ONE reader was delighted to see the old print of the River Welland in last week’s Spalding Guardian.
Jean Hemstock, of Quadring, not only recognised the print but her old family home in the picture that had been unearthed at a garage sale by Chris Gannon of Moulton.
Chris had no idea of the print’s age but when he spotted a sailing vessel on the left-hand side of the picture he thought it must be of some age and might be of interest to a local association.
Jean, whose family had lived in the left-hand part of the house for 70 years until about two years ago, can tell us exactly when the print was produced because she has one exactly the same, as do two other family members, and it is dated 1834 on the reverse side.
She said: “I can’t tell you when the house was separated but at one time we were led to believe it was the manse for the chapel at Moose Hall. We lived at 12 and the one next door had a stable and a place to put a carriage or trap. It also had a cellar with back stairs, whereas we didn’t.
“The house was in the family until about two years ago when my sister died and a lot of the features are still intact, such as doors and handles and lovely mouldings around the ceilings, whereas number 13 was sold several times and has been altered. We were loath to let the house go.”
Jean (79) was aged two when her parents Frederick and May Vellam moved into the house and she stayed there until she married.
l Reader Keith Seaton was also interested in the print and managed to find a copy in the book, Lincolnshire in 1836.
Keith says: “In The History of Spalding by G F Gooch, published in 1940, he tells us that the bridge in the 17th century was known as Johnson’s bridge as one of the early Johnsons lived opposite in the house now known as Victoria House before the family went to live in Ayscoughfee Hall.
“Afterwards, the house was the residence of a Doctor Dinham and for over a century the bridge was known as Dinham’s Bridge. A wooden structure, it fell down on January 26, 1837, but it was re-erected in the year of Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne and was named Victoria Bridge.
“It was rebuilt in 1844 and then replaced by an iron structure which has also now been replaced by the one that is in place today.”
Keith adds that he is not sure if Spalding Gentlemen’s Society has a copy of the print, but feels sure its members would like it if Chris is willing to donate it, or alternatively it could go into Ayscoughfee Museum.