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Correspondence 2012

November 2012

From Mrs Debbie Clarke:- My husband and I moved into Field Terrace Road, Newmarket a year ago. Our late Victorian (at a guess!) house was described in the estate agent’s details as being formerly known as ‘The Bakehouse’. We have a 10’x20′ outbuilding as well as a wash house/outside loo in the back yard. Would you or any of your colleagues have any information about this property – was it really at one time a bakery? Being a complete novice, I would be grateful if you could advise me where to look for further info.

Our neighbour says the bakery ovens were in his basement and our outbuilding was the flour store!

On a different subject we have discovered a reference in the Independent, July 1995 to a murder of a Mrs Bennett that took place in Field Terrace Road ten years previously, where the poor woman’s body was found under the floorboards by a builder checking for rising damp. We are hoping it wasn’t at our house.

We have had confirmation of the house number where the murder took place, and it was definitely not Debbie’s (webmaster).

NLHS Vice Chair Sandra Easom has added this comment. “I am familiar with the road. You are correct in your assumption that the road was built in the late Victorian / early Edwardian period, but I am afraid I cannot recall the exact year. Certainly, there were no buildings there until after the building of the workhouse (later the hospital) in 1834, which was deliberately located out of town.

October 2012

We have received a batch of documents from Bob Sutherland about his time at RAF Newmarket during the 1950s. This was Eastern Communications Centre, No 7909 Reserve Flight, at the camp at Dullingham Road, opposite the cemetery, now occupied by executive housing. Bob was a SAC (Senior Aircraftsman) involved in servicing teleprinter equipment.

Apparently quite a camaraderie existed among the service personnel at the camp who enjoyed an off-duty social life, including local sport and entertainments. Postings from two other ex RAF personnel, Les Morrow and Dave Skelly, appear on these pages, November and December 2011.

August 22nd, 2012

From regular contributor Tony Pringle following a request for information on Manor Place (see June 11th, 2012, entry below). Was there more than one Manor Place, or maybe change of names over the years? Plans at Bury Records Office for conversion of Manor Place to a shop in 1902 by Flatman for Mr Sergott. Looks like converting 4 cottages into a Butchers Shop. Location now is the Memorial Hall corner of Grosvenor Yard and High Street, ie the current restaurant. Since then, who knows. I can only recollect it as commercial premises, latterly always some form of restaurant, certainly on the ground floor.

Manor Place in 1976 (from the Peter Norman collection)

January 21st, 2013

From John Banks:- Just a note to say that I’ve found Manor Place; it was the posh name for Grosvenor Yard. The yard just got its name from the Grosvenor Arms pub.

July 2012

From Tracey Tuite :- I was just wondering if your history society had any idea of the history of Amberley House, 22 Bury Road, Newmarket?

i feel it must have some interesting history and have tried to google information without sucess. any information would be gratefully received.

June 2016….. NLHS member David Rippington has now sent this information about Amberley:
I have managed to find out a bit about Amberley – it’s not a lot; as the house was only built around 1920. The details can be found here

Essentially it was Frank Barling (Barlings Court) who had the house built while he was training in Newmarket and he can be seen living there in the 1926 Newmarket Street Directory, though of course after his bankruptcy in 1931 the house had to be sold. By 1936 it was Coal & Iron Merchant John George and his wife Florence Gertrude Chapman from Yorkshire who’d retired to live in Amberley. Though he didn’t stay there long as he died in 1941.

June 28th, 2012

From Adrian Aldis, researcher into the history of The Salvation Army :-I am wondering if you could give any details of The Salvation Army in Newmarket in order to complete the page This is an unofficial Salvation Army site, dedicated to preserving the history of the movement as well as recording current activity and locations.

In particular it would be useful to have:

  • Location Whether or not the building still stands & if so, its current use.
  • Date of opening
  • Photo of the building if there is one.

Information has come from NLHS members Sandra Easom, Peter Norman and Tony Pringle who have provided information and pictures.

From 1923 to 1937 the Salvation Army held their meetings in the Salvation Army Hall in Queen Street. They then moved to a building between Church Lane and New Cut, opened in 1909 and apparently built for the Trustees of the Newmarket Liberal Club. The present building on the site, now flats, bears a date plaque 1999 and is in the broad style of the original.

