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Memories from the Rutland and Stamford Mercury Archive, which is managed by the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust

10 years ago

Good times are returning to Stamford town centre as a host of new shops open for business. Mummy and Me baby goods, Crew Clothing, Granite Transformations worktops and Marcia May shoes will all be trading in the town.

And property agents hope two empty shops in High Street – Harwayes shop and Adams – will soon be let.

25 years ago: August 25, 1995 – Bourne’s war veterans and members of the Royal British Legion at the service of thanksgiving to mark the 50th anniversary of VJ Day
25 years ago: August 25, 1995 – Bourne’s war veterans and members of the Royal British Legion at the service of thanksgiving to mark the 50th anniversary of VJ Day

There are now just a handful of empty shops in the town centre compared with last year when major sites such as the former Woolworths store stood empty for months before being taken over by New Look.

President of Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce Tim Lee has welcomed the arrival of the new shops.

He said: “It just shows what a magnet Stamford is to retail businesses because we have such a dynamic town centre which we are committed to preserving.

“We have such a fantastic selection here and people realise that there is enough variety for everyone to give it a go. If they are going to take a risk then Stamford is the best place to go.”

50 years ago: August 28, 1970 – Tim Unsworth (top) has a go at painting the wall at the “Coloured Sound” Club, Oakham, with Tucker Galleozzie and Billy Newton (bottom) – watched by a group of club members.
50 years ago: August 28, 1970 – Tim Unsworth (top) has a go at painting the wall at the “Coloured Sound” Club, Oakham, with Tucker Galleozzie and Billy Newton (bottom) – watched by a group of club members.

Police will be cracking down on illegal hunters who are travelling to the area and kill wildlife.

Lincolnshire and Leicestershire Police are working with gamekeepers and Lincolnshire Deer Group to drive out the poachers who are roaming the area’s fields at night with high-powered hunting lamps.

Gamekeepers have been intimidated by the hunters, who are armed with dogs and bring down deer, foxes and even badgers, which are sometimes stabbed or have their jaws broken.

Wildlife rangers and gamekeepers in the Stamford, Bourne and Rutland area have had to destroy animals which have survived attacks with horrific injuries.

Poachers are believed to come off the A1 and sweep across the Stamford, Bourne, Grantham and Sleaford area.

Police also say that the poachers are behind a number of thefts and damaged farmers’ property, including gates and fences.

Last year 16 arrests on suspicion of deer hunting were made in the Stamford area. It is illegal to hunt deer, hares, badgers and foxes with dogs.

A revamped theatre is attracting big names to perform on its stage.

Stamford Corn Exchange is still managing to pull in top quality acts and high audience figures in a difficult economic climate when theatres across the country are closing or having their budgets slashed.

Comedian Joe Pasquale, entertainer Des O’Connor, the Drifters and Showaddywaddy are booked in to perform over the autumn.

The 399-seat theatre in Broad Street has come a long way since the full theatre programme was launched just two years ago.

The Corn Exchange has undergone a massive refit since 2001 and been returned to its former glory.

Theatre manager Judith Mackie, of Casterton Road, Stamford, has put the theatre’s success down to its troop of volunteers and flexible payment arrangements with artists.

Normally acts would expect a fee from theatres but split the box office take with the artist.

Judith said: “I think the secret of our success is that we are providing something that people want.

“The word is spreading for miles and miles about how nice the venue is and how well the artists are looked after – that goes a long way.”

25 years ago

War veterans were greeted with applause and cheers as they paraded through Bourne on Sunday.

The occasion, which moved many of the veterans to tears, took place following a thanksgiving service marking the 50th anniversary of VJ Day and the end of World War II.

The service, held at the war memorial, was conducted by Bourne’s Legion and Naval Association chaplains, Canon John Warwick and Canon Murray McDonald.

Amongst those present were Bourne mayor and mayoress, Coun Alan and Ileene Jones, Col John Thompson, the Bourne and District Legion president, and Hubert Jones, Bourne Naval Association president.

After a silence of remembrance, Far East World War II veteran Lloyd Hughes, who was a Japanese prisoner of war, read the Kohima Epitaph - “When You Go Home”.

