A fascinating picture of old Peterborough has been revealed during conversion work at one of the city centre’s oldest buildings.
The Cathedral Square area is set to get another bar after conversion is completed of the former Ladbrokes bookies in Church Street.
During the work, a rare picture featuring the property and showing the original Cowgate emerged. With the exception of the gate it looks surprisingly similar to today’s scene. Interestingly, where Bills restaurant is today seems to have had a previous incarnation as the Vine restaurant.
In Thursday’s Peterborough Telegraph I asked did anyone know when Cowgate’s gate was demolished and why?
Within hours, I had the answer from local history experts. Cowgate it turns out never had a gate despite its name. The gate in question was built of wood and erected as part of the celebrations for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1897.
The marketing of the property 8b Church Street has been handled by Barker Storey Matthews who kindly sent me the picture.
It is believed the building 8b Church Street, which is Grade II listed, dates back 350 years to the 17th century.
It is one of the city’s few remaining timber frame properties.
Its ground level is approximately one foot lower than today’s Church Street at the same level as St John’s Church opposite.
The restoration work has uncovered a lot of orginal brickwork and timber frames, which are set to remain exposed after the conversion.
There is another picture which shows a clipping of the property when it was known as Tokio Tea Rooms.
Does anyone know when that was?
The property was also formerly a butcher’s occupied by the parents of P.J.D. Flecknoe, a student of The Kings School in the late 19th century, who lost his life during the The Third Battle of Ypres in 1915.
I received several suggestions from readers about the identity of the garage pictured above which was on Westgate near Cromwell Road.
But I got a definitive one from Pat Glover (73), of Eastfield, whose grandfather Thomas Lovell (that’s him in the doorfront with daughter Hilary Newton) founded the garage.
Other family members pictured are Syliva Swain, Pat’s father Alfred, her grandma Edna Lovell and Hilda Chilvers (grandad’s sister)
Pat thinks the picture was taken around 1938 not long after Lovell’s garage opened.
Located opposite what is now Queensgate bus station, the garage was taken over by her dad and his two sisters.
When it closed, Pat remembers they had to close the road to take the petrol tanks out.
Thanks to everyone who got in touch and next week I’ll have some more information on Vinco Cycles.