Ninny Yates/photo

Ancestor Gateway Forum - STAMFORD MEMORIES GATEWAY (Lincolnshire England) used as PRIDE and PREJUDICE FILM SET New Topic  |  Search
Thread Topic: Ninny Yates/photo
Topic Originator: Mike Laughton
Post Date May 6, 2011 @ 8:41 PM
 Ninny Yates/photo
 Ninny Yates/photo
 Ninny Yates/marriage bureau
 Ninny Yates/photo
  Ninny Yates/photo
 Ninny Yates/photo
  Ninny Yates/photo
 Ninny Yates/photo
 RE: Ninny Yates/photo
  Ninny Yates/photo
 Ninny Yates/photo
 Ninny Yates/photo
 Ninny Yates/photo
  Ninny Yates/photo

Mike Laughton
May 6, 2011 @ 8:41 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 @ 2:25 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

In 1963 I worked for a television rental firm called Gibbard Television with a shop at the bottom of Ironmonger Street.
We were looking to promote a new rental television set called the Gay Cavalier (this was in the days when gay meant happy and nothing else).
I persuaded local personality Ninny (aka. William Thomas Yates) to sit in the shop window watching the racing on TV all Saturday afternoon.
I also got another local character - Tex Ford - to wear sandwich boards and distribute leaflets. On the front of the sandwich boards were the words: "The end is nigh" and on the back "So get you Gibbard Gay Cavalier TV now." (How corny can you get!)
Ninny was quite happy to be seen sitting in the shop window but Tex didn't want to be recognised so he wore dark glasses and a false beard and moustache.
This would have been in December 1963. To put this in a historical perspective it would have been about a week before JFK was assassinated.

Ninny Yates Stamfordtown character

Double click on photo for larger image

peter sawyer
April 18, 2013 @ 3:32 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Ninny there's a name I remember from my youth. My father Frank Sawyer had Frank's Taxis in St Peter's Hill in the 1950's and I remember Ninny used to regularly sweep the street outside the house. I also remember...and it was probably late 50's when he got married...loved it so much he started a marriage bureau! One of the national tabloids ( Daily Mirror?)  got hold of this and made  a big story about  "street sweeper/marriage bureau".
Kate: Thanks Peter - yes he's one you don't forget!

Philip Rudkin
March 12, 2014 @ 9:07 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

My Goodness! When I looked at the photograph of Ninny Yates, it brought back distance memories of Ninny sweeping the streets in the 50s.  He knew all the kids and called us by our first names, an amazing character.
Phil Rudkin

John Tyers
March 16, 2014 @ 11:58 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

When I joined St.Martin's Choir in 1942, Mr Yates was one of the senior choristers, eventually he dropped out but I think he emerged as a member of another church choir in town; in fact, he may have "transferred" from one church to another and just about served in all of them!

March 16, 2014 @ 4:25 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I'd forgotten about the under 15 cricket cup, I played for the army cadets and the cadets won it, so some where is the cup with our name on it, I never actually saw the cup, if there ever was one.
Great guy Bill was.

Clem Walden
March 16, 2014 @ 6:07 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Phil,
         I agree. He knew all us kids by our christian names. But there was the odd time or two he would use our surname. I remember walking across the Recreation Ground one day and observing Ninny in the distance. I shouted out "aye you all right Ninny" and he shouted back.
Tell your dad Walden! To vote for Yates and Lower the Rates. He was of course at that time seeking election on the Stamford Borough Council.
He never got elected as you will remember. But on reflection I do think he would have made a good Councilor. He was never afraid to speak his mind and always had Stamford in his heart. There are other postings on this excellent forum that refer to old Ninny and many other local characters. Sadly things are a little different now. But then again Phil. Perhaps you and I together with other older locals. Are seen today as Stamfords local Characters?

Gillian Hendy
April 6, 2014 @ 2:35 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

JFK was assassinated on 22nd November 1963 so you probably mean a week or thereabouts before rather than after.

Val Hobbs was Smith
July 10, 2014 @ 4:41 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Peter, love this site and how are you ? Judith and Helena if my name doesn't ring any bells !

John Tyers
July 11, 2014 @ 8:51 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Val! Did'nt think you would notice us backward yokels in your part of the country?

Peter Leatherbarrow
July 25, 2014 @ 1:37 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Philip, I think the Mr Rudkin I knew as a boy might have been your grand father or even your great grand father, he used to do a bit of gardening part time and worked one morning a week for my dad in St Georges Square.

August 13, 2014 @ 8:12 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Many years ago, in the 1930s an old friend, long since departed to higher things, told me a story about Ninny Yates in his newspaper selling days. I don't know if it was true but I pass it on in case someone else has heard it. He said that if Ninny was selling papers in Red Lion Square and sales were slow he would call out 'Stamford baby pecked by jackdaw!' People would buy  the paper and stand in the Square reading it. They would go back to Ninny and say 'There's nothing in the paper about that baby!'. Ninny would say 'It's only just happened. It will be in the paper tomorrow'. I was green enough, at 10 years old to stand in the Square listening to Ninny, but it was always in vain.

Dianne Primett (nee Matthews)
August 30, 2014 @ 2:03 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I can remember Ninny Yates, my mother used to tell me stories about him as well. Stamford has changed a lot over the years, how lucky we were to be teenagers in Stamford, there wasn't much there but we certainly enjoyed ourselves. We seemed to make our own fun without getting into too much trouble.
I think Phil Rudkin may remember my brother Ray Matthews?

August 2, 2015 @ 4:48 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi, just read  your article on  ninny I wonder if anyone remembers my grandfather Albert Peasgood he also was a road sweeper always wore a bowler hat