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Delve into the past of Stamford, Rutland, Bourne and the Deepings with Mercury Memories

10 years ago

The organiser of a food festival is confident that the event will go ahead, despite losing a major funding application.

Ali Hawley-Smith needs to raise more than £17,500 to put on the first Stamford Feast on the Meadows on Sunday, May 29.

25 years ago: April 5, 1996 – Pupils at Stamford Leisure Pool’s first Swim School celebrated with a party on Saturday. Pictured: Emma West (8) is presented with her scholarship for showing the most improvement or commitment, watched by fellow pupils.
25 years ago: April 5, 1996 – Pupils at Stamford Leisure Pool’s first Swim School celebrated with a party on Saturday. Pictured: Emma West (8) is presented with her scholarship for showing the most improvement or commitment, watched by fellow pupils.

She learned this week that the event did not qualify for a £9,750 grant from Lincolnshire County Council’s Communities Grant.

But Ali has already secured £11,000 in funding and is hoping that more businesses and traders will come forward to support the event.

The Feast, which will celebrate locally produced food, was originally going to cost £23,000 but Ali has reduced this to £17,500 by cutting costs.

50 years ago: April 9, 1971 – Judging from the way the rehearsals have gone, next week’s Gang Show by Oakham Scouts should earn the members of the cast and production team the right to wear the Ralph Reader National Gang Show emblem. And that is their aim after more than a quarter of a century of gang Shows in the town. Pictured: The cast during rehearsals.
50 years ago: April 9, 1971 – Judging from the way the rehearsals have gone, next week’s Gang Show by Oakham Scouts should earn the members of the cast and production team the right to wear the Ralph Reader National Gang Show emblem. And that is their aim after more than a quarter of a century of gang Shows in the town. Pictured: The cast during rehearsals.

She said of the grant: “It is sad news because it would have been a lovely buffer.

“It would have given us less pressure in getting funding from other areas.

“It is going to be a home grown event.

“It will be Stamford led and we will not be beaten.

“It will happen, it just means that I have got to work that bit harder.

“It will definitely go ahead, there is no doubt about that.”

A busy square will stay open to traffic despite major ongoing gas works, it has been revealed.

Red Lion Square in Stamford was due to close to traffic for two weeks later this month as maintenance work on gas mains in High Street nears completion.

The plans prompted outrage from many businesses, who feared the work would put off shoppers during an important holiday period.

But a rethink from National Grid, Central Network and Lincolnshire County Council mean one lane of St John’s Street will stay open, reducing the impact on traffic and shoppers.

Red Lion Square and St John’s Street will only be fully closed for two hours on the morning of Wednesday next week, with traffic diverted along All Saints Street and Sheep Market.

The council will take the opportunity to repair and resurface a number of roads while the gas works go on, to avoid disrupting shoppers again later in the year.

A new residential care village on a disused quarry could create 100 jobs.

Updated outline plans to build a 75-bed dementia care unit, a 75-bed nursing home and 28 close care apartments on the old Quarry site on Station Road, Castle Bytham, were submitted to South Kesteven District Council.

Applicant Dr Dallas Burston submitted an initial plan in March last year.

He already has planning permission for a 48-bed nursing home and 15 affordable homes on the same site, with a decision expected soon on a further application for a community health centre.

The most recent application would tie all four developments together to create a care village on the site which would employ a large number of people from neighbouring towns and villages, according to planning agent Peter Frampton, of consultant Framptons.

The quarry is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England must be assured that any development on the site does not harm the variety of wildlife, plants and geological features present.

Many Castle Bytham parish councillors and residents are opposed to the plans.

Council clerk Muriel Cooke said: “We held a public meeting on the issue and the majority of residents were against it because of the scale of the development.”

25 years ago

Villagers near Stamford say they are living in fear of crime following the loss of their local bobby’s patrol car.

Eight villages – Ryhall, Stretton, Clipsham, Pickford, Great Casterton, Little Casterton, Belmesthorpe and Essendine – are all part of PC Dave Toone’s beat.

He had exclusive use of a patrol car but a reshuffle of resources means that the car is now based in Oakham and shared by two other officers.

