FLETTON & STANGROUND HISTORY
Shortacres, Westbrook Park Road and parts of London Road were developed by Cosy Homesteads and it was thought that the houses cost around £400 each, this being just pre-war.
The building once known as Phorpres House, on London Road, which housed the clerical staff of London Brick Company, was in the early 1900’s, known as ‘The Coffee Palace’. Opposite were Goffin’s shop and Robinson’s garage.
Between St Margaret’s Road and Wootton Avenue were Box’s Hardware Shop (later Wade’s Cycles and Fishing), and Fletton Ex-Servicemen’s Club (Steward Mr Earp).
In Victoria Street, at the end of St Margaret's Road, there was a shop, believed to be in the name of Rollings, Rawlings or Rawlinson, this will no doubt be confirmed by future respondents.
If, and when children had a penny or two, there were shops – Tokins, opposite the Fletton Secondary School: Scottings opposite Old Fletton School, at the bottom of the bridge. (and a later reminder from Dennis and Sheila Rowell (nee Merrington)) that Dorman’s Fish and Chip Shop stood where now is the entrance to Langford Road. Next to the school, was the Newall Machine Tools factory which later re-located to Shrewsbury Avenue; it employed a large number of engineers from the area. On the Fletton end of the bridge, North side, was the Joseph Farrow’s Canning Factory which gave work to a large number of females, mostly processing peas, for which they were noted, but also other fruits and vegetables when in season. On the South side was a Coal Yard with a railway loading/unloading facility. Stanyon’s and Beeby’s were local merchants.
Further towards the junction with Fletton Avenue were Hairdressers (Don Poole), Bookmakers, Bakery (Chapman), the Norman Cross Court House, Old Fletton and Norman Cross Council Offices, The White Hart (Burton/Brown) then further towards Stanground, Cobbler (Ted Hanks), a Fish Shop (Partridge), Co-op Grocery Store and the Coach & Horses Public House. Mr Church plied his fresh fish trade from a tricycle/truck and announced his presence by ringing a bell whilst Mr Hedges delivered milk from King’s Road through Fletton’ Woodston and Stanground by horse and cart- Mr Mould delivered milk on his bike!
On the other side, from the bridge- Wicks’ Fish Shop (Hut), Dilley Hall, Post Office,shops, Fire Station, Police Station, Ladies Hairdressers, TSB, Newsagents. Business names over the years being Brenda’s, Cleverley, Crick and Ibbott. A reminder from Mary Fowler (nee Saunders) that at the junction of High Street - Princes Road, was Kelhams' shop, hence the area was known as Kelhams' Corner.
Out of Fletton, into Stanground (passports required), over the Lode which would regularly flood in winter. On the corner turning towards South Street and Whittlesey was the Police Station, Huntingdonshire Police serving the north of the then county, Constables Ayers and Last are remembered.
First impressions were that Stanground people were rather insular and one felt a little intimidated when entering their domain - almost a no-go area! However, in the writer's youth, many friends were made through the Stanground Youth Club, held in the Parish Rooms in Church Street. Musical entertainment was provided by our first disc jockey, Stan Croxford with his Panatrope. All inhibitions banished - forever!
The writer’s war-time experiences include 1) The early morning bombing of Oundle Road, Park Street (Coalheavers Arms) and London Road. 2) The sighting of a German Dornier around 8a.m., travelling parallel to Celta Road, West to East, in low cloud – I could even see the crew. Wartime information was very guarded but it was believed to have crashed near King’s Dyke. 3) Early evening sighting of a V1 Doodlebug travelling West from Stanground, over Fletton, above the Dilley Hall. This sighting was confirmed by Colin Kisby, who lived in High Street at the time, and Joan Wilkinson (Mrs Don Tokins) who was on her way from home in Queens Walk to Fletton Avenue, also Keith Bunyan saw it from his home in Orton Waterville and believes it crashed/exploded near Waternewton.