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Memories from the Stamford Mercury newspaper archive




Britain's oldest continuously published newspaper has an amazing archive managed by the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust.

25 years ago

Disused land at Mirrlees Blackstone is to be re-developed for business use by a consortium of local businessmen and could bring jobs to the town.

The historic Stamford site, which has lain dormant for almost three years, will become a 14-acre technology and enterprise park. New owners, Stamford Property Company, are confident the purchase will spell economic re-generation and job creation.

Company secretary Tom Hindmarch, speaking exclusively to the Mercury, said: “We expect a rapid uptake of space because of a pent-up demand for small to medium-size commercial units.

“We share civic concern over any threat to the character of Stamford. All the more important that the traditional commercial area should be restored to its proper use as quickly as possible.

“We would invite any interested parties to contact us to talk ideas through and we are open to offers.”

Mr Hindmarch added the social club and football ground are unconnected with the development plans.

25 years ago: June 16, 1995 – Edith Weston pupils showed off their work last week when the county primary school held its first open day. Almost 200 children are enrolled at the school and the open day was a chance for parents and school governors to see how well the youngsters are doing with their studies and generally look round the school. Pictured: Edith Weston youngsters join parents and governors at their school’s open day
25 years ago: June 16, 1995 – Edith Weston pupils showed off their work last week when the county primary school held its first open day. Almost 200 children are enrolled at the school and the open day was a chance for parents and school governors to see how well the youngsters are doing with their studies and generally look round the school. Pictured: Edith Weston youngsters join parents and governors at their school’s open day

Whitehall has given a Market Deeping school permission to become grant-maintained.

Schools Minister Robin Squire has announced that William Hildyard Primary School in Godsey Lane has been given GM status. Of the 73 per cent of eligible parents who voted in the ballot, 79 per cent voted in favour of the application.

The school is a Church of England voluntary-aided co-educational primary with a capacity for 228 pupils, aged from four to 11.

Grant-maintained school are self-governing within a state sector of education.

Mr Squire said: “I am delighted to announce that I am minded to give grant-maintained status to the William Hildyard School, subject to minor modifications to the admission arrangements.

“Once these have been agreed, I would like to welcome this school from September 1 to the significant number of schools who have chosen to become GM.”

Headteacher Chris Barrett said the change in status will allow the school to take on a new full-time teacher as of September, making a total of nine.

He said: “The governors, staff and school are pleased, and we are now going ahead with our period of transition. There’s a lot of work to do.”

Testing of Cemfuel at Castle Cement, Ketton, should be subject to tighter controls, it is claimed.

The Commons select committee investigating the burning of waste fuels in cement kilns has accused the pollution inspectorate of not doing enough to ensure that burning of Cemfuel at Castle Cement is safe.

The select environment committee of MPs has called for stricter monitoring of emissions and health tests on people living near the kilns.

It also called for Cemfuel to be reclassified as a waste and not a fuel which opponents say would mean tighter restrictions on its use.

But Environment Minister Robert Atkins defended the work of HMIP claiming that legislation is “sufficiently robust”.

NACCK (National Alliance for Cleaner Cement Kilns), which spoke against the use of Cemfuel at the select committee meeting last week, welcomed the findings.

The group claims that it Cemfuel is classified as a waste there will be more control on its transportation, a tighter specification of the fuel’s ingredients and more effective pollution controls fitted at the Ketton works.

Lottery fever has been blamed for a poor turnout at the 1st Bourne Scouts’ annual fete.

The event, at the Shippon Barn on Saturday, raised £240 which will be used to buy camping equipment. But according to Group Scout leader Yvonne Dennis the figure is well below the sum raised in previous years.

She told the Mercury: “The event did not go as well as we had hoped. People don’t seem to have the spare change any more for fund-raising events, but spend it on the National Lottery instead.

“This is something that a lot of local charities have noticed, not just ourselves, and it is the local charities that are losing out.”

The fete had plenty to offer. Along with the usual stalls, there was a demonstration by Bourne Tae-Kwon-Do club led by instructor Annabel Murcott.

