Monthly Archives: July 2016

Thorney Precision to close in August

Patrick Rowe - founder of Thorney Precision

A high-tech Thorney engineering company is closing down in August after 33 years.

Thorney Precision, which is based at Bridge Works on The Causeway, will close on August 26.

Most of its 15 employees have been offered alternative employment at ABC Stainless in Empson Road, Peterborough.

Thorney Precision was started by local man, Patrick Rowe in 1983, with just a couple of machines and working out of rented premises at the Bedford Hall.

It grew over the years and moved into its current premises, formerly Fred Harlock’s workshops, in 1999.

Patrick built it into a thriving business with a turnover of £1.3 million and it now operates 15 computer-controlled precision machining units building precision parts. Customers include Cummins of Stamford and Fujifilm at Hemel Hempstead. For many years, the company supplied components to Pedigree Petfoods.

The machines are being sold to ABC and the premises will remain empty for a while, until Patrick decides what to do with the site.

“It has been a hard decision to close down, but I’m now 70 and I want to take it a little easier,” said Patrick. “My son has been running the business, but he wants to do different things, so we thought it best to close.

“I will be sad. Many employees have been with us for 30 years and we’ve all worked hard to make it a success, especially in the early years, when I was doing a seven-day week.

“A lot of people walk past here every day, but don’t realise what we do. The machines we have and the work we produce is world class.”

Patrick was born in Thorney at Knarr Fen Schoolhouse, where his grandfather had been headmaster. He served an apprenticeship at Baker Perkins and then moved to Newalls in Fletton and was manager of Complete Tool Service in Ivatt Way for eight years.

He lived on Topham Crescent with wife Margaret and two sons and, as the business expanded, they moved first to The Maltings and then to Bridge House. He moved to Old Hunstanton a few years ago.

Patrick is a keen antiques collector and, in his retirement, he’s planning to do some buying and selling.

“Who knows, I might event convert this place into an antiques warehouse,” he said.

Help find hit-and-run driver

A man in Sandpit Road is asking for help in tracing a hit-and-run driver who crashed into his parked car in Sandpit Road around 3.30pm on Thursday afternoon.

Dominic Dawes says his car was parked outside his home when another car ran into it and caused considerable damage.

The car then, apparently, reversed at speed, almost hitting a woman and child, before racing away.

“I am really annoyed that this has happened on my doorstep but I am concerned that reports say the driver almost hit a mother and young daughter as he sped away from hitting my car,” said Dominic.

If you saw the incident and can give any information Dominic would like to hear from you. His phone number is 07732 332276 and e-mail

Thorney community groups share wind-farm cash

Wrydecroft windfarm 1 LR

Two community groups in Thorney were among five voluntary bodies given cash in the first round of grant awards from Wryde Croft wind-farm.

A total of £18,000 was awarded to Thorney Children’s Community Choir, 47th Peterborough (Thorney Abbey) Scout Group, Guyhirn Church of England Primary School, Parson Drove Parish Council and Parson Drove Pre-School.

The grant to the choir was towards transportation, uniforms and music for the children’s community choir, while the scouts will use their grant towards a new minibus.

Guyhirn Primary School will buy classroom equipment, Parson Drove Parish Council is installing swings on the village green and the Pre-School will expand the themed lending bag resources offered to families to help children’s learning and development in the home.

The community fund from Wryde Croft wind-farm, which has 13 turbines, will be worth around £50,000 per year. Operators RES provides the money to Cambridgeshire Community Foundation which considers applications and awards grants twice a year.

The deadline for the autumn round was August 1, but applications are now being taken for grants to be made in spring 2017. You can get full information at, go to the tab ‘Funds A-Z’ and click on the Wryde Croft link at the end of the list. To qualify, groups need to be based within 6 km of the wind-farm, measured from the nearest turbine. This includes all of Thorney.

The community fund was agreed when planning permission was granted for the wind-farm. Wind turbines being built at French Drove by green energy company REG will also pay into a community fund, but there are just two turbines on this site, so the fund will be much smaller.

Thorney Society AGM

The Thorney Society annual meeting takes place at Engine Farm, Wisbech Road, Coates on Friday (July 15).

The meeting starts at 5.30pm and, afterwards, there will be a tour of farmer Gordon Easton’s private collection of vehicles, machinery and memorabilia.

Everyone is welcome, no need to belong to the Thorney Society. If you need transport, call Margaret Fletcher on 270634.

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