The news from up to 200 years ago in Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings
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 27, 2013
Thousands of people are expected to visit Stamford for a weekend of history and entertainment at the town's first Georgian Festival.
The event, which has been organised by South Kesteven District Council and kicks off today, will celebrate the town's rich heritage between 1712 and 1830.
Councillors hope the range of talks, shows and activities will put Stamford on the tourism map.
Portfolio holder for the economy Frances Cartwright (Con) said: “We're expecting thousands of people to visit over the weekend.
“They can expect to see the Georgian period brought back to colourful life from a range of events across all three days celebrating Stamford's architecture and heritage.”
One of the highlights will be the Bull Run tomorrow when New College Stamford students will parade through the town wearing huge puppet costumes created by carnival specialists Shademakers.
They will bring back to life a tradition that ran for 700 years and the centrepiece will be a larger-than-life model bull, which will be burned on The Meadows.
Councillors have been forced to call in pest control experts to combat a growing problem with rats in a public open space.
Stamford Town Council agreed on Tuesday to bring in Stamford firm Lincs Pest Control to get rid of vermin on the Meadows.
Several members of the public had complained to the council and members agreed the problem had to be resolved.
Town clerk Patricia Stuart Mogg said: “Because of the number of visitors we get, which is fantastic, we get a lot of people feeding the wildfowl. Like in many other towns, they feed the ducks, geese and pigeons with bread.
“This is attracting rodents which is causing a huge problem on the Meadows. We are going to have to take action to get that resolved.”
Councillors agreed to spend an initial £1,253 installing three special bins which would be concreted into the ground and would include compartments where rat poison could be placed.
The money would also pay for metal signs warning visitors about the dangers rats can pose and asking them not to feed the birds on the Meadows.
Councillors also agreed to pay an annual service fee of £650 for future maintenance and pest control.
Some children will be forced to stay at home on Tuesday next week as teachers go on strike in a dispute over pensions.
The country's two biggest teaching unions, the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, have called the strike.
They are fighting against Government plans to dismantle their pay system, extend the school day and increase their pension age.
Stamford Queen Eleanor School will only be open for Year 11 pupils due to the number of staff who will be joining the strike.
The Deepings School will only be open for pupils in Years 11, 12 and 13.
Headmaster Chris Beckett said: “We have taken the decision now to give parents as much warning as possible.
“I have 80 members of staff who are union members and at this stage I know half of those are taking part in the action.”
Stamford Endowed Schools, Catmose College in Oakham and Uppingham Community College will be unaffected by the strike, but Casterton Business and Enterprise College was not expecting to make a decision until today.
25 years ago
September 25, 1998
A Chinese take-away owner is fighting to save his livelihood by stopping permission being granted for another take-away just around the corner.
Norton Liu, of Happy Hot Meals, West Street, Stamford, is furious at plans which could allow a Chinese take-away to open at 20 Scotgate.
He has a petition of more than 60 names, signed mainly by his loyal customers, opposed to the plan, which will be sent to South Kesteven District Council before they consider the application on October 9.
Mr Liu is the son-in-law of original owner Hing Ho and has a wife and three young children who depend on his business.
He told the Mercury: “We've been paying taxes in Stamford for 25 years. I have been running the take-away for 12 years, my wife and I were married in Stamford, my children go to school in Stamford.
“It's not just my business which will suffer – other Chinese take-aways will too. In business people think nothing of cutting each other's throats - they are not on friendly terms.”
Stamford could be celebrating the new Millennium with a variety show extravaganza on the Meadows, ending with a spectacular firework display.
Stamford Pantomime Players are hoping to organise a series of shows with the help of other performing groups in the town.
There could be a week-long series of shows, along with other events going on during the day.
The town council has already set aside £5,000 for the celebration which may be linked to the 20th anniversary of the Stamford Festival.
A meeting was called by a sub-committee of Stamford Pantomime Players, and was attended by representatives from the town council, and the town's performing groups.
Mike Lee, of Stamford Pantomime Players, said: “We haven't got a venue in Stamford of a suitable size, so we considered the possibility of having a marquee, which would seat around 400 people, on the town Meadows.”
