local characters

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Thread Topic: local characters
Topic Originator: john freear
Post Date March 4, 2006 @ 4:13 PM
 local characters
 RE: local characters
 Nimpy Holmes/Gaffer Day
 Bogey Hill
 RE: local characters
 Banjo Hall
 Arthur Pike policeman
 Sergt Stiff/Gunner Green
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 Walter Young
 Anne & Ted Rogers
 RE: local characters
 Daniel Lambert
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 RE: local characters
 Re: local characters
 GENERAL GORDON/Drinks all round
 Info wanted DRAGE family
 Poaching Etiquette
 Respect, man, respect!!!
 Nimpy's call-up papers
 Accordian Band:Stamford
 Met my husband at King's Head
 KINGS HEAD:Wanda remembers her childhood home
 KINGS HEAD: quiet game of darts
 KINGS HEAD:no nonsense policy
 NIMPY: helped by Burghley
 KINGS HEAD singer
 KINGS HEAD: Memorabilia
 RE: Nimpy
 HOLMES shop Scotgate
 HOLMES/sweetshop + tobacconist
 characters/Ninny Yates
 locals/Harold Harvey
 local characters/Roy Brown
 locals/Hilda Aldwinkle/Miss Selby
  locals/Roy Brown
 characters/Bogie Hill
 local characters/Bogie Hill
 local characters/Jack Atkins
  local charactersJack Atkins
 local characters/Jack Atkins
  local characters
  local characters
 Nimpy Holmes
  local characters

john freear
March 4, 2006 @ 4:13 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Sometime ago I seem to remember that you were asking for memories of local characters so what I am going to do is to give you a list of those that come immediately to my mind but without saying anything about any just to see if the names evoke a response from elsewhere.  They are (and there must be many I simply have not called to mind)
Johnny Orwinkle
Harry Drage
Nimpy Holmes
Johnny Taylor
Jogger Harvey
Stymie Garrett
Gaffer Day
Walt Pollard
Streaky Politt
Canon West
Ninny Yates
Whisky Wainwright
Bang Wright
Joe Starling
Bomber Walsh
Wowwy Harvey

Ed: Thanks for that John.  Anyone else remember these characters or others not in the list?

March 10, 2006 @ 9:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Whisky Wainwright, Walt Pollard and Bang Wright were masters at Stamford School. Ninny Yates was a road sweeper and also had run a marriage bureau. He was featured in John Bull a magazine of the 50s.
Ed:  Thanks for that Mike.  Yes, I remember Ninny Yates.  Quite a gentleman with his roadsweeping equipment.  He would doff his cap and say "goodmorning my dear" - always a friendly smile in the High Street from Ninny.  Anyone remember the John Bull article?

Peter fancourt
March 11, 2006 @ 12:51 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Nimpy Holmes was a "Gentleman of the Road" who resided sometimes in part of a barn in Burghley Park,with the knowledge and permission of the Marquess of Exeter.
Gaffer Day was the nickname for Canon Day,sometime Headmaster of Stamford School.
Ed:  Thanks for that Peter.  I always understood that Nimpy had been crossed in love and had never got over this.  Whether this is true I do not know.  He used to spend some time in what was then called "the reading room" at Stamford Library, an enclosed area on the left of the door where newspapers were spread about on sort of drawing desks and where chairs were available for people to sit and read or study.

March 20, 2006 @ 3:12 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

what about "Boggy Hill",  Fred Hill being his correct name, had a dog called "Lassie"  and used  to ride a bike with lassie on the back or round Fred's neck. Fred would tell Lassie to stay! then ride away, he would then call Lassie saying "come on Lassie" the dog would run after him and leap onto the bike or round Fred's neck. Lassie died and Fred buried the dog in Burghley Park, Fred himself was killed in a accident on the Stamford to Easton-on-the-Hill road.
Ed:  Thanks very much for that Clem, as I had been in discussion with someone else about that fella.  I said "you remember, he used to have a box on the back of his bike and this black and white dog used to sit in it"  "Oh yes" said the person I was in conversation with, "and sometimes he used to have it round his neck".  Something I had entirely forgotten. It just goes to show that a few words from someone else brings up those memories.

March 21, 2006 @ 5:27 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

what about, "Walter Young" "Jack Hinch" "Jobeo" "Mrs Mill's" "Daisy Martin" they were all local characters? do you remember any of them?

