Funeral details confirmed for man behind Peterborough’s transformation

The funeral details have been announced for the man behind Peterborough’s transformation into a modern city.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 11:49 am
Wyndham Thomas

Wyndham Thomas was head of the Peterborough Development Corporation which turned Peterborough from a market town into a flourishing city with attractions including Queensgate Shopping Centre and Nene Park.

He died on December 2 at Peterborough City Hospital, with many people paying tribute to his contribution to the city.

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His funeral is being held at Peterborough Crematorium on Friday (December 20) at 12.30pm. All are welcome to attend.

Donations can be made in his name to Nene Park Trust.

Mr Thomas, a great grandfather, was made a freeman of the city back in March 2015 when he was aged 90 in recognition of his 14 years in charge of the development corporation which was tasked with turning Peterborough into one of the government’s sought after New Towns in order to take pressure off of London.

Among his triumphs was the creation of Nene Park (including Ferry Meadows), the parkway system and Queensgate, which opened in 1982 with a flagship John Lewis store.

He also engineered the arrival of former travel giant Thomas Cook into the city.

The development corporation, before it was shut down by the Government, created 26,000 new houses, 25,000 new jobs and 26 miles of a new parkway system.

The population increased by 50,000 during this time, while the city saw Lynch Wood business park opened in 1988 by the Queen and Showcase Cinemas come to the city

Mr Thomas was born in born in south Wales in 1924. He joined the Army, serving as a lieutenant in the Royal Welch Fusiliers from 1943 to 1947.

He married Elizabeth in 1947 and moved to Hemel Hempstead where he became mayor. At the time he would have been the youngest mayor ever to be appointed.

He was made vice-president of the Town and Country Planning Association in 1992 as well as a member of the council of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

He was also awarded the CBE for his work in the New Towns project.