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The Smallest Waist in the World



Ethel Granger holds the record for having the smallest waist in the world. Her waist was recorded as 13 inches/33 cm in 1967, a feat that was achieved by wearing a specially designed corset to gradually decrease her waist. Ethel became an icon for tight-lacing and her story and images continue to be popular today due to the extreme lengths she went to in order to shape and style her body with her specially-made corsets, flamboyant piercings and excessively high shoes. She even inspired a Vogue Italia fashion shoot in 2011 using Stella McCartney's clothing. Ethel lived in Priory Road Peterborough with her husband William, a local teacher, and their daughter Wilhelmina. The family were well-known astronomers and Ethel was a keen beekeeper, becoming president of the Peterborough, Oundle and District Beekeepers Society. She died in 1982.

Suffragettes Plant a ‘Bomb’



On Monday 21 April 1913 Mr William Cowling of New Fletton discovered a brown paper parcel under the Oundle Road Railway Bridge. On the parcel was a pasted label saying, 'Votes for Women. Handle With Care. Votes For Women', there was also a Sufferage Society badge pinned on it. Mr Cowling, unsurprisingly, handed it into the police! When it was opened it was found to contain a square tin box with a hole in the lid with a wick protruding. Inside the box were partially burned bits of brown paper and pieces of brick, sugar and sawdust. This was harmless (unlike some suffragette acts in other areas) but it did alarm the authorities that such an item could be placed under an important railway bridge with such ease and without exciting suspicion. The perpetrator was never caught.


St Augustine’s Saxon Wall



The parish church of Woodston is St. Augustine's. Sitting on Oundle Road behind some trees, it would be very easy to forget that the church was there. However, there has been a church there for at least 1,000 years. The first written record of Woodston church was in the Domesday Book of 1086. The church, however, dates to the period before the Norman conquest. This is evident in some of the architecture of the west tower. On the west wall of the tower is a small section of wall with a window, which belonged to a Saxon church. St Augustine's Saxon wall is typical of pre-Norman architecture with small rough stones and a small window. Thankfully the wall survived despite much rebuilding of the church. It would be incredibly difficult to date the wall remains, so it has been given the rough date of 1,000AD. This will be changed with any new information. Photo credit: cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Mike Bardill -