March 21, 2006 @ 11:23 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Thought of one more:-"Banjo Hall" had the grocer shop at top of rec hill on new cross rd. some info about the others I mentioned is as follows:-Daisy Martin lived on new cross rd, she was a bit of a noticeable character, I think was crossed in love some time before the war,she would always hang out in the rec.  Mrs Mills kept a house full of cats, she lived on recreation ground road and would be seen in the rec most days.  Jack Hinch had a bad leg & would always ride his bike home from the pubs daily he lived in Worcester Crescent, never had any lights on his bike at all I remember old Sargeant Swain the copper stoping him on several occasions.  "Jobeo" had a voice problem he lived near Lancaster Rd, but was always around the Town etc, "Walter Young"  would be seen around the town (sometimes with "Nimpy Holmes")  I think Walter died in the St. Georges Home.
Ed: Thanks for that Clem.  

March 23, 2006 @ 11:27 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Another policeman I can remember was Arthur Pike.  A big burly man (or so it seemed to me, being rather small at the time).  I can remember that when the High Street was used as a normal roadway for two-way traffic, he used to be on "point-duty" in the middle of the road between St John's Church and Dawsons jewellers.  When you were winging your way down High Street on your bike (and there was a nice little slope there to help you get up a bit of speed) Pikey would pull you up and make you wait, directing the through traffic - as this was at that time the A1 !!!  We would be a bit scared of Pikey as he would notice if you had a light on your bike or if your brakes were not too good.  You had to keep your eye on him for your signal to go or he might keep you waiting ages.

March 24, 2006 @ 12:48 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

thanks for reminding me about "Pikey" do you remember Sergt, Stiff? (Stiffy) we would call him, he also was a big man.

Just thought of another local character,  "Gunner Green" lived in Cliff Crescent just down from New Cross Road.
Ed: Thanks Clem.  Don't remember Sergeant Stiff but certainly remember the name.

March 24, 2006 @ 7:46 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

How about "Polly Low"she was in charge of the "Church Lads Club" that was a great place to visit in my youth. the building is part of the grammer school now, do you recall "Polly Low"?
Ed:  Anyone remember this lady or the Church Lads Club?

john freear
April 5, 2006 @ 1:03 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Tell Clem "I'll give him Polly Low" It was Miss Low. Clem and I were raised in the same neck-of- the-woods I could have thrown a stone (literally) into his garden from my home.
Clem's father had a lovely tenor voice and would sing in local pubs which I and my wife frequented on a Saturday night. Particularly The Brewery and the Danish Invader. My goodness those were good nights  remember them so clearly and afterwards fish and chips from the shop in Water Street. They were the sweetest in town without a shadow of a doubt.
Kate:  Thanks John.  Do you remember those evenings when your father would sing in the pub Clem?  Sounds like some great evenings.

April 7, 2006 @ 1:50 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

remember "evenings" I remember living in a house full of love, my dad was always singing, as I got older so did I, we would go to the "Scotgate" on Saturday nights, "Barbara Taylor" would be playing the piano, there would be many good voices in the pub, my mum would always sing the same song "slow boat to china" there would be Pete Russon & Snaky Dartnell, they would sing"The Wild Colonial boy"
most pubs then had live entertainment, good days, I am at present writing a book,& have been doing so for last seven years, the book is about the "Walden" family (Braziers & Tinmen) "Tinkers" & about my life from birth up to the age of twenty one, I hope to finish the book in the next two years, anyway John thanks for reminding me about dad, & was it you that threw all those stones in our garden? by the way the best fish & chips were Cyril Hardy's & apart from frying good fish he was a great piano player, he often would play in the local pubs.do you remember him?

June 19, 2006 @ 5:05 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top


Editor: Thanks for that Ian.  Anyone else remember Walter Young and his antics?  Also Kathy and Neville who used to run the pub?  Let us have your memories.

November 4, 2006 @ 9:42 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top


I have been looking on your site and was wondering if any one knew my mum and dad Anne rogers, and Ted rogers my mum died when i was 3 in 1971 i know she use to raise a lot of money for the guide dogs for the blind, and also was a popular lady i just wanted to know if anyone has any stories so i can tell my children .and wondered if anyone could tell me a bit about her. Also my dad use to have a d i y shop at the back of 9 st leonards street 1n the 1960s with a man called john brown, also my dad had a business C.E. rogers builders i think that was set up in the late sixtys and ran till 1984 i think .
great site
margaret rogers
Kate:  Lots here for locals to ponder Margaret.  Thanks for that.  Anyone help?  Do you remember Rogers builders or Ted and Anne Rogers?  Margaret would like to share your memories.

Tony Lilley
February 6, 2007 @ 3:02 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember Ninny Yates as a really nice guy who helped run a football team I was in (Stamford Minors?) which played on the meadows in the mid to late sixties. My dad had a lot of respect for him.

