Cambridgeshire & the Fens – History Talks

From Mike Petty who writes and talks about the history of Cambridgeshire and the fens:

As you may already know, as part of the OWLPS project I am offering three free talks to communities alongside the Ouse Washes and Old and New Bedford Rivers

They are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Ouse Washes Community Landscape Partnership Scheme based at Acre, Ely.

The first is on the history of the Rivers, the third on the people and places alongside the river and the second is how we can discover information about our communities through museums, libraries, archives and – particularly – our computers

These hour-long presentations are illustrated by old pictures and are completely free to any group who cares to set up a venue.

If you would like one (or two or three) please contact me – first come, first booked.

In addition I also organise ‘Fenland History on Friday’ meetings at Ely Methodist Church (entrance via St Mary’s Street car park). They are held each week from October to May, 10.30 to noon. These meetings are open to everybody who cares to come along, £3 on the door.

We are a welcoming, friendly crowd anxious to learn more and share what we already know

This time we will have sessions focusing on pairs of local villages, including yours

I would really welcome the input from local people – you know your area and we would love to share your knowledge. Bring along any publications you have produced, any old pictures we can show on the screen – you can take them back straight afterwards

And of course you are more than welcome to any of the the other sessions

The opening session on 16th October will probe the somewhat murky history of the construction and development of the two great Bedford Rivers between Earith and Denver – and the more you look the more complicated it seems to become.

After that we will see what we can collectively discover about local villages. If your families lived there, if you live there now, if you’ve something to share, please help

We will seek information, publications, pictures, memories and your knowledge about Earith and Bluntisham (23rd October) and Sutton & Sutton and Gault on 30th

Then on November 6th the area under the spotlight will be Grunty Fen and Oxlode. We will be joined by Dennis’ sparring-partner, Christopher South, to try and unravel fact from fantasy – was there really an island in the middle of the fen to which people would row by boat from Wilburton, did it truly have three railway stations or a wartime airfield. And where does the water go to.

After that there may be an excursion (Nov 13th) before we move on to Coveney and Wardy Hill (20 November), Downham and Pymore (or is it Pymoor) on 27th, Manea and its colony (4th December) and Welney with Salter’s Lode on 11th – hopefully with something on the great skaters of the fen

As ever things may change, there will be the Table of Delights showcasing latest publications or discoveries and – most importantly – a chance to share knowledge, gossip and information

Mike Petty

I’ve placed 4,000 pages of Cambridgeshire ‘Looking Back’ snippets from 1897-1990 online together with thousands of other pages on Cambridgeshire and the Fens that you can search and download to your computer for free..

Just click the link below – and let me know if you find anything of interest

Visit my website .

Or just Phone me – 01353 648106

And if you’re looking for a Speaker – its something I do (four times a week)