Lawson, Sarah Mitchell, Gemma Steele and Tim Hind with eggs used in the school's Easter egg hunt 25 years ago.

25 years ago

Schoolchildren get into Easter spirit

Children at Easton Garford School got into the Easter spirit by taking part in an egg hunt in the school grounds.

Parent Jenny Hind, who was involved in the hunt, said: "The children loved it. They picked out clues from an envelope and had to hunt around the school to find the eggs."

And a raffle was also held which raised £210 for school funds.

Dave Longlands, the head-teacher at the Easton-on-the-Hill school, said: "Easter is always a special time at the school. As well as the egg hunt, we have been concentrating on the Easter story and making palm crosses for the pupils to keep."

The then Prince Charles speaking to families at RAF Wittering
The then Prince Charles speaking to families at RAF Wittering

Unexpected visit from Prince

Prince Charles showed his support for personnel at RAF Wittering by making room in his busy schedule to visit them.

The Prince of Wales gave Wittering bosses less than 24 hours notice then dropped in, by helicopter, to chat with families on Tuesday afternoon.

He was greeted by Gp Capt André Dezonie and briefed about the involvement of the Harriers from Mercury Country in bombing raids in Serbia.

The prince, a former RAF pilot, took time to meet families at the base, involved in the Balkans conflict - some of whom are flying daring raids and facing potent air defences.

Gp Capt Dezonie, the officer in charge of RAF Wittering; said: "We are honoured and pleased that Prince Charles had made time in his busy schedule to visit the station.”

Coffee morning helps to raise money for curtains

Ufford village hall held an Easter coffee morning — to raise money for new curtains. Villagers tucked into the well-known Easter treats of hot cross buns and simnel cake.

Sally Ward, who helped organ-ise the event, said: "It went really well. Everyone was invited in the village and we managed to raise £138 to go towards buying a pair of fireproof curtains.

“They cost more than £900 so there will be a few more coffee mornings to come yet!"

Athlete to face gruelling challenge

Athlete Clare Hardy will be facing up to one of the world's biggest and most gruelling road races by running this year's Flora London Marathon.

But as she waits at the starting line with up to 35,000 other runners ready to face the ultimate test of stamina, it will represent a personal victory over the odds for Clare (32) from Glinton, whose life was nearly ended by a car crash 15 years ago.

Clare's life was changed forever When at the age of 17 she collided with a car as she crossed a road in Peterborough as she made her way home from school.

A month in Peterborough District Hospital followed to treat her head injuries and broken leg. Then months of recuperation and aftercare were needed to get her back on the road to recovery.

Clare said: "The accident was terrible. It made me change the way l look at things and to appreciate life more," she said.

She had to slowly regain her strength after the accident, learn to walk again, and rebuild her confi-dence. Now a Peterborough City Council officer and a Cambridge University graduate, the London Marathon marks a personal milestone for Clare.

“I've run a 10 kilometre road race before but this is the biggest I have done yet.

"I train most mornings on roads around Glinton and go for longer runs at weekends," she added.

50 years ago

If you go down to the Five Bells pub at Edenham you're in for a big surprise.

And visitors who pop into the gents' "Loo" will hardly believe their eyes.

For standing in the corner amid the tiled flooring and the wash basins is - a piano.

If you think that's all a bit out-of-tune with modern pub tastes, it seems the regulars like the idea of a spot of "chamber music".

"People are always making jokes about going for a good tinkle," quipped the pub’s tenant Mr Bob McGahon.

100 years ago

A serious accident occurred at the St. Martin's corner of Water-street on Tuesday afternoon. Mrs. Ingram, 3, Perkins buildings, Water-street, was walking on the pavement towards High-street, St Martins, when a small lorry driven by Mr Dean, Red Lion Street, turned into Water-street, mounted the pavement and crushed Mrs Ingram against the wall. She sustained such serious injuries that on being taken to the Infirmary it was found necessary to amputate one of her legs. Mrs. Ingram is progressing as favourably as can be expected.

150 years ago

Messrs Hayes and Son, of Stamford, have nearly completed for Edmonds’ (Wombwell’s) menagerie a splendid rhinoceros waggon, which is to supplant the vehicle now in use, the giant occupant having outgrown its quondam habitation.

The waggon is 22ft. long, 9ft. wide, and 11ft. high, and its weight is upwards of four tons, iron entering largely into its construction. There are three compartments, the centre one being the rhino-ceros' den, and on either side is a cage for smaller animals.

200 years ago

Wanted immediately, an experienced Coach-maker, who can take the Management of the Business and a Shop of Men, and will attend thereto. He may have a share in the trade, for which no money will be required, but must be a person of respectability: Also a Journeyman Coach Smith, and a Trimmer and Harness-maker.

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