Bus ‘wars', Aids, Ely parking and a ’vote for fen man – for fen people’

Some of the stories covered in this week's archive round-up

Some of the stories covered in this week's archive round-up - Credit: Mike Petty

Our journey back in time uncovers, with the help of local historian Mike Petty, some of the bigger – and sometimes quirky – events of the past 100 or more years.  

Three Holes Bus Wars – Ely Standard - November 29th 1929 

Three Holes in the 1920s

Three Holes in the 1920s - Credit: CCAN

A case between opposing bus drivers on the Three Holes and Wisbech bus route was heard at Wisbech Police Court. 

Philip High, motor bus driver summoned the Peterborough Traction Company for preventing free passage on the highway at Upwell and Elm. 

High was the owner of a motor bus plying for hire between Three Holes and Wisbech.  

He was recently in the employ of the Peterborough Traction Company and in order that his bus should not clash with the company's buses he fixed his time 20 minutes later than theirs. 

But the company seemed to think that it was necessary that High’s bus should be shadowed and whenever his bus went the Peterborough Traction Company’s bus should go.  

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It even followed him home to lunch and waited while he went out again.  

When he left Three Holes about five o'clock in the evening the Peterborough bus played the part of Mary's Little Lamb and started following him home. 

Marsh and Swann stops Carrying – Ely Chronicle - January 23rd 1847 

Messrs Swann and Sons - the sign is still there

Messrs Swann and Sons - the sign is still there - Credit: Mike Petty

Messrs Swann and Sons have disposed of all their interest in their carrying business at Ely to Messrs. George and John Hall of Ely whom they confidently and respectfully recommend.  

And Messrs George and John Hall take this opportunity of soliciting the support of those friends who have hitherto favoured Messrs. Swann with their patronage. 

More Ely Parking – Ely Standard - November 30th 1934 

Ely Service Motor Company 1934

Ely Service Motor Company 1934 - Credit: Archant

Considerable enlargement of the premises of the Ely Service Motor Company has recently been completed, enabling accommodation for 100 cars with a separate entrance and exit to the garage.  

This enterprising firm has also provided a number of modern private lock ups with their own separate car wash, a good contribution to the problems of housing a car in the centre of the city.  

Bishop’s Aids Panic – Cambridge News - December 1st 1986 

The Bishop of Ely has announced steps to stop panic about Aids sweeping the diocese – after fears that churchgoers could boycott Christmas services.  

He has written to clergy over ways of combating alarm over the virus being transmitted in the communion cup.  

In a secret circular ‘Aids and the Chalice’ he stresses that the risk is minimal but suggests taking the bread but leaving the wine or taking both at once by dipping a wafer in the wine.  

Death of Ironmonger - Ely Standard - November 30th - 1956 

Family Adams Project

Family Adams Project - Credit: Family Adams Project

By the death of Mr. Joseph Henry Adams Littleport has lost one of its best-known and most respected residents, aged 83. 

He was head of the firm of Messrs. Adams and Sons of Main Street, an old established firm of ironmongers which was formerly carried on by his father the late Mr. John Henry Adams.  

He was remarkably active for his years and apart from deafness enjoyed good health.  

Vote for a Fen Man for Fen People – Ely Standard - November 30th 1923 

Vote for Townley

Vote for Townley - Credit: Archant

Isle of Ely Parliamentary Election.  

Vote for Townley, the Conservative candidate - a Fen Man for Fen People. He supported the increase in old age pensions. 

If the Conservatives are returned agricultural workers will get no less than 30/- a week. They will protect agriculture and other home industries, ensure peace abroad and employment at home.  

There will be no duties on flour, meat, cheese, butter or eggs. 

If the Liberals are returned wages will go down, if Labour there will be no money left to pay any wages with.  

Drug Taking in the Fens- Cambridge News - November 29th 1904 

More opium is sold at Peterborough than in any other town in England but it is not one-tenth of what it was 30 years ago.  

The sale is now mainly confined to villagers, especially women, and the evil appears to be gradually dying out 


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