1984 Salvation Army…………….2020 residences

June 11th, 2012

From Marc Buckel, Social Worker Adoption Service.: – I wonder if you can help me with some local knowledge. I am trying to trace an adopted adult’s history. Her birth certificate states her place of birth as 23 Manor Place, St Mary, Newmarket but this address does not appear to exist anymore.

She was born in 1931. I have found a record of a marriage between two people who may have been the birth parents but cannot connect them to Newmarket. I was wondering if 23 Manor Place was a mother and baby unit or similar.

It is possible that the adopted adult was adopted through a church agency as I know that the adoptive father worked for a missionary (don’t know which one) before the war. The adoption records were held by Barking Education Committee but have since been destroyed. Any information you can offer will be gratefully received.

We are having difficulty in locating Manor Place. Does anyone have a clue? (webmaster). Roger Newman has come up with proof that Manor Place had a High Street address in the early 20th c, and our Archivist Bill Smith thinks it could have been behind Barclay’s Bank

The actual answer is that it was part of Grosvenor Yard, a less prosperous part of town, the building on the eastern corner of the junction of the Yard with High Street had the address of Manor Place and was once 4 separate dwellings (T.P.)

May 2012

From Coralie Chung: – I hope you might be able to suggest some possible routes for me to research the life (and death) of Rachel Parsons who was murdered in 1956 by Dennis Pratt. I would like to hear from anyone who knew Miss Parsons, or Dennis Pratt. Or indeed any information in relation to this topic. Yours most gratefully,

For further entries regarding Rachel Parsons go to our Correspondence for June 2013 (webmaster).

May 25th, 2012

From Heather. :-Do you have any information about The Old School at Dalham please? Thank you.

Dalham is rather outside our area of local history knowledge, but if anybody can contribute anything it will be passed on.

May 1st, 2012

From Tony Pringle:- Some legends about naming of Tannersfield Way, but the truth appears to be New Zealander, Captain Ernest Denton Tanner who appears in Newmarket about 1910, marrying Gladys Denton at Registry Office. 1911 census has him living at Heath Lodge, the stud opposite Bakers Row. He died in 1936. Tannersfield Way is very nearly the exact entrance to the property and of course the estate was (or is) Heath Lodge Estate. Freshfields is simply what folk came to call it by, just 3/4 of the ring road.

I reckon the latest on the Birdcage is spot on. that was all started by one of my friends asking me the question. Since then, I have been asked about Wilfred Sherman Close. That of course is named after Wilfred Sherman, one of the Stablelads Welfare Trust (now Racing Welfare Trust) founders. He was an amateur boxer and responsible for the stable lads boxing tournaments (and getting crash hats compulsory for the riders).

He was still alive when the Close was named but died a couple of years ago in Spain. I believe they brought his body back to England but no idea where he lies, (2020 – apparently not in Newmarket). Maybe if I get to digitise the burial registers it will be easier to search for such information. I am in contact with the Suffolk Records Office on that subject at present

May 1st, 2012

From Brenda Kirby. : – I am tracing a great uncle who was a groom/jockey in Newmarket. I know he died in Newmarket St Mary’s 22.02.1900, sadly he had broken his back some years earlier in a riding accident and ended his life.

Where he lived, when, and who he rode for is something of a mystery. Family legend is that he did very well and rode for the Prince of Wales, that after the accident he lived in a private nursing home, and he does have a headstone in the jockey’s cemetery, which someone must have paid for.

His death certificate lists the coroner, Rowland H Wilson as the informant. The family were living in Yorkshire in the 1880s/1890s, although I suspect he is the John Harvey of the 1891 census born in Birmingham, in the yard of Thomas Brown.

I have traced my grandfather, George Henry Harvey, 1885 -1963, also a groom, to Charles Waugh’s yard in 1901. He was still in Newmarket in 1911 and had moved to Leicestershire to become a groom by 1914, when he became engaged to my grandmother.