Also, does Daniel Lambert qualify for a mention? (not that I knew him personally!)
Kate:  We always love to get a note from people who remember Ninny
Tony.  More wanted please.

Regarding Daniel Lambert yes, I think we could start a topic for Daniel. Though as you rightly say none of us will have personal memories of him.  I wonder if anyone out there was a descendant?  Or had family whose ancestors remembered him and passed the anecdotes on?  We are looking for anything on Daniel Lambert.  Your chance to have a say.  I can remember when I worked at Stamford Town Hall his clothes were kept in the safe there.  I think (not sure) that they are now kept in Stamford Museum - seems the obvious place.

John Freear
February 11, 2007 @ 2:10 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

You must remember that Daniel Lambert was a Leicester man, not a Stamfordian. He was staying at the George Hotel when he died. I seem to remember (not that I was there!!!) that a certain amount of builder's work had to be done to arrange access for his coffin.
Kate:  Nice to hear from you John.  The account I gave the link for on Daniel Lambert says that he lodged at The Waggon & Horses in St Martin's and died there at 9 o'clock 21st June 1809. There is a very nice oil painting of him hanging in the entrance hall of The George.  I'm not sure where the Waggon & Horses was.  Anyone know which place this is now?

Paul Reedman
February 11, 2007 @ 8:21 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

If the Waggon & Horses was an inn/pub then it'll be listed in Stamford Musuem as they have a big list of them upstairs in the main part. That'll tell you where it was.
Kate:  Thanks Paul.  I must have a look.  Or is anyone else going in the Museum and would like to look at this list and report back?
Kate:  Went to the Museum and found that list.  Waggon & Horses pub opposite The Bull & Swan.  The list was compiled by John Chandler. Prior to being the Waggon & Horses this pub was the Marquis of Granby.  Its a large building with two arched doorways. (Not big enough for more than a person to enter.  perhaps the Waggon & Horses were housed and watered behind the building in Church Street - there is quite a large area of ground there which probably was open space then.

February 12, 2007 @ 12:17 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Daniel Lambert is buried in a church yard in stamford, I remember visiting with st Georges primary school,i was told he got stuck in one of the alleyways near where hawleys toyshop used to be  (I know the toyshop wasn't there then)sorry i cann't remember the whole story
Thinking of local characters, does anyone remember Wally the tramp who use to wear a teacosy on his head and sit outside the war memorial, i remember seeing him when i was younger, he always seemed to have a cheerful hello.
Kate:  Hello Margaret.  Yes I have seen the gravestone in the Churchyard - its the one behind St Martin's Church.(not actually in the Churchyard - you go out of the rear gate across the road and into an area opposite - I am not sure of the actual name of this graveyard).  As he weighed nearly 53 stone I can believe he probably would have got stuck in those narrow alleys.  Don't remember Wally but it will jog someone's memory. Thanks for that Margaret.

JohnDale McAllister
February 15, 2007 @ 9:46 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Kate, was there not a picture of Daniel Lambert in the pub which was up the main street past the church & turn right down a lane-possibly The Kings Head. I think the lane came out beside the Stamford Hotel.
Kate:  Hello John I am not sure on this one and hope that someone looking at the list can help us out?  Anyone know about the King's Head?  Or any other memorabilia for Daniel?

February 22, 2007 @ 10:09 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Re the mention of the Kings Head.If my memory serves me right I think this pub was on Maiden Lane.If you approached from the High St it would have been located halfway down on the right.I recal it being a small operation with a tiny bar and saloon.It was run by a fellow called 'Sid' and his wife.I think the only reason to go there was it was never too busy so a game of darts could be had.Interestingly I believe it was an RAF hangout.'Sid" had all kinds of RAF memorabilia around the bar,squadron badges,patches,photos etc.I remember adding to his collection by presenting him with a squadron lapel badge and a ballpoint pen with the insignias of 62 squadron Woolfox Lodge."Allways on the alert".This was around the time period 1962.
Kate:  Thank you David.  Anyone else remember the RAF memorabilia?  Or did you frequent the King's Head at the time (1962).
This would be during that very cold winter or just after.  

JohnDale McAllister
February 28, 2007 @ 10:14 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Kate, David has it spot on-that's exactly the pub that I remember. I'm sure the picture/painting of Daniel Lambert was on the right as you entered opposite the door into the 'lounge'.
Kate:  Thanks John.  More info needed from others on this topic please!

March 22, 2007 @ 9:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Re: Margaret and Brown & Rogers the builders.

