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

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10 years ago

A police inspector has praised a have-a-go hero who helped to stop a suspected thief.

Canadian tourist Robert Giberson used an ice hockey move to help PC Gareth Ramsey arrest a man in Stamford on Friday last week.

50 years ago: July 30, 1971 – Fashion designer Miss Martha Hill (second from right) with some of her employees at Laxton.
50 years ago: July 30, 1971 – Fashion designer Miss Martha Hill (second from right) with some of her employees at Laxton.

Mr Giberson, 40, was enjoying watching an aircraft display over the town as part of RAF Wittering’s family day when he spotted a man being chased by PC Ramsey along Bath Row.

After putting down a bag of sausage rolls and meat pies, the amateur hockey player used his body to shove the man to the ground, a move in ice hockey called “checking”.

The man, a 22-year-old from Kettering, was arrested and later charged with the theft of six pairs of shoes from a shop in Stamford, worth £150. He is due to appear at Spalding Magistrates Court next month.

25 years ago: July 26, 1996 – All the fun of the fete. Helpers are pictured on one of the stalls
25 years ago: July 26, 1996 – All the fun of the fete. Helpers are pictured on one of the stalls

Calls have been made to find future uses for a town centre church which could help raise funds to maintain it.

Stamford Civic Society is calling on groups in the town to come up with ideas for the future use of St John’s Church.

The church, in St John’s Street, is now rarely used for religious services but occasionally hosts concerts and the charity Christmas card sales.

The civic society has been asked by the Churches Conservation Trust, which looks after the building, to encourage greater use of St John’s.

The society has also been asked to come up with a business plan in the hopes of generating more income for the upkeep of the building.

The conservation trust, which has recently repaired the roof, is short of funds so its churches need to generate more income to pay for any repairs.

Chairman of the society and Stamford town councillor Gwyneth Gibbs (Con), of Kettering Road, is appealing for people to help.

She said: “If buildings are not used then they are not loved and they deteriorate inevitably as you don’t notice the plaster is cracked.

“If you notice these things earlier maybe something can be done about it”

Work can finally start on a boutique hotel after a two-year planning saga came to a close.

Agellus Hotels was granted listed building consent on 4 St Mary’s Place, Stamford, by South Kesteven District Council on Tuesday.

The developers submitted plans to turn the house into a nine-bedroom hotel and 66-seat restaurant in November.

An earlier design was rejected in October 2009 because of odour, noise and highway concerns.

Agellus appealed the decision and lost but the district council was told to pay costs, which could total £100,000, for failing to provide detailed justification for its reasons for refusal.

The second application was deferred multiple times as councillors said they were minded to refuse it amid protests from local residents.

But permission for the conversion was granted last month and with the listed building consent also approved Agellus is now able to start work on the Grade II listed building.

Philip Grover, of planning consultant Grover Lewis Associates, said: “My clients are looking forward to the opportunity of transforming 4 St Mary’s Place into an asset that Stamford can be proud of.”

25 years ago

It’s a long way from Peckham to Wittering – but not if you’re flying in a Harrier jet.

Actor David Jason, popular star of Only Fools and Horses, Open All Hours, A Touch of Frost and the Darling Buds of May, dropped into RAF Wittering last week.

The actor spent Wednesday undergoing rigorous training with the Harriers of No1(F) squadron, before flying to the opening of Thursday’s International Air Tattoo at Fairford, Gloucs.

Mr Jason had nothing but praise for his hosts.

He said: “I’ve had an absolutely marvellous time. The people here seem to be very nice – they even threw a party for me last night.”

By coincidence, Thursday was the day of the base’s annual sports day, and Mr Jason kindly agreed to leave the Fairford tattoo early so as to return to Wittering and present prizes, but not before he and Gp Capt Jerry Connolly flew past the assembled crowd.

When asked if he had enjoyed his flight, he said: “It was an enthralling experience.

“I’ve flown a Hawk before, but that was nothing like this – the Harrier is a marvellous aeroplane.”