Any information will be passed on (webmaster). T.P. has William John Harvey,jockey,aged 29, dying n St.Mary’s ward at that time, interred in Old Ground,V:380. We have found no headstone and, as far as we know, no part of the cemetery was designated the jockeys cemetery.

April 25th, 2012

From Jimmy Jones: – Could you help me, am trying to chase up an old jockey of the 1970s. Do you hold records for that date of people living in Newmarket around that time. He is called Compton Rodrigues. He was born in South America but came to England, I don’t know if he is still living, or he has passed away.

Hope not he, is my wife’s father and would love to get back in touch with him. My wife was born down in Newmarket, her name is Elizabeth Rodrigues. If you can’t help, would you know anyone that could please. Thank from Mr Jones.

As we are not a family history society there is little we can do to help such queries, but perhaps a member or reader may be able to help.

T.P. Compton, born in Guyana and named after Denis Compton the cricketer, was a jockey for Bruce Hobbs from the 1970’s.He had a bad fall in 1980 and had few winners after that, his last ride was June 16th 1984 and his whereabouts since there is not known.

April 12th, 2012

From Sue Corbett, freelance writer, Sunday Express. :-I have been commissioned to write a piece about the royal connections of the racehorse trainer and Jockey Club steward Frederick Glyn, 4th Baron Wolverton, and his son Nigel the 5th Baron.

They had a racing lodge, as I understand it, at Queensberry House in Newmarket, where there are currently two apartments on the market for sale.

I am wondering if any member of the Local History Society would know – or would know of anyone else who might know – anything at all about visits believed to have been made to the two Lord Wolvertons at Queensberry House by royal racing enthusiasts such as Edward VII and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
If you can help in any way, obviously I would be extremely grateful to hear from you.

Sandra Easom replies: – The Jockey Club, situated in the High Street next to the NHRM, will have records about their stewards and might be able to help you.

I do not know whether the individuals you are researching resided in the property you mention. Certainly, a Lord Wolverton lived in Queensbury House in the early 20th century. It is possibly the same individual. The house is a Grade II listed building, originally built by the Marquess of Queensbury as his Newmarket racing home. It was, until recently, a complete house not apartments.

What is left of Queensbury’s racing stables stands on the other side of the road. The stables disappeared in a mysterious fire (blamed, probably wrongly, on homeless people) in the late 1990s. Queensbury Cottage (also Grade II listed), which belonged to the stables, also fronts the other side of the High Street there but is in a woeful state of repair. It belongs to a local property developer who has been locked in a bitter battle with the local council for many years (Newmarket has a town plan which does not allow the development of old, inner town racing stables or for them to be used for any other purposes).

I believe Queensbury Cottage was the trainer’s house, so I think it is definitely Queensbury House to which you are referring. Queensbury House was redeveloped several years ago and re-named ‘Wolverton Lodge’. It was then divided into a number of apartments and a complex of new, luxury flats built in the gardens behind. I am certain of this because Newmarket Local History Society Committee members were allowed into the place before redevelopment to see it as it was.

Edward VII visited Newmarket many times, firstly as Prince of Wales. He usually resided in apartments at The Jockey Club. He kept a string of racehorses in training here. Certainly, he visited numerous racing friends with properties here. The King Edward VII Memorial Hall in the High Street (occupied by Newmarket Town Council) was built in memory of him and has his image on the front. It is very likely that members of the Royal family visited Lord Wolverton but I am unable to give you specifics.

April 10th, 2012

Tony Pringle:- Even knowledgeable NLHS archivist Bill Smith cannot put a date to when they changed the spelling of Rae’s Lane to the current Rayes Lane. It was certainly Rae’s Lane up to 1925. Magic how history gets warped over time. What with the Periman /Perryman saga, now I find Mr Rae being cut off and replaced by a non-existent Raye. I have not the slightest idea who Rae was, but I may spend a few fruitless hours trying to find him, me being me.

Opinions differ on this one. Sandra Easom thinks it likely that the name came from John Rae, Newmarket chemist and druggist, purveyor of insurance and cigars. Others are not so sure.

