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Delve into the past of Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and The Deepings with Mercury Memories




10 years ago

The Riverside Festival’s days in Stamford could be numbered after town councillors gave permission for another music festival to be held the same weekend.

Members of The Riverside Association of Music and Arts say they are”gutted” by the decision to grant The Hobo Festival permission in principle to use The Meadows between June 29 and July 2 next year.

25 years ago: April 26, 1996 – Pupils at Wittering County Primary School have been dancing their way through time. Pictured: Pupils get into the swing of things in modern dance costume.
25 years ago: April 26, 1996 – Pupils at Wittering County Primary School have been dancing their way through time. Pictured: Pupils get into the swing of things in modern dance costume.

This decision could mean that the Riverside Festival is cancelled for a second year and association directors say they are now considering the event’s future in Stamford.

This year’s event was called off after a row erupted between the association and council in December over a damaged bench and councillors’ desire to see audited accounts.

In March the council deferred making a decision on the festival’s application to use The Meadows until after next week’s council elections but agreed to hold informal meetings with the association. Two weeks ago the council pulled out of a meeting because of an outstanding insurance claim, over a damaged bench, after taking legal advice.

50 years ago: April 30, 1971 – A united effort pushes over more than £39 in old pennies for the Stamford Spastics Society on Friday. Pictured are: Mrs R. Cunnington, Mr John Thompson, Mr W. Gordon and Mr R. Woods.
50 years ago: April 30, 1971 – A united effort pushes over more than £39 in old pennies for the Stamford Spastics Society on Friday. Pictured are: Mrs R. Cunnington, Mr John Thompson, Mr W. Gordon and Mr R. Woods.

A former sorting office is getting a £550,000 makeover to become a new restaurant in a scheme which will create more than 20 jobs.

Loungers Ltd has taken over the former Stamford sorting office, in Sheep Market, and will create a 250-seat restaurant called the Cosy Club.

The firm, which is based in Bristol, aims to start work on the £550,000 fitting out of the site in August and hopes to open in November.

It will be leasing the large site from developers Wrenbridge, which received permission two weeks ago to create a restaurant and three flats at the site. Stamford’s main post office will not be affected by the plans.

Organisers of a food festival are appealing for more sponsors to help raise the final £1,000 needed.

Ali Hawley-Smith and Stamford Town Partnership will be celebrating food from this area and beyond at the first Stamford Feast on May 29.

The festival which includes live cookery demonstrations, music, fair rides and stalls will be held on The Meadows.

The organisers are expecting the event to cost about £16,500 to put on and are about £1,300 short of the target with a sponsor pulling out this week.

But partnership chairman Philip Sager has stressed that event will go on but is appealing for businesses in the area to step up and
help.

He said: “We have got a lot of sponsorship already but we are short of our target. Unfortunately we have been let down by one key sponsor but we are determined to go ahead and put on a food festival. For anybody who wants to get involved there is plenty of opportunity for store holders and sponsors.”

The event has already taken bookings for 50 stalls on the day but Ali is appealing for more traders to come forward.

She said: “We have 50 stalls. There is still room for more traders to come on board.”

The event has received funding from Lincolnshire County Council, Grass Roots Task Fund, a government agency, Stamford Town Council, Cummins Generator Technologies, Ted Taylor Amusements and New College Stamford.

A park and ride scheme will be run by Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

25 years ago

Initial plans for further building at Stamford’s Queen Eleanor School have been agreed by Lincolnshire County Council.

The £1 million project will begin during the next financial year and once complete will enable all teaching to be done at the school’s north site.

The county council gave its approval to the scheme at Tuesday’s education and cultural services
committee.

Queen Eleanor’s headteacher David Learmouth said: “The programme will complete the building scheme that the school governors have been discussing with the county council for years and they are naturally delighted that their arguments have borne such rich fruit.

“The major benefit to the school will be the move to a single site. All teaching will be done on the north site, resulting in reduced running costs and also mean that pupils will no longer have to make frequent time consuming journeys between sites to get their lessons.”

