Monthly Archives: January 2016


When William Hunt died in November 1691, the contents of his shop were listed and valued.  He was a chandler (general dealer) in Market Deeping, selling over 100 different products.  Some are still familiar today but others might puzzle modern shoppers.

Food stuffs included currants & prunes, 6 different spices, sugar, salt, honey & wax, anchovies, vinegar, treacle, nuts, brown candy, French barley and pearl barley.

For medicinal purposes he stocked Irish slate, which was ground and added to beer to treat sprains & bruises.  There were aloes and arsenic, wormseed for treating intestinal worms & hartshorn (horn of red male deer) for making jelly or a type of baking powder. Aniseed water (for colic in babies and teething) and brandy (for the parents?)  Diascordium was a mix of dried herbs, either with or without opium, recommended for female reproductive problems.  Diapente had 5 ingredients, including berries of the bay tree, used as a stomach powder, and he also sold oil de bay, turmeric, brimstone (mixed with treacle as a purgative) and turpentine – used to treat rheumatism and wounds.  There was white pitch (resin from spruce trees), capers, smalt & indigo (both blue pigments), verdigris (green pigment) plus fine Castile soap made from olive oil and soda, as well as common soap stored in a firkin (small cask), and white starch.

For spiritual health he had 3 dozen psalters (books of psalms), testaments and 3 dozen primers (likely to include prayers).

Haberdashery included laces, buttons, pins and coloured thread, yellow wire, steel thimbles & brass thimbles, ferret ribbons (decorated tape used for garters) and galloon (narrow braid in gold, silver or silk thread for trimming clothes & upholstery).

Among general goods were ivory combs, gunpowder & shot, tobacco & pipes, candles, trenchers, brooms made of rushes, pitch & tar, resin & sand, shovels, thack thread (for thatching) and pack thread (twine for tying up bundles).  There were nails, gimlets, stock locks (for outer doors), gate locks, box locks, spring locks and horse locks (shackles for horses’ legs to prevent them straying) and horse combs.  Ink horns and powder horns (for gunpowder) were sold, and children’s shoes, plus pattens to fasten under shoes to keep off the mud.  There were bunching blocks for beating hemp or flax on, and iron-toothed combs called cards, for untangling fibres ready for spinning.

William Hunt was aged about 28, and died while his wife was pregnant.  In his Will he bequeathed “unto the child which my wife is now withall, the sum of £10, be it male or female, at the age of 10 years”.  It was a boy – baptised at St Guthlac’s on 3rd April 1692 and named William.

(His original Will and Inventory are held at Lincolnshire Archives)






In a change to our programme, Dave Mainwaring will be our speaker on 14th January and give an illustrated talk about recent developments at Deepings Lakes nature reserve.

Dave is currently volunteer reserve warden.  He came to Deeping Lakes the very first day that Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust purchased the site in March 2003, and is still full of enthusiasm.  He says “It’s my favourite place to watch nature at every season of the year”.


Originally known as the ballast pits, the Lakes area was excavated between the 1870s and early 1900s to provide stone for the Great Northern Railway Company’s tracks.  From the early days it attracted wildlife, and otters were seen there in 1878. (Grantham Journal)

Remains of prehistoric wildlife were regularly unearthed during the excavations:

In July 1873, Grantham Journal reported – “Recently, portions of a mammoth skeleton were found in a ballast pit near Deeping St James railway station, and a day or two ago, an immense tooth…”

In February 1874, Lincolnshire Chronicle stated – “We have again to record the finding of bones of the extinct huge mammoth in the ballast pit near Deeping St James last week.  Amongst other curious remains, two perfect teeth were found, and when thoroughly cleansed of earthy matter, weighed 22lbs…”

In July 1897 – “While the men in the Great Northern ballast pits were digging gravel, they came upon a gigantic horn of an ancient mammal.  The horn is in a fair state of preservation, and although some portion had evidently disappeared, it measured 5ft 10in from end to end and the diameter of the socket is about 5in …  At the present time there is in the British Museum a somewhat larger horn than the one so lately discovered, and it too was dug from the Deeping ballast pits.”  (Stamford Mercury)

Peterborough Museum currently houses the skeleton of a 117,000 year old elephant, which was dug up from the site, and is known locally as “The Deeping Elephant”.

