Newmarket Local History Society Correspondence
January 2011 - November 2012 (Page 7)

For current correspondence from January 2016 (page 10) select here
Correspondence from May 2014 December 2015 (page 9) select here
Correspondence from January 2013 - April 2014 (page 8) select here
Correspondence November 2008 - December 2010 (page 6) select here

Correspondence January 2008 - November 2008 (page 5) select here

Correspondence August 2005 - December 2007 (page 4) select here

Correspondence June 2004 - July 2005 (page 3) select here

Correspondence June 2003 - May 2004 (page 2) select here

Correspondence May 2002 - June 2003 (first page) select here

November 2012. From Mrs Debbie Clarke
My husband and I moved into Field Terrace Road, Newmarket a year ago. Our late Victorian (at a guess!) house was described in the estate agent's details as being formerly known as 'The Bakehouse'. We have a 10'x20' outbuilding as well as a wash house/outside loo in the back yard. Would you or any of your colleagues have any information about this property - was it really at one time a bakery? Being a complete novice I would be grateful if you could advise me where to look for further info. Our neighbour says the bakery ovens were in his basement and our outbuilding was the flour store! On a different subject we have discovered a reference in the Independent, July 1995 to a murder of a Mrs Bennett that took place in Field Terrace Road ten years previously, where the poor woman's body was found under the floorboards by a builder checking for rising damp. We are hoping it wasn't at our house.
We have had confirmation of the house number where the murder took place and it was definitely not Debbie's (webmaster).
NLHS Vice Chair Sandra Easom has added this comment. "I am familiar with the road. You are correct in your assumption that the road was built in the late Victorian / early Edwardian period but I am afraid I cannot recall the exact year. Certainly, there were no buildings there until after the building of the workhouse (later the hospital) in 1834, which was deliberately located out of town.

October 2012. We have receieved a batch of documents from Bob Sutherland about his time at RAF Newmarket during the 1950s. This was Eastern Communications Centre, No 7909 Reserve Flight, at the camp at Dullingham Road, opposite the cemetary, now occupied by executive housing. Bob was a SAC (Senior Aircraftsman?) involved in servicing teleprinter equipment. Apparently quite a camaraderie existed among the service personel at the camp who enjoyed an off-duty social life, including local sport and entertainments. Postings from two other ex RAF personnel, Les Morrow and Dave Skelly, appear on these pages, November and December 2011. If anyone else wishes to get in touch we have email addresses (webmaster).

August 22nd 2012 from regular contributor Tony Pringle following a request for information on Manor Place (see June 11th 2012 entry below)
Was there more than one Manor Place, or maybe change of names over the years?
Plans at Bury Records Office for conversion of Manor Place to a shop in 1902 by Flatman for Mr Segrott. Looks like converting 4 cottages into a Butchers Shop. Location now is the Memorial Hall corner of Grosvenor Yard and High Street, ie the current restaurant. Since then who knows. I can only recollect it as commercial premises, laterly always some form of restaurant, certainly on the ground floor
.....and this from John Banks 21st Jan 2013
Just a note to say that I've found Manor Place; it was the posh name for Grosvenor Yard. The yard just got it's name from the Grosvenor Arms pub.

