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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

The ticket office at Stamford railway station could be closed under a new money-saving initiative.

The Government is to consider a series of cost-cutting exercises saving £1bn in the rail industry, which have been suggested in a report by Sir Roy McNulty.

25 years ago: September 6, 1996 – Musicians from around south Lincolnshire took part in a fund-raising concert, entertaining a packed audience at Langtoft Parish Church
25 years ago: September 6, 1996 – Musicians from around south Lincolnshire took part in a fund-raising concert, entertaining a packed audience at Langtoft Parish Church

One suggestion is to close ticket offices at 675 category E stations, which serve fewer than 250,000 passengers and are open for less than 10 hours a day. The offices would be replaced with ticket machines.

The category E stations include Stamford, Oakham, Corby and Melton Mowbray.

At present the ticket office opens Monday to Saturday from 6.20am to 12.30pm. Outside those hours, passengers can buy their tickets from a machine.

50 years ago: September 10, 1971 – The Vicar of St Martin’s, Stamford, the Rev. A. S. Irwin, greets the Queen and Prince Philip before the church service on Sunday. Looking on is the Marquess of Exeter.
50 years ago: September 10, 1971 – The Vicar of St Martin’s, Stamford, the Rev. A. S. Irwin, greets the Queen and Prince Philip before the church service on Sunday. Looking on is the Marquess of Exeter.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association, known as TSSA, is launching a campaign called SOS Save our Station ticket offices, which will tour the party conferences over the next four weeks urging MPs to save the ticket offices in their constituencies.

Pupils and staff at Stamford School have started the new term under the leadership of a new headteacher.

Will Phelan took over the reins on Tuesday, following in the footsteps of former head Stuart Burns who left the school at Easter.

He brings a wealth of experience from working at independent boys’ schools and a desire to build on the school’s academic successes and reputation in the community.

Mr Phelan said: “Stamford Endowed Schools is seen as a bit of a trailblazer for the diamond structure (the idea of teaching boys and girls together at primary school age, separately until age 16 and then together again at sixth form level).

“When the job came up I realised it would be a fantastic opportunity.

“The town of Stamford is stunning and there is a synergy between what the school thinks is important and what I think is important.”

A total of 18 jobs are being axed at RAF Wittering and RAF Cottesmore in the first round of Government cuts.

There will be 13 redundancies at RAF Wittering and five redundancies at RAF Cottesmore. There are seven voluntary redundancies out of the 18.

The job losses come as part of the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Redundancy Programme, which aims to shed 22,000 jobs across the RAF, Army and Royal Navy over the next four years – more than half through redundancies.

The first round of redundancies were announced by the Government last week, with some 920 personnel in the Army and 930 in the RAF affected.

The figures affecting RAF Wittering and RAF Cottesmore were revealed by base spokesman Tony Walsh.

He said affected staff found out about their future in interviews with their respective wing commanders.

The job losses varied from the rank of corporal to flight lieutenant and came from a number of branches of the air force.

Sqn Ldr (ret’d) Walsh added: “It won’t affect any operational output. If the job needs to be filled it will be filled.”

25 years ago

Fears that thousands of lorries could flood local roads if a quarry gets the go-ahead on Stamford’s doorstep have prompted a traffic investigation.

Cambridgeshire County Council is to send consultants to analyse traffic flows on the B1443 – which protesters say will be chocked by thousands of extra traffic movements if the 74 acre sand and gravel quarry near Pilsgate is approved.

The authority has been inundated by protests from parish councils and villagers since the Mercury first highlighted the scheme in July. Stamford Town Council and South Kesteven District Council also oppose the plans.

Peterborough City Council is likely to make its recommendations within a month.

Results of the survey, which will be carried out by the end of the month, will help council officers decide whether to recommend the quarry be approved or turned down by councillors, who will meet in Cambridge on November 4.

Senior planning officer David Atkinson said the council had received a “substantial” number of protest letters from local people, which had prompted the need for a “wide ranging assessment”.

The headquarters for one of Stamford’s most enduring and friendly clubs is preparing to re-open after a major refurbishment.

On Sunday, September 15, Stamford’s annual commemorations of the Battle of Britain will culminate in a reception at Stamford’s Royal Air Force Association club.

