Railways to royalty - a nostalgic look at Ely and Cambridgeshire

Ely's first traffic wardens: Eric Pring, of Prickwillow, and Peter Gipp, of Sutton, pictured in 1972.

Ely's first traffic wardens: Eric Pring, of Prickwillow, and Peter Gipp, of Sutton, pictured in 1972. - Credit: MARY NEAL

From traffic wardens to the wonder of Woolworth – from railways to royalty.  

Amateur boxer Roy Bedingfield pictured in Ely in the mid-to-late 1930s.

Amateur boxer Roy Bedingfield pictured in Ely in the mid-to-late 1930s. - Credit: Pauline Bedingfield McCamant

The archives from Ely Cambridgeshire Old Photos Local History Facebook coupled with the work of historian Mike Petty combine to offer historical gems.  

Ely Woolworths approx 1962

Ely Woolworths approx 1962 - Credit: PAMELA WRIGHT

 Our delve into the past this week also includes a famous local boxer and a double look at trains. There’s the transformation that diesel from steam brought for drivers.  

Ely Needham's School taken approx 1924-26

Ely Needham's School taken approx 1924-26 - Credit: Pauline Bedingfield McCamant

And, sadly, recollections of a train crash at Stretham Fen.  

On a lighter note, it is to Cambridge itself Mike Petty takes us, exploring old street lamps and celebrations for coronation of King George V. 

May 1953: Dr A.L. Peck lectured to Cambridge Antiquarian Society on old street lamps

May 1953: Dr A.L. Peck lectured to Cambridge Antiquarian Society on old street lamps of Cambridge, using a collection of lantern slides to illustrate many of the distinctive types of lamp standard, most of which can be date back to 1840 and can still be seen in the streets. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

Join the page - which has thousands of members - online

Portrait of press photographer Mr F Butcher. 

Mike Petty received this photo from Adrian Wykes who wondered how many of the photos from the Fenland History on Facebook group might have been taken by his grandfather, F. Butcher. Mr Wykes says his grandfather was possibly “the only accredited press photography (for the Eastern Daily Press) during the war in Cambridge". He has some 200 glass negatives to scan but has only done one so far – a portrait of Mr Butcher. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

Broad Street School in Ely around 1955

Broad Street School in Ely around 1955 - Credit: VICKY SIZER

May 1937: Cambridge celebrated the Coronation of King George V

May 1937: Cambridge celebrated the Coronation of King George V with a decorated vehicle display on Midsummer Common. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

December 1960: diesel train at Stretham Fen accident,

December 1960: diesel train at Stretham Fen accident, - Credit: MIKE PETTY

May 1960 - Diesel: The change from steam to diesel at the Cambridge railway depot

May 1960 - Diesel: The change from steam to diesel at the Cambridge railway depot transformed train drivers’ lives. The rattling, hissing, gritty foot-plate - where in cold weather they were frozen on one side and baked on the other - has been exchanged for the enclosed windowed cabin of the new engines with its upholstered driver’s seat and armrests, its foot warmers, compact controls and ashtray. - Credit: MIKE PETTY


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(Images are credited to individual members of the Ely Cambridgeshire Old Photos Pictures Local History Facebook group. And, where appropriate, to Mike Petty).  

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