Potters and a gaping hole - a nostalgic look at Ely and Cambridgeshire

Ely RAF Hospital

Ely RAF Hospital - Credit: Peter Easey

From a gaping hole in the wall to potters in Prickwillow, take a step back in time and discover some of the faces and places of Ely's past. 

Ely and District Motorcycle Club in October 1937

Ely and District Motorcycle Club in October 1937 - Credit: Josie Leaford-Howe

The archives from Ely Cambridgeshire Old Photos Local History Facebook coupled with the work of historian Mike Petty combine to offer historical gems.  

The Plough in Little Downham, circa 1950s

The Plough in Little Downham, circa 1950s - Credit: Darren Bedingfield

Described as "a place to store and share all old photos of Ely", the history group "accepts anything that may be of interest to others".

Ely RAF Hospital

Ely RAF Hospital - Credit: Peter Easey

Join the page - which has thousands of members - online

Prickwillow potters - May 22, 1980

When Margot and Derek Andrews gave up their teaching jobs to set up as potters at Prickwillow they didn’t set out to make a fortune. But they have achieved their own independent world where they make a living by their craftwork. Now after five years they find that most of their orders come from people who look around the workshops; a number arrive on boating holidays and more come in groups in the evening. This is something they never originally envisaged and they now serve cups of coffee to visitors. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

Gaping hole in the wall - May 22, 1924

An unusual accident occurred at Trumpington when a student of St John's College was returning from London in De Dion Bouton two-seater car. On coming round the bend on the main road the car ran into a house with devastating results. Bricks were scattered right across the road and a gaping hole in the wall was so big that it is surprising that the whole front of the house did not collapse - Credit: MIKE PETTY

Addenbrooke's Hospital building defects, 1873

Addenbrooke's Hospital Governors were told there was such defect in the construction of the new building as to call for an explanation from the architect. The main fabric was in fairly sound condition but there were many defective points. There were cracks which resulted from unequal settlement, in some cases heads over the windows were so much affected as to require additional support. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

Ely Firework Explosion - Cambridgeshire Scrapbook May 23, 1936

Ely Firework Explosion - Cambridgeshire Scrapbook May 23, 1936. Mr Lee told an inquest that when Kempton’s fruiterers' premises in Ely Market Place were being demolished, he’d fetched away about 150 tubs and boxes and put them in his yard. He saw something amongst them that looked like fireworks which he laid aside and soaked with water. There were also some crackers and small fireworks, but he did not dream that they were dangerous. However, children found them and lit one causing a loud explosion. Mr Kempton said he had been in business 30 years and never knew about the fireworks which his father had used for fetes and school treats. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

Whirlwind overturns Sutton bus - May 22, 1950

The whirlwind which swept through Cambridgeshire last night caused extensive damage at Sutton. A double-decker Eastern Counties bus was lifted up by the miniature tornado and thrown down onto its side shaking up the passengers and injuring at least two. The bus was just leaving Sutton on its way to March, and was travelling along Ely Road carrying 14 passengers. The driver was uninjured but the conductor was knocked unconscious. - Credit: MIKE PETTY