The event is traditionally held at the town hall, but because of the considerable effort put in by volunteers a move was judged appropriate.

Town Mayor Coun Dickon Sinker, RAF Wittering’s commanding officer Group Captain Jerry Connolly and South Kesteven District Council chairman Coun Ken Joynson are due to attend, along with around 50 others.

RAFA branch chairman Tony Story said the refurbishment signals a new beginning for the club in St Paul’s Street.

“The work was started in April and has cost around £5,000,” he said.

“Everything has been changed. We’ve put in new toilets and basins, a kitchette, new carpets, bar and a patio.”

A call has been made for Deeping St James Parish Council and Market Deeping Town Council to merge.

At Thursday’s Deeping St James council meeting members discussed the current working practice of the clerk, Louis Jones.

For the past 10 years Mr Jones has used facilities at David Heelis Solicitors in High Street, Market Deeping, rent free.

Last month the council paid an ex-gratia sum of £1,000 to the firm, followed by an agreement to continue using the premises on a temporary basis for £20 rent each month.

But Coun Judy Stevens said: “The rent should be paid in Deeping St James. There are two offices in Market Deeping, one for the town clerk and one for the parish council.

“For those councillors who want to keep the independence of a clerk in Deeping St James, the whole argument is eroded if we duplicate work. We may as well discuss the merging of the two councils at the next meeting.”

Calls were also made for The Institute in Church Street – where the council meets every month – to be opened up twice a week for parishioners to seek advice on pertinent matters.

But Coun John Anderson said: “We have held open mornings on Saturday mornings, which died because the public didn’t attend, so I see little point in having the clerk here two mornings during the week. It would be a waste of money.”

50 years ago

A black oily sustance in Stamford tap water on Thursday baffled householders and caused a rush of complaints to the Town Hall and the South Lincs Water Board.

But a Water Board spokesman said on Monday that the substance was a non-poisonous paint which had got into the water supply from inside a 50,000 gallon storage tank at the Pilsgate pumping station.

People living in St Mary’s Street, St Leonard’s Street, and Wothorpe Drift found the water contaminated when they turned on their taps.

The Board spokesman explained that the storage tank had recently been installed. It was made of sectional steel plates.

The sealing compound between the plates had expanded and forced pieces of paint on the inside of the tank into the water.

“Normally the tank would not have been allowed to run dry and the paint would not have got into the water supply,” said the spokesman.

“But the regulating equipment failed, all the water ran out of the tank and the paint deposit went with it.

“I would stress that there was absolutely no health risk, although we can appreciate that it was very disturbing for people at the time.”

The Earl of Gainsborough and his son-in-law, the Earl of Liverpool, who have bought Stamford’s Melbourn Brothers Brewery are to visit each of their 30 newly acquired pubs in the next few weeks.

A spokesman for the Brewery told the “Mercury” on Wednesday: “It is purely routine so they can meet and get to know the landlords.”

The two Earls are expected to visit their four pubs in Stamford within the next few days.

Total confusion greeted two Stamford men when they arrived in France on Saturday for the start of a 15-day Mediterranean cruise.

Instead of sunning themselves aboard the 15,000-ton Galaxy Queen, the men – draughtsman Brian Moynes (28) and carpet fitter Dennis Barwell (29) – are back at work.

They were among 600 holidaymakers who were due to leave Toulon on board the Galaxy Queen on Saturday afternoon.

But because of the failure of the ship’s main auxiliary generators, the cruise had to be cancelled on Sunday.

Mr Moynes, of Rock Terrace, Stamford, and Mr Barwell, of Victoria Road, Stamford, will get full refunds from the operators, Cosmos Tours and Sovereign Cruises.

Princess Anne won the hearts of the 20,000 record crowd at Burghley on Sunday when she took the title of European number one three-day event rider.

The crown went wild after the Princess – watched by the Queen and Prince Philip – had beaten the top 44 British and Continental riders.

A great roar greeting the new royal European champion as she clinched the title with a faultless round in the show-jumping.

It was a proud moment for the Queen who gave the Princess a motherly kiss as she presented her with a gold medal, the Raleigh trophy and a cheque for £250.

