Eight Acres 1Eight Acres runs between Foundry Road and Rock Road. On the 1885 OS map the north side of the street was built up but the south looked out on a large open area, presumably the original eight acres – or part of it at least. In the 1890s the field probably belonged to Mr Scholes who allowed the newly formed Junior Athletic Club to hold their sports day there – perhaps some of our Boys were members of the Club. No doubt due to their situation the houses were sometimes called View Cottages but the land was already being encroached upon and by 1902 Hayes & Son (coach builders) had a saw-pit ‘in the Eight Acres’.

In 1911 there were 16 houses along the street, most of them having 4 rooms although a few at the Rock Road end were smaller with only 2 or 3 rooms. A policeman lived at No 4 and No 10 had been occupied by bakers for many years however it became a more general grocery store in the early 20th Century. Five families had lived on the street for 10 years or more although there was a high turnover of people in some houses. In 1911 there were thirteen under 16yr olds along the row, 6 of them boys aged 11 – 16yrs.

The census shows a community of wage-earners mainly in good skilled and semi-skilled work but in the late 19C and early 20th Century, when our Boys were growing up, the street was not without disruptive elements. One family in particular was in constant trouble – for drunken behaviour, fighting, theft of haddock, theft of copper, poaching, arrears of rent and more. Ironically a member of the same family was being quoted in a Stamford Mercury advert promoting Doan’s Kidney Pills – the payments she received must have helped offset her husband’s fines but it seems unlikely that local readers would give the recommendation much credibility!

The houses on Eight Acres have been much altered and some demolished altogether but some parts of the old buildings have been incorporated in the new ones.

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