Page:A History of Horncastle from the Earliest Period to the Present Time.djvu/151

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The procession marched from the Bull Ring to the Railway Station, where the elders of the party on the platform, and the children, with their banners, ranged on the opposite side, awaited the arrival of the train bringing the G.N.R. Directors, and as it drew up the bands played "See the Conquering Hero comes."

The procession, augmented by the directors, then re-formed, and marched through the town; in the Bull Ring the National Anthem was sung. A large marquee was erected in the grounds of Mr. R. C. Armstrong (now Mrs. Howland's garden), adjoining South Street, in which the contractors, Messrs. Smith & Knight, provided for the directors and shareholders, and other guests, in all over 200, a splendid dinner, served in excellent style, by Messrs. Wilson and Serpell, of the Bull Hotel. The Honble. Sir H. Dymoke presided, as Chairman of the Horncastle and Kirkstead Railway Co.; being supported on his right by Mr. Hussey Packe and Mr. C. Chaplin, Directors of the G.N.R., Major Amcotts and Sir M. J. Cholmeley, and on his left by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., M.P., Director of the Horncastle Railway, and Rev. W. H. Milner, Vicar. Congratulatory speeches were made, and the day closed with a fine display of fireworks.

Opened under such favourable auspices, and supplying a felt need, the railway has continued to be a success; improvements have been made, from time to time, in the stations at Horncastle and Woodhall Spa. The line continues to be a single one, but it is sufficient for the local requirements, and the shares, as before mentioned, at the present time (1907) find a ready sale at an advance of about 50 per cent. on their original price. We might add that if the railway could be continued to Spilsby, and then connected with the different lines running to the Skegness, Mablethorpe and other health resorts on the coast, its utility, and doubtless its paying value, would be largely increased, as it would shorten the distance by many miles.