A new two-storey teaching block is to be built for 12 classrooms and the existing library will be reorganised into dining areas, office space and special needs facilities. A new library block will also be built.

Plans to provide the Deepings with major new sporting facilities are coming closer to fruition with news that a fund-raising project is just £7,000 away from its target.

Members of the Deepings Sports and Social Club, based in Outgang Road, Market Deeping, began fund-raising last year in an attempt to collect £30,000 by this sumer.

A number of events, including a charity auction, have already been staged.

With a May Day Jamboree planned for May 5, club members are hopeful that the rest of the money needed will by collected long before the July deadline.

The money is needed to upgrade the club’s facilities, which will include new changing rooms, showers and a viewing area for the tennis club, and replacing the existing function room with a brick-built clubhouse.

The total cost of the scheme is put at £200,000 and club members are keeping their fingers crossed that an application for a National Lottery Grand of £122,000 will be successful.

Irresponsible dog owners in Ketton are to be targeted by increased efforts to clean up the worsening problem of fouling.

The village parish council has been prompted to act by an appeal from a Northwick Road, resident.

She was told by a dog owner seen allowing her pet to foul the grass outside her bungalow to buy a doormat if she was worried about ruining her carpets.

Coun Nick Wren said at Wednesday’s Ketton Parish Council meeting: “It’s time to let those objecting to this nuisance know they have our support if they want to prosecute and it’s about time someone was made an example of.”

It was agreed that if a resident complains to the parish council it will back it up with a letter to the offending owner detailing the anti-fouling byelaw and possible punishment.

The meeting heard, however, that no one in the country has yet been successfully prosecuted for allowing their dog to foul. Rutland District Council’s dog warden has also not caught anyone.

In her letter the objecting resident, who is also a dog owner, said: “I have come to the conclusion most of the dog owners around here just cannot read as they take no notice of any signs.”

50 years ago

Market Deeping Parish Council meeting at the Town Hall last week, the chairman Coun J. Curley, presiding, heard a number of questions by a local resident during the open part of the meeting.

The resident wanted to know if anything could be done to end the nuisance caused by burning papers blowing about after bonfires held near High Street.

Also a heavy vehicle parked in the narrow part of High Street during the night with wheels on the pavement; and he drew attention to vehicles parked on both sides of Bridge Foot which, he said, screened the refuge areas. And some street lights did not function in parts of High Street.

Coun Mrs Opperman said she had made inquiries concerning the Youth Leadership scheme in her efforts to get something going for the young of the area, and had been supplied with details by West Kesteven, where the scheme was already in operation.

There was a representative gathering at the Helpston Exeter Arms Inn, on Thursday for a presentation to Mr Horace Hebblethwaite, until recently a railway signalman, on his leaving the railway service and the village.

Mr Hebblethwaite was made redundant recently and a broadcast concerning this was heard by a hotel-keeper on Little Sark, who offered Mr Hebblethwaite a job, which he has taken. However, he hopes to return to the village at the end of each season.

His colleagues had made a collection for a parting gift, a writing case and a pen and this was presented by Mr Bernard Nettleton Watts, Horace’s old station-master when he first came to Helpston.

Mr Watts thanked Mr Hebblethwaite for his past co-operation.

Mr Watts was sorry that men of Horace’s calibre should leave the railway; it was always a great loss, and a loss of experience. He wished Horace every happiness in his new sphere, where at least there were no railways. He did not expect to see Horace coming back to the village by diesel, but would doubtless return clippity-clopping down the Glinton Road by horse and cart!

Lincolnshire farmers “are slowly filling the ground with poison,” it was alleged at the weekend.

Soil in most parts of the county may become dead and incapable of supporting crops – and nobody can stop it.

So warned Mr F. Ackroyd, pollution officer for the Lincolnshire River Authority when he spoke to delegates from Kesteven parish councils at their conference at Skegness on Saturday.

Metal added to foodstuffs, he explained, may slowly poison the earth.

“This could happen in areas where the metals deposited are not flushed away by rainfall,” he said.

Almost the whole of Lincolnshire would be affected by this gradual poisoning, he told the Mercury later, except for isolated patched around Bourne, Bardney, and the east of the county.

