Civic Pride: Move over Roy... Peterborough has the 'Burrows Effect'

​“He’s one of our own, he’s one of our own --- he’s Harrison Burrows, he’s one of our own”.
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That’s what all Posh fans were singing at Wembley just over a week ago when our glorious football team beat Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 in the Bristol Street Trophy at Wembley.

Harrison, our 22-year-old captain scored both goals, the winning goal just before the end, in the 91st minute.

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Now it has to be said that Harrison’s second goal was lucky.

Roy Kinnear, the  face of the Peterborough Effect advertising campaign in the 1980sRoy Kinnear, the  face of the Peterborough Effect advertising campaign in the 1980s
Roy Kinnear, the face of the Peterborough Effect advertising campaign in the 1980s

He seized the initiative, took a chance and curled the ball into the penalty area where it swirled over the hapless Wycombe goalkeeper into the net.

Yes, the goal was lucky but Harrison had a go – and it worked!

Harrison made his (and our) own luck. In the same way we Peterborians need to make our own luck if we want to be part of a successful, vibrant city.

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For example, on Thursday, May 2, there are local elections in many parts of the city. If you are eligible to vote, don’t leave the outcome to chance – make sure you vote for whichever candidate or party represents the sort of city that you want to live in. You might be lucky – it could be your vote that makes all the difference!

One of our own.... Harrison BurrowsOne of our own.... Harrison Burrows
One of our own.... Harrison Burrows

Oh, and don’t forget to take some form of ID with you when you vote.

In the same way there are often public consultations that help the Council to decide what parts of the city should look like. For example, there are various design options for the new Towns Fund Station Quarter. Soon there will be a public consultation on what this may look like – make sure you have your say!

Seize the initiative! You might get lucky – those in charge might agree with, and implement, some or all your suggestions.

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In the same way we in Peterborough are lucky to have a wide range of facilities and amenities. I could go on about John Lewis and M&S in Queensgate closing, I could complain about the state of our roads, litter and fly-tipping but allow me to be positive on this occasion.

Peterborough Civic Society's Toby WoodPeterborough Civic Society's Toby Wood
Peterborough Civic Society's Toby Wood

We are lucky to have the Cathedral, Ferry Meadows, Railworld, John Clare Cottage, Burghley House, Flag Fen, to name but a few. Goodness knows I bang on about them enough!

We might have the occasional (and often justified) moan about some aspects of where we live. But we can’t have the default position of always blaming others – there are many occasions when we can show initiative and make a difference ourselves, individually and/or collectively. In this life you make your own luck!

Civic pride often starts with small steps, which then lead to warm feelings, followed by a feel-good factor and then perhaps an increased sense of togetherness which can then be harnessed for even greater positivity and success.

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A litter pick outside your house might lead to your neighbour doing the same and could even lead to a whole street being cleaned up – if you’re lucky!!!

Just look at how good the city’s feeling – and all because Harrison Burrows swung that left foot, had a go and, in truth, got lucky.

Posh could so easily have gone to extra time, eventually losing.

But we didn’t! Harrison Burrows got lucky, and just look how good that made us all feel!

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So, come of Peterborough – years ago we had the ‘Peterborough Effect’ … last week we had the ‘Burrows Effect’ … as summer and the warmer weather approaches, let us arise from our civic slumbers and, individually and collectively, help to contribute to a more vibrant city.

To paraphrase what we sang about Harrison Burrows, ‘It’s one of our own, it’s one of our own --- it’s

Peterborough, it’s one of our own’.