Town leapt to defence of school

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Old De Astonians from a wide area gathered at Market Rasen this week in 1959 for the unveiling of a memorial tablet.

Placed near the entrance to the new sixth form block, the tablet commemorated the 53 old boys who gave their lives in the two world wars.

Edward Welbourne, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and a distinguished old boy, performed the unveiling ceremony.

Mr Welbourne is pictured above, second left, with Dr E R Walter, president of the Old De Astonians Association; Mr B H McGowan, headmaster; the Rt Rev A I Greaves; Sir Arthur Heneage, chairman of governors; and Mr J C Lancaster.

Other items making the news 52 years ago:

l There was bitter opposition to proposals from the county council’s education sub-committee to close the 350-year-old Caistor Grammar School.

The plans would see the children being educated at Caistor transferred to the grammar schools at Market Rasen and Brigg, both of which would be enlarged.

Caistor’s council vowed to fight the closure.

Coun J Nickerson said he could not recall an occasion on which local feeling had been more deeply aroused.

“It was not too much to say that Caistor was incensed by the proposal that the ancient grammar school should be closed.”

l A part of Caistor’s history was uncovered when a purchase of land was made.

Mr Holt bought just over an acre of land just below Caistor Grammar School and immediately found himself in possession of what may have been an old Roman vantage point.

The Roman wall was running along the bottom of what would be Mr Holt’s new garden.

l Long noted for their beautiful gardens, members of Middle Rasen and West Rasen Garden Association held another successful show in the grounds of Mr and Mrs G Clark at The Chestnuts in Middle Rasen.

Quality of the exhibits showed less falling off as the result of the drought than had been expected.

Mr A Capp won the championship cup and also a special prize for most points in the vegetable section. Mrs Capp and Mrs Bontoft tied for the ladies cup, while Mr Clark won a special flower prize.

And finally.....

l It was reported that Market Rasen had come to fleeting prominence by being mentioned on the BBC radio programme Beyond Our Ken.

Compère Kenneth Horne started off the show with his customary doings of the week.

“On Tuesday,” he said, “I went to Market Rasen, but there was no trade in raisins.”

A quip, we are told, that got quite a laugh from the audience, who one felt must have heard something of the town.