Monthly Archives: December 2015

Help Katie take young sportswoman title


Katie Tasker from Thorney has been shortlisted for the Peterborough Telegraph Young Sportswoman of the Year award – and you can help her take the title.

The award is determined by public votes and you can vote only by text.

Katie, who lives at Dukes Head Farm, is a formidable triathlete and in 2015 she excelled at this swim/bike/run event, taking the Eastern Region Under-13 League by storm, winning eight events in a row to take the title with maximum points.

Katie attends King’s School in Peterborough and also plays hockey for Cambridgeshire Under-13s, swims for City of Peterborough and won the Hunstanton Under-13 Round Robin tennis title this summer. She runs for Nene Valley Harriers, is the Peterborough Schools cross-country champion, and holds her school record for 1500m.

The title is decided by a public vote and to support Katie, send a text message to 65550 with the following wording: PETAWARDS JSW Katie Tasker [then your own name and address] EXIT

All text messages cost 50p plus your standard network rate. Normal Johnston Press competition rules apply. For more information go to

You will receive a text reply to confirm your nomination has been received. Your text message must follow the exact format stated, otherwise your nomination may not be valid but you may still be charged. The bill payer’s permission must be obtained before nominating.

The top three in each category when voting closes on January 15 will be invited to the annual awards bash at the Cresset on January 29 when the winners will be announced and the sponsors will present the trophies.

Mohammed and Olivia most popular baby names in 2015

2015-12-18 15.53.14

The most popular baby names in Peterborough in 2015 were Mohammed for boys and Olivia for girls.

Olivia was used 35 times, closely followed by Amelia and Isla, according to figures released by Peterborough Register Office.

For boys, and for the eighth year in a row, it was Mohammed, used 80 times, followed by Oliver in second and Harry in third place.

Olivia climbed from fourth place in 2014 to take the top spot this year. The favourite name chosen by parents for their baby girl last year, Amelia, dropped to second.

Isla is a high new entry to the top 20 at three. Well-known Islas include the Queen’s great-granddaughter Isla Phillips and Harry Potter character Isla Hitchens.

New entries in the top 20 for boys are Jack, Thomas, Alfie, Isaac, Freddie, William, Joseph and James.

The full top 20 names, including variant spellings, are:

Girls – 1 Olivia, 2 Amelia, 3 Isla, 4 Lily, 5 Emily, joint 6 Mia, Poppy and Sophie, 9 Grace, 10 Isabella, joint 11 Chloe, Ruby and Sophia, 14 Ella, joint 15 Millie and Maya, joint 17 Charlotte and Jessica, joint 19 Ava, Phoebe and Sienna

Boys – 1 Mohammed, 2 Oliver, 3 Harry, 4 Charlie, 5 Jacob, 6 Jack, 7 Noah, 8 Thomas, 9 Alfie, joint 10 George and Isaac, joint 12 Freddie and William, joint 14 Joseph and Oscar, joint 16 Archie, Henry and Joshua, 19 James, 20 Leo

Judy Wilson, superintendent registrar at Peterborough City Council, said: “With the royal baby, Princess Charlotte, born this year it is no surprise to see this name join the top 20 for girls.

“Overall there are no major changes at the top of the lists, with the exception of Isla which has seen a rise in popularity with parents across the country.

“Peterborough has a well established Muslim community and we know parents have a preference to choose Mohammed as a first name for boys. Traditional names like Harry, Jack and Charlie remain strong picks.”

Names to drop out of the lists included Ruby, Darcy, Hannah, Alexander, Daniel and Logan.

Quiz night fundraiser for Abbey

Thorney Abbey

Thorney Abbey is staging a quiz night at the Bedford Hall on Friday, January 29 (7.30pm start) and is looking for entries from teams of eight.

It is £40 per team to enter and supper (with a vegetarian option) will be available.

Revised plans for village Tap Room

Pump House

Revised plans for the historic Tap Room next to the Rose & Crown have been submitted to Peterborough City Council.

Planning permission was granted in 2012 to convert the Tap Room and the old stables at the Rose & Crown into houses and also to build 11 dwellings on land to the rear of the pub.

Now, developers have submitted revised plans for the Tap Room and stable block. They want to convert the Tap Room into a four-bedroom house (previous plans were for a two-bedroom property) and also create a three-bedroom property at the old stables (previously a two-bedroom home).

There is no change to the application for 11 homes at the rear of the pub.

