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Bruce Frost
Hon. Treasurer


HistoryStGeorges     A History of St. George's Church Littleport      ARiceBox     A Rice Box Full of Memories 
Author: Roger Rudderham  Author: Harry Wilding 
The Revd. Rosemary Maskell, as the current Incumbent of St. George’s Church, Littleport, since September 2004, I find the history of the building and the stories of my predecessors absolutely fascinating. All churches have a history, but that of St. George’s seems to be more chequered than most. The events of the past centuries, as recorded here, all show the delicate balance between the established religion and the community, which is held together by the Parish Church. My name is Justine and one of my earliest recollections from my childhood is sitting and listening to my grandfather and grandmother telling me their stories from World War 2. Tales and stories which would fascinate my imagination and, as I sat and listened, I would be drawn into a world I had never known. This was especially possible for me as a small child, given that my grandfather had also retained a selection of different photographs and papers along with his rice box from his time in the War.
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 Price: £2.95 + pp £0.68 to mainland UK only for overseas rates please contact us.


AnABC     An ABC of Littleport       BoyhoodRecollections     Boyhood Recollections 
Author: Roger Rudderham   Author: Alva Harlock
An invaluable book a topographical representation of the features of Littleport, indicating their locations including thirty public houses, thirteen places of worship and many other interesting historical facts and legends of this fenland village listed in alphabetical order from Adams and Sons to Zeppelin.  Alva Harlock was a gentleman who lived in and with Littleport.
A gentleman in every way, pleasant in conversation, kindly in his ways, helpful at all times. Being at the centre of the town, at the Town Hall, for so many years he came into contact with so many people from all walks of life. He accumulated a wealth of knowledge of the past and present. He was extremely gifted as an artist, and by his sketches and drawings the Littleport past lives on to-day. 
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ChroniclesOfLittleport     Chronicles of Littleport       FenSpeedSkating     Fen Speed Skating
Author: R. T. Sonley
Author: John Slater and Allan Bunch
The following short account is not intended to be a Guide to Littleport, but is a collection of interesting facts and events which have happened at, or around, Littleport during its existence.
As far as I can ascertain, no real history of Littleport has, as yet, been written, and I hope that this small book does show that the village is not without some kind of tradition. 
With so many mild winters in succession the memory of Fen speed skating is fast receding as the old skaters die out and there is no opportunity for new generations to carry on the tradition. In cupboards, lofts and cubby holes, the fen runners gather dust and rust, waiting, as in Phillipa Pearce's "Toms Midnight Garden", for a future generation to find them and, when the ice comes again, learn to “fly like a bird in the air or an arrow from a crossbow”. 
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FenlandFacts  Fenland Facts and Fancies   Olaudah  Olaudah
Poems by: Michael Delanoy, Illustrations by: Ann Biggs
  Author: Donna Martin

Ann and I have worked together with the Farmland Museum for the past twenty-eight years.

Apart from the museum, we have other interests in common, including a love of the Fens and its wildlife. When Ann heard I had been writing some “verses” on these subjects, she suggested that we should, for fun, publish them in a book form and she would illustrate it.

We hope you, the reader, will get pleasure from our efforts: profits, from the sale of the book, assuming someone buys them, will go to our common cause, The Farmland Museum Friends.

Michael Delanoy MBE
Mepal, Cambs. 2003


The Interesting Life of Gustavus Vassa, The African
Written and Researched by Donna Martin

This is the true story of an African slave who survived the Atlantic slave trade, and lived a life of high adventure. When he eventually settled in England at the end of the eighteenth century, Olaudah Equiano, known as Gustavus Vassa made a success of his life by campaigning for the abolition of slavery, a cause that he championed until his death in 1797. He married a spinster of the parish of Soham in Cambridgeshire, called Susannah Cullen, with whom he had two daughters. Only his daughter, Joanna Vassa would outlive him.