Mrs Dennis added: “We would like to say thank you to Bourne Tae-Kwon-Do Club, the committee and also the parents who helped organise the event.”

50 years ago: June 19, 1970 – Stamford Exeter School prize-winners pictured after their Speech Day
50 years ago: June 19, 1970 – Stamford Exeter School prize-winners pictured after their Speech Day

50 years ago

A car park at Market Deeping is an urgent necessity, the Parish Council decidedat a special meeting on Friday. But, they urged, vigorous effort should be made to obtain a site near the centre of the village.

The meeting, held to consider whether the provision of a car park was a real necessity, was called at the request of Mr. J. J. C. Goulder, Clerk to the South Kesteven Rural Council.

Councillors expressed varied opinions regarding two proposed sites on the south side of the river outside the Kesteven boundary, but agreed that the chaotic traffic conditions and hazards in the village made a park an urgent necessity.

One councillor suggested that the provision of a park might prejudice the by-pass plan, already 25 years old, and daily becoming more necessary.

Other councillors objected to a car park being sited outside the village boundaries. They felt it would be too far from the shopping centre, that the entrance from a trunk road would be too dangerous, and that it would spoil village amenities.

It was thought by a member of the public present at the meeting that a park outside the village would result in no parking yellow lines being painted throughout the centre of Deeping, causing loss of trade.

Arguments over secondary schooling were nothing new, Dr W. N. Littlejohn, head of Rushcliffe Comprehensive School, West Bridgeford, Notts, told parents and teachers at the first of the Fane School’s meetings at Stamford to discuss the subject, on Thursday.

“In 1945 you had the same hoo-hah raised by reactionaries when the Butler Act brought in secondary education for all.

“But that was a wonderful day for English and Welsh education. It gave the whole people something that was rich, wonderful and complete.”

“And in 1948 there was the same row raised by some people when the GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ level exams were introduced,” he went on.

Outlining the aims of comprehensive education Dr Littlejohn said that it had been conclusively proved that non-selective secondary schooling did not give a lower academic yield.

Secondary schools had always been non-selective in the U.S.A. and Scandinavia, and compared favourably with the selective method favoured by Great Britain, France and Germany.

And one of its great advantages was that it did away altogether with the “Five C drop-outs” who left grammar schools early, and yet if they had been educated in secondary moderns would have become the cream.

Although Oakham Urban Council at their meeting, on Wednesday, approved in principle their architect’s layout of about 100 houses for the second phase of the Cold Overton Road development there was no comment on a recommendation which if put into effect, would be a revolutionary step in Oakham.

The housing committee had considered the possibility of installing a district heating system to serve the whole of the new estate and the council approved their recommendation that the architect obtain details of the cost of such heating schemes from the nationalised and oil industries.

A recommendation that the roads on the estate should not be less than 20 feet wide was referred back. It was stated that, while it would be desirable to have some roads more than 20 feet wide if a bus service was to be operated along then, there were other roads which need not be 20 feet wide.

Further consideration is also to be given to a proposed children’s play area on the estate.

The desirability of establishing a public walk along the strip of land between the stream and the boundaries of properties in Buckingham Road and Holyrood Close was raised when the Council had before them a housing committee recommendation that the land should be offered for sale to the owners of properties for4s 8d a square yard, subject to all the land being sold.

100 years ago

Stamford and Rutland Infirmary – week ending June 15th, 1920. Admissions and discharges of patients: In-admitted 12, discharged 7, in house 41; out-patients, admitted 12, discharged 3, on books 45. Medical attendant, Dr. Hutton Attenborough. Acknowledged with thanks: Mrs. Kime (donation), £1; Mrs. Pugh (Ryhall), doll (children’s ward); A Friend, books; Mrs. Crichton-Maitland, vegetables.

The High School – Miss Matthew, who was for so many years the popular second mistress at the Stamford High School, has just been appointed headmistress of the Castleton High School for Girls, Isle of Man.

The Stamford Town Military band (late Territorials) delighted large audiences with their selections in the Recreation Ground on Sunday afternoon and evening. The second programme was curtailed on account of the weather, but liberal responses were made to the appeals for the band funds, over £4 being collected.

