Rasen Cadets are real pioneers


From the Market Rasen Mail of February 7, 1959

Market Rasen cadets who are the first in Lincolnshire to receive awards under a vigorous experimental training scheme sponsored by the Duke of Edinburgh.

In the picture from left are: Sgt D Fagge, Sgt M Allard, L/Bmdr J Morley, Staff Sgt N B goodyer, Bmdr E Smart and Bmdr P Arnett

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Seasonal snap from the Market Rasen Mail archives

Festive fun
Posted in News | Tagged , | Leave a comment


The AGM was on Thursday 7th October at the OPS, Dear Street, Market Rasen. The members voted in two new Trustees-Anne Marie Edge and Dianne Tuckett. The members also decided to suspend the monthly programme for 2022, there will be special events during the year. The membership subscription for October 2021-August 2022 will be £5.00.

If you wish to become a member please contact Anne Marie Edge the Society’s secretary.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

More Market Rasen Mail Stories

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Stories from Market Rasen Mail

Starting with this one of the old cottages in the Market Place which were listed as Grade 11 buildings and then knocked down. The Churchrooms were built on the site.

2. 1974, factory- Property built by Thomas Chapman, used by Mr Glew as a warehouse. He was a Corn Merchant. In 1974, Jackson Manufacturing Ltd, closed after a few months. It was making record players but could not complete with foreign imports. Now housing.

3. 1992, end of the livestock market in Rasen. Unoriginally in the Market Place. It moved to Linwood Road in 1930s, it was held on Wednesday. The sale of cattle stopped in the 1980s-only sheep.            Last market May 1992.

            All the pubs had extension for Tuesday’s market. The King’s Head and  the White Swan had a license to open in the afternoon for many years for farmers, buyers and butchers on a Wednesday.

            In 1981, due to the decline in business at the cattle markets, the Local Magistrates decided to axe Wednesday afternoon drinking by not giving the pubs their license.

4. Ransome & Blanchard 1920-30, Bootmakers and repairers. 13 Market Place listed 1922-1934 in trade directories. 1937 Herbert Ransome only.     Both men lived in Linwood Road.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Butcher, Baker and Candlestick maker; 900 years of heritage in a walk around town through the eyes of the tradesmen

Butcher, Baker and Candlestick maker

Walk and talk around the town, 900 years of history through the eyes of the traders and shopkeepers.


1. Lancasters family butchers is the oldest business in the town, GW Lancaster opened his shop at 47 Queen Street in 1892.

2. 1827, a local Farmer had a cow stolen, it’s hide was spotted in a tanner’s yard in Caistor. The Tanner said he got it from a butcher in Rasen, who had bought from the prisoner in the Red Lion. The prisoner Richard Balderson was transported to Tasmania for life.

3. 1920s, Mr Kennington, the Butcher was serving Mr Rhodes, the Solicitor, “Sir, who is responsible if a dog steals my meat?” “The owner” was the reply. The Butcher said “Then Sir, you owe me 3/- for the joint” The Solicitor paid there and then. Next day Mr Kennington received a bill for 4/6- for professional serves from Mr Rhodes.

4. A Cocking & Son 1930s

5. Butcher’s Arms in the Market Place surrounded by several butcher shops. In 1843, the trade directory listed Mr N D Lister as the landlord.

The Marrow Bone and Cleaver another pub associated with the butchers. In 1851 census, there are 12 Butchers listed in the town.

6. There were at least 2 slaughterhouses, site of the Library and in Chapman Street. The cattle markets were held in the Market Place and then in Linwood Road.

7. May 1954, the local Butchers had a dinner in the Gordon Arms to celebrate the end of meat rationing.

8. Market Rasen Meat C0mpany 1900s


9. Tudor times there were 5 millers in the town. Millers were sometimes bakers.

10. 1843, auction notice for the sale of a Corn Smock Windmill in Lammas Leas Road and a dwelling house, shop and bake house on the eastside of the Market Place- Mr George Johnson.

