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Publications

The following books are avaliable to purchase from the Museum, and can be bought at the museum or ordererd, for which the postage and packaging to the UK is noted. If you would like to order a book, contact the museum, cheques should be made payable to "March and District Museum"of Grays Lane

Cambridgeshire Folk Tales - Maureen James

Modern-day Cambridgeshire is a county of diverse landscapes: from the elegance of the university city and the rural delights of the old county of Huntingdonshire to the flatness and wide-skied Isle of Ely, each district has its own identity.

Explore the antics of the inhabitants of the past, including Hereward the Saxon hero; Fenland giant Tom Hickathrift; the pious Bricstan of Chatteris; the raconteur and skater Chaffe Legge; and Mr Leech, who was carried off by the devil. You will discover the hidden history of the area, including how the secret Brotherhood of the Grey Goose Feather helped King Charles I, and what happened to King John's treasure. These entertaining tales will delight readers both within Cambridgeshire and elsewhere.

19.7 x 13cm, 190 pages with black & white line drawings.

£9.99

P&P - £2.00

A History of Guiding in March - Miss Gladys Harwin

A History of Guiding in March is a record of Guiding in March, from the earliest days in 1918 to 1925 and then from 1929 to 1987.  It is mainly of the 1st March Company, and has been put together initially from local newspapers reports and then from memories and log-books handed to Miss Gladys Harwin by her Guide Captain, Miss E N Whittome, when she left at Easter 1941, and the log books Gladys kept until she retired in 1987.

21 x 14.8cm, 64 pages with 54 photographs and index.

£5.00

P&P - £1.50

Fen Pioneer - The Life of Hugh Abinger Whittome 1877-1935 - Priscilla Padley (Great-granddaughter Hugh Whittome)

As well as farming up to 3000 acres around Whittlesey Hugh Whittome was Vice-Chairman of Isle of Ely County Council, which met in March, Chairman of the Middle Level Commissioners and instrumental in the construction of Wiggenhall St German's Pumping Station for the Middle Level which saved the area from flooding in 1947 and keeps it dry today. He was also High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire.

Hugh married Helen Vawser at St Peter's Church, March in 1901.

Extracts from journals made by Hugh's daughter Margaret (Peggy) give an insight into life in Whittlesey before World War I.

There are also details of advances in farming in the 20th century.

25.3 x 20.2cm, 68 pages with several photographs, copies of documents and family trees.

£5.00

P&P - £2.50

The Grays of Grays Lane - Edna Stacey

About 10 years ago a newspaper bundle was brought from St Wendreda’s Church containing a 18th century flag or guidon of Doddington and Hamlets Cavalry.  (See Inside the Museum page of the Museum West Room for an image of the guidon.)  It was four years before the guidon was stabilized, by the Textile Conservation Centre of Southampton University at Winchester, and put on display at the Museum.

Shortly after the guidon returned to the Museum, a Mary Gray of Vancouver Canada contacted us about a massy (punch bowl) and ladle presented to Captain Owen Gray of Doddington and Hamlets Cavalry.

This was the start of the six years of family history research by author Edna Stacey that has culminated with the publication of this book.

Information about relations is still coming to light so research continues but the mass of historical information in this book gives insight into life in March in the 18th and 19th centuries.

20.5 x 14.5cm, 44 pages

£3.00

P&P - £1.50rossing Fences

Crossing Fences - Henry Orbell

This is the autobiography of a man born of humble parents in 1913.  He left school at fourteen and began his working on the land but sought a career on the Railways. 

He began his Railway career as a Lad Porter and rose to be Area Manager.  Such long service and advancement would not be possible in today’s employment conditions.

In addition to his working life he was deeply involved with the National Union of Railwaymen, the Labour Party and Local Government.

During his long career he had to cross many fences in education, employment, industrial relations, politics, social and economic circumstances.

Henry died in 2008 aged 96 years.

20.5 x 14.5cm, 197 pages

£6.00 special reduction of 33%

P&P - £3.00

Mainly March - '1947' Derek A Biggs

Foreword by R H N (Dick) Hardy

Reprinted by popular demand

A 'Swedey' Fireman's Memoirs from 1943 to 1955.

Illustrated with photographs of the period and with drawings by the author including the Claud on the front cover.

An appendix lists the record of ASLEF members, including their dates of birth, date of entry to the Union and last entry in the records,of the March Branch throughout its years of operation.

21 x 14.5cm, 136 pages plus 12 pages of photographs.

£7.50

P&P - £2.50

Fenland, Landscape Made by Man - Peter Hewittand, A ey Man

Written by our Museum Chairman this booklet was published by The Wisbech Society.

A Brief History of Fen Drainage

What are fens?  They are wetlands something between a water meadow and a swamp.  It is one of the outcomes of centuries of drainage that the area we now call the Fens is totally misnamed, for except where the land is kept artificially damp to simulate the pre-drainage fen, such as at Wicken and Woodwalton, there is no true fenland.

This booklet explains the work of the early drainage by the Adventurers in the 16th Century right through to the final completion of Vermuyden’s plans in the 1960s.

This final phase of the work included a diversion of water from Denver Sluice on the Great Ouse down into Essex where, in periods of drought, it is a very important water source.

20.5 x 14.5cm, 30 pages

£3.00

P&P - £1.50

But for such men as these - Anthony Day

On Friday 22nd June 1944 a munitions train, with 44 wagons of bombs, left Whitemoor Marshalling Yard, March bound for White Colne, Marks Tey in Essex. The Driver was Ben Gimbert, of March, and his fireman James Nightall, of Littleport.

At Soham Ben realized the first wagon behind the locomotive was on fire!

The actions of Ben and James won them George Crosses, the highest civilian award for bravery, sadly James’ was awarded posthumously.  Signalman Frank Bridges was also killed, but even though he acted with great courage, was not honoured.  James and Frank were the only casualties and the town of Soham was saved from a catastrophic explosion.

This book gives details of the events of that fateful day and is a tribute to the men involved and the debt of honour owed to them by Soham.

20.5 x 14.5cm, 72 pages

£5.95

P&P - £2.00

Other publications available

John Peck of Parson drove, an exceptional Fenman, (1787-1851)   

£2.50 P&P £1.50

The Trade of a Farmer (John Peck)  

£2.50 P&P £1.50

Changing Landscapes of Ancient Fenland                

£4.95 P&P £2.00

Cool Peterborough in the ice ages   

£2.50 P&P £1.50

Dusk to Dawn, the story of No. 219 Squadron RAF 1918-1957  

£9.00 P&P £2.00

Cambridgeshire Regiment, a guide                  

£4.50 P&P £2.00

Risen from obscurity, the story of Oliver Cromwell

£7.00  P&P £2.00

Postal History of March and Chatteris areas of Cambridgeshire

£15.00 please contact us for information on obtaining this book