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FireInTheSky     Fire in the Sky      IWillFindYou     I Will Find You
Author: George Bowles
Author: John M. Taylor
Several years ago a committee member met with Edna Stacey and the subject of the Littleport Riots was discussed. Edna sent a copy of this book to us in the hope that we would publish it.
Although the story cannot be verified due to the loss of the diaries, the Society committee felt that it was a good tale and does give some insight into the history of fenland struggles in the 1800's.
The Littleport Society 
I Will Find You, a tale of mystery and intrigue which starts in wartime fenland near Ely and then moves halfway across the globe to Australia. John Taylor's story is colourful, poignant and moving as it charts the journey of young Robbie Spalding and his path from a Dr. Barnardos Home in Cambridge to a new life on the other side of the world. Robbie becomes Nick Thorne and this account of his arrival into adulthood is more than a little tragic and filled with unexpected twists and turns. 
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ImagesLittleport Images of England Littleport      ImagesPE     Images of England Littleport  (Pocket Edition)
Compiled By: The Littleport Society Compiled By: The Littleport Society 
This fascinating book of over 160 old photographs depicts scenes, people and events from everyday life in and around Littleport, from a period of more than one hundred years.
The River Ouse played an important part in the commercial development of the village and was navigable as far as Littleport for small ships bringing goods for Ely and the surrounding area.  
During the past sixty years the inevitable march of progress has swept away much of what was familiar to the older generations. Littleport has not escaped that change. It is, therefore, appropriate that as the century draws to its close a photographic record should be compiled. The task has been ably undertaken by David Porter and fellow members of the Littleport Society 
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LestWeForget     Lest We Forget      LittleportSchool     Littleport School 1847-1987
Author: Christine Law Compiled by: M. Fresco, S. M. Rich & E. M. Scott

Copyright Christine Law 2019
No part of this work may be reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording without the permission in writing from the author.

We would like to thank Pamela Dunning for the back cover, and Geoff Butcher for the front cover painting.
Published by The Littleport Society

A brief history of the Town Schools
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IsleOfElyScrapbook     Isle of Ely Scrapbook       MysteriousLittleport     Mysterious Littleport 
Author: Lorna Delanoy  Author: Deborah Curtis Watson 
For many years I have been collecting items/ephemera to do with the Isle of Ely. It is amazing that so little seems to have been “saved”; this publication shows photos and documents related and perhaps will encourage readers to unearth more so that a comprehensive collection can be made.
Lorna Delanoy 
‘When I moved here almost twenty years ago I knew nothing about the place. Having moved from the bustle of London, it seemed as through we'd arrived on another planet .... albeit a very pleasant one!
‘I was keen to explore this fresh landscape and to discover as much as I could about our new home town. My first port of call was the local library, where I devoured the books in the local history section.
‘In a very short time I also discovered the Littleport Society. I am forever indebted to its members for making me a... ‘furrn’er’ ... feel so welcome. And (via their excellent publications) for initiating me into the histories and mysteries of our proud fenland community. 
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NewsFromLittleport     News From Littleport 1900 - 1910       RaisingFenTigers     Raising Fen Tigers
Compiled By: Roger Rudderham Author: John Taylor

Roger is a native of Littleport and was introduced to Local History by Miss Eileen Gill, one of his teachers.Since leaving school he has found time to write, and co-write, several books, mainly on the history of the village. He has also been involved in transcribing some of the registers of St. George’s Parish Church.In this Millennium year Roger's dedication to Littleport was acknowledged by his election to be the president of The Littleport Society. He is only the third person to hold this position, following in the footsteps of Mr. A. Harlock and of Miss E. R. Gill


If you live in the Fens or somewhere near,                  Times were not easy for anyone you saw,
You'll find these verses interesting to hear.                  It had a lot to do with getting over the war.
There are people and places you'll recognise,             But for other people most really did care,
You might read about yourself, with surprise.               That’s why I was glad to grow up there.

Don’t take offence since there’s none meant,               If you remember the people and this mentality,
It’s just old memories of how it all went.                        You'll know life was basic, each day a reality.
Depicting the place and mentality of the day,                Chuckle or cry at things we should not hide.
How it was at school and what we did at play.              Remembering them all with nostalgic pride.

