Great Shelford historical stories & newspaper cuttings
Great Shelford historical stories and newspaper cuttings courtesy of the Mike Petty archive
April 1897 At Cambridge County Court Alfred Whitmee, circus proprietor said he visited Great Shelford with his circus in the autumn of 1896. On the Monday it was a rough day and he could not get the tent up. The month of October was an unfortunate one for him. He owed 30s.(shillings) at Histon and about 7s at Trumpington. He had arranged to start for Sawston but was told he could not take anything away until £2.0.6 was paid for lodging his horses.
Sept 1897 The wheat farmers of the Eastern Counties are invited to discard the cultivation of grain for the growth of flax. It is claimed that flax will yield a much greater return per acre than wheat. Flax and hemp straw should be received from the farmers as grown and the fibres manufactured by The English Fibres Industries Company who have just revived the flax mills at Great Shelford and at Long Melford in Suffolk, which had been closed
1898 Shelford undertaker failure – Goat
May 1898 Seven labourers were summoned for “tin kettling in Great Shelford. PC Chater said they were banging tins and trays, and such things, as well as shouting and yelling at a lady. Two of them had pails half full of tar which they used for burning the woman in effigy. This entertainment continued for about two hours. The woman said: "My husband won't part with his money, and that's why I left him.” The magistrate: "What is your husband's name?" - "I don't know what his name is. I never took the trouble to remember his nasty name”. Defendants were fined 2s.6d each.
Nov 1899 Following their manoeuvres at Shelford the London Scottish Rifle Volunteers had a further engagement with the University corps in the vicinity of Caius Farm, near the Gog Magogs. The Scots marched out to occupy the farm and were reinforced at Fulbourn by a company of the Newmarket Suffolk Volunteers. The actual firing operations began at 2.45. The farm having been taken the defending and attacking forces were formed up in line and the march home was begun, the Scottish pipers leading the way.
August 1900 William Lloyd of Great Shelford applied for the removal of the licence of the Peacock beerhouse, which had been pulled down, to a house, newly erected, on another site. A fire had taken place in a cottage which adjoined the house with the result that the west end of the beerhouse fell in. But Mr Vinter put in a petition signed by over 30 residents. There are eight licensed houses in the parish and one, the Black Swan was within 33 yards of the new house. Shelford was becoming more a residential place than in former years & if the licence were not granted it would increase the value of the land for residential purposes. But three-fourths of the people who had signed kept their own cellars & not one of the persons who would frequent the house had signed the petition. The licence was granted
August 1902 Popular Country Drives. The “Alexandra” and “Coronation” char-a-bancs will leave Cambridge Market Hill on Wednesday for Shelford, Newton and Whittlesford; return fare 1s. Thursday special drive to Royston, Friday Haslingfield and Saturday Earith bridge. Special Sunday drive to Whittlesford Bridge pleasure gardens. H. Buck, jobmaster, Crown Inn, Jesus Lane, Cambridge – advert.
Oct 1902 Oliver St John of the Phoenix Brewery, Little Shelford, brewer trading as Saunders and Co applied for discharge from bankruptcy. In 1887 he had started as a brewer in Whittlesford, purchasing the business as a going concern. In 1892 he left, having lost the whole of his capital and became tenant of a brewery at Lt Shelford, borrowing from his brother. In 1892 he gave a bill of sale in favour of his brother for the plant, barrels and effects but next year was pressed by other creditors.
Jan 1903 An inquest was held on the body of a railway locomotive fireman. The engine driver said he was driving a train from Peterborough to London, passing through Shelford. The deceased had fired up at Shepreth Junction. On approaching Shelford bridge he saw deceased standing on the engine side of the tender raking coal towards him. That was the last time he saw him. He looked forward to watch the signals and first missed the fireman when approaching Sawston siding. If he had seen his mate fall he would have stopped at once. The body was found on line near the bridge
June 1903 The Cambridge Telephone Committee reported that the mass of existing telephone subscribers lie grouped in the centre; the number of existing lines belonging to the National Telephone Company does not exceed 450 in Cambridge and 20 in Shelford. They would provide for 600 lines with poles for 600 more. Wires would be put underground and out of sight. The Council should apply for a licence to work a telephone system of their own with modern instruments
Nov 1903 Another shooting outrage has occurred when two shots were fired through the bedroom window of a labourer and his wife in London Road, Great Shelford. They looked out of the window and saw a man on a bicycle with another man in a trailer attached. Pistol shot holes were found bored through the windows of the front sitting-room and the impression of a bullet on the wall is observable, but the bullet has not been found. The police have traversed long distances at night on a motor car in their search for the modern Dick Turpin and are keeping watch on places likely to be frequented by wanderers.
1904 Shelford baby body
Aug 1905 Sir – Great Shelford Parish Council have agreed at a meeting where ratepayers were poorly represented to purchase land for a recreation ground at a cost of £600. I believe slips of paper should have been left at every house on which the occupants could have given their vote about adding this extra rate upon the already overburdened ratepayer. The owner of the land was deeply interested in the scheme and would have presented it to the parish if he had been approached – John Rayment
March 1906 The Red Cow, Landbeach, sold half a barrel and six dozen bottles of beer a week. A share-out club with 65 members met there fortnightly. Within 760 paces there were 47 private houses and four licensed pubs. The British Queen, with better accommodation, was nearby. The population of the village was 413 and allowing for 78 school children, there was a licensed house to every 67 adults. There were cottages at the back which provided facilities for secret drinking, especially as the house stood back 15 yards from the road. But the landlord was a teetotaller who did not encourage this. Also: Carrier’s Cart Shelford, Haunch of Mutton & Plough & Horses Waterbeach, Rose & Crown Willingham, Hare & Hounds Over, Dolphin Stapleford,
June 1906 Fourteen public houses have been closed under the Licensing Act of 1904. They include a beer house at Heath Road Litlington, which sold one barrel a week, including stout, and a gallon of ginger wine. All their beer was made from pure malt and hops and it was a better house than the two nearest to it. There were four fully-licensed houses, four beer houses and one off-licence in the village. The Dolphin at Stapleford had been shut up for six weeks as the former landlord had run away and the village appeared to do well without it. The present tenant was a cycle agent and taxidermist as well, ‘So you stuff people first and put them on wheels afterwards?’
