Memory Corner April 18th 2019

Friday April 18th, 1794

BY LETTERS FROM AMERICA we learn that six sail of French ships of the line and five frigates, apparently the squadron that Earl Howe chased, are safely arrived in the Chesapeake. They had one million four hundred pounds sterling in specie [coins] on board, which they have safely lodged in the bank in Philadelphia, for the purpose of buying provisions and stores.

TWO SHOPS were broken into on Friday night, Mr Pearce’s, shoemaker, and Mr Hazledine’s, ironmonger; from the former a few pairs of shoes were taken, and from the latter several 5s [bags] of halfpence.  Shopkeepers will do well to see that their window shutters are properly secured.


Friday April 16th, 1819

STALLION, HIT OR MISS, to cover this season; thoroughbred mares at five guineas each, and five shillings the groom; hunting mares and others at two guineas, and half-a-crown the groom.  He will attend at the Crown Inn, Welshpool, every Monday; will be at the Talbot Inn, Berriew, every Monday evening, at five o’clock and remain all night; at the Dragon Inn Montgomery from 7 till 10 o’clock every Tuesday morning; proceeds on through Chirbury, Worthen, Westbury and home to Alberbury; remains at home every Wednesday; on Thursday through Llandrinio, to the Cross Keys, Llanmynech, where he remains till 1 o’clock; then to Knockin, where he remains all night; on Friday through the neighbouring villages on his way to the George Inn, Shrewsbury, where he will remain till Saturday evening.


Friday April 16th, 1869

ON THURSDAY MORNING WEEK, George Jenkins, a fisherman, while netting for salmon a little above Diglis weir [Worcester] caught a very large sturgeon. It measured 6 feet 1 inch in length and weighed upwards of 1cwt.

ON FRIDAY, at Mr Smith’s in Pitchford, a hive of bees swarmed.  Bees swarming at so early a period of the year is, we believe, a most unusual occurrence.


Friday April 18th, 1919

MINISTRY OF FOOD – KEEP YOUR RATION BOOKS – after May 3rdcertain foods will still continue to be rationed, and to buy them your present ration book will be needed, as no new books will be issued.

CRICKET – the Shrewsbury club have arranged some fixtures, but several of their old matches will be missed from their list.  The ground will be at Bicton Asylum.  The club Roll of Honour [those killed in the war] numbers twelve at least, though not all of them were on the list in 1914.  Other members are all five years older, but a fair number of new ones are in prospect.


Friday April 20th, 1979

Sir John Holt (centre)

MONEY which an old soldier with a conscience wrongly claimed from the army many years ago may soon be helping victims of the Northern Ireland violence.  Some time ago the old soldier – who did not give his name or address – wrote to MP Sir John Holt saying that some years ago, while he was in the army, he obtained money for leave to which he was not entitled. He enclosed £10, which, he said, should ‘more than cover’ the amount he had claimed.  Now Sir John has passed the money to the Army Benevolent Fund.


Thursday April 21st, 1994

SHREWSBURY MAN Simon Airey was named Pet Shop Assistant of the Year in a competition at London Zoo. The competition, run by Spiller’s pet foods, attracted around 750 applicants, ten of which reached the final. Simon, who was runner-up last year, and works at Pets Corner in Mardol, won the award after a written examination and an oral test.  “I am elated to win, especially after coming so close last year,” Simon said.  Next year, however, he will have to watch someone else win the title.  “Now I’ve won, I cannot enter again,” he said.


Thursday April 23rd, 2009

A LETTER received by a Shrewsbury law firm has shed new light on the secret life of an unassuming town resident who died earlier this year.  To the few who know him, HRA (Alex) Blair was a reclusive military historian who chose to live a quiet bachelor life in Monkmoor.  But a letter from Major General JDC Graham, sent to Stuart Lister, the executor of Mr Blair’s will, reveals how the pair of them played a key part in Britain’s operations in Communist-controlled Czechoslovakia.  Major General Graham describes meeting the then Staff Sergeant Blair at the British Embassy in Prague: “Inconspicuous in the diplomatic circles of that grey, bewildered, unhappy city, we were singular in that we could speak and read Czech. Thus we could contribute significantly by producing facts and assessments about the Czech armed forces which our superiors needed to know in that era of great tension.  [But] we had no diplomatic immunity or protection from arrest by the ubiquitous and vigilant security agencies of the hostile Czech state.”