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Correspondence 2019

30 October 2019

As you see, I have a name that used to resonate in Newmarket. At one time 5 family members were training in the town and my father was a vet at Sackville House and then with the Brayley Reynolds practice at March House. For several reasons I abandoned a career in racing very early. as did most of my cousins. I have lived in Braintree for many years now, close enough to keep some contact…I lived at Sackville House from 1930 until about 1950….Two questions for you-the first being about the 1941 High Street bombing.

Has any new evidence on the military staff conference at the Memorial Hall that afternoon come to light. German spy activity must be a possibility, however unlikely. The second question is about Sackville House. My father was not the first vet there. He must have bought the practice from Dr Price – Jones, who did some early work on veterinary x-rays , and who may have had American connections. Do you know anything about this ? I would be interested to know about the society. Yours sincerely, Hugh Leader.

Tony has replied and will of course be seeking more about Sackville House. The bombing is always on his agenda.

15 October 2019

Hi!..I am hoping you may be able to help me. I am helping research a project about the WLA. I wondered if you have any archives in your collection that may have any information about women employed on estates or farms in this area? Was there a Newmarket newspaper published during the second world war? Do you have copies? I would like to visit your archives if you think there may be some relevant information. When are you open to the public? Thank you! Nicola Randall .

There seems little we can do to assist. There is a wealth of information on the internet regarding the Land Army and also in online archived copies of newspapers.

14 September 2019

I wonder if you may be able to help me. My name is Zoe Chapman. I have been trying to track down my family following the untimely death of my father Peter Chapman. He was the only son of Donald Chapman, my Grandad, who was we know was born in Newmarket in 1911.

My Grandad never discussed his upbringing with my dad, however when I had to clear his home after he passed away, I was left with letters to show he was abandoned by his mother who moved to Canada. Without knowledge of who his mother was I’ve been unsuccessful in tracing her.

I’ve been able to trace the Chapman family members he was potentially left with who lived in Queen Street and were local shopkeepers throughout their life. The rest of the Chapman family also lived in Newmarket too, but I’ve found no record to indicate who his mother may have been or where my Grandad was living. It’s as if he was a Chapman family secret that was covered up.

I have no living relatives to ask about this and the ancestry archive show only that he was registered as being born with no date or information attached. My Grandad was an incredible man having been honoured and ranked highly during WW2. He was he kindest man who then created my own hero of a Father. I am lost without them both and I am so desperate to find out if I have any family. Any advice or pointers would be awfully welcomed. I only live in London so would be happy to visit Newmarket if there were some clues that could help solve the mystery. Kind regards, Zoë Chapman.

This is outside the parameters of the Society, this being a local history society, not family history, but perhaps some member or reader may like to help Zoe. There was certainly a Chapman family with a shop in Queens Street at least until the late 1950’s

9 September 2019

I had very much hoped that you would be able to assist me. We are compiling the annual Tattersalls Magazine and have an article on the last shunt horses of the British Rail. Thanks to your very informative website we have seen so many lovely images of Charlie at the Newmarket Station. Would it be possible to get copies of the images for publishing in the next edition? I look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks in advance for your time and assistance. Kind regards Robyn Collyer.

I hope we can help Robyn; Tattersalls have been very cooperative in the past. I cannot remember for certain where the website pictures of Charlie came from, it may have been Rick Harris, but expect Sandra or Peter will be able to deal with this. R.V.

8 September 2019

I came across the attached picture on your website when researching the history of the Newmarket Fringe (North Ward of Cheveley Parish) as part of my work in writing the neighbourhood Plan for Cheveley Parish. I would be very grateful for permission to use this in the plan. If you have a higher-resolution or bigger image, I would be grateful.

Also, I am intrigued by the history of Centre Drive. Do you know if it was a road before the narrow-gauge railway was built? Looking at the picture, what was beyond the gates shown here? Was there any housing by then in the late 1890s?..Many thanks, Richard CLLR RICHARD FULLERTON CHEVELEY PARISH COUNCIL

This subject is covered in some depth on the Personalities page dealing with Sir Harry McCalmont and Cheveley Park, which presumably is where Cllr Fullerton found the picture. I believe that there is an active history Society or contact in Cheveley that we have had dealings with in the past. If anyone else would like to pursue this query then please go ahead. R.V.

Tony adds that where the narrow-gauge railway line in the picture shows was just a private driveway to the Park. The earliest houses n Centre Drive seem to be from the inter war years. Certainly, when I lived there in the late 1940’s the road was unadopted, being a muddy track in the winter until 1948 when Cambridgeshire County Council put in a tarmac road and roadside drain. That of course was all bar the last 50-100 yards, which was in Suffolk and remained dirt for quite a while after.

27 August 2019

I wondered whether you might have any information on Jockey James, an 18th century character who was supposedly associated with Newmarket. When he died in London in 1763, he was described as a horse courser (whatever that might be).

He was the father of two well-known pugilists, John and Joseph James, and it was also said at his demise that he was a second at pugilistic matches. Also, I collect bookmarks and wondered if, by any chance, the Society had produced any that you could send me. Thanking you, Hazel Gee

As we are a local history society and not family history, I am sorry, but we cannot help here, also we do not have any bookmarks. Perhaps a reader or member might be able to help Hazel though.

8 August 2019

We were visiting Newmarket High Street recently and noticed this sculpture above Savers. It looked 60s and we wondered if you know who made it and its date, please? The tiles used are of a lovely quality and colour. No one in the street who we asked had noticed it or knew it was there, so we are contacting you…Many thanks …Sue Treadaway

It sometimes takes a stranger to appreciate what we take for granted. Answers anyone? R.V.