Plans also show 17 car parking spaces, including two disabled spaces, at the front of the Rose & Crown.

The Tap Room, which has stood unoccupied for many years, was built in 1850 as part of the 7th Duke of Bedford’s model village. It is part of the Thorney Conservation Area.

The stables at the rear of the pub were built in 1899 at the same time as the main building, some 50 years after the Tap Room.

While the Tap Room served as a simple alehouse, the new Rose & Crown had higher aims. It was built by the People’s Refreshment House Association, a Victorian body dedicated to promoting greater sobriety. Its pubs still sold alcohol, but their managers were supposed to prevent excessive drinking and also to promote non-alcoholic beverages.

The Rose & Crown was among the first seven pubs built by the Association and their aims are clear from this passage, part of a statement issued at the turn of the 19th century appealing for investors to put money into the movement:

“The more we can get our peasantry to find pleasure in reading, the better. But, after all, there will still remain a perfectly natural and reasonable desire for free and easy chat with one’s neighbours in a warm, well-lighted room, over whatever beverage is to one’s taste. The People’s Refreshment House Association, so far as their resources go, secure that the best conditions of the good old- fashioned, well-conducted village inn shall be reproduced with, as we have shown, as near an approach as possible to security against temptation to excess.”

In 1962, all the pubs owned by the Association were acquired by Bass Charrington.

You can see all planning applications and decisions relating to the village at:

Thorney among top ranked schools in city

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The Duke of Bedford School in Thorney has been ranked fifth best out of 56 primary schools in the Peterborough area.

The rankings are based on school performances at Key Stage 2 tests in the National Curriculum which assess reading, writing and maths skills.

Eye Primary School was ranked 37th and Newborough 24th.

As a district, Peterborough struggles near the bottom of results nationally, being 146th out of 152 local authorities, although it did move up two places this year.

This is blamed partly on the challenges of a high number of immigrants, which mean many children have English as a second language and many are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Quarry plans are flawed, says Parish Council

Pasture House Farm

Thorney Parish Council has come down against plans to develop a new sand and gravel quarry at Pasture House Farm.

The proposed quarry is adjacent to the A47 and would border Willowhall Lane. This is the full text of the Parish Council response to Peterborough City Council:



Planning Application Reference: 15/01839/MMFUL


1. We are not opposed to this site becoming a quarry although we regret the loss of agricultural land and the important rural setting this provides on the A47 approach to the village.

2. We are, however, completely opposed to two aspects of the proposals:

a) Access to the site being from Willow Hall Lane

b) The location of the Batching and Processing Plant

3. We fail to understand why access to the site is from Willow Hall Lane rather than utilising the existing entrance at Pasture House Farm.

The Pasture House Farm access point would extend the distance between the existing Pode Hole Quarry exit/entrance to the east, and we feel this should be a consideration in respect of road safety.

Using Pasture House Farm as the access point would avoid the widening of Willow Hall Lane, which, we understand is necessary to meet the requirements for heavy goods vehicles. This widening is on the western side of the road where there exists a very beautiful copse of mature trees. Widening the road will ravage and brutalise this copse, and we believe the wilful and unnecessary felling of trees is totally unacceptable when there is an obvious alternative that would not affect the landscape or mature trees and vegetation.

We cannot imagine that the City Council Officers responsible for tree preservation and landscape will be able to give this aspect of this application their approval.

We also note that there is no indication of quarry traffic control at the Willow Hall Lane/A47 junction. Will lorries be permitted to turn both left and right at this junction or will they be restricted to making a left hand turn only as do the Pode Hole Quarry vehicles? If it is a left hand turn only for quarry vehicles how will this affect other traffic using this junction – will they still be permitted to turn left or right?

What, regardless of where the access to the site is, will be the limitations on the number of vehicles entering the village?

We assume the limitations imposed on Pode Hole will be shared with Pasture House Farm by which we mean there will be no increase in the existing number of vehicles entering the village?

We are informed that alternative access points have been discussed with Highways but they are insisting on Willow Hall Lane being utilised for this purpose. We would be grateful if we can be informed by the City Council of Highways reasons for this and their rejection of alternatives.

4. Locating the access off Willow Hall Lane seems to generate the location of the Batching and Processing Plant being placed in a position where it will be visible from the A47. The implication that a ‘screening bund’ will overcome their being visible seems unlikely to us and we would like to see visuals that give accurate views of this. We feel that such visuals should be an integral part of an application such as this.

