Our new crematorium has been designed to meet high environmental standards according to Town Clerk Philip Peacock speaking to the Hartford Conservation Group in April.Located on Kings Ripton Road, adjacent to the Jubilee park football pitches, the Huntingdon Crematorium will be multi faith, recognising that Huntingdon now has a mixed population on top of the variety of our home-grown denominations with dedicated and natural burial site provision.
There will be no fixed religious symbols but provision for both temporary physical symbols or projected, according to faith. Other hi tec' facilities include 'live' streaming to a worldwide audience.Excess heat from the crematoria will provide 'free' under floor heating while rain water will be stored for use in toilets and to provide irrigation for a new council plant nursery on the same site.Current funerals split on a 70% cremation to a 30% burial requirement. Initially designed to meet current needs for up to 1000 cremations a year, already the scheme has been upgraded to meet projections of 1300 before the end of the decade. Capacity for mourners will be 80 plus 40 on a mezzanine area. As well as avoiding the slow drive down the A14 to Cambridge Crematorium, there will be suitable catering facilities to have the post-service wake on the premises, thereby avoiding having to pile into cars and travel again before cups of tea and a bun.
The new facility will have sufficient capacity to last for over 100 years and could be in service by Easter 2020. Among the numerous questions posed by the audience, Philip Peacock confirmed that anyone with an existing funeral plan can chose to use the new facility and their funeral scheme provider would be obliged to foot the bill.Total costs are estimated at £6.75 million, financed by a fixed low rate government loan at 2.48%.Profits will enable Huntingdon Town Council to protect and enhance services in coming years. “We are all shareholders” said Mr Peacock.Future plans include the creation of an adjacent sports hub that will provide a dedicated home with good off-pitch facilities for rugby, hockey, and football. It would be putting Huntingdon on the sports map. We already have our Olympic Gym. The new centre would add the only indoor archery centre in the East of England.
Chairman Mike Humphrey introduced the speaker, Mike Petty, who took us back to the floods of 1947. 100 square miles of Fenland were flooded, including many villages along the Great Ouse. 1947 began with heavy frosts which made the ground very hard. Next came the heavy snow, which fell on to the already frozen ground. Very quickly the snow began to melt and because the ground was frozen due to the earlier frost there was nowhere for the melted snow to go but to channel its way into the rivers. Rivers were unable to cope with the speed and quantity of water, river banks weakened and collapsed. Over Fen flooded and residents had to evacuate, farmers had to move animals and machinery to higher ground.German PoW's helped to secure river banks. It was a national disaster and servicemen from the Army and RAF were drafted in to help. When one river bank collapsed it was decided to fill the gap by forming a metal box using American amphibious tanksThe Denver Sluice could not cope with the flood water as it coincided with high tide in the Wash. The sluice gates could not be opened to let the flood water out as the sea water would rush in.The harvest the following year was very good as the flood water brought back fertility to the land
Hartford ConservationGroup held an open meeting with speakers Chris Bayliss (right), the A14 uograde project manager , and Jon Lewell of Highways England who gave an illustrated talk on the upgrade of the21 mile stretch of theA14 with emphasis on the roads around Huntingdon. This was a follow up to our meeting on 28thMarch 2017.The £1.5 billion upgrade is made up of 6 sections, section 6 being the Huntingdon Town Centre link roads and removal of the viaduct where the A14 crosses the East Coast Main Line Railway.The existing section of the A14 willbe handed over to Cambrdige County Council andbecome a local road and will become the A1307.
The removal (not demolition) of the viaduct will be carried out in sections and will take place over the 2019 Christmas period. Preparation work will be carried out during the day and removal of the viaduct sectionswill be carried out during the night. During removal there will be road and rail closures. The creation of link roads to and from the current A14, the redesigning of Huntingdon Railway Station approach will create a new transport hub with convenient bus stops. A video explaining the new link roads –the Pathfinder Link, Mill Common Linkand Huntingdon Station/Brampton was shown. Necessary diversions to utilities around Huntingdon will take place early next year.An archaeological dig will take place on Mill Common and excavations are expected to go to a depth of over two metres.By the time the upgrade is complete 73 new or modified bridges will be in place.Chris and Jon then took questions from the floor and to finish we took a visual tour of the future layout of Huntingdon.For more information and videos visit www.highwaysengland.co.uk
Since moving to Brampton more than 30 years ago Dr. Pat Doody, a professional coastal ecologist, has taken a special interest in Portholme Meadow, its landscape setting, history and ownership
Throughout the spring and early summer the meadow has an abundance of wildflowers and grasses and is buzzing with insects. The meadow collects silt deposits when the river floods, the nutrients removed in the hay crop are replenished naturally so there is no need for fertilizers.