100 years ago

Old Age Pensions – The monthly meeting of the Stamford Sub-Committee was held at the Town Hall on Friday, at which were present Messrs. H. T. Daniels (chairman), A. Cliff (Mayor), Thos. Sandall, S. Dyer, and the Clerk (R. W. Dodman). One claim was allowed and two questions raised resulted in one allowance being increased and the other reduced.

More Voters – A Revision Court for Stamford was held at the Town Hall on Friday, when the business was conducted by Mr. Charles Atter, deputy registration officer for the Borough. Mr. W. Kelby was present on behalf of the Independent Agricultural Party, Mr. H. J. M. Bonnor and Mr. C. E. Woolley on behalf of the Unionist Association, and the Labour Party interests were represented by Mr. J. E. Swain. There were eight applicants for parliamentary votes, all of which allowed as follows: Laura Emma Melbourne, of South Carlton, for 21, All Saints’-street; Ethel Hinson, of Stamford, for 6, Cemetery-road; Robert Dickinson, of Stamford, for 33, Scotgate; Frank Iliffe, Emlyn-street; Harold Edwin Bentley, 22, King’s-road; Bessie Oates, of Glinton, for 22 and 24, High-street; William Barnard, 57a, High-street; Alice Mabel Staton, of Peterborough, for 4, St. Mary’s-hill.

Motor Party’s Remarkable Escape – How a party of three Stamfordians averted death in a motor accident at South Luffenham on Saturday morning is a providential mystery. A Ford car belonging to Mr. T. A. G. Balfour, of the Stamford Glass Company, was being driven by Mr. E. Horsley, with whom were Mr. F, Farnsworth and Mr. E. Doughty, and was passing the end of a by-road just as a Ford van, the property of Messrs. Molesworth and Springthorpe, of Luffenham Mills, emerged therefrom. There was no time to avert a collision, and the Stamford car was caught broadside on and turned turtle. All three occupants were pinned underneath and were unable to move until the driver of the other vehicle, with assistance, lifted the car off them. It was a fortuitous circumstance that though the contents of the petrol tank of the overturned car were running in all directions, the inflammable liquid did not ignite, or the results would have been such as do not give rise to pleasant contemplation. As it was the Stamford party escaped with cuts and bruises and damage to their wearing apparel, but their car was wrecked. The other vehicle was little injured beyond a bent front axle, and happily its occupants evaded hurt.

Fancier’s Successes – An eight-month-old wire fox terrier bitch, the property of Mr. W. J. Fancourt, of 33, St. Mary’s-street, has lately achieved notable successes in keenly competitive company at various shows. These include: First and second at Worsley and District Agricultural Show, second and third at Hindley and District Agricultural Society’s show, and two thirds and two reserve cards at Penwortham and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society’s show.

School Holidays – It has been decided to extend the holidays of the Stamford Boys’ and St. Michael’s Girls’ school until Monday, September 19th.

150 years ago

Stamford Inclosure – It will be seen from an advertisement in the 2d page of this paper that on Friday the 15th inst. the common and other rights over the “lands for Freemen” will be suspended for 12 months; and that for each horse or head of cattle going or depasturing on the said lands and thereafter distrained the sum of 10s. will have to be paid, and 5s. for each sheep or swine.

Fifth Lincolnshire Rifle Volunteers – The monthly challenge cup was shot for on Wednesday, and for the third consecutive time was won by private T. K. Parker; it consequently becomes his absolute property. There were 11 competitors, and the shooting was at 300 and 500 yards. There will be a judging distance drill on Saturday, at 4 p.m., in connection with the competition for the challenge cup given by Mr. Patterson. The points gained by each member will be added to his score made on shooting for this prize at the annual competition on Sept. 20th. By a judicious arrangement cartridges are now supplied on the range at 6d. per packet.

Sergeant Harrison, of Stamford, has just gathered in, as the produce of 113 square yards of land, no less than 42 stones of well conditioned onions; also, as the yield of three of the early rose leaf sort, 16½lbs. of fine potatoes.

On Friday afternoon a boy named Butcher, about 9 years old, overbalanced himself while playing on the new iron bridge and fell into the river. The cries of Mrs. Christian attracted the attention of Mr. Dalton, chemist, who after ineffectually trying to rescue the lad with pieces of wood, went into the water nearly up to his neck and dragged the poor little fellow ashore with a clothes prop. Had it not been for Mr. Dalton’s assistance the accident must have terminated fatally, as no one was near excepting some little boys of Butcher’s age and Mrs. Christian.