We believe the Batching and Processing Plant will be a visual blot on the landscape and will unacceptably change a rural agricultural setting to an industrial one.

We are of the opinion that this plant should be located immediately behind the farm house and related farm buildings. In this location it will read as an integrated part of the existing collection of buildings rather than just being stuck somewhere out in a field. It will also be well hidden from the A47 and would work well with site access at this alternative location. Furthermore it would be in a location central to the whole site which could seem to be an efficient place to locate it.

We assume that the sound test information in respect of the impact this plant may have on residences in the vicinity will be a critical item in respect of assessing this application. We are concerned that noise levels may be unacceptable.

5. We believe interventions of this kind into a rural landscape should be of the most subtle, sensitive and least intrusive design and these proposals exhibit precisely the opposite of that. They are intrusive, they have little or no respect for the existing copse and they are insensitive over the siting of the batching plant. We trust that the Planning Department will request a more appropriate solution to these aspects of the proposals before giving them their full consideration.

Unless the Access Point and Plant locations are reconsidered we confirm that Thorney Parish Council are totally opposed to these proposals which they consider to be extremely ill-considered and inappropriate in respect of a rural landscape and in their disregard for the established landscape feature of the copse.

6. We request that this Planning Application be put before the Planning Committee and that a member of Thorney Parish Council is granted permission to speak at this meeting


a) These proposals do not include any visuals as to how the modifications to Willow Hall Lane or the Batching Plant and Processing Plant will look. We are left with having to judge this from plans alone and this in itself would seem to be sufficient reason for rejecting this application or for calling for more information.

b) We trust archaeological matters, wildlife and environmental issues related to this site will be critical items in reviewing this application.

c) As it is beyond the expertise of Thorney Parish Council to assess whether or not this quarry is actually needed they would be grateful for the view of City Council on this. The adjacent quarry appears to be fully operable with approval to expand so we are uncertain why a further quarry is needed at this time.

d) In discussion with the Agent for this application when he spoke to the Parish Council earlier this year it was put to him that there should be a community benefit arising from this application should it be successful. In particular we referenced the continuation of the Cycle Path from Thorney to Eye. This exists in part from the village going west but needs to continue along the frontage of the application site. We believe, in keeping with policies on safe cycle routes and community benefits that provision of this Cycle Path extension should be made a condition of any approval of this application.

e) In recent discussions (December 2015) with the Agent for this site he suggested that new trees could be planted on the western side of the Willow Hall Lane copse to compensate for the loss of trees on its eastern side. This does not form part of the existing application but we would be grateful if either the application is modified to incorporate this or that it is made a condition of any approvals given to this application.


Apply for wind farm cash grants

Wrydecroft windfarm 1 LR

Applications are now being invited for the first round of community grants from the new Wryde Croft Wind Farm.

From 2016 the developer is making contributions of just over £50,000 per annum over the lifetime of the wind farm into the Wryde Croft Wind Farm Community Fund.  The fund is being administered by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.

Applications for funding are invited from not-for-profit constituted groups (not individuals) delivering charitable projects with public benefit for residents who live in the Area Of Benefit for the fund – a 6km radius around the farm.

Grants will be offered normally in the range of £250 to £5,000, although in exceptional circumstances higher sums may be considered.

Here are some examples of how the fund might be used

  • To purchase music stands for a band.
  • To refurbish a Children’s Park.
  • To purchase new mats for a Bowls Club.
  • To help build a cricket pavilion with changing facilities and disabled access.
  • To provide activities for young people and Youth clubs.
  • To provide a Christmas dinner for the elderly.
  • To help build a ‘sensory garden’ for pre-school children.
  • To help towards the purchase a minibus for a Community Transport scheme.
  • To purchase ‘smart boards’ for a school.
  • To support community activities and annual events.

The first round of grants will be considered at the panel meeting in mid March 2016, applications and supporting information must be submitted by 1 February 2016.

Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is a local grant-making charity and more information (including eligibility and documents you have to be able to provide such as safeguarding and equal opportunity policies) as well the application form can be found at:-

Wryde Croft wind farm was built during the summer and comprises 13 turbines situated north east of Thorney off New Cut.

Snow covered Thorney Dyke

Thorney Dyke

Karen Pope was inspired by the image on the front page of this month’s Thorney Post to send us this picture of a snow-covered Thorney Dyke.
This was taken in on December 5, 2010.

Thankfully, not so cold this year; although winds of 40mph and gusting higher have taken down some branches, roof tiles and fences this weekend.