11. 1923, Harry Starbuck opens a bakers and confectioners with a small café at the rear in Union Street. The bakery was in Waterloo Street. The bakery moved to Union Street when Myers Bakers moved out. Refurbished in 1983. The shop closed in 2018, the bakery continues.

12. Burn Bros was also in Union Street. They were bakers but also grocers and butchers. As was the Cottingham Brothers.

13. 1959, Christmas Day, there was a football match Butchers & Bakers v Firemen, to raise money for the Firemen’s charity.

14. 1977, Starbucks and Cottingham Bros. as independent bakers were not on strike. They worked around the clock and baked 3x as normal.

15. 1917, Baker’s Night. 5 bakers were in front of the Tradesmen Exemption Tribunal for themselves and their staff. They were given exemption as long as they join the local volunteer unit. The newspaper asked who was going to provide the town with bread if all the bakers went to war!

16. 1818, Population of 1,160 only 38 men were allowed to vote. 1 Miller and 1 Bakers were wealthy enough to qualify. George Johnson and William Rawson.

Candlestick maker

17. Difficult to say who was a candle stick maker. Blacksmiths, Whitesmiths, Ironmongers and Tin workers. Later, the drapers and department stores would sell candles and sticks. Now it is done on the internet!

18. Candles- 1891, the old candle factory in John Street became the Masonic Hall.

19. Tudor wills and probates of the residents shows that there was at least 1 ironmonger and I tallow chandler in the town. In 1822-35, the Trade directories list Mr. Clark and his sons as Tallow chandlers.

 20. Not all candlestick makers but in 1851 census-

          1 Ironmonger & tinplate maker; 1 Ironmonger; 1 Ironmonger & whitesmith; 1 brazier, tinman & Ironmonger; 1 whitesmith; 2 tinplate workers; 12 blacksmiths.

21. 1856, the first issue of the Market Rasen Mail, an advert for J Woffindin, Queen Street- Whitesmith, gunsmith, bell-hanger, manufacturer of tin, zinc, copper goods. Kitchen ranges. In 1868 moved to 2/3 Market Place. John died in 1884, and the family continued to run the business until 1907 when it was sold to Walter Coates.

22. Walter Coates He was born in Hull into a family of Whitesmiths. He worked in the family business until he bought the shop in Rasen. By 1937, he had the shop and a warehouse in John Street. He died in 1964, his son continued into the 1980s.

23. Thompson & son 1861-1930 in the town John and son William. Several properties in the town, last was 22 Queen Street. Advert in 1933 listed H Thompson as the “Lamp people” lamp fittings and incandescent mantles

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Famous people who were born in Market Rasen

Famous people born in Market Rasen
People are famous for lots of reasons- good and brave actions in wartimes; achievements in their profession; murder and crime; having famous sons. Or in 2021 just having your name on the social media websites.

  1. Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen, Anne Tasker, 1940-2018. The daughter of the Butcher Harry. She was a Labour peer and Speaker of the house of Lords.

2. Sir Edward Tasker JP, OBE, 1910-1989, Harry’s brother was a JP and awarded OBE for his photographic collection and service to the Community in Barnsley. He was a Chemist and Photographer

3.  Dr John Conolly, 1794-1866. The Doctor who is remembered for his pioneering work with patients with mental health problems.

4. Francis Cartwright He murdered Rev Storre in 1602 and escaped justice to Europe, pardoned and returned home. In 1611 he murdered Mr Rigg. This time he was sent to prison for 1yr for manslaughter.

AN old illustration from the account of the Storr Murder

5. Miss Ann Carr, daughter of builder, 1783 – 1841. She was a British evangelist who founded the Female Revivalist Society. An offshoot of the Primitive Methodists, the Society used female and male preachers.

