November 22nd, 2015
from Geoff Reeve:- Christopher James (Jimmy) Kendal of the RNZAF flew his last mission out of Newmarket Airfield in December 1942.in a Stirling, R9247. We and his New Zealand/Australian relatives have been tracing his short career.
He trained at RAF Bassingbourn and met a girl called Peggy (we have a photo), apparently, she was WAAF or WRAF, not sure. We think her surname was Kitchen, maybe Hitchen. She definitely worked as a plotter at Exning House. Peggy went on to marry a French Canadian and that is where our story stops. Is there anyway your site and colleagues can help in tracing this lady?
We have grateful memories of the many New Zealanders who came over here in the war, many giving their lives. No 75 (NZ) squadron RAF based at Newmarket Heath consisted, mainly of New Zealanders who volunteered their services. There is more about this on the RAF in Newmarket page on this site, which you may have already seen. (Rodney Vincent)
Tony Pringle has added this comment: You could be lucky as the 75 (NZ) Squadron have a very busy blog…otherwise finding out about these folk will be very hard due to the “100 years rule” ie public record of those under 100 who are still alive. The blog is here: https://email@example.com
We should remember it is 75(NZ)Squadron R.A.F. NOT 75 squadron R.A.F. They are quite rightly very proud of their title.
November 4th, 2015
Jonathan Martin, professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
Last year I began a project researching the life of Prof. Reginald C. Sutcliffe, a prominent British meteorologist of the mid-20th century. Sutcliffe was the Senior Meteorological Officer at 3 Group Bomber Command and spent much of the war in Exning/Newmarket. He was posted there on October 5, 1940, and so was working in town in February 1941 when the bombing occurred. His daughter Elin, a day shy of 5 years old on the day of the bombing, recounted to me that she recalls being in an air raid shelter at least once while a schoolgirl in Newmarket.
Perhaps it was on the day of the bombing or, more likely, on a subsequent day motivated by the horrors of that day. In any event, I am hoping I will be able to purchase a copy of the book “The Bombing of Newmarket”. I would appreciate your advice as to how I might make this purchase from over here in the US. Thank you very much for your consideration of my request and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Professor Martin’s comments about RAF senior staff activities at Exning during WWII associate with information on our webpage, ‘The RAF in Wartime Newmarket‘. We still have a few copies of the original print of the Bombing Book and NLHS treasurer Joan Watkinson will contact the enquirer.
September 3rd, 2015
from Mary Pilfold-Allan (formerly Mary Basham) :- Have you heard of a school in Newmarket (turn of the 19th century) run by an Albert Parr * ? If so, do we know anything about it? Where it was etc. I am doing some brief research on Edward Fitzball who was said to have been a pupil.
Sandra Easom has drawn attention to the education section of our two volume ‘The History of Newmarket and its Surrounding Areas.
“We know a little of one Private School run by a Mr ALBERTUS PARS (not Parr*). This was held somewhere in the old Jockey Club Rooms (the rooms were mostly rebuilt in the 1930s). Mr Pars leased the space from the Jockey Club. The noted Victorian dramatist, Edward Fitzball was educated there.
Mr A T Pars is also mentioned in Pigot and Co’s National Commercial Directory, 1830. ‘There are also two coffee houses, conveniently furnished for the use of sportsmen where they need to ratify their agreement or settle matches; one of these is a subscription room the exclusive property of The Jockey Club; Mr A T Pars is the superintendent'”. And this from NLHS member Joan Shaw: – His school was on the High Street Opposite the Terrace near the old Black Bear. Several interesting people went there.
August 25th, 2015
from John Mein :- I am researching the history of the inns (and pub) trade in St Albans for the 1553-1918 period.
As you may be aware, St Albans was home to steeplechasing in the 1830s although it had lost its crown by 1840. In decline for over a hundred years or so, the local inns entered a short-term boom during this period as a result. The loss of the races and the completion of the Birmingham-London railway in 1838 brought the business to a juddering halt.
I would like to compare the inn trade in St Albans with that in Newmarket as a matter of ‘what could have been’ if St Albans had retained its racing crown. Can you recommend any studies of the trade in Newmarket in the 1820-1850 period?
I am not aware of any particular studies that have been done concerning the pub trade in Newmarket during the period mentioned.
