Skip navigation

Cambridgeshire Scrapbook 1897 to 1990

I’m Mike Petty, the Cambridgeshire local historian, formerly of the Cambridgeshire Collection.

For more than 20 years I have been compiling A Cambridgeshire Scrapbook. It comprises over 3,000 pages and more than 20,000 fascinating facts, features and (occasional) fallacies reported in Cambridge newspapers between 1897 and 1990.

It is arranged week by week – so you can check to see what was hitting the headlines when you were born.

It is free to read, free to download, free to use. Just search ‘Cambridgeshire Scrapbook’ on your computer or tablet.

I have also put together scores of mini-scrapbooks including Cambridgeshire villages such as our own.

These Village Scrapbooks reveal some of the events that have helped shape the community of today and put the present in its context. They are not comprehensive but are worth a look.

They are free to read, free to download, free to use. Just search ‘[your village name] Scrapbook’.

To see the full range of Scrapbooks and discover other resources to help you discover our area just click ‘’

It’s my way of saying ‘thank you’ for all the help folk have given me over more than 50 years of trying to discover something of this fascinating county.

Protecting older or more vulnerable residents in Little Downham

Did you know that Little Downham has a No Cold Calling Zone (NCCZ) in Home Close?

Click here for newsletter with more information

Spotted Flycatchers - do you have this increasingly rare bird breeding in your garden?

Spotted Flycatchers are attractive little migrant birds which are summer visitors to UK village gardens and churchyards. Although they breed with us, they spend ten months of the year travelling between here and their wintering grounds in Southern Africa. This is an increasingly dangerous journey for them, and sadly they are in deep decline. Widespread losses amounted to a 50% decline during 1995-2010, continuing an 88% decline since 1970.

Only some fifty pairs remain breeding in Cambridgeshire, so it's now quite a rare bird, but most rural villages still have a pair or two. The Cambridge Bird Club is running a survey this year to find and monitor nesting pairs, and it's almost certain that there will be additional pairs in our villages of which they are not aware.

Click on images for a larger version:

Do you have flycatchers in your garden? Please let the Bird Club know. Please email:

with any information you have, including records of single birds between now and September.

See also for details of the project and how to send in your records.

Introducing Total Transport

Total Transport is in some ways a simple project – it’s about bringing different types of transport together (school buses, day centre minibuses, community transport, etc). It often doesn’t make sense to send multiple vehicles out to the same area to pick up people living close to each other, just because they’re travelling for different purposes.

Proposals have been launched for September 2016, and for Little Downham, Pymoor and Coveney these include;

• Replacing the existing 125 fixed bus route with a new Flexible Minibus Service. This would need to be pre-booked, and journeys would be based on demand – so it wouldn’t be restricted just to Ely town centre at set times. And residents of Coveney wouldn’t be limited to only travelling on a Thursday, for example.

• Revising the school bus to Ely College, and opening it to members of the public. It could serve both Pymoor and Little Downham, and continue to Ely town centre, offering one fixed time journey each way even without the 125.

Click here for more information

Dog Fouling

With the dark nights are upon us, it is a time of the year when dog fouling becomes a worse nightmare for everyone. Whether it is in your front garden, in public open spaces or on pavements, it is unsightly and disgusting. It is very upsetting to find you have trodden in it and it ends up on your carpets, or in your car. The Parish Council provides the following facilities for safely disposing of dog waste:

Click on image for larger version.

If you know or witness a dog walker/owner not cleaning up after their dog, please complete the dog fouling report on East Cambs District Council website, or phone 01353 665555, giving as much detail about the dog owner as possible. The information will be passed to the Environmental Health team to be investigated

My name is Lynne McAulay and I am the Community Development Officer in East Cambridge. My team is here to help people set up and sustain community groups, like lunch clubs, good neighbour schemes, knitting groups, gardening clubs, dog cafes. In fact, this list is endless because if you want to do anything to help older, isolated or vulnerable people in your community, we will try to help.

We are funded to do this work and so there is no cost to you, and we can come out to chat about any of your ideas with no pressure for you to do them if you change your mind.

If you don’t want to set up your own group but want to be involved in helping people in your community, you could consider one of our other volunteering opportunities:

If you have any questions , would like more information or would like to arrange for a visit, please just call me on 01954 211919 or email

For more information our website is . We are also on twitter @CareNetworkCamb and you can find us on Facebook.