August 2012. This brief summary of Newmarket history by Sandra Easom, Vice Chair of NLHS. following her reply to a request for information, It is well worth including (webmaster)
James I came here Feb 1604
Yes, sadly Newmarket was a national cockfighting centre until the Victorians banned it. There were several cockpits. Until the late 20C Sackville St. was actually called "Shagbag Alley" - the name given to the leather bag the cockerel was transported in. Anne furbank was also a fisher theatre in 19C and then became the town hall (Eric Dunning is the expert on this building tel: 666313) where there was a disastrous fire, with many fatalities, early 20C which led to a change in national law.
Rutland arms was built around time of battle of Waterloo - maybe to commemorate it. It replaced an earlier inn "The Ram".(One of many in the town). Wellington Street had its name changed at the same time from "fox and Goose Lane". The listed buildings down there (shops) were once an inn called the "fox and Goose. Stand in Market Square and look at the roofline when it becomes plain and huge chimneys are visible.
The Dyke plugs a 9 mile gap in defences between fen (Reach) and forest (Woodditton). It makes no sense in the present landscape but was almost certainly a defensive structure as it was one in a series of dykes in the East Anglian landscape designed to repel invaders. If memory serves the archaeology dates it to the mid-600s. This was the time of King Anna, a Christian, father of St. Etheldreda with a palace at Exning (St. Martins is said to be built on the site of her birth). The Christian kingdom of East Anglia was threatened by the warlike, pagan kingdom of Mercia. The dyke was much bigger than today with a pathway on the top (cursus) wide enough for a chariot. There was also a wooden palisade. One side of it was steeper than the other with a deep defensive ditch at the bottom. There were no gaps in the Dyke originally, indicating its defensive function. The Stone Age trade in flint along the Icknield Way ceased after the invention of metal tools/weapons - so probably quite some time before the Dyke was built (Medieval people thought it was so big they simply couldn't conceive that people could have built it - hence its name. In the Middle Ages it was known as St.Edmund's Dyke)
Millennium Grandstand cost £18 million. They did not put in enough disabled facilities and had to revamp it a year later at an additional £1 million cost!
The original St. Mary's Church was earlier than 15C. Both parish churches are on sites earlier than that. St. Mary's was a daughter church of St Martin's. All Saints (also called St. Mary's!) was built a little later. Both of the present churches are Victorian rebuilds. Only the tower foundation of All Saints is original
building. Copyright extracts from "The History of Newmarket Volume I" (NLHS) just for information: "In the chapter on 'What is History?' we looked at the fact that traditional stories are not always accurate. Also, that we need to search for historical evidence and truth from as many sources as possible. The beginnings of Newmarket are an example of these things.
There is a traditional story that because the plague came to Exning in 1227, the market which had been held there moved to a new site. This site became known as 'New Market' and a town grew up around it. There are elements of truth in this story but it is not entirely accurate. In fact, it seems that the first time the story was related was in a directory dated 1830. The publishers had possibly printed a theory, held by the local vicar of Exning, Dr Thomas Dibdin, as though it was accurate.
In fact, there is no written evidence that a market was held in Exning, although this might well have happened before the Norman conquest. However, a charter for a market and fair was granted by the King to a lord of an Exning manor, William de Valens, in 1257. This is about 40 years later than the plague. This lord does not seem to have made use of his charter and he probably would not have needed to apply for it if a market had already been in existence.
We know from early references that Newmarket already existed by 1220. For example, there was a disagreement (apparently resolved outside the court) in 1200 between a Walter de Curtpeil and an Adam of Newmarket (referred to, in Latin, as NOVUM FORUM). It is also recorded that in 1219 there was a disagreement between someone called Wakelin and a husband and wife, called Geoffrey and Felicia, from Snailwell. The dispute concerned 1½ acres of land in NOVUM MERCATUM (also means Newmarket in Latin). An inquiry of 1220 AD counted 19 ploughteams at work in the 'vill' of 'IXNYNG' (Exning) and New Market.
An old map, Gough's Map of Great Britain (dated between 1325 and 1350), is the first one to show Newmarket as a place. It shows 10 miles from Myldenhal (Mildenhall) to Nywmarkett (Newmarket) and 10 miles from Nywmarkett to Cauntebrege (Cambridge). Gough's Map is in the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
In the first English edition of Camden's Britannia in 1610,it was reported that ROBERT de INSULA, or DE L'ISLE, and his wife GALLIENA gave a portion of land to their daughter Cassandra, on her marriage. They themselves had been granted land known as Porter's Manor in Exning at the time of King Richard I (1167).
In his book, The Manors of Suffolk IV, p.189, Copinger recorded that the Lord of the Manor of Exning gave the south-west portion of his manor to his daughter Cassandra round about 1200. Possibly the manor of Exning was part of her MARRIAGE DOWRY (money or goods given by the bride's father on her marriage).
Cassandra married RICHARD de ARGENTEIN, Lord of the Manor of Halesworth. The entire Exning manor seems originally to have been about 250 acres in extent. It is recorded that the 80 acres of arable land held by Richard de Argentein in 1210-12 in Exning had an income of 40 shillings (that is £2) per annum. This would amount to 6d per acre per year.
It is interesting to note that by 1270 the income from the Newmarket High Street tenants was almost £3 per annum and that from the market was about £7 per annum. This was a substantial increase in income from the area.
We know that the recorded history of Newmarket as a town, really takes off around 1200 A.D.. This was the year that King Henry III granted a market charter to the lord of the manor, Richard de Argentein - some years earlier than the arrival of the plague at Exning circa 1227. Probably, at that time, people did, in fact, relocate from Exning to Newmarket where they felt it was safer to live, work and trade."
"ST MARY'S CHURCH, NEWMARKET, stands on the oldest church site in Newmarket itself. Reginald de Argentine, a descendant of Richard de Argentine (who is credited with founding Newmarket - see chapter on Mediaeval Newmarket) was a Crusader who died on a Crusade. It was probably he who founded the "Chapel of the Blessed Mary", somewhere between 1265 and 1283 AD, where the present church now stands. He gave this chantry chapel 'for the health of the souls of the lords of the manor' together with an endowment of money to pay for a chapel 'guardian', or chaplain. St Mary's first became a parish church in 1500."
"The new CHAPEL OF THE BLESSED MARY was the forerunner of the present All Saints' Church. It was built around 1336 by MARY DE ST POL, Countess of Pembroke, to serve the new manor of MONKSWYKE. She had taken this new manor to give to the monks of Thetford, from her own larger manor of DITTON VALENCE (or VALENS). Until the first St Mary's chapel, which was later St. Mary’s Church, was built, many people went to church at St Martin’s in Exning, although much of Newmarket originally fell inside the parish of WOODDITTON. The old county boundary ran down the middle of the High Street. Thus, the new chapel was annexed to the parish of Woodditton but under the patronage of the prior of Thetford.
The manor ceased to exist at the Reformation but the chapel and the land that had traditionally related to it remained. A will belonging to a John Ray, dated 1459, left money to both the new and old chapels of the Blessed Mary in Newmarket.
Two chapels dedicated to the same patron saint in a small town such as Newmarket must have caused some confusion, even if they were on different sides of the county boundary. It eventually led to a change of name because by 1509 a will by a John Perfay left money to the ‘Church of All Saints’."

July 2012 from Tracey Tuite
Hello, I was just wondering if your history society had any idea of the history of Amberley House, 22 bury road newmarket, cb8 7bu? i feel it must have some interesting history and have tried to google information without sucess. any information would be gratefully recieved.
June 2016. NLHS member David Rippington has now sent this information about Amberley:
I have managed to find out a bit about Amberley - it's not a lot; as the house was only built around 1920. The details can be found here
Essentially it was Frank Barling (Barlings Court) who had the house built while he was training in Newmarket and he can be seen living there in the 1926 Newmarket Street Directory, though of course after his bankruptcy in 1931 the house had to be sold. By 1936 it was Coal & Iron Merchant John George and his wife Florence Gertrude Chapman from Yorkshire who'd retired to live in Amberley. Though he didn't stay there long as he died in 1941.

June 28th 2012 from Adrian Aldis, researcher into the history of The Salvation Army
I am wondering if you could give any details of The Salvation Army in Newmarket in order to complete the page below:
This is an unofficial Salvation Army site, dedicated to preserving the history of the movement as well as recording current activity and locations.
In particular it would be useful to have:
Location. Whether or not the building still stands & if so, its current use. Date of opening
A photo of the building if there is one.
Information has come from NLHS members Sandra Easom, Peter Norman and Tony Pringle have provided information and pictures.
From 1923 to 1937 the Salvation Army held their meetings in the Salvation Army Hall in Queen Street.
They then moved to a building between Church Lane and New Cut, opened in 1909 and apparently built for the Trustees of the Newmarket Liberal Club. The present building on the site, now flats, bears a date plaque 1999 and is in the broad style of the original.
We have pictures of the old Liberal Club building.

