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Peterborough's boundaries: 'Bring back the old Soke'

THERE were calls today to revive the historic Soke of Peterborough - an ancient boundary which defined the area for more than 1,000 years.

THERE were calls today to revive the historic Soke of Peterborough - an ancient boundary which defined the area for more than 1,000 years.The plea comes from city councillor David Over, who believes adopting the name City and Soke of Peterborough would put the city back in touch with its "special" roots.

At a meeting of Peterborough City Council's parish council liaison meeting, he asked members to consider the reintroduction of the term and how and where it could be used.

Before the popular old county boundaries were abolished, the Peterborough area was divided among three counties - the Soke of Peterborough, which covered the area north of the river, Isle of Ely, which included parts of Stanground and Thorney, and Huntingdonshire, which included Orton and Fletton.

In 1997, The Peterborough Civic Society ran a campaign to rename the city council before it became a unitary authority in a bid to regain some of the history of the area.

They wanted to see Peterborough City become the Soke of Peterborough, as it was for 1,000 years until 1965.

What do you think about bringing back the Soke?

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Cllr Over, the liaison committee chairman and Barnack representative, said: "We could kick off a new campaign to make this city the Soke of Peterborough."

After the meeting, Cllr Over said bringing back the old boundaries would more fully describe the urban and rural areas coming under the council's control

"I think it would reflect traditions and history and make us a little bit different."

Eye and Thorney fall outside the boundary, but Cllr Over suggested they could become honorary members.

Chairman of Peterborough Civic Society Peter Lee supported a debate on the issue.

He said: "The original thinking was that there is something very special about the Soke.

"It's a very ancient legal entity. It covered not just urban Peterborough but a significant area of the rural area as well.

"The trouble with using the term is that significant parts of rural Peterborough fall outside the historic Soke, as well as areas south of the river. But it would be nice to set out the pros and cons."

 

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