Chris Overend, of New Road, Ryhall, said: “PC Toone was always a 24-hour a day policeman. If someone had a problem no matter what time of the day or night they knew they could contact Dave and he would deal with it. Without his car he cannot come out and the best be can do now is direct them to Oakham.”

Auriel Chandler, from the villages’ police action committee, said: “Our view is that a rural policeman is essentially one man and his car – without one he cannot do his job properly.”

An Essendine villager said: “They have taken a major step backwards by making these cuts. I am very angry and extremely worried and it disturbs me to think that you can call for help in an emergency and then have to sit around twiddling your thumbs while you wait for a policeman. They have made these cut backs and it has made a real difference to the security in the village.

An £85,000 scheme to bring new nursery education to the Deepings was officially celebrated this week.

On Monday guests gathered at Market Deeping County Primary School for the opening of a new nursery classroom which will serve the Deepings youngsters who are aged four.

The event saw the school’s chairman of governors, Kathleen Tanner, welcome guests to the opening ceremony before inviting Nick Williams – photographer, author and friend of the school – to unveil a commemorative

The nursery scheme, instigated by Lincolnshire County Council, involved removing a temporary classroom from the site to allow the extension of an existing unused classroom. An outdoor play area has also been created.

The first group of nursery children moved into the classroom. It is a great asset to the Deepings and the children at the nursery are very happy.

Walkers are being urged to put their best feet forward to support a £42,000 woodland project near Castle Bytham.

Lawn Wood was bought last year with the aim of preserving the wood’s orchids as well as the woodland itself.

On Sunday, April 14, a sponsored walk will be held to raise money for the Trust.

Richard Foers, who is a co-opted parish council member said: “The trust incurred considerable costs buying the wood and the local initiative of a sponsored walk is designed to help towards trust costs. The walk conveniently links up with the improvements made to Castle Bytham rights of way during the winter months.”

The walk, which is not difficult and uses public roads and rights of way, starts at 11amfrom the village hall and last one and a half hours. It takes in views of the castle mound and a Middle Ages fish farm.

50 years ago

A Citizen’s Information Centre is to open in Stamford next Friday to guide and advise people who need help from the social services.

From next week two people will be in the Congregational hall between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm to advise on any kind of problem.

But the organisers stress that this will not be a Citizens’ Advice Bureau. The staff will not be able to advise on problems themselves, but will tell callers where to go for the best possible help.

Organiser Mr Edward Leigh-Brown described it as “a referral centre”. He told the Mercury: “The people who staff the centre will be doing it on a purely voluntary basis.

“They will not be able to advise on problems but they will be able to direct callers to the organisation which can give the most help and advice.”

The centre is being organised by the Stamford Council of Churches, of which Mr Leigh-Brown is secretary.

A telephone has been installed at the Congregational Hall in Broad Street, and people wishing to use the service should ring Stamford 4923 between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm on Fridays.

Ketton Rural Council have deferred a plan to build more houses on the Park View Estate at Ketton, because they feel that not enough space has been left for children to play.

They decided when they met, on Thursday, to defer until next month a plan by Stamford Construction Ltd for 19 detached houses and garages.

Coun E. J. Carver said that the estate was fast approaching the time when all available spare land for a play area was being swallowed up, and that there were already more young children living in that area than in the rest of Ketton/

“This land is far enough away from traffic to be desirable,” he added, and Surveyor Mr Alec Burt said that some children were already using it in its disused state to play on.

He added that the estate had no play area at all as yet.

Ketton Rural Council are to look at the travel costs of clubs and organisations to which they donate after receiving a letter from the secretary of Ryhall Darby an Joan Club.

She wrote that the bus which took the members to and from meetings has been cancelled because the cost had risen to £3.75p for each meeting.

Members now use a cheaper mini-bus or helpers’ cars, which means an outlay of only £1.75.

Trout fishing at the Empingham reservoir would attract anglers from all over the world.

And it would also bring in far more money for the Welland and Nene River Authority than course fishing, the Federation of Midland Fly Fishers claimed this week.

Press Officer, Mr Clifford Thompson, of Corringham, Duddington, said he thought the new reservoir would be “wasted” as a coarse fishery.