Also Cambridge: Jolly Butchers, Star, Sun; Bassingbourn: Crown; Bottisham: Plough; Comberton: Plough; Fordham: Six Bells, Landbeach: Red Cow; Lt Shelford: Carrier’s Cart; Stapleford: Dolphin; Steeple Morden: beer house; Waterbeach: Haunch of Mutton, Plough and Horses; Willingham: William IV, Rose and Crown
Sept 1906 Mr A.P. McAlister of Cambridge and Shelford has been granted a patent for a fire grate of an improved type which abolishes the possibility of discomfort. The fire rests on a grating with an ashpan underneath which can be easily lifted out to empty the contents. Laurie & McConnal have been appointed local agents for the grate which has been fitted in many of the larger houses of the town. Nov 16 1906
1906 The Compensation Authority considered claims for premises closed under the Licensing Act. They included a beerhouse at North Brook End, Steeple Morden, The Plough at Comberton, the Red Cow, Landbeach and Carrier’s Cart at Lt Shelford. Potton Brewery said they would lose £275 if the licence of a beerhouse at Heath Road, Litlington was taken away but accepted £240 as compensation. However Benskin’s Watford Brewery refused £251 for the Sun in Newmarket Road, Cambridge. also Stapleford Dolphin, Waterbeach Haunch of Mutton & Plough & Horses, Sawston – Flower Pot, Willingham – King William IV, Bottisham Plough, Soham Queen’s Arms and Old Brewery,
March 1907 Exciting scenes were witnessed at Shelford where two cottages close by the railway line were gutted. The discovery synchronised with the passing of the G.E.R. express and it is thought a spark from the engine alighted upon the thatched roof. In the absence of any fire appliance helpers concentrated on removing the furniture and every article, with the exception of the iron bedsteads, was carried to a place of safety.
March 1909 The Ortona Motor Bus Company, whose enterprise has proved such a boon in Cambridge and Chesterton, intend to commence a service to Sawston via Trumpington, Shelford and Stapleford. A fine new Maudsley bus has been obtained which will do the full journey in 50 minutes. Parcels as well as passengers will be carried
Jan 1912 Telephonic communication between the police-station and certain police-officers’ houses was discussed. Some police houses were simply hired in an ordinary manner and they might have to move the telephone when a new policeman came to a village and took a different house to his predecessor. At Shelford the call office was only about 20 yards from the constable’s house, but you couldn’t call him. The Chief Constable said he didn’t want a constable sitting in the house waiting to be called. His business is to be outside, looking after the property in the village. 12 01
Jan 1913 The moon and mud were the most momentous factors in the night military manoeuvres. The searchlight might have played an important part but could not be used at the last moment. But the bright moon meant it was possible to see men half-way across the field they had to cross before attacking the hills between Shelford station and Hills Road where wire entanglements had been prepared and two companies of infantry were waiting. Firing was fast and furious, the big guns and Maxim sounding above the splattering of rifles
May 1913 Suffragettes attempted to blow up a railway crossing gate at Granhams Road, Shelford. The gatekeeper found a treacle tin with a bootlace through the lid connecting with a long red squib inside. It was surrounded by cotton wool soaked in oil and lumps of charcoal. On the outside was written ‘Votes for Women’. There is little doubt it was a genuine article that could have set fire to the gate had the lighted lace not gone out. It was immersed in a bucket of water. Rumours said that two strange women had been seen near the site
Nov 1913 An undergraduate told the court that he was a relative of the Khedive of Egypt and living at Shelford with a private tutor. He told his valet to get tickets for the New Theatre. But when refused admission he’d got involved in a struggle with an attendant and fell to the ground. The manager said he’d been drunk and had used bad language. But this was a serious matter from a moral point of view and would affect his career here and in his own country if upheld. He was convicted.
July 1914 Large Eggs.—A hen, the property of Mr. W. Housden (Great. Shelford) has laid some large eggs of late. One last week weighed 4½ ozs. and measured 7 in. round. Another, laid the following day, weighed 32oz- and measured 6½ ins. round.
October 1914 County MoH report on children The dentist of the Stapleford & Sawston clinic said that at Stapleford, where the children were reinspected annually, no teeth were found to be unsaveable. But at Shelford, where work had been interrupted for a year, some children had teeth so decayed as to be beyond saving. This emphasises the importance of annual inspections. Only one treatment was refused at Stapleford where there is no charge, but at Shelford, where payment is sought, treatment was refused for 25 out of 82 children for whom it was advised.
October 1914 Fire. — In the early hours of Wednesday morning a fire broke out at the house occupied by Mr. W. Lane in Chapel Yard, Great Shelford. Considerable damage was done, one side of the kitchen being burnt out. But for the efforts of Mr. Whitechurch and Mr V Brunning the whole block of ten houses would have been razed to the ground. It is supposed that the fire was caused by a beam catching fire in the chimney.
Nov 1914 The Germans had a great network of spies, County Councillors were told. The county should be purged of all spies or people of treasonable actions. The Emergency committees which were being formed should ensure people were not installing secret petrol stores for Zeppelins or watch for partisans with carrier pigeons or wireless apparatus. University Laboratories were doing much undisclosed research involving explosives and chemicals and employed a high proportion of aliens. A man who had watched army evolutions on Parker’s Piece was pursued and arrested by two police constables after an old lady denounced him as a spy. A large number of naturalised German people lived locally but in the zeal to put down espionage an enormous amount of injustice had been done.
People in Shelford and Stapleford are worried about mysterious lights shining on the Gogs and are concerned that there are spies. But Dr Henry Bond says the light came from his house. There is concrete in the foundations and the removal of the house might provide a base from which a German gun could demolish King’s College chapel. He admits he speaks German and has had holidays there. But he is not a spy and honest folk are quite safe. However given the present alarm nobody who has electric light in his house, a bottle of German wine in his cellar, or worse of all (like our Royal Family) German blood in his veins, will be safe.
Dec 1914 Shelford Man Wounded. — Pte. Robert Dean returned to his home at Great Shelford on Tuesday from the front, being wounded in both legs. His mother had not heard from him for 15 months and did not know he had rejoined his regiment. Pte. Dean was abroad at the outbreak of the war, and returned to England and re-enlisted. He was amongst the Second Division to go to France. His brother. Sgt. Fred Dean, of the A.S.C., was quite well at the time of writing.
Feb 1915 Well-known G.E.R. Stationmaster —It is with deep regret that we record the death of Mr. John Ablitt, the Gt. Eastern Railway stationmaster at Cambridge, which occurred at his residence. Morecambe House, Mill Road, on Thursday. The news of his demise will be received with universal regret throughout the whole of the Gt. Eastern system. Mr. Ablitt was in his 58th year. At the age of 21, he was appointed relief Stationmaster in the London district, and when Huntingdon joint railway station was opened, he took up duties there as stationmaster. He was afterwards transferred to Shelford, where he remained for 10 years, proceeding to Hunstanton (two years), St. Ives (two years), and Wisbech (six years) as stationmaster. In 1911 he secured the appointment at Cambridge railway station.
