Cambridgeshire historian Mike Petty has published his collection of ‘Cambridgeshire Facts, Features and Fallacies’ as featured in his column in the Cambridge News between 1996 and 2014. This huge collection – over 3000 pages in all – is also broken down into collections relating to specific villages, including Longstanton.
The collection is available, with no restrictions, at bit.ly/CambsCollection and there is more information at Mike’s own website at www.mikepetty.org.uk. If you are interested in the Longstanton scrapbook, you can download it from this site by clicking here. It is in pdf format.
Read on if you would like a flavour of the Longstanton items:
12th May, 1900
Harriet Few of Willingham was fined 5s. for driving a cart without a light at Longstanton. Defendant: I shall not pay; I’ll go to gaol. I think it is rather hard for a woman to go to work all the week and be stopped by a policeman simply because she had no light attached to her cart. I am not willing to pay this money. I do not consider that I was doing wrong, and I will go to gaol. How long will it be?
7th June, 1912
An unusually violent thunderstorm broke over Longstanton with a blinding flash of lightning being followed by a tremendous clap of thunder. Near the railway station a horse belonging to Mr T Langan of Willingham was so alarmed it dropped down in the road and after getting up trembled for some time afterwards. At Hatton’s Farm considerable damage was done, sixteen panes of glass being smashed by the concussion. The lightning struck the garden, made a hole in the soil and passing underneath it ploughed up two rows of potatoes. Mr W.J. Wayman of Over, who was erecting some cottages near by, took shelter in a hovel and was knocked backwards while Mrs Few was so much upset that she has since been ill.
4th January, 1950
Sanitary arrangements and general conditions at Longstanton Church of England school were found to be in “a most deplorable condition” by an Inspector who visited after strong complaints from parents of children attending it. The report states cesspool drainage is hopelessly ineffective and foul water floods the boys offices frequently. School meals are prepared in the cloakroom which contains a water tap but no drainage and the playground consists of 65 square yards of unsurfaced ground rendered unusable by the discharge of rainwater gutters into it. The chairman of the school managers said nothing could be done short of a major work of reconstruction to the school’s sanitary arrangements.