George Barber, Bourne British Legion chairman and himself a World War II veteran, read “They Shall Grow Not Old”.

After the National Anthem, the veterans paraded through the town, where they were clapped and cheered by the public.

Motorists will face traffic problems early next month as contractors carry out major road repairs on two separate stretches of the A1.

A £500,000 scheme to strengthen and resurface part of the A1 near Colsterworth starts on Sunday, September 3, and is expected to last three weeks.

And for two weekends from Friday, September 8, northbound exit and entry sliproads at Wansford (A47) and Tinwell (A6121) will be closed while contractors carry out resurfacing work.

Alan Draper, Highways Agency project manager for the Colsterworth scheme, said: “Delays are likely. However this work is essential. There’s an incentive to finish quickly, so the contract has been awarded on a lane-rental basis.

“If the contractor finishes early then they will receive a bonus but if they are late they are charged ‘rent’ for occupying the carriageway.”

The southbound lanes of the A1 between Colsterworth and South Witham will be closed and a contraflow set up on the northbound carriageway. A 40-mile-an-hour speed limit will operate and motorists will be banned from using laybys, overtaking, U-turning and waiting.

Right-hand turns into and from Honey Pot Lane, Stamford Road and Bull Lane will be banned.

Events in Stamford to mark the 50th anniversary of VJ Day ranged from the fun and laughter of the fair to solemn reflection for fallen friends and comrades.

An exhibition in Stamford Arts Centre was packed full of wartime memorabilia, from machine guns to flags, while in the evening a sell-out audience in the theatre raised the roof at a concert recalling the Works Wonders at Blackstones in the 1940s.

Sunday began with a service of remembrance at the war memorial in Broad Street with ex-servicemen, representatives from wartime organisations, Scout groups and RAF Wittering.

Stalls and sideshows filled the Recreation Ground on Sunday, which brought together children and veterans for an afternoon of fun.

The 50th anniversary of VJ Day ended in the town with a sunset ceremony on the Rec organised by the Royal Naval Association, with music by Stamford Town Band (Premier Brass).

50 years ago

The Deepings area will have its first ever youth centre when conversion work on the Old Cross School in Deeping St James is finished.

Kesteven County Council are to spend £2,500 on decorating and improving the old school. The building may also be used as a teachers’ centre and for a pre-nursery school play group.

Deeping St James Parish Council have written to the County Council expressing disappointment over the delay in starting work on the project.

But Director of Education, Mr G. R. Scott, said this week that work would probably start this autumn. “As the financial provision was included in this year’s estimates work must start before March 31,” he commended.

Mr Scott explained that the teachers’ centre would be used for the “in service training” of teachers in the southern part of the county.

“The idea behind these centres is that they can provide facilities for teachers’ courses without them having to leave their own area,” he said. “A centre of this kind has been operating in Grantham for several years.”

Mr Scott added that many details of the youth centre had not been finalised. But the Education Committee was thinking of having a part-time paid youth leader to run the centre.

The school buildings are owned by the Deeping St James United Charities and negotiations are being finalised between the trustees and the County Council.

A hundred men at Ashwell open prison, near Oakham, will be able to have their own rooms following Monday’s opening of a new accommodation block.

The £88,500 project, which took two years to complete, was built by prisoners, who did 80 per cent of the work, helped by prison officers and civilian workmen.

The use of this labour meant the cost being £22,500 below original contract price.

The opening ceremony was performed by the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr William Cox.

He said of the building: “It provides modern and decent living accommodation for the men in this prison.

“The character and atmosphere of a prison, like that of any other residential establishment, is greatly influenced by its buildings.

“A great deal of skill and work has gone into this project to make this living block an attractive and valuable asset at Ashwell.”

Fifteen of the men who worked on the building have been accepted for union membership, and this number is likely to increase.

One of 472 entrants for 100 awards, South Kesteven Rural Council has won a “Countryside 1970” plaque and a certificate signed by the Duke of Edinburgh.

The plaque was awarded for improvements to the stocks and village green at Witham-on-the-Hill, for which the Rural Council had full support from Witham-on-the-Hill Parish Council.

