Letters: Praise for vaccine teams, search for brewery tray and more

Lisa Starling's horse Mojo and her Ryeland sheep in the snow

Lisa Starling's horse Mojo and her Ryeland sheep in the snow on Saturday January 23. They are pictured at their paddock on the Cambs/Norfolk border near Southery. - Credit: LISA STARLING

Full of praise

In the past week, my mother-in-law received her initial Covid-19 vaccination at The Staploe Medical Centre and my mum and dad received theirs at The Cathedral Medical Centre.

All three were full of praise for the professionalism, efficiency and kindness of the professionals and the volunteers who were involved.

We would like to thank all those involved, we are grateful for all you are doing and we feel grateful that we have such an outstanding team.


Searching for Ely brewery tray

I am Britain’s leading collector of brewery trays and also collect any other pre-WW2 brewery memorabilia.

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My passion, though, is my collection of brewery trays.

I have been collecting for over 40 years and have appeared on TV on numerous occasions, my favourite being ‘Antiques Road Trip’.

Like most of the British nation, I am currently at home and looking for things to occupy my time.

Richard Percival in his brewery room

Richard Percival in his brewery room - Credit: RICHARD PERCIVAL

In years gone by I was a prolific writer to newspapers all over the country and I was constantly trying to trace brewery trays missing from my collection.

Sometimes I struck gold, but mainly I hit a blank.

With the virus now hitting hard, I thought I’d take the opportunity to try again and see if any of your readers could help me locate an old Ely tray I have been seeking for 30 years.

The tray in question is one from Hall, Cutlack & Harlock Ltd. It has a black back and am told that it features the wording ‘Old Noll’ on the front.

It may well have a makers mark of either Causton, B.A.T.Co.Ltd or Hancock Corfield & Waller Ltd.

Incredibly, despite my collection totalling 1,500, all of which pre-date 1970, I only have one Cambridgeshire tray.

The tray is pictured and is after Hall, Cutlack & Harlock Ltd merged with Huntingdon Breweries Ltd to form East Anglian Breweries Ltd in the 1950s.

I am at a loss as to understand why Cambridgeshire breweries produced so few trays but would not be at all surprised if ex-Cambridge breweries such as Bailey & Tebbutt Ltd, Dale & Co Ltd and/or the Star Brewery (Cambridge) Ltd once produced examples.

Incredibly, I also never managed to locate a tray from Paine & Co Ltd St.Neots brewery which closed only as recently as 1987. You can hear my struggle!

In addition to my trays I also focus my collection on memorabilia from Thomas Salt & Co Ltd, once brewers from Burton-on-Trent.

They distributed their beers throughout UK including the Ely area. My Holy Grail would be to find a tray from this brewery which closed in 1927.

The tray would most likely feature their trademark, a red Maltese Cross, similar to the mirror pictured.

Salt’s produced mirrors, showcards, ashtrays, matchstrikers, coasters, playing cards and even dominoes and pens, but I’ve never found a tray.

My passion for this subject has been captured on a website that took me three years to create.

If interested please search www.brewerytrays.co.uk

The site includes many articles, manufacturers history, videos and of course photos of all my trays.

If anyone can help, please email richard.percival@hotmail.co.uk or phone my mobile 07715369540 or landline 01572490170.


Researching local history 

I am researching some local history in Norfolk. The history in question is of an Indian Prince, namely The Maharajah Duleep Singh who resided at Elveden Hall, Elveden, Suffolk, during the period 1860-85.

He had six children, who after the Maharajah’s death settled in various areas around Thetford.

Prince Frderick Duleep Singh

Prince Frderick Duleep Singh - Credit: PETER BANCE

In particular, mention is of his son Prince Frederick Duleep Singh who was a well-known figure in Old Buckenham Hall, Attleborough and died in 1926, and Prince Victor who lived at Hockwold Hall.

The Maharajah’s other children were Princesses Bamba, Catherine and Sophia, who also lived at Blo Norton.

Princesses Bamba, Catherine and Sophia.

The Maharajah’s other children were Princesses Bamba, Catherine and Sophia, who also lived at Blo Norton. - Credit: PETER BANCE

I would like to hear from anyone who knew of the Maharajah’s family, ie. friends, relatives or acquaintances.

I am also keen to hear from anyone who may have any photographs, letters or any other items of interest associated with the family.

I would be grateful for all the help you may be able to provide. You can write directly to me:

Peter Bance,
110-1120 Palmerston Road,
London E17 7JS,
or telephone me on 07961 620069email: peterbance@yahoo.co.uk PETER BANCE

Virtual challenge 

Cambridge United Elite Scholars are covering the distance from Land's End to John O'Groats in a virtual challenge to raise awareness of mental health issues.

That's 874 miles or 1,406 kilometres in just four weeks!

Lockdown has had a significant impact on the scholars as their training and fixtures have been put on hold during the pandemic.

We wanted to encourage the squads to stay active, be positive and do something to help people that may be struggling with their mental health during lockdown.

As a team, they can pull together to complete this challenge while raising funds for two great causes. 

The scholars are supporting two local charities close to their hearts: CPSL Mind (Cambridgeshire, Peterborough & South Lincolnshire) and Cambridge United Community Trust.

These two charities work together on a mental health football initiative to support individuals struggling with their mental health.

The football sessions provide the opportunity for people to come together and improve their mental wellbeing through football.”

The team initially set themselves a target of £874, £1 for each mile covered, but after just one week they have far exceeded this.

If you would like to make a donation please visit, https://cuctrust.enthuse.com/cf/lands-end-to-john-o-groats-challenge.

TOM HALL, Cambridge Regional College sports lecturer