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Mercury Memories: Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings as they were at this time of the year through history

10 years ago

The owners of a popular hotel have scrapped their plans to appeal against refusal for a major refurbishment.

Burghley House Preservation Trust, which owns the Lady Anne’s Hotel in High Street St Martin’s, Stamford, was refused permission in August last year to double the size of the hotel.

It wanted to provide 50 bedrooms, a conference centre, meeting room, extended restaurant and bar. It started an appeal in October by applying to the Planning Inspectorate to overturn South Kesteven District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission.

25 years ago: March 31, 1995 – Headteacher Paul Knight said farewell to pupils and staff at Stamford’s Malcolm Sargent School this week with a visit from a special guest Richard Baker. Pictured: Paul Knight is seen with Richard Baker surrounded by pupils
25 years ago: March 31, 1995 – Headteacher Paul Knight said farewell to pupils and staff at Stamford’s Malcolm Sargent School this week with a visit from a special guest Richard Baker. Pictured: Paul Knight is seen with Richard Baker surrounded by pupils

But this week the trust said it had dropped its appeal plans and would “reassess” the future of the hotel.

Its estates director David Pennell said: “Much care and discussion has taken place regarding the future of this historic building.

“During the months ahead we will liaise closely with all parties to ensure the Lady Anne’s Hotel will continue to play an important part in Stamford’s history and contribute to the economy, business and social communities.”

50 years ago: April 3, 1970 – Members of the Baston keep fit group put on an end of season display in the Darby and Joan Hall, Bourne, last week. Pictured: Thirteen members of the group with organiser Mrs Kathleen Knipe at the front
50 years ago: April 3, 1970 – Members of the Baston keep fit group put on an end of season display in the Darby and Joan Hall, Bourne, last week. Pictured: Thirteen members of the group with organiser Mrs Kathleen Knipe at the front

A community project to clear up an overgrown churchyard has been put on hold until October.

Stamford town councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem) organised the venture a The Old Churchyard of St Martin’s, in Park Lane, Stamford, which he started nearly a fortnight ago – but has since been told that it could interfere with birds nesting though the spring and summer seasons.

Last week he appealed for more volunteers to muck in and clean up the area, which is the burial site of town legend Daniel Lambert, but now plans will have to wait until autumn after being asked by South Kesteven District Council to postpone the project.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states that it is an offence to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while that nest is on use or being built.

A go-kart track on the Meadows and a swimming pool are just some of the things school pupils would like to see in Stamford in the future.

Stamford Civic Society launched its Views of the Future competition earlier this year and encouraged children between the ages of five and 16 who attend a school in Stamford to submit drawings or a written piece on what they would like to see in the town in 10 years time.

More than 60 entries were submitted from pupils at Malcolm Sargent Primary School, Stamford Queen Eleanor School and Stamford Endowed Schools.

Judges looked at the entries during an open evening on Thursday last week, which was held at Malcolm Sargent Primary School in Empingham Road.

Chairman of Stamford Civic Society Gwyneth Gibbs said: “We launched the competition to encourage children to think about Stamford and maybe one day become a member of the society.

“Some of the ideas like a go-kart track on the Meadows I wouldn’t advocate as a member of the civic society but the message that came through was that everyone would like to see more for young people to do in the town.

“I was impressed at the high standard of entries and I would like to congratulate the entrants on their hard work.”

25 years ago

The elderly in Oakham and nearby villages are soon to enjoy a more local service from Age Concern.

The old people’s charity opens an office in Oakham on Saturday, April 1, after finally persuading Leicestershire County Council it should run its own affairs.

The Oakham and district branch failed twice, but this year has won funding for an office in the town from the county council’s Care in the Community budget.

Branch chairman Joy Gregg said: “The centre will provide somewhere for the elderly to go to discuss their problems.

“And our aim is to expand our services to villages. Apart from Cottesmore, all our services are sited in Oakham.

“We would like to see luncheon clubs set up for groups of villages.”

And the charity has already received a petition signed by 32 North Luffenham elderly people asking for a lunch club.

Stamford traders – backed by a petition from 3,000 shoppers – are to tackle the county council head on in an attempt to get Broad Street returned to a two-way system.