“We represent a growing number of trout fishers anxious to see Empingham used as a sport fishery so it will return, to the taxpayers, some of the high cost of financing the project.

“When Grafham Water was opened for its first full season in 1967 the income from trout fishers came to £36,295,” said Mr Thompson.

“The Empingham reservoir would attract trout anglers from far and wide and would produce superb fishing.”

100 years ago

Train Suspensions – The Midland Railway Company announce the temporary suspension of the 9.3 a.m. Train from Leicester to Peterborough (10.45 a.m. from Stamford) and the 10.20 a.m. from Peterborough to Leicester (10.42 from Stamford).

Short Time – A sign of the times in the industrial world is plainly shown by the fact that Messrs. Blackstone and Co. have been obliged to restrict the working hours of the bulk of their employees, some hundreds in number, to only 24 per week – eight hours per day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – commencing this week.

Old Age Pensions – The Stamford Sub-committee met at the Town Hall on Friday evening, where there were present Messrs. H. T. Daniels (chairman), A. Cliff (mayor), E. Joyce, F. K. Parker, Thos. Sandall, S. Dyer, and the Clerk (Mr. W. Dodman). There were nine claims to be considered, tow of which were disallowed (one on means and the other for inadequate evidence) and the remaining seven obtained the maximum

Recital at St. Mary’s – A recital of music at St, Mary’s church, Stamford, on Sunday afternoon gave great pleasure to a crowded congregation. On this occasion a small stringed orchestra gave their services, and the effect of their music, with the organ, was extremely beautiful. In addition to the concerted items, the organist (Mr. H. S. Staveley) played several selections in masterly style. The congregation showed their appreciation, the collection (for choir music funds) amounting to £5


Trains Suspended – A restricted train service is announced by the Midland and the M. & G.N. Railways. The Midland train due to Bourne from Saxby at 2.30 will not run, except on Tuesdays, the 12.25 slow train to Saxby is discontinued, the express from Bourne at 12.15, and the return train due at Bourne at 5 p.m. will call each way at stations intermediate Bourne and Saxby. The last train from Saxby will not run beyond Bourne, and consequently the dispatch of letters at 8.30 will be discontinued. The 2.30 p.m. To Spalding will run on Tuesdays only.

N.S.P.C.C – As a result of the annual collection on behalf of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Bourne and District, £15 7s. 11d. has been forwarded to the Society. Miss Bell is the hon.sec. of the local committee, and Mr. H. C. Tointon the treasurer. A lion’s share of the collecting had been done by Mrs.

Vestry meeting – The Easter Vestry meeting was held on Friday evening, when Canon Grinter,who presided over a small attendance, thanked the out-going wardens for their services and remarked that two more loyal officers could not be found. Mr. Andrew, in accepting office again as Vicar’s warden, thanked the Vicar for his kind remarks. Mr. Pope, the retiring Parish warden, also thanked the Vicar for his words of appreciation, and added that owing to his advancing years he felt he must retire. He nominated Mr. Cyril Baxter, remarking that his father served in that office, for many years, and he hoped that he would accept it. Mr. Baxter declined, whereupon Mr. Holmes proposed Mr. Driffill, whose nomination was carried unanimously.

150 years ago

The Stamford Corporation, by a committee of the whole Council, have lately been engaged for three evenings in revising the bye-laws of the borough, and introducing new bye-laws to meet the requirements of the Act relating to the duties of the Local Board. The sanitary regulations occupied most of the time of the committee, who on points relating to the public health and the removal of nuisances have determined to enforce all the precautionary measures sanctioned by the Legislatute.

