Waiting for a train at Chatteris - and rising cost of fares from Ely

archives compilation

March in 1970 (left) a newspaper report of a car chase that ended in a drowning and a rail station you might recognise (right). - Credit: Mike Petty/Archives

Train fares at Ely, waiting for a train at Chatteris, and a motorbike rat hunt.

All from the archives put together with Mike Petty and his Fenland History on Facebook. 

Coates Police Chase – Cambridge News 10th March 1932 

Newspaper report of a car chase that left one burglary suspect dead

Newspaper report of a car chase that left one burglary suspect dead - Credit: Archant

A six-hour police chase started after three men were found asleep in a car between Whittlesey and Coates.  

When questioned they ran until they found their retreat barred by the river Nene. 

Although the tide was flowing strongly the fugitives jumped in; one drowned but the others made off.  

They didn't find his body for three weeks. 

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The car had been stolen; the other two were jailed for theft. 

The drowned man was George Robert Willis - a 20 year old carpenter of Finsbury. 

Expansion would spoil March –Cambridge News 10th March 1965 

Some planners feel March should expand to around 25,000.  

Others believe the attraction of industry would spoil the town’s intimate character and mean a vast expenditure on public services that it could ill afford. 

Ely – Railway Fares – Cambridge Chronicle December 1 1849 

Much dissatisfaction has arisen from the increased fares and rates on the Eastern Counties Railway. 

The fare to London form Ely, second class, is 14s. the same as the old stage coach: after the first opening of the rail, it was 9s. 

Motorbike Rat Hunt – Ely Standard 7th March 1924 

Rat hunt at Wilburton

Rat hunt on the farm of Mr Fitch Everitt at Wilburton, the instrument in chief being a motor bicycle. - Credit: Archive

The photograph shows a rat hunt on the farm of Mr Fitch Everitt at Wilburton, the instrument in chief being a motor bicycle.  

An old inner tube has been affixed to the exhaust and connected with the bolt hole of the rats’ living quarters, the fumes either gassing the rats to death or driving them from their ‘bury’ where they are slain by gun, dog or stick. 

The inventor of this ingenious method of rat extermination is Mr. J. M. Watson who is home on leave from the Shanghai police.  

He is the champion rifle and revolver shot of Shanghai.  

In the course of his police duties, and with another sergeant captured 11 armed robbers, six of whom were subsequently shot.  

The killing of rats is not so exciting, but the motor bicycle device has proved extremely effective, over 40 of the rodents being killed during the operations.  

Waiting for a train at Chatteris Station – Cambridgeshire Times 1872  

Chatteris rail station closed under the Beeching Act 1967

Chatteris rail station closed under the Beeching Act 1967 - Credit: CCC Archives

Of all the dismal and unsatisfactory performances in this dismal and unsatisfactory world, waiting at Chatteris station for the 8 p.m. train is the most dismal and unsatisfactory. 

It is a raw November evening.  

You are sitting comfortably by a cheerful fire, smoking a soothing pipe … suddenly the awful thought strikes you: I was to meet the train this evening 

In five minutes more you are battling the elements, and arrive dishevelled, at the station.  

You pass into the waiting room, but a steaming mass of clodhoppers are gathered round the fire drivelling hopelessly and continuously about the weather, the crops, or, worst of all, politics. 

You pass out again quickly, letting the door shut behind you, to the dreary, empty, muddy platform 

Walking discontentedly to and fro you become aware of the figure of the solitary porter. 

You accost him with a "Very wet again”. "So it is, sir, so it is” 

“Is this confounding train be late to-night, do you think?”  

"Shouldn't wonder, sir; she was punctual last night, and she's never that two nights together." 

He doesn't care whether the train is late or not, why should he?'  

But you do: so, you shrug your shoulders wearily once or twice and resign yourself.  

‘Local Government gone mad’ - Cambridge News 2nd March 1960 

Sir Henry Legge-Bourke, former MP, at a fund raising dinner in Ely

Sir Henry Legge-Bourke, former MP, at a fund raising dinner in Ely - Credit: Archant

Proposals to amalgamate Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, the Isle of Ely and the Soke of Peterborough into a new county have been described as ‘local government gone made’ by the MP for Cambridgeshire.  

David Renton is also known to oppose any suggestion that Huntingdonshire should lose its separate identity and may resign from the Government if the proposal goes through. 

Major Legge-Bourke for the Isle of Ely says it is impossible for fenland areas to be efficiently government by people who do not understand their special problems.  

Soham Egg Record – Cambridge News 9th March 1956 

The East Anglian Egg Packing Station at Soham handled a record 27 million eggs last year.  

It started in 1935 with one lorry for collecting; now it has seven, covering the whole of the county.