A range of stories from up to 200 years ago feature in this week’s Mercury Memories.
Every week we take a look at the archives with the support of the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust.
10 years ago
June 21, 2013
Market Deeping’s library could close and hours at Stamford Library may be cut as Lincolnshire County Council looks to save £2m.
The council is looking to reduce its library services, which will save £1.938m. It needs to save £125m over a four-year period.
Under the plans Stamford’s hours would be cut by five hours a week but it has been marked as one of 10 priority libraries in the county.
However the Deepings branch is one of 32 which could close and be replaced by a mobile service. Communities will be offered grants to run their own libraries.
County councillor for Deeping St James Phil Dilks is worried.
He said:”I recognise the library service may have to take a hit but I will be fighting our corner.
“Libraries are a key service and at every level we try to encourage people to read – closing libraries is not the way to do that.”
He said the Deepings had a bigger population than some of the towns where libraries could be kept.
The plans were revealed in an agenda to the council’s community and public safety scritiny committee, which will look at the proposals on Wednesday before the executive meets to discuss it on Tuesday, July 2.
If approved by the executive, the consultation will be launched on July 3 and run until September 30.
A toy shop and two clothing stores in Stamford will close within the next few weeks as the town centre continues to change.
High Street stores Dorothy Perkins and Burton will shut on Saturday, July 6.
The shops are both owned by Arcadia, which declined to comment on the news.
But a source said it was hoped the 10 staff affected by the closures will be relocated to other branches.
Stamford Models and Toys has been trading in Maiden Lane for the last five years but it will close for the final time next weekend.
Owners Richard Peel and Dean Barlow say it has been a tough decision but after experiencing a 50 per cent drop in sales since Christmas, they were left with no choice.
Mr Peel said: “Trade had been great until about six months ago. I think the recession has had a big impact.
“People come in to look around but they just don’t buy anything because they don’t have the money to spare.”
The shop is hosting a sale until its final day of trading on Saturday, June 29.
Double yellow lines which had been branded shoddy by residents have been repainted.
Lincolnshire County Council’s highways department came under fire when paint on the lines in St Mary’s Place, Stamford, ran between the cobbles.
The lines were removed by the council shortly afterwards in November after complaints.
But new lines painted in January also broke up and failed to stick to the cobbles.
The saga came about because the council was remarking the parking restriction to make it clear to motorists after wardens started patrolling the town.
The latest double yellow lines were painted last week and Lincolnshire County Council said the work had been delayed until now because of bad weather.
Area highways manager for the council, Kevin Brumfield, said: “The lines have been painted by hand, using a traditional paint, to make sure we don’t see a repeat of the problems that we encountered last year.”
25 years ago
June 19, 1998
A plea is being made to make use of the Queen Eleanor School North Site before it falls into a state of disrepair.
Stamford Town Council members are “sad and angry” that Lincolnshire County Council has not given them the opportunity to take over the site for the benefit of the town.
Coun Sue Bishop said: “We were told by the county council that after they had looked at the site all interested parties would be contacted, which would give us an option to find a good use for the site. Unfortunately, I have a feeling they had no intention of doing this.”
At last week’s full town council meeting, it was suggested that the site would make an ideal youth or community centre, something councillors feel is vital for the town.
Speaking at the meeting, Coun Rudi Brennan said: “We really need something for the youth of the town, and this site is ideal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like being possible.”
The building has already been targeted by vandals, and police have been called to the Green Lane site on a number of occasions.
A huge riverside housing development planned for the heart of historic Stamford has come under fire.
Stamford Civic Society is outraged by the proposals and warns views of St Mary’s Church from the Meadows will be ruined by 14-metre-high, three storey houses.
The group wants people to send objections to South Kesteven District Council by today’s deadline.
The new homes at Bath Row are part of a major development by the Cecil Estate Family Trust which also involves refurbishment of some properties behind St Mary’s Street and St Mary’s Hill, making a total of 23 houses and flats.
Civic society chairman David Heeley attacked the plans: “This site will dominate one of the key views of the town – from the Meadows and as you cross the bridge.
“If built it will oliterate what is an historic composition of roofs and outbuildings from many periods whose scale gently takes the eye from the Mill Stream to St Mary’s spire at the top.
“We will ask the Fine Art Commission and English Heritage to review this development, and have asked the Cecil Estate to reconsider it as it stands.”
