24/10/07 - Strong opposition to hospital closure

THIS week we take a look back into the Horncastle News archives in October 1997, 1972 and 1917

* 10 years ago

* Horncastle was in the grip of a campaign to keep the town's hospital open.

The News regularly ran stories in 1997 about the former Lincolnshire Health's plans to close Horncastle War Memorial Hospital.

Patients would instead, after consultation with their GP and according to their clinical needs, be able to choose instead to go to Lincoln, Boston or Louth for treatment, LH said.

Despite huge opposition the closure plan went ahead and eventually, of course, the War Memorial Centre came into being.

* Budgens, which operated 99 supermarkets, put forward plans for its Woodhall Spa store. The company also had to apply for conservation area consent to demolish buildings as part of its plan to build on Spraycare's yard in the village.

* The famous Skegness to Horncastle Walk was still in its heyday and in October 1997 the News announced a new champion – Peter Pocklington of Spilsby ended the 11-year reign of Horncastle teacher Dave Thomas.

* A suggestion that Sainsbury might want to build one of its supermarkets on The Wong sparked a campaign to prevent development. More than 200 signatures were collected in a few days as a protest against building on the green space began to gather momentum.

* Horncastle may still be reeling from the 2007 heavy summer rain but the story back in 1997 was on the same lines. Farming correspondent David Walker said the area had suffered its driest spring on record but 'it rained, and rained, and rained, splosh went hay making, yellow went wheat crops with rust and flat in the storms went many crops'. When harvest began it still rained, crops sprouted, bushel weights dropped, prices were at a low 'which many of the farming fraternity had never seen'.

* 35 years ago

* Scores of people worked at the Spa Knitwear factory at Tattershall Thorpe over the years it operated but in 1972 serious fears of its closure were surfacing.

MP Peter Tapsell met workers and assured them he would go to the 'top of the tree' in an effort to clarify the situation.

His efforts and their protests continued but soon there was talk of redundancy deals at the knitwear factory although work continued at the site's Tattershall Lingerie factory, which was running a recruitment drive.

Only 10 of the 100 employees to be made redundant said they would be willing to join the lingerie section.

* 90 years ago

* The deaths of two young people in particular were being mourned in 1917.

One was Jim Beetham, manager of the Smith and Sons bookstall at Horncastle Railway Station, who was killed by a bursting shell while serving as a lance corporal in the Lincolnshire Regiment in France during WW1.

The other was the 19-year-old daughter of Mrs Archibald Weigall, of Petwood, Woodhall Spa – whose home was later to become the Petwood Hotel. The young woman, Kathleen Hermaine Emily Baroness von Eckhardstein, who underwent a minor operation and never regained consciousness, died at Clarence House, London.