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Mercury Memories from Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings: Britain's oldest continuously published newspaper has an amazing archive managed by the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust

25 years ago

Telephone voters have given a resounding NO to Stamford’s Broad Street one-way system after calling into a Mercury hotline.

A total of 950 callers said they did not want Broad Street to stay one-way while 277 said they thought it should stay the same.

Trader Burma Canham, who says firms are losing thousands of pounds worth of business because of the one-way system, said: “The results clearly show the strength of public feeling in the town against the one-way system.

25 years ago: June 9, 1995 – A garden fête in memory of the late Darren Palmer, who died after a road accident last year, has raised nearly £1,000 in just six hours. The efforts took the Darren Palmer Trust Fund, to build a ventilator for a new neurological unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, to £10,700, more than halfway to the £20,000 target. Pictured: Clowning around: Nicky Day is pictured with Sarah Frampton (8) and Andrea Lake (7).
25 years ago: June 9, 1995 – A garden fête in memory of the late Darren Palmer, who died after a road accident last year, has raised nearly £1,000 in just six hours. The efforts took the Darren Palmer Trust Fund, to build a ventilator for a new neurological unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, to £10,700, more than halfway to the £20,000 target. Pictured: Clowning around: Nicky Day is pictured with Sarah Frampton (8) and Andrea Lake (7).

“This is the third such poll that has been done on Broad Street and they all come out the same way. I think people are beginning to see the light on this issue. I accept that a telephone poll was not truly democratic because it was open to abuse.”

Coun Phillip Keddell, who argues that the one-way system is safer, said he did not think a telephone vote was a democratic way to tackle the problem because “people can vote more than once.”

He said the way to clear up the debate was to commission market research on the Broad Street problem to gain a consensus on town opinion.

Nostalgia was in the air at Castle Cement as former employees returned to take a look at a mural painted by the late artist Wilfred Wood depicting life at the Ketton plant in 1939.

Former managing director Geoffrey Turner and wage office girl Vera Cook returned to the works offices to take another look at the colourful mural and take a trip down memory lane.

The names of those caricatured in the painting will be familiar to many in the Rutland village.

There is the founder of the plant and the painting’s commissioner Eric Elmquist, Walter Parker, Frank Downs, John Doyle, Ben Smith, Jimmy Pugh, Eric Elkington, Freddie Taylor, Rodney Thompson, Bill Howlett, Sam Edis, Ernie Marlow, Percy Stafford, William Parkin, company chairman Joseph Ward, Bob Stagg, Harold Briars, managing director F. R. Stagg, Alf Bradshaw, Mr Sanders, Ida Harvey, Mr Dunleavie and William Dawson.

Vera, of High Street, Ketton, easily recognised the pictures of her late husband Harold and father Abraham Spittle.

“The last time I saw it was when I left the plant in 1946. It was lovely to see it again.”

Castle Cement, or the Ketton Portland Cement Company as it used to be called, has made an appeal to find those pictured who are still alive.

Pride in Rutland can now help put money in your pocket – and help local charities at the same time, with the launch of a credit card especially designed for the county.

A Visa card bearing the green and gold county colours and the traditional horseshoe has been issued in conjunction with Beneficial Bank, the UK’s largest issuer of affinity credit cards.

Timed just as the county is on the brink of a final unitary status, the card, which was launched on Monday, will benefit Rutland charities as well as underlining the county’s go-it-alone campaign.

For every account opened with the bank, £5 will be given to the region’s tourist association and various charities and 20p in every £100 spent on the card will also be donated by the bank, at no expense to the cardholder.

And the cardholder will also benefit from the introductory rate of 14.9 per cent APR for the first six months.

Rutland District Council chairman Brian Montgomery said: “Obviously this is a very good thing for the county, particularly as it is timed with a decision on our unitary bid due at any time now.”

Vandals have struck again at Bourne Town FC, hurling paving stones through windows and damaging the clubhouse roof at the Abbey Lawn.

News of the latest attack comes in a week when the club has been rocked by the sacking of manager Mark Mitchell.

The sacking follows discussions at committee level about the club’s current financial situation and planned cuts in team budget for next season.

Club vice-chairman Don Mitchell, who will resign at the club’s annual meeting next month in support of his son, describes the latest vandalism as “dispiriting” and says the damage to windows alone could cost as much as £600.

He said: “Vandalism in the town is rife and beyond acceptability. It is very dispiriting, not to say costly.”

