The Great Eastern Soldier’s and Sailor’s Rest Room opened on Christmas Eve 1915 at Peterborough East Railway Station. The rooms were managed by the Women’s United Total Abstinence Council (WUTAC), supporters of the temperance movement popular at that time.
During the first nine days alone, 321 servicemen called at the tea room. They were given food, drink and an opportunity to rest in comfort whilst waiting for their trains to and from the front. The ladies who managed the tea room encouraged the men to write in the visitors’ books, only two of which have survived from 1916 and 1917.
There are over 590 signatures in the books that reveal the servicemen came from across the United Kingdom and as far away as Australia. They wrote messages of gratitude, poetry and drew pictures expressing their appreciation for the service that the ladies were providing. These two slim volumes provide a brief insight into the thoughts and feelings of the men transiting through the city during the Great War.
The books have been digitised and transcribed and the servicemen’s personal histories researched in an effort to tell their story and trace their families.
Cubbit's iron bridge (The Nene Viaduct), is a railway bridge immediately south of Peterborough railway station that carries trains across the River Nene. It was built in 1850 by father and son Sir William Cubitt and Joseph Cubitt for the Great Northern Railway (GNR) and was constructed using cast iron. It spans the River Nene in three arches.
It's design and construction is of such note that it is a Grade II listed building
A family had a narrow escape when a locomotive drove into their house. The engine was being driven by two men when they lost control of it. The men jumped out of the cab in time to see it hit a break-van, which had been at the buffers. It then went through the buffers, off the rails, and ran into a house. It landed in the kitchen of the Cole family at around 10 am.
Earnest Cole, a railway controller, was unhurt. His wife, who was ill in bed, fell through the floor of the bedroom, but didn't suffer any serious injuries. Their 10-year-old daughter was pulled from the wreckage unharmed. His 75-year-old mother-in-law was trapped in the pantry and was suffering from severe shock when she was found. Amazingly no one was killed.
Extraordinary Accident at Peterborough, Lichfield Mercury, Friday 18th August 1922, p7, column 7
The Great Eastern Soldier’s and Sailor’s Rest Room opened on Christmas…
Cubbit's iron bridge (The Nene Viaduct), is a railway bridge immediately so…
A family had a narrow escape when a locomotive drove into their house. The…