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All Saints, Elm

All Saints, Elm

All Saints, Elm

Mike Petty’s Fenland History noted in 2019:

The now peaceful village of Elm was the centre of uproar in 1881:
There was great parochial unrest when proposals were made to lay a tramline through the village, even a petition sent to Parliament. The tramway was laid from Wisbech to Upwell alongside the canal. Alas neither has survived, the tramway was a victim of Dr Beeching and the canal was filled in when the Anglian Water Authority re-routed the drainage in the fens. Many of the villagers remember the tramway and the canal, which was well used in the past, particularly on Saturday nights when revellers came home from Wisbech by barge, singing all the way! There are of course more houses now, a change from the last century when the scattered cottages all had their own small-holding or at least a large cottage garden. It is still an agricultural area with fruit, vegetables, flowers and grains being harvested throughout the year, but most of the newcomers go further afield to work. Social life centres round the church, church house, four public houses and the three village shops. In the 1920s there were five bakers in the village and the smell of new bread was wonderful! [Cambridgeshire Federation of Women’s Institutes. The Cambridgeshire village book. 1989]

Elm village, c 1920

1910 CDN 25.2.reported: Nearly 1,000 people assembled in a field adjacent to Elm churchyard where the incumbent refused to allow the parents of a young girl to place artificial wreaths. Since then a feeling of indignation has been growing throughout the area. Numerous speeches were made advocating the establishment of a free burial ground for the people of the district. A resolution was passed protesting against the compulsory removal of wreaths and the vicar’s statement that the district was shockingly immoral.




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