June 11th 2012 from Marc Buckel, Social Worker Adoption Service.
I wonder if you can help me with some local knowledge.
I am trying to trace an adopted adult's history. Her birth certificate states her place of birth as 23 Manor Place, St Mary, Newmarket but this address does not appear to exist anymore. She was born in 1931.
I have found a record of a marriage between two people who may have been the birth parents but cannot connect them to Newmarket. I was wondering if 23 Manor Place was a mother and baby unit or similar.
It is possible that the adopted adult was adopted through a church agency as I know that the adoptive father worked for a missionary (don't know which one) before the war. The adoption records were held by Barking Education Committee but have since been destroyed.
Any information you can offer will be gratefully received.
We are having difficulty in locating Manor Place. Does anyone have a clue? (webmaster)
Roger Newman has come up with proof that Manor Place had a High Street address in the early 20th c, and our Archivist Bill Smith thinks it could have been behind Barclay's Bank

May 2012 from Coralie Chung
I hope you might be able to suggest some possible routes for me to research the life (and death) of Rachel Parsons who was murdered in 1956 by Dennis Pratt. I would like to hear from anyone who knew Miss Parsons, or Dennis Pratt. Or indeed any information in relation to this topic.
Yours most gratefully,

For further entries regarding Rachel Parsons go to our Correspondence Page 8, June 2013 (webmaster).

May 25th 2012. From Heather. Do you have any information about The Old School at Dalham please? Thank you
Dalham is rather outside our area of local history knowledge, but if anybody can contribute anything it will be passed on.

May 1st 2012 from Tony Pringle
Some legends about naming of Tannersfield Way,but the truth appears to be New Zealander, Captain Ernest Denton Tanner appears in Newmarket about 1910, marrying Gladys Denton at Registry Office. 1911 census has him living at Heath Lodge, the stud opposite Bakers Row. He died in 1936. Tannersfield Way is very nearly the exact entrance to the property and of course the estate was ( or is) Heath Lodge Estate. Freshfields is simply what folk came to call it by. I reckon the latest on the Birdcage is spot on. that was all started by one of my friends asking me the question.
Since then have been asked about Wilfred Sherman Close..That of course is named after Wildfred Sherman, one of the Stablelads Welfare Trust (now Racing Welfare Trust) founders. He was an amatuer boxer and responsible fo the stable lads boxing tournaments (and getting crash hats compulsory for the riders). He was still alive when the Close was named, but died a couple of years ago in Spain. I belive they brought his body back to England but no idea where he lies. Maybe if I get to digitise the burial registers it will be easier to search for such information more readily. I am in contact with the Suffolk Records Office on that subject at present

May 1st 2012. From Brenda Kirby.
I am tracing a great uncle who was a groom/jockey in Newmarket.I know he died in Newmarket St Mary's 22.02.1900, sadly he had broken his back some years earlier in a riding accident and ended his life.
Where he lived, when, and who he rode for is something of a mystery. Family legend is that he did very well and rode for the Prince of Wales, that after the accident he lived in a private nursing home, and he does have a headstone in the jockey's cemetery, which someone must have paid for. His death certificate lists the coroner, Rowland H Wilson as the informant.
The family were living in Yorkshire in the 1880s/1890s, although I suspect he is the John Harvey of the 1891 census born in Birmingham, in the yard of Thomas Brown.
I have traced my grandfather, George Henry Harvey, 1885 -1963, also a groom, to Charles Waugh's yard in 1901. He was still in Newmarket in 1911, and had moved to Leicestershire to become a groom by 1914, when he became engaged to my grandmother.
Any information will be passed on (webmaster)/

April 25th 2012. From Jimmy Jones
could you help me am trying to chace up an old jocky of the 1970s do you hold records 4 that date of people living in newnarket around thatlime. he is called compton rodrigues he was born in south america but cameto england dont no if he is still living he or he has past away hope not he is my wifes farther and would love to get bk intouch with him. my wife wasborn down in newnarket her name is elizabeth rodrigues if you cant help would you no anyone that could please thank from mr jones

April 12th 2012 From Sue Corbett, freelance writer, Sunday Express.
I have been commissioned to write a piece about the royal connections of the racehorse trainer and Jockey Club steward Frederick Glyn, 4th Baron Wolverton, and his son Nigel the 5th Baron.
They had a racing lodge, as I understand it, at Queensberry House in Newmarket , where there are currently two apartments on the market for sale.
I am wondering if any member of the Local History Society would know - or would know of anyone else who might know - anything at all about visits believed to have been made to the two Lord Wolvertons at Queensberry House by royal racing enthusiasts such as Edward VII and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
If you can help in any way, obviously I would be extremely grateful to hear from you.
Sandra Easom replies:
The Jockey Club, situated in the High Street next to the NHRM, will have records about their stewards and might be able to help you.
I do not know whether the individuals you are researching resided in the property you mention. Certainly, a Lord Wolverton lived in Queensbury House in the early 20th century. It is possibly the same individual. The house is a Grade II listed building, originally built by the Marquess of Queensbury as his Newmarket racing home. It was, until recently, a complete house not apartments.
What is left of Queensbury's racing stables stands on the other side of the road. The stables disappeared in a mysterious fire (blamed, probably wrongly, on homeless people) in the late 1990s. Queensbury Cottage (also Grade II listed), which belonged to the stables, also fronts the other side of the High Street there but is in a woeful state of repair. It belongs to a local property developer who has been locked in a bitter battle with the local council for many years (Newmarket has a law which does not allow the development of old, inner town racing stables or for them to be used for any other purposes).
I believe Queensbury Cottage was the trainer's house, so I think it is definitely Queensbury House to which you are referring. Queensbury House was redeveloped several years ago and re-named 'Wolverton Lodge'. It was then divided into a number of apartments and a complex of new, luxury flats built in the gardens behind. I am certain of this because Newmarket Local History Society Committee members were allowed into the place before redevelopment to see it as it was.
Edward VII visited Newmarket many times, firstly as Prince of Wales. He usually resided in apartments at The Jockey Club. He kept a string of racehorses in training here. Certainly, he visited numerous racing friends with properties here. The King Edward VII Memorial Hall in the High Street (occupied by Newmarket Town Council) was built in memory of him and has his image on the front.
It is very likely that members of the Royal family visited Lord Wolverton but I am unable to give you specifics.

