Spotlight on the Littleport Society

The Spring edition of The Littleport Society Magazine was a Black Horse Drove Special Edition, which detailed the history of the Drove its shops, pub, and school, as well as Carol Driver’s memories of living on the Drove.

Every resident of the Drove received a complimentary copy of this 20 page special. If anyone has any anecdotes or stories of living on the Drove please let us know and we can include them in future magazines.

The Littleport Society Magazine is published quarterly and is always packed with illustrated articles about Littleport and its surrounding fens, a must for anyone interested in our past, so don’t miss out, membership of the Society is only £3 per adult; £2 Seniors; of £5 family – contact Membership Secretary – Bruce Frost at 18 Upton Lane or e-mail

A recent acquisition for the Archive was a small collection of Comins sale catalogues. One was for the sale of the live and dead stock belonging to David May of Black Horse Drove, dated 10th October 1924.

The sale included two Hackneys named “Kitty” and “Fanny”, as well as a Shire stallion called “Crouchmoor Speculation.”

Several Littleport farmers were noted breeders of Hackney horses, foremost amongst them was the Flanders family. The most renown of their Hackneys was named “Flanders Fireaway.” It was described as “of perfect symmetry, excessive strength, and unrivalled action,” and it could command high stud fees. The horse was such a celebrity that when William Flanders sold him in 1826 it was said the buyer gave him “a gold sovereign for every day of the year.”

Another interesting item donated is a copy of the Lincolnshire, Boston and Spalding Free Press dated 18th April 1938. It contains a full page spread of Hall, Cutlack and Harlock announcing that it had taken over Mills Brewery (Wisbech) Ltd. The page also had a potted history of the Forehill Brewery, Ely, with five interior photographs. A fascinating source for anyone interested in the history of brewing in the area.


“Mysterious Littleport” by Deborah Curtis Watson

I was once told by a publisher there were two main reasons for going to print. Either it’s a darn good read or that the content should to be preserved. This book covers both criteria. “Fascinating” is the best description for this account of the uniqueness of Fen culture. Deborah writes in a very congenial way to reveal Fen and Littleport superstitions, horsemanship, magic, medicine, ghosts and folk lore. I defy anyone to read this without great interest and not to say, “I didn’t know that!” Once I started to read I found it hard to put down. A wonderfully easy to read record of Littleport and Fen life that may otherwise be lost. I give it 10/10.

£3.50 from the Littleport Society at The Barn (open Tuesday afternoons from 1.00 p.m. until 4.00 p.m.), or our bookstall at the monthly Open Meeting in the Village Hall.


Held in the Village Hall 7.30 pm.

4 September – Mike Petty – Looking back on Cambridgeshire

2 October – Eddy Edwards – The Train that Hovered

6 November – Carol Pooke – Edith Cavell – Saviour or Spy

10 December – MONDAY – Jonathon White (Organist) – Christmas Concert

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