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Langham History


Tinpanning
In 1910, the last case of 'tinpanning' was remembered. This means that if anyone had been misbehaving with someone of the opposite sex, the people of the village would turn out armed with kettles, pots and pans and bang on them outside the misbehaving people's house. This would happen on three consecutive nights. The hanging of effigies was also practised, the story being told of an effigy being hung from a tree on the Barleythorpe Road in the nineteenth century.
Mail
The mail cart arrived at 6:45 in the morning, which came from Oakham, it left the bag for Langham and Whissendine and travelled on to Somerby, via Cold Overton. Whissendine's bag was carried by hand, but if the weight was over fifty pounds the Langham postmaster had to supply a horse and cart to carry it.

It is remembered that Mrs Isaac, who was a postmistress, at a time when houses were not named or numbered, had a job to deliver the mail, as there were so many residents with the same name.

The first telegram was delivered in 1889.

The Workers and Traders
The village was virtually self contained for services and shops, Mr Rodgers of Whissendine , who was the carrier, in his large covered spring cart travelled to Oakham once a week, and Mrs Thorpe, every Saturday, walked with a large basket to Oakham and collected medicines and newspapers; copies of the local papers are displayed in the reading room which is now part of Church Cottage in Well Street.

Behind The Wheatsheaf Mr Stacey's shop, now demolished, used to be a Primitive Methodist Chapel.

There were three bakehouses. Only in the winter, Mr Mantle would make pork pies and especially for hunting 'toffs'. The Wheatsheaf, a recommended pub, Noel Arms and the Black Horse still remain today, but another Inn, in 1850, was thought to have existed at the building known as the Old Rectory.

Commons and Tolls
There used to be a toll near the present petrol station and another at the Manor Road junction. Up until the early part of the century, there were many small holdings in the village each having two to six Cow Commons. When the fields were to be stocked in April, allocations were decided as were rates for mowing thistles and other maintenance. The wage for a youth was 40/year to fetch the cattle to the gate morning and evening so that they were near the milkers. To the South of Cold Overton Road there were commons, and a skittle bed was built at the gate entrance by Lord Ranksborough.
Plane Facts
On the night of the 5th of March 1916, the villagers observed the great bulk of a Zeppelin passing over, dropping bombs near Thistleton, the explosions could be heard in the village.
A Watery Business
Where the telephone exchange now stands was the slip way to the stream, which was used for watering courses and washing their feet, there were hunters available from Johnson's yard opposite. At the Washdyke, sheep were washed. The street had a very wide verge, the present tennis courts on part, here the villagers could graze their stock free of charge, provided young boys were employed to tend them; those cattle that strayed found their way to the pinfold.

In the war, in 1939, a bomb fell in the tank of water in Manor yard - a most appropriate spot.

The Bells
The Church bell played a part in telling the inhabitants of events, if a male died the tenor bell would ring three times, there would be a pause between each three. For a female the bell would stroke twice three times. On a funeral day, the Sexton rang the trouble bell quickly to remind the bearers, when they and the undertaker arrived at the home of the deceased, they would be offered refreshments. The tenor bell rang one stroke every minute until the coffin arrived at the church gates.

Up until the 1914 war, the rent bell would be run this was to announce the arrival of the Steward to receive the half years rent. The rent was collected from a room upstairs in the Noel Arms. If the rent was over twenty pounds it was paid on big rent day at Christmas followed by a great dinner. Songs and a toast to the landlord followed, by those who could still stand. Little rent day for cottages was held on the day before they received nothing in the way of refreshments.

The old allotments were in use before 1835 and the new ones formed in about 1865. These were used for corn in rotation with vegetables. Mr. Nourish set up his threshing tackle in his yard one day a year, the allotment holders bought their corn, which was threshed for about sixty a time.

Beating the Bounds
All children that could walk were taken around the parish boundaries once a year in the hope that they would learn them, the procession was headed by the Clergy and the schoolmaster.
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