Apri1 10th 2012 From Tony Pringle
Even knowledgeable NLHS archivist Bill Smith cannot put a date to when they changed the spelling of Rae's Lane to the current Rayes Lane. It was certainly Rae's Lane up to 1925. Magic how history gets warped over time. What with the Periman /Perryman sage, now I find Mr Rae being cut off and replaced by a non existent Raye. I have not the slightest idea who Rae was, but I may spend a few fruitless hours trying to find him, me being me
Opinions differ on this one. Sandra Easom thinks it likely that the name name came from John Rae, Newmarket chemist & druggist, purveyor of insurance and cigars. Others are not so sure.
Kelly’s directory of Cambridgeshire records the succession on death of John Rae. Pot lids from both Rae’s and Carr’s were regularly recovered from the waterworks site in the 1980’s. This attractively transferred pot lid has widespread appeal, none less than for the obvious counterfeit by Carr, inserting his own surname on the established and recognised pot in the town. Carr’s were still in business in 1962 and continued to trade well into recent years."
John Rae's earliest listing here is from a directory we do not have, White's 1874. His last entry is in Kelly's 1892.
The 1883 Kelly's lists The Cambridge Savings Bank as being open on Tuesdays 12 - 4 in Mr Rae's in the High Street, which would tend to confirm the previous information.
Rae's late 19C exit suggests that the lane could well have been named & re-named in the early 20th century. A map dated 1895, plainly shows "Rae's Lane" top right.

April 9th 2012. From Tony Pringle
Any idea how Birdcage Walk got its name ??. Robert Halliday's book, "Suffolk, Strange but True" has this explanation for the Birdcage. It is alleged that the Cooper Memorial, was often called the Birdcage due to its design, and hence Birdcage Walk. Since the monument was only built in 1909 ? that can be proved or disproved with luck by maps pre 1909. Unfortunately most maps stop just short of identifying Birdcage Walk.
Sandra Easom has researched and discovered this item:
Birdcage: The picturesque area where the horses are stabled while awaiting their races is 'The Birdcage', a borrowing from the saddling paddock at historic Newmarket racecourse in England. The origin of the name is disputed. Some say it was a place where elegant lady racegoers were on display as much as the horses. In 2007, the VRC replaced the ageing birdcage area with a state-of-the-art complex to house 125 horses. A 180 metre tunnel was constructed from the parade ring to the mounting yard to provide safe access for horses and to avoid prevent overcrowding during busy periods such as the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
April 27th. This explanation has come from Joan Shaw:
In the Newmarket. Local Hist. Newsletter of Spring 2005, written by David Occamore it said "I found this item in the Cambridge Independent Press of May16th. 1874. NEWMARKET 'Painting the Birdcage' A countryman writes to the Times as follows ; 'The vagaries of the Metropolitan Board of Works, as described by your correspondent O.H.M. are not without parallel, the authorities at Newmarket having selected the Two Thousand week for painting the outside of the so-called 'Birdcage' The streaks of white paint on many a coat bore evidence to the complete success of such a practical joke'. In those days the end of the race course was at the junction of Hamilton Road and Bird Cage Walk. It was somewhere here that the Bird Cage stood, probably a wooden structure in which homing pigeons were kept. These were used to send out the results of the races."

March 20th 2012 from Wendy Head
I was wondering if you could give me a little information about the history of Palace House in Newmarket.
My great great uncle Joshua James Harper is thought to have worked there between 23rd April 1897 and 12 February 1898 (dates from an old paybook giving the name of Newmarket and M.O & S.B stamped against the amounts deposited), but I don't know anything about where he worked for sure. I know for most of his early life that he worked as a footman in quite a few big houses - London addresses included so I am assuming that he would have worked somewhere in the Newmarket area with that calibre of staff.
Palace House, as its name suggests, was once the Royal Palace at the time of Charles II. The Royal stables are attached and have been preserved and were the subject of a Timeteam dig last year, presented on Channel 4 this year, also see article with pictures on our website (pg 2). At the time you mention Palace House was the home of Mr Leopold de Rothschild. a friend of the Prince Regent (Later King Edward VII) who was often entertained at Palace House on his frequent visits to Newmarket. The house fell into disrepair in the first half of the 20th c but was bought in the 1960s by the local Council and is now the impressive Tourist Information Centre (webmaster)

March 1st 2012 from Mike Browne
I was very disappointed that what I would have thought was an important occasion for Newmarket is not recognised anywhere that I can find in Newmarket with a street name or tablet.
I refer to Chevailer Ginistrelli's horse Signorinetta ridden by Billy Bullock winning the Derby and the Oaks in the same week in June 1908 a racing feat never repeated.
My grandfather was employed by Ginistrelli from at least 1911 until 1917 and lived on his stud farm,.and I would like to find out the following to complete his history on my family tree. Can you help me please!
When was the house Oaks Lodge on the Fordham Road built? Ginistrelli his wife and his staff all lived in a bungalow known as Signorina Villa Stud Cottage according to the 1911 census and I know that he moved from there to the new house, as my father remembered living with his parents and siblings in the bungalow and the Ginistelli's in the house until Ginistrelli sold the stud farm in 1919 (Dad would only have been six then). Also that was, my Grandfathers home address on his military records in 1917. My grandmother continued to be employed by Madam Ginistrelli right up until they left for Italy.
I know Ginistrelli returned to Italy due to ill health and died there in 1920.
Is there a photo of the Winning horse, owner and jockey taken at the time or on their return to Newmarket? I have a portrait photo of the horse and one Ginistrelli but nothing of the actual event except a wordy press report, photos were not used by the newspapers then. The Jockey Club have not come up with anything of this nature
Thanking you in anticipation of someone knowing something.
Mike's query has led to uncovering the history of Oaks Lodge and the post WWII development at Oaks Park that became Newmarket's largest employer outside racing. Read about it at oakspark.htm

March 11th 2012 From Matthew Algeo
I am writing a book about pedestrianism, the popular 19th century sport. One of the characters, of course, is Captain Barclay, who, as I'm sure you know, famously walked 1,000 miles in 1,000 consecutive hours in Newmarket in 1809.
I am in the UK doing research until March 23rd. I would love to see the route(s) that Captain Barclay walked in Newmarket, as well as any other sights associated with pedestrianism in the town. Would it be possible for you to direct me to someone who could assist me in locating such places in Newmarket?
FYI, here are my other books and a little bit more about me: Thank you very much for your time and any assistance you might offer me.
Captain Barclay's famous feat was emulated in 2009 by Champion Jockey Richard Dunwoody with his '1000 Mile Challenge' carried out in Newmarket town. See also pg.3 of this website. (NLHS committtee members)

February 27th 2012 from Julie Cooper Gerber an ex Newmarket lady,
: Quite recently, I discovered, from a letter that I received, that my gt.grandmother Ellen Chapman Cooper b. 1847 of Newmarket was the step daughter of Martin Starling b. 1795-1873.Apparently he was Master of Ceremonies at the Newmarket Race Course and quite a colourful figure. I wonder if anyone could tell me anything about him and his job? I would love a photo printed to if that is possible?
Julie's message also appears in our Guest Book, along with her email address (webmaster)