The rail link to London did not arrive until about 1848 and that of course brought many more visitors to the racing and no doubt benefited many of the pubs and hotels that existed in the town. Before that they would have relied on stagecoach traffic (Norwich to London) using the local hostelry for stop overs and refreshments. Newmarket was a natural racing town with its wide heaths and on race days the pubs would have been busy with visitors who arrived by horse transport or on foot.
Racing and the consumption of alcohol seems to go together so Newmarket as the headquarters of racing always had a lucrative pub trade, but it was the railway that really gave a great boost to local trade and the prosperity of the town. (Rod Vincent webmaster)
And from NLHS Chair Sandra Easom: – There are no specific studies, to my knowledge, of the pub trade in Newmarket during the period you specify. Old town trade directories are the best sources available for most towns when it comes to obtaining such information. However, Bury St. Edmunds Records’ Office does have a wealth of information about the local area, including Newmarket. Staff there are helpful and if you are unable to get there yourself, they sometimes undertake information research for a small fee.
Newmarket is not directly comparable to St Albans as a town. It is here because of its water sources and the ancient Icknield Way (please see our website). This takes it back into the Stone Age, so no-one actually knows how old the town is or what it was called in ages past. There is archaeological evidence in the area showing habitation throughout human history.
Newmarket got a Royal Market Charter in 1200 AD (giving rise to its modern name) when the manor & community changed hands due to a marriage. However, it is important to note that one of Newmarket’s trades from time immemorial was the accommodation and victualling of travellers. The number of inns, pubs & alehouses within the town in Medieval times was colossal (over 20 if memory serves, I believe that St Albans is essentially a Roman town?
As Rod has mentioned, Newmarket was a stop on all the coaching routes prior to the arrival of the railway. The impact of the railway on Newmarket, notably its social and economic effects. These were many and varied but basically, there was an almost exponential increase in the main industries, namely the racing & bloodstock industries, and a similar increase in the population. The nature of the pub trade changed somewhat at the time because the coaching inns no longer had that trade but also there were more visitors each year and many still stayed over in the town.
It is interesting to note that Newmarket today, although well-supplied with pubs, hotels & restaurants, probably has the least number of pubs it has had in the last 900 years or so! Regarding the horseracing here, Newmarket has always raced on the flat, with a brief exception in the late 19th / early 20th century.
August 24th, 2015
from Frank Czucha :- Can you help me out with this enquiry or point me in the right direction? I am keen to obtain some information about a band or orchestra known as Vincent Wright that played in Newmarket during the 1950s, at a venue called the Winter Garden.
That would have been at the old Carlton Hotel in the High Street, demolished in the 1970s. A number of bands played there for dances etc but so far, I have not heard of that particular one. If anything comes up, I will let you know (webmaster).
August 21st, 2015
from Ann Konsbruck :- Do you have any information on the Racing Stables Mission?
My grandfather Fred Hall was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1886. I don’t know when he moved to Newmarket but have an undated photograph of him in racing colours where he appears to be hardly a teenager. On the 1911 census he is boarding at with Samuel Rogers and his family at 7 Side Hill Terrace, Newmarket and is listed as a Stableman and by 1915 when he joined the army he was Groom/Chauffeur for Captain Tanner, Heath Lodge, Newmarket.
I have a ‘Marked Testament’ inscribed inside ” Presented to Fred Hall by Mr H. Eliot Walton” who I understand was involved with the Mission. If you have any information, I would be interested to learn more about both the Mission and also Captain Tanner of Heath Lodge. You may or may not be interested in what I know about his time there. He died when I was five, so I only have vague memories of him.
Fred’s father, James was a cab driver and his grandfather, William, an ostler so horses must have been part of his life. I don’t know how he came to go to Newmarket although I was told he went to train as a jockey as he was only 5′ 2″. I’ve attached a photo of him in racing colours, it has been hand coloured and I’ve no idea if the colours are correct. It was taken at the studio of Clarence Hailey in Newmarket but it is not dated. It would be lovely to know which stables he was at but I know that’s pretty much an impossibility.
In the 1901 census I found Fred and his father boarding with my grandmother’s family in Preston. He was 15 she was 9. Happily, he did survive the war. He was a driver in the Army Service Corps, and we can follow his progress from his surviving service record which he spent in German East Africa.It shows him in and out of hospital suffering from malaria and eventually being returned to England and in and out of more hospitals before being invalided out.
