Peterborough Flax Pullers (1918)

A team of flax pullers pictured in 1918 with their lorry carrying the proud slogan “pull it clean”.

Farmers during both WW1 and WW2 were encouraged to grow flax which was then removed, complete with roots, by hand and left to soak for several days before being laid out on the land to dry. Once dried, the bundles of flax were transported to Scutching Mills to complete a process of turning it into a fine linen that was used to cover the bodywork of aircraft.

This image is captured in Peterborough but the exact location is unknown.

Tram Car #6 (1915)

Tram Car #6 pictured in 1915.

Newsagents Association Outing

The sign being held at the front of the group denotes this is the Peterborough & District Newsagents Association annual outing ….. date unknown !

Peterborough Co-Operative Society (c.1920)

An early 1920s photo showing store no.7 of the Peterborough Co-Operative Society which was somewhere in Eastgate.

The society’s roots go back to 1876 when a travelling salesman from the north sold tea from a canvas covered area in the city. To help the widow of a local railwayman he gave five per cent of his takings to the widow, selling 1,400 lbs of tea that night and raising her £12. He also gave out coupons to his customers which they could exchange for gifts. His rival traders argued that this put him in breach of the Lottery Act and, although magistrates sentenced the man to two hours’ detention, his actions inspired the locals.

The very first meeting of the Peterborough Co-operative Society took place in his tent !!!

Peace Day Celebrations (1919)

Two lovely images capturing the peace day celebrations of 18th July 1919 – a one-day bank holiday celebration declared by a specially created “peace committee” who were given the task of determining how the country should celebrate the end of the Great War.

Butchers in Eastgate (1907)

A nice image captured in October 1907 showing the Co-Op butchers somewhere in Eastgate.

Brainsby & Sons Outing (1911)

A superb 1911 image showing Brainsby & Sons staff preparing for their annual outing. Thomas Brainsby & Sons was founded in 1905 in Peterborough where they built bodies for such cars as Crossley, Fiat, Hotchkiss and occasionally even Rolls-Royce. The company faded away in the 1920s.

Ford Consul

A driver at the wheel of his Ford Consul on a driveway somewhere in Peterborough !

Trainspotting (1961)

All we know about this one is that it features a local trainspotter in 1961. Exact location unknown !

Civic Week (1929)

A series of images kindly contributed by April Plant and appearing to show the fund-raising “Civic Week” in June 1929.

Ian Menzies adds, “Details of Peterborough Civic Week taken from a Grantham newspaper 29th June 1929 ……

Peterborough Civic Week celebrations began on Wednesday morning, when the Mayor and Corporation, headed by Salvation Army Bands, attended special service in Peterborough Cathedral. The Dean of Peterborough and the Cathedral Chapter, formally welcomed ,the authorities, and a prayer of intercession was offered by the Rev.W. J. Mammersley, superintendent minister of the Primitive Methodist Church. At a meeting which followed, in the Old Town Hall, the Mayor (Councillor Arthur Craig said that since its incorporation in 1874 the population of the city had doubled, and the recent extension of the borough boundaries from 1,878 to 10,022 acres was, with one exception, the largest extension ever granted in England. The Mayor and Corporation then proceeded to beat the bounds of the newly-incorporated parishes. They afterwards entertained 200 guests at luncheon, and later in the afternoon they visited their two waterworks some miles from the city, where a cricket match was played between a team captained by the Mayor and officials. The festivities were continued on Thursday and yesterday.

It explains what they are all doing in the middle of the country. The Royal visit was part of the overall celebrations.”