February 2012. Wonderful news from Pam Edgington (nee Quarton)
Further to the previous postings I’ve made through the NLHS I would just like to say that a successful conclusion has now been made. A lady phoned me in July 2011 with information which led to the conclusion of my search for well over 40 years.
I would just like to say thank you to Rod Vincent and his colleages in the NLHS for their help, advice and encouragement over a long period.
Quite a story! The previous postings referred to by Pam can be found on these pages, dates May 2011, November 2008, December 16th 2007 (webmaster)

January 15th 2012 from June Kent
Can you tell me the origins of the name for 'Black Bear' Lane?
The lane was named after the Black Bear inn, which stood on the corner with the High Street. The building is now a Chinese restaurant. In the early 20th c the lane was known as Grafton Street and there was once an early cinema there, The Kosy Kinema. The Black Bear pub probably was not one of Newmarket's oldest but certainly existed in the 19th c, quite possibly well before that. Has anyone any further information about the Black Bear? webmaster.

And this from NLHS researcher Tony Pringle.
It was still Grafton Street on 1926 map, no name shows on 1937 map.
Black Bear pub mentioned in Chapmans in 1787 and in 1823 appears in Pigot with William Jennings as publican
Thought maybe the Black Bear had connection with Arms of Duke of Grafton, but so such animal appears in that family's Arms, either as a blazon or supporter

January 12th 2012 from Mike Mingay
I have a question about the Post Office as it stands in the High Street. There is a door on the right hand side front, what did this use to be the entrance to/for, I seem to remember it being something to do with the Dole Office but was that its original function when the building was first built?
The present Post Office opened in 1951, and the right hand door led to the Head Postmaster's offices upstairs. When this work moved elsewhere the Social Services Dept took over some of the offices for a time The sorting office was at the rear, entrance via The Avenue.These days it is just a collection point for the postmen, as the mail comes pre-sorted (source NLHS Archivist Bill Smith).

January 6th 2012 from Karin Starmar.
I am studying at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, and am on my MA Course, looking at a specific area in Newmarket, around 1947 onwards. I am particularly interested in the Air Ministry's buildings and Nissan Huts, which were near the playing fields in Holdsworth Valley for a number of years after the war.
There were two compounds of Nissan huts, one near where Rowley Drive is, and the other where the playing fields ended. I was wondering if you might have some information or old photos showing the area after the war with the Nissan huts?
I can recall several families by name who actually lived there, but I have lost contact with them now. I know that the huts were painted black and were fitted out with amenities for a family, (stove, bath, two bedrooms, kitchen, toilet, outside coal bunker, and there were even air raid shelters nearby. Also there was a building which seemed to be like a wash house as a laundry, or something akin to communal use, situated nearby as well.
I do hope that you have some information to share, as it would be so interesting to be able to gather this, and write something about it.

I remember seeing a picture of old Nissen Huts in the vicinity of Icewell Hill, but cannot lay may hands on it at present. There were some more near the end of Bury Road, by the entrance to Chippenham Park.
Nissen Huts were temporary buildings made from curved corrugated steel and brick and were intended for accommodating military personnel during the war. Around 1947, when the military no longer needed them, they were used as cheap housing for newly-weds. This basic accommodation was soon replaced by pre-fabs which were much more comfortable. It would be interesting to hear from anyone with memories of living in Nissen Huts.(Webmaster)

Houldsworth Valley was I think the official name for the estate, but seldom gets used now, similarly Heath Lodge Estate which seems to have become Freshfields. Maps seldom use estate names once the individual roads get their names.
Suffolk Records..... Houldsworth Valley housing development EF 506/3/134a 1950 was the earlier documentation
I remember riding my bike along past the Nissen huts and shooting out some windows with my catapult. Their real end came about the time I joined the RAF so I missed some of that when they eventually condemned the lot and prepared to demolish them to make way for the school playing fields. Likewise the demise of the Depot Field where the fairs and circuses always set up, now of course Churchill Court. Like you I seem to remember somewhere a photo of the old RAF Nissen huts, but cannot remember where. I shall have to pay a visit to the Journal. There must be an aerial photo available of immediately post war as Aero Films & Pictorial made the same overfly of the town about every 10 years from the 1920's onwards
Incidentally Houldsworth Valley and Houldsworth Terrace presumably came from John Houldsworth, owner of Springfield and the owner of the stud where the estate now stands. Naturally being Newmarket it had to be named after some racing personality (Tony Pringle)

December 28th 2011 from Dave Skelly
I wonder if you can help me with, what is turning into, a rather tricky quest.
I am trying to locate pictures of the RAF station that used to be located at the top of the Newmarket's High Street. The station had it's main entrance on the Dullingham Road and I believe it to have been a telegraph routing centre. When the station closed in the early 70's the flag was presented to my Grandfather Flt Sgt J.Lennox.
Do you have any information, photo's or memories of the RAF station other than RAF Newmarket heath?
No known photographs, but see November 3rd 2011 entry below. Can anyone help? (webmaster)

December 16th 2011
This tribute to the work of NLHS member Tony Pringle comes in a letter (see below) he received from Mike Mortlock (an ex-pat.)
Tony runs his own Memorial website and has spent many dedicated hours tracing lost records of casualties of two World Wars, so that they may be remembered and included on the local Roll of Honour. He has also had acknowledgement from the office of the Cemetery/Memorial: United Kingdom Book of Remembrance, Berks
Dear Tony,
Yesterday I received a Christmas card and letter from my good friend and fitful correspondent, John Hubbard of Worlington---included was a recent clipping from The New market Journal, entitled, "Three Young Lives Cut Short By War." I found the article intriguing as the subject matter concerned three local lads who were lost whilst serving with the above-mentioned infantry unit. As I am a military historian who has had two works dealing with the 1/5 Suffolk in the Great War published, the piece was of much interest. My father, Private Jake Mortlock, and his pals served with "D" Company. Private Tim Burlham of Newmarket was one of Dad's comrades---he was also the founder-member of the notorious Black Ace Gang, the scourge of shopkeepers and bazaar merchants wheresoever they were stationed! Following the War Tim became a driver for the Eastern Counties' Omnibus Company and sometimes used to drop in to see Dad en route to Mildenhall.
May I say how much I applaud what you are doing, knowing full well how much of your own time you must devote to such a worthy enterprise. Thanks---and keep up the good work!

