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Correspondence 2021

13 February 2021

Hello Sir/Madam, The Website of your Society indicates that you have an active interest in the History of the Town and its surroundings.  I have a framed picture of : The Entrance to Newmarket drawn by William Westall A.R.A (this is a colour Lithograph print by Edward Finden). A copy of the print is held by the British Museum and it can be viewed on the internet. I am not an art expert but wondered if anybody in the Newmarket Historical society would be interested. Print size approx is 6 X 4 inches. It is professionally framed by Lingfield Gallery, Lymington, Hants. My connection with Newmarket was as a school boy 1947-50 and cycling every day from Dalham Hall near the sleepy village of Dalham.

Thank you, Michael Meehan. Amersham, Bucks.

It has been explained that this print is one of the more common of old Newmarket, but if anyone is interested the webmaster can pass on contact details for Mr Meehan.

17 February 2021

My grandparents (Mr and Mrs Featonby) owned the hotel for quite a few years and my family used to visit often when I was small. I have some wonderful memories of the place but sadly no photos. The building was demolished along with the swimming pool. It was a white double fronte

I look forward to hearing back from you if anyone has any memories at all. Very best regards. Zina Bage

As yet no dates have been found for the start and finish of this restaurant/hotel, it is not shown on the 1936 directory. It was on the Birdcage, about 2nd or maybe 3rd building from the current petrol station (was Turner and Hore’s garage in those days). This photograph (courtesy Old Newmarket) is all we have.

19 February 2021

Thanks so much, you’ve made my day! So frustrating when somewhere that has such vivid childhood memories disappears without trace. I’ve got a photo of Grandmama in the back garden but absolutely nothing else except what’s in my head. Both my parents have died now so there’s no one left to ask about the history and dates of places and things.

I’m sure my grandparents would have used a lot of the other pubs, hotels and restaurants in Newmarket, it was quite a tight knit community from memory, and everyone was of course into racing. I’ll have a look at your pub website and thanks again for sending me the photo, have a great weekend. Best regards Zina

19th March 2021

Hello, an old friend reminded me recently that when teenagers in the 1960’s we visited a hotel or pub in the High Street where we used to dance and often there were American singers, from Lakenheath and Mildenhall bases there too, are there any reference to those fun times do you know ?….Thank you. Chrisine Terrell

That has to be the Carlton. Too big and too expensive to maintain, it was demolished and now replaced by Boots. Some facts and photos on and… webmaster

20th March 2021

Thank you, I was reminded of the pub when a researcher was looking for the origin of a 1960’s song called Ride my pony, and I recalled we used to dance in the pub with jockeys who could only dance as if riding a horse, we were often joined by American singers who were staying at Lakenheath and we had a lot of fun as we all danced like the jockey’s and stable lads.

A singer named Lee Dorsey who sang the song might well have been there with us as it was popular with those bands visiting the base in the sixties. I was reminded of this recently when someone sent me a photo of us in a pub with someone similar to that singer, and I remembered that time clearly. It may have been on the – Cambridge in the good old days – website. Thank you for the link. Christine.

16th April 2021

My name is Louise Johnson, and I am after some help on how to approach a little search for photos and possible racing footage of my dad Patrick Ward. Basically, my dad rode in the Crowne Plus 2 apprentice jockeys race held in Newmarket in 1976/ 1977 it was the race before the Guineas that year and my dad came second.

Basically, I’m wondering if you have any photos of that race that year, or even better the footage which was taken of my dad being interviewed on TV that day? Dad was riding the horse called Harry Hall and it was trained by G Blum, I have approached Mrs Blum but sadly she has only 2 photos of my dad which weren’t great so just wondering if you could help?

Regards Louise

Not much chance, unless you can find the TV company. Most unlikely there would be any other professional coverage for an apprentice race. The Society members can at times assist, but the Society itself does not get too involved in person searches or racing specifics.

19th April 2021

Hi wonder if you can help. I’m looking for my husband’s gt gt grandparents grave at Newmarket. (Harry & Susan……) I have been told it is in F ….

We walked around the cemetery but was unable to find it, is there anywhere that has a more detailed map of the cemetery? Was hoping you may be able to help.

Look forward to hearing from you. Jill

All part of the service…as we have a complete transcription of the burial records up to 2017 and photos of all the headstones and transcriptions thereon, it is one thing we can do to help folk find their relatives resting place. Of course not all have headstones. This lady was extra lucky, not only is there a headstone right by the path in line with her relatives’ grave, their grave actually has a kerb.

The COVID lock down has slowed the completion of the project and I have yet to consolidate and combine all the collected data into one folder, but at least I can find the graves, it just remains to make it usable by others. Incidentally the grounds men at the cemetery are very friendly and helpful, but it is not their job to undertake detailed searches, but they can often assist.

10th June 2021

10/15 years ago I took a photo of my Gt Uncle’s grave at Newmarket Cemetery. It is a double plot with white marble surround. Joe Childs 1884-1958, famous jockey of his time, is also buried with his young son “Joey” and his brother Charles Childs 1885-1957, my photo shows the grave alongside a hedge.

Last week I went again to the cemetery to get another photo for my ancestry quest but could not find the plot. Is there a list of people buried in the cemetery? It would be appreciated if you could help me find out more details.

Thanks…..Chris Ward

I was able to quickly find the necessary information and send back directions to Chris as to how to find this grave…webmaster

12th July 2021

Hi, my late father was born in Newmarket in 1926 and I and my wife are at present trying to look into my family’s history. Sadly, I never knew my grandfather as he died in 1942. My grandmother passed away soon after and then my father moved north to Yorkshire. All my family on my dad’s side were involved in horse racing even my late father after he became a coal miner used to work with horse’s part time. My granddad had a nickname of Tiny Pratt because he was small, and I think had actually been a jockey. My grandmother was called Cox before she was married and lived in I think Grosvenor Yard in Newmarket. I am trying to gain as much information as I can and also to find out where they are buried. If you or anyone from your society could help I would be most grateful.