Dozens of parents are being denied their first choice of secondary school for their children because of increasing pressure on places.
There are already no vacancies for the next academic year at many local schools – including the Deepings School, Arthur Mellows Village College, Glinton, Casterton Community College and the Robert Manning School, Bourne.
Bourne Grammar School filled its register in February and has had to reject over 100 pupils, even though they have passed the 11-plus examination.
The situation has frustrated Cheryl Ellis, who has tried to find a place for her daughter, Katrina (11), at all of the above schools.
She said: “You are supposed to have parental preference, but we haven’t got any at all. Katrina is very concerned because she keeps asking me what school she’s going to and I can’t answer.
Katrina, who passed the entry exam for Bourne Grammar, has been offered a place at the Queen Eleanor School, Stamford, and St Guthlac’s School, Crowland, but he mother is still considering making simultaneous appeals to a number of full local schools and has been in contact with the Department of Education and Employment.
50 years ago
June 22, 1973
St Michael’s Church in Stamford’s pedestrian precinct may become a handy ‘mini-market’ for local shoppers.
Closed down in 1962, the building has stood since then at the mercy of the weather and the local pigeons.
But this week it was revealed that the Church Commissioners have approved a plan which would turn the church into a ‘mini-market’.
The Rev Geoffrey Asson, secretary of the Redundant Churches Uses Committee, said that as yet the scheme was only a possibility.
“But it may be taken over by a scheme that while the church will stay standing, it will be converted into a covered mini-markert in the sense that there will be a number of small shops inside.”
Mr Asson said that he had no further details at the present, and was unable to say whether the market would be a permanent one if it went into operation.
But he added that it had been approved by the Church Commissioners.
A Foundry Road resident complained this week that Stamford Corporation were causing local people inconvenience by shutting off a town passageway.
Mr G. Lawrence said that schoolchildren were having to make a detour round Petergate to get to classes while Foundry Lane, near West Street, was closed.
“There is no path there and they have to face two dangerous corners,” he said.
“Other local people are complaining about it – they either have to go round that way into town or take a short cut into St Peter’s Street by trespassing in the yard of Sycamore’s Garage.”
Mr Lawrence said that the passage had been closed for a couple of weeks and nothing appeared to have been done.
It was closed for repair work to the rear of Exeter Court, an old terrace of houses backing on to it.
“I wouldn’t mind if work seemed to be going on but it’s causing a great deal of inconvenience,” he said.
He added that the council had told him that work was not quite finished and they were giving the owner of the property more time to finish it.
A spokseman for the Borough Council said that the passage had been closed “in the interest of public safety” a few weeks ago.
Tiles had come off at Exeter Court and part of the roof had collapsed.
While in no way questioning the legality of the operation, Coun Mrs Marjorie Clark, on Tuesday, expressed deepest concern that a company could get grant aid for dwellings, and almost immediately afterwards, get planning permission to change the use of the premises to offices.
She was referring to an application from Tobin and Company, deferred at Bourne Urban Council’s May meeting, but approved on Tuesday. She asked for her name to be recorded as voting against the decision.
“I voted against it in committee on moral grounds, and I would like to say why,” she said.
“If we are going to allow grants to be made, supposedly for living accommodation, and business people use the grant and want to change their minds about use, I believe this to be morally wrong.
“I think it is leaving the gates wide open. We are in touch with our Member of Parliament and we hope legislation will prevent this in future.”
“Tobin’s have received from this council £3,600 to provide three dwellings in North Street, and no one has slept as much as one night in them” Coun Derek Ward said.
100 years ago
June 22, 1923
Stamford and Rutland Infirmary – Week ending June 19, 1923 – Admissions and discharges of patients . In – admitted 14, discharged 14, in house 23; out-patient made in-patient 1, admitted 16, discharged 4, on books 46; medical attendant, Dr. Greenwood; weekly board, Mrs. Martin, Dr. Greenwood, Mr. H. Young, Mr. Allen, Mr. Duddington; weekly visitor, Col. Blair. Acknowledged with thanks – Apethorpe whist drive, £5 8s.0d.; Ryhall (collection), £5; employees Messrs Williamson, Cliff, Ltd., £5 3s. 6d.; Corby whist drive and dance, £11 12s. 6d.; Castle Bytham and Little Bytham Charity Cup, £13 13s.; Miss Hopgood (donation), 10s. 6d.; “Mary” (donation), £1 1s.; Mr. G. Prentice (donation), £1 1s.; Mr. J. Scotney (donation) £1 1s.; Mr. T. H. Wright, 10s.; Miss Montague (donation), £5; Dr. Edwards, flowers; Mrs. George Hales, 40 eggs; Mrs. Cropley, eggs.