Here and there a few names are left out,
In case their descendants are still about.
Don’t want to upset anyone or memory tarnish,
But it’s said like it was, there’s no use of varnish.

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RecipesHints     Recipes Hints and Tips      RobberBarons     Robber Barons and Fighting Bishops 
Author: Agness Harker and Maureen Scott Author: Derek Richings and Roger Rudderham 
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ShiresSales     Shires Sales & Pigs      SilentFilms     Silent Films to Talkies
Author: Clare Hastings
Author: Norman C. Field

If he could have sold the squeak of a pig he would have done.

George Comins - Auctioneer 1911 - 1997

To say that we first met in the “Chicken Run” would not be understood by many of our inhabitants today, but in the late 1920’s most of the young people and indeed their parents knew that this referred to the front rows of seats in the Empire Cinema. The first two rows of plain wooden seats, and the next few with a piece of red material as covering with some padding. 
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StrangeTalesOfEA     Strange Tales of East Anglia      ElyandLittleportRiots     The Ely and Littleport Riots in 1816
Author: Deborah Curtis Watson  Author: C. Johnson
Horrific and hilarious, bizarre and bawdy, here are strange and stirring tales from East Anglia's rich past: Stories of callous highwaymen, of terrible accidents and dreadful disasters, of robbery on the high seas; sad accounts of human freaks of nature, gruesome reports of grave robbers; incredible tales of weird priests, pioneering surgeons and bigamous husbands.  THE long and desperate struggle between England and France, which terminated with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo on the 18th of June, 1815, left this country in a greatly impoverished condition.
In consequence of the distressed state of commerce, there was a stagnation in our manufactures, and considerable distress existed throughout the country; and where there is distress, there will also be dissatisfaction. 
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TheFightingParson     The Fighting Parson and The Mutineer's Brother      TheGreatDrowned     The Great Drowned
Author: Mike Petty An Eyewitness Account by: Wm. Stimpson
That Samuel Pickwick visited Cambridge in September 1838 is not in doubt. He was seen by some scores of people at the Theatre Royal in Barnwell promoting his recently published reminiscences, though the audience were distinctly unimpressed. He learned much of the story of the Littleport Riots one evening at the Castle Hotel which stood quite near the University’s notorious ‘Spinning House’ in St Andrew’s Street.  The following graphic and most interesting narrative, was first printed in “The Leisure Hour,” for August, 1877. It describes an event often talked of in the Fens, but coming home most closely to the feelings of all inhabitants of Littleport. (By the kind permission of the Proprietors and Editor of “The Leisure Hour”, we are enabled to present it to our readers.) It will be continued from month to month, until it is finished. The volume for 1879 contains the whole, and will thus have a special value. The writer died at Ampthill in Bedfordshire, in the year 1878.  
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LittleportFallen1914 18     The Littleport Fallen 1914-1918      GreatEnterprise     The Story of a Great Enterprise
Author: Ron Bidwell
This book originally initiated by Ron Bidwell of Littleport British Legion and was compiled with material from many sources and with the assistance of these people Mr. C. Ayres, Littleport, Mrs. A. Bidwell, Littleport, Mrs. D. Fincham, Littleport, Mr. L. Gilbert, Littleport, Mr. B. Key, Littleport, Mrs. D. Lofts, Littleport, Mr. G Mcgowan, Littleport, Mrs. D. Neal, Littleport, Mrs. M. Scott, Littleport, Mr. P. Starling, Littleport, Mrs. P. Wicks, Littleport, Mr. B. Frost, Littleport, Mr. I. Coussell, Littleport, Mr. R. Youngs, Littleport, Mrs. M. Kerridge, Ely, Mrs. E. Lane, Ely, Mr. L. Oakey, Ely, Mrs. M. Bebbington, Histon, Mrs. M. Burgess, Sheffield, Mrs. L.Saul, Hethersett, Mrs. H. Walker, Hethersett, Mrs. A. Mackinnon, Australia, Mrs. D. Goodfellow, Australia, Mr. C. McGregor, Canada, Herr. F. Ungemach, Muenster, Germany, Mr. D. Scotting, U.S.A., Mrs. S. Knuckey, New Zealand, Mr. C. Brown, The Western Front Association, Spalding Branch, The Western Front Association, Mr. C. Jakes, The Cambridgeshire Collection, Mr. I. Hook, The Essex Regimental Museum, Mr. D. Edwards, Cambridgeshire Family History Society, is dedicated to the fallen of Littleport in the Great War 1914 - 1918.
This book contains all the men who are listed on the memorial on the green opposite St. George's Church, Littleport.  
In the late ’sixties of the last century a prosperous merchant shipper who had been successfully trading in the Far East for a number of years returned to England - his native land. He was a man of keen foresight and great enterprise, and before very long he had conceived the idea of conducting a retail business in England on entirely new lines.
At that time the retail trader was content to give long credits, and, in return, demanded big profits, but Thomas Peacock - the merchant shipper from China - believed that he could give better value for money by adopting other methods. He was bold enough to think that a cash business worked on quite a small margin of profit would appeal to the natural business instincts of men. He had the courage of his convictions, and in due course opened a small men’s wear shop in the great city of London. At first his idea was laughed at by his contemporaries, who predicted complete failure; his low prices were proclaimed ridiculous; his profits considered far too small; such an idea was unheard of, fantastic, impracticable, and the reward of his folly surely would be disillusionment and early ruin.
Yet, in spite of these gloomy prophecies, his idea was but the acorn out of which has grown a mighty oak 
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TheStoryOfApesHall     The Story of Apes Hall      TheWelneyDivision     The Welney Division
Author: Tom Howard with additional historic material by Roger Rudderham
Author: Hilary A. Winter