Looking at his service record again today I am a little puzzled as to where he signed on and I’ve attached two of the sheets. No 1 has Bury St Edmunds stamped at the top but Grove Park, which was the ASC Depot at Greenwich, at the bottom. No 2 is a standard War Office letter, again stamped Bury St Edmunds but to the Recruiting Officer in Newmarket advising that Fred was suitable for the ASC. Would you have any idea why Bury St Edmunds would be involved? I also note he was living at 5 Exeter Road, Newmarket when he signed up.
Fred eventually returned to Preston and married my grandmother, Florence Aldridge, in April 1919. She used to tell me stories of visiting him in Newmarket, presumably pre-WWI and knew all the well-known jockeys of the period, one I particularly remember her mentioning was a Steve Donoghue. A story I remember was when she saw a man beating a horse in Newmarket’s main street and she ran over and hit him and shouted at him to stop. My grandfather told her she shouldn’t have done it but she said, “I didn’t care who he was, I couldn’t allow him to beat a horse.” I wonder who he was?
Another story about my grandfather is that my father wanted to join the Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry, partly because he liked the dress uniform! My grandfather was adamant that he would not give his permission saying ” I don’t want you having anything to do with horses” one wonders why? He also said ‘Only fools bet on horses”.
My grandmother always said Fred Archer was a cousin and we have a horse brass of him. The story being that she saw this brass on a delivery man’s horse and my grandfather wanted to buy it but the owner wouldn’t sell. Sometime later he came home with the brass but would never say how much he paid for it.
I have done a little investigating into the Aldridge family and discovered that Florence’s father Thomas, born in Harmondsworth in Middlesex, was a soldier in the 21st Hussars, a cavalry regiment and his mother was Sarah Archer. I haven’t taken it any further than that yet and knowing how family legends arise I have yet to prove a connection, if there is one.
Please thank David and Sandra for their help and apologies again for the length of this email.
This query has opened up several avenues of discussion about old Newmarket Racing Stables Mission. Capt. Tanner, old Chapels and old army records.
David Rippington has contributed this: – Details about Heath Lodge are shown on my page for the Dawson Family … it’s now where Freshfields is. It was originally called Waterloo Lodge and its location is shown on a map on the page – http://www.newmarketshops.info/The_Dawson_Family.html Captain Ernest Tanner was one of those who lived in Victoria Mansions (the Carlton) in 1926 … and he also attended the funeral of trainer and vet Fred Day in 1919 – http://www.newmarketshops.info/No.125_High_Street.html … other than that I don’t know any more about him.
Newmarket Racing Stables Mission was in Park Lane – details about it can be found on these pages http://calmview.bham.ac.uk/GetDocument.ashx?db=Catalog&fname=YMCA.pdf
Bury Free Press Suffolk, England – 19 Jun 1926 – MIDLAND BANK LIMITED SPORTS. Popular Event at Newmarket. The annual athletic sports in connection with the Racing Stables Mission were held the Stanley House ground, Newmarket (by permission of the Hon. George Lambton), on Thursday. The weather was chilly and showery.
And from Tony Pringle with help from Bill Smith:
Mr Walton formed the Mission “Walton’s Stablelads Recreation Rooms” for the education of stable lads, basically a library to help them. Later it developed and Walton’s daughter in law ran evening classes, and a Mr O’Brien (maybe from All Saint’s Church) ran Sunday bible classes.) I think it then became an official charity (perhaps the current Racing Welfare folk can help there.
The Granby Street Chapel was next door to our house when Heaton Brothers, Forage Merchants was run by my father. I remember we started a youth club there in the early 50’s, “Friendship House”. I do not recollect any religious connections at that time so when it was given up by the religious folk I do not know. I am pretty sure it had nothing to do with the Racing Mission. We had so many little chapels I reckon they may have even equalled Bookies at times
Just so I get it right. Did Fred Hall marry Florence Aldridge in Preston in around May 1919, and did they have two sons, James (June 1920) and Ronald (June 1923) both born in Preston. (Yes, that has been confirmed webmaster)
Ann already has seen Fred’s Army records (that was extremely lucky). The Suffolk Regiment’s Garrison at Bury St Edmunds acted as recruitment offices during the Great War and the recruits were sent to various army regiments according to needs.
