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Exhibition to offer glimpse of a bygone era

A village exhibition will take visitors on a trip down memory lane when it is held in Benwick next weekend.

Old Benwick Church

A huge collection of rare photos and newspaper cuttings revealing Benwick's rich history will go on display in the village hall on Sunday, May 21, from 2pm to 5pm.

The event is the first of its kind in the village and has been organised by resident Janet Fountain with help and support from the village's Street Pride/In Bloom chairman Jill Hindle and volunteers.

The photos come from Janet's own private collection, which was started by her mother Ethel Chaplin. Many date from the late 1800s to the 1940s, with more recent ones of school classes too.

For 39 years, Ethel and her husband, Janet's father Cyril, were licensees of the Five Alls pub - the only one of seven village pubs still open today.

"Mum never threw anything away, so there are a lot of things that were collected over the years, and a lot of history to see," said Janet. "I was persuaded to do an exhibition to show everyone, and it's been made possible thanks to all the help from Street Pride/In Bloom."

The exhibition will be split into different categories, reflecting the chapters in Janet's book, Benwick Bygones, which was published in 2008 with the help of Adam Keppel-Garner.

Categories include farming, the school, the old Church of St Mary, the chapels, the former railway station, events, sports and memorabilia and trade and business.

There will also be displays of local arts and crafts at the exhibition, along with a tombola, raffle and refreshments, and copies of Benwick Bygones to buy.

Street Pride/In Bloom volunteers will also be on hand with information for anyone thinking of joining the group.

For more information on the event contact Fenland District Council's Street Pride Co-ordinator on 01354 654321.

Article added: May 10, 2017