More than 30 traders this week said the present one-way system had cost them business and threatened the future of the area.

The move by the Chamber of Trade follows a meeting on Wednesday when one member, Burna Canham, of Pacey and Canham in Ironmonger Street warned: “We’ve got to fight this issue for our town because it will die on its feet if we don’t.”

Forty-two traders want the two-way system brought back and the Chamber will present a 3,000 name petition to a meeting of the county traffic sub-committee in June.

Sue Gray, of Sue’s Flower House, told the Mercury: “For the first time we have evidence that traders are suffering.”

Some traders have lost a third of their customers since the one-way system began.

Last week the Mercury called upon the town council to press for Broad Street to be returned to a two-way system as an emergency relief road during the three months that St Mary’s Street will be restricted to one-way traffic.

This will begin from April 24 to allow renovations to properties in St Mary’s Hill and St Mary’s Street.

Plans to upgrade the A1 to motorway status may be delayed because of “differing views” on the environment, traffic congestion and economic growth.

That was the news from Cambridgeshire County Council this week as it lobbies the Highway Agency in an effort to put the planned work on hold and to wait for discussion on a new transportation policy from the Secretary of State for Transport.

A spokesman for the council said: “Reports by two national agencies on pollution and traffic generation could herald a new direction for transport policies, addressing the conflicting pressures which the two reports highlight.

“County councillors want the Highways Agency to re-access these proposals for widening the A1 in the light of findings in these reports.

Villagers in Thornhaugh have formed their own action group against the plans that have been described as “an environmental and social blunder on a mid-boggling scale” by group spokesman Joan Devancy.

50 years ago

The protest movement over the proposed re-opening of Stamford’s old Bluecoat School gained momentum last night with a public meeting at the Town Hall.

It was expected that Kesteven’s Deputy Director of Education, Mr. J. D. Chrisp, would answer questions from the floor. Chairman for the evening was to be Mr. L. G. Harrison, vice-chairman of Peterborough Ratepayers’ Association.

A parents’ protest march, from the old school buildings in St. Peter’s Hill to the Town Hall, was due to take place just before the meeting started.

And on Tuesday two Stamford parents went down to the old school and stuck posters on the walls and gates in protest over the proposed re-opening.

The posters publicised last night’s meeting and referred to the building as “a slum”.

They were put up by Mr Keith Cardell who has already organised a petition about the re-opening, and housewife Mrs Phyllis Black.

Next week the Stamford Mercury - Britain’s oldest newspaer – moves forward into the age of photo-composing, electronics and computerisation in the printing world.

The paper will be produced on the modern equipment which has been installed at the Woodston (Peterborough) plant of East Midlands Allied Press, our parent company, and will be printed on the latest web-offset press.

The paper will be collated in two sections and while it will look slightly different to the paper as you know it today, you may be sure that we shall continue to provide you with a readable, newsy “Mercury”.

Uppingham Rural Council has again complained “very strongly” to Rutland Surveyor about “the disgraceful condition of the streets particularly the High Street, during the recent snowfalls”.

But in future the council may tackle the problem itself – Coun Ray Elsey asked that the question of allocating money for snow clearance should be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

He had expressed strong views about the High Street, which it was said, was “practically unusable by traffic” and snow had remained there long after it had gone from other main roads.

The Clerk (Mr Noel Branston) said: “We have been told by the district auditor that we have no power to spend money on snow clearance.

“However, we do have authority to spend up to 1d rate for any purpose for the benefit of the community where we have no powers.

“If the council wish to devote money for this purpose they can do so by giving prior information in the form of a resolution saying that they authorise their officials to spend, say up to £300, on snow clearance.”

Ryhall schoolchildren have probably spent their last winter standing in the cold waiting for buses, for the Parish Council are considering putting up a shelter.

At the Annual Parish Meeting on Tuesday last week it was decided that there was a need.

A piece of land near the Square was thought to be the most suitable site, but as other sites were also suggested the meeting agreed to leave the matter in the hands of the Council.

The Clerk of Ketton Rural Council (Mr. G. P. Warters) opened the meeting with a talk on the re-organisation of local government and the proposals for the Maud Report.

100 years ago

Employees Help The Infirmary – The employees at Messrs. Williamson and Cliff’s brick works have arranged for 1d. per week per head to be deducted from their wages to be contributed to the funds of the Stamford and Rutland General Infirmary.