By the way apart from the connection of Capt. Tanner with Tannersfield Way, the estate always was officially Heath Lodge Estate, not sure when, if ever, it changed officially to Freshfields, which is just 3/4 of the estate ring on any map
August 16th, 2015
from Geoffrey Woollard :- We have found a photograph of Lt. Col. Arthur Herbert Catchpole (1880 – 1962), and according to family memory, it was taken outside the Carlton Hotel, Newmarket, in (I would guess) the 1930s.
A little look on Old Newmarket tells me that the Carlton was formerly the Victoria. In one of my Kelly’s Directories there is the following entry, ‘Victoria Billiards Hall (Col. A.H. Catchpole, propr.), High st.’ This was listed under ‘Commercial’ at Newmarket in Kelly’s 1937. We know nothing of AHC being a proprietor of a billiards hall, but we wonder whether it was so.
Our member David Rippington has confirmed that Lt Col Catchpole (of The Red House St Mary’s Square) was indeed the proprietor of the Victoria Billiards Saloon. David’s website gives details of the Carlton occupancy – see the page – (http://www.newmarketshops.info/No.82_High_Street.html) The Victoria Mansions name continued on long after the Carlton became the official title of the building in the 1920s? and probably referred to the fact that there were rented apartments in the building. We have the photo of A H Catchpole in our digital archives and can be supplied to anyone interested. (webmaster).
July 10th, 2015
from Jack Hoxley who started working for the GPO (General Post Office) at Newmarket in 1942 and was a linesman in the post war years.
Hadn’t looked at the website for a long time but wanted to show a young carer what I was riding at her age. Pleased to see a photo updated to one like my box sidecar.
Nice to hear from you Jack. Glad we are able to bring back some memories of the good old (hard) days of gauntlet gloves, stormproof motorcycle overcoats and climbing telegraph poles in all weathers.
Your story will remain on our website as an example of how far communications technology has come since World War II. For those who may have missed Jack’s fascinating account look under the Index heading for ‘The History of the Telephone Service in Newmarket’ (Jack Hoxley’s story). Our very best wishes, Rodney (webmaster)
from Peter & Jan Tervet :- Please can you let me know how I can access/obtain a copy of the History of the Congregational Church by George Ginn? Your note on the website below refers.
1. Newmarket Congregational Church
2. Please can you let me know how many non-conformist chapels there were in Newmarket 1849 – 1850? Looking forward to hearing from you.
The Church used to stand in the middle of the High Street but in the mid-20th century it amalgamated with Christchurch, the Methodist Church at St Mary’s Square. The building is now occupied by The Stable, a meeting hall and morning cafe, although it is still believed to be church property.
We have a history of the Congregational Church forwarded by George Ginn and this can be accessed on application to Newmarket Local History Society via this site. We have supplied the file of the Church history as requested. It is rather too long to include here but if anyone wants to read it I can email it to them.
Our member David Rippington has included an illustrated and detailed account of the old Congregational Church on the Newmarket Shops website that he runs. Please see http://www.newmarketshops.info/Congregational_Church.html
The original history write-up was by Harold D Greenwood in the 1940s. It has been attributed to George Ginn as he discovered the original. He hopes to be able to give information about other non-conformist churches/chapels in Newmarket (webmaster)
June 30th, 2015
from Chris Aylmer; Dear Newmarket Local History Society,
My father John Aylmer was born in Newmarket at Kingston House and went to Fairlawn School as an infant from around 5 to 8 years of age before going off to boarding school at Bishop’s Stortford. He was born in 1903 so he would have been at the school around 1908-1911. I wonder if you have any pictures of the school and grounds?
I have found something out about Fairlawn, which was a preparatory school or kindergarten as well as boarding school for older girls. It was built in 1885 opposite the White Lion public house and I have a map showing where it was (see link below), although I haven’t found any photographs of the school. There are boarding girls listed there in the 1901 census but none in 1911. It seems to have closed down as a school in the late 1920s.
There were two very similar buildings on either side of Fairlawn, called Belmont and Glenwood, built around the same time as Fairlawn, the latter also a school until 1920, being the precursor of Newmarket Grammar School. There is a photo of Glenwood School which I guess would have closely resembled Fairlawn, but it would be nice to have a photograph of Fairlawn School itself. All the buildings were demolished around 1970.See link: http://www.newmarketshops.info/Fairlawn_School.html Many thanks for helping to keep the memories of Newmarket alive.