November 13th 2011 from Joan Westbrook (nee Holloway)
I would like to purchase your book about the bombing of Newmarket on the 18th February 1941. Could you please give me an address where I can send a cheque for the purchase of one.
My brother was the three month old baby Peter Holloway who was so tragically killed in the raid, Peter was born on the 18th November 1940, I would like to be able to have a copy of the book (that I have just found out about) by his birthday if at all possible. Sorry it is short notice.
Yours sincerely
Another tragic story from the bombing. A copy of the book has been sent by post to Joan by our Treasurer. We hope she receives it by the birthday anniversary of her young brother (webmaster).

November 6th 2011.
It was nice to see NLHS getting a two page spread in The East Anglian Daily Times on Saturday 5th November. This should give a further boost to the already excellent sales of the 'Bombing Book'.
Special congratulations to Sandra Easom who put much effort in editing and getting the book produced and also for providing the newspaper with the material for the article.
This can only enhance the public image of our Society.
Regards to all, Rodney Vincent

November 5th 2011 from NLHS member Tony Pringle.
I seek information: Three of the Polish soldiers buried in Newmarket Cemetery were drowned on 1st September 1943 when their tank fell off a bridge into a river. I think it was near Barton Mills. Can anyone shed any light on this. I am just completing a booklet concerning all the military ( all nationalities) graves in Newmarket Cemetery which I hope to place in the Cemetery Office and with the Town Clerk.

November 3rd 2011. From Les Morrow
Serving in the RAF in the late 50s-early 60s I and others had access to the old camp on the Woodditton Road and on leave and off duty weekends we were always welcome. Most of the guys and Waafs there we knew on friendly terms, some of the lads played for 'the town' in those days and also in the Cambs Midweek League against the Fire Service and Police. Can u direct me to a website that might have details of the short history of the camp, its almost as though it didnt exist. Thanks
The entrance to the camp was opposite the Cemetry on the Dullingham/Woodditton Road in what is now Fairlawns Road.
Les adds the guardroom was on the left and just further in the Sgts mess and HQ buildings. The main signals centre was in the middle of the current estate at the top of Fairlawns Rd. Living accomodation backed onto the Dullingham Rd behind a Flint Wall and the camp fence. The C.O. Was a Flt.Lt Peter Woods whom I first encountered as a Jnr.Accounts officer when I was at RAF Waterbeach. We nearly always got home for Xmas leave and the highlight was the Christmas message that got sent all over the globe - each station adding their contribution, some of which were memorable!! I spoke to Fred Claydon 2 weeks ago and the RAFA used the Sgts Club and the old NAAFI until the lease ran out.(webmaster)

October 28th 2011 from (Mrs) Sue Westwood who lives in Hereford and requested the purchase of our new book sent by post.
Very many thanks for sending me the book The Bombing of Newmarket so promptly. The whole thing made fascinating reading, but my primary purpose was in connection with a bit of family research and I was very interested to find references to my cousin-once-removed, Queenie Kerry who sadly died when one of the bombs landed on the Post Office. The first hand testimony of Mrs Julie Ransome on page 56 was quite stunning - how tragic that the width of a Post Office counter meant the difference between life and death!
If any members of the Local History Society would happen to have any further information on Queenie (maybe even a photo) I'd be very pleased to hear from them.
Once again, many thanks for such a prompt service. Best wishes.

October 22nd 2011 from Michael Tanner (01529 306453) I'd be grateful if you could post a request on your site for any relatives/descendants or anyone with knowledge of the following two Turf figures to get in touch with me with regard to my current historical project:
1. The jockey WILLIAM SAXBY who died in 1924.
2. The JC Judge C E ROBINSON of Lincoln Lodge c1899-1918.
Many thanks.

October 9th 2011 from Tom Hickman
I am interested in finding out something about Major Vernon Daniell who, I believe, lived at Moulton Hall or House in Newmarket up to his death in the 1960s. He was a well-known plantsman who laid out gardens at several stately homes including Anglesey Abbey. If you have any information, or suggestions where to look for it, I would be very grateful.
PS The Bury records office and the RHS Lindley Library have nothing

October 8th 2011 from Tony Pringle
Maybe you have heard of a Blenheim that crashed near Kenford, October 1942 Lt Norenius, South African Air Force buried in our cemetery (Newmarket) was alleged to have died in Blenheim BA725 at Kentford (614 squadron) That is according to Hamlin, but I cannot tie in that aircraft to that squadron, yet alone find details of the crash. Any idea of any surviving native who might know something?

September 6th 2011, from Andrew Martin
I was really interested in the articles on Icewell Hill that I've just found on the NLHS website, having discovered that some of my Newman relatives were living there in 1891. The census folio seems to state that they (and a few other families) lived in what looks like 'Trevethams Cottages' on Icewell Hill. Does this mean anything to you? Was Trevetham the name of the terrace or perhaps the owner?

July 4th 2011. Does the Society cater for metal detecting,is anyone in the Society interested in metal detecting and/or do you know of any clubs in the Newmarket area? Many thanks Ken Peck-Newmarket

This response from NLHS Vice Chair Sandra Easom.
We can put forward your question to the Membership in September (our first indoor meeting of our next year - we do not meet in August). Visitors are always welcome. A small charge of £2 per meeting is made for non-members. Membership costs £8 a year, including the Christmas cheese and wine party! A bargain!
I am sure there is, or was, a metal detecting club in the area. I recall meeting some of their members a few years ago (might have been near Mildenhall).
You could try the website Lots of contacts are listed who might know something. There is also the Federation of Metal Detecting and Archaeology Clubs.