Athletic Football Club – This Stamford club has elected Mr. C. H. Dixon, M.P., as president and Messrs. A. E. Dixon, J. Pepper, A. Cliff, W. H. Melbourn, P. Banks, A. Noblett, and H. Deer as vice-presidents.
The “Terriers” – The D Co. 4th Batt. Lincs. Regt. (T.F.) commenced their annual outdoor training in Burghley Park on Saturday. There was am excellent muster, and the march from the Drill-hall to the Park was headed by the band of the Corps.
Open-Air Music – The Stamford Town Prize Band rendered an excellent programme on the lawns of Burghley House on Sunday afternoon, when, by the kind permission of the Marquess of Exeter, the private grounds were thrown open to the public. A large number of people availed themselves of the privilege of visiting this delightful spot, with the result that a collection in aid of the Infirmary amounted to £11. Mr. G. H. Steele conducted, and a pleasing rendering of “Lohengrin” was much appreciated. Another concert was given in the Recreation Ground in the evening, when a collection was taken for band funds.
British Legion – The monthly meeting of this organisation was held on Tuesday, at the Drill-hall, Stamford, Mr. E. Peasgood presiding. It was decided to write Headquarters with a view to the local branch obtaining control of the United Services Fund in Stamford. The Secretary reported satisfactory results regarding pension cases. It was decided to commemorate, in Septmer, the first anniversary of the foundation of the branch. The meeting acknowledge, with thanks, the receipt of 25s. from the Stamford Girl Guides, result of an entertainment.
Useful Blotting Pad – A useful blotting pad has been issued by the Rector of St. Mary’s Church, Stamford. In addition to several sheets of excellent blotting paper, there is a photograph of the interior of St. Mary’s church and a short description of the ediface. The churchwardens will be pleased to supply them to parishioners.
Old Stamfordians’ Successes – Three past scholars of Stamford School have done high honour to their old school, J. E. Bowman (St. John’s College) figures as third Senior Optime in Part II. of the Cambridge University Mathematical Tripos; W. H. Kelham (Trinity Hall) has taken a Second Class I Division I. of Part II. of the Law Tripos; and J. C. Hensmen (St. John’s) a Second Class for chemistry in Part II. of the Natural Sciences Tripos. All three had distinguished careers at Stamford School, and are Exhibitioners. G. C. Honeyball has taken a Second Class in Part I. of the Classical Tripos.
150 years ago
June 20, 1873
The new recreation-ground at Stamford will not be available for pastimes this year. The General Purposes Committee of the Town Council visited the enclosure on Saturday last, and as the herbage was found to be rank and mixed with charlock, and the ground very uneven, it was determined to plough the whole plot and prepare it for laying down with grass. The question of planting it with trees and shrubs is to be entertained at a future meeting.
Stamford Union – Only five Guardians attended the Board meeting on Monday, and the business was very light, there being only one fresh applicant for relief. There are eleven pauper inmates of the house less than in the corresponding week of last year. A letter from the Local Government Board complaining of an irregularity in the payment of the contribution due from Ryhall, and a caution was given to the parish officers against a recurrence of such a cause of complaint. A lad of 16, who had gained admission to the house on the ground of being destitute, but who it was ascertained had run away from his employment because he does not like work, was ordered to be set to oakum-picking, and to be kept upon bread and water unless he does a proper amount of work.
The ringers of Easton, on the 12th inst., paid a tribute of respect to the memory of their oldest and respected member, Mr. George Woodward, by ringing a muffled peal. He had been sexton of Easton church for a number of years.
Fred. Maxey, of Stamford, was yesterday sent to Nottingham gaol for six months for embezzlement.
We hear that seven of the Stamford Volunteers intend to be present with a detachment of 50 from the South Lincolnshire battalion at the autumn manoeuvres at Cannock Chase in August next. The men will be encamped for a week.
The anniversaries of the Stamford Oddfellows’ and Foresters’ societies are to be celebrated by an excursion to Hull on Monday the 4th of August – a bank holiday.