Chairman of the Rural Council, Coun R. A. Stanton, who represents Witham-on-the-Hill, will receive the award at a reception in London Guildhall, on October 28.

“This is now regarded as a park in the village,” he said.

100 years ago

The High School, Stamford - The Royal Drawing Society has just published their prize list, showing the awards made for especially brilliant work in the recent prize examinations. 1200 schools, presenting 85,000 candidates, were examined, and 83 prizes were awarded. Of these two have gone to Stamford High School, one to P. B. Musson for figure drawing, and the other to L. B. Vise for an original illustration on a historical subject.

Workhouse Inmates Entertained – Arranged by the lady members of the Board of Guardians, Mrs. Goodyer, Great Casterton, and Miss Hooson an enjoyable entertainment was given at the Poor Law institution on the evening of Thursday in last week. A splendid musical programme was contributed to by Miss Jones, Miss N. Towell, Miss E. Todd, Mrs. Ireland, Mrs. Goodyer, Miss Hooson, Messrs. H. Jones, C. H. Jones, E. Edinborough, and A. W. Parker (whose humorous songs were greatly enjoyed). Mr. H. Jones and Miss Jones furnished the accompaniments. The Rev. J. H. Bellhouse presided, and during the evening tobacco, cigarettes, and refreshments were handed to the inmates, who were delighted with the evening’s proceedings.

Sacrilege – The warning given last week to incumbents as to the necessity for supervision of church property appears to be justified by the fact that during the latter part of the week a silk Cambridge hood belonging to the Rev. Hirst, locum at St. John’s, was stolen from the vestry.

Licences Transferred – At the police court on Saturday, on the application of Mr. Chas. Atter, the licence of the Crown Hotel was transferred from Mr. Frank Henson to Mrs. Henson, and that of the Anchor inn from Mr. Herbert Gibson to Mr. Henry Hollingsworth.

Guardians and Their Estimates – The difficulty of compiling his estimate of financial requirements for next half-year was mentioned to the Board of Guardians at Monday’s meeting, over which Mr. J. W. Coulson (vice-chairman) presided, by the Clerk (Mr. H. J. Tillson). The latter said it was impossible to arrive at an estimate in the absence of some knowledge as to what the county rate was likely to be. The Clerk to the County Council asked the indulgence of the Board if the estimate, which should be presented at the next meeting, was delayed. The Chairman intimated that this would be extended.

Ducal Motor Wrecks Shop Front – A motor lorry belonging to the Duke of Northumberland and driven by a man named Pickford, ran into the front of the premises in St. Martin’s occupied by Mrs. Chapman, stationer, on Tuesday afternoon. Through the driver missing his gear the vehicle backed down the incline, and as the brakes failed to act it mounted the kerb and crashed into the shop front, carrying away part of the window and the door jamb. Fortunately no personal injury was occasioned.

Bourne Musical Successes – At the recent examination in connection with the Associated Board of the Royal Academy and the Royal College of Music, London, following were successful in pianoforte playing, elementary division: Kathie Barnatt (distinction), Trissie Burchnall, Marjorie Gelsthorpe, Ivy Turner, and Marjorie Stafford. In the Primary Division Elsie Hart was successful.

150 years ago

We are requested to state that the invitation issued by the Bishop through the Rector of St. Mary’s, Stamford, extends to all churchwardens and lay consultees as well as to incumbents and curates.

On Sunday last harvest thanksgiving services were held at Tallington in the parish church, which was appropriately decorated with wheat &c. for the occasion. The collections, amounting to £1 13s., were made on behalf of the Stamford Infirmary.

We are pleased to hear that the epidemic of scarlet fever, which has been prevalent throughout the country, and has been severely felt in Stamford, is now diminishing, very few new cases having occurred in this locality during the last week. Its ravages have been confined to the young, and there have been several fatal attacks.

