Memories of wait at level crossing between Peterborough and Whittlesey buried in time capsule

Many drivers will have long and frustrating memories of being stuck at the King’s Dyke level crossing - and now some of those memories have been buried at the site in a time capule.

By Stephen Briggs
Saturday, 13th November 2021, 8:00 am
Left-to-right: Cllr Alex Miscandlon (Chairman of Fenland District Council), Cllr Peter McDonald (Cambridgeshire County Council Highways and Transport Chairman), Cllr David Mason (Whittlesey Mayor). Ralph Butcher (whom the road is named after), Cllr David Connor (local member for Whittlesey South) and former pupils from Park Lane and New Road Primary Schools - Iris Tordoff, Rhys Bedford, Sophie Elsom and Jake Oakes

A huge amount of toil was commemorated under soil this week thanks to a time capsule burial, with memories from the scheme stored in one place by Cambridgeshire County Council to enlighten those who in 25 years will have no recollection of being stuck at the level crossing day after day.

The project to improve traffic flow on the A605 is progressing at a fast pace and is on track to be completed by the end of 2022, with the time capsule making sure that the huge efforts made by many to get to this point – and the struggles of working during a pandemic – are properly reflected and noted for decades to come.

The time capsule has captured moments through postcards, letters, photos and newspaper cuttings and shares the memories of all those involved. Local school children have also included elements of living during a pandemic with letters, a face mask and a lateral flow test kit.

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Among those taking part in the ceremony were representatives from the county council, Fenland District and Whittlesey Town councils, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (which has helped fund the project) and engineers Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK, as well as former pupils of New Road and Park Lane Primary Schools in Whittlesey.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chair of the Highways and Transport committee, Cllr Peter McDonald, said: “Building a bridge at King’s Dyke will hugely benefit future generations living in Whittlesey and Peterborough, and the many years of hard work to get to this point deserve to be commemorated.

“It is exciting to see how fast the project is being delivered and I can’t wait to come back when everything is completed, which remains on course to be by the end of next year.”

The bridge, which will go over the Ely to Peterborough railway line on the A605, is part of the £32m King’s Dyke Level Crossing Scheme, which also includes building a new road and the removal of the crossing.

Jones Bros was appointed by the county council to carry out the milestone project, beginning on site in March 2020.

Piling work was recently completed at Star Pit – one of many large elements of the scheme.

Construction manager at Jones Bros Rhydian Hafal said: “Through the tendering process and then the construction phase, we have been acutely aware of what this project means to the people in Whittlesey and Peterborough.

“In addition to ensuring everything is progressing well on site, it’s important to take these moments with the local community to mark key occasions with activities such as a time capsule burial.

“It’s been fantastic in particular to work closely with the children from two primary schools to gather their contents and thoughts for people to read in the future.”