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

10 years ago

People are being encouraged to donate money to Stamford library to help it buy more books.

Lincolnshire County Council has installed a collection box in the foyer of the library in High Street to try to drum up some extra funds.

25 years ago: April 19, 1996 – Bourne’s Digby Court is back in tune again. The residential home has been presented with a brand new piano by the Friends of Digby Court.
25 years ago: April 19, 1996 – Bourne’s Digby Court is back in tune again. The residential home has been presented with a brand new piano by the Friends of Digby Court.

The box is part of a trial to see if borrowers are willing to support their library financially.

The money raised will contribute towards its book-buying fund, although current funding is not being cut.

The council’s network manager Gary Porter said: “We already buy hundreds of new titles each year for the library.

50 years ago: April 23, 1971 – The young casts of Stamford Congregational Church Youth Club’s two plays, which they presented at the annual Eisteddfod this week.
50 years ago: April 23, 1971 – The young casts of Stamford Congregational Church Youth Club’s two plays, which they presented at the annual Eisteddfod this week.

“The donation box allows people to make a voluntary contribution, which will supplement the library’s existing book fund.

“The more we collect, the more books we can buy. It’s only at the library on a trial basis. If it proves to be a success we may consider making it a permanent feature.”

A former sorting office is set to be transformed into a restaurant after plans were given the go-ahead.

Commercial property company Wrenbridge will be creating three flats and a restaurant in the former Stamford sorting office after being granted planning permission last week.

The firm says it is close to leasing the restaurant in Sheep Market and hopes to sign the deal within the next few weeks but would not reveal the name of the interested company.

Stamford’s Post Office is not affected and will remain in its current site in All Saints Place. Royal Mail has a 10-year lease for the site.

The sorting office has stood empty for two years since the 60 staff were transferred to a new sorting office in Orton Southgate.

Police investigating more than 100 incidents of graffiti in a town are appealing for help in tracking down the vandals.

Market Deeping and Deeping St James have been plagued with graffiti tags on shops, walls, road signs and telephone exchange cabinets.

Police officers in the town say the problem flared up six months ago and are hoping that people in the town will help them find the vandals.

One of the people looking into the problems is police community support officer Raechell Last.

She said: “It is just everywhere.

“We want it to be stopped.

“It is going to take a lot of hard work to get rid of it all and once we have got rid of it all we would like the problems to cease because Market Deeping and Deeping St James residents do not want to see it.

“It is making the place look horrible.”

A factory laid off 130 workers last week with 79 more to follow after its closure was confirmed.

Tarmac told staff that its Tallington manufacturing plant would close following a three-month consultation.

The factory, which makes pre-cast blocks of concrete, has stopped taking on new work, making about 130 people redundant immediately.

The remaining staff are being kept on site to finish the remaining contracts.

They will be made redundant when the contracts are completed, which is expected to be before December.

25 years ago

A Stamford store is pulling out of plans to take over the running of the town’s post office – after hearing from the Mercury that residents threatened to boycott any prospective franchisee.

But, the fight to save the Crown Post Office in All Saints’ Street from being closed and relocated in the town centre may not be over yet.

The Mercury can exclusively reveal the Anglia Regional Co-operative Society is to withdrawn its offer to the post office to run its counters at Westgate House.

Society spokesperson Gill Basson said: “As it appears the local community feels the location is not suitable, and in particular the elderly would find it inconvenient, the Society will withdraw its interest and application in sympathy with residents.”

The Post Office has said it is now set to advertise for retail partners following the end of a six-week public consultation period.

Last week about 80 people attended a public meeting where a petition bearing 3,500 signatures against the move was handed to the Post Office.

Taxi drivers are warning of a price war that will force operators out of business.

They say South Kesteven District Council is ignoring a 149-year-old law to press ahead with plans to deregulate fares.

The council says the existing table of fares is unworkable because it does not account for travel to rural pick-ups which cannot be charged for. With deregualtion, operators could set their own fare including a charge for travelling to outlying areas.

South Kesteven Taxi Drivers’ Association says this is illegal and is prepared to take the council to court rather than accept deregulation which its chairman, John Gilbert-Jupp, called “suicidal”.

