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New Mermaid Inn, Wansford

The former New Mermaid Inn on the A1 at Wansford re-opened in 2016 after significant, superb and sympathetic restoration took it from the decaying ruin of the old Little Chef building to the new offices for Harris McCormack Architects (upstairs) and Peterborough Ducati (downstairs).

The original building dates back to 1932 when it opened as The Wansford Knight, the fifth “roadhouse” of the “Knights of the Road” chain. In 1936 it changed hands and became the New Mermaid Inn which was touted as the replacement for the Olde Mermaid Inn that was demolished that year at the point where the old Great North Road and Leicester Road crossed at the heart of Wansford village. The new premises were a popular wartime drinking location for USAAF airmen based at nearby Kings Cliffe Airfield.

In the late 1970s, the Inn was bought by Forte who rebranded it as a Little Chef restaurant which continued in existence until 2007 after which it fell into rapid, graffiti strewn, decay.

The original building was considered an architectural rarity as it was one of a small number surviving in the “Bauhaus” style which saw the building listed for preservation before renovations by Forte removed key elements of the original design.

Today, the building has been renamed “Archaus”, in recognition of the resident architects and of the original architectural style.

Thanks to Eddy Baxter of Ducati Peterborough for keeping us updated and for the 2016 images.

2016 ….. 

2000s …..

1980s …..

1940s …..

Peterborough United FC (1934)

The first known team picture of Peterborough United FC captured in their debut year of 1934.

Middle Street, Elton (1911)

A view up Middle Street in Elton village from 1911 ….. a view that has changed little in the 100+ years following.

Walton Tram on Westgate

A Walton bound tram moving along Westgate and approaching the turn onto the Boroughbury end of Lincoln Road.

Edwardian Narrow Street

A wonderfully atmospheric and Dickensian view along one side of Narrow (Bridge) Street looking up towards Market Place.

Soldiers on Long Causeway (1914)

A rare postcard showing soldiers marching down Long Causeway on 6th December 1914, shortly after the start of the Great War.

The building on the right was the Canadian Immigration Office that contributed to more than 150,000 British citizens migrating to Canada each year, nearly 40% of the total immigration figure for the country.

Longthorpe Parkway under Construction

Parkway construction showing the Nene Parkway left to right with the Longthorpe Parkway moving off into the distance. The road down to Thorpe Wood has not been added at this point.

Nene Parkway Bridge Construction

Construction work on the Nene Parkway river bridge over Orton Staunch and the Orton Mere railway station.

Parkway Bridge under Construction

Early construction work on the bridge carrying the Frank Perkins Parkway over the River Nene downstream of the Embankment and, below, an image from a later stage.

Edith Cavell Enlistment Poster (1915)

A Great War enlistment poster featuring Edith Cavell who, as a 19 year old, attended Laurel Court School in the Cathedral precincts as a pupil-teacher.