The show of stock at Stamford Corpus Christi fair on Monday was exceedingly small, there being only a few beasts and about three horses. Buyers likewise were very scarce.
Hay-making has been commenced in the neighbourood of Stamford, and a good breadth of grass has already been cut. Where the land was not stocked late the crops are good.
Applications were made to the Magistrates on Saturday last by several landlords of public-houses in the parish of St. George to keep open their houses an hour later on Monday and Tuesday, the first two days of St. George’s feast. Permission was granted to them, and any other publican in the parish who chose to apply, to keep open an hour extra on Monday night, that being the horse fair day. Permission was likewise granted to the landlord of the Bull and Swan inn to remain open until 2 a.m. on the occasion of the opening dinner. This was the only business that came before the Bench, a bastardy summons, Eliza Willson v. Harry Thompson, being postponed in consequence of neither of the parties appearing.
The fine Decorated chancel of the parish church of Barnack has just received the addition of three stained-glass windows, the gift of the Rector, Canon Argles. The north and south windows contain the figures respectively of the gospels and epistles, the remaining spaces being filled with grissaile work of somewhat German character. The general result is harmonious.
200 years ago
June 20, 1823
Turnpike-Road from Bourn to Spalding.
Notice is hereby given,
That a Meeting of the Trustees of the said Road will be held, at the Town-Hall in Spalding, in the county of Lincoln, on Monday the 23d day of June, 1823, at Eleven o’clock in the forenoon precisely, for the following special purposed: viz.
For determining on the most advantageous situation for the Toll-houses to be erected on the said road.
For contracting for the sale of the Waste Land belonging to the said road.
For determining the allowance to be paid to Proprietors for the lands cut and covered.
For determining on the necessity for proceedings at law being adopted against such Subscribers as shall then be in arrear for any part of their Subscriptions.
To execute Mortgages on the Tolls to such Subscribers as have paid their Subscriptions in full.
And for transacting such other business relative to the said road as may then occur. Dated this 9th day of June, 1823. By order of the Trustees,
Wm. Hopkinson, J. R. Carter, Clerks.
The Stamford and St. Martin’s Gas Light Bill and the Wansford Road Bill received the Royal Assent on Tuesday last.
We are sorry to learn that it is intended to discontinue running the Yarmouth and Leicester mail-coach after the 5th of July. The number of passengers carried is not sufficient to make the coach answer to the proprietors; but we understand that the mail has proved greatly serviceable as the means of correspondence between the corn-dealers and the manufacturers of the eastern coast, and the northern and western districts of the kingdom. As many as four thousand letters, we hear, have sometimes been brought to Stamford by the Yamouth mail, for Leicester and forward to Nottingham, Mancester,&c.
The Northamptonshire rural poet, Clare, is about to give the world a new volume of his poems.
Pigeon Shooters – John Parker, laborer, of Bourn, was convicted at Bourn town-hall on Saturday last, (by the Rev. S. E. Hopkinson and the Rev. Wm. Waters,) of shooting pigeons, and on non-payment of the penalty was committed to Falkingham castle for three months.
Wood-Stealing – And John Waterfield, laborer, of Bourn, was at the same time committed for one calendar month, for wilfully stealing and destroying wood in Bourn Woods.
On Saturday, John Booth, drum-major of the South Lincoln Militia, was committed to Peterborough gaol, (by the Rev. J. Serocold,) for trial at the quarter sessions, charged with embezzling money received on account of Messrs. Newcomb, of Stamford, by whom he was employed as a newsman to Peterboro’.
On Saturday se’nnight, a fire broke out on the premises of Mr. W. Ward, tailor, Church-end, Friskney, which in a short time was destroyed.
An inquest was held at Bourn, a few days ago, by Samuel Edwards, Gent. coroner, on the body of William Parnham, a young man, who whilst in the act of chiming the bells for church service on Sunday se’nnight, fell speechless on the belfry floor, whence he was removed to the house of his parents, and after lingering two hours expired. Verdict, died by the visitation of God.
An inquest was held at Edenham, on Monday se’nnight, by the same coroner, on the body of Wright Speed, who died on the Saturday preceding in consequence of having that morning by mistake taken a quantity of arsenic mixed with brimstone. This dreadful poison was unintentionally administered to the deceased by his mother, whose feelings on being the innocent casue of her son’s death can be more easily imagined than described. Verdict, poisoned inadvertently and by mistake.