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Looking back at the history of Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings through the pages of the Mercury newspaper




10 years ago

This year’s Riverside Festival, which brought more than 15,000 people to Stamford town centre last weekend, could be the last of its kind.

The organisers of the music festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, are looking into changing the format and making it more of a cultural and arts event.

They are now bidding for funding of up to £20,000 to run a cultural festival next summer, in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics.

And they want people to come forward with their ideas of what shape the event could take.

25 years ago: July 7, 1995 – Super smiles: These enthusiastic youngsters at Black Prince Avenue in Market Deeping lend a lively hand with the improvement work. See story in 25 years ago section.
25 years ago: July 7, 1995 – Super smiles: These enthusiastic youngsters at Black Prince Avenue in Market Deeping lend a lively hand with the improvement work. See story in 25 years ago section.

Riverside director Jenny Collins said: “We want to brainstorm ideas and then hone them down to find out what kind of event it could be.

We want people to come forward to explore how we could bring this event to the town.

“If we got the go-ahead it could enhance the Riverside Festival or even replace it in its current form for future years.”

She said the new event could be “the catalyst for the rebirth” of Riverside.

She said: “We know Riverside has got too big and we hope this new event would be the catalyst to try something new but still keep the heart and soul of what we are all about.

At the moment the sky is the limit for what we could achieve with this new innovative event but we need people to come forward and help us make it a real town event.”

50 years ago: July 10, 1970 – For their July meeting, 16 members of Caldecott Women’s Institute went to the Town Hall, Stamford, where they were received by the Mayoress, Mrs J. Frisby, and the Deputy Mayoress, Mrs. G. Riley, before being shown the Regalia of the borough, a most impressive sight. Picture shows the Mayoress (left) with members of the Institute.
50 years ago: July 10, 1970 – For their July meeting, 16 members of Caldecott Women’s Institute went to the Town Hall, Stamford, where they were received by the Mayoress, Mrs J. Frisby, and the Deputy Mayoress, Mrs. G. Riley, before being shown the Regalia of the borough, a most impressive sight. Picture shows the Mayoress (left) with members of the Institute.

Youngsters have been risking their lives by leaping 20ft from a bridge into a river.

Teenagers keen to cool down in the summer sun have been caught on camera jumping into the River Nene off a bridge in Wansford.

The activity, known as tombstoning, was popularised on rocky coastal cliffs and piers.

Now youngsters are being warned they are risking their lives if they take part.

Vice chairman of Wansford Parish Council Graham Ward said barriers couldn’t be put upon the bridge because it was listed.

He warned people to be prepared to face the consequences if jumping from the bridge went wrong.

He added: “The water at the bridge is not especially deep and there is no way of knowing what is under the surface.

“I know people used to jump off the bridges, but I didn’t think that it had happened for a number of years.”

A police spokesman urged people wanting to swim to use pools or supervised swimming areas.

A mum and her friend were given the surprise of their lives when a 4ft snake slithered through the front door.

Homeowner Emma Smith, 31, and her friend Hannah Elkington’s quiet afternoon with their three-month-old sons Beau and Darwin took a dramatic twist when the grass snake raised its head and hissed at them before hiding beneath a bench.

The uninvited guest was eventually ushered out of the bungalow in Pinfold Gate, Ketton, by Emma’s husband Tom, 31, and staff from Rutland County Council.

The snake was released into Ketton Quarry Nature Reserve.

Grass snakes can grow up to about 6ft and are not venomous. They eat birds’ eggs and small animals.

Emma said: “Apparently they are supposed to be quite shy and stay away from people. We were chatting and laughing. We could not believe that it came into the house.

“It was very scary.”

25 years ago

Further traffic chaos in Stamford has been averted because British Gas has delayed plans to dig up part of North Street until work on St Mary’s Hill has finished.

The company was due to start a mains replacement programme on Monday and around 150 yards of the road from the Scotgate traffic lights and the traffic light sequence was to be amended.

But the town council asked the company not to begin work until the scaffolding outside Sue’s Flower House comes down.

Mike Chalmers, a spokesman for British Gas Transco said: “We had a letter from the council asking us to delay the works and we will not start until the council gives us the go-ahead.”