50 years ago: June 12, 1970 – Mayor of Stamford, Coun Jack Frisby, is presented with a bouquet and chocolates for the Mayoress, by 18-month-old Karen Whittle and Suzanne Whittle, aged 4, just before the start of Saturday evening’s Salvation Army walk. On the left is organising committee chairman, Mr Roger Whittle and in the background (centre) is newly appointed Stamford Salvation Army officer, Lt John Brook-Smith.
50 years ago: June 12, 1970 – Mayor of Stamford, Coun Jack Frisby, is presented with a bouquet and chocolates for the Mayoress, by 18-month-old Karen Whittle and Suzanne Whittle, aged 4, just before the start of Saturday evening’s Salvation Army walk. On the left is organising committee chairman, Mr Roger Whittle and in the background (centre) is newly appointed Stamford Salvation Army officer, Lt John Brook-Smith.

50 years ago

Stamford could have a heated swimming pool ready for use next May, if the Borough Council agree.

This was revealed at the annual meeting of the Stamford Indoor Swimming Pool Project last week by committee member Mr Alan Patrick.

He said that the project had already raised enough money to have heating apparatus installed at the town’s pool, providing the Council gave permission.

Committee members had met members of the Council’s markets and general amenities committee and had put the proposal to them.

But Mr Patrick felt it would be unlikely that the Council would be able to make a decision until its September meeting.

“But if we can get cracking in September the heating apparatus could be installed ready for the start of the season next May,” he said.

The swimming pool project had done a cost analysis on ways of heating the pool and had found that an electric system would be best.

Cost of the plans and installation would be around £1,400 and running costs about £412 a season.

Brilliant sunshine and soaring temperatures helped to attract a thousand people to Thornhaugh and Wansford villages at the weekend when they held their fourth annual “At Home”.

Thornhaugh and Wansford Weekend – or TWW for short – began on Saturday, but it was Sunday that brought most of the visitors.

There were queues for boat trips on the river and a steady stream of people visited the churches and village gardens.

The churches in both villages were beautifully decorated by the ladies, and children at Thornhaugh School made floral kneelers to decorate a corner of the church.

Teas were served in houses and cottages and at Sacrewell Farm visitors saw an old working mill.

On Sunday afternoon Peterborough Handbell Ringers gave a recital in Thornhaugh church which was packed to capacity for the occasion.

Both village churches had ancient registers on display, along with an altar frontal, altar cloth and tapestry kneelers made by residents.

Thornhaugh school was open and visitors were able to see some of the children’s books.

About two hundred people attended a barn dance at Sacrewell Farm on Saturday evening when, after a cold buffet, the guests danced to “Memorial” pop group from Stamford, and discotheque music arranged by Sgt. J. Benson, of RAF Wittering.

Children took pony rides in the garden of Stibbington House and local produce was on sale on a stall near the river. Cricket matches were also played.

Kesteven County Council treats the people of Bourne “with the greatest contempt,” Coun L. W. H. Warner said on Wednesday.

Coun Warner was seconding a motion to defer a grant of £1,300 for a heated learners’ swimming pool for Bourne Grammar School.

Coun R. K. M. Tallents, proposing the motion said: “This has caused quite an uproar in Bourne.

“There is already a full-sized swimming pool in Bourne at the Abbey Lawn. Organisations in the town are raising money for heating the town’s own pool.

“The Education Committee decided to make a grant of £1,300. But the total cost of the pool is £4,073. I suppose the rest will have to come out of the public pocket.”

He asked the council if a learner pool at Bourne was really necessary. He pointed out that ninety per cent of children from Bourne Primary School who attended the Grammar School could already swim

Coun Tallents proposed two motions. One was that the County Council should investigate ways of giving more information to councillors on committee decisions affecting their areas.

The second was that the grant should be deferred. Both motions were defeated heavily on a show of hands.

Seconding, Coun Warner said: “There is great concern in this town. The County Council never consider us. They treat us with great contempt.”

