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Peterborough Advertiser Founded

1854

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The Peterborough Advertiser was first printed in 1854, which makes it the oldest Peterborough newspaper. Peterborough news had been covered in the Stamford Mercury since the eighteenth century, but this was the first newspaper dedicated to the residents of Peterborough. First published in May of that year as a monthly paper, it was later published twice-weekly. It was merged with the Peterborough Citizen in 1946 to become the Peterborough Citizen and Advertiser.





‘Welcome’ to the Suffragettes!

1912

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The Great Pilgrimage was a march in Britain by suffragists campaigning non-violently for women's suffrage, organised by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).  The march finished at Hyde Park in London and women (50 000 of them) came from all around England and Wales. When the Great Pilgrimage reached Peterborough in November 1912 their welcome was not very warm! The suffragettes had planned a meeting in the Stanley Recreation Ground, even though the Chief Constable of the City had advised them to hire a hall; his advice proved wise as the meeting was stormed by young men who threw eggs and did not allow anyone to speak. The suffragettes were chased back to their headquarters at the Bedford Hotel. Mrs Fordham of Fletton Avenue, the honorary secretary of the Peterborough Branch of the Women's Social and Political Union was quoted in the Peterborough Advertiser of 16 November 2012 saying, " I am thoroughly ashamed of Peterborough boys. It was not full grown and sensible citizens who rushed our meeting, threw rotten eggs and endangered life; it was not the college boys either, but two or three hundred schoolboys of about fourteen years of age. And these are the young hopefuls who are to be given a voice in the government of their imperial motherland, so soon as they reach the mature age of twenty one, while women, however educated, sensible, wise, sedate, however wealthy in property, however hard they have to work for their living in factory, shop and home, are denied that elemental right of citizenship".





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Werrington Windmill: Sails Lost in a Storm

1912

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A mill on this site was possibly mentioned in the Doomsday book and later there is a mention of Werrington Mill in 1291. A new mill was erected about 1835 replacing a previous mill which burnt down. The original mill and its successors were wind driven; steam power was installed later. In 1912 a serious misfortune befell the mill when a pair of sails was blown off in a storm, the sails crashed through the stone boundary wall of the mill property. In 1920 the sail-less cupola was removed as it was considered dangerous. Today the mill survives as part of a private house, just off Lincoln Road, in a cul-de-sac called Sharma Leas. The cupola, on the top, was replaced in 1991 but there are no sails.

There is an interesting aside about Werrington Mill; in 1958 it was reported in The Peterborough Citizen and Advertiser that, "Post Office officials are reported to be searching for 'a village called Werrington which has a windmill'. The search began when a letter from Iowa, USA was delivered at the offices of Broadwoodwidger Urban Council, Devon. Inside was a drawing of an old mill with the caption 'The old windmill of Werrington, England, was leased in 1664 for 1094 years, It must be preserved at least until 2758'. The accompanying letter, from a Mr Wayne Harbour asked if this was correct. The Chairman of the Urban Council, Mr F Stanbury, has told the GPO that no such building has ever existed in his district, so the search is to be extended to Peterborough and Stoke-on-Trent. We can save the GPO further trouble. The Werrington is 'our' Werrington, where a mill appears to have been in existence since the reign of Richard 1; records tell of a mill and a court there in 1291, a matter of 667 years ago." Just why this letter was sent from America with a copy of the lease & photo of the mill seems a mystery. ( Rita McKenzie)

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Sinking of Peterborough’s Submarine

1942

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During Warship Week at the end of 1941, Peterborough citizens “subscribed pounds & pennies" to buy the submarine HMS Olympus (at a cost of £425,000). Unfortunately, as reported in the Peterborough Advertiser she was sunk in June 1942. She had hit a mine field whist slipping out of Malta under cover of darkness. Of the 98 men on board only 9 survived. Peterborough’s War Savings Committee reported that a commemorative plaque had been received from the Admiralty. It was to be displayed on the staircase hall of the Town Hall where it was to be “hung and forever honoured in memory of the men who died.” Peterborough’s War Saving Committee was collecting £20,000 a week. Following the sinking the call was to “double this and hit back at the enemy at once.” A week later the paper was advertising that the Admiralty had allocated submarine P512 for adoption by the City in place of HMS Olympus.  A letter from the Commander Lieut. J C Ogle had been received thanking the city for the books which were sent for the comfort of the crew. The exact location of the wreck of the HMS Olympus was not known until late 2011. In May 2017 The Peterborough Telegraph reported that “a plaque was placed at the bottom of the sea where Olympus still rests, and the shore near where it sank.” Mayor David Sanders is encouraging Peterborough residents to get involved in raising money for a memorial.  





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