Although so far, we haven’t found a picture of the old Fairlawn School, our member David Rippington has given a good description on his Newmarket Shops website. Chris had already included a link to the site in his query (see above).
Geoffrey Woollard has also contributed an item on Fairlawn (see Correspondence page 8, late September 2013) as both he and his wife Sue attended the school. Apparently, it was still in existence as late as 1949 (webmaster)
from Michael Chandler:- I am an author working on a book of military hospitals situated in East Anglia during WW1 and I seek your help in finding out about the following that were used during this period.
1) Severals House
2) Rous Hospital
3) Red Cross Hospital.
I hope that you will be able to assist me, and I look forward to hearing from you.
The history of the Rous Hospital is covered in our website article under Personalities – Admiral Rous.
With the high number of casualties in WWI several large houses were used as Red Cross recuperation homes. Cheveley Park Mansions was one of these and is mentioned on our Personalities page dealing with the former owner, Col Harry McCalmont. We have pictures of patients or staff for Sussex Lodge a Red Cross hospital) and Severals House ( War Emergency hospital) and also one for Fordham, but we do not know exactly where the latter was. Perhaps our site visitors can enlighten us (webmaster)
May 7th, 2015
from John McNaughton: – regarding the correspondence in March this year about the origins of the Coat of Arms of the Houldsworth Valley Primary School (see below).
I have visited your excellent website periodically as I was born in Newmarket. I was interested in the discussion on Houldsworth Valley school badge. I attended St Mary’s school, and then Houldsworth Valley when it opened in about 1952 or 1953. We were told by the then Headmaster (Percy V Gorham) that the badge did indeed represent St Edmund’s crown, and the arrows represented his martyrdom. The wheel, we were told, represented Boudica’s (various spellings) chariot wheel. I was only 7 or 8 at the time, but I remember wearing the badge.
Thank you, John, your good explanation ties in with Tony Pringle’s (see correspondence below)
April 9th, 2015
From Jesse Janssens, the leader of a family party of seven from Belgium who visited Newmarket over the Easter weekend specifically to see the places where Evrard Janssens served as part of the Belgian training attachment to RAF Snailwell during 1945.
Dear members of the NLHS, Since we’ve arrived back in Belgium, I want to say a short thank you for everything you’ve done for us. We really enjoyed the meeting and the warmth with you. Everything was perfect, the presentation of Rod, the talk with Rosemary, the walk with Sandra and Peter, and so on.. It was all very interesting, and we’ve enjoyed our stay in Newmarket.
My father was very happy about the day and described it as the happiest and the best day of the year, so you really made us happy. Afterwards we’ve been to the remains of the airfield in Snailwell and to Snailwell itself, which was quite a walk, but it was worth it! The weather was perfect, the birds were singing, and it was simply a great day for us, really a day to remember.
And I couldn’t have done it without you guys, you were my guide and the reason why we could come to Newmarket. Thank you for being so kind and helpful. We had the time of our lives, and we will never forget this beautiful journey. I’m sure my grandfather would be happy that we visited the place where he stayed.
So a big thanks to everybody, also to the others whom I didn’t have the e-mail address…I hope we stay in touch…. Kind regards.
From Bill O’Gorman :- Unbelievably I have just discovered your truly remarkable site and am getting much enjoyment from it. I do hope that you will not mind if I occasionally point out an error or omission – I probably need to get out more!
“Dino’s” café is not shown in Wellington St. – it was where the kebab shop is now and along with the Jockeys Café in Old Station Rd. it fed most of the single lads in the 1960s.
On the racecourse section I couldn’t make sense of the oil paintings: should the Beacon Course be the Round Course? Also, the old Cambridgeshire finish seems to have had the image reversed – I think the stand would have been on the right of the horses, between them and the main road. Congratulations once more, and kind regards.
the picture in question
Thanks for your comments about our website. I should point out that much of the entry about the history of the racecourses was carried out by our member David Rippington who runs his own website ‘Newmarket Shops’. He has added this information: The painting labelled ‘A Race on the Beacon Course c.1750’ is well attributed as being such everywhere on the internet – the artist is John Wootton.
But I think we all have the same problem with this painting as we’ve found in the past with many of Wootton’s paintings – there’s an awful lot of artistic license in there and I’m beginning to believe that he deliberately swapped orientation of landmarks in his paintings just to confuse us later day lackeys.
