Dear readers, I'm much happier now that the days are lengthening and we have seen some sunshine this month. I don't mind the cold nights and early morning frosts but the gloomy, wet days are depressing.
You may have noticed that we have a new co-editor in Nyree Barnes. Welcome aboard Nyree. Tricia is still concentrating on fund raising for which we are very grateful.
In this issue we have a very interesting article about a former Kirton resident whose forthcoming 100th birthday is on the 1st April. She worked in the post office between the wars and there is an interesting reprint of an article regarding the local bakery which has been on the site since 1839. I don't know why but to have continuity such as that is reassuring.
Happy 100th Birthday
Winifred Mary Robinson known as Peggy
Peg was born 1st April 1908, the only daughter of Florence and Edward (Teddy) Blackbourn who had the Post Office at 19 Victoria Street Mablethorpe. Very shortly after Peg's birth, the family took the Post Office at Kirton and Peg was brought up there, living in Kirton over the Post Office until she married in 1930 but, with family movements at the beginning of the war, Peg was at the Post Office pretty much until both her parents died in their 50's in 1941. The Post Office was very much 'home' to Peg's family for her mother came from Union Place in Boston and her mother's brother, Jack Smith, was Postmaster of Boston in the 20's.
Educated at Boston High School, Peg and her many young friends were well known all round Kirton. Friends included the Madges Ð Barnet (née Hurrell) and Smith (née Appleton), 'Twink' (does anybody remember Twink's name?), Phyllis Martin (née Petts), the Kaths Arnold and Sutcliffe, Dorothy Tynan (née Marshall) and May Brudnell.amongst those recalled. Arthur Acott and Cyril Baker on the male side were also part of the social group. Living through the 'flapper' years during the twenties, they enjoyed going to dances at the Assembly Rooms, the White Hart in Boston and when their young boyfriends took them in their cars, at Spalding, Folkingham, Ancaster, Sleaford and all points round about. Peg was the local telephonist operating the Kirton switchboard from behind the bricked-up window which had to be bricked-up for security when the telephone switchboard was installed.
She would take and deliver telegrams on her bike all round the district as far afield as Fosdyke, Wigtoft and the surrounding countryside and so knew many local people well. A local farmer taught her to drive in his Albion potato lorry and Peg never forgot the habit of double de-clutching - necessary then to change gear!
She met Stan Robinson we think at Ancaster at a dance where her husband to be often played piano with his dance band. Stan heralded from Billingborough but his father and mother, John and Martha Robinson, had taken the Post Office at HMS Daedalus in 1916 and remained there when the RAF was formed and the station became RAF Cranwell in 1918. After their wedding at Kirton Church, a splendid affair, Peg and Stan moved briefly to Tadcaster where their son, Nicholas, was born in 1937 and then moved again to Swaffham in Norfolk during the war years where Stan dealt with refugees as Council Architect/Housing Manager. After the war Stan and Peg moved to Cranwell to join his father and mother where they developed a large shop alongside the Post Office which they ran until retirement in 1976.
In this time Stan formed a dance band from members of the RAF Cranwell College band which played a variety of venues, often being flown around the country toentertain. But their 'home' venue was the Bristol Arms in Sleaford where a rich social life was enjoyed by Peggy. In retirement Peggy lived in Sleaford before entering a Residential Home at Woodhall where she was a regular 'Dial-a-ride' user in the late 90's visiting friends before moving into nursing care at the Minstrels in Boston where she will celebrate her 100th birthday on 1st April this year.
Peg always remembers her life in Kirton and Boston as the happiest of times and she loved coming back to visit old friends. Sadly her health is very poor now following a fall and broken femur some five years ago and is bedridden. On occasion Peggy will still talk fondly of the old times and remembers many places and people locally and such recollections clearly give her great pleasure.
Editor's note: Many thanks to her son for sending this article and pictures. We wish Peggy many happy returns. Hopefully this will jog some old Kirtonian memories and we would really like to hear from people who remember Peg. Interesting that Peggy had her wedding reception in Kirton Town Hall.
Favourite Things for a Senior Citizen
To commemorate her 69th birthday on the 1st October actress and vocalist Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was my 'Favourite Things' from the legendary film the 'Sound of Music'. Here are the lyrics she used:-
Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up with string,
These are a few of my favourite things.
Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favourite things.
When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad.
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don't feel so bad.
Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads
and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favourite things.
Back pains, confused brains
and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures
and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favourite things.
