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Rutland & Stamford Mercury looks back over our archives with Mercury Memories



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The Mercury publishes its Mercury Memories every week, thanks to the support of the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust.

Here we look back on articles we published 10 years ago; 25 years ago; 50 years ago; 100 years ago; 150 years ago and 200 years ago.

10 years ago

Campaigners have failed with a second bid to save a museum.

25 years ago: September 13, 1996 – Doug Henderson, chairman of Stamford College Corporation, Profession David Merville,chief executive of the Further Education Funding Council, and Stamford College’s vice-principal Chris Robinson watch as college principal Andrew Middleton and student service manage Julia Pinton chat to prospective student John Dawson.
25 years ago: September 13, 1996 – Doug Henderson, chairman of Stamford College Corporation, Profession David Merville,chief executive of the Further Education Funding Council, and Stamford College’s vice-principal Chris Robinson watch as college principal Andrew Middleton and student service manage Julia Pinton chat to prospective student John Dawson.

Stamford Heritage Trust submitted a revised business plan for Stamford Museum to Lincolnshire County Council in August.

The Broad Street museum, closed on June 29 as part of the council’s cost-cutting measures.

But the council rejected the plan in favour of a heritage hub in Stamford Library and a display in the town hall.

Head of libraries and heritage Jonathan Platt said: “We’ve carefully considered the revised business plan from the Stamford Heritage trust.

“Although there has been some improvement, we still feel they are underestimating the costs involved in running the museum.

“At the same time, they are being overly optimistic in the amount of income they can generate.

“And even in light of this, their plans still require ongoing financial support from the county council.”

Chairman of the trust, Stamford town and South Kesteven district councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem) said: “Naturally we are very disappointed with the refusal of our bid.

“It is a shame that a golden opportunity has been missed by Lincolnshire County Council to enable the government’s Big Society and localism to be implemented here.”

More than two thirds of the residents living in two Stamford streets are calling on the county council to introduce a permit parking scheme.

Richard Cleaver, of St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, is concerned a two-hour parking limit on his street and Brazenose Lane will be enforced if Lincolnshire County Council takes on responsibility for civil parking enforcement.

He contacted his neighbours living in the streets asking if they would back his proposition to ask the council to allow each household which has no off-street parking to have a single permit making them exempt from the two-hour limit.

Of the 60 people he posted it to, 42 have replied backing his proposition.

Mr Cleaver, who has lived in St Leonard’s Street since 1997, said: “There has been a two-hour parking limit here since I moved in but it has never been strictly enforced and if it was to be, it would cause considerable inconvenience.”

l Campaigners have vowed to fight on despite failing in a bid to block plans for a housing development.

At a meeting last week, South Kesteven District Council approved its plans to allocate land between Tinwell Road and Empingham Road in Stamford for housing.

The development plan has sparked a wave of opposition in the town. Last month more than 100 people attended a public meeting organised a residents’ organisation, the South West Approaches Protection Group.

Its chairman Robert Conboy said he was very disappointed by the decision but vowed not to give up.

“We are going to continue to function very actively and we are going to get all our objections together,” he said.

“If it comes to a planning inquiry we need to get ourselves into gear.

“Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce is going to do the same.”

25 years ago

Stamford’s historic town centre will be free of lorries in a matter of months.

The Highways Agency announced this week that phase one of work to impose a weight restriction on the town bridge would begin in January, with the ban in place by February.

Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes will be barred from the bridge, and diverted along Uffington Road, St Paul’s Street, East Street, North Street and Tinwell Road.

Tenders for phase one of the work – costing £135,000 and involving the installation of signs and road strengthening – will go out next month.

National Lottery cash could held Easton-on-the-Hill Parish Church ring in the Millennium.

Villagers this week launched a £30,000 appeal to restore and increase the number of bells at All Saints’ Church.

Half the money will be available from the Lottery Fund as long as residents can find the rest. A project has been launched to replace four bells and buy two new ones.

Paul Way, who is co-ordinating the project, said: “With the money from the Lottery and grants I hope we can get from other trusts and funds, I am confident that the village could secure the balance from fund-raising and similar activities.

“The project deserves wide support in the village. The Millennium Fund provides a once-and-for-all opportunity to repair the bells, which will otherwise soon become totally silent and perhaps never heard again.”

