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Correspondence 2010

December 2010

Tony Pringle has been researching old issues of The Journal and has come across this snippet on the perennial subject of The Boy’s Grave, which is situated by the crossroads about a mile before reaching Kentford.

NJ 26 January 1946 article says Boys Grave not a legend, it had been reported previously in a Journal. Shepherd boy hung himself from road sign at crossroads, having lost a sheep and fearful of the consequences. Sheep turned up later.

At the time of this entry the boy’s grave was usually in its traditional state, i.e. a simple mound of earth with at times a jar with flowers in it. The tradition being that the gypsies looked after it in passing and the colours of the flowers on Derby week would be the colours of the winner of the race. In recent time some folk have taken to decorating the spot with all manner of crosses, fences, flower vase and plastic flower, totally out of keeping with the tradition. It is not even known if the boy was ever a Christian.

I annotated the photo lest any reader is unaware of the location (2020 webmaster)

November 24th, 2010

Ruth Fordham has sent a picture of a Newmarket Football Club ‘The Burges Institute’, 1904 It includes a player A S F Fordham, who could have been her husband David’s grandfather. Does anyone have any knowledge of the Burges Institute?

November 11th, 2010

Just a brief query, although I did a lot of local history on Newmarket in the 1980s, I don’t remember coming across the Dudderies. Can anyone tell me where these/this was in Newmarket please?

Also, does anyone from the Icewell Hill days, before it was demolished, remember the PILFOLD family? At one time they lived at Nelson Cottage (my great grandfather James Pilfold) and later in Lowther Street (1920s).

My father George was forced to sell two properties on Icewell Hill under a clearance order in the 1960s? Mary Pilfold-Allan…. (Formerly Mary Basham).

It seems that The Dudderies was situated in the Market Street, Bushel Pub area, but disappeared with the 1970s re-development. It is possible that the word was a corruption of Dukeries. Can anyone add to this? (webmaster)

Nov 17th. This from Newmarket historian Tony Pringle: “Dud’der’y n. 1. A place where rags are bought and kept for sale”

October 13th, 2010

I wonder if the Newmarket Local History Society can help me. My great-grandfather, one George Wicks was an ornamental plasterer, and grandmother was very proud that her father “did the plastering at the King Edward 7th Stables at Newmarket”. Can you tell me where this establishment is located, – assuming it still exists. I have searched a number of websites and maps but cannot find any reference to it…. Regards, John Brittain

Hello John, I have not heard of the King Edward VII stables, nor do they appear to be listed on my map of Newmarket’s historic yards. In the late 19thC The Prince Regent who later became the King did have horses in training at Newmarket, but they were at Egerton House stables owned by Richard Marsh. I wonder if the stables were referred to unofficially by the King’s name.

The National Horseracing Museum at Newmarket may be able to add to this.

October 8th, 2010

From Dennis Boreham: I wonder if you can confirm if back in the ’60’s, there was a sweet shop/tobacconist by the name of Stigwood’s, near the Clock Tower, I think in Exeter Road?

My interest in this, is that I run Facebook group for the former offshore station Radio City. There were many references to a Dorothy Stigwood of Newmarket, who apparently sent them food parcels and other treats out to the Thames Estuary fort on Shivering Sands from 1964/67!

Someone suggested she could be connected to The music entrepreneur Robert Stigwood, but I am unclear if there is a connection. I would be grateful if your group could provide any information……Regards, Dennis Boreham.

Stigwoods and current business there (2020) from Peter Norman collection

October 13th from Tony Pringle re Stigwoods: Stigwoods Confectioners was still operating in the early 70’s, I am unclear as to when it shut. It is now the florists, on corner of Clock Tower Mews .

March 2010

I was given your interesting website by Caroline Green at the Infocentre in Newmarket Library.
As a boy, from June 1955-Feb.1963 I used to live at Beacon Farm on Newmarket Heath (beside the Cesarewitch Starting Gate on the Beacon Course), and although I have various memories, I do not have a colour photograph of the Farmhouse building, or any knowledge of when it was demolished (probably around the time of those drought summers of 1975 or 1976, because our water had to be drawn from a borehole)..My father was Sidney Pike, perhaps the last Full-Time Gamekeeper employed by the Jockey Club.