     It has been a long time but this is what I can recall.
It was around 1959 and my dad decided to quit Peterborough and move to the country. He found this place called Ryhall and decided this was the place for him. He contracted with the firm, which seems stuck in my mind as Brown & Rogers. They were building a row of 5 bungalows on the main road (Stamford rd) immediately past New rd and just before the Gwash Bridge. We lived in a caravan on the site while the house was being built. Ours was the middle bungalow. The view was beautiful straight across the Gwash valley to Tolethorp. The Gwash had a nice population of trout at this time, which of course I never sampled? I think the land the houses were built on was previously owned by a local farmer named, Achurch. Brown & Rogers also built a few if not all of the houses on Highlands, which was a Cul-de-sac immediately behind our house and accessed from New rd. These houses were two stories semi-detached.
     I think it was during the summer of 1960 that I got a temporary job with Brown & Rogers. I used to show up at the yard on St Leonards st at about 8am and a lorry used to take the gang to the job site.

May 21, 2007 @ 5:03 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Dear Kate,
You seem to have wiped out most of the story.
Sorry David.  It ended up on the cuttingroom floor. Kate

Justin Walden
May 30, 2007 @ 10:16 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Well, Clem, your son is a character and a great singer...

But my parents are the best characters in Stamford and I love em to bits!!



August 16, 2007 @ 8:04 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

My Mum used to make a flask of tea and make sandwiches for Nimpy Holmes when he was around Blackfriars St where my Mum lived.  I can see him now when I was a little girl sitting on the corner path near Gas lane and Blackfriars St eating and drinking what my Mum had made him.
Kate - well done your Mum Jackie - it seems lots of people had some sympathy for old Nimpy.  I bet he was very grateful for her food parcels.

February 11, 2008 @ 6:51 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Wowwy Harvey was indeed my uncle. His actual christian name was Harold. He was educated at Uppingham School, and was an excellent
pianist and organist. He often played the organ in All Saints Church.
Why was he called Wowwy? Family rumour has it that it was the noise
he made as a baby! Needless to say Harold hated the name and didn't take kindly to it..
Kate:  Seem to remember that he was in demand as a singer too or have I got that wrong?  Perhaps people went "WOW" when he reached those difficult notes??!!  Any locals remember Harold's younger days and where his "nickname" started from?

john freear-
February 17, 2008 @ 1:58 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I was at the bluecoat school up St Peters St. during the last war at the same time as harold Harvey. Is he still alive. I sometimes see a man in Stamford Friday Market using a mobility scooter who looks like how I would imagine him to be now and who acknowleges me but I cannot be sure if it is he.

jean harvey
February 18, 2008 @ 6:20 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

So sorry John, but Harold Harvey died over 5 years ago
following a short illness. Perhaps the next time you see
this gentleman in the market it might be appropriate
to ask his name!

Peter Leatherbarrow
June 21, 2008 @ 9:30 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I wondered if the John Freear on this thread is related to two of the 'old boys' I used to drink with, Alf and Cis Freear? Our local was the General Gordan at the junction of Wharf Road and St. Georges Street. In my day it was run by Alan and Betty Jakes, who had two daughters, Julia and Davina, both who went to Stamford High School. Julia later married Andy Bullimore, in about the late 1970's.

Clem Walden
June 28, 2008 @ 8:10 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

The Kings Head maiden lane is "open again" I had many a good pint in there between 1955-1960 they had a good house then & a piano the RAF boys from wittering were regulars then. all had a sing-song the reopening was about 6 months ago, the present owner is John Regis, & the new tenant & landlord is Graham Perkins, the refurbishment is very tastefully done,  worth a vist if you like the old style pubs, they do food & serve a good pint.

Richard Campbell
July 1, 2008 @ 2:23 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Yes...I remember the King's Head......Used to go in there around 1966. The dart board had a hole just above double one where a stray dart would disappear down the cavity wall.

Sid was there then....his favourite trick was to slope off to
Peterborough Dog track and leave us all to pull our own pints and put the money in the till.......he always reckoned that he made more money as nobody could be bothered to take minor change.

We were all into pewter tankards in those days and each had his own hanging up behind the bar.
Kate: Anyone else lose a dart in double one?

Daphne Hawkins
February 17, 2009 @ 7:38 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi John
Just read your list of Stamford characters.  I remember Johnny Orwinkle very well.   He lived in Water street and  frequented Station Road and was usually around when the school bus arrived.  He was always dressed in his Graduation gown and would ask us various questions.  The answers we gave were, presumeably written in the notebook he always carried.  He was always very polite and respectful to us girls although we were often late for school as we felt  obliged to show him respect too.   A great character.   I can't remember whether he was still in Stamford when he died or where he is buried.   Can anyone help?

john freear
February 18, 2009 @ 1:13 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi,Peter L.
Alf and Cis Freear were my uncles. Another was Ray who also used occasionally to drink there with them as I have done myself (until the early hours). weren't we wicked!!! -

patricia willmitt
March 6, 2009 @ 5:21 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I saw the name Harry Drage in your list of local characters. I would be grateful if you could tell me anything you know about this man as my mother was a Stamfordian with  maiden name  Drage but I know very little about the Drages.