The defeat of the Enclosure Bill in the House of Commons at the latter end of the session was an unfortunate circumstances as regards the interests of the inhabitants of Stamford, the open fields of this place being scheduled in the Bill, and ground for building tenements being much wanted. Prior to the judicious demolition of the old and dilapidated houses in Castle-street there was a great want of dwelling accommodation for the poor, and that want has been increased since the removal alluded to. It was at one time stated to be the intention of the Marquis of Exeter to erect on the vacant site a number of small tenements suitable for the working classes; but no steps have been taken to commence the work, and it is now rumoured that nothing will be done in that way of restoration for some time. In the meanwhile many of the existing dwellings are greatly over crowded, and persons in search of humble habitations are quite unable to procure them. Mr. Fawcett may have had fair reason for opposing one schedule in the Bill, but as regards Stamford his opposition has been very injurious.

Of the several village feasts which occur during the summer months in this locality that at Ketton seems to have have become the most popular, probably owing to its easy accessibility by rail. We are informed that the return train on Sunday evening last brought no less than 400 passengers to Stamford.

Crowland - An accident occurred to Mr. Thos. Wyche, miller, a few days since. Owing to his horse stumbling, Mr. Wyche was thrown, severely bruising his leg, and rendering him a close prisoner to the house. Being insured in the Railway Passengers’ Insurance Company, he becomes entitled to £6 6s. a week compensation during his disablement. About four years ago Mr. Wyche was a passenger on the Great Northern Railway, when a collison occurred by which he was much bruised and internally injured, and for with the Company paid a compensation of £500.

King’s Cliffe – A very mysterious and serious loss occurred to Mr. Wm. Rate, farmer, on the 19th. He had been carrying corn all day with his three horses, all well to appearance, until he put them in the stable and gave them their feed. He then observed they did not eat, and soon after one of them dropped down and then the other two, and all seemed to be completely paralysed from head to foot. They all died in a few hours. The cause of death is not known.

200 years ago

Turnpike Road From Deeping to Morcott.

Notice is hereby given, that a Meeting of the Trustees of this road will be holden, at the George and Angel Inn, in Stamford,on Thursday the 28th day of September next, by 11 o’clock in the forenoon, for taking into consideration the propriety of engaging Mr. Mc. Adam as Surveyor upon this road, and for other purposes. By order, Nath. Farrant, Clerk.

Stamford, 17th August, 1820.

Corby, August 14, 1820

To be Sold by Auction, By Joseph Wright, During the Evening of Monday the 28th instant, at the house of Mr. Barefoot, known by the sign of the Bull, in Market Overton, in the county of Rutland, if not previously disposed of by private contract, of which due notice will be given;

Nineteen Acres of valuable Arable Land, divided into four lots; Ten Acres of Land, part Arable, and part Grazing.

The above is situated in Market Overton Field, and will be sold either together or in lots, as may best meet the wishes of the company at the time of the sale, on such conditions as will be then and there produced.

For a view of the land apply to Mr. Christopher Bennet, of Market Overton.

On Friday the 18th inst. an inquest was held at Whissendine, Rutland, by J. E. Jones, Gent., coroner, on the body of Jane the daughter of Mr. Glover, farmer, of that place, a child aged 16 months, who whilst playing with her father unluckily ran against a tea-kettle which stood on the fire, and the boiling water falling all over her face and neck, scalded her so dreadfully that she died in consequence on the following day, to the extreme grief of her father and family. Verdict, accidental death. And on Monday last an inquest was taken at Morcott, by the same coroner, on view of the body of John Smith, who on Saturday had his skull most dreadfully fractured by a kick from a horse which he was loosing from the geers, and of which accident he died on Sunday evening. Verdict, accidental death, with a deodand of 1s. upon the owner of the horse.

On Friday the 18th inst. an inquest was taken at the Three Crowns inn in Somerby, before Thos Clark, Gent, coroner, on view of the body of Francis Smith, who died suddenly. It appeared in evidence, that Ann Watkinson, of the above place, and the deceased, were getting their suppers together on Thursday evening, (the deceased being at the time in as good health as usual,) when suddenly his mouth was drawn aside, and he became insensible, in which state he expired about one hour afterwards. Verdict, by the visitation of God.

Died. On Monday last, in the prime of life, Mrs. Catlin, wife of Mr. Catlin, of the Red Lion public-house, Bourn.

On Sunday last, at Oakham, of a cancer in her hand, Mrs. Pine, widow of the late Mr. Edward Pine, aged 83.

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