Monthly Archives: November 2016

Thorney has two new firefighters

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Thorney Fire Station has two new on-call firefighters, bringing the team up to eight people, but they are still looking for more.

The new recruits are Dez Larty (27) who lives on English Drove and Thomas Bingley (26) of Topham Crescent.

The two men have just completed their training and are now ready to take their place on the engine.

It’s great news for the village Fire Station, as the last new recruit joined way back in 2009, and means that more much-needed cover can be provided.

“Ideally, we’d like to get the number up to 12 people,” said Station Commander Gavin Hammond. “If we could find people able to respond during the day, it would be great news.”

Thorney Fire Station is crewed by on-call firefighters. These are people with regular jobs, who make themselves available to answer emergencies for a set number of hours a week. They are paid a retainer for being available and also a call-out fee.

“Anyone aged over 18 is eligible,” said Gavin, “and you can apply at 17. There’s no upper age limit provided you are fit enough and women are just as capable of doing the job as men.”

Dez, who works as a tree surgeon, is used to heights and ladders, but he says the training covers everything you need to stay safe and do the job. He’s lived in Thorney for four years and was persuaded to come forward by his brother-in-law who is also a fireman.

Thomas also has a family connection to the fire service – his uncle was an on-call fireman in Whittlesey for over 30 years.

The Thorney team responds to emergencies across the Fens and into Peterborough and may be called upon to fight fires, rescue animals or cut people free after traffic accidents.

If you are interested in finding out more about being an on-call firefighter, you can call Gavin on 01480 444500 or come along to Thorney’s drill night which is Tuesdays from 7pm to 9pm. There’s also a website (go to careers and select on-call firefighter) and an e-mail address where you can get more information.

The Thorney team (below) left to right: Steven Lloyd, Colin Bartlett, Ben Purdy, Chris Hudson, Dez Lartey, Gavin Hammond, Tom Bingley, Garreth Horrocks.

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Four new building sites proposed in Thorney

Four new sites for major housing developments in Thorney have been proposed for inclusion in Peterborough City Council’s Local Plan.

They include land around Causeway Lodge at the entry to the village, land to the north of Wisbech Road between Sandpit Road and pumping station, and two tranches of land south of the village – one in the field adjoining the park and another to the west of Park Farm.

The four plots cover 20 hectares of agricultural land and could contain up to 390 additional houses.

The Peterborough Local Plan aims to build 27,500 new homes and create 22,000 new jobs in the city between 2011 and 2036.

The sites in Thorney will be considered for inclusion, but not necessarily given the green light. A round of public consultation across the city will be held, with the aim of having plans approved in spring 2018.

Already the plans have caused controversy. Peterborough mayor David Sanders, who represents Eye, Thorney and Newborough, has accused the city council of destroying Eye and insists no further homes should be built there. Eye has been earmarked for up to 250 houses and a block on further development there may increase pressure to build in Thorney.

The four sites in the village are:

THO-001: 4.26 hectares of agricultural land to the north of Wisbech Road in the field between the mini-roundabout at the corner of the school to the pumping station. The plans says this would be suitable for 20 houses, but may not get approval by the City Council as it is in a designated flood plain and previous development nearby has been rejected.

THO-002: 5.19 hectares of agricultural land in the triangle around the bypass, the first roundabout and The Causeway as you enter the village from Peterborough. The development extends around the old Causeway Lodge farmhouse. The plans suggest 120 houses, which is a high density. The land would also be within a designated flood plain and therefore may not get approval by the City Council.

THO-003: 7.21 hectares of agricultural land to the south of Thorney Park and running up to the current Larkfleet housing development at the end of Woburn Drive. The site is marked for 170 homes. This land has been offered for housing previously and was supported by the Parish Council but opposed by English Heritage which complained that it would damage the aspect of the village from the south and street lighting for an access road onto Whittlesey Road would be too bright.

THO-005: 2.6 hectacres of agricultural land to accommodate 80 houses in a triangle of land to the east side of the Larkfleet estate and to the south of the Park Farm housing development which was given the go-ahead by Peterborough City Council this autumn.

