Members of the March Society got together to celebrate Civic Day.

Civic Day is a national celebration of civic pride powered by Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic movement in England, of which The March Society is a member.

The March event took place on Saturday, June 15, inspiring residents to take action in their historic High Street and conservation areas.

The March Society held a walk to celebrate Civic Day and followed the route of High Dyke and the Hythe, which ran in and around High Street.

The Hythe was an ancient stream which ran south from the river through the town of March towards St Wendreda’s Church in the early settlement of Mercheford.

Before 17th Century drainage and the 18th Century turnpike road, the way to travel was by water. Goods and people were transported by barges on the Hythe.

In the 19th Century, the Hythe was bricked over following serious concerns about the state of the water.

It had become an open sewer and held responsible for the spreading of diseases including cholera and typhoid.

High Dyke was the ancient lane which ran alongside the Hythe. Jetties linked the Hythe from High Dyke to the High Street allowing barges to unload near the owners’ houses.

Despite an early thunderstorm and drenching on Saturday, the group continued by visiting March Museum and examining the Hythe 1850 map and then continued the walk.

It was very enjoyable discovering the whereabouts of the stream and the lane with lots of shared information and ideas, and exploring lesser-known areas including the former ‘Pudding Bag Lane’.

A great way to celebrate Civic Day looking at March heritage.