1913 March

The events of March 1913 again show how the world has changed in 100 years.

 At an Occasional Court in Royston Mabel Pammeter (37), who came from Ashwell but was now an inmate of the Royston Union Workhouse, was charged with 12s 10d damage for breaking 23 panes of glass.  She said she had been egged on by others and attacked another inmate.  As a consequence of this she was put in a cell with her supper and used the mug to smash the windows. She promised no to do any further damage, so was only given 2 weeks, not 2 months, in prison. Today we may wonder why a young woman of 37 was put in an institution and ask ourselves what effect that would have had on her.

Another sad event and one that would have been all too common in those days was the death of Albert John Robinson at the age of 15 from pneumonia. The article goes on to say he was the son of Mrs Robinson of the Fox Inn (Station Road), who had only been widowed a year ago.

On a more positive note The Farningham Boys made what was termed their usual visit to Ashwell for a whole weekend. They came from a home for destitute boys that concentrated on giving them a craft for the future. The concerts they gave were enjoyed by a numerous and enthusiastic audience.

The Literary Society was also active with poetry readings and a lecture by Mr A J Wyell, MA Cambridge, on the Oberammergau Passion Play which was illustrated by nearly 100 ‘pictures by lantern.’ Other societies held meetings: The Red Cross, in its first year, was flourishing and the Cricket Club had its AGM in the Bushel and Strike – something it may well do today. The Hockey club was the most active sporting association with several successful fixtures, unless you include Hare Coursing in this category.

The new water system was still in the news with the Ashwell R.D.C. inviting applications for the hire of a field of 5 acres 20 poles at Ashwell Sewage Farm. (Near to Bluegates Farm). They also affixed a precept of £220 on the rates for the Ashwell Special Drainage District.

A Papal Bulla or seal, made of lead, was found at Ashwell in a ploughed field. The article goes on to say it was probably of Pope Innocent the first, who was Pope from AD 402-417. This attribution seems highly unlikely.

If only Ashwell Museum had been open in1913 we might still have it in the village and be able to find out more. However in 1991 metal detectorists turned up another papal bulla which can be seen in the museum. This one is of Alexander the Fourth who was pope between 1254 and 1261. What was this doing in an Ashwell field?

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