Stamford celebrates a wealth of history
New investment and funding for the town is helping to develop local talent in the arts, with wildlife also set to benefit. By Kate Chapman.
It Is one of the first buildings many people see on their arrival in Stamford, and now the town’s historic railway station has been receiving some welcome TLC, thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers.
The Friends of Stamford Station (FoSS) have been working hard at the site as part of East Midlands Railways’ Station Adopters scheme. The initiative encourages volunteers to take care of station sites and report issues such as graffiti, vandalism, trip hazards and other defects, as well as improve their environments for the benefit of the town and station users.
Last year FoSS, which relies solely on donations and grants, overhauled the embankment area on platform one and installed several flower planters at the entrance and on the platforms. The group now has plans to rewild a large car park area to the west of the station to encourage wildlife and insects.
Group member David Biggs said: “Stamford Station is a historic Grade II listed building and has one of the finest examples of an iron footbridge linking the two platforms together.
“As adopters, we want to try and enhance the station for everyone; it’s an important listed building and a gateway to the town.
“We want it to give the right impression to people coming on and off the trains, so that they feel like they’re coming into a pleasant environment.
“Stamford, like many stations, isn’t staffed all day – the ticket office is open for the commuter rush and then closes around lunchtime, so there is often no one around.
“So far we’ve completed the flower beds on the embankment and planted it up with pretty flowers, which garnered a lot of positive comments from people who pass through the area.”
Volunteers Roy and Rosemary Candish began tending the station back in 2013. More people became involved last year when Rachel Roffe ran a recruitment drive through Stamford U3A. David joined FoSS along with his wife Debbie, John and Jayne Griggs and Paul Pepper. Stamford town councillor Amanda Wheeler and clerk Patricia Stuart-Mogg also support the initiative.
Built by the Syston and Peterborough Railway, a subsidiary of the Midland Railway, Stamford station opened in 1848. It was designed by the architect Sancton Wood to resemble a small Tudor manor house.
Other enhancement projects undertaken by FoSS at the station include the construction of a large bug hotel, general weed and vegetation control and ongoing litter picking, sweeping and painting.
David said the group has several more projects planned for 2023. As well as plans to rewild a large car park area, where the bug hotel is situated, it’s also hoped to improve signage for directions into Stamford town and install some historic photographs around the station building to add a little bit of historic interest.
FoSS has also made approaches to the relevant bodies to try and improve accessibility at the station too.
If you would like to donate to FoSS, email firstname.lastname@example.org
ST VALENTINE ROAD RACE
The Stamford Striders’ flagship event takes place in February when it hosts its St Valentine 30K road race.
The prestigious run, now in its 29th year, is always held on the Sunday closest to St Valentine’s Day – this year falling on Sunday 12th February, when 750 people are expected to compete.
Club chairman Robin Ball said the event draws runners from far and wide, with many returning year on year to take part.
A club race, organised by runners for runners, Robin adds that the 30K (18-mile) race is famed for its enthusiastic marshals and efficient organisation. It is also recognised nationally as a tough event, providing a good training race for those planning a spring marathon.
As an added bonus, those runners in a genuine relationship with another competitor can register as a Valentine Pair to receive a box of chocolates from the race organisers and the chance to win a couple’s prize through their combined times.
Stamford Striders is a friendly club, open to all abilities of runners, with about 260 adult members plus a well-supported junior section, for those aged 9 to 17 years, taking the total group to over 300.
Members run socially and competitively at all levels, and new runners are welcome to try a couple of sessions for free before signing up.
Runners meet for social sessions on Tuesday nights, when they split into four groups, led and tailed by UKA qualified running leaders. The club also offers weekly track and hill sessions and puts on a free ten-week beginners’ course once a year.
“I can’t stress enough how beneficial running is for the body and mind,” adds Robin. “Obviously it’s good for us physically, but it’s great for mental health too – even on those nights when you’re thinking ‘shall I get up from the sofa?’
“If you do go out, when you get back, 99.9 times out of 100 you will be so pleased that you did.
Whatever’s going on in your life, you get a real sense of personal achievement – and that’s extremely positive.
“I run alone and with the club, and it’s great to go out with others – it’s quite a sight when there are up to 100 of us all out together!”
For more information on the 30K race and Stamford Striders visit the website stamfordstriders.org
A small beach area has been created alongside Stamford’s Millstream to encourage more people to interact with the waterway, while other enhancements have been made to improve vegetation, water flow and water quality.
Locally sourced gravel has been used to make a small, sloping shoreline on a stretch in The Meadows, enabling people to get closer to the water and allowing children to get in and play. More gravel has also been added to the stream’s bed to improve the habitat for aquatic wildlife.
Further down, the weir has been replaced with a rock ramp, mostly constructed using rock retrieved from the regraded banks. The weir feature itself was collected by Pride of Stamford Litter Pickers to be upcycled into planters for the town.
