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Lose yourself in nostalgia with the latest Mercury Memories feature

Take a stroll down Memory Lane with this week's Mercury Memories feature:

10 years ago

  • Stamford Town Council is looking at introducing a bylaw to crack down on advertising boards.

Councillors have put forward the suggestion because they say Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council are not taking action against the problem.

Speaking at a town council meeting on Tuesday, Coun Bob Sandall (Ind) said: “Where would we stand if we went down in a truck and removed them ourselves?

“We need to look after the people who can’t see and those with pushchairs or in a wheelchair.”

He was backed by Coun John Judge (Con), who said:”I’d get on the truck with you!”

Coun Walden said the number of A-boards was ridiculous.

“We’ve been speaking about this for a long time and it’s time something was done,” he said.

Councillors agreed to invite representatives from the district and county councils to a meeting to discuss whether it was feasible to introduce a bylaw.

  • Plans for a skatepark and new toilets on the Recreation Ground in Stamford can move forward after the groups behind the schemes got permission to apply for grants.

Stamford Skatepark Committee and the Spend a Penny campaign, which wants to replace the playarea’s dilapidated toilets, have been waiting on the transfer of ownership of the ground before they could start applying for grants.

Ownership of The Rec was finally transferred from South Kesteven District Council to Stamford Town Council on Tuesday after 18 months of talks and a string of delays over paperwork.

And afterwards, at a Stamford Town Council meeting on Tuesday, councillors agreed to give Stamford Skatepark Committee a letter stating their intention to let the group build a skatepark on the site.

It is estimated it will cost £120,000 for a new skatepark. The committee has already raised £33,000 and has another £30,000 in pledges.

Friends of the Recreation Ground co-chairman Penny Dawson, who is leading the Spend a Penny campaign, said the group also intended to ask the town council for a letter of intent so it too could start the grant application process to raise the £100,000 it needed.

  • Girl guides could be holding their meetings in a purpose-built building after four years of moving between village halls if plans for a new headquarters get the go ahead.

The 15 groups in the Welland Valley division of girl guides, which are spread across Stamford, Wittering, Ryhall and Ketton, have been using village halls since their derelict headquarters was closed in 2006 on health and safety grounds.

Their equipment has been stored at a scout hut and in people’s sheds and garages.

But the division is hoping to finally get a new headquarters in Conduit Road, Stamford, after it submitted a planning application to South Kesteven District Council. Welland Valley district commissioner Jan Dummigan said: “Girl guiding is celebrating its centenary year this year so it would be good to get the planning permission this year.

“We have been incredibly lucky with finding places to stay but it would be good to have our own base.”

The guiding team is determined to see the headquarters built and it has resubmitted its application to include an additional storage area for the base. It has also sold part of the site to put into the fund for the development and has about £80,000 available for the new build.

25 years ago

25 years ago: August 4, 1995 – Frog march: Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund Stamford and Bourne chairman Zena Coles (front centre), with John and Iris Mason (front left) surrounded by committee members and guests.
25 years ago: August 4, 1995 – Frog march: Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund Stamford and Bourne chairman Zena Coles (front centre), with John and Iris Mason (front left) surrounded by committee members and guests.
  • Calls for traffic restrictions on Stamford’s narrow roads have been heightened after an important architectural landmark was damaged when a lorry collided with it.

A lorry driven by Steve Lack of Ketton-based Abbey Skips met another lorry on St Peter’s Hill and skips on his vehicle collided with a Grade II listed Tudor building, bringing wood and masonry falling to the pavement. The incident has renewed calls for a Stamford bypass.

The narrow street was never built to accommodate lorries so when two came towards each other on Tuesday morning something had to give.

Steve Lack, who cleared up the area and the building’s owner Phil Pyewell agreed that the incident was symptomatic of the town’s traffic problem.

Mr Pywell said: “It would be a good idea to have some sort of traffic restrictions along the roads around St Peter’s Hill because it is too narrow for lorries. The damage will be repaired but the crash is just another occurrence of the kind that is happening every month in Stamford. Another example would be the car transporter that was stuck on the corner of St Mary’s Street and St Mary’s Hill.”

And Mr Lack said it was a clear indication that Stamford needs a bypass.

  • Controversial plans to build a 35-space car park on Bourne’s Abbey Lawn have been thrown out after councillors chose to listen to the “voice of people”.

The proposal by South Kesteven District Council, which also includes a second bowling green, went before its planning committee on Tuesday.

