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Frank Newbon's History of Stamford Facebook page attracts 5000th member Toby Chantrell

Stamford cobbler Frank Newbon - who lived and worked in the town a century ago - has attracted his 5,000th follower on Facebook.

The social media group ‘ Frank Newbon’s History of Stamford ’ launched in June last year and ever since people have flocked to share photos, stories and good-natured quips about the town’s rich past.

On Saturday, the group welcomed 5,000th member Toby Chantrell with a picture of the 1912 fete parade in Stamford and the words: “Get the flags out. Put your best hat on. Find a brolly. Let’s fire some rifles in the square... Welcome Toby Chantrell to the madness, Newboneer number 5,000!”

The Stamford photo Frank Newbon used to celebrate the 5000th member of his Facebook page
The Stamford photo Frank Newbon used to celebrate the 5000th member of his Facebook page

Toby grew up in Stamford and is son of Paul Chantrell who owned ‘Chantrell’s’ bakery in St Paul’s Street.

Having recently returned to Stamford with his family, Toby was tipped off about a post featuring the bakery.

“I requested to join so I could comment on when the picture was taken,” said Toby. “Then I posted a picture of my daughter, who never met my dad - we lost him to cancer just over five years ago - but who likes to bake using a few of the items we still have from the bakery.

Frank Newbon
Frank Newbon

“It was great to see people sharing memories about the shop, and some nice comments about my mum, who used to work at the nursery in Barholm.”

Frank Newbon, a real Stamfordian born 127 years ago, now provides a pseudonym for the person behind the page, who doesn’t reveal his modern identity, feeling it would steal the charm of the online persona.

‘Frank’ describes the page as a great deal of fun - and “often hilarious” and is hugely grateful to all those who have become ‘Newboneers’ by joining the conversation.

“Having known Frank for 30 years, his granddaughter believes he would have been proud that so many people love the town as much as he did,” he said.

A Mercury advert
A Mercury advert

“I’m proud of the amazing resource we have created. I certainly couldn’t have done it on my own.

“I regularly come home to 200 page notifications - it could be a full time job.”

Fortunately Frank has enlisted some of the most dedicated Newboneers to lend a hand, and plans to release a series of 25 prints of photos posted to the page, with the aim of raising money for a future project that will “give something back to Stamford”.

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