Red Cross – no more small convalescent homes to be opened – are waiting at Balsham, Cottenham, Great Shelford & Cambridge; Seven hospitals now open with 158 beds. First Borough Hospital temporarily closed & would reopen at St Chad’s; also one at Linton. A private hospital opened at Cheveley by Lady Savile Crossley. New scheme for large convalescent camps
August 1915 Photos of fallen soldiers G.D. Salmon, Wisbech; G.C. Coote, Foxton; Capt R.E. Sindall, Cambridge; A.J. Coote, Barrington; L. Tuck; L/C Ryder; B. Rolph; S. Trotman; A.D. McPherson; H.H. Bendall; E.C. Colchester, Shelford; R.N. Bendyshe, Barrington; Capt Tebbutt; Hodson; W.J. Blane; E. Freeman; B. Carter, Bourn; Dunnett; - 15 08 06a A.E. Seagrott; E.H. Cawthrop; W.F. Taylor, Lt Shelford; W.Gee, Sawston; A. Davis, T. Kimmence; C.L. Wayman; E. Clarke, Bourn; H.C. Yorke, J.H. Caldecoat, Bourn; F.J. Gipp, Chesterton; N.W. Fielding; O.J. Goddard, Dewey; G. Pamplin, Fen Ditton; J. Wallage; Phillips; C. Richmond, Fulbourn; W.E. Jones; J.J. Mayle; L.J. Naylor; S. Phillips; R.L. Player; C. Butler
August 1920 Photos of scenes and happenings Lady French leaves Tipperary rooms; King visits EGH; war-time degrees, Senate House; Lady Jellicoe’s visit; departure 1st Battalion, station; Red Cross auction sale; V.T.C. men on route march; St David’s day scene; Cambs recruiting party leaving Cambridge; German helmet trophy; wounded soldiers at Waterbeach; Histon Red Cross Hospital ward 15 08 20a Men who have distinguished themselves on battlefield W. Ralph, Bottisham; E.T. Saint; Daldry; O.W. Parkinson; C.E. Morley, Great Shelford; S. Freestone, Sawston; L.A. Austin; F. Potter DCM; F.J. Gatward – 15 08 20b Good work of the VAD Ladies detachment; Men’s detachment - photos – 15 08 20c Cambridge aviator lands in dyke – Lieut Broughton lands in Thuring – photo – 15 08 20d # Q.C.
January 1916 Ald George Stace, Mayor & freemason – profile – 16 01 12a # c.37.1 Large tree snapped off by gale on Christ’s Pieces – photo – 16 01 12b Mount Blow, Great Shelford, VAD Hospital & staff – photo – 16 01 12c # c.21.4 # WH.She.K16 # Y.She.K16 Haydn Inwards, violinist and instructor CUMS – profile – 16 01 12d Bijou amateurs cannot perform due number of men in forces
April 1916 Shelford Damage. — The great blizzard last week did an immense amount of damage in the village of Great Shelford, and neighbourhood. A number of trees were blown down. The drains had been blocked consequently the road in Sunnett’s Lane has been impassable for a considerable distance, and many gardens have also been flooded. In Little Shelford over 100 trees have been laid low. The road from Whittlesford through Little Shelford was blocked by a large elm tree that stood in the garden of King's Farm. It fell across the road, obstructing the traffic. The road between the two bridges was also rendered impassable by trees, the walls and fences being dam¬aged. In Stapleford a number of trees were blown down; one fell on the school house, knocking in the window. A large arm of a tree belonging to Mr. Linton, Stapleford House, fell on the telegraph wires, breaking them through.
August 1916 Another Son Lost. — Mrs. Chap¬man of Shelford, has received news that he son, Pte. A. Chapman (Suffolk Regiment) has been killed in action. This is the second son Mrs. Chapman, has lost during the war, and a third son is reported missing.
September 1916 Wagon Accident.—A serious accident occurred to George Benstead, a (Great Shelford) lad of six years. He was walking beside a wagon in Mr. Wright's field and stumbled and .fell, the wheel passing over his arm, breaking it in three places. He also hurt his ankle, the shoe being torn off his foot. Dr Magoris was called in, and sent the boy to Addenbrooke's Hospital, where he is progressing slowly.
October 1916 Killed in action. — We are pleased to say that our local casualty list is the shortest we have been able to publish for some time past, but regret to have to record the death of Lt. Edward Spearing, son of Mr. James Spearing (of the firm of Messrs. Eaden, Spearing and Raynes. solicitor, Cambridge) and Mrs. Spearing, Troodos, Great Shelford. Great sympathy will be extended to Mr. and Mrs. Spearing in the loss of their only son, who promised in due course to achieve considerable success in local legal circles.
November 1917 Awarded Medal, — Corporal George Gifford, R.G.A., of Great Shelford, has been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery. A fire broke out in a gun pit which contained large quantities of ammunition, and at great risk, Corporal Gifford entered the pit, and single-handed, extinguished the flames, thus averting what, would have probably been a disastrous explosion
April 1918 Shelford Man’s Heroism. — A tale of great heroism is told of a Shelford man, Gunner George F. Jordan, of the R.F.A. When in hospital last September, suffering from a wound in the eye, he volunteered to give 1½ pints of his blood to save a comrade's life. Gunner Jordan, who is brother to Miss G. Jordan, of The Uplands, Great Shelford, now lies in the l/5th Northern General Hospital, Leicester.
October 1920 Shelford infant welfare centre opened
Feb 1922 Long-felt want supplied in Great Shelford. The hall is a converted army hut built on the public recreation ground. Great Shelford was to be congratulated in that its ex-Servicemen had joined with the Womens Friendly League to build the hall, a result which was eminently satisfactory for the village. If the ex-Service men were prepared to pull together for the places where they lived there was a great future for the county.
20 August 1923 The staff of the Cambridge division of the L. & N.E. railway gathered to show their appreciation on the retirement of Mr Frederick Harradine after nearly half a century. He entered the service in 1875 as a porter at Cambridge station and two years later became a single line pilot on the old Newmarket line. In 1880 he went to Shelford as a signalman and later transferred to Ely. Returning to Cambridge he was made a divisional inspector. One of his duties was to be in attendance after any serious mishap. He was the best known railwaymen in the division, if not on the railway.
