Author Archives: Eric Rayner

Does anyone recognise this family photo

Popely

Carol Ann Boyce sent us this photograph showing a family in front of 6 Old Knarr Fen Drove (which was part of the row of cottages that were rebuilt a few years ago).

She thinks the photo would be early 1900s and is trying to find out if the family are related to her.

Does anybody recognise the photo? It’s possible the family is called Popely or Popeley and that was possibly the woman’s maiden name).

Any information, feel free to post or contact Thorney Post on thorneypost@yahoo.co.uk.

Louise’s skydive to help charity that saved her life

Louise Cade & Magpas Dr Andy Lindsay - Duke of Bedford School

Twenty-three years after surviving a horrific road accident, which killed her youngster sister, Louise Cade was back in Thorney on Wednesday to talk to children at the Duke of Bedford Primary School about road safety.

Louise and her sister Sally were both pupils at the village school in 1994 when, at around 3:30pm on January 21, a terrible tragedy struck.

Louise and Sally were coming home on the school bus, on what had been just another normal school day. The family were farmers on New Cut. Six-year-old Sally and eight-year-old Louise got off the bus and waited for it to pull away. They held hands, looked both ways and were crossing the road when a car – seemingly out of nowhere – collided with them at high speed.

Louise’s family will never forget the sound of the loud bang the car made on impact.

“My mum got to us as soon as she could,” said Louise. “My sister Sally and I were lying in the road. My mother says Sally was smiling at her, whilst I was unconscious. She remembers noticing Sally had fluid coming out of her ear and she knew then it wasn’t a good sign.”

Back in the 1990s, doctors from around the Eastern Region volunteered their own time with Magpas Air Ambulance and as result; Dr Simon Richards, Dr Andrew Knights and Dr Nick Jackson (who all worked at Thorney Surgery) were called out to Sally and Louise.

They did everything they could to save the sisters’ lives – in what had become truly devastating circumstances. Sally was first to be taken to hospital in an ambulance (with a police escort), shortly followed by Louise, with the Magpas Doctors on board. Sally died several times en route, as did Louise, but the Magpas doctors repeatedly brought them back to life.

Once at the hospital, Sally and Louise were next to each other in the ICU being treated. Louise explains, “Sally was on a ventilator but sadly died from head trauma and organ failure two days later.”

Louise had to have gravel sucked out of her lungs (one of which collapsed), she suffered a serious head injury and multiple broken bones, as well as a stroke. She says, “My family tells me I died several times and was not expected to survive. The last time I died, everyone thought I had gone when suddenly I came back – gasping for air, trying to rip the ventilator tubes out of me.”

Her parents were told she would probably not walk and talk again, but Louise was determined to get back to normal. At Sally’s funeral, the family asked only for donations to be made to Magpas Air Ambulance and raised funds to pay for a defibrillator for the charity to use. Not long after, the same Magpas Doctors were called out to another little girl called Rebekah; the defibrillator bought by Louise’s family, was used by Magpas to save her life that day.

Louise has lost most of her memory of what life was like before the accident. She explains, “It’s really upsetting I can’t remember much about my best friend who I miss dearly – but the motivation, determination and strength to live on has made me the person I am today.”

Louise, who is 31, now feels ready to tell her story for the first time. She wants the memory of her sister Sally to live on, by raising awareness for Magpas Air Ambulance who came to her rescue all those years ago.  As a result, Louise is to take part in the Magpas annual skydive this July.

Louise sums up why she’s embarking on such a courageous fundraising venture after everything she’s been through, “My sister means a great deal to me and I want to thank the charity that did so much for me on that terrible afternoon.

“Magpas Air Ambulance trains senior doctors and paramedics, from all around the UK, to bring the hospital to patients in life-threatening situations. I want to gather as many sponsors as I can and help Magpas give more lifesaving care to others in their time of need.”

Louise went back to The Duke of Bedford School to talk at the school assembly. Louise told her story, raising awareness about road safety and about the crucial lifesaving care Magpas Air Ambulance delivers, by land and air, in the East of England and beyond.

She summed up why this moment was so important to her, “I just want the children to take on the message of road safety and stay safe. I hope the children will take this on board and tell their parents – so that they can be more aware of children on the road.”

Louise was also joined by Dr Andy Lindsay of Magpas. He explained how they offer pioneering training to doctors and paramedics wishing to specialise in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine, for which the charity is renowned in the medical world. He also summarised how he felt about being part of today’s gathering, “It’s wonderful to see Louise looking so well. Spreading the word about road safety to young children is an incredible investment of our time. It’s great to capture their attention and a real privilege to talk to them”.