6. (Henry) Rayner Barton, 1893-1966. A son from a family of Doctors. He became famous in 1930/40/50s as Film actor, screen writer and novelist.


7. Wilson Boys, sons of the local Tailor

Charles H Wilson, CBE. 1914-1991 .Charles Wilson was born in 1914. He went to De Aston and then onto Jesus College Cambridge, where he gained two first class degrees. He was a fellow of the College until his death in 1992. His first research was into Anglo-Dutch commercial relationships. After the war he was Bursar  at Jesus College and was a university lecturer in history, then was promoted to reader in modern economic history in 1964. Apart from his lecture work, he did a great of research. One of these was an academic history of the unilever company. There was other papers into other companies. In 1965 he was appointed Professor of Modern History until 1977, when he seconded to the European University Institute in Florence as professor of History and Civilization. He retired in 1981 and was made a CBE. He died in 1991.

Percy Wilson, 1904-1986. Percy was born in 1904. He went to De Aston School. He was appointed inspector of schools in 1927. After the war he was promoted staff inspector for English in 1945 and then in 1947 he was awarded as Chief Inspector and then in 1957 senior chief Inspector until 1965. After he retired from the civil service he was appointed Director of Education of the Bank Education Service until 1969. He died in 1986.

8. L/Col John Alexander Baty OBE, 1909-1982. A surgeon R.A.M.C., awarded OBE in 1945. 1940-1946, he was an Army Surgeon in a Mobile Surgical Unit in Burma. Doctor Jack, (to his patients) was awarded an OBE for his services to medicine. He wrote a book called Surgeon in the Jungle in 1979.

9. John Scupham, 1904-1990, son of Roger, a builder/stonemason. He was a teacher, Controller of BBC, and an early supporter of the Open University.

10.Thomas Parker 1828-1863.

He was born in Market Rasen in 1828, died in 1863. One of the Founder members of the Lincoln Co-Operative Society

 11.  Ralph Ringrose, 1896-1971

Leading Fireman Bravery Award

12. Kenneth Smith 1920-1945

13. Rev. George Clayton Tennyson, Rector of Somersby and Bag Enderby. 1778-1831, the eldest son of George Tennyson but his brother Charles inherited from their father and built Bayons Manor. George’s son Alfred is best known as Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate.

14. Dame Eliza Mary Stephenson 1834-1902, nee Bond, daughter of James and Charlotte Bond.  Drapers in Market Rasen. Eliza Mary married William H Stephenson and they financed many libraires in Newcastle, which were the first in Europe to use the Melvil Dewey’s Decimal Classification System. The Lady Stephenson Library open after her death in her memory.

15.  Father Francis Willoughby Brewster was born in Market Rasen in 1770, he attended a Catholic “underground” school run by Dr George Shuttleworth. He went to Europe to study and joined The Carmelite Order. He returned to Market Rasen in 1796 when it was safe to be a Catholic Priest in England. The new Catholic Chapel “Holy Rood and presbytery was built in 1824. Father Brewster was the Priest in charge and bee-keeper (over 40 hives). He continued to serve his community until he died in 1849. He is buried in the sanctuary.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

1971 Scrapbook of Market Rasen Mail newspaper cuttings

Hyde’s shop was one of several shops and businesses which closed in 1971.

The day the excavator hit the railway bridge

Rasen’s New carpark for Festival Hall

Dr Shegog retired after 50 years

Postal Strike and new phone call STD

Famous wedding at Hoy Rood

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Rubbish or Treasure

Treasure or Rubbish

One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure as the saying goes. In 2021, it should be person but that does not scan properly!

In October 2016, a local detectorist gave the members a very interesting talk about his finds.

2020, several items were found in Morley Park, coins, buttons, 2 lead musk balls and an aeroplane

Other items in the Collection once considered rubbish.

1. Pottery from the Roman period. These bits of Roman Grey ware pottery were found in a garden in Linwood Road.

Roman coins were found by the River Rase, unfortunately they were stolen in 2013.

