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From the notebook of J E Smith, transcribed by John Collins, 2008
Journey to Stamford 1915

by J E Smith - August 21st 1915

Rushden to Stamford by Motor
Mr John & Mrs Claridge & family, 2 sons & 2 daughters & myself by kind invitation of Mr Claridge left here (Skinners Hill) about 2 o’clock on Saturday afternoon, August 21st, 1915. Church St, High St, to Higham Ferrers, Chelveston to Raunds (on right), Ringstead, Denford, Thrapston, to Titchmarsh (on right), to Oundle where we stayed about 25 minutes. We inspected the fine Church, which was in capital order (by the way). When the spire was restored many years ago I spent a day at Oundle & the workman was just putting on the very top stone on the spire pulling up the stone with a crane. He asked if I would like to help which I did. From Oundle over the NEW bridge towards Wansford, leaving beautiful old Fotheringhay on the left, these old villages are very beautiful, well built houses, fine scenery, on to Wansford then on to the Magnificent MAIL Road, high, dry, hard & wide we soon ran to Stamford passing Burleigh fine Park to Market Square where we alighted, Mr Claridge & myself went into All Saints Church. Chancel very much raised from body of church, it looked very prim & clean. Then into St. John’s Church, fine screens, brasses. Then to St. Marys, cleaning it, then to St. Martin’s? where there are some fine Monuments to the Burleigh family, long Church, then to St. George’s where the organ was under restoration by Hill of London. Small church this in St George’s Square. I had a Cup of Tea & Biscuits in a cosy place in the Market Place facing the arcaded Church (opposite side). Went into some Almshouses up the street (York Road I think), the old people were sitting outside, we ask permission & an old lady took us into her room, the yard was very gay with flowers. We then went to Motor Garage & left Stamford soon after 5 I think & went down same street we came up & turned up the Kettering Road. When we got about 2½ miles out we stopped against a wood & had tea which Mrs Claridge had brought with us, it was just opposite Easton Church which on enquiring what place it was we were told that Tower of the Church was struck by lightning in the week before. We saw that one of the pinnacles was missing. After tea we moved on thro’ Bulwick, Weldon, Geddington (past the Cross) on to Kettering (we stopped about 15 minutes near Brigstock town because Mr Claridge had some dust in his eye & it was very painful). We waited about 10 minutes at Kettering, hundreds of people about, on to Burton Latimer, Finedon, Irthlingboro’ and Higham. Being the Saturday before the Feast Sunday the old town was gay, we lighted up the motor near the road to Stanwick (top of hill). Arrived home about 8.15 after a splendid day, the air being delightful, rather cloudy coming home, no rain. Capital driver named Tassell. I feel better for the breeze. Joseph Enos Smith, Sunday, Augt 22.

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