Mercury Memories: A noteworthy street improvement in Barnack in 1913

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Here’s the Mercury Memories feature from August 9.

10 Years Ago

More than 70 shops are queuing up to open in Stamford, according to a major property developer.

A recent influx of new businesses has helped establish the town as a shopper’s paradise for high quality goods, it is claimed.

And the trend looks set to continue with thousands of people now attracted to Stamford for the shopping as well as its history.

In less than 12 months the St Mary’s Street and St Mary’s Hill area has been transformed, according to Croft Commercal Developments which brought 15 shops in the area for £3.3 million last October.

Since then some shops have closed, others have moved. But St Mary’s Hill and St Mary’s Street has quickly established itself as an area for high quality shopping according to Gavin Hynes of Lambert Smith Hampton, which advises Croft Commercial.

He said: “The street never had the pedestrial flow it deserved. It was a shame because it is a good location.

“We are very pleased with the changing face and everybody we have spoken to feels the same - including the retailers.”

Recently Mulligan’s sports shop and Hawleys toy shop in St Mary’s Street closed and there were fears Stamford would be swamped by gift shops.

But Mr Haynes said Croft Commercials experience in developing listed buildings and managing shopping areas was one of the reasons it won the deal.

He added Stamford’s population alone could not support the existing number of shops. Visitors and tourists were vital and another reason for making sure new retailers were right for the area.

Mr Hynes said the St Mary’s premises also included a lot of unused space above and behind the shops. This was gradually being refurbished and developed.

25 Years Ago

Mystery still surrounds the future of the cattle market and adjoining heavy lorry and car parks in Stamford.

Angry traders in the town fear a loss of vital parking spaces which would seriously affect their businesses.

South Kesteven District Council has yet to complete a feasibility study on the possible relocation of the cattle market which was first discussed by members last year.

But it has just finished a joint study with the county council on traffic and car parking in the town and expects the report of this to be available at the next meeting of the amenities committee on September 15.

Meanwhile, rumours that the site has been sold privately for housing development are not confirmed or denied by the district council.

Recently, the old swimming pool site, cattle market, lorry park and adjacent Godfrey’s wood yard were all surveyed by Cavalier Homes, new owners of the pool site.

Stamford businesswoman Cecilia Garnett, managing director of Treasured Heritage, a property redevelopment company, told the Mercury: “It seems clear in Cavalier Homes’ mind that they will be developing the whole site.

“It has always been my great fear that the district council will sell the cattle market privately. We are still awaiting the explaination of why the pool was sold privately rather than by tender or public auction.

50 Years Ago

The continuous downpour on Saturday and Sunday made it one of the quietist Bank holiday weekends Stamford has ever known.

Traffic was light, even the by-pass, and very few accidents - only one involved serious injuries - were reported. Even the fire brigade had only one call.

The serious accident occurred on the Great North Road just south of Barnack Drift, Wittering, on Saturday. Mr. Hubert Harlow of Hume Street, Spennymoor, Co. Durham, sustained spinal injury when his car left the road.

All sport was washed out on Saturday and Sunday, necessitating the cancellation of many traditional holiday fixtures. Fortunately, the weather cleared in time for Monday’s shows and fetes. Gardeners welcomed the rain after a drought of 18 days with temperatures soaring well into the seventies, but they would have preferred it at a time when the pleasures of so many would not have been spoilt.

Saturday’s rainfall of .84 of an inch was the greatest amount recorded locally over a 24-hour period since August 16 last year.

The meteorological office at R.A.F. Wittering recorded temperatures of 63 degs, and 61 degs. F. on Saturday and Sunday respectively. On Monday the temperature rose to 70 degs. F. There was 13.3 m.m. of rain recorded on Saturday, 4.2 m.m. on Sunday and 5.3 m.m. on Monday. Monday’s figure, although almost exactly the same as that recorded on August Monday 1962, which was far below the amount which fell on last year’s Bank Holiday. when 14.6 m.m. was recorded.

100 Years Ago

Barnack - A noteworthy street improvement has been commenced here this week at the dangerous turning known as Noah’s Ark corner. Mr. R. E. Clark, a native of the village, most of whose life has been spent in London, where he has attained a position of considerable affluence, is having a bungalow built at the spot, and the Marquess of Exeter has considerately given a piece of land, so that the sharpness of the turn may be reduced, while Mr. Clark has undertaken to build a new wall. The excavation and carting of the surplus soil is being carried out by the Rural District Council’s employees, under the supervision of the Surveyor, Mr. A. Cave.

There was a special meeting of the Parish Council on Tuesday evening, convened by the chairman, Mr. J. Woolhouse, on the requisition of three Councillors, for the purpose of calling attention to certain matters relating to inspection of the Parish Award, and to the publication of beneficiaries of the Poor Estate. There was a good deal of somewhat desultory talk, and the sections of the Parish Councils Act of 1894 dealing with the questions were read, but no resolutions were proposed.

150 Years Ago

Sand Fairs - The present glorious weather gives the most stay-at-home people a desire to take the air and leave home and business for an excurions of some kind or another. The excursions by rail, which have been numerous, have been very well patronised, but of all places that have an enticement to the Spaldonians - be it from the refreshment of the sea breeze - the freedom of a bivouac upon the sands and the rough and ready fare of the semi-amphibious trip to the sands below the brushwork seem to be the favourite. On Monday hosts of parties went in carts, waggons, gigs, and all other traps known by any name in this locality, to the number of some 160, and seldom have excursionists gone out with a keener desire to enjoy themselves or succeeded more in satisfying that desire.

200 Years Ago

There was a heavy storm of thunder, lightning, and hail at Eaton Socon, Beds, about three o’clock on Monday afternoon;- large pieces fell, and cut the crops of corn in an extraordinary way. The hail was so heavy, that the driver of the Newcastle coach had great difficulty in making the horses face it on Tempsford bridge, and he expected every moment that the coach would be overturned. - About the same hour a fire-ball fell upon the roof of a barn at Potton, and notwithstanding prompt assistance was given to prevent the fire from spreading, and it rained very heavily at the time, the barn, together with a malting office and stable, were burnt down. - Water Newton church was on the same afternoon struck by the lightning, and some mortar driven by the shock several yards from one of the walls to the reading desk.