A £4.5 million budget shortfall could soon cast a question mark over services at Stamford and Bourne hospitals.

Lincolnshire Health – the authority which runs health care across the county – said this week that recent changes to its funding formula and rising demand for services had caused the cash shortage.

And it warned: “There may be some difficult choices to be made to ensure all Lincolnshire residents have the best services Lincolnshire Health can afford.”

The cash question is being looked at in an ongoing review of the authority’s services. Proposed changes will go out for a three month public consultation, probably at the end of August.

But the North West Anglia Healthcare Trust, which provides services to the authority at both hospitals, is certain services will be unaffected – for the moment.

Finance director Angela Barr told the Mercury: “As far as we are concerned at this stage there shall be no changes to services at either Stamford or Bourne.”

A unique scheme to help provide a better service for cancer sufferers and their families in Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings is being launched on August 1.

In one of just nine pilot schemes throughout England 12 carers will join the area’s two Macmillan nurses to help give practical support for patients and families affected by cancer.

The project is headed by Stamford Health Clinic-based Macmillan Nurse Mandy Steward who said: “The carers will help families in their own home.

“It will be essentially short term help in an emergency. If the regular homecare service breaks down for some reason one of the carers will be able to step in while proper arrangements are re-established.”

The scheme is unique because it is the only one funded locally with money raised through the Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund.

Carers won’t give medical treatment – which will still be given by doctors, district and Macmillan nurses Mandy Steward and Jan Johnson – but will give practical help.

Stamford and Bourne branch chairman Mrs Zena Coles said: “It has been a marvellous community effort throughout South Lincolnshire that has brought this about.

“If people in the area had not given such strong support over the years we could not have taken on the task of raising £200,000 to pay for the cost of two Macmillan Nurses and the team of carers in the initial three years.”

50 years ago

Casterton Road (Stamford) residents have won their fight to get the controversial children’s play area moved.

Stamford Borough Council decided on Tuesday that the play equipment on the site should be taken down and stored and the area restored to its original state as soon as possible.

It was also decided that the markets and general amenities committee should consider siting of the equipment at a future meeting.

Committee chairman Coun Dick Flack told the council: “This matter is again before the council and the committee are submitting a different recommendation.

“This, in my opinion, is by way of a compromise and may not suit all residents. It does not necessarily mean that the equipment will be moved to another site on the Casterton Road estate.”

Ald John Cutting congratulated the committee on their wisdom in making the new recommendation.

The council also decided that future plans for estate development in the town are to be marked with any proposed play area sites.

The council took this decision so that house buyers would know in future where play areas are to be.

Stamford pop agent Ken Cox has run into trouble with the BBC over the hit record “Leap Up and Down and Wave Your Knickers in the Air.”

Mr Cox is the agent for St Cecilia – the Corby pop group who recorded the disc. This week it jumped from 23 to 12 in the BBC top thirty.

But the Corporation has refused to play the record on Top of the Pops, the Thursday night show with an audience of about 10 million,

They say the song is not suitable for a programme which occupies an early evening slot and is watched by a large number of children.

“Refusing to play the record on Top of the Pops is ridiculous,” said Mr Cox. “The record is completely inoffensive and I can’t possibly see it corrupting anyone.”

A spokesman for the record company, Polydor, was equally adament. “The BBC might just as well ban “Baa Baa Black Sheep” on the grounds that is racially prejudiced.”

Members of Stamford and District YMCA are ready to start re-decorating their headquarters on St Peter’s Hill, Stamford.

About 30 are involved in this operation, under the guidance of their new general secretary, Mr Brian Drake.

They have chosen the colour scheme themselves, which include blue for the weightlifting room, purple for the work room, and orange for the ladies’ toilet.

The staircase and entrance will remain white and blue. A few of the members will be engaged in cleaning the frontage of the building with wire brushes.

Painting and cleaning it not the only thing members are doing to their headquarters. Some are doing structural alterations to the canteen.

They are closing it in to make a separate room, by fitting glass windows into the wood surround.