100 years ago

Girl Guides – A pleasant afternoon was spent by local members of this movement, and many interested in the charming grounds of Barn-hill House, by kind permission of Miss Mortimer, on the 3rd inst. The feature of the occasion was a visit from Mrs. Mark-Kerr, Commissioner for the County of London, and Deputy Chief Commissioner for the Home Counties, who was introduced to the assembly by the Countess of Ancaster (County Commissioner for Kesteven). Her Ladyship pointed out that Mrs. Mark-Kerr’s presence was a great compliment to the guide movement locally, and indicated that she realised the good work done during the past three or four years by those officers who had struggled to inaugurate the local companies and put them on such a good footing under the adversity of lack of interest generally in the project. (Applause.) Her Ladyship said she was pleased to announce that she had secured the co-operation of Mrs. Harvey as District Commissioner for South Holland, Miss Lubbock in a like capacity for the Stamford rural district, and Mrs. Bailey as District Commissioner for Stamford, and she was assured that with their assistance the movement must progress. (Applause.) Mrs. Mark-Kerr addressed the Guides, who included the Bourne and Spalding contingents in addition to two Stamford companies, and her words must have had a heartening and inspiring influence on the girls and their officers. She also distributed badges to a large number of Guides for successes achieved in various branches of the work. Thanks having been fittingly expressed to her and to Miss Mortimer by the Rev. E. L. C. Clapton, R.D., and the Rev. H. E. Dean, the girls went through various exhibitions of their useful achievements in Guide-craft. They were afterwards entertained to tea, arranged by Mrs. G. M. Blackstone, Mrs. Pinder and Mrs. Bellhouse, at the Girls’ Club, about 100 attending.

Home Property at Auction – At the Stamford Hotel, on Friday evening, Messrs. Richardson conducted a sale of local house properties, etc., with the following results: Residence, the “Castlenau,” 1, Newcross-road, with gardens, etc., extending to 953 sq. yds., £1025, Mr. J. Dalton, for the tenant (Mr. H. A. Jury); “Sledmere,” the adjoining residence, extending to 971 sq. yds., of which vacant possession was offered, £1250, Mr. R. M. English; 31, Queen-street, Northfields, occupied by Mr. E. J. W. Wilson, £400, Mr.V. G. Stapleton; dwelling-house in East-street, formerly known as the “White Horse” inn, let to Mr. Jno. Walker, at £15 12s. per annum, was withdrawn at £150; premises on Wharf-road, formerly used as a maltings, occupied by Messrs. Scotney and Son, with yard adjoining, occupied by Mr. R. Howard, containing 434 sq. yds., £150, Mr. J. W. Scotney; 2a, 1r. 20p. Building land on the north of Queen’s-walk, in the occupation of Mr. A. G. Harvey, at £5 10s. per annum, £200, Mr. H. Kelham; building in Church-lane, Barnack, used as a warehouse, occupied by Mr. C. H. Whittington, at £2 15s. per annum, £25, the tenant. Mr. C. Atter was the solicitor acting on behalf of the vendors.

Bourne North Fen Drainage Trustees – The annual meeting was held on Wednesday, when Mr. C. E. Andrew presided. The accounts for the year showed that £558 6s. 11d. had been received from current rates, £58 11s. 9d. from the previous year’s arrears, £408 7s. 11d. transferred from the farm account, £353 received from the sale of old plant, and a mortgage had been raised of £5000, making a total income of £6378 6s. 7d. The year was commenced with a balance due to the bank of £4142 19s. The total expenditure was £7312 7s. 10d., leaving a balance of £934 1s. 3d due to the bank. The farm account balance of £258 was transferred to the general account. It was stated that the amount paid for the new pumping plant and fixing was £4903 and contingencies made up the total cost of works to just under £5500. The Trustees having applied for an order to increase the rate levied on the district, the estimate for the ensuing year and the rate were adjourned to a future meeting. Mr. Andrew was re-elected chairman.

150 years ago

A correspondent says, “A few young men, with apparently more public spirit than the Stamford Corporation, have just been at their expense of putting down substantial steps and a wooden landing place for the common benefit of the hundreds who in the summer season invigorate their constitutions by bathing in the Cow-holme. An attempt is also being made to raise funds for erecting a hoarding so as to screen the bathers from the view of people passing along the footpath in the meadows, and several gentlemen have promised subscriptions.”

The long spring drought is causing very great anxiety in this neighbourhood. There has been no sensible amount of rain, except for one day, for nearly three months, the consequence of which is a generally slow growth of vegetation, almost barren pastures, and the prospect of the smallest hay crop for some years. Wheat at present looks flourishing; but the spring-sown corn is everywhere dwarfish, and both barley and oats must inevitably prove light crops. Some recent frosts have damaged potatoes and scarlet runners, and peas will be deficient for want of moisture. Altogether the season both for the farmer and the gardener is very disheartening.

A cauliflower of the following dimensions has been exhibited at Bourn: 42 inches from the top of the flower to the bottom of the stem, round the stem 11 inches, 38 inches round the flower, and weight 28lbs. It was grown at Swinstead, on a plot of ground lately broken up and cultivated by Jno. Kettle, postman between Bourn and Swinstead.