Bourne's last remaining hospital will finally close its doors to patients on Wednesday.
Lincolnshire Health announced its plans to close the South Road hospital in October 1996, causing an outcry in the town and surrounding villages.
More than 8,000 people signed a petition demanding the hospital be saved, but the need to cut Lincolnshire Health's debt took precedence over public opinion.
Some nurses will now be transferred to Stamford Hospital, but most of the 20 staff will be made redundant.
Quentin Davies MP and Bourne mayor, Coun Don Fisher, visited hospital patients and staff on Tuesday and on Wednesday night the Save Bourne Hospital Action Group met for its final meeting.
Members were in sombre mood. Group co-chairman Ted Kelby said: “I think we did everything humanly possible, it's a sad occasion. I was in this hospital 65 years ago as a scarlet fever patient – it has always been there for us.”
Dr Sheila Halliday-Pegg, in a letter to the group said: “The group should believe they tried very hard to save the hospital. They were up against tremendous odds. Lincolnshire Health was quite determined to close it.”
But the group's hard work has not been without some reward. It has over £4,500 in its account and intends to make £1,000 donations to the Lincolnshire Air Ambulance, Bourne ambulance station, the Galletly Practice and the Hereward Practice. A further £500 will go to Macmillan Cancer Relief.
50 years ago
September 28, 1973
Bomb disposal experts were rushed to Stamford Town Hall on Wednesday morning after a mystery parcel was found on the steps.
The bomb scare began about 8 am when two of the Town Hall staff found an unaddressed parcel at the St Mary's Street entrance.
It was sealed - but when they saw black plastic packaging and an alarm clock inside, they called Stamford Police.
They called in a bomb disposal squad, and the parcel was hurriedly removed to a yard at the back of the building.
Meanwhile, inside Stamford magistrates court carried on with its fortnightly session as though nothing had happened and Town Hall staff calmly got on with their work.
But the mysterious parcel turned out to be nothing but a rather grim joke – the bomb disposal men pronounced it harmless just after 11 am.
Chief Inspector Malcolm Rollinson of Stamford police said that further inquiries would be made.
He added: “Usually we can dismiss this kind of thing as a joke but I think this parcel must have come from someone a bit ...” and he tapped his forehead significantly.
Angry residents have launched a new protest about the late-night noise and nuisance from people leaving Stamford's Riverside Club.
Now the police are to be called in by the Borough Council in a bid to combat the problem.
People living near the club sent a petition to the council complaining about the noise in the early hours of the morning.
Similar complaints have been made in the past – and the club's manager Mr Howard Mulligan took steps to try to keep the noise down.
This time he has put up signs in the club telling patrons to park in the nearby Wharf Road car park instead of outside.
At the Borough Council's Tuesday meeting Health Committee chairman Mr Reg Seamer appealed to people leaving the Riverside to have more consideration.
He said: “After these people have spent an enjoyable evening, it's unfair of them to disturb other people.
“There are two other car parks in the vicinity and the patrons should use them.”
The council realised the club was being run properly. But they were disturbed about the noise complaints said Mr Seamer.
Stamford's pre-fab pensioners have lost the fight to save their homes from the bulldozers.
The Borough Council have decided that the prefabs must go – despite a “have a heart” protest petition from the old folk.
The Mayor, Coun Alex Brodie, admitted that the council “felt bad” about having to move the pensioners out so that a block of double-storey flats could be built on the site.
The council will move the residents to houses and flats on the new Edinburgh Road estate.
But they promise the old folk that they will be given first option to move into a ground floor flat when the new block in King's Road is built.
Reason for the council's decision to get rid of the prefabs is that they have outlived their use.
But in the petition – signed by all but two of the residents – the residents say their homes were like “little palaces” to them.
Coun Brodie, who is also chairman of the Housing Committee, said there was no other course of action open to the council than to demolish the prefabs.
100 years ago
September 28, 1923
To the members of the Barnack Rural District Council, meeting at Stamford on Monday, Mr. A. Cave (Surveyor) reported that the scheme of improvement of the Barnack-road was estimated to cost £3000, towards which the Ministry of Transport would provisionally grant 1909.