October 1923 Sir, - May I draw your attention to three great points of danger in Great Shelford? One is by the war memorial, the other at Pumfreys corner and Little Shelford. To a newcomer the speed of some of the cars is most alarming. On Monday my daughter's Alsatian puppy was knocked down by a car going at great speed. I hear there were some women in the car, but can only suppose they were the thoughtless present-day variety without thought or feeling for anyone, or they would have asked the driver to stop. During the short time we have been here another dog has been killed and two men knocked down opposite the war memorial - E.S. Adutt
January 1927 H.L. Hughes spoke on how town planning could be improved. The last 100 years have seen an enormous increase in population and as a result town planning if not a problem for the future but more for the immediate present. The traffic, the sewers, the gas or electricity all have to be thought of. There are roads from the foot of the Gogs to Shelford and Stapleford which only contain one or two houses along them. Buses may pass the door but one has to go miles for a doctor, a church or a school. In a few years’ time people will not live in such places and these houses will be left to fall down and spoil the approach to the town
June 1927 An inspection of the River Rhee from Guilden Morden to Cambridge showed banks were much overgrown and a number of trees had fallen into the stream. There was only one foot of water in the river in places. There are two mills in use, at Guilden Morden and Grantchester. One at Harston had not been used for a year and at Barrington no work had been possible for some years and the channel was blocked up. The river at Shelford was in a most dilapidated state
Jan 1928 The General Election has been one of the keenest on record and it is with a feeling of relief that one realises the struggle is over. A number of election hoaxes have been perpetrated: rumours were circulated that a conflict had taken place between police and crowds at Cambridge and that the Riot Act had been read at St Ives. At Great Shelford a false result was announced before the counting was even finished. The whole village was taken in and rejoicings on quite an extensive scale were started.
March 1929 A disastrous fire occurred the Hall, Little Shelford in the early hours of Sunday morning with the result that the building was almost completely gutted. It was discovered by Madam Carne, the governess who with the butler and the maid were immediately above the fire. Captain and Mrs Gordon Dill removed their children to safety in the Lodge. While waiting for the fire brigade, which was delayed owing to the terribly thick fog, the occupants attempted to subdue the outbreak, then confined to the pantry, with buckets of water. But the heat melted a lead pipe and the cistern emptied so water had to be fetched from a cottage about 30 yards away. The building is 71 years old being erected in the grounds of the old Hall which was pulled down in 1858.
Oct 1931 An Inquiry opened into plans to expand Cambridge’s boundaries. It was the centre for education, shopping and amusement for adjacent villages where people were still dependent on cesspools: these would be provided with a sewerage system. Less than 500 acres were available for building because of the attitude of certain colleges, but it was undesirable that Cambridge should be filled up as if it were a manufacturing town. Most of the new houses in Shelford and Trumpington were of the working-class type.
July 1932 Tobacco-growing in this country has been crushed by absurd laws but pipe and cigarette tobacco could be grown on Cambridgeshire allotments – Shelford alone could produce many tons of cured leaf. It could be a more profitable industry than sugar beet with a factory in Cambridge providing employment. Mr J. Burn-Murdoch will show samples of his home-grown tobacco at Shelford Horticultural Show together with specimens of cigarettes manufactured in England.
May 1933 Royal horse trainer, Richard Marsh, dies at Shelford
July 1933 early moving pictures Arthur Melbourne-Cooper was the builder of St Alban’s first cinema, a photographer and film-maker who was also a stunt man and acting coach. Having trained in his father’s photographic business he became cameraman to Birt Acres, a scientist who in 1892 was experimenting with ‘moving projection figures’. Arthur made short films which were presented by the showmen who travelled Hertfordshire showgrounds then set up a company and filmed extensively. Spectators often tried to disrupt proceedings and a crowd of undergraduates attacked his cast and camera crew when filming in Cambridge. He retired to Little Shelford
Dec 1935 Mr William Macintosh, a member of the Cambridge firm of ironmongers, died following an accident at Granham’s crossing. The express train stopped in Shelford station for five minutes after the accident. In another incident a passenger train from Peterborough to Cambridge was delayed when it ran through the gates at Dimmock’s Crossing near Stretham and smashed them. Fortunately no passenger of member of the train crew was injured. The debris was cleared quickly enough not to affect the other trains on the line
Jan 1936 Proposals to establish a greyhound racing track at Caxton or any part of the rural district could injure the amenities of the area, councillors decided. But Mr Pease said there was already a track at Teversham and if the residents of Histon rose up and said they wanted a track to make life more interesting there, they should not object to it. The conversion of The Elms, Great Shelford, into a country club was also opposed as the land was zoned for eight houses per acre
Dec 1936 The draft Cambridge town planning scheme would see the construction of bridges and closure of the level crossings at Histon and Shelford with footbridges for pedestrians. The line of the Ring Road from Huntingdon Road to Shelford was agreed and the difficult question of the aerodrome settled.
May 1937 Chesterton RDC told an inspector that the parishes of Histon, Impington and Girton together with Shelford and Stapleford were provided with a piped water supply but were entirely unsewered, although some properties were connected to surface water drains that discharged into watercourses passing through the inhabited parts of the parishes. The development of building estates had given rise to cess-pool areas of considerable magnitude with the danger of pollution of the sub-soil. The pumping plants would be electrically driven and would not spoil the appearance of the countryside, there would be no smell unless one broke down. But nearby house owners claimed they might have an effect on the value of properties
July 1937 The B.S.A. Company’s offer of a brand new bicycle to Britain’s oldest woman cyclist has brought several responses. Mrs Mortimer of Chedworth Street is 63; she has ridden a cycle since she was 10 and has toured Ireland, Scotland and much of England on it. Mrs F. Plumb of Great Shelford is 68 and delivers fruit grown in her garden to Cambridge every day. But the oldest so far is Mrs Cross of Brookside, Toft, who was born at Tydd St Mary’s in 1856 and still rides regularly
January 1938 Henry Brunning of Great Shelford was a blacksmith for 55 years being kicked by horses many times. He did an apprenticeship at Barrington, then joined Alec Redhouse’s firm of engineers and general smiths at Balsham. He later worked at forges at Linton, Shelford and Stapleford. He remembers when all travelling had to be done by walking or carrier carts and there were more penny-farthing cycles than anything else. During the Great War he worked in a munitions factory at Trumpington. He treasures a box of six spoons sent by his daughter who served in France as a nurse; each carries the name of a battlefield on which she’d served.