Billiard Match – In a match on Thursday the Conservative Club defeated the Rutland Engineering Works’ Club, on the latter’s tables, by 1191 to 1077. Six games of 200 were played, the “politicians” winning five.

Overseers Appointed – At the petty sessions on Saturday, the overseers for the various parishes were appointed as follows: St Michael’s: A. Curson and A. Loveday; St. George’s: F. Andrew and N. Baker; All Saints’: H. Gilbert and T. H. Boyden; St Martin’s: H. Hayre and H. Hackett; St. John’s: C. Weatherington and J. W. Everard; St. Mary’s: E. Glitherow and W. King.

Musical Recital – A pleasing variation from the ordinary service in the form of a musical recital was welcomed y a large congregation at St. George’s Church on Sunday evening. In place of a sermon, Mr. G. A. Harper, the organist had prepared the choir for several items which gave them scope for their talents, and each selection was rendered to good effect. The vocal soloists were Mr. F. E. Riley (“There is a Green Hill”), Master C. Hardy (“The Chorister”), Miss E. Harper (“Vesper Hymn”), and Mr A. Bowles (“Dreaming of Paradise”), the recital concluding with a flute solo, “Slumber Song” (J. C. Billing, A.R.C.O.), by Mr. F. Gunton, the beautiful melody being heard to the best advantage.

Stamford Board of Guardians – At Monday’s meeting, the Marquess of Exeter presiding, tradesmen were appointed for the ensuing half-year, and tenders for the next quarter were accepted from the following: Mr. F. Cunington, meat; Messrs. Hudson and Son, bread and flour; Messrs. Cumberland Bros. and Mr. H. Hackett, groceries and provisions; Messrs. Godfrey ad Co., coal; Col. Pinder, milk.

Old Age Pensions – Both Uffington and Stamford sub-committees met at the Town Hall, Stamford, on Friday last. At the former there were present Mr. S. J. Coe (chairman), the Rev. C. J. Cartwright, Mr. C. H. Woolley, and the Clerk (Mr. R. W. Dodman), when ten claims were considered and allowed. At the Stamford sub-committee there were present Messrs. H. T. Daniels (chairman), E. Joyce, Thos. Sandall, S. Dyer, F. K. Parker, the Clerk (Mr. R. W. Dodman), and the pension officer, by request. A re-considered claim adjourned from the previous meeting, and two others were allowed, and a question raised by the pension officer in respect to means, resulted in a reduction in the pension allowance.

Bourne – The vacancies as Black Sluice Commissioners for the parishes of Cawthorpe and Dyke were filled last Thursday by the appointment of Mr. W. E. Cooper and Mr. R. E. Ash respectively, at a vestry meeting held in the church. The parish of Cawthorpe was taken first, and Mr. J. S. Mills was voted to the chair. In addition to Mr. Cooper, Mr. A. E. Mills, of Hacconby, was proposed. Mr. J. Wilcox presided at the meeting for the parish of Dyke, for which there was only one nomination. The proceedings were conducted by Mr. F. H. Sones.

150 years ago

Stamford and Rutland Infirmary – The sum of £1 2s. 6d. has been received by the treasurers, being part of proceeds of collection at Castle Bytham church.

The election of guardians in the several parishes of the Stamford Union has passed over without a contest. There were six nominations for Ketton, but three of them were informal, and as another gentleman who was nominated sent a notice declining to serve, the remaining two were appointed. There are eight new guardians, viz., Mr. H. Michelson for All Saints’, Stamford; Mr. W. Sneath, for St, Michael’s, Stamford; the Rev. J. Twining, for Little Casterton; Mr. E. L. Thompson, for Greatford; Mr. T. C. Molesworth, for Ketton; Mr. W. Traylen, for Stibbington; Mr. John Aldwinckle, for Uffington; and Mr. E. Browning, for Wothorpe.