Submitting the estimates for the ensuing six months, the Clerk (Mr. H. J. Tillson) said the rate for the year had been originally calculated at 1s. 7d.; of this 10d. was collected last half-year, leaving 9d. to be called in for the second moiety. The road improvement scheme, however, would involve a commitment equal to 5d. in the £, bringing the rate for the next half-year to 1s. 2d. The Council decided to make a call for this amount.
In a circular letter received for the Eton Rural District Council criticisms were levelled at the Ministry of Transport, but the Clerk said he thought they were unjustified and Lord Exeter added that he considered that the Ministry had done its work extremely well, especially in view of the fact that everyone was “pulling at them.” The Surveyor also paid testimony to the consideration shown by the Ministry's officials in regard to the Barnack-road scheme.
No Time To Waste On Circular Letters
The text has to be something of more than ordinary to cause the Stamford Board of Guardians to spend time discussing “circular letters,” of which a never-ending stream emanates from kindred bodies up and down the country.
When one such missive – it came for the Kingston Guardians and uttered a protest against the disqualification of a Guardian, who, needing medical attention, entered the Workhouse Infirmary but paid for his treatment – was presented to the meeting of the Board on Monday, the Marquess of Exeter, who was in the chair, said he saw no reason to depart from the Board's usual custom with such communications: to allow it to “lie on the table.” Some Boards, he noticed, spent hours in discussing matters which neither concerned nor affected them, and he considered that undesirable. He proposed that the Board follow its usual practice in this case.
His lordship's proposition was agreed.
Greatford's “Wonderful Old Man.”
Not many men at the age of 93 are able to do their own gardening and mow lawns. But Mr. Thomas Palmer, of Greatford, is able to do both, and used to work regularly up to two years ago. He was born in 1830,and has lived in the village all his life with the exception of six years. Blessed with a wonderful memory, he can relate many tales of his childhood days. Amid a crowd of reminiscences he distinctly recalls the late Capt. Peacock coming to Greatford in 1847 and dying in 1868 and the son succeeding him.
Mr. Palmer has been twice married, first in 1853 and again in 1875. He lost his first wife after they had been married 22 years, but his second wife is still living and has passed the age of 81. Mr. Palmer has been the father of 15 children, of whom nine are still alive, the eldest being 70. There are 40 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
In ploughing and hedge-cutting competitions years ago Mr. Palmer, who has spent all his life in agricultural pursuits, took several first prizes. He is very fond of dancing, and still thinks he could dance a little.
150 years ago
September 26, 1873
The bazaar at Uffington House, which is to be held on the 15th and 16th October, in aid of a fund for the restoration of Tallington church, promises to be on a grand scale, &, if the weather should prove fine, there will be an enjoyable gathering of county and other families and of the public in the vicinity. The patrons are the Marquis of Exeter, the Marquis of Huntly, and Lord Kesteven, and the list of patronesses comprises nearly all the titled ladies in the neighbourhood.
Stamford Institution – Mr. Cayley having resigned the office of president, which he has held for seven years, Dr. Newman has been unanimously elected to fill the vacancy.
The parish of Braceborough has presented the Rev. John Frazer, M.A., ex-Sch.T.C.D., on his resignation of the Curacy, with very kind and useful gifts, mementoes of his ministry and of the good will of the people. Some friends tendered a valuable solid-leather travelling case and a photographic album; others, young and old, contributed to a handsome gold pair of spectacles with morocco case, as a token of their esteem and in gratitude for his pastoral care over then for three and a half years. A former pupil, hearing of these good deeds, has sent him an octavo edition of the Septuagint (3 vols.), with Blomfield's Greek terstament (2 vols.). The Book of Common Prayer in Latin is to follow.
The Highways Committee of the Local Board commenced on Tuesday last a perambulation of the several footways leading from the borough of Stamford, with a view of preserving the ways and of taking such steps as may be necessary to cause the removal of obstructions. At the time of inspecting the Wothorpe awarded footway the stile leading into the first field was being rendered commodious by the affixing of a foot-board, and we are informed that a promise has been given to put the other stiles upon this way, some of which are much too high and without foot-boards, in proper order. Foot-boards have been added to the stiles on the Tinwell footway. The attention of the committee was called to the obstruction caused by a cutting connected with the ironstone works to the footway leading from the Wothorpe-road to the London-road.