100 years ago

Bank Holiday Postal Arrangements – There will be the usual delivery in the morning on Monday next, but the dispatch from the general office will be at 2 p.m., and the street boxes will be cleared by the postmen after the morning

Technical Schoolmaster – Mr. W. F. Markwick, head teacher at the Stamford Technical School and principal of St, Michael’s boys’ school, has resigned the former post.

Board of Guardians – Monday, the Marquess of Exeter presiding. The Clerk (Mr. H. J. Tillson) reported that he had received notification that the maintenance rate of inmates of the Northants. County Asylum was 24s. 6d. per head per week – a reduction of 2s 11d. The Hinckley Union forwarded a circular letter asking the support of the Board in the opposition to the law whereby sentence of death was passed on Edith Mary Roberts for the murder of her illegitimate child. The letter was not read as the opinion was expressed that it was not a matter for the Board. The Clerk submitted a table, published by the Ministry of Health showing the cost of maintenance in different unions, General Inspector’s District No. 10, within the union counties of Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and Rutland. As regards Stamford, the cost of maintenance of adult inmates per head per week was 26s. 5¼d (not including loan charges), and 34s. 11½d. (including loan charges). The cost of maintenance of the inmates of the Children’s Homes was 15s. 1¼d. per head per week, not including loan charges, and 16s. 11½d (including loan charges). The Clerk stated that their children were the best clothed in the area, and as to the cost he though that it was the lowest when compared with other unions.


A revision of the scholarships for Bourne Secondary School having been found necessary owing to vacancies arising in the original list, Gladys Fulston, of Bourne, and Mildred O. Healey, of Castle Bytham, have been awarded scholarships by the Kesteven Education Committee.

At the Nags Head hotel, Bourne, on July 21st, Mr. A. W. Hodgkinson offered for sale with vacant possession a house in Abbey-road, Bourne, now in the occupation of Mr. T. Ringham. There was a good company present, and the bidding reached £800, at which price it was withdrawn.Messrs. S. W. Andrews and Son, Bourne, were the solicitors for the vendors.

At a meeting of the Bourne School Managers, held on Saturday morning last, it was decided to close the schools this week for the harvest holidays. Originally it was intended to close a week later, but owing to the early harvest the managers considered it wise to close earlier. The question of staffing was also discussed, it being reported that the proposed reduction in the staff as recommended by the County Education Committee, had, on the application of the Managers, been postponed till October, when it will be again considered by the County Education Committee.

150 years ago

Stamford Union – Only eight guardians attended the Board meeting on Wednesday, and there were not more than two new applications for relief. The number in the house was stated to be 116, which is 69 less than in the corresponding week of last year. The cost of out-relief last week was £96 10s. 10d., and the vagrants received into the house numbered 29. Some articles of clothing and some butter were returned to the contractors as not being equal to the sample; but the former were received on the contractor making an abatement in the price.

At Stamford petty sessions, on Saturday last, the superintendent of police alluded to what he called the “discordant noises” made by the primitive Methodists in the streets on Sunday the 16th inst., which, he said, caused annoyance to many of the inhabitants. These zealous Christians in a body paraded the public thoroughfares, singing vigorously; and in Red Lion-square they made a halt, blocking up the entrance to Horseshoe-lane. An innkeeper had complained of this, saying that if only two men came out of his house and made a noise he would be summoned by the police, and he did not see why he ought to be annoyed by the brawling of the Methodists. The Magistrates’ Clerk said that one of the bye-laws sets forth that “no person shall by brawling, singing, or shouting collect a crowd in any street.” The Bench were unwilling in this instance to carry out the strict letter of the law, and they and the Magistrates’ Clerk thought the justice of the case would be met by the superintendent calling upon some prominent member of the Primitive connection and informing him that the proceedings against which objection had been taken are in contravention of the bye-laws.