Kelly’s directory of Cambridgeshire records the succession on death of John Rae. Pot lids from both Rae’s and Carr’s were regularly recovered from the waterworks site in the 1980’s. This attractively transferred pot lid has widespread appeal, none less than for the obvious counterfeit by Carr, inserting his own surname on the established and recognised pot in the town. Carr’s were still in business in 1962 and continued to trade well into recent years.”

John Rae’s earliest listing here is from a directory we do not have, White’s 1874. His last entry is in Kelly’s 1892. The 1883 Kelly’s lists The Cambridge Savings Bank as being open on Tuesdays 12 – 4 in Mr Rae’s in the High Street, which would tend to confirm the previous information.

Rae’s late 19C exit suggests that the lane could well have been named & re-named in the early 20th century. A map dated 1895, plainly shows “Rae’s Lane” top right.

April 9th, 2012

Tony Pringle: – Any idea how Birdcage Walk got its name? Robert Halliday’s book, “Suffolk, Strange but True” has this explanation for the Birdcage. It is alleged that the Cooper Memorial, was often called the Birdcage due to its design, and hence Birdcage Walk. Since the monument was only built in 1909 ? that can be proved or disproved with luck by maps pre 1909. Unfortunately, most maps stop just short of identifying Birdcage Walk.

Sandra Easom has researched and discovered this item:- Birdcage: The picturesque area where the horses are stabled while awaiting their races is ‘The Birdcage’, a borrowing from the saddling paddock at historic Newmarket racecourse in England. The origin of the name is disputed. Some say it was a place where elegant lady racegoers were on display as much as the horses.

In 2007, the VRC replaced the ageing birdcage area with a state-of-the-art complex to house 125 horses. A 180-metre tunnel was constructed from the parade ring to the mounting yard to provide safe access for horses and to avoid prevent overcrowding during busy periods such as the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

April 27th. This explanation has come from Joan Shaw: In the Newmarket. Local Hist. Newsletter of Spring 2005, written by David Occamore it said “I found this item in the Cambridge Independent Press of May 16th. 1874. NEWMARKET – ‘Painting the Birdcage’ A countryman writes to the Times as follows; ‘The vagaries of the Metropolitan Board of Works, as described by your correspondent O.H.M. are not without parallel, the authorities at Newmarket having selected the Two Thousand week for painting the outside of the so-called ‘Birdcage’ The streaks of white paint on many a coat bore evidence to the complete success of such a practical joke’.

In those days the end of the racecourse was at the junction of Hamilton Road and Bird Cage Walk. It was somewhere here that the Bird Cage stood, probably a wooden structure in which homing pigeons were kept. These were used to send out the results of the races.”

March 20th, 2012

Wendy Head:- I was wondering if you could give me a little information about the history of Palace House in Newmarket.

My great great uncle Joshua James Harper is thought to have worked there between 23rd April 1897 and 12 February 1898 (dates from an old paybook giving the name of Newmarket and M.O & S.B stamped against the amounts deposited), but I don’t know anything about where he worked for sure. I know for most of his early life that he worked as a footman in quite a few big houses – London addresses included so I am assuming that he would have worked somewhere in the Newmarket area with that calibre of staff.

Palace House, as its name suggests, was once the Royal Palace at the time of Charles II. The Royal stables are attached and have been preserved and were the subject of a Time Team dig last year, presented on Channel 4 this year, also see article with pictures on our website (pg 2).

At the time you mention Palace House was the home of Mr Leopold de Rothschild, a friend of the Prince Regent (Later King Edward VII) who was often entertained at Palace House on his frequent visits to Newmarket. The house fell into disrepair in the first half of the C 20th but was bought in the 1960s by the local Council and is now the impressive Tourist Information Centre (webmaster)

March 1st, 2012

Mike Browne :-I was very disappointed that what I would have thought was an important occasion for Newmarket is not recognised anywhere that I can find in Newmarket with a street name or tablet.
I refer to Chevailer Ginistrelli’s horse Signorinetta ridden by Billy Bullock winning the Derby and the Oaks in the same week in June 1908, a racing feat never repeated.

My grandfather was employed by Ginistrelli from at least 1911 until 1917 and lived on his stud farm and I would like to find out the following to complete his history on my family tree. Can you help me please!
When was the house Oaks Lodge on the Fordham Road built?