But the application was turned down after councillors spoke out against the development despite the fact that it had already been supported by SKDC’s amenities committee.

Coun Reg Howard said: “We have to listen to the voice of the people, in this case the residents and Bourne Town Council who have objected so strongly.

“If the green goes ahead it will prevent the public using the land because the club will be run on a membership scheme and this is wrong.

“When the land was sold to Bourne United Charities there was a gentleman’s agreement that the land would never be built on but kept as recreational land for everybody to use, and this should be honoured.”

The project, which would have cost £84,000, was a joint effort by SKDC, Bourne Bowls Club and Bourne United Charities who felt there was considerable demand in Bourne for a second bowling green.

  • A Rutland mum who jumped out of her bedroom window at midnight to escape a fierce blaze has praised local heroes who saved her and her daughter from certain death.

And she has told of the sheer fluke which meant that 13-year-old Gemma Freeman was not in her bedroom where the fire began on Friday and which was totally gutted by flames.

Fire chiefs told Carolyn Freeman (32), of The Little Crooked House in Hope’s Yard, Uppingham, another 15 minutes in the house would have been fatal.

“If it were not for the people who woke me up hammering on the door and shouting ‘fire’, I am sure Gemma and I would now be dead. I just can’t say thank you enough.

“I had had an exhausting day and was sound asleep. The light bulb had just gone in Gemma’s bedroom, so she decided to sleep in the lounge instead.

“The fire began in her TV socket and judging by the state of the room now, we really don’t believe she would have got out if she had been in there,”said Carolyn.

50 years ago

50 years ago: August 7, 1970 – Holding the Woodward Cup awarded, with a book token worth £3, as top gardening prize in Empingham, is Mr B. Higgins, of Stretton House, whose wife is on his right. On Mr Higgins’ left is the second prize winner, Mr A. Eason, of Main Street (£2 book token)and right is Mrs C. Cantrill, of Audit Hall Road, who was third (£1 book token). The presentations were made by the Earl of Gainsborough on Thursday.
50 years ago: August 7, 1970 – Holding the Woodward Cup awarded, with a book token worth £3, as top gardening prize in Empingham, is Mr B. Higgins, of Stretton House, whose wife is on his right. On Mr Higgins’ left is the second prize winner, Mr A. Eason, of Main Street (£2 book token)and right is Mrs C. Cantrill, of Audit Hall Road, who was third (£1 book token). The presentations were made by the Earl of Gainsborough on Thursday.
  • The Ministry of Transport would be “sounding the death knell” of a proposed hotel and recreational centre at Tallington by not allowing direct access, a barrister claimed on Tuesday.

The developers, Dowsett Land Investments of Greatford, say that if direct access from the A16 road is not allowed the hotel would not be commercially successful.

The Ministry of Transport view is that an access road leading directly on to the A16 would create a serious traffic hazard. They feel that the access to the site could be through a side road known as Barholm Lane.

The proposal is to build a major recreational centre, including a hotel and restaurant and club house, for sailing, fishing, water ski-ing and other outdoor activities.

The site covers about 212 acres of land, including disused, waterfilled gravel pits near DowMac Concrete’s factory.

  • A Stamford man narrowly escaped death on Thursday, when an excavator cut overhead cables carrying 22,000 volts at Barholm.

Thirty-three year-old Mr Charles Pollard, of Abbotts Close, Barnack Road, was using the excavator to cut weeds from the banks of Greatford Cut.

He said: “I hit a pot hole on the bank, the machine jumped and the jib severed the cables.

“There was a loud bang and a flash, but, luckily, I knew the best thing to do was to sit tight in the cab and drive clear.

“It was a very lucky escape and I am very glad to still be in one piece,” he added.

Mr Pollard, who works for the Welland and Nene River Board, had a similar experience at Little Bytham two years ago when his excavator hit an underground cable.

The excavator, which cost £7,500, was badly burnt on the jib, but Mr Pollard escaped unhurt.

The live cables set fire to the banks of the channel, but the blaze was quickly put out by Stamford Fire Brigade.

Villagers at Greatford, Barholm, Wilsthorpe and Manthorpe were without electricity for half-an-hour.

  • Mr. S. H. G, Andrews, a director and general manager of Stamford Mercury Ltd, who lives at Uppingham, said that he was delighted to live in Rutland’s beautiful tidy county, when he presented Empingham with the Tidy Village plaque on Thursday night.