The link to Louise’s fundraising page is: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JumpingwithSally

Bedford Hall repairs must be done before ownership is transferred

Bedford Hall

The future of a Thorney landmark and key village amenity became a little clearer on Monday evening as Peterborough City Council pledged to use most of the money from the sale of the library and old community centre in Church Street to fund the Bedford Hall.

The city council currently owns the Bedford Hall complex, including museum, the tower and unused former workshops at the back of the building, but is keen for the village to take ownership. It also wants to move the library from Church Street to the Bedford Hall.

But the Parish Council and the Bedford Hall Management Committee are insisting that expensive repairs and renovation take place before any transfer.

On Monday evening (April 3), a special meeting was held between Peterborough City Council, Thorney Parish Council and members of the Bedford Hall Management Committee.

Caroline Rowan, Communities Estates Manager at the city council said they expected to get up to £250,000 from the sale of the library and former community centre in Church Street.

These are listed buildings and used to be the village’s girls’ school.

The council has offered to give this money to the village to help with the upkeep of the Bedford Hall, but want to use some of it to make repairs to the building and to move the library. They have also promised to use some of the cash to help Thorney Football Club build a new pavilion in the park.

It is estimated it will cost between £60,000 and £150,000 to move the library, depending upon the specification of its new location; there’s an estimated £101,000 which needs to be spent on repairs to Bedford Hall; and the council has promised the football club £20,000.

The council presented a document detailing estimated costs of repairs to the Bedford Hall and Bill van Driessche of the hall’s management committee felt some of the charges quoted were way too high.

Russ Bevington of Thorney Parish Council thought the survey undertaken by the city council was missing key elements. “It states that some areas could not be accessed and that other issues needed further investigation.

“We know the museum is subsiding at the rear and suffers from damp in places, but there is no mention of this in the report. The whole building needs to be fixed in full before the parish takes it on.”

Mr Bevington asked the council to provide a fully costed schedule of work, including repairs that would need to be undertaken immediately, those within the next two years and those that would require repair longer term.

Caroline Rowan said the cost of a new pavilion for Thorney FC was estimated at £250,000. She said grants were available from various bodies, including the Football Association, but some seed funding would be required in order to be eligible to apply for these. She estimated that £20,000 would get them on the ladder.

She has asked the Parish Council and Bedford Hall Management Committee to form a working party to take discussions forward. In the meantime, the council has promised to fit CCTV to deter vandalism. Youths have broken windows and climbed onto the roof at the rear of the building, damaging tiles and gutters.

Bill van Driessche asked if the parish could form its own building company to commission work. “We have lots of craftsmen in the village who would be able to undertake repair and maintenance work and we could do it much more efficiently ourselves.”

Steve Allen, one of three city councillors representing Eye, Thorney and Newborough, said that ongoing costs would have to be met by revenue generated by the Bedford Hall. He wondered if the library and post office could be combined.

John Bartlett, chairman of Thorney Parish Council, said that at the end of the day, the final decision would have to be put to the village in a referendum.

Thorney Dyke closed

Due to a collapsed road culvert, the North Level Internal Drainage Board are closing Thorney Dyke Road half-a-mile east of the B1040 Whittlesey Road for five days from today while the repairs are underway. A diversion is in effect. A spokesman for the North Level said they were sorry for any inconvenience caused.

City Council acts on dog mess after 300 sign petition

Peterborough City Council has agreed to take action about dog mess in the village after 300 people signed a petition.

It was handed in at the March meeting of Thorney Parish Council.

The issue has been taken up by Steve Allen, one of three Peterborough City Councillors representing Thorney, and he has issued this statement:

The city council acknowledges the significant public concern around dog fouling in various areas of Peterborough which, apart from being an anti-social nuisance, is associated with various health risks (particularly to children) and blights our green open space that the city is so proud of.

The Council resolves to:

“Promote responsible dog ownership to reduce the nuisance and health problems associated with dog fouling through an ongoing education and awareness raising programme.

Ensure that, where education is not effective, the city council’s Prevention and Enforcement Officers fine and if necessary prosecute owners that fail to clear up after their dog under current legal powers by way of Fixed Penalty Notices under relevant legislation.

Investigate the use of Public Space Protection Orders to deal with anti-social behaviour associated with irresponsible dog ownership where there is proven dog fouling issue on green open space land or other dog fouling problem areas. The PSPO could provide enforcement officers with the ability to fine a dog owner not in possession of a bag to clear up after their dog, similar to PSPOs being introduced in some other council areas.

Investigate the placing of additional waste bins (for general and dog waste) at strategic locations to further assist and encourage dog owners to clear up after their pets, and to have somewhere to dispose of the waste easily, safely and promptly.