When the joints ache,
When the hips break,
When the eyes go dim.
Then I remember the great life I've had
And then I don't feel so bad.
Ms Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted for over four minutes and came on for repeated encores.
Editor's note: kindly supplied by M.Dowse. On a personal note I can't stand the 'Sound of Music' but I suppose its like Marmite: you either love it or hate it! I do like that particular song though. Maalox is a brand name antacid for heartburn and indigestion.
Memories of a Marine Engineer
My next vessel was a 'C' class of which the company had about 7 ships. Typically of British cargo vessel built in the 1950's they were engined by 'Doxford' opposed piston two stroke diesel engines.
These engines almost all built in Sunderland, had a bore of 670mm, (about 26? inches) and for a skinny lad like me at the time, you could climb down into the cylinder liner. In each cylinder there were two pistons; the lower connected to the crankshaft by means of piston rod and connecting rod. The upper piston had a bridge on the top and fore and aft it was connected to two 'side rods' in turn fastened to connecting rods and the crankshaft.
In operation the engine was awesome to watch; all the upper pistons could be seen going up and down according to the engine firing order. When shipsÕ engineers had a little too much beer they would practice going up and down as the top pistons but invariably arguments ensued as to the firing order and who was going up when they should have been down.
Ours was a six cylinder engine developing about 6,500 brake horse power at 115 revolutions per minute directly coupled by shafting to the propeller. It was about the size of a double decker bus and between each of three cylinders was a much larger piston known as a scavenge pump. This drew in combustion air compressing it before delivery into the cylinders via ports which were uncovered by the pistons. There were no valves in these engines. Initially I found it rather alarming since if you stood next to the scavenge pump you could feel your chest rhythmically expanding and contracting due to the scavenge piston lowering the air pressure in the vicinity.
One advantage of such an engine was due to the power in each cylinder being vertically balanced it was virtually vibration free.
The engines were designed by a Swiss German called Otto Keller in the 1920's. Trust the Germans to invent something so complicated! After my apprenticeship I managed to avoid Doxford engines - they were far too involved for my little brain but they were still building such engines in the 1970's.
The ships electricity was dc and generated by two small steam reciprocating engines. All the vessel's pumps were known as 'Weirs' pumps; another fiendish invention this time from Glasgow. Steam was admitted to an upper piston directly coupled to a lower pump piston. The upper piston was double acting and steam alternately admitted to the upper and lower piston surfaces by means of a horizontally mounted shuttle valve which was a piston free to move in a cylinder which uncovered the appropriate ports.
Unfortunately the shuttle valve had a propensity to stick usually but not always relieved by whacking the end of the cylinder as hard as you could with a hammer. They were very frustrating and I recollect one Chief Engineer on his knees in front of a pump praying and on another occasion hitting the said pump with his Chief Engineer's licence. Unsurprisingly he was known as Mad Mac. My ship was engaged in the UK - East Africa trade and our first port of call was Port Sudan in the Red Sea.
We discharged hundreds of American jeeps at Port Sudan under some US aid scheme. Returning on another vessel some months later they were still there parked behind the jetty. The explanation was that the locals didn't know how to drive them which I suppose proves that aid agencies have to do their homework. We were told that the local seamen's mission had a swimming pool so we trooped over there only to find the water covered in a green slime - very uninviting. The stevedores were known as fuzzy wuzzies owing to the fact they plastered their dreadlocks with butter which in that heat tended to smell somewhat. That is about all I can remember of the port.
Our next port was Mombassa in Kenya. The local people were extremely friendly which in this current situation I find very sad. I recollect walking to the pub and was confronted by what looked like a black shiny lobster advancing towards me on the pavement so not taking any chances I walked in the middle of the road much to the amusement of the local onlookers. I learned later that it was an African stag beetle which are the largest of that family but quite harmless. The local seaman's mission organised a bus trip to Nyali Beach on Sunday. It must be one of the finest beaches I have ever seen - shining white sands, tall swaying palm trees - you get the picture. There were six of the company's ships in port at the same time which was quite impressive
We called at two ports in Tanzania including Dar es Salaam but they were not particularly interesting for me and the ship returned to the U.K.
Blast from the Past
This is an extract from our forerunner 'Church in Kirton' of March 1986.