I just wondered if anyone in your membership might have any information of Beacon Farm’s demise, or perhaps even a photograph, please?.Yours Sincerely,William Pike.

July 20th, 2010

Follow up to above from Bill Pike: ..Yes it was quite a lonely place up there at Beacon Farm…I knew a few local children from neighbouring farms and houses and, I went to the local Stetchworth Heath School (now July House) with about 20 others for nearly 5 years.

he infants were separated from the older children by a curtain, and a coke stove heated the building…toilets were outside…no joke in the snow! We had really nice school meals come out in a van from Cambridge…I remember my favourites were ‘Toad in the Hole’ and Semolina Pudding with Rose Hip Syrup (a Vitamin Substitute).

Because Beacon Farm was technically just over the border with Cambridgeshire, and I just failed my “11-Plus” by 2 marks, I didn’t get into the lower form of Soham Grammar School but ended up in “1A” at Bottisham Village College in 1960 away from my former friends (Davids Mingay and Martin) …Whose Dad’s worked at The Links in those days.

‘Happy Days’ generally, although I remember one or two tremendous and terrifying all-night thunderstorms (or so they seemed to a kid) in 1959-60!.All Best for now…. Bill.

PPS.. My Mother used to see Sir Alfred Munnings on Cesarewitch days…She said he used to attract a greater crowd round his easel than the horses did at the start! And his wife used to always be carrying her stuffed dog…Black Prince…under her arm! Later after buying our first TV in 1956, we were able to watch the Cesarewitch start outside the Farm and go inside to watch the finish on TV!

Mother also used to watch the Town Plate riders passing by (when I was at school) she said they used to be already spread out well by the time they passed Beacon Farm owing to their varying abilities!

June 25th, 2010

From Colin Martin re The Waggon and Horses: -Nathaniel’s brother John, our 3rd Great Granduncle, was born at Little Saxham in 1792; he was the second son of Little Saxham’s Nathaniel and Elizabeth. As an adult, John moved to Newmarket, where he remained for the rest of his life.

John married Rachel Webb from Stetchworth just south of Newmarket on 21 November 1821 at St Mary’s Church. For a start, John is just a labourer when their first child, Henry was born in 1823. At the baptism of the next daughter Ann in 1825, her father is now a horse keeper. With another daughter Elizabeth, in 1827, and a son John in 1830, their father has now become a Publican.

Starting in 1830, the entry for John Martin and the Waggon and Horses, is in a number of Directories, he is still in charge of the pub in 1861. In the 1841 census of the Waggon and Horses, a Nathaniel Martin aged 20, is recorded, it is almost certain that he is John’s nephew, his brother Nathaniel’s son who was born in Fen Ditton, as he became a brewer it is very likely he was working for his uncle learning the trade.

Unfortunately, the family lost their daughter Anne when she was just twelve years old. Their last child Sarah, born on the 12 January 1839, was a pupil at Heath House Boarding School Newmarket in 1851, and then in 1861, at the age of 22, she is back living in the Waggon and Horses with her parents. In their late seventies, John and Rachel are retired and living in Exning Road, Exning.

The pub life must have suited them as they had lived to a good age for those days. Both buried at All Saints Church Newmarket, John on the 22 March 1873, he was 81 years old. Rachel lived for another four years, having reached the age of 82.

Their first son Henry had a draper’s business in the High Street, his name is in the 1869 and 1879 directories. He had a large family, his first son also called Henry carried on the business through to a least 1916. In the 1911 census, this Henry is living at Kingsland House Newmarket with his wife and daughter. Also in the house is a woman of 27 who is a Milliner, two servants, a cook and a housemaid. It gives the impression the business was doing well.

There were quite a few Martins descended from our Great Uncle John in 19th century Newmarket, as our cousins, they present another avenue of research. In a visit to Newmarket in 2009, we noticed the Waggon and Horses is still in business.