The oldest bell in All Saints’ Church belfry was cast in 1541. Another was cast in Stamford by Thomas Norris a century later, but is in a poor condition and may have to be melted down.

Parents are being advised to talk to children about the dangers of picking up discarded syringes.

The warning has come after a six-year-old from Grantham found and pricked himself with a syringe while out playing and is now awaiting results of an HIV test.

Insp Dave Shakespeare, of Stamford, is urging parents to speak to their children to prevent a similar incident.

“Although there are drug users in the Stamford area, there is not actually a drugs problem. However, I would urge parents to tell their children not to pick up items such as syringes, as well as bits of broken glass, to prevent something like this happening.”

Tesco plans for a supermarket in Stamford have prompted a 170-name petition from residents who claim the proposal will mean the death of the town centre.

The petition, raised in the Sutherland Way and Arran Road area of the town,was put before Stamford Town Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

But despite this – and increasing opposition from traders – the committee voted 4-2 in favour of the proposal, involving land at Quarry Farm.

Member and town mayor Coun Dickon Sinker said: “The number of objectors to the proposal will be more than balanced by people who want it and are looking forward to it.”

The town council still has to debate the matter, but only Rutland District Council will have the power to permit or refuse the development – and it has yet to set a date when it will discuss the issue.

Tom Earl,who helped organise the petition, told the Mercury: “It’s going to kill the town. By the end of the day there will be just two shops in the town – Tesco and Morrisons. There will be no competition or choice.”

50 years ago: September 17, 1971 – Bourne Urban Council chairman Coun Marjorie Clark cuts the tape to open the BuyBulk extension on Saturday. With her are Mr Martin Betts (left), Miss Penny Clark and Mr N. Eden-Green.
50 years ago: September 17, 1971 – Bourne Urban Council chairman Coun Marjorie Clark cuts the tape to open the BuyBulk extension on Saturday. With her are Mr Martin Betts (left), Miss Penny Clark and Mr N. Eden-Green.

50 years ago

About 200 vases and containers have been removed from graves in Stamford cemetery because the owners have not paid a fee, members of Stamford Burial Joint Committee heard on Tuesday.

At a special meeting to discuss complaints about vases being removed, the committee decided that vases and containers cannot be placed on graves unless the fee is paid.

Notices about this will be put up at the office of the cemetery lodge and at the entrance to the cemetery.

The clerk to the committee, Mr Harold Bedford, will be writing to everyone who has complained about the action which was taken without their knowledge.

The statement issued after the meeting said: “The committee on behalf of themselves and their officers do wish to express their sincere regret for any distress this action I removing vases may have caused to anyone.”

The statement said the the matter arose after the audit of the committee’s accounts when the district auditor pointed out that there were many vases and containers at the cemetery for which fees had not been paid.

Cemetery superintendent Mr B. Hornsey was asked to check on this and about 200 vases and containers of various kinds were removed, indexed and stored away.

Objections to the possible linking up of Uppingham Road and Brooke Road through the Cricket Lawn private housing estate were sympathetically received by some members of Oakham Urban Council at their meeting, on Wednesday.

The Council had before them a copy of a letter which the recently formed Cricket Lawns Residents’ Association had sent to Rutland County Council and which is expected to be considered by the county planning committee on Tuesday.

The Association asked that their letter should be regarded as a formal objection to the proposal t extend the present estate road – a cul-de-sac – to the Uppingham Road in conjunction with the development of an adjacent housing estate.

It was pointed out that the proposal would create a short cut for main road traffic wishing to connect up with the Braunston Road side of the town. As the Cricket Lawns was an “open planned” estate, a serious hazard, particularly to children, would be
created.

To meet the demands of a growing Bourne, £230,000 will be needed for extensions to the sewage works, and £115,000 for the Harrington Street surface water drainage scheme.

After meetings of its public health committee with the consulting engineers, Bourne Urban Council decided, on Tuesday, to apply to the Minister for the Environment for £345,000 so that the two schemes can go ahead.

A proposal from Coun Ted Keby, that further surface water drainage work should be included failed to find a seconder.

“This matter has been before the public health committee for a long time,” Coun Percy Wilson, that committee’s chairman said. “It is essential, now, that both schemes go ahead.”