Plans of the new sites are:

Thorney Plan 2 Thorney Plan 3 Thorney Plan 4

Thorney plans 1


Is there a ghost in Bedford Hall?

The Bedford Hall may have a resident ghost – and it’s not very happy.

Ghosthunters from a group called ParaLincs and members of the Thorney Society spent a spooky night in the Bedford Hall and Thorney Museum and some evidence of paranormal activity was detected.

Two groups of six people spent two-hour sessions in different locations with men and women taking it in turn to ask “is there anyone there.”

A specialist video camera detected a mysterious mist across the lens in the museum and lasers set up in the bar area of the Bedford Hall detected a number of interruptions.

The final tests, detecting and interpreting radio waves, found an angry presence emitting signals which ParaLincs interpreted as a message to “leave immediately”. To avoid antagonising the presence further, the tests were terminated.

Jayne Sheraton from the Thorney Society, said it had been an interesting evening and people had gone with an open mind. She said there had once been a mortuary sited behind the bar area at Bedford Hall and so the activity detected there was of particular interest.

“ParaLincs is a small team of friends who are passionate about searching for evidence of the paranormal in their spare time,” said Jayne. “They used laser beams, photography, video, audio and radio detection. We are still awaiting the findings and transcript of the event and, whether you believe in this kind of thing or not, I can confirm that the whole exercise was carried out with great respect and professionalism.”

Jayne also had a good word for Thorney teenagers. “There was a group of young people hanging around outside. They were really interested in what we were doing and very considerate. They even moved away when it was clear their talking was interfering with some of the detection equipment.”

Thorney Lakes golf course for sale

Thorney Lakes

Thorney Lakes Golf club is for sale at an asking price of £750,000.

It is being sold as a going business by specialist agents HMH Golf and Leisure and a spokesman for the agents said there had already been some strong interest.

Thorney Lakes is now an 18-hole golf course and includes a 9-hole par-three course, clubhouse with conference and function rooms, a separate pro shop and a 12-bay covered driving range and putting green.

The site covers 135 acres. The complex once included a second 18-hole course – the Fen Course – but this was closed last year and has been returned to farmland.

Please vote for Abbey


Thorney people are being asked to help the Abbey secure a grant of up to £25,000 by voting on the Aviva community fund website.

Monies are awarded according to public votes, so yours might be critical.

To vote, go to:

You will need to register, but this is free and only takes a few minutes.

Money will be used towards the Abbey’s £200,000 appeal to finance internal alterations, including new entrance doors, a gallery, toilets and kitchen.

Station Road closed for four weeks

Station Road in Thorney is to be closed for four weeks from Monday (November 14).

Closure will be between the traffic lights and The Maltings, meaning people living off Station Road will have to use the bypass and The Causeway to loop around and get back into the village.

Roadworks are to put in a water supply for homes being built behind the Rose & Crown pub.

More roadworks delays

Additional lane closures will be put in place from next Monday (14 November) as part of the £5 million project to improve junction 20 of the A47 Soke Parkway.

Roadworks at the junction, which started in summer, have caused long delays to villagers trying to get into Peterborough and have also increased congestion on the link to the Frank Perkins Parkway through Eye.

The work will increase the number of lanes from two to three in both directions, with traffic lights controlling the roundabout.

Now the eastbound A47 will be reduced to a single lane from just past junction 18 (Rhubarb Bridge A15) to just past the roundabout.

The restrictions will be in place until Christmas.

The junction 19 slip road from Paston/Dogsthorpe on the eastbound carriageway will be closed for the same period.

Councillor Peter Hiller, the city council’s cabinet member for growth, planning, housing and economic development, said: “We appreciate that the improvement work at junction 20 has caused some inconvenience and apologise for any further disruption that these additional closures will cause. However, this will allow us to continue the work safely and to schedule.

“Peterborough is going to experience significant growth over the next 10 years, with numerous developments planned – including the Norwood development and Paston Reserve.

“The junction 20 improvement scheme will provide additional capacity for the extra growth identified.”

The works will also include the installation of LED street lighting and carriageway resurfacing with a reduced noise surface material.

The project is expected to be completed in spring 2017.