The company expects the programme to go on for around three weeks but has assured it will cause “minimal disruption” to the town’s traffic flow and there are signs to tell townspeople of the work.

A newly-wed Ketton couple gave up their honeymoon to help save the life of a young leukaemia sufferer.

Ken and Lesley Atkins had planned to spend a romantic week in the Lake District, but a letter from the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust only days before they tied the knot put paid to their plans.

In November 1986 Lesley volunteered as a bone marrow donor after a Round Table appeal.

She had heard nothing since, but just days before her wedding she was told she had been identified as a possible donor and tests had to be carried out urgently.

“The tests were far more important than any honeymoon,” said Lesley.

“My only hope is that I can help in some way to save a person’s life.”

They made the 200-mile round trip from their Manor Green home to London’s Free Hospital for the tests.

They now have an eight-week wait to find out if Lesley’s bone marrow, which could be used to save the life of a Swedish girl, is suitable.

Sounds of a steel band greeted guests at the grand opening of the third South Kesteven District Council Folk and Food, Drink and Dance Festival at Corby Glen.

Various musicians and artists entertained the public throughout the evening.

The evening signalled the start of contrasting events which will be taking place throughout the area as part of the festival.

Corby Glen Primary School gave a performance of country dancing in the market place followed by folk songs in the church.

A performance by the No Ordinary Angels trapeze artists on the village green drew a large crowd.

There were several exhibitions in the Methodist Chapel and numerous village organisations had market stalls.

The evening finished with a procession through the village which started at the Catholic Church and was joined by many people.

Residents in Market Deeping are working together to improve a housing estate.

Householders in Black Prince Avenue, asked Peterborough-based Nene Housing Society to co-ordinate the work and provide supervision and surveying skills.

Travis Perkins and Redland Bricks have been sponsoring the work by providing materials and equipment. The work includes demolishing a wall on the estate car park and rebuilding it at a lower height to improve visual surveillance and security in the area.

50 years ago

The go-ahead for Stamford’s old Bluecoat School to re-open was given this week, and the school should be ready for use in September.

And the chairman of the school managers, Ald. George Swanson revealed that the school may be named after Sir Malcolm Sargent, who was educated there around the turn of the century.

The school’s managers have written to relatives of Sir Malcolm asking permission, but have not yet received a reply.

Reaction to the news of the re-opening was varied. Ald. Swanson and the newly-appointed head-master Mr Paul Knight were pleased,

But Mr Keith Cardell, chairman of the St Peter’s Hill Protest Association, the group of parents who fought the re-opening, was “bitterly disappointed.”

Ald Swanson commented: “I am extremely pleased that we have got permission. It is essential to find more primary school places.

“I am also pleased to see that the new government seems to be placing more emphasis on the need for a new primary school.

“I think there is now real hope that a new primary school will be included in the 1972-73 school building programme starting list”

Ketton Rural Council decided at their meeting on Thursday, at Stamford, to give £200 towards the cost of new toilet and kitchen facilities at Tinwell Village Hall.

The Clerk (Mr G. P. Warters) read a letter from the hall committee, who said the hall, which was the old school, was becoming increasingly used, but there was a lack of facilities.

They said that the total cost would be about £1,200, and they were trying to get part of the cost by loans and grants. A village meeting was to be held to discuss arrangements in September.

“It is a good idea, and one which we ought to support,” said Mr Warters.

Councillor E. A. Wilson, of Tinwell, said that the old school had been let to the hall committee on a long lease, and vice chairman Councillor J. C. B. Blankley said that as the council had given money towards improvements at Ryhall Village Hall, he thought they should do the same for Tinwell.

He moved that £200 should be donated, and the members agreed.

A major recreational centre for sailing, fishing, water ski-ing and outdoor activities may be built between Tallington and West Deeping.

The firm wanting to build the centre is Dowsett Land Investments Ltd, of Greatford. They have submitted an outline planning application for the scheme which would include a hotel, with restaurant and a club house.

The proposals have had a warm welcome from both South Kesteven Rural Council and Kesteven County Council.

But because of the unusual nature of the development in this area, a Ministry of Housing and Local Government inquiry is to be held in Bourne, on August 4, to hear any objections.