He says the solution, which has already been agreed by 30 taxi firm representatives, is for SKDC to implement fares agreed by operators.

Mr Gilbert-Jupp said; “Deregulation would mean taxi drivers agreeing fares among themselves, which is illegal price fixing.

“Taxi drivers’ livelihoods could be ruined in the inevitable price war.”

He says the solution is in the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 which allows an operator to charge for any distance to a pick-up which is more than five miles from the main post office.

A meat packing and processing firm is moving to Market Deeping – bringing with it the possibility of more than 50 jobs.

Ken Read and Sons Ltd, currently based at a Spalding industrial site, hope to relocate to a 19,500 sq ft building on the Northfield Industrial Estate.

Work is already taking place to bring the building in line with EC regulations and it is hoped staff will begin to occupy the site by the end of July.

Andrew Read, managing director of the firm, said: “We are very excited about the move. It has basically come about as part of our expansion plans for the business.

“We have opted for Market Deeping mainly because the building we have bought is rock solid and in very good condition.”

When the move is completed Ken Read and Sons, which was established in 1989, will employ 65 staff – 45 of them being relocated from Spalding. The company then hopes to increase the figure to 100.

The move has also been welcomed by South Kesteven District Council.

Coun Ken Joynson, chairman of the economic working group, has described it as “great news for the Deepings”.

50 years ago

Stamford’s newly-heated swimming pool opened for the season on Monday morning – with a big increase in attendances.

First in the queue was Stephen Musgrove, of 15 Torkington Street. He arrived there at 5 am and waited for three hours for the pool to open.

But something went wrong. Despite the early start Stephen was not the first in the water. Patricia Brown, of St Peter’s Street, and Arthur Rawde, of Water Street, won the race for the second successive year.

Attendance figures for the first day showed a total of 288 spectators and swimmers used the pool, compared with 51 on the opening day last year.

On Tuesday, with an outside temperature of 48 degrees, the water temperature was just on the 70 degree mark.

Many more old buildings in Britain have been listed for preservation since the last war because the standards recommending them have changed, Stamford Civic Society heard at a public meeting in the Town Hall, Stamford, on Thursday.

The speaker, Mr Antony Dale, Chief Investigator for the Department of Environment, gave an illustrated talk on the methods of listing old buildings.

He was introduced by the Society’s chairman, Dr Eric Till, who said that although the borough conservation area was less than a quarter of a square mile, if a valuable building was removed the effect would be irreparable.

Mr Dale told the meeting that he placed Stamford among the 20 most delightful towns in England.

Preservation of buildings had been going ahead well since the last war, but Great Britain had been slower than other European countries in realising the need for listing important structures and monuments.

Local government officer Michael Holt doesn’t bother about public transport when his car breaks down – he runs to work.

According to Mr Holt it is cheaper to run – and much better for your health.

But it’s not just a couple of miles that are involved. This 24-year-old rating assistant lives at Market Deeping and his office is in Stamford.

Mr Holt, of 56 The Orchard, has been with Barnack and Ketton Rural Councils, Broad Street, Stamford, for two months.

His colleagues, used to seeing him in dark suit and white shirt, looked in amazement when he turned up at the office in track suit and running shorts.

“My car had to go into the garage for a couple of days for repairs and I was left without transport,” said Mr Holt. “I always run at least 12 miles a day, so it isn’t really any hardship to run to work.”

The cost of restoring bells at St Guthlac’s Church, Market Deeping, will be about £2,000, members of the church bellringers heard at their annual dinner, on Saturday.

Tower captain Mr Stuart M. Lee said that the last major restoration had been carried out towards the end of the last century.

During the year the bells had been inspected by John Taylor and Co of Loughborough and had given the £2,000 estimate for restoration in the immediate future.

100 years ago

Stamford Poor Rates – The Magistrates at the police court, on Saturday, signed the following Poor Rates: St. Michael’s 4s. 2d. in the pound as against 4s. 8d. last April; St George’s 4s. (4s. 4d.); All Saints 4s. 2d. (4s. 8d.); St. Martin’s (within) 4s. 2d.; St. John’s 4s.4d. (4s. 10d.); St Mary’s 4s. 2d. (4s. 6d.)