Clay pipe and lead nail were also found nearby.

Clay pipe bowls were thrown away when broken but now are collected, especially the highly decorated ones.

3. Some Council documents were rescued from a skip. As was the town sign now in the OPS courtroom.

4. Many of the bottles in our Collection were rescued from rubbish trips, skips and bins. The local children would smash the Codd bottles for the marbles.

5.  These items were donated to RHS back in 2013. The owner dropped them off at Rasen Hub. The receptionist decided that they were just rubbish and binned the lot. Luckily Stella was on hand to rescue them.

6. A bag of WLDC parking tokens were donated to RHS in 2013, the owner had dug them up while gardening.

? Why were they Buried?

7. I was shopping in the market and needed a plastic bag. The stallholder gave me this bag. It was a shop from the past-John Ellis of King Street, 1980s.

Some items were found in the soil, some rescued from skips and bins but all kept for a reason.

This photograph of a potato growing in a metal ring was taken in 1950s. The person was so amused by the find that he/she took this photograph and 70 years later we still have the photograph not the potato!

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Music and Drama Societies

Market Rasen Choral Society, then the Market Rasen & District Choral Society

1892 Kelly’s directory listed the Market Rasen Choral Society, the Hon Secretaries were J Drakes and AJ Tillet, 1 King Street.

1906, 25th Grand Evening Concert in the Town Hall on February 8th , doors open at 7.30pm

1913 , 33rd Season- Handel’s Oratorio Samson at the Town Hall.

1987, The first concert on 16th December was of “Christmas Music”- Market Rasen and District Choral Society, new name.

Market Rasen Amateur Operatic Society

1922 Kelly’s directory listed the Hon Sec. as FA Carter

1923, February-

The Yeoman of the Guard at the Central Electric Cinema

Market Rasen Town Band

The town band has been called several different names over the years. It is believed to have been formed in 1880s. The band stopped during the Second World War, and was reformed in 1966. More details and photographs on their website-wwwmarketrasenband.co.uk

Market Rasen Amateur Dramatic Society

1932, listed as their 12th performance. in 1930 Kelly’s directory the Hon Sec. is R.R.Cary, 11 Market Place.

Market Rasen Orchestral Society

1922 Kelly’s directory listed the Society and the Hon Sec. was F.Coxon

1937 Kelly’s directory listed the Society and the Hon Sec. was George Garner, Caistor Road.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Christmas in Market Rasen

  1. The Mayor’s Charity event and market has been cancelled this year. In the past, it has been the start of the Christmas celebrations in the town.
Christmas card by ASH BUCKINGHAM

The town’s Christmas tree never looked like the painting above! Market Rasen Children’s Christmas Tree Fund has been fund raising and providing a Christmas since the 1950s.

Market Rasen Mail 2018

Market Rasen & District Lions have been providing the Sleigh for Santa’s visits around town. Market Rasen Mail 2018

The Salvation Army provides free Christmas lunch to anyone who needs help. This year it will be a takeaway service.

The Rotary Shoebox Appeal with Market Rasen Mail was launched in 1994. Thousands of boxes of goodies have been shipped to Eastern Europe-orphanages, hospitals, women’s refuges and hostels for the elderly. But not in 2020.

Boxing Day Racing has been changed this year to 30th December. The meet draws thousands of visitors in a normal year.

Carol services and concerts have also been cancelled. In the Past there have been many concerts in town.

1913, Market Rasen Choral Society in 33rd season. December 11th in the Town Hall sang Handel’s Oratorio Samson. Tickets 2/6 & 1/-.

2016, Market Rasen and District Choral Society “A Christmas Wassail”

1914, Report in the Market Rasen Mail – Market Rasen Brewery Company comments on the new taxation on BEER.

1918, November 30th Market Rasen Mail reported that Private J Brown is home, he had been a POW and was the first to return home in time for Christmas.