February 1939 An automatic machine dealer of Mill Road told the bankruptcy court he’d set up in 1934 starting with 20 machines on licensed premises. He was making a profit of £25 a week until police prohibited the machines in Cambridge and he was forced to move to other territories where profits were much lower. In 1937 he took the tenancy of the Magpie Transport Café at Shelford but it lost money. He carried on business as a bookmaker, losing £140 in one day. He kept no books. He was questioned about three machines at Prickwillow and a pawned gold ring.
July 1939 Two mobile first aid posts are to be provided, one stationed at Waterbeach and the other at Great Shelford to deal with air raid casualties and second-hand vehicles will be purchased for adaptation as ambulances.
February 1940 House Wall Collapses.—When a Cambs. soldier due from France on leave returns to his home, he will find it looking as though it had been bombed; An end wall of the house, which is situated in Tunwell's Lane, Great Shelford, collapsed on Wednesday as if torn off by high explosive, leaving two rooms exposed to view. Fortunately no one was inside at the time, though had the occupant, Mr. Thomas Roslyn, arrived on leave as expected, he and his wife might both have been there. As it was, Mrs. Roslyn went to the house to air it, but when her husband did not turn up she went to her mother's home in Stonehall Road, Shelford. The collapse occurred about 8.30 p.m., and the house looked like a doll's house with the end off. The furniture in the two rooms visible was undisturbed; a wardrobe in the bedroom could be seen standing within a few inches of the place where the wall had been.
May 1941 Great Shelford farmer fined as failed to plough land at Stapleford
Aug 1944 A Fine Catch. — While L.A.C. Derrick Walker, of Stonehill Road Shelford, was home for 36 hours' leave during the past weekend he thought he would try his hand at fishing, and he had the good fortunate to land a large pike weighing just under 15 lbs. Luckily he had company with him to help him land this monster. When he got the pike home and opened it, he was surprised to find inside a large water rat which the fish had swallowed
October 1949 “In my submission, the objectors merely want to see the High Street of Great Shelford as dead and respectable as a Acacia Avenue. It is clear they are the voice of suburbia raising itself in the village”. These remarks were made at a planning appeal when Mr A Townsend wished to erect a workshop for use in his business as a funeral director and builder. The village had become very much influenced by Cambridge and resembled more a suburb of the town rather than a village street. The majority of “genuine” residents had no objections to the proposal and those received were from suburban residents who had attempted to introduce the amenities of a suburb to a country village.
Nov 1950 Before Shelford rugby union football club began their match on Saturday, Mr Herbert Fordham declared open the new changing rooms which have been built for the club at their headquarters, the Peacock Inn. These rooms, with sufficient accommodation and bathing facilities for 60 players, are a gift by Mr Fordham and his brother. P.L. Davey (president of the club) expressed their pleasure and gratitude for “this wonderful gesture to sport in the village of Shelford and the cause of rugby in Cambridgeshire”
Nov 1950 The court was told how a Leyland lorry carrying 2,500 bricks hit a heap of tarmac on the Cambridge Road, Great Shelford, depositing 1,500 bricks into the road. The foreman of the Clifton Construction Company of Coronation Street said it was the night-watchman’s duty to ensure all obstructions were well lit. The watchman said the two lights on the heap of tarmac were out but he did not relight them as it was the break of day. If the driver had not been overtaking another vehicle he would have seen the obstruction. He was fined £2.
Jan 1951 A large congregation assembled in Great Shelford church for the dedication of the memorial to the late Charles Edward Swift. The new organ screen replaces a set of dummy organ pipes. He was headmaster of the Church of England school for 24 years and church choirmaster for 20.
June 1951 The Cambridgeshire of the future will have a number of new roads, fire & police stations, sewerage schemes, old peoples’ homes, a new children’s home and a mental deficiency colony. Planners say villages recommended for enlargement include Milton, Fulbourn, Shelford, Barton and Coton where the population will increase from 400 to 1,840. Road improvements recommended include a bypass to the east of Girton relinking the road interrupted by the RAF station but Cambridge bypasses are not shown as surveys show there is no immediate need for them.
Jan 1952 H.L. Hughes spoke on how town planning could be improved. The last 100 years have seen an enormous increase in population and as a result town planning if not a problem for the future but more for the immediate present. The traffic, the sewers, the gas or electricity all have to be thought of. There are roads from the foot of the Gogs to Shelford and Stapleford which only contain one or two houses along them. Buses may pass the door but one has to go miles for a doctor, a church or a school. In a few years’ time people will not live in such places and these houses will be left to fall down and spoil the approach to the town
March 1952 When Chesterton RDC acquired land to erect 2,000 council houses in “necklace villages” in order to accommodate the “over-spilled” population of Cambridge they should obtain sufficient land to allow for private building as well, said a councillor. Council houses were subsidised to the extent of £35 12s. and building private houses would ease the financial burden. The sewerage of the parishes of Milton and Great and Little Shelford was already in and they should be the first villages to be developed. Fulbourn, Stapleford, Harston, Barton and Coton were also on the priority list.
July 1952 Sir – In 1950 the Shelford and Stapleford Scout Troop was re-opened after a lapse of many years and the first question was that of a H.Q. where meetings could be held. The Shelford guides could not help as their barn had developed dry rot in the floor which was no longer safe for games, and they too would soon be homeless. After many months of effort enough was raised to buy and erect an ex-Army hut. Permission was obtained and the H.Q. opened with great rejoicing in April 1951. But then came the Central Land Board with a claim for a £300 development charge!
Sept 1952 Beetles have caused serious damage at Great Shelford church. Some months ago while Mr L.P. Morley, one of the churchwardens, was cleaning down cobwebs from the clerestory windows he noticed what seemed to be deterioration of some of the roof woodwork. A thorough examination has now been made and the plate on which the whole roof rests, both in the nave and the aisles, is so riddled with beetle-holes that repair is a matter of urgency
July 1954 Len Tibbs of Great Shelford is well-known as a pianist and comedian and has now been invited to appear at London’s Windmill Theatre where he will present the characterisations which have delighted audiences locally. He started his career as a comedian during the war, helping out with troop shows, and has appeared in most parts of the Easter Counties. Unbeknown to him his work was drawn to the attention of Mr Van Damm and he was surprised to receive an invitation to attend an audition. He has also accepted the offer to appear on Television’s variety show ‘Show Case’
September 1954 Rain. Steel slivers of relentless ran beat into the track anxious officials had nursed for Great Shelford’s Special Sunday. Then the sun blazed for the War Memorial Hall sports day and carnival. More than 2,000 were there. Actress Jessie Matthews arrived quietly in her silver Bentley and was welcomed by the Chairman of the Parish Council. A carnival march heralded the arrival of the procession headed by a break-down truck towing a model of the present hall and the one villagers want to build. But then the breakdown truck had to leave for an accident at Foxton Station.