Billingborough – Sleaford and Bourn Railway. At Falkingham, on Monday last, the Great Northern Railway Company, represented by Mr. Andrews, solicitor, Bourn, appeared before Wm. Parker, Esq., and the Rev. George Carter, two Justices of the Bourn division, and applied for leave to stop up and divert certain footways in this parish, over which the railway line crosses, and to substitute other footways in lieu thereof. The Magistrates, after hearing the evidence of Mr. W. H. Stubbs, engineer, and Mr. Edw. Baily, surveyor of Highways, and Mr. Thomas Hodgkinson, vestry clerk, granted the application. The Company intend to apply to apply to the next quarter sessions to be held at Sleaford to have the order confirmed. We hear that the Company are desirous of opening the railway on the 1st of November next, and that the contractors have received notice to have the line completed by that time.

Bourn – The property belonging to the late Mr. Ed. Rollings, of Morton, was sold by auction, by Mr. W. E. Lawrence, at the Angel Hotel on the 31st ult., under an order of the Court of Chancery. Lot 1, the Oak Cottage, was knocked down to Mr. John Thurlby, of Morton, for £115; and lot 2, containing 12a. 2r. 12p. of freehold land, situate in Morton Fen, was sold to Mr. J. P. Baker, of Morton, for £800.

On Wednesday last a lad named Machin was accidentally run over at Baston: one leg was broken, and he was severely cut about the head and face, but is now recovering under the care of Mr. Deacon, surgeon.

200 years ago

The Rev. Henry De Foe Baker, A.M. is instituted by the Lord Bishop of Peterborough, to the Vicarage of Greetham, in the county of Rutland, upon the presentation of the Earl of Winchilsea.

At three o’clock last Friday afternoon, the 31st ult., a most extraordinary tempest of rain came on at Stamford, and continued for nearly an hour. The deluge was so great as to do considerable mischief to the houses in low situations in the town, filling the cellars and ground floors, and driving the inhabitants to their upper apartments, where some of them fished up their floating furniture and other property from below as they could. This was particularly the case in a part of Scotgate called Protection Place. The vanity of such a name was singularly exposed, for no part of the town suffered so much as that court. The flood in one of the houses reached as high as a clock-face, and in all it was many feet deep. As soon as the rain abated, and allowed the approach of assistance to the sufferers, their situation was found to be truly distressing. One poor sick woman, who had her bed on the ground-floor of her dwelling, would in all probability have perished if such a tempest had occurred in the night instead of the day: as it was, she contrived to support herself in the water until her compassionate neighbours could release her from her situation. The fire-engines were used with effect in many houses for relieving them from the water, and were in constant requisition till Saturday afternoon.


To be Let, and entered upon at Michaelmas,

A Handsome Freestone Dwelling-house, in St. George’s-place, opposite to the Assembly-Room, consisting of a large and elegant drawing-room, middle-sized dining parlour, a small breakfast-room, 3 bedchambers on the first floor, and good attics, together with spacious cellars and good kitchen.

For a view of the premises, and further particulars, apply to Mr. Pollard, house-carpenter, St. Martin’s, Stamford.

Lincolnshire, Kesteven.

The Magistrates acting for the Parts of Kesteven, in the county of Lincoln, having determined to make such Additions to, and Alterations in, the present House of Correction at Falkingham, in the said parts, as will enable the Prison to contain and employ Sixty prisoners, under the separate heads of classification mentioned in a Bill now in Parliament for regulating Gaols, are desirous of receiving Plans and Estimates for such additions and alterations; and all persons wishing to prepare and deliver such plans and estimates, are requested to transit the same to the Clerk of the Peace’s office, in Sleaford, before the First day of October next.

The separate heads of classification may be seen at the House of Correction.

B. Cheales, Clerk of the Peace.

Notice is hereby given,

That a General Meeting of his Majesty’s Lieutenancy for the County of Lincoln will be held, at the Judge’s-house in Lincoln, on Friday the 14th day of September next, at One o’clock in the afternoon.

B. Cheals, Clerk.

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