1922, the Market Rasen Amateur Orchestral Society’s Grand concert was in  January.

1932, Market Rasen Amateur Dramatic Society presented at the Town Hall Cinema for 3 nights- “The Middle Watch”

1935, the postponed Christmas Fat Stock Show.

1943, The Church Army Fellowship of War Workers entertained 70 men and   women to a Christmas Party.

1944, Advert for shopping Rasen.

1950’s The Pig Club dinner at the Greyhound. Locals formed Pig Clubs to help  with rearing and costs. Then they shared the meat. The club is listed in the 1900 Kelly’s directory.

1966, Market Rasen Band was reformed after 25 years. It had been called different names in the past, staring in 1880s. more information and  photographs see their website. www.marketrasenband.co.uk

1970, Market Rasen Amateur Dramatic Society presented a comedy by Arthur Lovegrove called “Goodnight Mrs Puffin” at the Modern School.

1987, The first concert on 16th December was of “Christmas Music”- Market Rasen and District Choral Society, new name.

2016, Market Rasen and District Choral Society “A Christmas Wassail”

More information on the concerts and plays under Sport and Recreational clubs and Societies.

Market Rasen Choral Society

Market Rasen & District Choral Society

Market Rasen Band

Market Rasen Amateur Dramatic Society

Market Rasen Amateur Operatic Society

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Remembrance Sunday Parades

On the 11th November 1918 the guns went silent, and in July 1919 the Great War was over. Over the next couple of years, there were several different Remembrance Events in the Country.

In the 1922, there was a large gathering for the service, dedication and unveiling of the town War memorial.

WW11 did not stop the Parades?

Market Rasen Mail advert November 1943
Market Rasen Mail 1963
Parade in 2014 to mark the start of WW1

Since then, there have been Remembrance Parades and services every year up until this year. Due to Covid-19, there will not be a parade on 8th November, only a quiet and small service on 11th November.

Information from Market Rasen Mail

Posted in News | Leave a comment

A trip down memory lane of RHS outings. RHS members over the years have enjoyed many trips and outings.

Some were local evening and afternoon trips, while others were all day outings further afield. Afternoon/ Evening trips 2008, a visit to see Brian Ayer’s farm to view his collection.

Autumn afternoon visit to the Mausoleum and Brocklesby Park on the Earl of Yarborough’s estate.

2009, an evening trip to the Brackenborough deserted Medieval village. They were having problems with Badgers.

Trips to Lincoln

Tour of the castle, with Mal as our guide.

Back room Tour of the Lincolnshire archives

Lincoln cathedral library with David Oliver

Tour of Lincolnshire life museum

2019, Laying Poppies for the Canadian airmen who were killed in 1944 in Middle Rasen at the Bomber Command Centre.

2011, an evening walk around Middle Rasen.

Several evening trips to Caistor. Interesting walk and talks with the late Don Morgan.

Over the years there has been the opportunity to visit local sites- St. Thomas Church tour and another visit to view the Parish documents before they went to the Lincolnshire Archives. De Aston school tour of the old school and later visit to their new museum.

The refurbished Railway Station, a behind the scenes tour at the Race course and the Old Police Station tour and talk (before it was open to everyone)

Plus, RHS members have given walking tours around the town.

Further afield day trips

Day trip to Southwell workhouse and on to the Minister. We lost the wing mirror of the mini bus on the way home.

Barton upon Humber, Wilderspin National school, and then on to the Rope walk.

Alford House Museum tour and afternoon tea.

Horncastle walking tour of the town back streets, and Roman wall in library.

Grimsby, the Time Trap and Town Hall.

Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum and Kinema in the woods.

Louth walking tour of town, interesting but very cold.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

RHS 15 years review

15 years ago, this month the RHS had its first meeting. It was formed in response to the changing times of the town, Heritage was the buzzword for 2005.