Patricia Oliveira Antunes, Welland Project Manager for the East Mercia Rivers Trust, said Brushwood faggot berms have been added at other points of the stream to narrow the channel and improve water flow. Planted coir roll has also been installed in a different section of the stream to improve habitat for wildlife.
Patricia added: “In this project, further length of coir roll planted with native British species was installed along the concrete bank on Bath Row. The coir roll joins the vegetation where the weir used to be to form a berm that gives a more natural look to the channel and adds sinuosity, improving the flow.
“The idea is to create a more natural looking stream, which is more pleasing to look at.
“We do hope that people enjoy the area, and once the vegetation is more established, will be very happy with it.”
This project was funded by the Environment Agency, Stamford Town Council and Harry Skells Estate Trust. The work was carried out by the Environment Agency and the Welland Rivers Trust (now East Mercia Rivers Trust). Stamford Millstream Group – a group of local volunteers who look after the millstream – has also been active in other parts of the millstream, working alongside the two agencies.
HISTORIC WEDDING VENUE
If you’re hosting a small, intimate wedding or planning a larger ceremony, Stamford Town Hall could be just the place to celebrate your unforgettable day.
Built in 1776, the beautifully restored Grade II listed Georgian Town Hall is situated in the heart of the town. As a former Court House, the building is full of character and original features and provides a perfect backdrop for wedding photographs.
Stamford Town Hall has undergone an extensive renovation programme entirely in keeping with its historic heritage. To complement this important initiative, it is now licensed as a prestigious venue for the solemnisation of Civil Marriage and Civil Partnerships, with both The Mayor’s Parlour and Court Room available for hire.
For further information visit stamfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or to arrange a no-obligation viewing call 01780 753808.
ADDING A TOUCH OF SPARKLE TO STAMFORD
Husband and wife team Ercan and Carli Onguc recently launched their new store, Lanes Fine Jewellery, in the former Clarks’ building in Red Lion Square. Rugby legends Martin Johnson and Dorian West were among the guests who came to support the launch.
The fine jewellery boutique specialises in diamonds and precious stones, with a wide range of designs in wedding, engagement and eternity rings, as well as diamond necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Offering bespoke diamond engagement rings, the expert team are on hand to help create designs which are exclusive to customers. Clients can select the stone and setting to create their dream ring.
The owners, who also have a successful flagship store in Leicester, share a long history and passion for the jewellery business, as well as having an established reputation for creating and selling stunning jewellery.
Having previously worked in Bond Street and Hatton Garden, Ercan has many connections and access to the world’s rarest and most precious diamonds and has been immersed in the world of jewellery from a young age as his family are jewellers in Istanbul.
We aim to offer something new to Stamford in terms of style and value with a high-end feel,” said Carli.
“Whilst our jewellery is high-end, we offer exceptional value for money and pride ourselves on a very bespoke, friendly service.”
For more information visit www.lanesjewellers.com
FINDING YOUR DREAM PROPERTY
Stacks – Rutland is a property finder service working exclusively with buyers to source, negotiate and acquire residential property. Often referred to as “buying agents”, a property finder offers a dedicated personal service to clients.
“We can provide an inside track to properties that are off market or discreetly advertised and keep you up to speed with local pricing and trends.
“We are constantly talking to selling agents, vendors and other industry professionals to identify opportunities for our clients and with as much as 50% of properties not reaching the property portals, we feel that we offer our clients an advantage, not just in the search, but also the negotiation and acquisition of their new home.”
area from Waltham down to Kimbolton and from Market Harborough across to Bourne. If you are looking to jump the queue, find out about property new to the market before anybody else, and have an experienced advisor and negotiator working exclusively for you, then give Charlie Rearden a call on 07779 261744.
For more information visit www.stacks.co.uk/stacks-rutland-and-the-shires
CAFÉ AU CHOCOLAT OFFERS A TEMPTING TASTE OF FRANCE
If you are looking for something a little bit different from the traditional afternoon tea, Café au Chocolat in the heart of Stamford offers an authentic French twist with a certain je ne sais quoi.
Enjoy a taste of France with a choice of savoury-filled croissants (salmon and crème fraîche, ham and cheese, cheese and tomato) and delicious Continental-style patisserie, as well as locally produced brownie bites, plus luxury chocolates from French chocolatier Valrhona, which can all be enjoyed with a pot of English Breakfast Tea, or ever popular bottle of Prosecco.
This chic and cosy family run café/crêperie offers a selection of classic French crêpes, eye-catching pâtisserie, fine artisan chocolates, together with speciality single origin coffees and organic hot chocolates.
making and use gluten-free buckwheat flour to create mouth-watering sweet and savoury crêpes/galettes as customers look on. This is a café with a difference, with something for everyone at Café au Chocolat.
For more information visit www.cafeauchocolat.co.uk
THE STORY OF SIMPLY STAMFORD
Kate Needham and Hannah Forcellati are two great friends with a passion for beautiful home interiors, a touch of luxury, a shared love of travelling the world and a dream of setting up a business together in a town they both love.