St. Mary’s Church Council, Stamford – The following have been appointed as St. Mary’s Church Council, a poll not being necessary this year: Ex-officio, The Rector, Messrs. J. W. Scotney and G. Prentice (churchwardens), Miss Erskine and Mr. H. Dawson (representatives on the Ruri-Decanal Conference); elected, Mrs. Greenwood, Miss. E. Dunkley, Miss. G. Lowe, Miss F. Twigge-Molecey, Miss Mortimer, Messrs. A. Bacon, Ernest Joyce, R. Mould, H. S. Staveley, C. Whisker, W. L. White, H. Wing, H. O. Winship, and W. F.

Noted Artists at Stamford – Music lovers had a treat on Thursday afternoon week, when a concert was given in the Assembly Rooms by three well-known musicians, who were assisted by Mr. H. Nicholson’s (Oakham) Ladies’ Choir. There was a large audience, and encores were numerous. Miss Sybil Easton’s violin playing afforded great pleasure to those present. This talented artist contributed solos in a most praise-worthy manner, her execution from all points of view being of the highest merit, whilst Miss Dilys Jones’ singing was vociferously received. Miss Jones has a remarkable power of articulation and this, combined with her sweet voice and a happy selection of songs, ensured the full appreciation of the audience. Her rendering of the “bells of Aberdovey” in Welsh was an outstanding number. Dr. Malcolm Sargent was at the piano, and accompanied in his usual brilliant style. Mr. Nicholson’s choir contributed several splendid items, and was especially applauded for “Now the Curfew Bell.” Mr. Nicholson accompanied.


Rail Restrictions – Owing to the strike, a restricted train service was brought into operation this week. The first train from Sleaford now arrives at Bourne at 10.40 a.m. There is no train to Essendine between the 7.45 a.m. and 1 p.m., and at that time the train will run every day of the week. The 10.42 to Sleaford is discontinued.

Rural District Council – A special meeting was held on the 14th inst. to consider the estimates for the ensuing half-year, which has been adjourned from the previous meeting at the Finance Committee to look into the question of the balance due from the Kesteven County Council, and the Road Board in respect of expenditure incurred during the past year. The Clerk now reported that the ledgers having been balanced and the accounts adjusted, it appeared that £4939 was due from the County Council, in respect of main roads, which was £2000 more than appeared in the estimate a fortnight ago. On the amended basis the call was £6731. the estimate was then approved. The chairman raised the question of the coal emergency, and said that the Urban Council had commandeered all the coal stocks in Bourne, and limited the allowance to half-a-cwt. per household per week.

150 years ago

Restoration of All Saints’ Church, Stamford – The committee have received the following tenders for the work required to be done in carrying out the restoration: Roberts, Stamford, £921; Halliday and Cave, £848; and Thompson, Peterboro, £645. The last-named tender, being the lowest, has been accepted.

The collections and donations for the new organ at St John’s, Stamford, amounted to £201 8s. 6d., and the disbursements of precisely the same sum, the cost of the old organ (£20) being included in both the receipts and disbursements. The actual cost of the new organ, exclusive of incidentals, was £180.

At Stamford spring fair, on Tuesday, there was a good show of beasts, which made rather high prices. Fat beasts realised 9s. 6d. per stone, and stores sold at from £20 to £22 each. There was a very small show of sheep, and no fat sheep were offered. Lamb hogs fetched good prices.

Stamford Union – The Board meeting took place on Wednesday last. A letter from the Marquis of Exeter was read stating that he had written to Mr. Hastings Russell on the subject of the deficient cottage accommodation at Stibbington, and that that gentleman, who only knew of the removal of the wooden tenements near the railway station, has promised to inquire into the statement of the man whose family had become chargeable to the Union. A letter on the same subject was also read from Mr, Nesbitt, the Thorney agent of the Duke of Bedford, who complained of a garbled report given of the case in the newspaper, and expressed a desire to meet the Board. It was arranged that Mr. Nesbitt might attend next week. The number of pauper inmates continues to show a decrease from the average. In the corresponding week of last year there were 221, this week 174. Recipients of out-relief 807, at a cost of £89 6s. 4¾d. Corresponding week of last year 796, at a cost of £89 6s 3½d.