War Memorial – It has been decided by the War Memorial Committee to hold a service of dedication of the memorial in front of Browne’s Hospital, Stamford, at 7 p.m. next Thursday, the 24th inst., when it is hoped that all parents of the men whose memory is thus to be perpetuated, and also all demobilised service men, will be in attendance. The Dean of Stamford has been asked to give an address.

Jumble Sale – On Saturday a successful jumble sale, whereby close on £17 was raised (inclusive of donations) for St. John’s schoolroom. A large quantity of articles had been given. Those assisting at the stalls. etc., included Misses Sandall, Parker, Fields, Barnsdale, S. Pepper, and Jackson, Mesdames Bailey, H. V. Blackstone, J. L. Rollings, Manning, Dagley, R. F. Coldicott, Davis, Palmer, Hardwick, and Frisby, jun., Messrs. R. Marsh and C. Fields.

The Rev. J. Carvath presided at the fortnightly meeting of the Bourne Board of Guardians on the 10th inst., when the Clerk reported that about half of the parishes in the Union were in arrears with their contributions due a month ago. He was directed to send notices to the Overseers in each case, Upon the Clerk calling attention to the renewal of the fire insurance on the workhouse and furniture it was decided to increase the insurance from £8000 to £10,000 forthwith. The application from the indoor staff for an increase in salary was referred to the Finance Committee.

The Abbey Lawn, Bourne – On Tuesday evening a meeting was held in connection with the promotion of the company for acquiring the Abbey Lawn. The Council having decided, owing to restrictions, not to proceed with the application for a loan, Mr. G. H. Mays and Mr. T. B. Measures secured an option for the purchase at the same price the Council had, viz., £1600, the object being to form a public company so that the Abbey Lawn might remain what it always had been, a sports ground for the town. Those asked to join the Board of Directors were Messrs. R. A. Gardner, G. H. Mays, T. W. Mays, F. E. Wherry, C. C. MacLeod, J. B. Shilcock, F. J. Clarke, J. T. Holmes, T. B. Measures and Canon Grinter. It was deemed advisable to issue a capital of £2500. This is to be issued in £1 shares, there being no share qualification for a director, and none of the directors are to be paid. It was urged that the more townspeople became interested in the scheme the better it would be for all parties concerned. The meeting was adjourned for a week in order to enlist the sympathy of the public.

150 years ago

Stamford St. Martin’s School of Art – Of the five students of this school who sat at the final examination of the Society of Arts in April last the following four have obtained certificates: John McArdle, floriculture 1st class, fruit and vegetable culture 2d class; Henry Mitchell, arithmetic 2d class, mensuration 3d class; Benj. Reedman, arithmetic 3d class, mensuration 3d class; Robert Woolston, arithmetic 2d class.

The fourth annual meeting of the Stamford Band of Hope was held on Tuesday last. A large company of juveniles left the Midland station by train at one o’clock for Ketton. On their arrival they were met by the Ketton Band of Hope and drum and fife band. After singing a temperance melody in the village the whole company proceeded to a field kindly lent by Mr. James Harrison, where pastimes were provided for the children. At 4 o’clock the young friends of temperance partook of a substantial tea in Mr. Thos. Nutt’s barn. In the evening several melodies were sung by the children. The happy day was brought to a close, when the band, assisted by a few members of the Stamford Rifle Corps band, played to the station. The whole company reached home in joy and safety by the train at 10.20. The Stamford Band of Hope was established in June, 1856, and has been conducted and mainly supported by Mr. F. Pinney, assisted by Mr. J. Moore and a few friends. Two hundred and fifty-three children have been registered since the formation of the society, and all by the knowledge and consent of parents or guardians. This society is of an unsectarian character: its object is the education of the young in principles and habits of sobriety.

At the Stamford Union Board on Wednesday Mr. Laxton, the clerk, announced that, according to the order of the Guardians, he had summoned Mr. Eldrett, brickmaker, of Bourn, to appear before the Magistrates to show cause why he should not contribute to the support of his father, who has been for some years an inmate of the Union-house. The clerk was instructed to press for an order of the court, the sons of the pauper having previously evaded liability, although it is alleged they are in a position to free their father from Union relief. The master’s report showed the inmates to number 183; corresponding period of last year 162; increase 21. Cost of out-relief £92 6s 4d; corresponding period of last year £92 6s 0d. The number of vagrants relieved during the week was 44, being a third less than in the previous week.