About 212 acres of land is involved in the scheme, including disused, water-filled gravel pits.The site is east of the Dow-Mac factory, and to the north of the A16.

100 years ago

In connection with the Bourne Maternity and Child Welfare Centre a meeting was held in the Vestry Hall, North-street, under the presidency of Dr, Gilpin, on Wednesday afternoon, when addresses were given by Dr. Colman, Medical Officer of Health for Lincoln city, and Dr. Ethel Pryce, assistant County Medical Officer for Kesteven.

Resignation of Mr. J. J. Davies – A meeting of the Bourne School Managers was held on Tuesday, Mr. J B. Shilcock presiding. The resignation of Mr. J. J. Davies as headmaster of the boys’ school, in consequence of ill-health, was received with much regret. In his letter Mr. Davies stated he was acting on his doctor’s warning, and he asked to be released of his engagement on September 30. He had held the post of headmaster for 33 years, and he felt deeply grateful to the fidelity of his staff. If it had not been for their cordial co-operation the school could never have retained its reputation. To all he tendered his warmest and most heartfelt thanks. The Chairman said they were all agreed upon one point and that was that Mr. Davies had been a very excellent teacher, far beyond the standard of other schools in the district. They hoped he would be spared a good many years to enjoy the rest he so well deserved.

The attention of exhibitors is directed to the advertised list of schedule prizes which the Stamford Fat Stock Show Society proposes to give for their next exhibition on December 13.

Old Age Pensions – The monthly meeting of the No. 1 (Stamford) Sub-Committee was held at the Town Hall on Friday, at which were present Messrs. Sandall, Parker, Dyer, and the Clerk (R. W. Dodman), Mr. Sandall presiding. Two claims were considered, and provisionally allowed. The Uffington Sub-committee met in the afternoon in the same place, at which were present Messrs. S. J. Coe (chairman), C. H. Woolley, the Rev. C. J. Carter, and the Clerk (R. W. Dodman). One question was considered and resulted in the pension allowance being reduced on means.

Motor Smash – Left standing with the engine stationary in All Saints’-place, Stamford, on Tuesday night, a motor car belonging to Mr. V. Briggs, of Pickworth, started off on its own account, for some reason unexplained, and, gaining impetus on the incline towards All Saints’ street, crashed into the window of the premises occupied by Miss Higgs, confectioner. The window frame and masonry were demolished, but the car was little injured.

Stamford Burial Joint Committee. Mr. A. Dobbs presided at the quarterly meeting on Tuesday, when there were also present Messrs. R. March, H. E. Blackstone, H Deer and A. S. Hollis, with the Clerk (Mr. Charles Atter). The Clerk reported that Mr. B. W. Aldwinckle had been re-appointed to represent St. Martin’s parish on the committee for twelve months. A discussion arose regarding the supply of goods without written orders, and it was resolved that in future no accounts be paid unless a written order signed by the Clerk can be produced. Interments for the quarter ending June 20 were as follows: Under 5 years, 4, as against 4 in the corresponding quarter of 1919; 5 months and under 16 months, 0 (1); adults 18 (15); total 22 (20).

150 years ago

A meeting of the Stamford Improvement Commissioners was held on Tuesday evening last: present, Mr. Fysh (in the chair) and Messrs. Paradise, Bromhead, Jeffs, Browne, Lowe, Smith, Atter, and Parker. Formal sanction was given to the taking up of the slabs of the narrow pathway in front of Hopkins’ Hospital so that Mr. Torkington might make there an asphalted walk 5½ feet in width. It was stated that Mr. Torkington is about to effect an improvement by putting down a dwarf wall with palisading in place of the present garden boundary. A grate was ordered to be placed opposite Rutland Terrace to take away surface water, which at present finds its way into the field opposite. It was reported that damage had been done to the kerb in Water-street by a traction-engine, and steps were to be taken for its repair by the owner of the engine. Permission was given to the churchwardens of St. Michael to carry a drain for surface water from the house occupied by Jas. Langley into the public sewer.

There was a day trip from Stamford to Matlock and Rowsley, on Monday, by the Midland, and another on Wednesday; there was a five day excursion to London on Monday; on Tuesday tickets at reduced rates were issued in connection with the dog, flower, and poultry show at Boston; and on Thursday passengers were booked to Peterboro’, for the agricultural show, at single fares for the double journey.

