Peterborough Cathedral’s 900 celebration needs a ‘wow’ event

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Whether you are a Christian or a Muslim, a Jew or a Buddhist, an atheist or an agnostic, if you are a Peterborian then the city’s cathedral is a special building.

Next year, as the PT reported last week, there will be a year-long programme of events to celebrate the cathedral’s 900th anniversary.

Under the banner 900 Years Peterborough Celebrates, the whole city has been invited to join in. Established events on the city calendar will use the branding from Holocaust Memorial Day to The Italian Festival and from Opportunity Peterborough’s Bondholder Dinner to Bretton Festival.

The editor is keen that the PT gets behind the campaign and we will. However, I baulked at his suggestion that I join in the world record attempt planned by excellent local charity Anna’s Hope.

In case you missed it the idea is to break the record for the most people dressed as fairies in one place.

And yes, you’ve guessed it, they are hoping for at least 900 people to don their wings and wave their wands.

To appease the editor and to support the campaign I have pledged that next year I will write at least 90 positive things in this column (come on, 900 would be more than I’ve managed in a lifetime).

That’s roughly two per column...which is a big ask for me. I suggested saying nice things about the city council should count double, but he wasn’t having it.

I hope the year is a great success. At the moment the programme of events seems to be lacking that one big ‘wow’ event that would attract national attention but hopefully the organisers are working on that as I write.

This city is awash with history – from dinosaur bones to the cathedral and from Flag Fen to the rich Roman remains.

Our past could be the key to a prosperous future for this city if somebody with vision could combine all these assets.

Celebrating the cathedral’s 900th birthday could prove the springboard.

To err is human..

You may have seen the editor’s worst nightmare which occured at our neighbours The Cambridge News. The newspaper was printed with the front page headline 100pt splash heading here. As someone who has been responsible for thousands of front pages – many of them in Peterborough – it sent a cold shiver through my thesaurus.

The paper was quick to apologise but in the cruel world of social media that was never going to appease the army of bloodthirsty clever dicks.

I’m not exactly a touchy-feely sort of bloke but I wanted to hug whoever made this mistake. To all those Smart Alecks out there my message is a quote from James Gordon Bennett one-time publisher of the New York Herald: “I have made mistakes, but I never made the mistake of claiming that I never made one.’’

Happy days

Congratulations to Huntingdon-based Anglian Water which was voted the second best firm to work for in the UK. I’ve been impressed by my dealings with AW so perhaps it’s a case of happy staff equalling happy customers. Who’d have thought?

Diary Of A Bad Dad

The last time we had a significant snowfall Schoolgirl T was on the verge of making her grand entrance into the world. I’d even taken to leaving the car at the top of the hill in case she decided to arrive as the snow piled up.

As she’s now five (going on 15!) it’s a reminder that Peterborough is a no snow spot.

Understandably, as the white stuff started to fall from the sky she was suitably excited.

Her little bro, T2, was less impressed and this despite him being in the midst of a full-on Frozen obsession (won’t I be glad when he “Let’s It Go,’’ This is the second Frozen obsession I’ve lived through and believe you me, that’s two too many).

Schoolgirl T would have gone outside in her jim-jams if we hadn’t stopped her but T2 had to be forced into the garden.

He quite enjoyed it when he got out there, particularly as lazy daddy hadn’t put away the slide and the trampoline.He even joined in making the snowman which disconcertingly looked more like Bernard Manning than Olaf.

Incredibly it turns out there is a mathematical formula for building the perfect snowman courtesy of DrJames Hinds of Nottingham Trent University.

Shortly afterwards T2, perhaps disappointed by his family’s snowman building skills, demanded to go back inside.

Once in the warmth I helped him off with his boots and was reminded of one of the universe’s mysteries: Why do children always get snow in their wellies?

Is there a mathematical formula forthat?