WED., DEC. 2/09

“SANTA PARADES IN PT. BURWELL, BELMONT  THIS WEEKEND!”

SATURDAY IN PORT BURWELL – The parade will organize at 6 pm at the Legion on Wellington St. It will follow down Wellington to Robinson and conclude in front of the Lighthouse for the annual lighting of the Lighthouse Ceremony. There will be speeches, Santa’s welcome and  handing out of  candies,  followed by Hot Cider and Cocoa  and cookies in the adjoining Keeper’s building.

SUNDAY IN BELMONT – The Belmont parade is at 6pm, beginning at the Belmont Farm Supply at the south end of town, it travels north to Manning Drive. It is the village’s seventh night parade. They have approximately 40 entries including , The Mocha Oriental Band, the  Ingersoll Pipe Band,Thamesford Majorettes, Viper Cheerleaders ,  with Elgin County International Plowing Match 2010  putting in 2 floats this year,  and the horses are back! The firemen will collect non-perishables for an area food bank. Free hot chocolate is available at Scotiabank and Farrow Financial. The parade is organized by the Belmont Santa Claus Parade Committee with major sponsors being Bill Blaney Insurance, Westminster Mutual,  Belmont Lions and Belmont Lioness Clubs.

*THE SATURDAY (S)CEREAL  (LATE!)* = “THE BAYHAM LAMBS”

(The ‘Lambs’, the source for their name unknown -they were not sheep rustlers , ‘terrorized’ the Straffordville area with small crimes for about a decade – between jail terms – in the l870s and l880s. Information on their escapades is from “Hugh Sims: History of Elgin County”  and  research in StThomas/Tillsonburg newspapers of the time. This is Part I.)

The Tillsonburg Observer in January, l880 in reporting on the activities of the ‘Bayham Lambs’ described it as “one of most remarkable chapters of criminal history in this locality.”  In September, l876 brothers Charles and Marcinas Hubbard and Frank Cairns were arrested for the burglary and shooting of Warren and Seth Caswell – Warren was wounded as he attempted to stop the late night intruders. Cairns blamed Charles, his nephew, and was not convicted. But in October, l878 a house was burglarized near Straffordville and the only one of three  suspects  apprehended  was Cairns. He was sentenced to 5 years in the Kingston Penitentiary. But within a week of his trial he had scaled the walls in the St. Thomas jail with another inmate and escaped. Apparently he hopped on a  freight train west of Shedden and at Dresden he got off and eventually managed to get into the U.S.

Within a year he came back and was spotted and arrested  in Walsingham.  But with their leader back in Canada (even though in jail),  the Lambs’  crime spree was renewed.  The ‘Observer’ stated in January, l88O that “the authorities were powerless to cope with the evil of the past few months. ” There was a six month trail of  horse stealing and home burglaries.  But the police caught a break after one  home was robbed in early January, l880 in Straffordville (while the family was absent thieves carried off a feather bed and a quantity of pork.)  Tracks at the scene led to Walter Cairn’s house, Frank’s father,  and they  discovered many stolen items. Further tracks behind this house led to a swamp and two constables and a posse of farmers and villagers followed. The suspects threw off their coats and shoes and dropped their knifes  and ‘conveying by vines’ got a lead.  They  picked up clothes and shoes from an unsuspecting farmer and escaped after a  2 mile pursuit. The elder Cairns, 60-70 years old,  got four years in jail, 3 years for acting as a ‘fence’ from the stolen items and 1year for forcing his wife to be an accessory! Oh, and like his son,  he tried to escape using a homemade saw but was caught. (…To Be Continued)

PHOTOS OF THE DAY...

"About 40 persons attended a viewing of the documentary "Food Inc." at the Aylmer Town Hall theatre last night - sponsored by the National Farmers Union of Elgin and the local Grassroots environmental group."

"Major B M Wellwood, daughter of Mike and MaryAnne Wellwood of Aylmer, is pictured in Kandahar, Afghanistan with 33 'care' boxes which were assembled here in November and shipped to the troops there through the Aylmer Legion. Other shipments are planned; if you wish to assist, especially with toileteries and small games or cash, the Legion is accepting donations."

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