Thank you so much.

March 24, 2009 @ 9:03 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I knew Harry Drage well. I think he lived somewhere in Conduit Road. He was employed by the Stamford Corporation as a street sweeper.  He greeted everyone with the same saying !`I wouldn`t say no to a bit of bacca. No, I wouldn`t say `No to that`. A likeable man, always friendly and never changed.
I thought `Nimpy` Holmes was a rogue. When I was working for `Briggy` at Priory Farm during the War I used to do a bit of rabbiting along Barnack Road after work. `Nimpy` was living rough then on the old railway line in Uffington Meadows.  He used to be up at dawn clearing my snares and taking the rabbits into Wades in Cheyne Lane - and he didn`t even have the decency to reset the snares. A complete breach of poaching etiquette.
Does anyone remember `Briggy`s` steam ploughing engines?

March 26, 2009 @ 8:29 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Respect, man, respect!!!
Johnny Taylor - Mr.JWF Taylor. Headmaster Bluecoat School
Gaffer Day  - Canon J D Day MA (Oxon) Headmaster Stamford School
Bang Wright - Rev.T Wright Vicar of Little Casterton and French Master Stamford School - if they read this site they must all be spinning together with the rest!
Johnny Aldwinckle (spelled correctly) reputedly ex-classics scholar and native of Barnack where I believe he is buried.

March 27, 2009 @ 7:35 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

`Nimpy` Holmes - poor old `Nimpy`. In 1940 he was arrested for failing to answer his `call-up` papers.  I don`t think he could read or write.  After three weeks or so he was back in Stamford discharged by the Army as being `Unsuitable for military sevice`. Apparently, he could not grasp that orders were to be obeyed. Perhaps he was smarter than we thought! It was after this episode that he took to living rough on the old railway line in Uffington Meadows as he thought the Army might still be after him. The last time I saw `Nimpy`, a few weeks before he died, he was leaning on his bicycle outside the Library. In reply to my `How are you then, `Nimpy` he waved at the people going by and said `They think they`re allright now but just you wait until the Russians come. It will all change then`.  Such was the level of conversation with `Nimpy`.

Ray Bailey
April 6, 2009 @ 8:30 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I lived in Tinwell Road next door to Harry Aldwinckle who was Johnny's brother.  This is the correct spelling of their surname.  Harry's wife Hilda (nee Potter) ran the Stamford accordian band.  Does anyone remember the band?

April 28, 2009 @ 10:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember the Kings Head very well because I met my husband there.  Sid and Vi had three children the eldest being Wanda who still sends me a Christmas Card from Bourne and the two boys were Richard and Tim.  Sid their father aiways smoked a pipe and I think he worked on the Railway.

April 29, 2009 @ 4:34 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Any one who wants information on the Kings Head from Dec 1957 to 1962 I am the Wanda mentioned in the note from Betty.  Mum & Dad (Sid & Vi) took over the Kings Head in December 57 and at the time I was nearly 16.  The pub did become a favourite of the RAF lads - mainly from Wittering (they could walk back to base if they missed the last bus home!), but also from Cottesmore.  Betty was not the only one who met their future husband at the pub, there were several "matches" made there.  
I can remember a lot of the people who went in the pub regularly - including local residents.  
I can also remember the shops down Maiden Lane.  Directly opposite at that time was a sweet shop run by Mrs Hallam, next door was an outfitters shop (ladies & gents), further down the lane was a butchers and opposite that was a cobblers.  At the bottom of the lane on the same side as the Kings Head and on the corner was the Doctor's.  I think there was an Estate Agents somewhere along Maiden Lane, but cannot remember who or exactly where it was.
Does this jog any memories.
Kate: Hello Wanda.  Thank you very much for posting your own memories of The Kings Head.  I expect you remember lots of the customers.  Anyone else out there who could share their memories with Wanda and all the other people who are reading this "thread"? If so, be sure to send them in for others to read.

Dave leishman
April 30, 2009 @ 1:21 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hello Wanda,
I had made reference to the Kings Head some time ago in the topic Stamford Pubs. I was wondering what happened to all the RAF memorabilia that Sid had decorated the bar with. I was an occasional visitor to the pub(1961 1962) as a nice quiet game of darts could be had. Your dads pub was not a rowdy place. If I remember rightly Sid would not put up with any nonsense.