A Village Bakery
In 1839 (Victoria had been on the throne only two years, the Napoleonic Wars were still fresh in peoples' minds and the Crimean and Boer Wars were still some way off), a Mr. Dales built a lean to extension onto a house in Kirton High Street and started a bakery. After the next generation of Dales the name over the little shop front changed when Mr. Thompson married one of the Dales daughters and continued the business.
In 1926 Abraham Jessop, returning to his home area, bought the business from Hedley Thompson. Abraham, originally from an Algakirk farming family had been a baker all his working life, starting as an apprentice in Grantham, an improver in Stamford, he then managed a Sutterton bakery for a Mrs. Sturton before moving to Nottingham to start a successful business of his own.
The scene in the little bakehouse of 1926 was naturally very different from today's modern layout. An old 'flash oven' (where one built a fire of wood and coal inside the oven to create the heat before quickly raking out and rushing in the bread) was the only method of baking. Gas - supplied by the village only 'Kirton Gas Company' lit the early mornings and late nights. There was not piped water supply and the mixing, heavy work with large batches of glutinous dough was done by hand. Bakers were men with thick forearms, strong shoulders and sweaty foreheads in those days.
When electricity came to the village the first investment Abraham made was a machine to mix 20 stone of flour into bread dough, a fine piece of Birmingham engineering which is still going strong today over fifty years later. The 'flash oven' was replaced by a brick built two deck, steam tube fired by coke capable of baking successive batches of 200 loaves at a time. These ovens are still in daily use (although now oil converted) and no modern ovens can match them for old fashioned crusty bread.
Horse and carts delivered door-to-door, carts that carried 100 loaves inside (the outside being reserved for animal feed and egg collection which in those days was another side of the business).
Much to my surprise our first meeting for 2008 on the 31st January was very well attended. I thought the strong wind and cold would keep people at home but members kept coming through the door and we had to provide more chairs.
Our speakers for the evening were Shirley and Neville Bell from Glenhirst Nurseries and they showed various slides in conjunction with a quiz which proved quite challenging. We have booked Shirley and Neville several times before and they always give us an entertaining evening.
The quiz was won by Ann Pilbeam, second was Jan Degg and in third place was Rosemary Hutchinson.
The new programmes are available but the outing venues and dates will be arranged later.
27th March - Harrington Hall Gardens with head gardener Philip Madison.
News from The Chestnuts
Mrs Beven has settled in at The Chestnuts and she seems quite happy. We have not done a great deal this month, but we have the usual bingo on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there were two birthdays to celebrate this month Yvonne and Mr Norris and we all enjoyed some birthday cake with them.
Eileen put on a Saturday night bash with wine which was most appreciated. Bertha's grandson came to sing to us over Christmas and he was very good we hope to hear him sing again soon, Mrs Gilding and Mrs Mowbry are about the same.
Kirton Kid's Club is now open every school morning from 7.30 am to school - this includes breakfast and a drink, table games and escorting to school. Club staff stay in the playground and take the very young children into school.
After school, Club staff pick up the children from school and escort them to the youth centre. Here children play games, do activities and art or simply chill with the other children. They are given a snack half way through the session, which includes a drink, toast or biscuits Other foods are often served as a 'treat'. In nice weather the children enjoy many outside sorts and activities plus having snacks alfresco.
The club is also open many of the school holidays 8.30am to 3.30pm, these sessions include trips, workshops, sports and games.
Breakfast Club is £2.50 per child per session.
After school Club is £4.30 per child per session (with a 10% discount for related siblings).
The holiday club is £60.00 per child per week but 'days' can also be booked.
If you wish more information on any of the above please phone 722426 between 1 and 5.45 pm. School days.
Our meeting in March will be held in the Parish Church at 7.15 pm on Wednesday the 12th . This will take the format of a Lenten quiet evening and will be led by our area chaplain the Revd Jenny Dumat. Also on this evening a new member will be admitted to the Mother's Union. As is usual all are welcome to join us for this meeting in preparation for the great festival of Easter.
The World's Biggest Christmas Stocking
On Friday 14th December, the Children's Society set a new record for the Worlds Biggest Christmas Stocking. An adjudicator from the Guinness World Records measured it at 32.56m (in the leg) by 14.97m (heel to toe), smashing the last record set by a group in Canada just weeks ago. Thousands of knitted red squares were sent in by supporters who were sponsored to knit to raise money for the Children's Society. We beat our target for squares and raised a staggering £14,000 which will be used to ensure that every child has a good childhood.
The massive stocking weighed the equivalent of 5 reindeer, was as long as 3 double decker buses and we had nearly 1000 presents to fill it with. The presents will be given to children in our projects around the country.