Christmas was over and 1976 was little more than a week old. After the festivities January was an anti-climax and the world seemed to hang in limbo. It was an effort to get motivated.

I decided to seek out some jovial company to brighten the day. I’d pay a surprise visit to my friend, David Becker, at his workshop near Hatfield Forest in Essex.

David is a master gun-maker, having served a long apprenticeship at James Purdey of London. He built sporting rifles for me as I was a keen deer stalker and rifle shot. We had much in common with shared interests and same sense of fun, a few hours with him was guaranteed to put me in good humour.

After an hour’s drive I was sitting on a stool in his workshop. A little iron stove squatted like a cheery dwarf, radiating cosy warmth. A mug of hot tea was handed to me by David’s wife, Wendy. The aroma in the air was an amalgam of the cut walnut wood, from which David was fashioning a gun stock, linseed oil, gun oil and his ‘Old English Pointer’ dog.

The world was a nicer place as we bantered and chatted. As I sipped my hot tea I noticed an untidy pile of papers sitting on a short filing cabinet beside his work bench. I saw at a glance that they were details of properties from Estate Agents and I asked David if they intended to move.

When I was a child, my father told me of his ancestors. There was 'Turkey’, 'Fish'and James Smart, who were famous skaters. They came from Welney in Cambridgeshire; they were Champion skaters of England and one was also the European Champion. One roller-skated around Great Britain as a publicity stunt. One made a lot of money, and built a house called Norway House, named after the fact that he ran a business selling Norwegian skates. It must be a grand place set in a prominent spot in the village, I thought. Dad’s father’s mother was a Smart, and she was related to them. I grew up knowing only this, and from time to time gazed at two fading sepia photographs of Grandma’s of two important looking men, one of Turkey, one of James, standing proudly in their curious skating regalia in front of a studio backdrop of a snowy scene. 
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Banished to VDL  Banished to Van Dieman's Land         
Author: Roger Rudderham  

For the first time, the story of the nine Littleport men sentenced to transportation for their part in the Riots of 1816 is told. Follow them to the prison hulk at Woolwich; on the long voyage to New South Wales, and to their final destination Van Dieman's Land. Each man's story is traced; their trials, tribulations, and tragedies in a penal colony are described as a "dreadful place." An unputdownable read.

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