Cyclists in the Stocks?

My Dad, 1955

By Keith Waterfall

Keith Waterfall's father at Bottesford stocks, 1955.
Keith's Brother
Mr Terry (left) and friend examining Bottesford stocks in 1921.
The Cross and Stocks, Bottesford 2007

Thanks to Mr. Keith Waterfall who hasĀ  posted this picture of his father, who had cycled from Nottingham, sitting on the steps of Bottesford Cross in 1955. From the glum expression on his face, we guess that Mr. Waterfall’s father was posing as an unfortunate village miscreant who had been put in the stocks. Or perhaps he had been caught cycling without any lights.

The picture was presumably taken by his fellow cyclist. Who was he? Mrs. Ada Bond, who has generously allowed us to scan her photograph collection, has a very similar photograph, which we assume shows Mr. Waterfall’s companion.

Does anyone know when the stocks were last really used? What sort of crimes would have been punished this way?

Photographs like this are invaluable in helping us build up a record of Bottesford and its people. We can now date Mrs. Bond’s photograph and compare it with other pictures of the same scene at different times. The picture shows Deacon’s ‘Ladies and Gents Hairdresser and Tobacconist’ in the background, now the Oriental Kitchen Chinese Take-away. The name of the shop next door, now the Rutland Studio, is not visible. Was it Moulsher’s?

Mr. Bob Terry of Bingham has kindly lent us photographs of a visit to Bottesford his grandfather made in 1921. Mr. Terry is posing at the whipping post, before the stocks were moved, with Samuel’s shop in the background. When did Samuel’s close down?

We are collecting information about Bottesford shops in the past and would be grateful for any information, memories or photographs of them anyone can add.

This page was added on 21/09/2007.

Comments about this page

  • The photo from Ada Bond was taken from my collection that I let her have. It was taken by my dad of his friend at the same time. They had cycled from Nottingham where they lived. He seems to remember that they were heading for Skegness.

    By KEITH WATERFALL (04/10/2007)
  • Mr Waterfall, who is sitting in the stocks,is still cycling to Bottesford and the Vale of Belvoir at the age of 69.He would also like to add that it was nicer to cycle in 1955 because there were no cars and I might add no litter, but it is still a beautiiful village. He still loves sitting by the ford watching the ducks and the world go by.

    By Anonymous (05/10/2007)
  • The stocks were often used for what today we might think of as very minor offences, such as being found inebriated in public, or petty theft, or were used to detain prisoners temporarily. The pillory (which holds the head) and the whipping-post were used for more serious offences.

    People who were in the stocks for any length of time might suffer having things thrown at them. If they were unpopular, or had been convicted (rightly or wrongly) of some unpleasant crime, stones were often thrown, so that serious injury, blindness and even death were not unknown.

    Being in the stocks for more than a few hours is said to cause severe cramping (e.g. see Andrews “Bygone Punishments”); in addition if your hands were fastened you’d want help in eating, drinking, and going to the toilet, none of which would be very dignified.

    Today, I expect people would probably steal your wallet, your shoes, your mobile phone or whatever else you were carrying, especially if they thought you wouldn’t recognise them, and if your hands were tied.

    See http://www.fromoldbooks.org/Search?kw=stocks for some more pictures of stocks if you are interested.

    By Liam Quin (13/07/2008)

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