Long Sutton & District Civic Society has pulled off a bit of a coup with the appointment of its first ever president.
The respected archaeologist Francis Pryor – best known for his discovery and excavation of Flag Fen at Peterborough as well as frequent appearances on the TV series Time Team – was appointed at the society’s annual meeting.
Francis, who lives near Sutton St James, said he accepted the honorary position partly because he likes to support this type of local initiative.
But he added: “One of the things that really matters as far as I am concerned is that heritage is retained for the people living in an area.”
Towns are also something he’s interested in, as demonstrated by his book, The Making of the British Landscape, which includes a lot of information on urban areas.
He said: “Long Sutton is a very good example I think, partly because the area hasn’t always been very prosperous and as a result the money hasn’t been there to tear things down.”
Francis is joining a very active civic society. For instance, its members have just produced A Pictorial Journey Through Long Sutton’s Past.
Members Judy Sadd and Roy Ashton keep the society’s archives and have put these on to DVD in the past.
Now about 100 old photographs with brief captions are contained in the book, available for £7.50 from Parkway Ltd, Gedney’s Newsagents and the Market House in the town. Alternatively contact events organiser Wendy Jeffries on 01406 362310.
The archives have grown thanks to regular requests for people to contribute old photographs.
That’s even easier now with the society’s new Facebook page, Long Sutton Years Through the Looking Glass.
Through the Facebook page the society supported the Slow Down Now, Keep Long Sutton Safe campaign, eventually formally adopting it to be run by a sub-committee of the civic society.
However, their work goes far beyond the boundary of Long Sutton and chairman of less than a year Tim Machin is conscious of the difficulties of engaging with people spread across a large area.
So this year’s centenary commemorations of the 1st World War involved exhibitions in Tydd, Sutton Bridge, Long Sutton and Gedney Drove End.
The plan now is to put up part of the display at Remembrance Day services held in the villages that contributed material.
Tim said: “We want to break out into the wider area and draw people in because there is lots of fantastic heritage.
“We want people to express an interest in their heritage and in the next 12 months we plan to take events out to their village halls to draw them into what we are doing.”