An accident occurred on Monday at the lime kilns by the side of the Essendine railway, near the Uffington-road. Hy. Porter, formerly of Casterton, was trying to start a horse with a laden cart, when the animal turned restive and bolted rapidly forward: the horse, the cart, and the man were tumbled into a cutting a few feet deep. Porter luckily escaped being crushed to death; but he was severely injured, some of his ribs being broken. The horse’s skull was cracked, exposing the covering of the brain; but the animal, which belongs to Messrs. Halliday and Cave, is progressing satisfactorily under the care of a veterinary surgeon, who inserted a plate to protect the brain.

Stamford Union – According to the master’s report at the meeting on Wednesday last there are 187 inmates of the Union-house, which is 40 more than in the corresponding week of last year, the increase being in all the classes, viz, 15 in the old and temporarily disabled classes, 4 in the able-bodied adult class, and 21 in the class for children and infants. On the out-relief books the number (861) is the same within one as at the corresponding period of last year, but the cost is nearly £2 more. The number of tramps is diminishing, only 39 being received in the house last week. The Clerk reported that he had obtained at the last Bourn sessions an order upon Mr. Eldrett, brickmaker, of 2s. per week towards the support of his father, who is in the Union-house, the Bench leaving the Union authorities to obtain the balance from three other sons of the pauper. The Clerk was directed to proceed against the other sons to recover the full cost of their father’s maintenance.

On Wednesday last Mr. Scholes, corn-dealer, of St. Peter’s-street, Stamford, was backing a horse & cart laden with stone, on Bath-row, when the whole fell into the river. The animal, a quiet one, was got out without much injury.

200 years ago

On Saturday last an inquest was held at Pilsgate by John Atkinson, Gent, coroner, on the body of ___ Allen, labourer, who was found drowned in the pond in Burghley Park on the preceding day: verdict accordingly.

We are happy to say that the statement of the death of our newsman, Bee, of Donington, is premature: he was on Friday sufficiently recovered to reach home. The false representation was conveyed to us by a person who wishes to be his successor – and who, for once, imposed upon us.

Inquests held by Mr. Mastin since our last. On Tuesday, at Donington, on the body of William Hewitt: whilst he was driving a cart of the 22d June, drawn by one horse, the bit of the bridle broke, when the horse ran off with the cart, and overturned it upon the breast of the unfortunate man, who lingered until the 26th, and then died. Verdict, accidental death. At the same time and place, on the body of a child named Lucy Barnsdale: while in the act of taking the tea-kettle off the fire on the 13th of June, her clothes caught the flame, whereby she was so much burnt that she lived but a fortnight after the accident. Verdict, accidentally burnt to death. On Thursday, at Chapel Hill, on the body of Wm. Ablewhite, who, while bathing in the Sleaford Navigation, unfortunately got out of his depth; although he was got out instantly, and showed signs of animation, yet for want of proper apparatus, &c. the vital spark had fled for ever. Verdict, accidentally drowned. And on Saturday, at Skegness, on the body of a well-dressed seaman, who was discovered lying on the beach by some gentlemen bathers at Mr. Stafford’s hotel. It appeared that this unfortunate man had been drowned a considerable time, having lost one hand, and being otherwise much disfigured, so as to present a most shocking spectacle. Verdict, found drowned.

Market Deeping, June 26, 1820.

John Wherry, Grocer, Chandler, and Ironmonger, wishes to express his sense of the favors heretofore conferred upon his late Mother, and to announce that he intends continuing the business, with the anguine hope of obtaining the patronage of his friends and the public, which will be his constant endeavour to deserve.

All demands upon the late concern, and all debts due therefrom, will be settled by J.W., who is duly authorised by the Trustees.

Stamford Charity for Married Lying-in Women, and Madras School for Girls.

Every subscriber of one guinea is entitled to two tickets of recommendation in the year, and may have two girls in the school; and every subscriber of half-a-guinea is entitled to one recommendation, and to have one child in the school.

Donations and Subscriptions will be thankfully received by the Ladies forming the Committee.

Annual Subscriptions are now due.



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