Bourne Archive: FNQ: Curiosities
http://boar.org.uk/ariwxo3FNQ1049.htm Latest edit 12 Aug 2009.
Interactive version ©2006 R.J.PENHEY
The Bourne Archive
Part 62. July 1904.
This quarterly periodical took the form of a forum in
which people sent in questions about the history, ecology and so on of the
1049 Auction at Bourne. – The custom described in the extract here given from The Daily Telegraph of 18 Apr., 1904, is well known to all who live in the district, but we think it has not yet been alluded to in Fenland Notes and Queries.
methods of auction still survive. Thus at Bourne, in
[This was not quaintness for its own sake. It was a device for ensuring that the fund and its purpose were not forgotten by the intended beneficiaries, the people of Eastgate. Therefore, the new generation was given an active rôle. In 1904 there will still have been people in Eastgate who needed help. Now, social welfare provision has reduced its significance but although this income is thought of as a ‘charity’, it is in fact, a distribution of income from property belonging to the community. In its present form, it dates from 1770, when the land was allotted by the commissioners for the 1766 Enclosure Act. That allotment was in turn, an acknowledgement of earlier arrangements for the payment of parish officers. The bread was not intended for distribution solely to the poor. The dinner is a means of rewarding the auctioneer and organizers for their trouble in being there. (RJP) See Ball’s Charities: last item of the first group and 3rd item of the 2nd group. See also FNQ32.]