Bread Street, Woodston

Two bruised and battered but rare images showing Bread Street, Woodston in the early 1970s. Bread Street used to run from today’s Grove Court at the point of the Swiss Cottage pub, directly through to Oundle Road as opposed to snaking around as it does today as Grove Court.

Gray’s Art Studio, Oundle Road

A lovely Victorian portrait of a couple and their dog, possibly in the back garden of Gray’s Art Studio.

Peterborough born photographer Nathaniel James Gray (1875-1957) operated from Chessington Villa on Oundle Road.

Nene Parkway (1972)

A 1972 image showing Nene Parkway under construction. In the distance is Morley way heading into Woodston and in the foreground is a spur that will become Malborne Way.

Woodston from the Air (1932)

A 1932 aerial photo showing the LNWR Engine Shed at Woodston (top left) which is the site of Railworld in 2016 and also the houses of George Street and Jubilee Street (bottom).

Wharf Road School

Wharf Road School pictured in the early 1900s.

The school opened in 1873 as the Woodston Parochial School before becoming the Woodston C of E Mixed School in 1900. In 1957, the school was significantly altered and became St Augustine’s CE (Aided) Junior School which eventually moved from Wharf Road to Palmerston Road in 1973.

Former pupil Peter Thomas was at the original Wharf Road School in 1948 and commented, “the school site contained two buildings, an infants school for two forms and the original building from the 1870s. This had separate entrances and separate playgrounds for girls and boys. The school field was not exactly level and contained some treacherous patches of stinging leaves. Even in 1950 the only toilets were outside and individual classrooms were heated by coal fires or stoves.”

Savoy Cinema, Woodston

Based on Palmerston Road, the “Woodston Cinema” was housed in converted brewery buildings and was opened on 29th March 1920 with “The Girl Who Came Back” and had 400 seats.

It closed in 1931 and had been the last cinema in the city to convert to sound. It was altered and enlarged to 500 seats before re-opening on 26th December 1933 as the “Gem Cinema”.

A change of owner in 1939 resulted in a further name change to the “Savoy Cinema”. It eventually closed on 1st October 1955 with the last films being John Payne in “The Blazing Forest” and Ray Milland in “Rhubarb”. It went on to become a furniture store for John Blundell and then became a warehouse before being demolished in the 1990s.

Below is a wartime advert for the savoy and an undated image.

Symingtons Factory (c.1914)

The girls of Symingtons pictured in or around 1914. The factory of Messrs R & WH Symington & Co Ltd was based on Queens Walk, Fletton (or referred to as Woodston today !) and made their name as corset manufacturers but also made a significant contribution to the war effort in the 1940s, sewing parachutes for the military.


Rails and River (1932)

A wonderful cityscape from 1932 showing the city still surrounded by fields but with significant railway influence. In the distance, cranes are starting work on the new Town Bridge and in the foreground left is the LNWR Woodston Locomotive Shed.

Japanese POW Camp Letter to Woodston (c.1943)

A typed card sent by Gunner George Pickering to his father in Woodston, Peterborough, probably sent in late 1943 or early 1944.

It has a rectangular boxed japanese censor mark in blue (bottom left) with seven characters to the right reading Fukuoka Furyo Shuyosho or Fukuoka Prisoner of War Camp  and the three to the right reading Ken’etsuzumi (Censored). Across the top right in red is preprinted Furyo Yubin  (Prisoner of War Post) and five further characters in black on the right side, Yubin Hagaki (“Postcard”).

It has a UK PASSED PW 9187 octagonal censor  mark in red. The message side is preprinted with eleven japanese characters being Fukuoka Furyo Shuyosho  Furyo Yubin (Fukuoka Prisoner of War Camp Prisoner of War Post) and IMPERIAL ]APANESE ARMY in  English.

Oundle Road, Woodston (c.1909)

Oundle Road looking away from the city with the George Street junction on the right opposite the distant lamp standard.

The blow-up shows the Golden Lion pub on the far left of the image. The sign showing “W Smith” relates to William Smith of 48 Oundle Road who was trading as a carpenter ….. and, presumably, made his own sign !

British Sugar Corporation 0-6-0T No.2 (1970)

Pictured at work on the British Sugar Corporation sidings in 1970.

The Nene Valley Railway adds “engine No. 1800 was built by Hudswell Clarke in 1947 at about the time when Rev.W Awdry wrote his second book in which Thomas appeared. The little blue engine spent its entire working life at the British sugar Corporations’ Peterborough factory pushing wagons of sugar beet up an incline until the day came when a diesel engine replaced the steam power of “Thomas”. The Peterborough Railway Society purchased this delightful little engine on 9th September 1973 and he was moved to the Nene Valley Railway, where he has since delighted his friends and delighting children of all ages.”