April 30, 2009 @ 4:59 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hello Dave - I don't know what happened to the RAF memorabilia or to the coins which were put in the crack in the oak beam in the ceiling near the bar.  There must have been a fair bit of cash in there.
Neither Mum or Dad would put up with any nonsense in the pub.  Can you remember Dad's way of saying it was closing time.  He always said "Do your best chaps!"

Louise Holmes-Hall
May 28, 2009 @ 6:37 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Just wanted to set the record straight. My nan (Nimpy's sister) said that Uncle Ernest was crossed in love and never got over it which is why he became a bit of a recluse.  We never heard that he refused to enlist but I guess people wouldnt talk about that.  He lived in the grounds of Burghley House for many years and I am told that I met him on a number of occasions when I was very little but I do not remember him, only his brother, My dear Great Uncle Charlie. The owners of Burghley house installed heating and lighting so that Uncle Ernest could live there safely.
Blessed be

Kate: Thanks for that Louse.  I also was told that Nimpy was crossed in love.  Everyone knew Nimpy and about his lodgings up at Burghley. If there is anything you do not wish to be on the site about Nimpy I will glady remove, as there is no intention to offend, but just a means of people remembering the old loved characters of Stamford.   If you would like me to remove the references to enlistment etc. let me know so it can be removed.  One person refers to Nimpy as "Gentleman of the Road" and most contributions are  I think, sympathetic to Nimpy. I would not like to upset either you or  your nan, so please get back to me either on the forum, or direct via email.  kate@stamfordtown.com Were you also  related to the brother and sister Holmes who kept the sweetshop and tobacconists in Scotgate? Hope to hear back from you and I will do a spot of editing on this topic.  Thanks for your contact.K

Clem Walden
May 28, 2009 @ 8:03 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi-Wanda, I remember you but perhaps you do not remember me in the 50s me and the local teddy boys would visit the Kings Head when "Sid and Vi" ran it. Have no idea what happened to all the coins but can remember them. I well remember all the RAF lads using the place, In fact one of the Wittering guys is still around today his name is "Howard Smith" he would always play the piano in the Kings Head and I would sing various songs, I saw him a few weeks ago. He is a member at Burghley Park Golf Club at present, he reminded me about the time when he would play and I would sing in the Kings Head good old days 1957-1961 he told me and the friends I was with that my "Danny Kay" number "Ball-In -The Jack" would always be sure to get us a free pint. Wanda if you have problems in remembering me "I was the good looking one. Nothing changes?

Dave Leishman
May 29, 2009 @ 7:40 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Wanda,
Thanks for the reply. Pity about the memorabilia. I never thought I would ever be discussing the Kings Head Stamford 50 years on, especialy from so far away in deepest Canada.

Clem Walden
May 29, 2009 @ 7:46 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Dear Louse, my father and mother told my sisters and I that Nimpy had been crossed in love, I do believe all those that have lived in this Town long enough are aware of this, My relatives lived in Broad Street and Nimpy would often visit. One of his best friends was a relative of mine George Clarke, George in his spare time would repair bikes and Nimpy would sit with him in his yard that at the time was at the rear of the old scrap-yard. Nimpy would help George from time to time. Before Nimpy lived at Burghley I understood he was living in the old "balast holes" as a young boy I often had a chat with when I saw him either at my relatives home or outside the libarary, I am not sure about the story regarding enlisting. But would have thought if this was true my Dad would have told me. Crossed in love I believe was the reason Nimpy became the character he was. There was also a lady that lived on New Cross road "Daisey Martin" who also was crossed in love she could always be seen around the Recreation Ground area and would ask all "Have you seen the postman" her hair was very "matted" my Father would talk to Daisey and as a young boy so would I when I was helping my Dad deliver Sunday papers 1945-1949. Dad would tell me she was about to get Wed then got let down and was expecting a letter to explain things. Each and every day when you saw her she would say the same words "Have you seen the postman" very sad who really knows what pain Daisey and Nimpy suffered. They were part of my life and true Characters of Stamford.

Louise Holmes-Hall
June 3, 2009 @ 7:17 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Dear Kate,
I am quite happy for the enlistment comments to be left on.  I think if it was true then more people would have known about it.

I am not really sure about the brother and sister who owned the shop. If anyone knows their first names then I would be able to tell from that.