Copper – fed to pigs to kill worms – is the main culprit and the areas worst affected are places where pig farming is most intensive.

100 years ago

A successful jumble sale in aid of the Children’s Special Service Mission was held in the Albert Hall, Stamford, on Thursday week. The many articles found ready purchasers and the receipts amount to £23 10s. The sale was organised by Miss E. Pinney and Miss N. Findlay.

Forthcoming Carnival – In connection with the Whit-Monday carnival in aid the the Infirmary, to be held in Burghley Low Park, the Stamford Tradesmen’s Association have arranged a pageant programme in which substantial prizes are offered, in eleven classes, for the best decorated or tableaux motor lorry, motor or horse trolley, motor car, motor cycle, or motor cycle and sidecar, waggon, tradesmen’s turn-out, bicycle (rider in costume), comic costume on foot, fancy costume on foot, decorated children’s garland.

Bank Liquidation Dividend – The Stamford, Spalding, and Boston Banking Co., Ltd., which 10 years ago went into liquidation, is making the thirteenth return, commencing Tuesday – 5s. per £30 share (£10 paid) – which, with previous payments, brings the amount to £7 5s. per share returned.

Forty Years’ Service – Mr. Thomas Grimes, of Queen-street, Northfields, Stamford, who has spent 40 years’ useful service as agent of the Prudential Assurance Company, has this week retired on a well-earned superannuation allowance. Mr. Grimes, who is well-known in Stamford and the neighbourhood, has performed all his journeys on foot during this long connection, and has regularly walked nearly 70 miles a week, so that at a modest computation he has covered a distance equal to 135,000 miles, which is the equivalent to more than five times the globe’s circumference. He is an ardent Temperance worker.

Stamford and St.Martin’s Gas Company.

Important Notice.

Notice is hereby given that the Gas Supply will be Turned Off Entirely during the following hours: 9.0 to 11.30A.M.; 1.30 A.M. to 4.30 P.M.; 6.0 PM to 6 A.M.

This Curtailment will commence at 6 P.M. on Thursday, April 28.

Consumers are urged for the sake of safety to see that all Taps are Turned Off as soon as the supply of gas ceases.

H. Green, Manager and Secretary.

Substitute for Coal-Gas and Electricity

We can supply all kinds of Oil Burners For Lighting and Heating for All Purposes.

Write us for particulars - The Kitson-Empire Lighting Co. Ltd., Stamford.

Recreation Ground Games – The annual general meeting of the players of the Recreation Ground, Stamford, was held at the Town Hall on Tuesday when the Mayor (Mr. A. Cliff) presided over a large attendance. Mr. T. S. Duncomb, general secretary, submitted a highly satisfactory report on the year’s working, which stated that the new pavilion and shelter had been fully subscribed for and was ready for use. The committee had considered various matters in connection with the forthcoming season, and in all probability in addition to the bowls championship, there would also be arranged a handicap for a handsome cup for the winner of two competitions in succession or three in all, with a smaller cup to become the property of the successful entrant.

150 years ago

The Mayor of Stamford has accepted an invitation from the Royal Commissioners to give his attendance at the opening of the International Exhibition on Monday next. The arms of the Corporation have been emblazoned on a shield for a banner, which is to be affixed with other municipal arms to the exhibition building.

A report was made at the police-station, Stamford, last week, that during a scuffle at the fire on Mr. B. Frisby’s premises, Frank Smith, gas engineer, had lost his watch, which had been broken from the chain, and a key and a guinea had also disappeared with the watch. It was at first supposed that a thief had been busy in the crowd; but on Tuesday morning Mr. Gibson, the superintendent of the fire brigade, took the watch to the police-station, and announced that he had found it in one of the pockets of his waistcoat. The supposition of theft being thus removed police-constable Grey was send to search the locality of the fire, and not far from the site of the burnt stack he found the missing key and guinea, which were of course restored to the delighted owner.