Effluent from new houses and Firth’s factory were taxing sewage facilities (he continued) and more sewage could be expected from the rural district. He pointed out that Firth’s pay for their sewage treatment.

100 years ago

Appointment for Well-Known Musician – Congratulations are due to Dr. Malcolm Sargent on his appointment as Principal of the Faculty of Music for the Leicester University College. It will be remembered that following his skilled conductorship of the orchestra at De Montfort Hall, Leicester, Sir Henry Wood asked him to conduct the Queen’s Hall Orchestra “A Musician’s Impressions on a Windy Day” at a concert at the Queen’s Hall, London, on October 11th. He has now been asked to repeat this performance at that well-known home of music in Langham-place on the following Sunday afternoon and evening.

Railway Dividends – The half-yearly meeting of the shareholders of the Stamford and Essendine Railway Company was held at Burghley estate office on Friday, when dividends of £2 per cent. on the preference shares and £1.15s. per cent. on the ordinary shares of the Stamford and Essendine line were declared for the past six months, and a dividends of 7s. 6d. per cent was declared on the ordinary shares of the Sibson extension line.

Local Bowlers’ Success- An interesting match was played on Peterborough Park ground on September 8th, between a Stamford team captained by Mr. G. Naylor, and a Peterborough side selected by Mr. F. Clark. Scores (Mr. Naylor’s players first): - T. Chapman and R. A. Brake 31 v. Bycroft and J. Stanley 24; T. Middleton and T. Smith 31 v. Jeeves and Simmons 17; R. Farbon and G. Naylor 28 v. Merry and Tabor 31; J. P. Thomas and J. Smedley 19 v. F. Clarke and Beech 31; totals, 109 and 103.

The financial result of the Bourne Abbey church garden fete, reported in our last issue, was very satisfactory, amounting to £62 5s. 2d. The expenses were about £6.

Sale of Property – At the Angel Hotel, on the afternoon of the 8th inst., Messrs. Berry Bros. and Bagshaw, of Kettering, offered for sale freehold property at Langtoft, containing in all 92a. 3r. 33p. The first lot, the farm house and nearly 2a. of land, was sold privately prior to the sale. A small holding of nearly 55a., on the road leading to Tallington station, was sold to Mr. J. Thurlby, of Baston, for £1325. two enclosures of Fen land, 15a. 3r. 14p., were withdrawn at £370, and the last lot, two fields of pasture land abutting on the Outgang-road in Langtoft, containing 19a.1r. 32p., was sold to Mr. Aquilla Peasgood, of Langtoft, for £950. All the property was freehold, with immediate vacant possession. Messrs. Lamb and Stringer, Kettering, were the solicitors for the vendors.

Sheep sale - Messrs. Longstaff and Co. held their annual sale of store and breeding sheep on the 8th inst., when 623 ewes, theaves, and lambs from the principal flocks in the district were penned. Young stock ewe and theaves made a ready sale, longwool ewes making up to £6 3s., Lincoln longwool theaves £5 9s., half-bred theaves £5 1s. Half-bred lambs realised up to 65s. 6d., and longwool lambs 48s. 6d. Fat sheep were a good entry, longwool wethers making £6 1s., half-bred shearlings £5 9s., ewes 95s., and lambs
68s.

Orphan Artists – On Tuesday evening an excellent entertainment was given in Bourne Corn Exchange by a contingent of children from the national Children’s Home and Orphanage at Birmingham, of which Dr. Stephenson was the founder. The arrangement s locally had been carried out by a committee, of which Mr. W. H. Smith acted as hon. Secretary, and the room was packed. The gross proceeds were over £40.

150 years ago

Stamford Infirmary – Messrs. Hare Brothers, High-street, Stamford, have become subscribers of £2 2s.

The 5th Lincolnshire Volunteers – At a meeting of the Stamford corps on Saturday last Mr. R. English was by majority of votes elected ensign in the place of Mr. C. Edmonds, who has left the town. There were two other candidates for the post, one of whom it was admitted had a prior claim to the office if long service as a non-commissioned officer and general knowledge of drill and volunteer matters were taken into account; but this principle does not rule in elections by the Stamford corps. To-morrow (Saturday) the challenge cup presented by Major Wingfield is to be shot for; and on Wednesday the annual prize competition will take place. Amongst the prizes to be shot for is a silver cup given by the Mayor (F. J Morgan, Esq.). In the evening the annual supper will take place at the George Hotel. A large company is expected, the Mayor and several other gentlemen not connected with the corps having expressed their intention to be present.

