Tuesday, 6 March 2012

WORMGATE IN 1842 and 1854.

Mr. Victor Fox was born at 18 Wormgate in 1842.

He tells us that before the railways came to Boston in 1848 a lot of the trade with other places was done mainly by river navigation so many goods were landed near the Grand Sluice and brought into town through Wormgate making it a very busy street. He even remembered the grass growing between the pebbles in West Street while Wormgate flourished.

The chief business hotel down there was the Dog and Duck (later to become the Wormgate Inn and now Goodbarns Yard) and its smoke room was in much demand as a meeting place for the tradesmen from the Market Place. A bit further down the road the Packet House Inn was another favourite establishment.

Colley Street, one of the little lanes off Wormgate, was once the home of Tommy Howden who in his time was considered to be the best all round prize fighter in the locality. He was a lightweight and glaringly thin but although barely scaling ten stones he was a terror for many miles around. One of his memorable successes was against a giant of over six feet who answered to the name of Kiss Tebbs but who for all his length and breadth was brought down by the youthful Howden.

An unknown source left a description of Wormgate in 1854 from which I have been able to present the following.

Starting at the top end near the Stump where the present Vicarage stands was the Seven Stars Inn, the adjoining premises were occupied by Mr. Harvey a butcher and next came Miss Harvey a dressmaker.

The next building (now Goodbarns) was the Dog and Duck which in those days had the nickname of The Hotel Cecil and next door to that was Ernest Brown a bookbinder. The next place on the list is filled by Tom Ashby a baker and next to him was Miss Bucks Boarding School.

In quick succession now come Mr.Fox a dyer and shoemaker (Father of Mr. Victor Fox above), Mr. Fossett another baker, Mr. White a Tailor, Mr. Billiard a Butcher, Mr. Banks a shoemaker, Mr. Edward Spikins wood-turning workshop, Mr. Dring a shoemaker, Mrs. Harrison a sweet shop, James Reuten a barber, Mr. East a ropemaker, Mr. Fothergill a slater, Mr. John Baker a builder and paver, Mr. Massam a butcher and Mr. Wain a Tailor and General Dealer.

That side of the street finished we return to the Stump end and the opposite side where the Blenkin Memorial Hall is now.

The corner building was occupied by Mr. Atkin and next to him was Mrs. Swinn a confectioner known for her gingerbread and home made ginger ale. Next was Mr. Jay's Hat Emporium and next to him was Mr. Grantham a Tailor. A door further down was Mr. Ranyell a Joiner and Builder and then Mr. Julian a Butcher and Builder and at the Fountains Lane corner was Pickering's General Stores. On the opposite corner of Fountains Lane was Mr. Phillips a basketmaker. Next came in order of mention Messrs. Teesdale (tailor), Richardson (butcher), Peter Kitwood (grocer) John Peck (grocer and baker), Tuxford (watchmaker), The Packet House (Inn), Christopher Sewell (chemist), Edward Spikings (woodturner).


At the opposite corner of Colley Street Sam Wells (carpenter), Milson (tailor), and Rainford (baker and miller)


On the opposite corner of Red Lion Street was Miss Fox's high class boarding house and next door Mr. Harrison (brazier and tinker), the next property was taken up by the Laughton's Schools then Mr. Routen (painter) was next. The last few on the list are Mr. Barnes Milson (auctioneer and valuer), Chas. Kennigton (cabinet maker), and finally The Little Peacock Inn.


  1. magic i love the nostalga

  2. Brilliant! keep them coming Billy

  3. Amazing photos and Stories Billy, stumbled on your blog by accident and it's a real treasure trove of history that would otherwise fade into oblivion. Thanks for creating a wonderful resource, it's about time someone set about recording the neglected history of our formerly grand and still utterly unique town.

  4. Fantastic site, Billy - and I was so thrilled to find a mention of my ggg-grandfather, Mr White, the tailor, of Wormgate. Thank you. :-)