Oct 1954 Imagine a Hydrogen bomb has been dropped on Cambridge. In a five-mile radius from Great Shelford to Histon everything is just rubble. In a 12-mile radius, including Saffron Walden, Newmarket and Huntingdon, there is severe damage and for 20 miles, as far as Bishop’s Stortford, there is minor damage. Blast and heat flash from the bomb could also cause severe burns to people exposed in the open and if the bomb exploded on the ground or in water mud thrown up would be very radio-active and would be carried for many, many miles. But if an ‘ordinary’ a
Jan 1955 Complaints of flooding in the Hauxton Mill to Shelford area have been investigated and the River Cam will be dredged to eliminate the risk of summer flooding. No such scheme for improvement has previously ever been undertaken by the Great Ouse Catchment Board. The proposed by-pass at Barton Mills would involve a dualcarriageway bridge directly over the lock gate and reduce the length of the lock by 25 feet. But there was no active navigation on this part of the River Lark and a combined bridge and sluice structure could be built.
October 1955 In 1950 the Shelford scout troop and cub pack reopened after a break for the war years but had nowhere to meet. The Guides and Brownies had kept going in a barn which was too small. So they decided to pool their resources to erect a joint HQ. The prospect of dozens of children making merry in their vicinity appalled some local residents but Mr Williams of ‘Southernwood’ offered the use of his garden where a hut was erected. Now it needs repair and a fund has been opened
Dec 1955 Sir – three years ago the elm on Shelford Recreation Ground where children play and adults congregate was found to be in a bad condition. There was a large hole, full of water in the tree trunk and bottles and old cartridge cases taken out. The council called in a tree expert and decided to have it felled. Had the two heavy branches which came off a few weeks ago have fallen a foot nearer the bowling green we might be mourning the loss of the groundsmen. Think what torrent of abuse the council would have received if somebody had been killed. A few children’s lives are worth far more than all the elms in Shelford – Horace Reed
May 1956 Sanitary arrangements at Great Shelford School are in a deplorable condition. The first part of a scheme to enlarge the school was carried out in 1954, including modern sanitary accommodation but the managers were advised to retain the existing lavatories instead of building a septic tank for the new one since a main sewer was expected. But Chesterton RDC had not acted and the increased number of children now made new lavatories urgent.
August 1957 Great Shelford’s new Village Hall will open in December, but should it include a bar selling beer and spirits? Judge Lawson Campbell was opposed, feeling young members of the club would be tempted to indulge in drink and this would be a bad influence on their morals. But another villager said if he invited his friends to come along to the new hall and told them they would have to eat biscuits and drink lemonade they would want to go to the nearest public house instead.
Jan 1958 Great Shelford Memorial Hall was officially opened after twelve years of planning and hard work. The project began in 1945 but building restrictions made it difficult so they decided to investigate precast building. Apart from a Ministry grant the whole cost was met by voluntary contributions and support from the people of the village. It was a fitting memorial to the war dead of Shelford.
May 1958 New headquarters for the 14th detachment of the Cambridgeshire Red Cross were opened in a prefabricated building at Great Shelford. Mr Woodbridge had lent them the ground and members worked hard to get the interior neat and attractive. The walls were painted white and deep red curtains A Cambridgeshire Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 2346 Please make what use of this you may. Kindly remember where it came from. hung beneath neat pelmets. Miss C.J. Gaskell, the Divisional President praised their excellent work during both world wars. Lady Spens presented proficiency badges to Gillian Cann, Marion Robinson, Elizabeth Morley and Christine Ryder.
March 1959 A new Village College may be provided at Shelford to take children from Stapleford, Harston and Hauxton, providing a compact area with economic transport arrangements. It would avoid the expansion of Sawston and Melbourn village colleges when the school leaving age is raised to 16. But it is not included in the Development Plan and it is not thought likely there would be any considerable increase in population.
March 1961 Families living in Great Shelford and Stapleford are preparing to provide holiday homes for youngsters from Displaced Persons Camps in Germany. For the children of Hitler’s white slave army who have known nothing but poverty, overcrowding, illness and hunger, it will be their first experience of life as it should be lived under normal happy conditions. They will attend local schools and be taken on a few organised outings but mostly become just part of an English family. Before leaving Germany they will have been medically examined and equipped with as many belongings as possible and local people are collecting clothing for them, with particular emphasis on shoes.
July 1962 Abberley House, Great Shelford is the HQ of the county Civil Defence Corps. In a nuclear war Wardens would give advice, Communications and Intelligence sections control operations and Scientists go out after an attack to collect technical information. First aiders would supplement the ambulance service, Rescue workers free trapped survivors while Welfare staff would provide food, shelter and clothing. Members of the C.D. are only asked to give as much time as they can spare and more volunteers are needed.
1962 Fuel cells may soon provide power for motor cars, writes Rodney Tibbs, News motoring correspondent. The cells, which were developed by Mr Bacon of Little Shelford, have an ability to produce electric current. I remember that at the original demonstration in Cambridge the cell was shown operating a fork lift truck. Now the Chrysler Corporation say they may take the place of conventional car power units within the next ten years. The immediate goal is to produce a cell which will use a simple hydrocarbon fuel such as petrol mixed with air in place of dangerous gases
April 1963 The Beeching report on the future of British Railways suggests the closing down of 19 stations in the Cambridge area – including three serving the main towns of Haverhill, Saffron Walden and St Ives. There would be the complete withdrawal of passenger services from branch lines, Cambridge-March, Great Shelford-Marks Tey, Audley End & Bartlow lines. Amongst the village stations closed to passenger traffic would be Histon, Wimblington and Chatteris, Bartlow, Pampisford and Linton together with Soham and Fordham. Services from Black Bank would also cease.
March 1963 Stapleford and Shelford would probably be virtually unknown outside the immediate district but for one man – L.L. Baynes. Ten years ago he felt that the D.I.Y. movement had great possibilities so built a single-storey shop, Shelford Building Supplies. Handymen appreciated his advice and range of products and as the business expanded extensions became necessary, leading to a new store in 1962. Undergraduates come to get materials for making bookshelves and members of the armed forces from the many camps in the area are also good customers. Now he issues a 36-page illustrated catalogue of his stock.
