Author: Stewart Howe

The Mere in 2012

Whittlesea Mere 2012, a photo by Yaxley Festival on Flickr. In 2012 a Wright Rain Super Touraine system irrigates the site of Whittlesea Mere with Yaxley in the distance – a curious notion perhaps to those who strove to drain the lake in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Great Fen project promises to at least partially restore the great lake over the coming decades. Photo taken 12/9/12 on the Holme Fen Engine Drain road that runs through the centre of the old Mere between the Holme Woods and Engine Farm and the site of the old pumping...

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Skating for a pig and a hat!

A newspaper article describing a skating competition on the Mere in 1827 – “A skating match is run. Prize of a pig and a hat. Berry of Ramsey wins the pig and Germain of Whittlesey the hat. Prizes given by John Heathcote Esq. Mrs Gossip of Holme gave a sovereign for another race won by George Richardson of Yaxley.” Source: HUNTINGDON, BEDFORD & PETERBOROUGH GAZETTE – SATURDAY 24 FEBRUARY...

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A fisherman’s tale

Considering that the record catch for a freshwater eel in the United Kingdom is just 11lb 2oz (5.03kg), this rather fishy tale from 1892 should be taken with an ample pinch of salt – “A monstrous eel is caught in Whittlesea Mere. Enormous weight of forty-nine pounds and length of six feet six inches and a girth of nearly three feet. Preserved in a shop in Charlotte Street, Portland Road, London.” WORCESTER JOURNAL – SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER...

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