June 2011. From Jan Thompson
I have just found your 'What's New' page on Fred Archer. It's terrific! A very professional page indeed and I am thrilled that you have resurrected our dearest Fred Archer for all to share. I have sent your link to friends in the National Horse Brass Society and know they will enjoy looking here as much as I have.
Thank you so much for all the work you have put in here.
Perhaps someone will make a comment about Fred Archer framed by his bell - we can always hope!
With Best Wishes. Jan Thompson

May 12th 2011 from Vaughan Archer
I have just discovered your wonderful website. Could you shed any light on this article with link below.
As a former resident and avid film goer in Newmarket in the 60s, I and my remaining family have never herd of these Cinemas.
Kindest regards
Published on Thursday 14 April 2011 09:17 Newmarket Journal website
Newmarket has been home to a number of cinemas over the years. The Doric, now Millionaires bar and nightclub, in High Street, ran between March 1937 and July 1964. Innocence, the nightclub across the road, was once the Kingsway Cinema, while Boots, the former Carlton Hotel, was the Victoria Cinema. There was also once a cinema in Black Bear Lane.
Newmarket has a cinematograph history and you can read about one of the earliest public performances on our website, under 'Local Fire Tragedies' this occurred in what is now Ann Furbank's fashion shop on Rutland Hill (then the Town Hall) and resulted in serious loss of life and many injuries.
Yes, the Kingsway and the Doric flourished betwen the nineteen twenties and the fifties, the golden age of cinema popularity. The Doric opened in 1937 and the first film shown was Will Hay in 'Good Morning Boys'.
Particularly during WW II it was usual to see long queues along the High Street for the evening and Saturday afternoon performances. With the advent of television, cinemas slowly declined.
As the Journal article points out both the buildings now serve as Night Clubs.
We do know about the Victoria Cinema in what became The Carlton building, I believe it closed as a cinema in the 1920s as the building took on new roles.
Personally I had not heard of a cinema in Black Bear Lane, but one of my NLHS colleagues assures me that it did exist. There could well have been others during the early 20th century, set up in suitable halls although the safety regulations were tightened up after the Town Hall Fire, mentioned above. Watching moving pictures must have been the the wonder of the age, long before radio and TV came along as home entertainments.
Update to above May 16th. Roger Newman, Sandra Easom Bill Smith and Joan Shaw have confirmed the cinema in Black Bear Lane, and as Roger has pointed out it is shown on the 1926 OS map as Grafton Street. does anyone know why the street name was changed to that of the Black Bear pub on the corner? Interestingly this cinema was also use as a swimming pool, and the floor was boarded over for the shows. We think it was called 'The Kozy Kinema' not so well named if the floor had collapsed!
The new age of Multiplex cinemas seems to be popular in the larger towns but I could not speculate about the likelihood of its success should one come to Newmarket (webmaster)

May 2011, from Pam Edgington (nee Quarton) formerly of the White Lion, High Street Newmarket.
Seeking: Patricia Elspeth Location: East Anglia : No Town Information Message: You were born on 26th December 1951 as Ursula June Quarton. I married your father 2 years later, you have a beautiful sister in USA and a super brother here in the UK. We have been looking for you since well before 1970. If you see this, please contact me, your birth mother, Pamela June Quarton. We are all waiting to hear from you. God Bless with Love. You will not be ashamed of us I promise you. I'd love to hear from anyone recognising this name. A Dr Joseph Davies' name from Newmarket might also be recognised. (Originally Posted on Thursday 10 January 2008)
The search goes on for Pam's daughter, parted from her shortly after birth. See also postings on this site Dec.16th 2007 and November 2008. It would make an elderly lady very happy if the missing daughter could be traced - webmaster)

April 7th 2011.
My grandfather was the mid-upper turret gunner crash-landed in a Stirling bomber at Newmarket racecourse on the 7th June 1944. I wondered if you might have access to any photographs of the event from local records/newspaper reports. His Stirling was identified with the letter ‘K’ included on the fuselage side markings according to his flight logbook. A Sgt Page was listed as the pilot in command of the a/c and the aircraft was from 90 squadron, based at Tuddenham.
All/any help appreciated please.
Regards, Clive Sutton, Kenilworth

Operational flying of Stirlings from Newmarket Heath ended in June '43, when 75 squadron moved to Mepal. Afterwards the Heath was used for a variety of purposes by the RAF including an emergency landing field for aircraft in trouble as it had a particularly long runway. I guess this was the reason for your grandfather's experience.
The 75 squadron markings were BK but I don't know about the Tuddenham squadron.
Of course the war was still very much in progress in 1944 and newspapers were not allowed to publish anything that might be of possible use to the enemy. The local newspaper was, and is, the Newmarket Journal but I doubt very much you would find such a report.
Stirlings were used for laying sea mines among their general bomber duties, but the date suggests to me that it was an operation in support of the June 6th D-day landings. They were lucky to survive an attack by a FW190 with its deadly cannon fire, but by that time the Allies had mastery of the skies over France and the Channel so the threat to our bombers had greatly decreased.
Surely there must be someone who is keeping 90 Squadron records. Have you researched the internet? (webmaster)

June 2011... and this from Tony Pringle
The person looking for info about a crash landing at Newmarket...this bit I found from recollections of an airman shows the difficulty of tracking down anyone at that time.
"I made several other special missions which deserve attention. These were not recorded in normal log book entries due to their secret nature. Individual aircrew members would be flown to Newmarket from different units to form a complete Halifax Bomber crew. All were complete strangers to each other, and briefing was conducted in conditions of utmost secrecy. After a final warning that the forthcoming mission should not be discussed by crews on returning to their individual squadrons, all were required to sign a security declaration document. Shortly before take off, two French resistance agents would boad the aircraft. On reaching their destination, the agents would bail out and the aircraft return to Newmarket, where the crew would disperse to their own units."
Given that was how some missions were formed, little wonder tracing anyone is damned near impossible

March 2011,
I would be very grateful if you could let me know whether you have any information about the Home Guard during the early days of the war. So far as I can remember they met for a time in our dining room at St. Agnes Vicarage which sounds quite bizarre. I have memories of my father the Rev. H D P Malachi in his uniform while I marched outside with a toy rifle but have no further memories of who else served in this unit.
There is no need for a quick reply but any information would be appreciated.
Excellent web site. Kind regards, Mary Colling (Mrs.)

Although we have no specific knowledge of this Bury Road platoon some more general memories of The Home Guard in Newmarket and district appear on this website (webmaster). select here

February 2011 from Timothy Cox at the National Horseracing Museum.
My enquiry at the moment is on the Gaps in the Devil's Dyke, in particular the King's Gap. I have been told that the Dyke was broken through at that point to allow King Charles II's carriage to go through to view the races on his new Round Course. But I cannot find a reference to authenticate that story. Do you know if it is true, please? And secondly, in WWII the Dyke was lowered at that point to allow the bombers to take off in greater safety. Again was that true? Both stories seem plausible and yet direct reference is proving elusive.