Getting on top of the issue will course require resident’s vigilance as well as co-operation and participation.”

Barn fire was arson

Bukehorn Fire

A massive fire in a barn in Thorney at the weekend was arson, Cambs Fire & Rescue have said.

They are asking anyone with information to contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The fire was in a barn belonging to DP & IA Coles of Rose Farm on Bukehorn Road. Fire crews were called at just after midnight on Saturday and appliances attended from Thorney, Stanground, March and Crowland, plus a water carrier from Ramsey.

The fire was visible for miles around as flames leapt over 100ft into the air.

The 40 metre by 20 metre barn, used for agricultural storage, contained farm machinery and about 300 tonnes of potatoes.

Firefighters had to cut away roof panels to gain access and provide ventilation after the fire spread to 500 pallets inside the building.

Crews used two covering jets to extinguish the fire and returned to their stations by 4.43am. Additional crews were sent throughout the night to monitor the building and were still there on Monday.

Bukehorn Road was closed on Sunday and Monday.

This video was shot from a house in the village a mile away as emergency crews were arriving just after midnight: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8LJX-ozkoA

Fire crews are pictured damping down on Sunday.

 

New role for Pigeons Farm

Pigeons Farm is to become a centre for children and young adults with learning difficulties.

Planning permission for the new project was approved this week by Peterborough City Council.

Pigeons Farm, on Wisbech Road, just east of the village, was a popular venue for families, with animals, play equipment and a cafe. It closed last autumn when the owners Linda and Bob Moore retired.

Animals were all found homes, with many going to Rutland Farm Park near Oakham.

The new centre will be run by the Kisimul Group, an organisation that provides education and care services to children and young adults with complex learning difficulties, including challenging behaviour and autism.

They will convert existing farm buildings into specialist educational facilities, including classrooms and workshops.

Kisimul has four other schools, two in Lincolnshire, one in Surrey and one in Shropshire.

It is likely Pigeons Farm will offer animal and horticultural based learning programmes, including gardening and animal husbandry .

There will be about 20 pupils at the site with an equivalent number of teachers and support staff.

Planning approval has also been given for three holiday lodges on the existing camping and caravan site. These will provide short-term holiday accommodation for the parents and families of Kisimul Group residents.

The application stated: “Emphasis is placed upon providing a stimulating and rich environment, including such activities as horse riding, cinema and ten-pin bowling as well as outings to zoos, theme parks and theatres.”

Three-quarters of homes on new estate already sold

2017-03-24 11.34.06

Almost three-quarters of the homes on the new Thorney Meadows estate have been sold.

Adrian Evans, group managing director of the developers Larkfleet Homes, told the Thorney Post that the homes had sold incredibly quickly.

“I think it is a combination of things – the site location, the design of the houses and the village itself.

“Thorney is a very desirable location, a lot of people want to live here,” he said.

Mr Evans was speaking at the official opening of a showhouse on the new estate (pictured), which will be open seven days a week 10am to 5pm.

There are just 25 homes left to sell out of 80 on the estate and 14 homes are already occupied. All homes are timber-framed with gas installed and come with 1kw solar panels installed.

Obituary – Pat Spridgeon

Obit Spridgeon

Patricia Spridgeon, always known as Pat, died on March 5, aged 71.

The widow of Morris Spridgeon, Pat died almost two years to the day after her husband passed away.

They had been a devoted couple – they met in Peterborough when Pat was 15 and Morris 17 and married four years later. Together, they kept the village stores in Sandpit Road for 50 years.

Pat had been born in Paddington. London in 1945, but had moved to Crowland at the age of five when her mother became housekeeper to the White family.

When she left school, she worked at Armstrong’s, the haberdashery store in Peterborough, and met her future husband at a cafe in the city. She married Morris when she was 19 and he was 21 and celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 2014.

Pat moved to Thorney after her marriage and she and Morris ran the shop in Sandpit Road until their retirement eight years ago. For the village of Thorney, they were very much a team serving in the shop and generations of people look back fondly on a treat from Spridgeon’s after school.

Pat and Morris had two children – Marcia and Paul, also six grandchildren (Jemma, Jodie, Abigail, Will, Tyler and Megan) and two great-grandchildren, Elsie, who is 3, and Charlie (18 months).

She loved her garden and also helped work their allotment, which their family are determined to keep going.

The funeral is to take place at Thorney Abbey on Thursday, March 23 at 11.30am. Donations in memory of Pat are being taken for the Firefighter’s Charity and can be sent to Trudy Spridgeon (9 Topham Crescent) or Marcia Brown (2a Tavistock Close).

Everyone is welcome to join the family at the Rose & Crown after the funeral ceremony.

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