A labourer named Freeman Carpenter died very suddenly at Ufford on Tuesday. He was working for Mr. Johnson, when he complained of pain in the chest, and he went into Mr. Savidge's, the Stag inn, to get a little gin, but before he could drink it he expired. Deceased had been ailing for some time, and Mr. Morgan, surgeon, of Stamford, who was sent for, pronounced death to have been caused by spasms of the heart.
Accident – On Saturday last as Mr. Trolley G. Houghton, brewer, was riding on a pony, the animal trod upon a stone, which caused it to stuble. Mr. H,, in endeavouring to keep his position, unfortunately fell, and it is believed fractured a rib and sustained a severe shaking. He is progressing favourably.
Bourn – On Monday evening last the Post-office telegraphic communication at Bourn was disarranged, messages having to be sent from Bourn by rail. The upper part of a 'jack-straw' or 'elevator' caught the telegraph wire and caused the injury. Telegraphic communication was re-established the next morning.
200 years ago
September 26, 1823
On Saturday last, as a man named Brudenell, of Tansor, near Oundle, was clearing a pear-tree, the bough upon which his ladder stood broke, and the poor fellow had one of his thighs fractured by the fall, and with otherwise much injured.
In the night of Wednesday the 17th inst. a fine ewe sheep, the property of Mrs. Hunt, of Oundle, was killed and stolen from a close near that town, and another sheep was left barbarously stabbed with a fork, which the thieves had obtained by breaking open a barn in the close. The poor animal was so shockingly wounded that it was necessary to kill it.
On Monday last a young man of Barholm, near Market Deeping, of the name of Pickering, was committed to Falkingham Castle, on a charge of attempting to violate a girl of tender years, named Frances Fisher, on Sunday morning, in a field in Greatford parish, where he was detected by a gentleman of Stamford, who happened to be travelling on the road, and was alarmed by the cries of the child.
Committed to the gaol of Boston, (by the Mayor and Magistrates,) John Tunnard, Wm. Hanks, and Robert Slight, apprentices, for being disobedient to their respective masters; Sarah Mountain, wife of Robert Mountain, mariner, for being drunken and disorderly, and neglecting her family; James Coulson, for leaving his wife and family chargeable to the parish; and Mary Cross, for being idle and disorderly; Sarah Mountain until the sessions, all the rest to one month's hard labour each.
The general price of cheese at Northampton fair, on Friday last, was for prime dairies from 52s. to 56s., per cwt.; in one or two instances, in the morning, something more was obtained. The quantity pitched was but small, and yet a considerable proportion was unsold.
Oakham Turnpike Road.
Notice is hereby given, That the Tolls arising at the Toll-gates upon the Turnpike-road at Stamford, Hambleton, Burley, Cottesmore and Greetham, called or known by the names of the Stamford and Empingham Gate, Hambleton Gate, Burley Gate, Cottesmore Gate, and Greetham Gate, will be Let by Auction, to the best bidder, for a term of Three Years, to commence from the 11th day of October next, at the house of Jane Stimson, known by the sign of the Crown Inn, at Oakham, in the county of Rutland, on Saturday the 27th day of September next, between the hours of Eleven and One o'clock, in the manner directed by the Act passed in the third year of the reign of his Majesty King George the Fourth, “for regulating turnpike-roads;” which Tolls produced the last year, exclusive of the expenses of collecting the same, the following sums: that is to say - Stamford and Empingham Bar £130 0 0; Hambleton Bar £159 0 0; Burley Bar 76 13 71/2; Cottesmore and Greetham Bar £176 0 0. and will be put up at those respective sums.
Whoever happens to be the highest bidder, must immediately after the letting pay down one month's rent in advance, and give security, with sufficient sureties, to the satisfaction of the Trustees of the said road, for payment of the rents at such times and in such manner as they shall direct.
By order, Wm. Ades, Clerk to the said Trustees. Oakham, 26th Aug. 1823.