I HAVE often expressed surprise that our museum seems preoccupied with the story of the St Neots Quads and the Eynesbury Giant, while ignoring the story of John Bellingham ( Which name should be on the plaque, The Hunts Post, April 23). There have been a
I HAVE often expressed surprise that our museum seems preoccupied with the story of the St Neots Quads and the Eynesbury Giant, while ignoring the story of John Bellingham ("Which name should be on the plaque," The Hunts Post, April 23).
There have been a great many sets of quads born since that time, and several unusually tall men who qualify as "giants". But John Bellingham is the only man to have assassinated a British Prime Minister.
It may be politically incorrect to recall the event of May 1812 - we would not want to give people ideas, would we? It is surely, however, worthy of commemoration. It also points a worthwhile lesson in these days of excessively lax justice: Bellingham was after all tried, condemned and executed within four days.
Why select just one candidate for commemoration? Why not erect plaques to all those mentioned? Nelson's victory at Trafalgar was celebrated by erecting his column by public subscription, so surely a few plaques might be similarly funded.
I have another suggestion. After living here for over 30 years, I discovered only recently that there was a prisoner of war camp on the present site of Longsands School during World War II, in which mostly Italian troops were interned. The entrance was where what I have only ever known as Almond Road was later erected. This is also surely worth marking.
The former Samuel Jones paper mill has been wantonly destroyed to make way for new housing. It was here that the Fourdrinier brothers installed the first mechanised paper-making machine in the Industrial Revolution. There used to be a date stone, engraved "1796" above the windows of the building overlooking Mill Lane. What happened to it?
Surely there should be a memorial stone at the entrance to the new development briefly outlining the story of Little Paxton's role in the history of paper-making. The former mill sluices should have been preserved as a feature of the development, in a similar way to that at the Old Mill pub at Brampton.
Funding of the work should have been written into the developer's conditions for planning permission.
Also lost to modern development was the historic flood-level marker stone in South Street. Having fallen victim to the expediency of new building several years ago, it would now be difficult - but not I would think, impossible - to reinstate.
But History is Bunk: economic viability and "lack of resources" is all.