Monthly Archives: March 2018

Football’s coming home – if they can raise £250K


THORNEY Football Club has launched a £250,000 fundraising drive to build a new pavilion in the park.

The pavilion has stood since 1973 but a leaking roof forced the council to lock up the changing room on safety grounds.

The senior team is enjoying its best league performance in its 50 year history but is forced to play home games in Gunthorpe because FA regulations require a home and away dressing room.

Playing away from the village has stripped “the soul out of the club” according to Thorney FC chairman Michael Bowen (pictured).

“In three years time there will be no football clubs left in the village,” he says. “We want to come home but the facilities are an embarrassment.

“The village deserves a facility fit for purpose, I wouldn’t keep dogs in there.”

The pavilion was once home to more than 10 sports clubs, including the village’s senior and youth football teams and running club.

The decline of the pavilion has matched a loss of sporting life in the village – the Thorney Colts have lost six junior teams in the last five years.

After five years of fruitless appeals to the City Council for funds, villagers are finally taking matters into their own hands.

An architect has drawn up plans for a replacement pavilion with an estimated construction cost of £250,000.

It will include two changing rooms with shower facilities and toilets and a separate changing room for the referee, as well as a public toilet and disabled access.

It’s a hefty sum to raise but Bowen is looking for support from villagers, fundraising or on the committee.

For anybody wanting to get involved contact: Michael Bowen ( on 0771 401 6252 or Sam Godley ( on 07572 876 311. There is also a Facebook group at

There is a meeting on April 3 at Thorney Ex-Servicemen’s Club for anyone who would like to sit on the fund-raising committee.

Family raising cash for to fight Alzheimer’s Disease


A Thorney family has set itself a target to raise £6,000 for Alzheimer’s Research.

Elizabeth Hurn of the Maltings saw both her father and mother die as a result of the disease, so when her daughter’s boyfriend secured a place in the London Marathon, the family decided they would make his run the centre of a fund-raising effort.

As the Thorney Post went to press, they had already raised over £3,500 through a quiz night, cake sales and race sponsorship.

“Alzheimer’s is a very cruel illness,” said Elizabeth. “It affects every aspect of the victim, weakening their body and destroying their mind and personality. I’m an only child and mum and I were very close. For a mother to no longer be able to recognise her daughter is terribly hurtful.”

Elizabeth’s father Eric Stacey had shown some symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but following a fairly routine knee operation, the condition developed quickly and he died soon afterwards, aged 75. Her mother, Pam, was affected differently by the disease. The symptoms came on more gradually, with increasing forgetfulness and then confusion.

One day, she travelled from her home in Orchard Court to see her sister in Peterborough, but instead of getting the bus back to Thorney, she got on a coach to London and ended up at Victoria bus station.

“That scared us so much,” said Elizabeth. “A woman tried to help her, but all she could remember was the number of a neighbour in Whittlesey from years before.

“Thankfully, the neighbour called me and I was able to arrange for my brother-in-law, who works in London, to pick her up.”

Pam died last year, aged 82.

The choice of Alzheimer’s Research for a fund-raising effort was down to Ben Parker, boyfriend of Elizabeth’s daughter Alice.

Ben has wanted to run the London Marathon for some time and when his entry was accepted for this year’s race, he was clear he wanted to run in memory of Pam and to raise money to help people who will suffer from Alzheimer’s in future.

“Experiencing the immense difficulty and sadness the family had to go through because of Alzheimer’s was heart-breaking,” he said. “Alzheimer’s leads to the death of nerve cells and the loss of brain tissue. I was not aware that one in six people over the age of 80 develop this disease, yet there is still no comprehensive understanding of the connection with genetic inheritance and no definitive way of completely removing your chances of diagnosis.”

A quiz night at the Bedford Hall in February was sold out and raised £1,400.

“I can’t thank people enough for their support. It was fantastic,” said Elizabeth. Husband Paul was helping on the night and he said he was surprised by how many people approached him to say they had relatives who had suffered in the same way, either through Alzheimer’s or dementia. “It really is a massive problem,” he said.

Ben (27) is currently training hard for the big day on April 22. This will be his first marathon and he’s hoping for a sub four-hour time.

If anyone wants to support the Hurn family’s fund-raising, you can give online at


Make sure you are registered to vote

There is just under a month to go until the deadline to register for your vote in May’s council and parish elections.

Registered voters in the May 2018 elections will elect 18 city ward councillors on Thursday, May 3, including Thorney.

Residents have until Tuesday, April 17 to make sure they are registered. Anyone not on the register by then will not be able to vote. Residents will receive their poll cards around March 29. If they do not receive one they can call the Elections Helpline telephone number on 01733 452249 to check if they are registered.

Rachel Edwards, Peterborough City Council’s Head of Constitutional Services, said: “We want to make sure that no-one misses out on their right to take part in the elections. This year, one third of the ward councillors in the city will be up for election.

“If you want your voice to be heard, make sure you’re on the electoral register. People often think they’re automatically registered if they pay council tax, but that isn’t the case.”

The fastest way to register to vote is online at the website.

Thorney’s French heritage


Why are there so many French-sounding names on gravestones on Thorney Abbey? Did you know that for many years, French was a common language in the village?

If your family originated in Thorney, there’s a chance you will have some French or Huguenot ancestors. A book called Cromwell’s Settlers tells how settlers from abroad were invited to Thorney in the 17th century and what happened to their descendants.

The book has just been reprinted and is available from Thorney Heritage Museum (cost £4.95) when the museum opens for its summer season on Easter Sunday, or from Margaret Fletcher on 270634


Old M&S building may be converted to flats

Plans for nearly 100 new flats in the centre of Peterborough have been submitted to Peterborough City Council.

A planning application to convert the upper floors of the former Marks & Spencer store in Bridge Street into 98 one and two bedroom units has been submitted to the authority by Progressive Property Assets Ltd.

The ground floor of the building is currently occupied by B&M Bargains, however the upper floors have been vacant since Marks & Spencer left the site in March 2016.

If approved, the flats would be created through partial demolition and conversion of the upper floors to create new floors.

There would also be new windows and doors built on the existing elevations as well as cladding to help tie the old and new aspects together, preserving the character of the building.

Race will close roads

Thorney 10K

It’s the annual Thorney Road Race on Sunday, March 25 with runners starting at the Bedford Hall and following a course east along Wisbech Road and then up and down Old Knarr Fen Road.

Wisech Road will be closed to traffic from 10.30am to 11.30am from the Rose & Crown to Old Knarr Fen Road.

Station Road will be closed for five minutes at the start of the race (from 10.30am) and will be down to a single lane for the rest of the hour.