I would also like to know if anyone has any informatiion of the Holmes family living in Tinwell. I believe that my Great great Grandparents ran the Crown Inn
Kate:  Thanks for your message Louise.  I am not sure of the first names of the brother and sister with the lovely shop in Scotgate.  We called the lady "Miss Holmes".  I am sure someone will know.
Also we might get some information about your gg grandparents as they ran the Crown Inn.  Do you know their ages at the time of the 1901 census is is it back further than that?  How about age at 1881 census?  Also first names would help with the search.

roger partridge
June 3, 2009 @ 11:25 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I seem to remember that the shop in Scotgate was run by two sisters, I think Miss E Holmes and Miss M (or was it A?) Holmes. They lived in a small bungalow in Empingham Road, near junction with Roman Bank. When they retired in late 1950s/early 1960s, they appeared to be in their seventies, but may have been a bit younger.
Kate: Thanks Roger.  There was definitely also a Mr Holmes selling the ciggies.

roger partridge
June 5, 2009 @ 9:49 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Kate, just checked in Dolbys Directory, the Holmes sisters were Miss L and Miss A. I didn't realise there was a Mr Holmes, either I never saw him or I've just forgotten he was in the shop. I presume he was a brother rather than their father.
Kate: Thanks for your research Roger.  I didn't know there were 2 sisters but there obviously were.  There was a brother as Miss Holmes who served in the shop looked quite elderly and the large man on the other counter also looked about the same age (could possibly have been the father I suppose?)
Here is a posting which is also on the site under another heading

I used to like looking in Miss Holmes' shop window in Scotgate.  It was a sweetshop on one side which was Miss Holmes' area and the other side of the shop was run by her brother as a tobacconists.  Sometimes we used to go into the shop for some sweets and Miss Holmes was a very kind gentle looking lady who had white curly hair and wore glasses.  She had all those lovely large jars of sweets and weighed out 2 ounzes of whatever we wanted to buy.  Her brother was a large roundy shaped man who sold all sorts of interesting gadgets for pipesmokers, also the pipes and tobacco.  The  pipe tobacco had a nice smell.  On VE and VJ day the  windows of the shop were decorated with rows of little flags.
I have been thinking about this, and I seem to remember that Miss Holmes would only serve 4oz not 2oz.  Perhaps someone else remembers?

Mike Laughton
May 7, 2011 @ 2:04 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Yes, Ninny certainly was one of the town's better known characters. He lived in Vine Street, Stamford and worked as a road sweeper (street cleaner). He also sold evening newspapers including the "Green 'un" or was it "The Pink 'Un" sports paper on Saturday night. His newspaper pitch was outside Johnson the Chemist in Red Lion Square.
Ninny always greeted people with the same words - his catchphrase being - "Ay yer all-right!.....Ay yer all right!...."
Grahamme Sorfleet has two lovely Ninny Yates stories he enjoys recounting. The first was when he was a young man playing football for Stamford Imps and Ninny was the referee. Grahamme committed a foul on an opposing player.
Ninny blows his whistle and shouts: "Sorfleet! Come here!" Graham walks over as Ninny takes out his note-book then looks at Grahamme and says: "Now,! What's yer name?"
The other Ninny story occurred just after the A1 bypass was built (about 1960). Ninny was in Red Lion Square with his road-sweepers cart when a massive lorry drives through the square.
Ninny picked up his brush, threw it at the lorry and shouted: "We built a bloody by-pass for you!"
In addition to being a soccer ref he helped found Stamford Belvedere FC and during the mid-1950s he organised a junior cricket league for the under-15s.  I played for the St John Ambulance Cadet Team and Priory Stars were another team in the league. I think the ATC and Army Cadets also had teams taking part.

Mike Laughton
May 7, 2011 @ 9:50 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Harold was a brilliant musician with a wealth of musical knowledge. He could answer virtually any question about any composer and was a great pianist and organist and well as a musical director and music teacher.
He lived in St Mary's Street, Stamford and was a supporter of Stamford Arts Centre. He was always in the Arts Club bar with his English setter called Rosie.
For all his talent he was the most quiet, gentle and unassuming man.
My most vivid memory of Harold is from the early 1980s when he was organist and choirmaster at All Saints' Church.
I was in the vestry interviewing the vicar John Richardson while Harold was at the organ in the main body of the church rehearsing some of the choirboys.
Suddenly I heard the most fantastic boy soprano I had ever heard. I said to John Richardson: "Excuse me, I must find out who that kid is."
I walked out of the vestry into the church to discover that the fantastic boy soprano was. in fact, Harold. He was teaching the boy his vocal part by singing it to him in falsetto.
Kate:  Does anyone have a photo of Harold to email to the forum?

jill eladi
May 8, 2011 @ 6:54 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

My uncle Roy Brown played the violin at the Pantomimes in Broad Street and at various pubs in the town
Hi Jill.  Did Roy work at the Borough Council Offices at the Town Hall? If so, he used to supply our Christmas turkey I think from his brother or sister's turkey farm?