Kate and Hannah tell Lincolnshire Life their story.
“We launched Simply Stamford in December 2020, our very own independent shop selling quality handpicked home furnishings, gifts and more. We are passionate about personally choosing each item we sell, making sure that they are beautiful and add a touch of luxury and style to every home.
“We offer a wide range of products from lighting, mirrors, glasses, vases, jugs and trays, to home fragrances, clocks, pictures, soft furnishings, bar and kitchenware, selected furniture and so much more. Our style is best described as unique and timeless with a splash of colour and a bit of sparkle!
“We want to create a personal shopping experience that is exciting, interesting and will hopefully delight each of our customers who will always be at the heart of everything we do.
“Our homes over the past few years have become more important than ever as places to cherish and enjoy spending valuable time with our families, so it’s really important to us that we help our customers fill their homes with lots of beautiful pieces and things that they love.
“We are always on the lookout to find new and exciting products to add to our ever growing collection of homeware, furniture and gifts. We don’t really follow trends, we just buy products we love that are both beautiful and useful! We appreciate and enjoy every one of our products and we hope you do too.
“We hope you’ll enjoy shopping with us!”
For all the latest images and information be sure to follow Simply Stamford on Instagram @simply.stamford and Facebook @SimplyStamford
Website – www.simplystamford.co.uk. For enquiries, please contact Kate and Hannah by email: email@example.com
BURGHLEY GAME AND COUNTRY FAIR
A celebration of Country Sports and pursuits over the Whitsun Bank Holiday – 28th & 29th May.
Set within the beautiful surroundings of Burghley House, this show has grown to be a favourite with locals, offering excellent country sports demonstrations, arena displays and quality country trade stands.
The World of Dogs offers the very best in dog displays accompanied by a gun dog clinic, multi-scurry, chase the bunny, lurcher racing and showing. Something for every dog lover – so don’t leave your dog at home.
There is an opportunity to have a go at clay shooting, whether you are a novice or expert. The shooting village also offers field archery and a range of airgun disciplines with ATEO – Airgun training and education organisation.
Food Glorious Food welcomes selected producers and specialist street foods for you to enjoy whilst relaxing to live jazz and folk. There is also a large craft village with Glass Blowing, Blacksmiths and Chainsaw Carving, and craft marquees – the perfect place to buy that unique gift. An unbeatable family day out in the stunning grounds of Burghley House.
For further details and advance tickets, please visit www.livingheritagecountryshows.com/burghley-game-country/
BESPOKE RUG SOLUTIONS
Stamford’s Rachel Bassill has the world at her feet, both figuratively and literally. With more than 28 years of experience, 10 years’ provenance as a retailer of rugs in Stamford and Rutland, and with the industry’s very best names in her book of contacts, Rachel is the area’s, and probably among the country’s foremost experts in the purchase, cleaning, restoration and valuation of rugs.
As the proprietor of The Rug Studio located in Stamford, Rachel often travels the country sourcing for the business. Rachel and her team also accept commissions for bespoke rugs made to the client’s exact specification and needs. In addition Rachel performs restorations a couple of days a week – the work is painstaking, specialised and completed entirely by hand.“All of the rugs we provide are designed to be walked on and enjoyed on the floor day to day. We do, however, offer a professional cleaning service.
Cleaning a rug is incredibly specialised and the techniques vary dramatically depending on weave, material, and types of dye. So, an evaluation and a professional clean also comes with an insight into your rug’s provenance.”
Find The Rug Studio at Unit c4 The Courtyard, Brownlow Street, Stamford PE9 2EL, Open Monday-Saturday 10am-1pm or by appointment. Tel. 01780 239594, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.therugstudio.co.uk
LINFORDS LEADS THE WAY IN TRADITIONAL FISH AND CHIPS
Consistently voted one of the top 10 fish and chip shops in the UK, Linfords is a multi award-winning shop in Market Deeping which offers a wide choice of quality menus for all tastes. As well as perfectly cooked traditional fish and chips (with a gluten-free option), you can choose from the special kids’ menu, enjoy succulent burgers with a choice of filling, as well as sausages plus a selection of Grasmere pies – and why not add their delicious homemade mushy peas?
Linfords offers cod, haddock and plaice cooked in three different ways; fried in the traditional light golden batter, floured or simply steamed. All fish is sourced from the well managed and sustainable waters of the Barents Sea, the North Atlantic, off the coast of Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
Their chips are prepared daily from potatoes grown in the fertile Lincolnshire fens.
For Click & Collect, as well as walk-ins, Linfords is open Mon 4pm-8.30pm, Tue to Thu 11.30am-2pm and 4pm-8.30pm, Fri and Sat 11.30am-2pm and 3.30pm-9pm and Sun 12pm-2pm and 3.30pm-8pm.
For more information visit www.linfordsfishandchips.co.uk
Photographs: Mick Fox, David Biggs and David Babbs