Local people fished in the lakes and held skating matches when the water froze over.  In January 1880, Grantham Journal reported – “The new ballast pits of the GNRC near the station have afforded a fine field of ice during the whole of the frost, and have been much resorted to for the invigorating exercise of skating.  On Friday last week, races were got up ….  There were about 1,200 people on the pit which covers about 12 acres.”

We hope you will join us in the Conference Centre, Deepings School at 7.30pm on the 14th January to discover more about present day life at Deeping Lakes.    And perhaps be tempted to explore them yourself. 


The reserve is located off the B1166, south of Deeping St James – Grid Ref. TF 184 079

(Newspaper extracts from British Newspaper Archive)



A Musical Star is Born in Market Deeping

Wade baby Wade House

 On July 1st 1907 a third son, Hugh Armigel, was born to the local solicitor Richard Wade and his wife Alice.

The Wade family lived at The Park, Market Deeping, the graceful building shortly to reopen in 2016 as the Deepings Library known now as Wade House.

Hugh’s name may be largely forgotten today but he was destined to become  one of the youngest musical talents in Britain in the 1920s.

His songs and music would captivate musicians and listeners across the country.

 Hugh’s talent shone out at an early age and by the age of 15 he won the Marlborough College Prize for Instrumental Composition, judged by the organist of Westminster Abbey. Shortly afterwards the members of Market Deeping Mothers’ Union were in for a treat when he performed in a jazz band with two local friends.

Wade 2Little did they know that within four years Hugh would be promoted by the established Shaftesbury Avenue musical publishers, Feldman.  His fox-trot ballad “When the Love Bird Leaves the Nest” was a “sensational success” and was being played by dance bands from coast to coast. Hugh had made an immediate impact and sheet music was the key to success – there were no music charts then!

So began a period of prolific composing by this young melodist. Hugh penned “sensational” and “tuneful”  fox-trots and “haunting” waltzes, while Bert Feldman published and promoted them – a winning combination. In February 1928 the whole musical world was urged by the magazine “The Era” to join in “Sally Week” by playing Hugh’s latest fox-trot “When I Met Sally”.

Music came thick and fast……

“When the Swallows Fly Home”, “Rosalie”, “Like a Virginia Creeper”, “Why Am I Blue”, “SomewhereWade Rosalie song sheet in Samarsk” …    sometimes he worked solo, sometimes with fellow musicians.

By 1929 it seemed that Hugh’s success would lead him across the Atlantic to the new field of talkie movies when Feldman linked up with Warner Brothers. He was offered a contract and appears to have written a couple of new songs as a result. Hugh seems to have focused more on playing the piano and performance. He lived and worked in the heart of the theatre and clubs in London, moving within the bright young set in the social scene.

By 1936 he had turned his hand to writing music for London revues including “To and Fro”, described as “an unusually intelligent revue”; all involved were under the age of 28.

Hugh’s song “Souvenir De Paris” reflects his time spent at Cap Ferrat in France during the pre-war years. He was a popular figure in Paris and even 10 years ago he was still remembered by one French lady when she met his great nephew, William.Wade record 1 Souvenir de Paris

image1 (5)

The leading record companies of the day and the famous bands, including Henry Hall with the BBC Dance Orchestra and Reginald Wade Hall 2Dixon in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, played his numbers.

                                Hugh’s music would be         heard and playedWade 5 across the country.


He continued to write in the 1940s, despite his health beginning to decline, working with Leigh Stafford on “Let it be Soon”. This was his biggest post-war success, “sentimental, wistful and nostalgic”. “Time May Change” came a close second, written in 1948 for the musical “Maid To Measure”.

In declining health he returned to his family home and while he was being nursed in Peterborough Hospital he still received visits from celebrity friends, including Elsie and Doris Waters.  He died  on April 10th 1949 of throat cancer at the young age of 41.

Hugh had captivated the music-loving public with his compositions for which he had a remarkable gift and we are delighted to remind our followers of this young man.Wade hugh

Our very special thanks go William Wade, Hugh’s great nephew, for his generosity in providing information and photographs for us to use.

William has suggested that the following link with Charlie Kunz the famous band leader playing “I’m Tired of Waiting for You” might be of interest.