The Rowley Mile was host to the RAF from the very outset of WWII and operated bombing squadrons first with Wellingtons and later with four-engined Stirling heavy bombers. The latter needed a long take-off run, especially when heavily loaded and a particularly tragic accident occurred when a Stirling loaded with sea-mines clipped the top of The Ditch and crashed shortly afterwards, causing an explosion that rocked the neighbourhood for miles around. As a result of this and other accidents it was decided to excavate a 300 yard gap in the Ditch along the line of the usual east/west take off. That gap is still there, about a quarter of a mile before of the A14 crossing. I have a picture somewhere of a diesel excavators digging the gap.
Newmarket Heath ended its operational bomber airfield role in 1943 but continued with various other flying activities including some testing of the jet propelled prototype Meteor fighter.
We are trying to find references to the King's Gap (webmaster)

February 2011 from Mr. R Blackwell.
Dear Newmarket History Society: Over the years I have noted occasional references to Newmarket in wartime. I believe there is a link between the RAF use of part of the race course for clandestine aircraft flights to drop spies etc in occupied France & The Low Countries, the use of the White Hart Hotel in the High Street for accommodating persons on this kind of war work, and the bombing of that area of the High Street. The enemy were alarmingly well-informed about such flights and bombing the area around the hotel could have been a clever move to kill personnel involved in clandestine activities. The daylight raid (thus improving the chance of accurate bombing) by an isolated Dornier bomber on a specifc lone mission would support this theory. I do hope your Society investigate this theory. By the way, exciting moves are being made in Bury St Edmunds to refurbish the wartime Observer Corps control centre in our Guildhall. I was in the ROC for many years and give illustrated talks about that control centre. My phone is 01284 386493 Best wishes,

Thanks for that Richard, an interesting contribution from an ex ROC member.
From my personal memories I am aware that from late 1940 to 1942 lone German raiders used to make sneak daylight visits under cover of cloud, usually Dorniers or Junkers 88s. Mystery does surround the particular one that bombed the High Street on February 18th 1941, was it a planned attack or just an unfortunate chance. Newmarket was of course very active in the military field, with the airfield on The Heath and much military traffic passing along the High Street. I am sure too that German spies were active, so the raid may well have been based on information. There was also the airfield at Snailwell, very active with various aircraft types, including Lysanders which of course were used for dropping off secret agents in occupied territory. Even now all the stories have not come to light, as often any survivors are reluctant to talk about their wartime activities. The fate of the particular Dornier 17Z is also uncertain, did it get back to its base? German records have drawn a blank on this one (webmaster)

February 3rd 2011
I am hoping you might be able to help me. When I met my husband he lived in Chippenham just outside Newmarket, he and his family owned the bakery that was there then.He was the baker. A film crew came to take some film of him making bread, as it was made the "old fashioned way", in a rather old fashioned bakery. The film was for the "Archives"
My husband sadly passed away 13 months ago, and I was wondering if I could track down this film and possibly obtain a copy. It was filmed around 1984/85. His name was Michael Ridout.
Do you know where or whom I need to contact to find this piece of film?
Yours sincerely Christine M Ridout
Christine, you could try the East Anglian Film Archives or possibly Anglia or BBC Look East TV, who may have done the filming. Has anyone any better ideas? (webmaster)

January 19th 2011,

I grew up in Newmarket and I often browse the NLHS Website. I noticed a request for any Special Memories of Feb 18 1941 and wonder if the following is of interest.
I was five years old in 1941 at the time of the bombing. I remember it very well. My family lived at the top of Cardigan Street close to the junction with Warrington Street..
My sister and I, although resident in All Saints Parish went to St. Mary's Junior School in Fitzroy Street on the other side of the High Street in St. Mary's Parish. On the day of the bombing I was at home sick and prompted by the explosions my mother and I ran outside and stood at the top of Cardigan Street from where we could see the clouds of black smoke rising from the bombs along the High Street..
My seven year old sister was walking home from school when she heard the bombs exploding just as she turned into Cardigan Street from The Avenue. She quickly ran and took shelter hiding in the corner between the very strongly built wall surrounding the Jockey Club grounds and the private garage at the bottom of Cardigan Street. It was a good safe place. She hid there until there were no more explosions and then she ran home up the little lane behind the houses in Cardigan Street..
The corner where she hid 70 years ago is still there. I can see it when I Google the area from my home in Canada..
In my minds eye I can still see the German bomber flying very low westwards parallel to the High Street. Did I really see it? Or was it the imaginings of a five year old? How could I have seen it? It was the explosions that had prompted my mother and I to run out of the house and so surely the plane would have been long gone. The only possible explanation is that the plane made two passes parallel to The High Street. Did it? I will never know..
However we all knew that the plane was a Dornier ' Flying Pencil '. That is the plane that I see in my minds eye which I believe was a Dornier Do 17. Even children as young as I were ' experts ' at aircraft recognition and other military matters. Did we not have posters on our classroom walls showing us how to identify German paratroopers and various types of German bombs..
The rumour at that time was that the plane's target was a high level military meeting in the Carlton Hotel not the random act of an aircrew dumping their bombs anywhere before turning for home..
Good luck to Newmarket where I lived from five to eighteen when I left to go to University. I have many memories.

Gareth Walters, Calgary, Alberta

Thanks Gareth for your interesting and timely memories.
You may be right in you guesses as some eye-witness accounts suggest that the Dornier 17Z did make a double pass along the High Street, the second time machine-gunning the unfortunate people who had escaped the 10 bombs dropped on the first run. The high level service meeting was in the Memorial Hall, which luckily stands back from the road and therefore escaped a direct hit.
There is still mystery about the Dornier's attack, did the Germans get wind of the meeting through their spy network, which was known to exist? There is no record by the Luftwaffe of this raid, nor of the fate of the Dornier, which may have been shot down by a combination of machine-gunfire from a Wellington bomber, which happened to be taking off from the Heath, and an anti-aircraft battery which claimed to have fired at it as it returned eastwards. It looks as though we shall never know for certain.
I was 14 at the time and at school in Cambridge, but like you I was mad on aircraft recognition and always perused the latest edition of The Aeroplane Spotter with great interest.
Your account will be useful to include in our memorabilia which we are putting together for an exhibition in February 2011, so thanks again (webmaster)

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