Great Casterton races took place on Monday, and was a tolerably successful meeting. For the sweepstakes there were six entries, but only 4 came to the post. Mr. Vessey’s Little Dick came in an easy winner. The cup was won by Mr. Wilders’ Lecturer, Mr. King’s patchwork being second, Mr. Percival’s James Thomas third, Mr. Russel’s Garry Owen fourth. The Farmers’ Sweepstakes was won by Patchwork, which beat Mr. Dainty’s mare by Nutshell second, Mr. Percival’s Miss Wing third, & Garry Owen fourth. A Consolation Stake was won by Miss Wing, which beat Garry Owen. A match was subsequently got up between Little Duck and Mr. Grey’s Faraway, the former carrying off honours. Rustic sports were indulged in to wind up the day’s proceedings, amongst which was a donkey race won by Mr. Middleton’s Merry Legs, which beat Messrs Toon and Cole’s Nobby.

Bourn – The annual treat of the children of the National and infant schools at Bourn took place on Friday the 21st inst. on the Abbey Lawn. Early in the day the event was announced by a display of flags in various parts of the Abbey grounds and upon the church, and at intervals during the day the church bells were rung. The weather was rather showery in the course of the day, but cleared off towards 4 o’clock, when the children (nearly 400), with flags and banners, left the National school in procession, headed by the Bourn Rifle Corps band, and proceeded to the Abbey, in front of which the children were regaled with tea and buns. In the large field adjoining various out-door sports were provided for the juveniles. Though the weather had been discouraging during the day there was in the evening a large number of persons present to witness a good display of fireworks, which took place at the close under the direction of Mr. Jno. Evans.

200 years ago

On Saturday night, about eleven o’clock, Mr. Webster, miller, of Glinton, on his return from Peterborough, was stopped in Dogsthorpe fields by two highwaymen, who pulled him off his horse, and robbed him of his pocket-book, which fortunately did not contain more than £4 or £5. Having secured their booty, the robbers helped Mr. Webster on his horse again, and then striking the animal a sharp blow with a stick, bid him make the best of his way home.

A fire-ball fell at Tickencote near this place, on Monday about two o’clock in the afternoon, and struck against a wall, without doing much injury.

Mr. Parker, of Preston, near Uppingham, had 11 sheep killed (out of 12 that were grazing together in a close) during a thunder storm which came on about one o’clock in the morning of Friday the 20th inst.

On Monday last, about two o’clock, a hovel belonging to Mr. Bartol, of Spalding, was set on fire by lightning.

Oakham Ball.

There will be a Card Assembly and Ball at the Crown Inn, Oakham, on Friday, August 3d, in commemoration of the late Coronation of his present most gracious Majesty. Dancing to commence at 9 o’clock precisely.

Admission: ladies 3s. 6d., gentlemen 7s.

Tickets to be had at Mr. Snodin’s

J. C. Gillson, Esq., Captain Bird, Stewards.

Stamford, July, 1821.

Mrs. W. Spencer, Dress and Pelisse Maker, &c. &c.,begs leave most respectfully to inform the ladies of Stamford and its vicinity,that she has commenced the above business, in the house lately occupied by Mr. Atter, glass and china merchant, in the High-street, and hopes, from the experience she has had both in town and country, and a determination to pay the strictest attention to all orders entrusted to her, to merit a share of public patronage.

The newest Patterns periodically from London.

Easton House, near Stamford.

Miss Payne, who has succeeded Mrs. Broughton in this establishment, begs to inform her friends and the public, that the School will re-commence on Thursday the 2d of August.

A Single Lady, of good connexions, who has for some years been accustomed to the management of a house, is desirous of obtaining a Situation as Housekeeper in a respectable and regular Family, or she would have no objection to be received as Companion to a Lady, or to superintend the domestic concerns of an elderly Gentleman: she has been used to the care of children, and to the confinement of a sick-room, and believes she would be found particularly desirable to anyone who has been left with a young family. The most respectable references will be given.

Letters addressed (post paid) to A.B., Mr. Jacob’s, Peterboro’, will meet with immediate attention.

July 19, 1821.

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