Great Northern Cottages

The Great Northern railway cottages that sat between Lincoln Road and what was New England Yard, now dissected by Bourges Boulevard. Pictured in the late 1960s.

Railway Cottages, New England

The rear of a row of Railway Cottages at New England with the footbridge over to the Engine Repair Sheds in the distance. The view is three rows of cottages back from Lincoln Road, adjacent to the Sports Ground. Probably dating to late 1950s/early 1960s.

Beeby & Son, Coal Merchant

A horse and cart of Alexander Beeby & Son coal merchants in a yard ….. possibly at the back of the railway cottages near the Triangle on Lincoln Road but they were known to have had a number of yards around the city and in villages around the city.

Beyer Peacock Garratt at Spital Yard

A huge 150 ton Beyer Peacock Garratt engine #47981 at rest near the coaling tower in Spital Yard in 1951.

Built in 1930, these unusual 2-6-0+0-6-2 engines had a fixed coal bunker and were more typical of continental heavy freight engines. They were phased out from British rail use in the 1950s.

Closure of Spires Bakery (2016)

The last Saturday of May 2016 saw the closure of New England’s long standing and much loved Spires Bakery. The Peterborough Telegraph reported ……

Last Saturday saw the last fresh bread and sweet pastries sold at Spires Bros Bakery, the family business which has been operating in Peterborough for 136 years.

Roger Spires is the fourth generation of his family to have run the bakery at the Triangle off Bourges Boulevard in New England, but having started helping out with the business aged five, he is looking forward to finally having a break to enjoy his first holiday.

Roger and wife Lynda (63), who served the customers, now plan to tour Britain with a caravan.

“We are just retiring. I got to 65 and had just had enough,” said Roger, who was born in the flat above the bakery. “I want to do things and I’ve never had a holiday. I’m pleased this is over really, we’ve got past the sadness. But it was difficult to stop – we’ve got a lot of customers. There’s one chap who’s 85, he’s been coming in since he was a little boy.”

Lynda said: “There’s a chap from Whittlesey and one from Hunstanton. Every time he comes to see his grandson he comes in. They all think it’s sad but they understand we need a bit of a life.”

Roger’s life since leaving school has been 4am starts and working Mondays to Saturdays non-stop. “I don’t know what it’s like not working,” he said. “You wonder what it’s going to be like.”

Spires has served the Great Northern Hotel and the Peterborough Greyhound Stadium but changes to the road outside the shop have made business a bit trickier in the past five years. “Before they did this road we had builders queuing up,” said Lynda. Roger added: “It gets increasingly difficult to keep the place going. We used to be incredibly busy.”

Roger said: “We’ve just had some good laughs and some nice customers.” Lynda added: “It’s sad to say goodbye to everybody.”

Graham Young (Chemist) – Lincoln Road

Very few Peterborians would not be familiar with the name or services of Peterborough born chemist Graham Young.

Born in 1942, Graham ran his chemist store on Lincoln Road, New England from the early 1970s through to his untimely death after a long battle with pancreatic cancer in 2003.

His chemists was officially open seven days a week from 9am – 5pm but all his regulars knew of the back door entrance and accompanying door bell where Graham would provide an out of hours service to anybody looking for help. This 24/7 service operated 365 days a year throughout his 30 years in business.

His original premises continued operating through to 2010 when it was closed for a major refurbishment, opening the following year as part of a major medical hub albeit the pharmaceutical wing remains under the name of Graham Young in memory of one of the city’s true legends.