Having made a miscalculation in his estimate Mr. Thompson, of Peterboro’, has withdrawn his tender for the restoration of All Saints’ church, Stamford; and at a meeting of the Restoration Committee on Saturday last it was resolved to accept the next lowest tender, viz. that of Halliday and Cave at £848.

Stamford Union – There is again this week a considerable decrease in the number of pauper inmates as compared with previous years, there being now only 160, or 52 less than in the corresponding week of last year. The cost of out-relief to 811 recipients was £97 14s. 3½d. As the season advances the vagrants are increasing, as many as 70 casuals having been admitted for a night’s lodging and breakfast last week. Among the applicants for relief on Wednesday was a woman from Whittering, who, it was stated, has three sons well able to contribute to the maintenance of their parents. Relief was ordered, but instructions were given to proceed against the sons for the recovery of the amount.

Bourn - 15th Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers - The 12th monthly competition for the challenge watch of this company took place on the 12th inst., and was won by privt. Jos. Ellicock. He having won it five times in twelve months it (according to the rules) became his property.

The anniversary of the Tongue-end United Sunday-school took place on Sunday last, when the Rev. W. Orton, of Bourn, preached in the afternoon, and Mr.W. Tucker, of Thurlby, in the evening, after which collections were made in aid of the school funds.

The Japanese troupe performed in the Public-hall, Bourn, on Monday and Tuesday last. On the whole the performances were exceedingly good, and received the well-merited applause of the company present. Some of the feats were astounding.

A marriage is arranged to take place between Augustus Charles Johnson, Esq., of Wytham-on-the-Hill, Lincolnshire, and Miss Higgins, second daughter of Wm. F, Higgins, Esq., and the Hon. Mrs. Higgins. - Court Journal.

200 years ago

On Saturday afternoon the 21st inst. as Mr. Wm.Skillington, saddler, of Colsterworth, was returning from Grantham with a horse and cart, he walked up Great Ponton hill, and at the top, in attempting to get up to ride, fell between the horse and cart: the horse immediately kicked violently, and fractured Mr. Skillington’s skull in so dreadful a manner as to cause his death the next day. The unfortunate man has left a disconsolate wife and large family, to lament the life of a good husband and father.

We last week noticed the finding of some Roman remains at Castor, near Peterborough; further discoveries have been since made by Mr. Artis, the principal of which is a splendid tesselated pavement, of the rarest antiquity, and in the most perfect state of preservation. This beautiful work has been completely laid open, and is found to admeasure eleven feet by nine, surrounded by strong foundations. Floors of pointed plasters, and others of the larger tessellae, have also been discovered, with coins, urns, and similar articles of undoubted Roman manufacture. Three hundred yards of this ancient city have been already explored; and our corrensondent informs us that Mr. Artis has no doubt of connecting the Forty-foot way with the Ermine-street and the Roman way called the Long Dyke, of which Camden and other writers have spoken much, but no one has yet traced the ways from Stamford – we are happy to correct the account of Mr Artis’ discoveries given in our last paper: the pavement first found by him was destroyed and removed, on Sunday the 15th inst., by some persons unknown, and not by Mr. Artis: and the apartment said to have been discovered under an ancient gateway, had not a pavement in it, but the plaster walls on one side of the room were perfectly sound. Four elephants malores (grinding teeth) have also been found, with leg bones of the same animal, and other remains of that kind.

An agricultural correspondent expresses his surprise that many farmers in the light hilly situations should plough their lands as if they were wet – namely, up and down the hill; whereas by ploughing across them, all the rain would be stopped by the ridges, instead of running to the bottom, and frequently carrying the seed, soil, and manure with it. He has proved the superiority of the plan from experience. He also mentions that some years ago he set broad beans between the rows of the principal part of a crop of potatoes, which not only sheltered them, but conducted the dews from their roots, and both produced excellent crops; but in a small part which was not set with beans, the potatoes were scorched up, and scarcely worth digging.

To be Let, and entered upon immediately,

A Commodious House, with Offices, fit for the residence of a genteel family, or for a Boarding-school,with a large Garden, walled round; together with a Paddock of Two Acres adjoining, situated in Billingborough,



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