Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The little March

I was in March today, one time capital of the island of March, second only to the Isle of Ely.
It is a Fenland town, famous for its railway hub and its big new prison. The prison is built on what was once the second largest railway marshalling yard in Europe.  It contains 500 of Britain's most dangerous criminals.

But far more interesting to me is that the town has an almost perpetual 1950s feel.
I wouldn't bat an eyelid if someone looking like my Grandad with wavy hair and a shapeless suit got out of a black Ford Popular with a rexine shopping bag.

The tiny old Hippodrome Cinema, now a Witherspoons pub and coffee house (thankfully, no longer a scruffy Bingo parlour) is pure fifties.  The little independent shops, the quiet bustle, all are a pleasant past marked prospect.

The riverside makes a popular walk with leisure boat traffic constantly on what was once the course of the great River Nene, now re-cut to flow more readily to the sea via Wisbech.

Many independent shops proclaim their pride.

At the top of town, as at the top of this post is the beautiful cast iron memorial "cross", but in many parts of town you really could be be forgiven for thinking you are back 60 years.

The railway is a shadow of it's previous self, but still attracts many fans

And there are more styles of vernacular architecture than anywhere I know from mediaeval thatch to tiny wooden shack bungalows from between the Wars, suburban villas behind high walls, grander than usual council houses, tiny wooden barber's shops squeezed between a house and a Christian Bookshop.

All is here to see.  It is a scenic modelmaker's dream.

I strongly suggest you give it a look.

1 comment:

  1. That loco shed, with it's ventilators and lovres is wonderful...and the architecture of the town looks to be very well worth a look. Love the blue Dennis Lodekka...proper bus.