A vestry meeting of the parishioners of St. Mary, Stamford, was held on Saturday last, to consider the propriety of substituting a skeleton dial for the clock face now in use, and which the Corporation had agreed to have repainted and gilded. With one exception all the parishioners present were in favour of a skeleton dial, and it was agreed to apply to the Town Council to allow £5 voted for restoring the present clock face to be applied to the cost of the new design. It is contended that the beauty of the western front of the tower is marred by the present dial, and that a skeleton indicator would be less

The collector of the Stamford improvement-rate has found it imperative to take strong measures in the case of a certain class of dilatory ratepayers. Nine defaulters were summoned to appear before the Magistrates on Saturday last; but by the time of holding the petty sessions six of them had managed to make their peace with Mr. Wright. Thom. Cecil Chaplin Toon and Wm. Walding, who had paid their rates but not the costs of the proceedings, were allowed by the Bench a week in which to make all clear; and Thos. Littledyke, carpenter, who pleaded low wages and the burden of a large family, was ordered to pay the rate and costs in a month, when, if default is made, a distress warrant will take effect. The collector said this his notices are nearly always treated with indifference. The Magistrates’ Clerk told him that the effect of these summonses would be to remove the indifferences.

Bourn – On the 31st ult. a vestry meeting was held (Mr. H. Osborn in the chair) for the purpose of examining and passing the accounts of the surveyors of highways and for appointing three members of the Burial Board for the current year. When the accounts had been gone through Mr. Mills proposed, and Mr. Thos. Harrison seconded that they be passed. Mr. C. Spreckley said he should protest against the passing of the accounts, on the ground that he had a claim against the surveyor for stone got from the boundary of his property, the bill for which had not been included in the accounts. It was explained that Mr. Bott’s property, from which the stone was taken for the parish roads, adjoined Mr. Spreckley’s field in question. Mr. W. Ferraby said he gave strict orders to Kettle, the assistant surveyor, not to go too near Mr. Spreckley’s boundary, and if a trespess had been committed it was beyond his instructions, but he believed there had not. Mr. Spreckley said he was sure he was right, and would move as an amendment that the accounts be not passed. There being no seconder of the amendment, the original motion was declared carried. Mr. Spreckley said he should appear before the Magistrates at the proper time, and oppose the passing of the accounts on the ground above stated.

200 years ago

At Stamford fair on Monday there was a large show of sheep and beasts, though of the latter more have been seen in former years. The sale of the sheep was very dull; for store beasts there seemed at one time in the morning some demand, but on the whole the prices disappointed the sellers, and many things were driven away without changing owners.

Lord Milton experienced a remarkable accident on Saturday, and a fortunate escape from personal injury. His Lordship had been hunting, in company with Earl Fitzwilliam, in the purlieus and country on the west side of Wansford, and was riding homeward about three o’clock in the afternoon, when, just as he passed the corner of the Mermaid inn at Wansford, his horse fell dead on the road. The chase had been neither long nor severe; and the animal, which, we understand, was a valuable and favourite hunter, had not shown any signs of illness or distress. The Noble lord was thrown forward on the Great North road with such force as completely cleared him of the falling horse, and arose immediately, not at all hurt by the extraordinary accident. He proceeded to Milton House, with Earl Fitzwilliam, who was close at hand at the time.

A melancholy accident happened on Tuesday the 27th ult. near the town of Hoby, Leicestershire. A number of men (chiefly framework-knitters who had struck for wages) started from that village on their way to Melton Mowbray drawing a load of lime: in going down the first hill, the wind being powerful, some of their hats were blown off, when they halted hastily to look after them: the consequence was, that the waggon ran rapidly upon the men (the wheels not being locked), and threw several of them down passing over their bodied. One unfortunate fellow died instantly; another languished till Thursday and several others were serious hurt. A coroner’s inquest sat upon the bodies of the two and returned a verdict of accidental death.

Porter, the Northamptonshire pedestrian, has won his match for fifty guineas against time, of running sixteen miles in two hours. He went ten times round the race-course at Northampton, making seventeen miles, in 1 hour and 56 minutes.

It is a curious circumstance that amongst the exhibitions at the pleasure fair in Stamford this week are four different Giantesses, and one Giant.

Thomas White, of Falkingham, in the county of Lincoln, butcher,begs to offer his sincere thanks to his friends and the public for all favors conferred on him, and humbly solicits a continuance of their support on behalf of himself and his nephew, Thomas Armston, whom he is about to take into Partnership.

T. W. requests that all persons indebted to him will be pleased to pay the amount of their respective debts immediately,either to him, or to Mr. Worth, solicitor, Bourn, at his office in Falkingham.

4th April, 1821.

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