May 1963 A site has been identified for the proposed new Shelford Village College
October 1963 Land prices at Great Shelford have soared to ‘fantastic’ levels due to the rigid attitude of the County Planning Department, an Inquiry was told. Mr Douglas L. January, who wants to develop 11 acres surrounding his home, ‘Trinity House’, says it was a large house that was proving difficult and expensive to maintain. He was finding it difficult to get adequate domestic help if his present staff left him. But planners say it is outside the development area in the green belt and the sewage system is inadequate. It would change the character of the area entirely
Oct 1963 Shelford Library in Woollards Lane has new look
April 1965 Shelford fight closure of Shelford-Marks Tey railway line –
March 1966 Shelford Rugby Union Football Club given six acres of land for new HQ by Percy Davey
August 1972 Crandal - a village within a village. The most pleasant village of Great Shelford, has been for many years an idyllic residential area. The character and charm has been retained whilst every modern amenity is available. The strong community spirit that exists has led to the establishment of many local societies and clubs. It will be understood that the local authority wish to reserve the village feeling of Great Shelford. It has therefore been after much direct consultation that Arjon Development Company have evolved the concept that is Crandal, a development of exciting and unique homes. Plans have been approved for expansions of the amenities with a further 6 shops, a supermarket, library and health centre. All enquiries to sole selling agents – Adrians
November 1972 Only three months after starting work on a housing scheme at Great Shelford, a development company who pitched their prices too high are pulling out and re- selling the land. Arjon, of Stansted, advertised three and four- bedroomed houses planned for the estate on September 15. The asking prices were from £21,500 and £23,500 respectively. Only two people placed reservations on houses & later one of them withdrew but this house was later reserved at the price £3,000 lower by another purchaser. Now after partially completing the two houses reserved, Arjon have put the 18 remaining plots on the market
June 1973 Two Mid-Anglia farm workers with 106 years service between them will be presented with long-service awards at the East of England Show. Mr Bertie Cowl of Soham can look back on 52 years on the land, most of them working for the same employer. Mr Harry Pryor can look back on an almost unbroken span of 54 years on the same farm at Great Shelford. Mr Cowl was born in Soham Fen. When the late Mr Herbert Bedford took over Fletcher's farm he joined him and has been there ever since. As farming has become more mechanised Mr Cowl has one special regret: "I particularly miss horses", he said. Mr Pryor who is 70 started on a farm at the age of 10 as a parttime cattle drover earning 3d a week. "We used to leave off school at 12 and then I'd run down to the village to take the cows from the fields into the barns for milking". He has never fully come to terms with driving a tractor and still looks back affectionately to when horse provided the power in the fields
October 1974 The most costly new houses are so difficult to sell that some Mid-Anglia builders have temporarily stopped constructing them. But general house sales are picking up after a slump of two months ago, say estate agents. A £15,000 three-bedroomed detached house built at Shelford two years ago is to be sold shortly. Hockeys Ltd of Cambridge report that houses costing less than £10,000 were selling “extremely well”. At Haverhill prices have dropped to a lower level. The houses that were not shifting were in the £12 - £20,000 bracket. In Newmarket houses in the £10-14,000 price bracket were selling quite easily
January 1975 World records don’t fall very often, but one took a hammering in Great Shelford when Robert Manderson of Stapleford sang for nine hours without a break and that took care of the existing record for non-stop singing in the Guinness Book of records.
February 1975 A house-to-house survey carried out in six Cambridgeshire villages showed that residents were overwhelmingly in favour of a superstore for Great Shelford, a public inquiry heard. The results delivered by the managing director of Scotsdale Garden Centre, the proposed site for the superstore, came as something of a shock on the last day of the inquiry. Up until then indications were that most people were strongly against a proposal of Asda to built a 50,000 square feet store and car park
February 1975 Down in Great Shelford the traditional pub games of darts and dominoes have a rival. It’s chess. The stately game has found its way into the bars of the Square and Compasses public house where no fewer than 22 players entered the pub’s chess tournament. Landlord Mr Ron Hughes has bought two special chequered-topped tables for the saloon bar. “Its obvious that this is something that’s going to grow”, he said. “It’s about as popular as darts”
April 1975 The Government has given permission to the giant Shell petrol company to look for oil in south Cambridgeshire. The area selected extends from Great Shelford up to Royston and southwards through Hertfordshire as far as Buntingford. In the west it takes in Ashwell, Steeple Morden and Gamlingay, while in the east it extends almost to Saffron Walden. The actual drilling areas have not yet been selected. Nearly six years ago an American oil company planned to make test borings in the north Cambridgeshire fens. A few years before that tests were made near Saffron Walden. Nothing came of either project
July 1975 The Environment Minister, Mr Anthony Crosland has rejected a plan to build a supermarket on the Scotsdale Garden Centre site at Great Shelford. He says that the development would be in the wrong place, at the wrong time and would result in the over-provision of large-scale shopping. If it was permitted in addition to the recently built Sainsbury’s supermarket at Brooks Rd, Cambridge and the centre planned for Bar Hill it would overprovide shopping facilities in the “20-minute zone” car shopping journey area from Cambridge. In the longer term, however, population growth might justify further substantial additions to the food retailing outlets.
November 1975 An elm tree at Great Shelford was felled because a black cat named Jemima was trapped at the top and neither the RSPCA, the police, nor the fire brigade could think of any other way to rescue her. The tree – which was diseased anyway – was cut down and Jemima leapt to safety as it fell and made straight for the house where she was reunited with her very relieved owners.
March 1976 Two Cambridge brothers have just completed 50 years in the bakery business. Maurice and Dennis How, the bakers and confectioners in Mill Road started in the business by chance after leaving school. “Our father, who ran the business, was taken ill and had to go into hospital”, explained Maurice. “There was no one else to take over and keep things going. When we started a large loaf cost four pence in old money. Now the same sort of loaf is 17p”. Their father, Mr John How, started business at Shelford in 1868 and moved to Mill Road in 1901
Feb 1977 Planners took a long hard look around Cambridge to see where development could best be accommodated. They soon dismissed Histon or Girton because they have relatively limited potential for longer-term growth. At Milton there is considerable opportunity for expansion within the new road framework. Both Bar Hill and Waterbeach possess characteristics suitable for growth, but Cottenham is less accessible to Cambridge. Growth of up to 4,000 might be contemplated in the Teversham/Fulbourn area and the same at Bottisham. To the south it would be possible to develop the Clay Farm area of Trumpington and the Shelfords but Sawston seems to have the greatest development potential
Wednesday 28th August 1977 Although it is a city which expects to attract two million overseas tourists this year, Cambridge has nowhere within its bounds where a visitor can pitch a tent. During the summer months the only welcome that Stanley Belcher, warden of the Camping Club site at Shelford, has been able to offer many visitors is a “site full” notice. There is an additional problem in turning campers away as planning regulations limit him to 60 pitches – about a quarter of an acre each. So when the site is full it certainly does not that way to foreign eyes accustomed to the crammed conditions of popular continental locations. It is ironic that Cambridge City Council needs no licence to jam tents in like sardines for the folk festival.
