From our archives: the news this week in years gone by

1981: Happy retirement: South Lincolnshire Farmer's Union district organiser Alf Witherington enjoys the cigar he was given as part of a grand retirement send-off. Photo: SG080111-889TW
1981: Happy retirement: South Lincolnshire Farmer's Union district organiser Alf Witherington enjoys the cigar he was given as part of a grand retirement send-off. Photo: SG080111-889TW



• SPALDING’S Corn Exchange was transformed into a picturesque snow scene for young farmers.

More than 220 people attended the annual ball of the Spalding and District Young Farmers’ Club.

The dance, arranged by a special committee, allowed the hard working farmers and their families to unwind and have fun with good food and entertainment.

• MEMBERS of the Spalding Urban Council accused British Rail of taking the town for an expensive ride.

Ratepayers were expected to pay a £16,000 subsidy to British Rail in order to keep just one passenger train a day running between Spalding and Peterborough.

One councillor said if they agreed to the deal they should all be “kicked out of the job with a big boot.”

• TRADERS attacked county council officials at a meeting at Holbeach Chamber of Trade with accusations of neglecting the business potential of their small towns and villages.

‘What was wrong with Holbeach?’ was the question asked as they talked of the need for light industry there.

A lack of proper sewerage was given as a reason for the lack of interest.


• FARMER’S Union district organiser Alf Witherington knew how to bow out in style, as he celebrated his retirement in a grand fashion.

The general secretary of the National Union of Agricultural and Allied Workers, Jack Boddy, presented farewell gifts to the retiring local district organiser for south Lincolnshire.

A cheque for £291, collected by union members, was handed over, along with a cigar containing 2lbs of tobacco.

• A MEETING about how to help a Vietnamese family get a permanent home was turned on it’s head by a handful of hard-hearted villagers objecting to the move.

The hostile feelings in Sutton St Edmund eventually prompted refugee reception centre official Alan Burgess to storm out in disgust.

Despite the hostilities by some of the local villagers, one South Holland councillor offered a caravan to the home-deprived refugees.

• A LONG on-going saga of traffic problems for the people of Spalding’s Albion Street was nearing an end.

Barriers blocking the road were put in place due to demolition plans for a building on the street, but one barrier was removed the previous Christmas.

Residents still had to wait for a final verdict for the demolition, but things had already vastly improved.


• MORE than 80 South Holland youngsters went footy crazy at the Castle Sports Complex in Spalding with an organised football fun day.

Children enjoyed three sessions for ages five to 14 years and were divided up into teams to battle out various football challenges.

It provided a great chance to burn off some Christmas calories for the youngsters.

• A FAMILY had a lucky escape after their car left the road and landed upside down in a dyke at Wash Road, Kirton.

Iris Pollard was trapped inside the vehicle, but a team of four firemen and two ambulance men managed to free her.

She was treated for a broken arm at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, but wasn’t detained, while the driver David and his wife Jacqueline escaped with only bruises and a cut on the arm.

• DISTRICT councillors gave the thumbs down to a Fulney Drove man’s plan to run a mobile homes park to help tackle the homeless problem.

South Holland’s planning committee refused an application by Mr J Tyrrell for ten mobile homes, an access road, car parking and landscaping on land near his home.

The plan was to let the caravans to people temporarily without a house or council home, but was rejected as open countryside with planned industrial building was nearby.


• BOYS on Spalding Grammar School’s rugby teams slipped into their best dresses to raise money for their school.

The group of queens managed to raise around £700, which went towards school and gym equipment.

The head of rugby, Mr Oldham, said the 27 pupils taking part had to sign a contract so they couldn’t back out, and were required to stay in drag all day.

• A RESEARCHER dedicated to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease was finally credited with a major part in a medical breakthrough, four years after his death.

Jonny Mace, who died at just 27-years-old, made a great contribution to the medical community after proving his theory of a drug that stops the development of Alzheimers.

The reams of research discovered at his flat provided some potential for medical findings, but it was the work he did towards his PhD that proved invaluable to medical researchers.

• TINSLEY Foods dropped a New Year bombshell when they announced that 90 jobs were to be axed from their Holbeach St Marks site.

The redundancies left a permanent workforce of just under 1,400.

The news came after a rollercoaster ride for the food giant, which had shed 50 jobs the previous year, closed one of its three factories and then announced the creation of 120 new jobs in the summer.


• A CONSERVATIONIST farmer gave a talk to South Holland Growers’ Club members on the changes he had witnessed in the bird population over the past 20 years. Nicholas Watts, from Deeping St Nicholas, had been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list for services to farming and conservation in Lincolnshire.

Despite the decrease in population of the birds, he said it had shown signs of improving in recent times.

• A LIFE-sized statue in memory of Donington-born explorer Matthew Flinders was unveiled as part of a Fens Interpretation Project and Donington Market Place enhancement scheme.

Relatives of the explorer, including his great-great-granddaughter and great-great-great-nephew, attended the unveiling ceremony for the statue made by Judith Holmes Drewry.

Flinders was the first person to circumnavigate and chart Australia in 1795.

• PLANS for a new cemetery in Holbeach was finally given the go-ahead by district council planners, after much waiting.

Holbeach Parish Council applied for permission to change the use of agricultural land on Hallgate into a burial ground.

The parish council had worked tirelessly to find a suitable place for an extension for their existing cemetery, but had been thwarted at every turn before this.