Author Archives: Eric Rayner

A47 improvements delayed

Two major road-improvement schemes scheduled for the A47 have been delayed following a government review.

Work to improve the A47 junction at Guyhirn and a scheme to extend the Castor bypass so the A47 is dual-carriageway all the way to the A1 are both caught by the rethink.

The government says too many roadworks had been scheduled to take place at one time and would have caused unnecessary delays.

No start date is given for the two A47 improvements affected, but the delay could be up to two years.

Check this out, mate

chess-316658_960_720

A new after-school chess club is starting at the Duke of Bedford School after half-term.

The club is the brainchild of school governor Bert Brookes and it will be free to attend, with complete beginners especially welcome.

“Chess is a marvellous game,” said Bert. “It teaches children problem solving and maths skills and gets the brain working in ways that modern computer games can’t match.

“It’s a chance for children in the village to learn to play chess and I hope to be able to introduce a school chess competition, with an overall prize and also prizes for each year group.”

The club will be open to any child in Key Stage 2, so from year 3 upwards. It will run on Mondays, starting November 6, immediately after school for 45 minutes.

Deadly bird disease found in village

greenfinch

Birds suffering from a deadly disease, that has caused a 60 per cent drop in the population of some species, have been found in Thorney.

Local birdwatcher Eric Rayner has found a number of greenfinches suffering from the disease in his garden and is urging people in the village to stop using birdfeeders until the end of the month.

“The disease, called trichomonosis, is caused by a parasite and June to September are the peak months for transmission,” he said.

“It affects greenfinches and chaffinches most commonly, but also many other species of garden bird.

“It is spread by birds on garden feeders. It has been in the UK for more than a decade and has reduced the population of greenfinches by over 60 per cent. This is the first time I’ve seen any evidence of it in Thorney.”

Because the disease is spread when birds flock to garden feeders, advice from the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) is to stop feeding for two to four weeks when any signs of the disease are present. This causes flocks to disperse and minimises the risk of spreading the parasite.

The BTO also says you should remove water as well as food. When you re-establish feeding, it is a good idea to move feeders around to prevent a build-up of discarded food below the feeder; change water daily and clean feeders at least once a week.

“It is easy to miss a dead or sick bird in the garden,” said Eric. “But if the disease is present in my garden, the chances are it will be present throughout the village.

“Many people enjoy feeding birds and it’s great to see them in the garden, but for their own good please stop feeding until the end of the month.”

Trichomonosis cannot be passed to humans or other mammals such as dogs and cats.

A47 closed overnight for six weeks

uk-road-signs-56558

The A47 is to be closed overnight for six weeks to allow for resurfacing; also new signs and new road markings to be installed.

Closures start on Monday and will be in force from 8pm to 6am.

In the first phase, the road will be closed from New Cut roundabout (at the eastern end of the Thorney bypass) to Guyhirn roundabout. This will last from October 9-20.

Between October 13 to October 17, the road will also be closed from Guyhirn to the South Brink roundabout at Wisbech.

From October 16 to November 16, the closures will affect the A47 from just before Guyhirn as far as New Bridge Lane on the Wisbech bypass.

Official diversions take traffic through Whittlesey  and Stanground on the southern loop and via the A17 to Spalding and then A16 to Peterborough. These are long diversions and it seems inevitable that traffic will use back roads through Wisbech St Mary, Pasron Drove and Thorney to the north and from Whittlesey to Peterborough via North Bank or Thorney to the south.

Work is being undertaken by Graham Construction and you can e-mail them on A47works@graham.co.uk.

 

Shoebox collectors get busy

Shoeboxes

The team of villagers who collect shoeboxes full of Christmas goodies for less fortunate children are getting busy again.

This annual appeal is the world’s largest children’s Christmas project and last year almost 11.5 million boxes were distributed to more than 100 countries.

Thorney contributed 80 boxes and ours went to children in Ukraine.

Organiser Kathie Williams said: “Thanks to Thorney folk, 80 children had a wonderful Christmas surprise. It was likely their only Christmas present.”

All donated items should be new and they need to be small as they have to be packed inside a shoebox.

Kathie is looking for:

:: Toys – cuddly toys, dolls, cars, balls, skipping ropes, musical instruments, puppets.

:: Stationery – pens, pencils, felt-tips, wax crayons, notebooks, pencil cases, sketchbooks.

:: Hygiene items – toilet bags, wrapped soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, hairbrushes, flannels.

:: Other items – hats, caps, scarves, gloves, wind-up torches, hair bits, jewellery, sunglasses, sweets.

The team is also looking for donations to cover delivery (it costs £5 per box) and help to wrap up boxes in Christmas paper.

Kathie is looking for all donations to be with her by November 3 and the sorting team will meet the following day.

Items can be left at 9 The Maltings or dropped off at Thorney Abbey. Leaflets and a display about the project are in the Abbey.

You can contact Kathie on 270731.

Thorney fire crew help rescue crash victim

Thorney firefighters helped rescue a man from a crashed car on the A47 in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The crew were called out at 2.22am and arrived to find a vehicle in bushes having left the eastbound carriageway. Crews released one male casualty from the vehicle.

Two crews from Dogsthorpe, including a rescue vehicle, also attended.

Crews returned to their station by 4.45am.

Quiz and curry night

Fenland Family Church logo

Fenlands Family Church is organising a quiz and curry night on Saturday, October 14.

The event will be held at the Old Methodist Chapel, The Causeway, and starts at 7.30pm.

Tickets must be bought in advance and it costs £36 for a team of six. Bring your own drinks and glasses.

All money raised goes to Park House School. Tickets available from Jeff or Jaki Bellamy on 271377 or via e-mail: fenlandsfamilychurch@gmail.com.

Brexiteers to give progress report

Suzanne+Evans

Former deputy chair of UKIP, Suzanne Evans, will be in Thorney on Monday night as part of a pro-Brexit panel speaking at the Bedford Hall.

Ms Evans has been one of the leading figures in the Brexit campaign, having been deputy chair of UKIP from 2014 to 2016. She has often been at loggerheads with its colourful leader, Nigel Farage, and was suspended from the party for a period last year, which prevented her from contesting the leadership.

Also speaking will be Patrick O’Flynn, UKIP MEP for the East of England, and Brendan Chilton of Labour Leave.

The meeting is free and starts at 7pm.

Plans for four executive homes off The Causeway

Causeway Lodge

Rose Homes of Whittlesey has applied for planning permission to demolish Causeway Lodge Farm and associated buildings and build three executive homes.

The company also wants to convert a barn on the site into a fourth home.

The site, on the left-hand side as you enter the village from Peterborough direction, has been derelict for a number of years.

The development would also involve the construction of an access road off The Causeway.

Thorney Parish Council has not objected to the proposals and Dorothy Halfhide said they had to recognise that both the main farmhouse and the cottage are beyond repair.

“I think the proposed buildings look good, and I am very pleased to see that the orchard is largely retained,” she said.

Johnny prompts Thorney clean-up

Clean 2 crop

Thorney has got out its scrubbing brushes and mops this week.

On Saturday a team of people, including three ward councillors – Steve Allen, Richard Brown and Nigel Simons – spent the morning washing down dirty road signs in the village.

The clean-up was prompted by Church Street resident Johnny Richardson, who complained about the dirty signs during the election campaign for a replacement city councillor.

Today (Monday), he used Facebook to complain about the state of a bench on Wisbech Road (covered in green algae) prompting Chris Vaughan from Thorney Youth project to nip out and give it a scrub.

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