The picture of the finish of the 1850 Cambridgeshire Stakes is absolutely correct though, as this is looking from the Cambridge road, across the course, past the Portland (Cambridgeshire) Stand and towards the hill of Swaffham Prior in the distance. The stand between the end of the course and the main road was just the Trainer’s Stand, the saddling enclosure – i.e. ‘The Birdcage’. The 1902 map on my web page shows this arrangement quite clearly.
Tony Pringle makes this comment: I can see Bill O’Gorman’s problem and he is right if he is referring to the painting of the racing on Beacon course 1750, is that the Cambridge Gap or King’s Gap in the background which could make the picture one of the run in on the July Course. Can’t be the Beacon course, the horses are heading the wrong way.
Regarding Dino Biagi’s Cafe, as you point out, it was in Wellington Street in what is now the Kebab Shop, and I am told the building was known as Waterloo House (webmaster).
NLHS Secretary Rosemary Foreman has added this memory: “Dino’s was definitely in Wellington Street where the Kebab House is now when I was a teenager in the 1950’s. It was mainly used by stablelads and always seemed to be a bit of a ‘dive’. Next step up was the Milk Bar on the High Street, then much more upper-class was the Black Cat on Rutland Hill!”
From Cheryl Blake :- As a recent visitor to your town, please can you explain why locally, The Yellow brick Road is so called when it is neither Yellow or has a brick path.
I am informed that it’s just a local colloquial name. It could have come from the yellow material, sand perhaps, that covered the surface at one time. One of our members has made this comment: “I have a sneaky feeling it stems from Alice in Wonderland. It just crept up on us and moved into local parlance.”
The location, I am told, is the path by the Watercourse starting off Exeter Road and heading north-east (webmaster)
from Forest Heath Councillor Richard Baldwin; I was in a meeting this morning with the Head teacher of Houldsworth Valley Primary School who said that they were desperate to find out what their school coat of arms meant? Can be found on the top banner of the website…http://houldsworthvalley.co.uk/. I said that the top bit was St Edmund but I am at a loss to know what the wheel would be or why they would be put together.
These replies may be of interest:
Sandra Easom: You are correct. The top image in the school crest is basically the same as that in the Newmarket town Coat of Arms, i.e. the crown of St Edmund. Please see the section about the Newmarket town crest in the ‘Newmarket’ book for the story behind the crown and arrows and King Edmund’s martyrdom.
I cannot decipher the wheel below. My first thought was a gun carriage! Now I am not sure. I tried enlarging it and it began to look more like a farming implement (plough?). My best guess in that case would be that it is a reference to the Great Common / Market Means of the Middle Ages where the school now stands.
Tony Pringle: I doubt very much that this is a real “coat of arms” as per The College of Arms, just someone (used to be my hobby) dreaming up a badge. The crown and arrows is most certainly meant to represent King Edmund and his martyrdom. I just wonder if the wheel and its attachment might not be Boudicca’s chariot wheel? Ties in nicely with local history.
David Rippington: Houldsworth Valley is named in honour of Joseph Henry Houldsworth. Born in 1833 in Scotland, he was for many years a noted racehorse owner and died at his home; Rozelle, in Ayr, Scotland on 3rd November 1910. He was elected to steward of the Jockey Club on 17th April 1890.
The area of Houldsworth Valley was originally part of the Exning House Estate and was sold by auction in June 1881, most of it was purchased by the Jockey Club – details of this sale are given on the page for No.156-160 High Street – Ratcliffe House – http://www.newmarketshops.info/No.156-160_High_Street.html
Tony Pringle added: J.H.Houldsworth’s stud was on that land. His horses were trained by James Ryan at Green Lodge.
February 9th, 2015
From Tim Young :- I was intending to email you for advice as where I might find information about Rous Road and Admiral Rous for a very minor little piece of research, I am doing for U3A. However, having spent an hour or so on your excellent website I have found plenty of information on both. So instead let me congratulate you on a very lively, interesting and efficient website.
Thanks for your kind comments Tim. I would mention that in addition to our website our member David Rippington has delved into the history of Rous Road and this can be accessed on his Newmarket Shops website http://www.newmarketshops.info/Rous_Road.html. webmaster
February 1st, 2015
From Margaret Del:- I wonder if you can help me. I have been researching my Uncle Edward [Eddie] Little since the 1990s. He was a jockey at Newmarket under Capt. Cecil Boyd Rochfort.