The theatre at Stamford was opened for a brief season under new management on Monday last, and though the public greeting was from a small audience, the company gave tokens of average merit. The drama selected for the first night was a heavy one – more calculated for spirited acting by the leading characters than for popular approval, but the appointments were good, and the arrangements generally such as to afford indications of Mr. Windley’s capability as a manager. On the following night some sterling comedies were played, with interludes introducing four clever dancing ladies, the latter a feature that seems to secure the hearty approval of the audiences. Mr. H. Windley himself contributes largely to the comic business of the entertainments.

Stamford Midlent Pleasure Fair promises to be one of the largest experienced for many years. After the stock had been cleared off on Monday, preparations at once commenced, a number of caravans, &c., that had arrived the previous day taking up their respective positions, and before night two or three large steam roundabouts and a novelty in the shape of a bicycle roundabout were in full “swing” to the great delight of troops of juveniles. By Thursday morning – the first principal day of the mart – every available space had been taken up with shows, stalls of fancy goods, shooting-galleries, and other adjuncts of a fair. Amongst the leading exhibitions are Edmonds’ Menagerie, Day’s Menagerie, the Star Marionettes, the Living Head, the Giant Twins, the Olympic Temple, &c. &c. The principal attraction yesterday was Edmonds’ large collection of valuable quadrupeds and bipeds, among which is the veritable horse of the late King Theodore of Abyssinia, and which of course was an object of great curiosity. Externally also this exhibition drew crowds of listeners to the music and spectators of the gorgeous front.

A fatal gun accident happened near Tallington on Friday last. A young man who was scaring birds with a gun on Mr. Searson’s farm stopped to talk to a labourer named Jas. Jarvis, aged 72, and whilst so engaged the gun, which was under his arm and which was loaded with stones, went off accidentally, and the contents entered the unfortunate old man’s side. He was taken home and medical aid procured as quickly as possible, but the injuries he had received were so severe that he died the next day. At an inquest held on Monday. Before W. Edwards, Esq., coroner, a verdict of accidental death was returned.

Folkingham is to be put into communication with the telegraphic system today.

200 years ago

To Cover this Season, 1820, at Stocken-Hall, Greetham, The Flyer.

In 1818, The Flyer, at 3 years old, won the Billingbear Stakes, worth fifteen hundred guineas. In 1819, he won the cup at Newmarket, beating the best horse on the turf. The Flyer is sixteen hands high, able to carry sixteen stone with hounds, with the best temper in the world.

He will cover at Six Guineas and a Crown the Groom, thorough-bred Mares; and Two Guineas and a Crown the Groom, half-bred Mares.

Conveyance of Vagrants

Such persons as are desirous of Contracting with the Magistrates of the county of Northampton, for the Conveyance of Vagrants through the county from Easton by Stamford, Thrapston, and Oundle, are to deliver in their Proposals (in writing) to the Court, on the Second day of the ensuing Quarter Sessions, being Friday the 14th of April next.

By Order of Court, Chr. Smyth, Clerk of the Peace, Northampton, 16th March, 1820.

To the accounts of numerous fatal accidents which have happened from imprudently leaving loaded fire-arms in exposed situations, we have to add that a melancholy circumstance of the kind occurred at Great Casterton, near this place, on Thursday the 23rd inst. A servant of Mrs. Franks, having been out in the field with a loaded gun, on returning home incautiously laid it down on a table in the kitchen, where, in the absence of Mrs. Franks, her son and a lad named Osborne, both about eight years of age, were playing together. The former taking up the gun and pointing it at Osborne, said he would shoot him, and immediately discharged the piece, the contents of which entered the face and eyes of the latter, and he now lies in consequence in a very dangerous state, totally deprived of sight.

On Tuesday last as inquest was held at the gaol at Oakham, on the body of John Popple. Who was confined for want of sureties for his good behaviour towards his wife, Sarah Popple, of Uppingham. Verdict, died by visitation of God.

Caution to Drivers of Waggons – Thomas Hasten, of Morton, servant, was convicted at Bourn town-hall on Saturday last, before the Rev. S. E. Hopkinson and Wm. Waters, Clerks, Magistrates for Kesteven, of riding upon his waggon on the turnpike, and insolently refusing to tell his name when required, and was committed to Falkingham house of correction for three weeks to hard labor. The Magistrates felt themselves compelled for a sense of duty thus to make an example, and to show that not even the excellent character given this man by his master and neighbours could excuse a conduct so dangerous to the public and so contrary to law.

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