In 2009, the society took on the late Brian Ayers collection and the hunt for a home for it began. The collection continued to grow. Today, some of the larger items are in storage in Caistor and Claxby.

Many of the smaller items are displayed in display cabinets or on walls around town. This cabinet was in the WLDC until it closed.

Other places to find our artifacts are; the Doctors surgery, OPS, the March Hare, the Football club, the Old railway station, the Library and Jossals.

We achieved Charity status in 2011.

Over the years, the society has held exhibitions on the following topics:

WW1, WW11, Tudors, 1860s, Christmas past and present, Transport, shops and trade, post office, churches, schools, chemist, RHS, and Crime, law and order.

2009 The beginning of W11 exhibition in the church rooms

2013 the 1860s exhibition in the Church rooms

They have been in the Library, OPS, St Thomas church room, the Festival Hall, the Hub, and at the Race course.

RHS has worked with the town council and other societies in joint events;

Walking festival, churches festival, Christmas fetes, and peace day centenary.

2014 RHS supported St Thomas in the Church Festival weekend.

An exhibition on shops and trade with art and heritage centre in Caistor. See website for more details.

Members have given talk to other RHS members and to other societies:

Co-op, Methodist, WW1, 1818 poll book, Railway Station, Pubs and inns, Magic lanterns, Lincoln Cathedral, Postcards and the Post Office,

Family history, Personal projects, and RHS, to name a few.

We have produced several Booklets

WW1: Middle Rasen: 1818 Market Rasen: Crime, law and order: Market Rasen Grade 11 listed buildings:

Railway station with MRSAG.

Map, walking tour of town

Virtual tour with MR BIG.   2014 RHS and MR BIG won The Flora Murray Award for the virtual tour.


This website is 5 years this Spring, although the society first website was launched in 2008. In June 2020- over 700 hits and three inquiries about RHS. Just some of the things the Society has been involved in during the past 15 years.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

WW11 V E Day talk that never happened due to the lockdown

May meeting was to be a talk on WW11, Market Rasen and VE Day.

Front page of 12th May 1945 MRM
Unfortunately, it and the exhibition in the OPS has been cancelled due to the lockdown. The talk was on WW11, using the information from the RHS archives, Rosalind Boyce booklet, Market Rasen Mail, and locals. Before the lockdown, several residents offered RHS information and artefacts on POWs, the Home-guard, evacuees, and men who died. Some of the tropics I was going to talk about.
Evacuees to Market Rasen
The local district council conducted a survey in the summer of 1939, a list of the properties in Market Rasen, and number of evacuees the owners were willing to home. The book was rescued from a skip a few years ago. It is an interesting book, without any dates! It is kept in the OPS, if any member wishes to see it after lockdown. see Raseheritage.org.uk for more information on evacuees.

POW and army camps in the Rasen area
The German POW documents, MRM reports on soldiers in the area. Willingham Hall POW camp, displaced people, meat rations lists from butchers Lancaster.
The German POW documents are kept in the OPS, if any member wishes to see it after lockdown. Raseheritage.org.uk for more information.

Air crashes- Middle Rasen Canadian 1944, Francis Cocking 1941, Lancaster bomber 1944. Raseheritage.org.uk for more information- Middle Rasen.

CWGC graves in the town cemetery
Market Rasen- Sergeant Pilot F Cocking, unknown airmen, Polish soldier, Captain Nicholson and Thomas H Holmes.
Separate email and will be added to Raseheritage.org.uk soon

The Home Guard, and the invasions exercise 1942

There was an active Home Guard in Market Rasen during WW11. The 8th Lindsey battalion of the Home Guard.

It had been involved in the Combined Military & Civil Exercise in 1942. There is a report in the MRM on the day in the Library. Major RF Bradford was commanding Officer in Rasen.

There was a Farewell parade of over 600 men held in Market Rasen December 1944.
Figure 2 1943 MRM


VE Day celebrations

Report in MRM, photograph of Street parties.