The business at the Stamford Union Board on Wednesday was again light, the applications for relief being very few. There are no able bodied males in the house, and the vagrants who were received during the past week (9) were less in number than in any week for more than twelve months. The receipents of out-relief (813) cost £93 13s. 9½d., which is £2 5s. 4d. more than in the corresponding week of last year, when there were 782 on the books. There were 130 in-door paupers, being 44 less than in the corresponding week of last year.

A proposal has been before the Water Supply Committee of the Stamford Town Council to sink a well at a convenient spot on the Eight Acres, so that the inhabitants of that populous locality may obtain water more readily than they can do at present. Hitherto the pump or stand-pipe in Scotgate has been the nearest spot from which they have been able to obtain a supply; and this distance is so great as to make the labour of obtaining it, to say nothing of the loss of time, very irksome. Under the government of the Local Board the householders will henceforth have to pay local rates, from which they were exempt under the Improvement Act; so that it becomes a duty of the Local Board to give the inhabitants of the Eight Acres something for their money.

Two accidents of a very serious nature have occurred in the harvest field during the past week. On Friday a labourer named Wm. Mears, whist at work with a reaping machine, on the farm of Mr. Gregory, of Apethorpe, was caught by that part of the implement called a “snake”, and sustained a compound fracture of one leg, just above the ankle, and also a simple fracture of the same limb. On Wednesday a lad named Hy. Walpole, whilst assisting in loading corn for Mrs. Vessy, of Witham Lodge, was kicked on the right arm by a horse: the bone was seriously crushed. Both sufferers were taken to Stamford Infirmary, where their injuries were carefully attended to.

200 years ago

A robbery attended with remarkable circumstances was effected in the course of Friday night the 7th inst., in the house of Mrs. Robinson, in St. Martin’s Stamford Baron. At the time of the family’s rising on Saturday morning, it was discovered that an attic window at the back of the house was open, and there were traces of some person having descended from that window into the yard. Immediate investigation took place in the house; and the only property which could be missed, had belonged to the female servant. Her box had been broken open, and robbed of about £8 in money, also half a dozen silver teaspoons and some wearing apparel, the whole of the articles belonging to the servant. There is reason to believe that the thief had concealed himself in the house early in the evening of Friday, and finding it impracticable to escape by the doors in the night, had descended through a window as described.

On Monday evening about nine o’clock, James Borman, ostler at the Bull inn at Market Deeping, on his return from Stamford was stopped & robbed by three men, near the spot where Mr. Simpson’s man whilst driving a clergyman from Deeping was stopped a few weeks ago. The villains were all dressed in slopfrocks – two of them in white, the third in a blue frock; and they all at once seized Borman, dragged him off his horse, and rifled his pockets of 9s. 6d. (all the money he had about him) and his watch, with which they made off, and at present are at large. There is little doubt that these are the same three men who committed the robbery of the clergyman: the place where they made their attacks is about a mile on the Stamford side of Market Deeping.

Yesterday 320 of the 66th Regiment of Foot marched into this place, on their way from Chatman to Hull. The 66th were long stationed at St. Helena to guard Buonaparte.

On Sunday night last a daring attempt was made to rob the premises of Mr. Samuel Beeken, butcher, near the Market-place in Crowland. The family had retired early to bed; but Mrs. Beeken, suffering under a paroxysm of the tooth-ache, got up again before eleven o’clock to walk about her chamber, when she fortunately overheard some person breaking into the shop. She awoke her husband, who immediately went down stairs, and on his giving an alarm in the street, the thief rushed from the shop and escaped, but left behind him the whole of his expected booty. It appeared that he entered the shop by breaking through a small latticed window, about 18 inches square; and the audacity of the attempt was increased by the circumstance of many of the surrounding neighbours being up and moving about at the time.

On Sunday evening last, a whirlwind, attended with injurious effects, passed over the village of Ridlington, in Rutland. In its course it destroyed 40 yards of a fence belonging to Mr. John Smith, and also tore up two large trees, one of which it carried over a brook.



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