Ginistrelli his wife and his staff all lived in a bungalow known as Signorina Villa Stud Cottage according to the 1911 census and I know that he moved from there to the new house, as my father remembered living with his parents and siblings in the bungalow and the Ginistelli’s in the house until Ginistrelli sold the stud farm in 1919 (Dad would only have been six then). Also, that was my grandfathers home address on his military records in 1917. My grandmother continued to be employed by Madam Ginistrelli right up until they left for Italy.

I know Ginistrelli returned to Italy due to ill health and died there in 1920. Is there a photo of the Winning horse, owner and jockey taken at the time or on their return to Newmarket? I have a portrait photo of the horse and one Ginistrelli but nothing of the actual event except a wordy press report, photos were not used by the newspapers then. The Jockey Club have not come up with anything of this nature. Thanking you in anticipation of someone knowing something.

Mike’s query has led to uncovering the history of Oaks Lodge and the post WWII development at Oaks Park that became Newmarket’s largest employer outside racing. Read about it at oakspark.htm

Also this: Signorinetta’s 100-1 victory was the remarkable conclusion to an equine love story: the filly was owned and trained by Chevalier Ginistrelli, an Italian who had moved to England in the 1880s. Ginistrelli brought with him a small string of racehorses and subsequently bred Signorina, unbeaten in nine races as a two-year-old. After Signorina’s racing career finished, she formed an attachment to a stallion named Chaleureux, who was led past Signorina’s stable every morning on his way to the gallops.

Ginistrelli became convinced that the two horses were in love – referring to the pair, he spoke of the ‘boundless laws of sympathy and love – and fixed a mating. The product was Signorinetta, who became the ‘darling of Chevalier’s romantic heart’. As a two-year-old, Signorinetta showed no form, being unplaced in her first five races. Undaunted, the Italian prepared her for the Derby.

There were 18 runners that year and only one horse started at longer odds than Signorinetta. Drawn 13, she took the lead halfway up the Epsom straight and won by two lengths, to become only the fourth filly to win the race (only two fillies have won since). Incredibly, two days later Signorinetta won the Oaks.

March 11th, 2012

From Matthew Algeo:- I am writing a book about pedestrianism, the popular 19th century sport. One of the characters, of course, is Captain Barclay, who, as I’m sure you know, famously walked 1,000 miles in 1,000 consecutive hours in Newmarket in 1809.

I am in the UK doing research until March 23rd. I would love to see the route(s) that Captain Barclay walked in Newmarket, as well as any other sights associated with pedestrianism in the town. Would it be possible for you to direct me to someone who could assist me in locating such places in Newmarket?

FYI, here are my other books and a little bit more about me: Thank you very much for your time and any assistance you might offer me.

Captain Barclay’s famous feat was emulated in 2009 by Champion Jockey Richard Dunwoody with his ‘1000 Mile Challenge’ carried out in Newmarket town. See also pg.3 of this website. (NLHS committee members)

February 27th, 2012

From Julie Cooper Gerber an ex-Newmarket lady: – Quite recently, I discovered, from a letter that I received, that my Gt.Grandmother Ellen Chapman Cooper b. 1847 of Newmarket was the stepdaughter of Martin Starling b. 1795-1873. Apparently, he was Master of Ceremonies at the Newmarket Racecourse and quite a colourful figure. I wonder if anyone could tell me anything about him and his job? I would love a photo printed to if that is possible?

Can anybody help Julie ? (webmaster)

February 2012

Wonderful news from Pam Edgington (nee Quarton): – Further to the previous postings I’ve made through the NLHS I would just like to say that a successful conclusion has now been made. A lady phoned me in July 2011 with information which led to the conclusion of my search for well over 40 years.

I would just like to say thank you to Rod Vincent and his colleagues in the NLHS for their help, advice and encouragement over a long period.

Quite a story! The previous postings referred to by Pam can be found on these pages, dates May 2011, November 2008, December 16th, 2007 (webmaster)

January 15th, 2012

From June Kent: – Can you tell me the origins of the name for ‘Black Bear’ Lane?