2 Babies born on 8.5.1945 Victor Alan Woodthorpe and Richard David Dean.

Figure 4 Prospect Place VE Day Street party 1945

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Methodism in Market Rasen

Member Ann Lillywhite gave us a very informative talk supported by photographs of the various chapels in and around the town on the history of Methodism on the evening of 1st August. This was well supported by members and guests, and proved to be a good discussion point.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Our visit to International Bomber Command Centre at Canwick on 4th July

Looking through the spire

Our trip to International Bomber Command Centre at Canwick was in glorious sunshine and our guide Phil gave us an excellent tour highlighting the history of bomber command and its missions, he also told us about the long journey to establish a fitting memorial to the many men who lost their lives in this crucial part of WWII and many others since that conflict who came under Bomber Command. The spire is thought provoking especially with Lincoln Cathedral as a focal point through it; the many, too many, names on the engraved panels are sobering.  

The exhibition inside the Chadwick building was well balanced and offers new ways of learning about the lives of the crews and their support teams and how their actions affects everybody, both at home and in the axis countries.

Caroline had researched the crew of a Canadian flight that crashed at Braemar Farm in Middle Rasen and she located them on the panels and left a small wreath with the crews names on.

A very informative day.

The spire and panels

Posted in News | Leave a comment

A great evening at the Racecourse

Our thanks go to Sue Lucas for a very informative and fun visit to the racecourse on 2nd May, we learnt lots about the history of the racecourse and also got to see the usually off limits places like the jockeys room. Sue also had a slide show for us while we enjoyed a warm drink and biscuits. A very enjoyable evening.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

RHS Goes to the Old Railway Station

February 7th Evening visit to the Old Railway Station

“The Old Railway Station is fully restored and full of History” that is what it says on the leaflet, so members of Rase Heritage Society went to check it out.

The historical displays are very interesting as too is the information about how the building was restored.

RHS members David H and David H reading the exhibition panels

It is open Monday to Friday 9.30-3pm, for more information

www. marketrasenstation.com

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Widow Smith came calling – December 2018

Widow Smith

On Thursday 6th December 2018 the Society was visited by Widow Smith who came to tell us how things were in Market Rasen back in 1818.  Widow Smith had fallen on hard times following the death of her husband, William, who had been a licensed  hawker  and having failed to get help from the Parish she was making ends meet through having a stall in the market place where she sold what was left of William’s trade.  Taking us through the social and political events of 1818 in Market Rasen month by month, she gave us an insight into how the town was governed at that time and introduced us to many of the people of the town and the events that were most important in their lives – births, marriages and deaths.  She had taken in Elizabeth Sanderson, a young unmarried servant woman who, in the mores of the time, had disgraced herself and was pregnant.  This act of kindness told us a lot about Widow Smith being a woman who identified with those who, like her, had to cope with difficult challenges in their lives.  Elizabeth helped Widow Smith with her stall.  She gave birth to Sarah in December.  The Church was important in the town not just for its religious role but because the parish was the unit of local government so the Vicar, Rev Matthew Barnett, was a significant figure as was John James Clarke, one of the churchwardens. John was a draper in the business of his father, Richard.  Also prominent was Zephaniah Barton a doctor (often referred to as surgeon).  He was a friend of the Tennyson family who were also prominent in the town.  The roles of the solicitors Thomas Rhodes and Mr Vine were important.  Widow Smith’s circumstances were such that she was not one to take kindly to what she saw as the petty restrictions place on her by those who thought themselves ‘better’ than her because of their superior social standing so her dealings with ‘the great and the good’ of the town were never easy, she treating them with as much suspicion as they did her.

For this very interesting insight into the early nineteenth century life of Market Rasen we must thank RHS member Caroline Foster who researched the times of Widow Smith and introduced her to us through time travel. A very enjoyable meeting to end 2018.

Posted in News | Leave a comment