Hope Brothers Shirt FactoryThomas Peacock was a native of Littleport, who had become a merchant shipper trading from China. On his return to England he decided to start a retail enterprise which would give value for money by keeping its prices as low as possible. Contemporary traders laughed at the idea, but in 1874 Thomas Peacock opened his first small shop on Ludgate Hill in the City of London. The firm was called 'Hope Brothers' - an exhortation to its employees. Success brought expansion to other shops and within a year or two Thomas Peacock opened his first factory to cut out the middleman. This was a large three floored building in Littleport. The factory made shirts and collars and completely changed the conditions of life for the women in the village. From toil and hardship working on the land for a pittance, the women now had a new, well paid, form of labour. Working conditions were good and a social life was fully catered for. A club was established and a clubhouse providing a piano, games, a writing room and a well-stocked library.
St. Georges Church, Littleport
"The church of St. George, an edifice of stone, is a fine example
of the Early English style, consisting of chancel, naves, aisles,
north and south porches and a lofty embattled western tower containing,
a clock and 8 bells hung in 1891: in 1920 a new clock was added, with
Cambridge chimes, in memory of the men of the parish who fell in the
Great War, 1914-1918; the tower, a conspicuous object throughout the
surrounding fen district, is remarkable for the beauty of its outline:
the church. was enlarged in 1857 by the addition of a second nave
and aisle on the north side: the chancel was restored by Clare College
in 1877, a carved stone reredos presented by the Rev. H. J. Carter
M.A. curate of Littleport 1860-5 and rector of Duxford 1865-1904:
on the north side is a memorial window erected by his widow to the
Rev. Andrew Gatenby B.A, for more than 21 years curate in sole charge
here and rector of Mepal 1871-6, who died in 1876, in 1891 a new organ
and a stained east window were erected as memorials to the Rev. William
Bonner Hopkins D.D. hon. canon of Ely, and vicar here 1866-90: in
1895 a stained window was erected and the organ enlarged as a memorial
to Mr. William Cutlack, a former churchwarden; it was again enlarged
in 1903 at a cost of £350: an inscribed brass has been placed as a
memorial to the Rev. Samuel Edgar Perry M.A. vicar 1890-7; in 1898
and 1903 two stained Windows were presented as memorials to William
Luddington esq., and his wife, and there is another to Mrs. John Little,
of Westlands: a window in the south aisle was presented in 1911 in
memory of Mrs. T. J. Mott by T. J. Mott Esq. J.P. and one in the north
aisle was given in 1927 in memory of J. Gibson esq. by his widow:
a new oak screen was erected in 1904: there are panels, the gift of
the Rev. N. W. Shelton M.A. (present vicar) inscribed with the names
of the men of this parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18: there
appears to have been formerly a footway from north to south through
the tower, used before the drainage of the fens, when the ordinary
roads were impassable for foot passengers: there are 872 sittings.
The register dates from the year 1606."
For extracts from various books describing Littleport there is a description with photograph.
For further photographs and reading there is the book 'The Archive Photographs Series - LITTLEPORT' compiled by the Littleport Society, published by The Chalford Publishing Company, ISBN 0 7524 1006 7.
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Last Updated on: 13 Mayy 2000
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