The lane was named after the Black Bear Inn, which stood on the corner with the High Street. The building is now a Chinese restaurant. In the early 20th c the lane was known as Grafton Street and there was once an early cinema there, The Kosy Kinema. The Black Bear pub probably was not one of Newmarket’s oldest but certainly existed in the 19th c, quite possibly well before that. Has anyone any further information about the Black Bear? webmaster.

And this from NLHS researcher Tony Pringle.: – It was still Grafton Street on 1926 map, no name shows on 1937 map. Black Bear pub mentioned in Chapmans in 1787 and in 1823 appears in Pigot with William Jennings as publican. Thought maybe the Black Bear had connection with Arms of Duke of Grafton, but so such animal appears in that family’s Arms, either as a blazon or supporter.

January 12th, 2012

From Mike Mingay :- I have a question about the Post Office as it stands in the High Street. There is a door on the right-hand side front, what did this use to be the entrance to/for, I seem to remember it being something to do with the Dole Office but was that its original function when the building was first built?

The present Post Office opened in 1951, and the right-hand door led to the Head Postmaster’s offices upstairs. When this work moved elsewhere the Social Services Dept took over some of the offices for a time. The sorting office was at the rear, entrance via The Avenue. These days it is just a collection point for the postmen, as the mail comes pre-sorted (source NLHS Archivist Bill Smith).

January 6th, 2012

from Karin Starmar :- I am studying at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, and am on my MA Course, looking at a specific area in Newmarket, around 1947 onwards. I am particularly interested in the Air Ministry’s buildings and Nissen Huts, which were near the playing fields in Houldsworth Valley for a number of years after the war.

There were two compounds of Nissen huts, one near where Rowley Drive is, and the other where the playing fields ended. I was wondering if you might have some information or old photos showing the area after the war with the Nissan huts?

I can recall several families by name who actually lived there, but I have lost contact with them now. I know that the huts were painted black and were fitted out with amenities for a family, (stove, bath, two bedrooms, kitchen, toilet, outside coal bunker, and there were even air raid shelters nearby. Also, there was a building which seemed to be like a wash house as a laundry, or something akin to communal use, situated nearby as well.

I do hope that you have some information to share, as it would be so interesting to be able to gather this and write something about it.

Building a hut……..completed………the huts mentioned above, ……the houses on Freshfields are just visible over the huts

I remember seeing a picture of old Nissen Huts in the vicinity of Icewell Hill, but cannot lay my hands on it at present. There were some more near the end of Bury Road, by the entrance to Chippenham Park.

Nissen Huts were temporary buildings made from curved corrugated steel and were intended for accommodating military personnel during the war. Around 1947, when the military no longer needed them, they were used as cheap housing for newly-weds. This basic accommodation was soon replaced by pre-fabs which were much more comfortable. It would be interesting to hear from anyone with memories of living in Nissen Huts.

Houldsworth Valley was I think the official name for the estate, but seldom gets used now, similarly Heath Lodge Estate which seems to have become Freshfields. Maps seldom use estate names once the individual roads get their names.(Webmaster)

Suffolk Records….. Houldsworth Valley housing development EF 506/3/134a 1950 was the earlier documentation (David Rippington)

I remember riding my bike along past the Nissen huts and shooting out some windows with my catapult. Their real end came about the time I joined the RAF, so I missed some of that when they eventually condemned the lot and prepared to demolish them to make way for the school playing fields. Likewise, the demise of the Depot Field where the fairs and circuses always set up, now of course Churchill Court. Like you I seem to remember somewhere a photo of the old RAF Nissen huts but cannot remember where.

I shall have to pay a visit to the Journal. There must be an aerial photo available of immediately post war as Aero Films and Pictorial made the same overfly of the town about every 10 years from the 1920’s onwards
Incidentally Houldsworth Valley and Houldsworth Terrace presumably came from John Houldsworth, owner of Springfield and the owner of the stud where the estate now stands. Naturally being Newmarket it had to be named after some racing personality

Invented by Major Major Peter Norman Nissen of the 29th Company Royal Engineers in 1916, the Nissen hut could be packed in a standard Army waggon and erected by six men in four hours. The world record for erection was 1 hour 27 minutes (Tony Pringle)