How we reported the news in 1914
One hundred years ago, a special appeal made by the Belgian Refugees Committee for Spalding and District to local agriculturalists received a generous response.
A general fund, towards which many people from Spalding had contributed, was to go towards furnishing “in the barest manner possible” the Priory buildings and Ayscoughfee Hall in order for refugees to use them.
Local agriculturalists were also appealled to, being asked give a fixed sum of money each week towards the cost of maintaining the refugees. The committee were also in great need of clothing. They asked for donations of shirts and suits for boys, overcoats and suits for men, underclothing, boots and shoes, as well as dresses for women.
However, hobble skirts were barred as Belgian women were said to object to the style.
Meanwhile, the refugees who were in Long Sutton were said to be feeling “more at home” and were losing the “haunted expression” they arrived with. There was also a great improvement being seen in the health and spirits of the homeless Belgians.
The refugees were said to be “tidy, orderly and industrious” and it was said that had their countrymen not made a “plucky stand” they would have been in a terrible place.
They were said to be being well looked after.