Thank you Colin. The Waggon is one of Newmarket’s oldest pubs and used to be a stop in the days of horse drawn coaches. We did a feature on The Waggon on our website earlier this year, when it was having an exterior facelift, comparing it with a 1920s view. Not much has changed to The Waggon, but the street scene is very different of course Your account will be useful for our archives (webmaster).

Oldest photo we have of the Waggon, around 1910 more on the website

June 20th, 2010

My grandfather, Alfred Lomas, was Estate Manager for Cavenham Halll and Herringswell Manor from around 1899 to 1925 and lived in Barton Mills until 1936.Could you let me know whether your Society covers Cavenham and whether the Newmarket Journal would be the paper for that area, or would it be the Bury Free Press?

In 1914 Adolph Goldschmidt was the owner of Cavenham Hall and I understand that as a result of a telegram sent to him by his brother-in-law in Germany which reminded him on whose side he should fight in the forthcoming war it became known to some locals who tried to set fire to Cavenham Hall.

I understand that the property of some of his employees was also the subject of attempted arson. My late Aunt in her diary mentions an explosion at Holme Leigh, Barton Mills, the property of my late grandfather, which resulted in a fire. It is a question of whether there is likely to be a report in the Newmarket Journal or the Bury Free Press.

I shall be visiting Colindale shortly so it would be useful to know on which newspapers I should concentrate.
Another Aunt,May Lomas, ran Dog Kennels and bred Great Danes in Ashley and lived there all her life.
I live near Bath but I hope to visit your area and the local studies office in Bury at some time…. Many thanks, ..Peter Lomas

Cavenham is rather outside our remit, being nearer to Bury than Newmarket. I think the Bury Free Press would be the one to go for. The Suffolk County Records office at Bury St Edmunds do have back issues of local papers on micro-fiche. Barton Mills could have been covered by both papers, and I wonder if there was a Mildenhall local paper at that time, as it is very close.

I would imagine that with a name like Adolph Goldschmidt the owner of Cavenham Hall would not have been very popular in 1914. I wonder if he managed to leave the country before the war started (webmaster).

June 21st: Follow up to above from Peter Lomas….Adolphe Goldschmidt, changed his name to Goldsmith to become more “English” and his son Frank was an MP for Newmarket between 1910 and !919. Despite fighting on the side of England in the Great War Frank, could not forget the treatment of his Father and left for France in !918 to set up a hotel business.

Frank’s son was James Goldsmith, the financier, whose daughter is Jemima Khan and who wrote an interesting article about her grandfather in the Times a couple of years ago. Cavenham Hall was demolished in 1949 and a chapter appears in “The lost houses of Suffolk” recently published…Many thanks for your interest…Peter

June 10th, 2010

Hello, I hope you could give me some info on a bottle I found. I have searched and I can’t find any info on the bottle. It is 11.5 inches high its marked Cramptons limited Newmarket, on the bottom it says 1846 C.T.G. I don’t know if that’s a date or not. I have sent a couple of photos as well. I enjoyed looking around the site our history keeps England alive…. Kindest regards…. Mark

Cramptons & Sons Ltd certainly existed in the 20s and 30s and operated from their mineral water plant in Park Lane. Before the war village shops used to sell 2d bottles of Crampton’s lemonade where they had regular deliveries. The bottles then had a crimped metal cap.

The figures 1846 could refer to the date Crampton founded the business; we do know that a John Crampton produced mineral water in 1896 from the Wagon and Horses Yard. I would think your bottle was much later, probably post WWII. Early lemonade bottles had a glass ball stopper (webmaster)Crampton’s Soda Works later moved to Park Lane, (followed by Frankie Barlow), where the natives still refer to the lane as “Cramptons” despite is now being developed for residential use. Currently unaware of postal address these days

May 10th, 2010

Plans are being considered for the upgrading of the King Edward VII Memorial Hall in the High Street and we have had a query about its origins and history.

The King Edward VII Memorial Hall was erected in 1914 on a site previously occupied by ‘The King’s House’ owned by Sir Ernest Cassel, a good friend of the King, He donated the site in memory of the King who died in 1910. The hall has served as a meeting place, and has been used for shows, dances and indoor markets. Today it serves as the Town Hall for Newmarket Town Council as well as retaining its meeting facilities.