Edward born in 1909 died aged 26 years in 1937 at Epsom. He went into Cottage Homes government run Home in Newcastle then became a stable boy later a jockey and who had 200+ rides in 1937 +- for Ct. Boyd Rochfort. As his uncle was a Freemason it’s thought he could have started off at the Freemason’s Stables.
Any idea where I can get a picture or any information on him as his brother [my uncle] is now 91 years.
This reply has come from Tim Cox of the National Horseracing Museum and is an interesting aside on the origin of Freemason Lodge.
Edward Little has proved elusive. He was registered as an apprentice with Cecil Boyd Rochfort in 1929 and then had a jockey’s licence to ride on the Flat in 1935 and 1936. As far as I can see he did not ride a winner. In the lists of jockeys’ riding records, only those with a win are listed, so it is difficult to sort out the number of rides without going through each race.
If there are any more clues, they might be helpful. If Edward was born in 1909, he would have been 19 or 20 when he was apprenticed, which is a little late. It’s difficult to tell what was happening between 1929 and 1935. I have checked some jockey lists for France and Germany in that period, but he has not been spotted. Was he working overseas?
Freemason Lodge was built by Mr A Stedhall. According to Richard Onslow Stedhall was best remembered for his prodigious port drinking rather than his horses or his houses. Most of his horses were named by George Everett, a prominent Freemason. Freemason Lodge was named after Freemason, who was bred by Lady Stamford in 1886. He won three races as a three-year-old and five as a four-year-old. He stood at Graham Place Stud.
I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful, but I will follow up if there are any more clues.
January 23rd, 2015
We have had some correspondence from Prof.Dr Wim Cordenys from Belgium, who is researching Russian history (see Correspondence 18th December 2014). He has now added these comments relating to our website feature, “The Russians in Newmarket”.
“The strange thing about the Newmarket history, is that it has slipped the attention of Russian researchers. An interesting article about the activities of the Russian military attaché to Britain, N.S. Yermolov, does not mention Newmarket, although it is mainly about his attempts to set up a Russian unit in the UK.”
“By the way, has the Russian revolution article on your website ever been published in paper, and if so, could you give me the precise reference?”
In answer to Prof. Cordeny’s question, no, the full account had not been published other than on the website although an abridged version did appear in our local newspaper “The Newmarket Journal” some time ago. Perhaps it is something we should consider as it appears that the information about this important period in Russian history is not available elsewhere (webmaster).
January 20th, 2015
from Margaret Cole :- I sent you a story about my Aunt Doris Acres, who did some work at Bletchley Park during the war as a WAAF, she has died aged 90 on 18th December. Just for your records.
So sorry to hear that, our sincere condolences. Doris Acres was a WAAF during and after the war and had a very varied and interesting career, serving some of her time in Newmarket. Her story can be read on our webpage “The RAF in Wartime Newmarket”, select from the Index on our opening page. The account does not mention Bletchley Park, so this adds to Doris’s experiences.
from Patrick Chennell in Stockholm Sweden :- You may be the right man to point me in the right direction? I am the great great grandson of Benjamin Chennell who was a prominent figure in Newmarket in the second half of the 1800’s. He lived in Foley House and owned The White Horse, do know anything about him or where I could find out more?
NLHS member David Rippington has provided a chronicle of the life of Benjamin Chennell, who owned the White Hart Hotel and was a man of some standing in the town. It is too detailed to be included here but David intends to incorporate it into his Newmarket Shops website.
In addition, this snippet from David throws some light on society life in Newmarket during the Victorian period.
“Tuesday 17 March 1868, Bury and Norwich Post – Newmarket. Opening Dinner at the White Hart Hotel :-The opening dinner of this establishment, on the occupation thereof by Mr. Benjamin Chennell, the new proprietor, took place on Friday evening last, the 13th inst., and was attended by most of the principal inhabitants of this town and a considerable number of visitors from Cambridge. The number of tickets was limited to fifty, at one guinea each, all of which were sold. The room was gaily decorated with floral devices and had a very pretty appearance.
The chair was taken by Mr. Challands, and the vice-chair by Mr. Jas. Manning, and on the removal of the cloth the usual loyal and preliminary toasts, including the health of the Duke of Rutland, were given, followed by the health of the host and hostess, received with many expressions of good will.