In the beginning...
Updated: Feb 12, 2021
there was a small parish, just south of Peterborough, in the north of Huntingdonshire. In 1841 it had a population of 256 and was a rural village, but by 1911, after the arrival of the railways and the growth of the brick industry, the population had reached 4,742 and Fletton had a distinctly urban feel.
In 1987, I moved to Fletton, to 203 Fletton Avenue. The terraced house I lived in overlooks St. Margarets Church and when you stand and look out of the bedroom window you can quite easily imagine that you are once again in that rural village which disappeared more than 100 years ago.
As a student with Oxford University Continuing Education, I took their Advanced Diploma in Local History. One of the projects was to create a database in Access and then use this to answer a research question. I was struggling for ideas and then thought why not research the village I live in-Fletton.
Little did I know that Fletton and its inhabitants would become my passion, no my obsession.
Since those early days Fletton has forged a path for me. I have completed a Phd with the University of Leicester, under the supervision of Professor Kevin Schurer, which focussed on ‘Migration to Fletton 1841-1911’. I have registered a One-place study, assisted in running the annual Heritage Festival at St. Margarets Church, become the editor and secretary of the Peterborough and District Family History Society, taken Gill Blanchard’s excellent creative writing courses and of course started this website and companion facebook page.
But the story of Fletton should not be kept secret so I have decided that I want to make my research even more accessible. I have now embarked on the beginning of the long road to write a local history book based on my thesis- The Story of Fletton.
I want to share some of that journey with you.
My aim is to update this blog every month, to let you know how the book is progressing and to let you know what was happening in Fletton during this time of unrivalled change. To give you an insight into some of the buildings in Fletton and introduce you to some Fletton residents without which none of this would have happened.