Caring for our heritage, our present and our future.
What is The Littleport Society?
A group of people who voluntarily work together in the interests of the community of Littleport. Founded in 1987 it is a non-political, non-sectarian organisation whose membership is open to residents and non-residents of all ages. Membership is open to anyone who has connections with, or an interest in, Littleport – wherever they might live! We have members as far afield as Australia, the USA and Canada.
The Littleport Society Collection
Since its formation in 1987 the Society has collected thousands of Littleport- related objects, photographs, books and maps, including dozens of items produced by Hope Brothers, who had a factory in the village.
As well as donated items the Society also purchases items to add to the collection including a WW1 medal issued to Corporal Walter Sallis for his part in the siege of the Schwaben Redoubt in 1916.
The smallest items in the collection are two tiny tokens issued by Littleport Overseers of the Poor in 1668. Despite their age they are far from the oldest items in the collection, that honour goes to the fossilised flipper bone of a Plesiosaurus which dates back 25 million years.
The Littleport Society Collection is housed in the Society’s headquarters on the upper floor of The Barn, Main Street, Littleport.
The Littleport Society Family History Group has compiled an extensive Family Tree database containing over 73,000 names. If you have family connections with Littleport and want to find out more, contact the Family History Group’s Bruce Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. A list of our genealogical resources is on our website.
What are the aims of the Society?
We aim to stimulate and encourage public interest in the history and heritage of Littleport. We research and record the history and traditions of the village. We are creating and preserving a local archive and collection for the benefit of present and future generations. We are concerned with the retention of local facilities for village residents and with the preservation of the best of Littleport’s traditional built environment.
One of the aims of the Littleport Society is to encourage individual awareness and pride in Littleport and to develop the social, historical, and cultural potential of the community. The Society has published a wide range of books and leaflets, arranges free monthly talks at The Village Hall in Littleport. Amongst the many interesting publications, the Society has published ‘An ABC of Littleport’ which documents the origins of all the places in, and around, Littleport. It’s a fascinating read, because behind every place name there’s a story, and Littleport has a long and varied history, dating back from Roman times and before. The name Littleport means ‘small town’ although of course now it’s not so small being the largest village, in area in East Cambridgeshire!
Who would have known that a seemingly quiet and peaceful stretch of road, Bulldog Bridge, held an intriguing story and legend?
A bridge on the Mildenhall Road which carries the road over the Engine Drain, where it joins the Mildenhall Drain. It is, or was, reputed to be haunted by a large dog. A full account of the legend can be found in Tales from the Fens, by W.H. Barrett.
Or that a tranquil stretch of land holds an ancient story?
A large area of Fenland lying south of the Mildenhall Road from Littleport to Prickwillow. It supposedly acquired the name because Hereward the Wake was said to have set fire to the sedge to cover his escape from Ely in 1070.
There are hundreds more interesting facts, many more books to read and many more pieces of fascinating information to read, learn and enjoy.
If you would like to find out more, look on the website: www.littelportsociety.org.uk or pop down to The Barn Tuesday afternoons 1pm – 4pm for a friendly chat!