On February 18th 1941 a single German Dornier bomber dropped 10 bombs along the crowded High Street on what was a busy market day afternoon, causing much damage and casualties among the buildings on the north side of High Street. The penultimate bomb fell outside the Memorial Hall but the reason that it was not destroyed is that it stood back from the street and therefore only received the blast and splinters from the bomb. The damage to the red brick fascia caused by the bomb fragments can still be seen today and are probably the last visual reminder of that fateful day.

One of the bombs had demolished the Post Office and Telephone exchange in the High Street and as a temporary measure the Post Office was transferred to the Memorial Hall, where it remained until the new Post Office was built postwar.

March 15th, 2010

Roger Newman has written with information about the first HMS Newmarket. He has sent a list of the ships company of HMS Newmarket which was lost with all hands in the eastern Mediterranean on or about July 17th, 1917. She was a hired screw minesweeper and was torpedoed and sunk by UC.38 in the Mediterranean.

The second ship that bore the town’s name was a four stacker WWI destroyer, one of a number handed over by the U.S.A. to the Royal Navy in WWII to help with the submarine menace. After a somewhat undistinguished career the second HMS Newmarket was finally broken up (webmaster)

HMS Newmarket

April 2010: Further information from Roger about the first HMS Newmarket:

Just found out further info on the sinking of HMS Newmarket in WW1. She was sunk off NIKARIA Island 37.17N 26.5E. (Also known as Ikaria) If you enter the coordinates in Google Earth, you can discover the exact position amongst the Greek Islands. I assume as the position is so precise, the wreck has probably been dived on although it must be classified as a War Grave.

March 2010

From John Gunson, local historian, seeking pictures or text on Moulton Paddocks.

“I have a few images of Moulton Paddocks house and images of people who worked there. Sadly, all my images are of the back of the house. The annoying thing is, that a Mr Ward who ran the electricity generating plant in the 1900’s was a keen photographer. When the estate was sold the family moved to somewhere in the West Country, such is life. If anyone requires my images let me know…. regards John Gunson”

Any information would be welcomed, webmaster.

January 18th, 2010

Dear Rod….I edit “Dental History Magazine” (which can be read at Tony Bryant BDS has sent me a copy of your Society’s book suggesting that I publish the section about the bombing of his grandfather’s dental practice in 1941. This I would like to do, probably in our forthcoming May 2010 edition. I am writing to seek permission to do so, and if you agree, we will make do acknowledgement in a footnote…. I enjoyed reading the book – vivid local history at its best…Thank you in anticipation, Yours, David McGowan.

Many elderly people in Newmarket and district will remember Walter Bryant’s dental practice on the first floor above Simpson’s shop in the High Street, which received a direct hit when Newmarket was bombed on the 18th of February 1941. There are graphic pictures of the destruction in our book ‘One Afternoon in February’. Surprisingly Mr Bryant survived the attack but died in 1946. It is interesting to learn that his son and grandson continued in the dental profession (webmaster).

Simpson’s was actually Harry Gilbert’s

January 8th, 2010

I found the history of the Telephone Exchange fascinating reading, and it was nice to see the additional photographs…. Congratulations to everyone involved. Oh! happy days…. Jill Cornwell

January 2010

Hello and Happy New Year: – I was wondering if you could help me. Could you let me know if you have any info. re. “Capt. Lawrence, Genuine Turf Correspondent” of Orby House, Albion Street, Newmarket.
We have been trying to find him for some time and have this new piece of information.

This will have been sometime around 1928/30 we think, but how long he stayed there we don’t know. His name was Raymond Albert Lawrence Winfield-Chislett but he may not have been using the whole name (can’t think why!!!)

Any help would be gratefully accepted or a hint as to where to look or ask next would be good Thanking you in anticipation…. Kind regards Hilary.

Our information is that Orby House was a cheap lodging abode along a passage off Albion Street, it would have gone with the redevelopment of the 1970s (webmaster).