The Messrs Windley concluded their summer theatrical season in Stamford on Saturday last; and their supporters will be sorry to learn that the visit has turned out a loss to them, although they brought a remarkably good company, and presented several dramas of deep interest and high merit. It is quite clear the maintenance of a full dramatic company in a place like Stamford, where the number of play-goers is limited, cannot pay the manager, while if he brings only a small company he gets much less support.

King’s Cliffe – On Tuesday the members of the Eagle lodge of Odd Fellows met to celebrate their annual feast. After attending divine service they sat down to a sumptuous dinner provided by host Dixon at the Golden Ball inn; Capt. Rickett presided, supported by the Rev. E. DuPre and several of the leading inhabitants of the parish. The secretary gave a very successful statement of the funds of the society. The members, headed by the King’s Cliffe brass band, walked in procession through the town, and had a very imposing appearance, the society having purchased a very handsome regalia, a splendid banner, scarfs,
&c.

200 years ago

Market Deeping, June 12, 1820.

Thos. Nelson, Clock and watch maker, is in immediate want of an Apprentice.

To Parents and Guardians.

Wanted, a respectable Youth as an Apprentice to a Surgeon and Apothecary. Wanted also, a Youth who has been some time with a Surgeon or Druggist, and is capable of being immediately useful in compounding Medicines – Apply to Mr. Dann, chemist, Spalding; letters to be post paid.

On Wednesday last the return match between the young gentlemen of Oakham School and the Hambleton Club was played on the Earl of Winchilsea’s ground, in which the former were a second time victorious, at one innings, by 31 notches.

Stamford, June 14, 1820.

G. Axe, Linen and Woollen Draper, High-street, impressed with a sense of gratitude for the very liberal encouragement he has met with since he commenced business in Stamford, begs to return his sincere thanks to the inhabitants and the public, and assures them it is his determination to merit a continuance of their patronage by every exertion in his power to serve them; and in consequence of the great distress prevailing in the manufacturing districts, he is now able to offer goods at astonishingly low prices, which will be found worthy of attention, the articles being far superior to those offered in the markets by hawkers,
&c.

We are happy to hear that the subscription for the History of Fotheringhay, about to be published at Oundle, is already a most respectable one. The consequence attached to the town, as being in days of yore the birth-place of Kings, and at a later time the scene of the imprisonment and execution of a Princess, gives to the ‘historic notices’ a general character, extending the local to a national interest.

A few days ago was cut in the garden of Mr. Thomas Cooley, of Moulton, a head of asparagus measuring in length 10 inches, and averaging 4½ inches in circumference.

Effect of Hot water in reviving Flowers – In Thompson’s Annals of Philosophy, it is said, that if flowers which have been 24 hours out of water, and are decayed, are plunged into hot water, as the water gradually cools, they become again quite fresh. This fact, while many discredit it, has long been familiar to those who live in the vicinity of hot springs; and who have remarked, that decayed flowers, plunged into the waters of the springs, become fresh and beautiful.

Hares prevented from destroying Wheat – A landed proprietor in the immediate vicinity of Bath, who is remarkable for his tenacity in the preservation of the game in his manor, finding that his preserves of hares (supposed to amount in number to nearly 10,000 head) were destructive to his own wheats, has resorted to a novel but infallible method of deferring them from injuring his own property, by using a coposition of tar and train oil in and about the musets of the hedges, and anointing the rails of the gates with the same. This expedient has completely succeeded, and the hares now wholly feed upon the young wheats of his neighbours – London Paper.

The assizes for the Isle of Ely will commence at Wisbech on Tuesday the 27th inst.

A few days ago was discovered in a creek near the sea, in Mr. Birkitt’s low marsh, Fosdyke, by some gentlemen, an extraordinary eel, measuring in length 73 inches and weighing 36 pounds. What is most remarkable is, that it is not of the species of the congor.



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