May 8, 2011 @ 9:41 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hilda Aldwinckle (tried) to teach me and my sister the piano - every saturday, underneath the gaslights glitter - WM Smallwood tutororial. 3 humbugs at the finish! We used to go to Miss Selby's dancing class at the Stamford Hotel - ballet pumps, skipping ropes and dancing the bluebell polka then fox trot walking to finish. We were always late, running up the grand staircase and arriving on the back row. Mrs Aldwinckle (Hilda) played the piano.

May 8, 2011 @ 9:56 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Yes, my uncle Roy Brown was town clerk at one time. The turkey would have come from his sister Kathleen Geer's son at Northborough probably. He was a real Stamfordian. Died about five or six years ago.

Mike Laughton
May 29, 2011 @ 7:28 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Clem is right about Bogie Hill and the dog on his bike.
What is now the Corn Exchange Theatre was the Picturedrome Cinema during the 1940s and 1950s.
Bogie always used to sit on the front row next to the radiator and woe betide any kid who was sitting unawares in what Bogie considered to be his seat by right.
The unfortunate kid would be given a clout around the ear'ole and told to shift in no uncertain terms.
On reflection, I wonder why we tolerated such behaviour but these "characters" used to get away with it in those days.

May 29, 2011 @ 2:09 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Mike, remember that well with Bogie, if you remember, the front two or three rows were long bench seats, some times Bogie used to fall asleep and we would put our arms back over the back of the seat and lean forward and poor old Bogie would crash onto the floor amongst great hilarity from all us kids.
When I was about seventeen I worked with him at Wittering, he was a hell of a worker and, as in many cases you got to know him he appeared in a very different light.
Plus he suffered from a form of sleeping sickness, really!!

Tim Musgrove
July 6, 2011 @ 1:17 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

photo of jack Atkins.   wonder if any remember him
he used go out some times in lorries
he used to  give me some of his snuff when I was small
he used  to  live in scotgate

Jack Atkins Stamford character

John Tyers
July 6, 2011 @ 1:55 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember Jack very well, an extremely amiable character.  He and his sister Florence? lived next door to us in St.Peter's Street during the war. My dad was away in the Army and they were very good and helpful neighbours.  Jack had served in WW1 and in 1951 I briefly renewed my acquaintance with him as co-workers at the Mushroom Farm in Water Street.  I'm sure Jack would not mind me admitting that he liked a drink and many years later whilst passing through Red Lion Square one lunchtime, I was concerned to find a police Inspector and two constables trying to "pacify" him and get him to go home quietly after he had drawn his pension and spent some of it on his "medecine".  The latter seemed quite relieved when Jack greeted me as an old mate and after I added my two pennorth, he agreed to cease intimidating the constabulary and go home!

Clem Walden
July 6, 2011 @ 11:16 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Tim Jack Atkins was a great guy and a local character, there must be many on this forum who will remember him. I had a drink or two with Jack on many occasions in days gone:-In pubs like The old Stag and Pheasant:-Poacher:-and the Lord Nelson. You would often see Jack around the Town on a daily basis sometimes Jo-beo would be with him. Jack was a very respectful friendly guy I personally can't remember Jack ever using a swear word?? can you? thanks for the photo and the memories.

barry hilliard
June 30, 2013 @ 2:22 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

sorry im late with this but only found it a week ago still looking at all classes.....via bogey hill (fred ) my mate michaell balchins uncle ( loacal widow cleaners ) john balchin took us plus fred and lassie (dead ) up to the back of burghly house where we buried him .still can take you to the spot .

Peter Leatherbarrow
July 25, 2014 @ 1:14 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

"ballet pumps, skipping ropes and dancing the bluebell polka.." I still can't get that song out of my head even though it was around 1958 /59 when I was sent to that same dancing class!  I was a pupil at Miss Green and Miss Smith's kindergarten school, Northfields, in New Cross Road at that time and left in Summer 1961.

Terry Corby
May 7, 2017 @ 10:43 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember him well around town. I believe he used to lived in an old railway wagon close to or on the Burghley estate. This site is brilliant for sparking old memories

Caroline Bentley
July 22, 2017 @ 10:15 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Harold Harvey married my aunt and they lived in St Paul's Street before moving to St Mary's Street. When my children were very small, they loved singing and playing the piano at their house with Harold. My father Mark Hooson and Harold had a lot in common and were good friends. I remember lots of happy times with them.