Category Archives: News

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.

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.

Room for only one more housing estate, city council told

Thorney can only accommodate one new housing development, the Parish Council has told city planners.

It has thrown its weight behind just one of the four developments proposed in Peterborough City Council’s consultation document on new homes in the area.

Two of these were rejected because they lie within land designated as flood plain and a third site – on land between Whittlesey Road and the new Larkfleet estate – has been rejected by the city council because of previous objections raised by English Heritage.

The remaining site is located between the Larkfleet estate and Park Farm, which already has planning permission for housing. It could see another 80 homes added to the village.

The full response of the Parish Council is detailed below:

COMMENTS ON PETERBOROUGH CITY COUNCIL
DRAFT LOCAL PLAN SITE ALLOCATIONS

Four sites have been proposed for residential development in the Parish of Thorney.

Three of these have been rejected by the City Council and one has been placed in the Preferred Site category.

The general view of the Parish Council is that, with the housing development sites that are under construction together with those that already have planning approval, we are probably close to the total number of dwellings that the parish can reasonably accommodate.

This view seems to be supported by the City Council’s opinion that developing more than your single preferred site would constitute over-development of the village. Our comments on each of the proposed sites are as follows:

SITE: THO001H This is rejected by the City Council as it lies within the high risk Flood Plain and we see no reason to contest that view.

SITE: THO002H This site is also rejected by the City Council as it lies within the high risk Flood Plain. Regardless of this we feel that housing in this location would be inappropriate as it would destroy the rural setting of the village. It is also too close to the heavily trafficked Thorney bypass.

SITE: THO003H/Hi When this site was proposed in the previous Site Allocation procedure several years ago, it was rated by the City Council as a Preferred Site. It was English Heritage that raised objections to it and although the independent Inspector did not cite these objections, he objected to it on the grounds of the access road from the Whittlesey Road and the site was rejected. At the time the Parish Council supported development of this site and did not agree with the comments made by English Heritage. We were aware from the developer that the proposals would include a number of grander, detached, up-market dwellings in keeping with the scale and quality of existing properties in the vicinity, and we felt this housing type was needed in the village. It remains a belief that this higher grade of property is still required rather than just the regular scale and density of typical housing development. The City Council have this time rejected the site for exactly the reasons previously put forward by English Heritage. The primary reason being that it is too close to the Conservation Area of the village. As an aside, this site offers the possibility of the construction of a road across the south side of the village linking the Whittlesey Road with the Wisbech Road at the far end of the village. This may be desirable to residents as its advantages would be to reduce the impact of new development traffic through the village on the Wisbech Road and to perhaps change the use of the Woburn Drive access to the new development to emergency vehicles only. If not on this occasion, perhaps this site can be kept under consideration for future development and the other benefits it could bring.

Thorney Plan

Site THO-005 – gets the approval of the Parish Council

SITE: THO005H This site is rated as Preferred by the City Council. It will infill between the housing being built at the end of Woburn Drive and site THO006H which has already been granted Outline Planning Approval. We have no objections to the development of this site other than to raise concerns about the ability of existing infrastructure to accommodate its development with particular reference to drainage and sewerage, but also to the additional demands on the village school and the increase of traffic through the village. In this respect, we would be grateful for sight of the correspondence between yourselves and Anglia Water and the Duke of Bedford School demonstrating that both are able to accommodate the extra demands of this additional site.

SITE: THO006H To our knowledge this site already has Outline Planning Permission.

GENERAL:

  1. Apart from the concerns stated in our comments on Site THO005H we believe that any additional development should bring with it control of traffic speeding through the village in the form of re-instating the speed cameras that at one time were in place along the Wisbech Road.
  2. We also feel strongly that the overall amount of new development in the parish, including Preferred Site THO005H, demands that greater concern is shown by the City Council toward the provision of facilities for the youth of the village. This is already less than adequate and in need of urgent review and improvement. We believe that in authorising development sites and approving planning applications the City Council has an obligation to make provision for matters resulting from their decisions, a major one of which will be the increase in the number of youths in the Parish and the need to provide appropriate facilities for them.

Only a matter of time before someone is killed …

Crash 2

It is only a matter of time before someone is killed or seriously injured by gangs of illegal hare-coursers operating across the fens.

That’s the view of local farmers, who say these criminal groups are making their lives a misery. Crops have been damaged, gates smashed and farmers threatened.

And the problem is moving into the wider community, say farmers, as this week, a Thorney man narrowly escaped serious injury in a crash at the traffic lights by the Rose & Crown (see pictures).

Three men were arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving following the collision between a Subaru Impreza and a Vauxhall Astra. It followed a call to police about a gang hare-coursing on land off Thorney Dyke. Three people aged 17, 18 and 42 were arrested and bailed.

There have been other incidents in Thorney. A car being pursued by police was clocked driving at more than 70mph through the village and there have been two reported instances where cars have been driven at dangerous speeds around village estates. One, on Sandpit Road, was next to the Duke of Bedford Primary School.

“They know that police won’t pursue them at speed through the village,” said a local farmer. “So the first thing they do when police are spotted is head through Thorney to get away. The bypass has made things much worse because they can escape at speed in a number of different directions.”

The Thorney Post has been approached by three local farmers to highlight the problem and all have asked for their names to be withheld for fear of reprisals.

All have direct experience of being threatened by hare-coursers and all know other farmers with similar experiences.

There is a long history of hare-coursing in the fens, but the practice has moved from catching a hare for the pot to big-money betting. Hare-coursing gangs arrange for one dog to be pitched against another with thousands of pounds bet on which dog makes the kill over a number of rounds. The gangs use powerful four-wheel-drive cars like Subarus or Honda CR-Vs to follow the dog and film the hunt.

Gates are smashed to get access to land and damage to crops can easily run into hundreds, even thousands, of pounds.

“The problem is much worse this year. Hares had a successful breeding season in 2016 and there are a lot about,” said one farmer.

“The gangs come from as far afield as Kent and even Scotland. Thorney and Newborough seem to have been the centre of a lot of activity this year. They like it because the land is flat, there are lots of tracks where they can gain access and the soft soil means the dog is less likely to be injured. Dogs can be worth as much as £20,000.”

During November, there were 20 incidents of hare-coursing reported to police and by mid-December another 14 incidents. “These are just the ones that are reported, many more are happening.”

Farmers say police resources are too limited and the laws are not robust enough. “We’re fighting organised criminal gangs with 200-year-old laws intended to stop poaching and there are five policemen throughout the whole of Cambridgeshire who are dedicated to rural crime.

“It simply isn’t enough. These gangs have no respect for property or for people’s safety. If farmers try to intervene, we’re threatened with violence, if they’re being pursued by police, speed limits or red lights mean nothing to them.

“It is only a matter of time before someone is killed.”

People are being urged to report any incidents witnessed. “If you see hare-coursers in action or vehicles being driven dangerously, call 999; if you have other information, call 101.

“Police resources are directly linked to the number of calls being made. It’s only by the whole community acting against this threat that the gangs can be defeated.”

Crash 1 Crash 3

Amelia and Mohammed top names in Peterborough

Road to Whittlesey closed for two weeks

The B1040 road to Whittlesey will be closed between Thorney Dyke and 25 North Side for almost two weeks in January.

The closure will take effect on January 9 and last until January 21.

It is closing to allow for road and footpath repairs and means anyone wishing to go to Whittlesey will have to take a long diversion through Guyhirn or along Willowhall Road and North Bank.

The B1040 (Station Road, Thorney) was closed for four weeks during November and December to allow utility services to be installed to houses being built to the rear of the Rose & Crown.

 

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