LOOKING BACK: Meet Arthur the pigeon sniper

Pigeon hunter Arthur Strickland
Pigeon hunter Arthur Strickland
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The picture of a man on a roof armed with a gun has intrigued me for many weeks. It’s been near the top of my pile to use but the only information it had with it was a yellow Postit note with the date 28/1/99 written on it.

I finally got round to looking it up in the PT archives and sure enough found my answer.

Harrier being put in place at RAF Wittering

Harrier being put in place at RAF Wittering

The man with the gun is the late Arthur Strickland from Crowland who back in 1958 became a local celebrity for his one-man campaign to cull pesky pigeons from Peterborough city centre.

Arthur’s exploits earned him the gratitude of traders who presented him with a plaque after he killed more than 500 pigeons in one month.

His widow Annie told the newspaper in a 1999 feature on problem pigeons: “Arthur didn’t like the mess they made. The next thing I knew he was up there.He enjoyed going out and hunting the pigeons. He used to give them away to old people who made them into pigeon pie.’’

Imagine if there was a man on the roof in Peterborough city centre with a gun today. The RAF would probably be scrambled!

An early picture of the Straw Bear.  Can anyone date this photograph?

An early picture of the Straw Bear. Can anyone date this photograph?

Do you remember Arthur? I wonder what happened to that plaque. It should be in the museum as part of the city’s social history.

Today’s other pictures are a random bunch. I presume the suspended plane shows the installation of the display Harrier outside RAF Wittering which has been a landmark on the A1 for many years. The picture is dated March 1988.

This weekend sees the popular Straw Bear festival in Whittlesey. This very old picture shows the format has remained unchanged. Does anyone know when it was taken or is able to identify the exact location?

The dramatic picture of the chimney being demolished was taken in March 1978. Was the location Whittlesey way?

Chimney demolished. But when and where was it?

Chimney demolished. But when and where was it?

The last picture is a total mystery. I guess the people are civic dignitaries (with a fine line in hats) and presumably it is the official launch of a new development.

If you have any information about this picture of any of the others feature today, please get in touch.

This week’s aerial picture shows work in progress on Sainsbury’s supermarket which opened in 1973 in what was to become known as the Bretton Centre. Work is underway on Soke Parkway and the site of Edith Cavell, now Peterborough City Hospital (top of the picture) was just green space.

Mystery picture - what event was this?

Mystery picture - what event was this?

AERIAL VIEW: Work gets underway on the Bretton centre in the early 70s

AERIAL VIEW: Work gets underway on the Bretton centre in the early 70s