A 1772 survey for the Enclosure Act took place in Brampton Parish and included a map which shows ownership of the land, both large plots and nrrow strips apportioned to the people of Brampton.
In 1773 horse racing took place on Portholme.
In in the early 1900’s aviators arrived and Portholme became a mecca for early attempts at flight.
It is hoped that a guided visit to Portholme Meadow will be arranged for 2019
On a very warm summer evening in June Members of Hartford Conservation Group visited Ramsey Walled Garden. The visit was a follow up to an illustrated talk given by Jane Sills at our open meeting on 17th May 2016 about the restoration of the garden, which was rediscovered in 1996 by a Trust Member. An army of volunteers worked on the restoration (are still doing so) and the garden was officially opened by Lord Fairhaven in 2010.
Next stop was the new glasshouses, built on the site of the originals, and made possible by a generous legacy from the late John Drake, MBE. The opening ceremony took place on 13th May 2017. The garden contained apples, pears, cherries and soft fruit, a variety of flowers and one of the quadrants is now an area to sit and enjoy the garden.
We were then taken into the grounds of Abbey College to see the original school building, sadly listed but no longer in use. Lady Broughton, the last private owner of the estate, on her death wanted the grounds to be used as a school. The old school building was beautiful, the current buildings built over a period of time were not so attractive.On our way out we were able to purchase freshly picked redcurrants and strawberries. The garden is open to visitors on Sunday afternoons.
Chairman Mike Humphrey thanked Jane for a most enjoyable tour.
14th July A guided walk around the listed and interesting buildings in Hartford with local historian David Hufford.
We met outside the King of the Belgians, a beer house since 1541, at 6.30 p.m., and after short introduction we set off, our first stop being the Hurst (one time home of Isabella Bird Bishop, a 19th Century traveller, writer, photographer and natural historian). The Hurst garden originally stretched down to the river before Longstaff Way was built in 1964. It was during these excavations that the 'Hartford Hoard' was discovered, an earthenware pot containing over 1,000 coins which are now on display in the British Museum. We then walked up School Lane to the Pits, (so called locally because it was a sand and gravel pit) officially named the King George V Playing Field. School Lane was originally named Mill Lane, leading to a Mill.
Our next stop was outside the Village Shop where we were shown pictures of how it used to look. The Methodist Chapel opposite was paid for by Potto Brown. It was originally built so that it could become a house, as indeed it has. The pointed windows were originally square. The Barley Mow was built with stone from St Benedict's Church in 1804. It was derelict in 1976 and rebuilt in 1978. On the opposite corner stands The Red House which was originally a coachman's house belonging to the Manor House, as was Pear Tree Cottage adjacent to The Manor House. Then on to The Manor House and Manor Farm House. At this point it began to rain quite heavily. We then crossed the road to Hartford House, built in the 18th Century by the Desborough Familly, a listed building with a surrounding wall listed in it's own right.
Down The Hollow to the Church, stopping in the churchyard to see the large tomb of HenryThomas Barratt, which was badly vandalised in 1977 and repaired by John Dillistone, an artist from Godmanchester. We continued through the churchyard to the group of cottages which are depicted on the Village Sign. We walked along the river to Anchor Cottage, originally a waterman's pub.
Our very interesting walk with David Hufford was very informative and lasted approximately 2 hours. Many of these buildings can be found on Hartford Conservation Group's leaflet 'The Architectural Heritage of Hartford in Cambridgeshire' which is available in All Saints Hartford Church and Huntingdon Library.
The Heritage Lottery has given a grant of £75,000 to improve access such as installing kissing gates to replace stiles, clearing paths, putting in ducting etc. One major item is the replacementof the access bridge which has been condemned under health & safety.
The Lancaster was designed by Roy Chadwick and manufactured by Avro. More than 7,000 were built (at an individual cost of some £50,000). Orders came in thick and fast and manufacturing had to be contracted out to other factories such as Armstrong Whitley, Vickers Armstrong and Austin Morris. Some 300+ were built in Canada but only two are still flying, one in England and the other in Canada. The Canadian Lancaster came to the UK in 2014 and appeared at many air shows, including Gransden. It was developed from the Avro Manchester.
The Lancaster was used for a variety of other purposes including dropping food to the starving people of Holland, aerial refuelling and after the war to repatriate prisoners of war. It then took on a new role as a transatlantic passenger plane and renamed the Lancastrian.
Questions were then taken from the floor and Mike Humphrey thanked David Taylor for a very
interesting talk to a very knowledgeable and interested audience.