October 1978 The 600-ton Fenman express train, the fastest on the Cambridge run, smashed through the level crossing gates at Shelford. Luck meant that none of the hundreds of commuting motorists was on the spot and luck stopped the 11-coach train carrying about 400 passengers being derailed. Luck also saved crossing-keeper Fred Bond as the other gate wound itself round his line-side hut, splintering the woodwork, smashing every window – but leaving intact the horseshoe nailed above the door. It was the third time in nine years that a train had gone through the closed gates.
October 1978 British Rail seems rather attached to the traditional style level crossing gate. Each time one is smashed to pieces by a train at Great Shelford they replace it with a new one. The crossing is a traditional manned gate system – branded by a Government report in 1968 as a ‘creaking anachronism’. Since then there have been level crossing accidents at Shelford in January 1969 and October 1971, Longstanton, Whittlesey, Prickwillow and Brinkley Road crossing near Newmarket. The sight of BR workmen installing yet another manned gate at Great Shelford has done little to allay the public’s fears of their safety.
June 1979 A huge blaze engulfed the RHM wheat silo at Great Shelford. Within minutes flames and dense black smoke was billowing high into the afternoon sky. The 50-year-old 60 feet tall building was entirely made of wood with just a corrugated iron shell & contained 1,000 tons of wheat. It took 30 firemen nearly an hour to bring it under control and prevent the fire spreading to the mill itself. Had it been of a metal construction it would have distorted and collapsed and it was the bulk of the timber which saved the building.
Nov 1982 Torch Computers was formed last year and has already produced a powerful business computer, opened a factory in Wales to manufacture it, opened offices in America and Canada and seen production climb above 250 a month. Now it’s new research and development centre at Abberley House, Great Shelford has been officially opened by the Technology Minister, Kenneth Baker.
May 1983 Memories of the famous Crystal Palace exhibition of 1851 have been revived with the opening of Scotsdale Garden Centre’s new premises at Shelford. It has much in common with spectacular Victorian conservatories, creating an illusion of gracious living. Bulldozers moved in just over a year ago to knock down greenhouses put up 60 years ago. Now it houses a complete range of garden A Cambridgeshire Scrapbook 1897 to 1990 by Mike Petty 3081 Please make what use of this you may. Kindly remember where it came from. equipment with palms and house plants offering the convenience of supermarket shopping.
September 1984 The Freestone bakery and grocery store founded 90 years ago has closed, the victim of progress and superstores. They are selling of the equipment which has provided bread for three generations of Great Shelford villagers. In one room a Victorian pine trough in which the founder, George Freestone, mixed his dough nestles next to an electric mixer bought in 1942. The original brick oven now houses its electric counterpart besides its predecessor, an oil-fired over that went out of use decades ago. At one time they delivered two to three loaves of bread a day to village homes, now it’s just one small one. They can’t compete with Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s.
July 1986 Torch Computers of Great Shelford has developed a revolutionary Triple X computer using the Unix-based computing system with a revolutionary ‘Opentop’ facility that allows more than one page to be seen at a time. Around the edges of the screen are a number of symbols called ‘icons’. Using a control known as a ‘mouse’ the user can direct a floating arrow and by clicking the ‘mouse’ twice the accounts package comes up on the screen. By then double-clicking the calculator icon it appears on top of the accounts. This is known as ‘multi-tasking’. It means that for the first time one doesn’t need programming knowledge to take advantage of the Unix system’s benefits
Jan 1987 A group of enterprising skateboard fans have set up their own club and raised £800 (£1,840 today) to buy ramps to skate on. They have been loaned £400 by Townsends toy and cycle shop and have saved the rest. Now they are looking for new members to join the club which will be based on Heath Farm, Shelford Bottom. Charles Bradford, whose parents run the farm, said “There is nowhere in Cambridge for us to skate. We have even had to go to London to find somewhere”. Membership will be £10 per year.
September 1987 Skateboarding is back! The old Skate Park at Cheddars Lane was awful, the transitions were bad and you could feel every bump. But Billy’s Ramp Skate Club at Shelford Bottom is completely different allowing newer, better tricks practised by dedicated skateboarders determined to be ‘rad’ and not ‘lame’. The right gear is a must. Outrageously decorated T-shirts, below-the-knee Bermuda shorts, baseball-style boots and the essential protective helmet, wrist-guards, knee and elbow pads are all hallmarks of a hip skateboarder.
Jan 1987 What could be the oldest phone box in the county has gone on sale in Cambridge. The wooden box with leaded windows has been at the Cambridge & County Bowling Club for more than 50 years. But time has taken its toll and the phone has been moved inside the pavilion. The kiosk, which dates back to the 1930s, is on sale for £50 to anyone who could use a strange-looking shed or has a penchant for the past. (It was bought by a Great Shelford newsagent who planned to restore it as a garden hut for his children.)
March 1987 Chirpy market trader Bill Gray has gone to extreme lengths to keep his customers happy. He even skinned a rabbit for one person who stopped to buy some fruit and veg. His beaming smile and friendly small-talk has been a big boost for business. And the smile does not fade when the rain lashes down. Bill, of Great Shelford, has been a familiar face during the past 31 years. But now he is calling it a day and will hand the business over to his son and daughter-in-law. But his regulars – who include the wife of the former Master of Trinity - will be pleased to know that he will still help out sometimes.
July 1987 Shopkeeper of the Year, Jerry Brown, took over the village store at Hinton Way, Great Shelford, ten years ago and his outstanding service has been rewarded with continued custom. He provides a service supermarkets cannot give, selling everything from fresh bread to stationery, wine and even tins of snails. He belongs to Londis, opening every day – even Christmas Day if the newspapers publish. His customers say “It’s a very sociable shop, he enjoys a joke and stimulating conversation”
August 1989 Shelford Rugby Club pavilion damaged by fire
Great Shelford historical stories and newspaper cuttings courtesy of the Mike Petty archive