Conservationist, Artist, Social Reformer, Writer and Teacher


New light on town’s rich legacy

An eye-opening chance to explore how the historical treasures of Wisbech are continuing to make their mark on the development of the town today is being offered in a string of sunset walks.

A new season of the twilight trails organized by the team at Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House at 7 South Brink is set to shed fresh light on the enduring legacy of earlier generations and the ways in which this is being exploited to help to shape the future journey that the town is embarking on.

Among the professionals leading the annual ‘Town and around walks’ this summer is the recently appointed townscape heritage officer, Taleyna Fletcher, who is spearheading a regeneration programme with the Wisbech  High Street Project, which is part funded by a £2 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant.   The event on June 14 – one of eight such Wednesday walks  – will allow participants the chance to learn the latest details of the landmark project and the associated activities set to be launched in the near future

Time travellers joining Peter Clayton, chairman of the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust, and Fenland District Council conservation officer Katie McAndrew on July 19 will catch a glimpse of the Georgian glory days on the town’s North Brink and in the historic Old Market.

Mr Clayton will also be in action on June 7, when he introduces the town treasures of the Capital of the Fens as part of the country’s national heritage and on June 21, when he dips into the Wisbech world of National Trust co-founder Octavia Hill and her family in the nineteenth century.

In other mid-week strolls the spotlight will fall on freemasonry past and present with a visit to the Temple in the Crescent on June 28, as well as on Wisbech heroes on July 5 and the work of the Wisbech Society, with David Crouch, on July 12.

This will give an opportunity to hear an update on the activities of one of the oldest civic societies in the country, taking in recently completed and current projects, including the major Wisbech General Cemetery project, which is also part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Details of a swan song seasonal amble on Wednesday, July 26, which draws the summer series to a close, are still to be finalised.

Mr Clayton said:  “The aim is to encourage knowledge of Wisbech then and now and to help people to feel that this is their town.   A key feature is the involvement of professional facilitators who are helping to improve the area.”

All the walks start at 7pm at the Clarkson Memorial and no booking is necessary.   The cost for signing up for each event is £3 per person and proceeds go to Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House.