Eye in the sky on Bretton
THIS bird’s eye view of Bretton is a real blast from the past!
When we asked for more information, we were certainly not disappointed.
Mr Dick Harrison, from Longthorpe, emailed us with more detail on the date it might have been taken.
He said: “I think your date of 1991 may be 20 years out. If you look closely, the development appears to be in a very early stage. The original Sainsbury’s looks like it is under construction. It opened just after we moved to Peterborough in 1971. I think it opened late in 1971 or 1972.”
As you can see from the photo, the first section of Soke Parkway, from Rhubarb Bridge to Longthorpe, is still under construction.
The Bretton Woods School has yet to be built, along with Bretton Police Station, which opened in 1974.
Mr Harrison added: “To the west of Bretton Gate is open fields, no Tollgate or Junior School to the top of the picture where there are further fields where the Edith Cavell Hospital was built.
“In fact, the whole area looks like a building site. The picture tells an interesting story. In the space of 40 years a secondary school and a hospital have been built and demolished - progress!”
Mr Liam Boyle emailed us to add lots more detail, including another idea on when the picture may have been taken.
He said: “I think the photograph is more likely to have been taken in the late 1960s. It is taken looking to the south on Bretton Way towards Bretton Gate. It shows woodland, immediately to the north of Bretton Gate, on what is now Rightwell, where the company for which I worked built an office on moving from Nottingham in 1983.
“The BP filling station at the junction of Bretton Gate and Bretton Way has yet to be built, as is Sainsbury’s. I recall visiting friends in Peterborough in 1970/1971 and Sainsbury’s was then a brand new ‘mega’ store. There does seem to be some sort of development in the area of the Sainsbury’s site but it is difficult to see. Could it be Sainsbury’s groundworks?”
Mr Boyle added that there is nothing to see in any direction! He said: “None of the local authority housing development on Benland appears to have been built, neither is there evidence of Bretton Woods School and I can’t see the building that housed the ill-starred district heating scheme that is now occupied, ironically, by Iceland.
“That scheme provided heat for much of north Bretton, including my house in Gullymore that was built in 1974. Similarly, there is no development to the south of Bretton Gate that must have been constructed in the 1970s.”
Mr Boyle added that the last office he occupied before retirement was on the site immediately to the south-west of the roundabout in the centre of the picture and appears not to have been built, although the site seems to have been cleared and there seems to be some small buildings in the area.
He said: “You can see the oak tree just behind the huts that is believed to be about 500 years old and still stands.
“You can also see another large oak that is in the corner of what is known as the Oak Tree site, immediately north of the roundabout that is now under development as some sort of medical facility I believe. Both trees have preservation orders on them, thank goodness.”
DEVELOPMENT: Lots of readers had information on this picture taken above Bretton.