They have won the award five times in eight years.

The judges Mrs V. K. Gee, of the Old Rectory, Ridlington, Mrs E. C. Harms, of Church Street, Langham, and Mr. R. Sykes of the Stamford Mercury, were thanked by Mr Andrews for their “kind assistance and valuable help”.

He added that as a consequence of their efforts for the competition, they had made Rutland one of the tidiest counties in the whole country.

He then presented a framed photograph to Mrs E. M. Gregory, from Braunston, who were last year’s winners.

100 years ago

  • Unemployment Insurance – Arrangements have been made by the Stamford District of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows with Sir Alfred Warren, M.P., a Past Grand Master of the Order, to address a meeting at the Assembly Rooms on the 14th inst. on the administration of unemployment benefit in connection with the National Health Insurance Act. This Act affects every class of the working population, and members of all working organisations and collecting societies are earnestly invited to avail themselves of this opportunity of becoming acquainted with many details of this important subject.
  • Old People and Poor Rates – At the Police Court, on Saturday, a number of inmates of local bedehouses applied for exemption from payment of the poor rate. In some cases the concession was granted, and in others where the inmate earned extra money, it was refused. The Mayor (Mr. A. Cliff) remarked that he did not see the necessity of these people having to come to court on each occasion. He considered that the Trustees should make arrangements in respect of the whole of the inmates.
  • Bank Holiday was quietly observed here, there being no organised attraction of a public character. A large number made the journey to the seaside during the week-end, and with the object of avoiding payment of the increased railway fares, booked returns. Yarmouth seemed to be the most favoured of the coastal resorts visited. The indoor places of amusement were well patronised.
  • Bourne – On Thursday, July 29th, at the Nag’s Head Hotel, Messrs. Richardson offered for sale several lots of cropping and about 74 acres of grass-keeping up to 10th Oct., on land in the occupation of the late Mr. Arthur Saul. 11 acres of oats in Barnes Drove, North Fen, were sold to Mr. Arthur Pick at £19 5s. per acre, 11 acres of wheat adjoining to Mr. F. Richardson at £15 15s. per acre, 7½ acres of barley at Dyke to Mr. H. K. Wadsley at £15 per acre, an acre of tares for £8, and 11 acres of barley at Dyke at £11 10s. per acre to Mr. R.E. Ash; Mr. H K. Wadsley purchased 9 acres of barley for £15 per acre, and 9½ acres of peas for £9 15s. per acre. Two fields of wheat in the Mill Drove, 16 acres in all, were sold to Mr. E. Wherry at £15 per acre. Mr. W. Cooper purchased 17 acres of keeping in Dyke at 22s 6d. per acre. Mr. W. Read secured 17 acres in Gobbolds Park Drove for 10s per acre; 8 acres in the same vicinity was sold to Mr. T. Pick at 7s. per acre, and Mr. R. H. Ash purchased an adjoining 19½ acres for 5s. per acre. The Brick Pits Close, Bourne, and the paddock behind the residence, totalling 13 acres, were sold to Mr. J. Briggs at 10s. per acre.
  • On Wednesday evening, at the Corn Exchange, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Mays entertained a large number of friends to celebrate the coming-of-age of their only son, Mr. Ray Mays.

