With no raft race to enjoy this year, no carnival or garden fetes, we can only hope for better things in 2021, and take a look back at some summer events early last century.
In August 1912, Deeping St James Aquatic Sports were held on the river. The weather wasn’t ideal. There was a strong north-easterly wind and competitors complained of the cold, but a new feature that year, a tug-of-war, caused much amusement. An unscheduled incident also entertained the crowd. Three of the organising committee were in a boat to conduct proceedings, when one of the competitors deliberately overturned it and pitched them into the water.
Behaviour was less unruly at St Guthlac’s church bazaar and fete in June 1912, attended by “a large and influential gathering”. It was held in the rectory gardens and featured stalls selling glass & china, items costing sixpence or a shilling, and ice-cream. Hoop-la and Old English Games were played, and concerts were held in the study. In the evening Market Deeping brass band provided music for dancing.
This small gathering in the Market Place looks like part of a carnival procession, but unfortunately, it’s not possible to read the banner on the donkey cart. There is a Red Cross flag on the left, and two of the soldiers are wearing white arm bands which may signify a Red Cross connection. They are standing in front of Market Deeping Post Office, now Domino’s Pizza. On the right is the shop of Harold Joselyn, a bicycle maker, who moved his business to Deeping in 1912/13. He had left the village by 1933, so the photograph was taken between those dates, most likely around the time of the First World War. Mr Joselyn’s shop is now Sharman Quinney Estate Agents.
In August 1920 there was a novel competition at one Market Deeping fete, when people were asked to guess the combined weight of the rector, Canon Paul Ashby, MC and a local doctor. It was won by the wife of an auctioneer.
Lincolnshire Free Press published this photograph of Deeping’s 1938 Carnival Queen, naming her as Rose Fowler, aged 13.
Rosemary Fowler was a daughter of Felix and Julia, nee Swift, who lived in Eastgate. By 1939 the family had moved to Broadgate Lane, Deeping St James.
If anyone can name her attendants, please let us know.
The Park, formerly behind the Library building, was the venue for a fete in August 1939. The outstanding feature was a model railway with two small steam locomotives, which gave rides to children and adults.
People planning events for 2021 are unlikely to include competitions for the most shapely ankles (male and female), “Hitting the Ham” or “Knocking George’s hat off”, but a large crowd in The Park enjoyed these diversions, just before the outbreak of another war.