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Buck Turner Esq. - Towncrier
Buck Turner Bell and tankard Sale ticket
Buck ringing the bell outside Wilford's, the bell with
the auctioneer's ticket (above), and his tankard.

Buck Turner is pictured above ringing his bell outside Wilford's sale room at Wellingborough. His slogan was "Don't say Ole Buck 'aint told yer". He had been Towncrier in Rushden from 1880 until 1930, and used to wear a frock coat and top hat when he delivered the notices.

It was Wilford's who later sold the bell, when it was acquired by a local historian, who had left a bid with auctioneers, as he was unable to attend the sale.

The tankard was given by Mrs Godden, a granddaughter of Fred Knight. Fred lived near to Buck and had acquired his tankard.


Buck Turner - Boxer
[two correspondents submit contradictory reports of a prize fight]
Northampton Mercury 7th April 1888 p.6 col. 4 and p.8 col.2.

Prize Fight at Nobottle Wood
A correspondent -
. . .The principals were old opponents, and shoe hands of the borough, viz. George (alias "Buck") Turner, and Samuel (alias "Slop") Coleman. . . One round, lasting about four minutes was all that was got through. . . when a cry of "Police!" startled the assembled crowd, and a general stampede ensued. . . In the general scramble one of the principals got left behind, and was secured by one of the police. . . His friends, armed with stakes, returned with the intention of effecting his release. Two of the three policemen drew their truncheons, and a general set-to ensued, stakes being freely used. One policeman received a severe gash behind the ear, a second had a bad cut across the face, whilst the third, in trying to handcuff his prisoner, was struck with great force on the arm, hands and shoulder. Blood flowed freely, and. . . the fighter, with his accomplices made good their escape. Whistles were then sounded and answered from several directions, AND OTHER POLICEMEN And gamekeepers came on the scene, and a hot chase ensued. . .

Another account
The first round was scarcely concluded when the police put in an appearance. They were in plain clothes, but were recognised as [three named sergeants]. . . they succeeded in apprehending both principals. . . A call was then made by one of the crowd, which numbered about 200, to make a stand, and about 150 turned about, faced the policemen, and defended the release of the prisoners. The sergeants blew their whistles. . . [and] were attacked on all hands with sticks and stones. Some of the latter weighed three or four pounds. . . Throughout the melee [the police] did not even offer to draw their truncheons, and they made no attempt to handcuff their prisoners. . . [They] were forced to relinquish their hold of their men, who. . . made off. The sergeants, who were sadly knocked about, went back to the road, where they had left the horse and trap, in which they had been driven to Nobottle by Superintendent Dowthwaite, of Northampton.

The crowd with the pugilists. . . were met near Harleston by. . . Sergeant Brown and Constable Haynes attempted to take one of the men into custody, who was carrying a bottle of water and a sponge. . . Haynes. . . was promptly knocked on the head with the bottle. . .

[The fight was resumed at Little Brickkiln Lane, near Wellingborough, Turner won]

Note added in handwriting: Coleman bound over. Two of the assistants of the police (one from Raunds) sent to prison for 6 months with hard labour. Mercury 28th April 1888


Extract from memories of 1895
“I remember one well-known character, at this time, old Buck Turner, who would sit up on the bank under the big tree just above Robinson’s house, near the old brook, all day long mending shoes, and at night he and his pal would roam the fields, and come back in the wee sma’ hours of the morning, loaded with rabbits. Buck was one of the most interesting men for a small boy to talk to; he would thrill you with his tales of hunting game, he said the reason why he took the rabbits was, because the man who owned the farm could never eat them all himself.
Extract from the memories of Mr. Prickett talking about Green's Yard:

'And I remember as a boy coming down here, I were only about six or seven, there was a row of all stone cottages down the bottom of here where these other houses are below us and there was an old man there as done hand sewing. He done it all by hand, the soles to the uppers and his name was Buck Turner. He used to be the old, I dunno whether he was official or unofficial, town crier and I do remember Buck once or twice when I were very young ringing his bell. He'd got no uniform or nothing, ringing his bell and shouting out if there was what they call a pot cart, that was a stall at the back of one of the pubs. Sometimes it were the Wheatsheaf and sold all crockery. And if there were a jumble sale or anything like that he used to go round ringing his bell, I just remember him ringing his bell and shouting out this and that but I can't tell you what he said. And afterwards he always used to say. 'Don't say old Buck hasn't told you.' That was a familiar saying, yes.



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