At Stamford petty sessions, on Saturday last, the only business to transact was the signing of the following poor-rates: St. Michael, 1s.; and All Saints, St. George, and St. Martin, 9d. each. A poor rate of 7d. in the pound for the parish of St. Martin’s, in the liberty of Peterboro’, and one of 6d. for Wothorpe, were granted on Wednesday.

On Sunday night a stack of wheat straw, situate at the back of East-street, Stamford, the property of Mr. Benj. Frisby, was discovered to be on fire. The brigade with the engines were soon on the spot, but it was evident they could not save the stack, and the fire was allowed to burn itself out. The straw was the produce of 12 acres and was insured.


Caution to Parents – On the 13th inst. A serious accident happened to two children of a ground keeper named Gee, in Bourn Fen, in the employ of Mr. Creasey. It appeared that Gee had lately removed to the fen, and had placed a flask filled with gunpowder in a drawer. The children got the flask and were playing with it before the fire, when it exploded, blowing part of the window frame out and seriously burning both children; the elder, a girl, losing the greater part of the skin of the face and the eyebrows and eyelashes, & the chest and arms were much burnt: the younger, a boy, was burnt about the face and hands, the greater portion of the surface of the chin and upper lip being blown away. Under the care of Dr. Burdwood Watson, they are progressing as favourably as the circumstances will allow.

200 years ago

A beautiful and perfect Roman pavement was last week discovered by Mr. Artis, house-steward to Earl Fitzwilliam. It was situated in front of the manor-house at Castor, near Peterborough; but we are sorry to hear that these curious remains of Roman taste and grandeur have been removed from the place where they were discovered. The shape of the pavement was oblong, twenty-one feet by twelve feet; it had a splendid Mosaic centre, six feet two inches long, by four feet six inches wide; the colours were quite fresh. The situation of the pavement was on the declivity of a hill; one end of it was level with the surface of the ground, and partly uncovered; the other end was about two feet below the surface. We have just learnt that another pavement has been found, under a gateway, a short distance from the above.

An elopement for Gretna Green has this week taken place at Oakham. The young parties are, the assistant to a medical gentlman, and the daughter of an opulent merchant.

On Monday last an inquest was held at Oakham, by Mr. Jones, coroner, on the body of Mr. Wardle, supervisor of excise, who on the preceding Friday died suddenly, aged 55. Verdict of the jury, died by the visitation of God.

Deeping St. James Poor.

There will be a Vestry held at the Vestry-Room, on Thursday the 26th of this instant April, at Four o’clock in the afternoon, to enter into an agreement with any proper person for the Maintenance of the Poor of the said Parish of Deeping St. James for the year ensuing the contractor will be required to give security for the due performance of his contract.

Wright Harris, Thomas Hickling, Overseers of the Poor.

Deeping St. James, April 16th, 1821.

N.B. There is an accommodation for the contractor in the

Bourn, 17th April,1821.

Pardon Asked.

Whereas I, Eliz. Thurlby, of Morton, in the county of Lincoln, spinster and straw-bonnet-maker, have, during my late apprenticeship with Mrs. Jemima Todd, of Bourn, written several indecent and malicious anonymous letters to Elizabeth Todd, of Bourn aforesaid, dress-maker, and also to several other respectable characters in the same place, which have been traced to be my hand-writing, and for which proceedings have been instituted against me: now I the said Eliz. Thurlby do hereby acknowledge that I did write and circulate the said letters, and for which I thus publicly ask Forgiveness and Pardon of all the said parties,as they never either directly or indirectly gave me any cause whatsoever for such my malicious conduct; which they have agreed to grant, upon condition of my giving up the names of the abettors and accessaries therein, and of paying the expenses already incurred. Witness my hand, this 17th April, 1821,

Elizabeth Thurlby.

Witness, Edwd. Gough.

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