It was a mammoth effort and so many people made enormously valuable contributions. Thanks are due to:
- Everyone who knitted red squares and sent them in
- All the volunteers who took squares away to sew and came along to the church in the last week
- The American InterContinental University for making the 'heel'
- The London College of Fashion for sewing squares together
- St Mary Magdalene, Munster Square, for the use of the church for sewing the stocking together
- The ExCel, London, for the use of their venue
- British Felt ltd for the donation of felt for the top of the stocking
- Fairway PSD ltd for the donation of boxes and presents and help with the logistics
- The children of Fosters Primary School for being our wonderful elves (which you can see in the picture)
Editor's Note: Many thanks to Sandra Davies and helpers from Kirton Craft group who knitted lots of squares.
Friends of King's Church Kirton
Offers You 'Open Doors'
On Wednesday evenings in Kirton Town Hall, Upsall Room, from the 12th March onwards. Come to relax and enjoy friendship - ALL AGES.
New to the UK? We'll help you to get to know us and introduce you to new friends. New to the village? We'll help you to get to know us and introduce you to new friends. Been here sometime? It will be good to meet you.
'Open Doors' is a time to share interests, tell us your stories, share problems or simply enjoy the company. Feel like coming to help Ð just turn up.
Remember, every Wednesday is your special 'Open Doors' evening 7 - 9 pm. Free to all, see you there.
Friends of King's Church, Kirton.
For further details or transport phone 01205 723259
Craft Group Book Club
We meet on the last Wednesday of every month at 1030 am having read a book selected by our members from a Lincolnshire Library list. Since every member chooses two books to read the range of literature is very wide so there is every possibility you would find a book that you enjoyed but wouldnÕt otherwise contemplate reading. It is very relaxed and not highbrow in the sense that members are just as likely to consider the weather or flowers or whatever turns them on and we all enjoy tea/coffee and biscuits.
For further details give Ross a call on 01205 724226
Sutterton Parent & Toddler Group
In Sutterton in the village hall, the parent & toddler group are desperately looking for new families to join the small but very friendly playgroup.
It runs every Monday from 9.30am until 11.00am, with tea and coffee available, with juice and biscuits for the children. Due to the recent new school year, the numbers attending have dropped alarmingly, and so Norma, who runs the meetings, is appealing for anyone with pre-school kids to come along and have a look.
All are welcome, and no pre-booking required. It only costs £1 to cover the cost of the drinks, so is reasonably priced too! Hope to see you there.
Kirton Craft and Hobbies
We are hoping to see more new faces this year. We meet every Friday 1.00pm - 3.00pm at Kirton Town Hall. Please come along and share your hobbies and ideas with us, or maybe we can help you get started in a new craft. We are a friendly bunch; make some new friends. Just drop in or for more information phone Elsie 722230
We are a voluntary led Parent & Toddler Group 0-3 years who meet at the Kirton Youth Centre Fridays 10am -12pm. Relax and meet new people, get involved in messy play and sing silly songs and nursery rhymes. Admission £1.50 per adult, children are FREE.
Lisa Simpson, Tel 724029
During January there have been 9 reports of antisocial behaviour. They were; 6 reports of inconsiderate behaviour, 1 report of throwing things and 2 reports of vehicle nuisance. The neighbourhood policing team has recently carried out an Alcohol Test Purchase to off licence premises within the Boston area. I am pleased to say that premises visited in Kirton did not sell alcohol during our test purchase.
You may remember that in the summer of 2007 Youth Services ran a 'Fair Play' football league to help reduce anti social behaviour. 'Fair Play' has started again with the 1st round being played on Friday 29th February. This event is being held at Kirton Middlecott every Friday evening. Teams playing are from all of the Boston areas including: Kirton, Swineshead, Fenside, Burgess Pit and more. Points will be given to and deducted from players depending on their behaviour on and off the pitch.
The neighbourhood policing team is available for talks to organisations on a variety of subjects from Crime Prevention to Road Safety and Drugs & Alcohol. If you would like us to visit your organisation or you would like more information please contact me.
PCSO Adam Eden - Kirton Police Station
Tel: 01205 722002 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome into God's family:
13th January - Susan Brittain
13th January - Francesca Rose Bent
13th January - India June Ivy Upsall
We commend to God's keeping:
10th January - Derek Keal
23rd January - Janet Blythe