The 30th annual meeting of the shareholders of the Bourn Gas Company took place at the Town-hall on Wednesday evening last. Mr. W. Wherry, who occupied the chair, read the directors’ statement of receipts, payments, &c., during the year. The directors’ report recommended a dividend of 6 per cent, which was carried unanimously. The retiring directors were W. Parker, Esq., and Mr. John Bott and Mr. Hy. Bott, all of whom were re-elected. Mr. Thos, Johnson was elected a director in the place of Mr. W. Emmitt, deceased. The recommendation of the directors that, in consequence of an increased demand for gas, new and larger mains should be laid from the works to the Market-place, was adopted.

Uppingham – The water supply here is becoming seriously deficient. Many wells in the town are quite dry, and the spring at the west end of the town, which never used to fail, has now become nearly useless.

Uppingham Union – On Wednesday last there were many applications for relief by able-bodied people, which is an unusual thing at this period of the year. The destitution amongst the labouring class is much greater at the present time than it generally is in the winter months. The drought is one cause of the scarcity of employment.

Rutland – the thirty-eighth annual meeting of the Rutland General Friendly Institution was held at the National school-room, Cottesmore, on the 2d inst: the Hon. and Rev. Leland Noel presided, supported by the Hon. and Rev. A. G. Stuart (Cottesmore), the Rev. Thos. Heycock (Seaton), Messrs. Burgess, Wortley, Wellington, Hopkins, Hawthorn, &c. The accounts were audited and found correct. The property of the institution is now £3468 18s. 11d, invested in the Bank of England and Savings Bank. The interest arising therefrom this year is £109 4s. 5d. The Rev. Edward Thring (Uppingham), the Rev. Wm. Gay (Burley), W. H. Brown, Esq. And G. R. Forster, Esq. (Uppingham), and Mr. W. Fowler (Manton) were elected directors. J. T. Pateman, Esq. (Uppingham) was elected as additional auditors. Thirteen benefit members have been enrolled during the past year.

It is a singular circumstance that four esteemed servants of G. Finch, Esq. have died within the past few months, viz., Mr. Brown, builder; Mr. Healey, woodman; Mr. Smith, gamekeeper; and this week we announce the decease of Mr. Gunner, the head

200 years ago

Mr. James Newton, of the Five Houses, in Deeping Saint James, in the county of Lincoln, farmer, having left his Farm and given up business to his Son, Mr. Thomas Newton, the several tradesmen to whom the said James Newton stands indebted, are requested to send an account of their respective demands, that the same may be forthwith discharged.

Deeping St, James, Lincolnshire, 5th June, 1820.

The late Mr. James Wyan’s Affairs.

The Executors under the Will of James Wyan, formerly of Morton, and last of Hacconby, in the county of Lincoln, miller, deceased, hereby give Notice, that they intend to meet, at the King’s Head in Morton aforesaid, on Friday the 23d of June instant, at Ten o’clock in the forenoon, for the purpose of discharging the several debts due from the deceased; and it is particularly requested the several creditors will on that day attend, in order that their accounts may be examined, and if correct, settled. All creditors are requested to make their respective claims either at or previous to such meeting, or their accounts will not afterwards be allowed. By order of the Executors,

Benjn. Smith, Solicitor.

Horbling, 7th June, 1820.

Falkingham Association for Prosecuting Felons.

Burglary – 30 Guineas Reward.

Whereas late in the night of the 30th, or early in the morning of the 31st instant, some person or persons Broke Open and entered the Dwelling-house of Mr. John Carter, of Dunsby, and Stole therefrom Three New Silk Handkerchiefs and a Green Baize Table Cloth: Notice is hereby given, that whoever will give information of the offender or offenders, so that he or they may be convicted of the said offence, shall receive a Reward of Twenty Guineas from the said Mr. Carter, and a further Reward of Ten Guineas of Mr. Smith, of Horbling, Treasurer to the said Association; and if two or more persons were concerned, and any one of them will give information so as to convict the other or others of them, he shall receive the above Reward, and every endeavour used to obtain a free pardon.

N.B. A light drab-coloured Cloth Coat, very much mended upon the back, was found near Mr. Carter’s premises, and is supposed to belong to one of the depredators; which coat is now in the possession of, and may be seen by applying to, the said Mr. Carter.

Horbling, 31st May, 1820.

Smock Wind-Mill at Wymondham.

To be Sold by Auction,

By Mr. Burton,

At the Angel Inn in Wymondham, on Thursday the 22d June instant, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, unless previously disposed of by private contract;

A Capital Smock Wind-Mill, situate at Wymondham, in the county of Leicester, lately occupied by Mr. Spalford, with a Close of good Land adjoining, containing 2A, 3R. 3P.

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