150 years ago

  • Stamford Town Council – A special meeting was held on Tuesday last to consider the following resolution of the Stamford Improvement Commissioners: “That the Improvement Commissioners consent to transfer all the powers, property, and liabilities vested in them under and by virtue of the Act of Parliament, to the Town Council, pursuant to the 2d and 3d sections of the 20th and 21st Victoria, cap. 50; and that all necessary steps to be taken by the Commissioners for effecting such transfer to the Council, provided the Town Council be willing to accept the same.” Ald, Whincup moved, and Mr. Orford seconded, that the resignation of the Commissioners’ powers and liabilities be accepted by the Corporation, and that all necessary steps be taken to carry out such transfer. This was agreed to without comment, and the meeting ended.
  • The harvest in the neighbourhood of Stamford is now in full activity, a large portion of the cutting being by reaping machines. The wheat crops are generally good, and the barley is better than was at one time expected, though much of it is short in the straw. The crop of oats is calculated to be much below the average, and beans are almost a failure.
  • The children of St, George’s Sunday and day schools in Stamford had their breaking up treat on Tuesday. The usual supply of tea and plum-cake was followed by a long evening of all kinds of juvenile games in Mr. Edmonds’ paddock, the walls of which were surmounted with bannerets and flags bearing appropriate mottes.
  • We have ascertained that the children of St. John’s schools in Stamford were not taken into Burghley Park to play as stated in last week’s Mercury, but to a field on the Wothorpe road kindly lent for the purpose by Mr. Wade, of the Boat inn.
  • The Water Supply Committee of the Stamford Town Council had a meeting on Tuesday evening, and resolved to invite a conference with the Marquis of Exeter’s agent on the subject of a transference of the waterworks to the Local Board. A proposal to employ an engineer was postponed until it can be ascertained on what terms the waterworks can be leased. It was stated that notwithstanding the long drought the supply of water from Wothorpe was been well maintained, and no complaints have this year been made of its quality.
  • An alarming accident happened the other day at the house of Mrs. Blott, St. Mary’s-hill Stamford. It appears that her daughter, eight years of age, was in the kitchen with a servant, and while the latter’s attention was directed to some household duty the child pitched herself foremost out of the window, and fell on to some stone steps leading to a cellar. Covered with blood and insensible, she was picked up by her mother. Medical aid was obtained as soon as could be, and the little sufferer is going on favourably. The slipping of a hook on which she was leaning was the cause of the mishap.
  • Monday last being the 39th anniversary of the opening of the church bells of Wytham-on-the-Hill, the Spalding ringers had an excursion for a day’s ringing at this place, and were joined by part of the Bourn society, and with the Wytham society had some very good ringing in the various six-bell methods.

200 years ago

  • At a common hall held on Tuesday last, James Torkington, Esq. was elected Clerk of the Peace and Town Clerk for this borough, in the room of John Wyche, Esq. deceased.
  • Some curious things have been discovered within these few days on the site of Fotheringhay castle, where persons under proper direction have been digging for three weeks past. It seems that the foundations of the building were not disturbed at the time of the demolition of the superstructure by King James. The kitchen and some other apartments have been discovered.
  • Deakin, the extraordinary character of Cliffe, who wears an immense beard and frequents Stamford and other markets, was robbed of £20 by some horse-dealers at Wood Newton a few days ago. In returning from Fotheringhay fair, he met a party of dealers at the public-house at Wood Newton, and was induced to sell his horse to them. Payment for the animal was duly made; but before the fraternity parted with the “man with a horse’s tail hanging at his chin,” they practiced a little larking, by pushing him from one to the other; and when Deakin at length got from them, he found that his pockets had been relieved not only of £17 which was the price of his horse, but of £3 more which he had about him when he began the dealing. On returning to expostulate with the gentlemen and to ask for his money again, he made another bad bargain, by exchanging a whole skin, for one with sundry wounds and bruises, which the horse-dealers gave him for presuming to impeach their honour! Poor Deaking at first resolved to pursue them to Malton, but afterwards made up his mind to remain in the frying-pan, painful as it is to a man who (according to his own declared opinion of himself) will never die!
  • On Thursday the 20th ult. a publican in the Oundle Division of Northamptonshire, was convicted in the full penalty, with costs, for suffering an apprentice to tipple in his house from nine until half-past eleven o’clock on the preceding Saturday night. The bench of magistrates for the division are determined to refuse granting a licence to any one so offending in future.
  • Public Apology.

Whereas I, Williams Mason, of Bourn Fen, in the county of Lincoln, yeoman, having, on the twenty-second day of June last, committed a violent assault on the person of George Naylor, of Spalding, in the said county, Assistant Sheriff’s Officer, while in the execution of his duty, for which offence a prosecution has been commenced against me, which the prosecutor has consented to discontinue, on my consenting to testify, in this public manner, my sorrow for having committed the offence aforesaid: now I do hereby engage to pay all expenses incurred in such prosecution, and promise never to offend again in like manner; and further, I agree to pay the sum of ten pounds, to be given by the High Sheriff to some charitable institution. Witness my hand, this eighteenth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and twenty.

Wm. Mason.

Witness,Wm. M. Albin, Sheriff’s Officer, Spalding.

  • Married.

Yesterday, Mr. Sandby, farmer, to Rebecca daughter of Mr. Tomlin, farmer, of Great Casterton, near this

On Monday, at Surfleet, Mr. W. Parsons, machine-maker and wire-worker, to Miss E. Allen, of that place.

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