The earth didn’t move ... but the houses did

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Looking back to this week 100 years ago, an unusual occurrence in the town drew the crowds.

This is how it was reported in the Market Rasen Mail of Saturday, July 15, 1911.

The removal of houses and shops from one site to another is no unusual occurrence in North America, but in this country it is a rarity.

Consequently, when it became known that Mr A J Payne, cycle agent, intended to move bodily his workshop and showroom from Church Street to the new site he had secured in Chapel Street (opposite the Gas Works), speculation was rife as to the successful issue of the undertaking.

The building is a glass-fronted wooden structure of 18½ feet by 26½ feet, and when we mention that in getting it on to the roadway and also in turning the George Street corner into Queen Street there was not the fraction of an inch of room to spare it will be seen what a formidable undertaking it was, and great credit is due to Mr Payne, Mr Coulson (joiner) and all concerned for its successful accomplishment.

During the last few days operations had been in progress to lift the building from its brick foundation and get it moved into a line for moving it into the street, and shortly after eleven on Thursday night the services of one of Mr Stamp’s traction engines were requisitioned.

The building had been put on bogey wheels, and to get it on to the road required the most careful manipulation, but this, the most difficult part of the undertaking was accomplished by half-past twelve without any damage being done to adjacent property or to the lamp which stood almost directly in the way.

The journey had to be via George Street and Queen Street to Union Street, as the end of Waterloo Street was too narrow to allow of the passage of the building, which looked quite a huge affair when on the road.

It was after one o’clock before the corner into George Street was negotiated, and after three o’clock before the straight of Queen Street was reached.

Afterwards all was comparatively plain sailing, the turns in and out of Union Street not proving so formidable, and the new site was attained before half-past four, when the services of the traction engine were dispensed with.

As previously stated, it was a big undertaking, and one that will not readily be forgotten by the big crowd which assembled in Church Street to witness the spectacle.

The majority of sight-seers departed after the building had been got on to the road, but quite a large number watched its progress throughout almost the entire journey.