We all don’t realise how important our own family history is until it’s too late to ask questions that’s my biggest regret

Many thanks. Ray Pratt

As with all these queries, I have to stress that we are a Local History Society, not a Family History Society. However, in cases like this and the previous case, tracking down a specific grave in Newmarket cemetery is something that can be done quite quickly thanks to the research carried out by our members. As webmaster and “custodian” of the digitised burial register I can usually find the answer and email back directions.

In a purely personal capacity, I can at times actually personally show folk where the grave is, but this is a personal thing, and depends on my own schedules and interests. In Ray’s case here, he is very lucky in that although neither his grandparents nor their babies’ graves are marked, they are located next to a grave with a monument in place, allowing a positive identification of the plots.

When the database has been completed and double checked, a copy will be given to the Cemetery Manager. How that department deals with these requests is of course entirely up to them…..webmaster

15th August 2021

Hello there, I have recently moved to Newmarket. As I was doing plumbing work on the wooden floor, I found this matchbox under the floor. It was made in Russia.

I am trying to understand how it ended up in Newmarket. I was wondering if you know any of the Russians lived in Newmarket.

Kind Regards……Ahmet

Initially I told Ahmet of the Russian Officers at Brickfields Camp at the end of WW1 but looked more closely at the matchbox and it says made in USSR, a term not adopted until 1922. In addition, it features an English nursery rhyme character, Mother Hubbard, which seems to suggest that it was something commercially available in UK…..webmaster.

28th August 2021

Hello, I’m wondering whether you might be able to help me please? I’ve been trying to find out as much information as possible about Lanwades Hall and the chap who built it, James Larnach. I would most love to find out who the architect was but there isn’t any record of them- even in Pevsner’s guide. Bury archives office only has a few newspaper articles.

I’ve had a really good look through your website (suggested by the NHRM) but couldn’t find anything. I read lots of other fascinating stories and information though- thank you!

Do you know anything that isn’t published on your website or have any suggestions of where to look please?
Many thanks for your time, Alex

Can anyone help Alex. I can arrange contact…webmaster

10th September 2021

Hello, My mother-in-law has some photos from her late brother’s estate and looking at them I have come across these two (one is attached).

They show the employees at the Meredith and Drew Factory. I believe it to be the Newmarket factory as the back has the photographer as John Slater, Photographer, Newmarket 2572..Ely 2129.

My Mum in Law’s, sister-in-law (Ennice Catherine Binks (née Howe) worked there and is in the photo. I would be interested if you have anything else about the factory, or in fact if it is not the one in Newmarket.
Regards Chris Temple

Can anyone help Chris. I can just about remember the factory but very little about it. I can arrange contact…webmaster

10th September 2021

Hello,I am researching some family history and wondered whether you might be able to give me a steer in the right direction.

My grandmother, Kath Horswill and her husband Jerry, used to run a social club in Exning, known as Melton House, I think. The other place in family remembrances is The Yews, which was nearby. When I was a child in the 1950s, my parents would take us kids from Rugby where we lived, over to Exning/Newmarket, to visit. I remember a rather grand, but decaying, place, in grounds with a high surrounding wall.

I know that the place they lived and ran was knocked down and developed for housing, maybe in the late 1970s or 1980s, but that’s about it. I am trying to find out more about the history of these two places, and any old photos of either or both of them. Does anyone in your local history society have any recollection, or any records, of these buildings? I should be most grateful for any help you can offer….Best wishes…. Peter Stanbrook.

I have pointed Peter in the direction of the article on this site. “The RAF in Newmarket WW2,” where there is information about Melton House and a photo. The large house behind the walls was of course Exning House, more recently known as Glanely Rest and now converted to apartments. There is plenty on them internet if you google and masses of photos over the years. The Yews is easier, it is still there, between the car sales and The Rosery on Church Street, Exning, see above. …..webmaster

20th September 2021

Rockingham Villas, Church Lane

Good Morning, I hope this email finds you well. I am contacting you in hope of some help or a point in the right direction!

I have recently purchased 3 Rockingham Villas on Church Lane and would love to find out more information about the building. As I uncover different things in the house it fascinates me more and more every day. I know from the deeds a lady called Alice Gertrude Britton was the first person to purchase the property in 1957 (for £1,250). Seems a lot of money for the time) from Harry Sampson Gee who presumably commissioned or built the Rockingham Villas block.

However, there are things about the property I can’t piece together and don’t quite fit for the time. Such as the bathroom was originally upstairs (very posh given I believe these properties to have been built in 1902) and they have flat roofs, again an uncharacteristic feature for the period.
I was hoping to find out if you had already got any information within your archives on the building, Church Lane or the Gee family?

Any help or steer in the right direction would be hugely appreciated….Many thanks….Alice

webmaster…..If anyone can help, I can arrange contact with Alice

19th October 2021

I am researching the life and career of the legendary race-mare SCEPTRE with a view to writing a book about her. She died at Exning Stud – then part of Lord Glanely’s Exning estate – in 1926 and, according to all sources I’ve found thus far, was buried there.

The Stables and Stud, I think, have been demolished. Does anyone in the Society know of any grave site for Sceptre in the grounds? Or of any local reference to one in the past? Any pointers would be most appreciated and acknowledged within the book.

Many thanks. Yours sincerely, Michael Tanner, Sleaford, Lincolnshire

webmaster…..As ever, If anyone can help, I can arrange contact with Michael