Cambridgeshire - Littleport

Hope Brothers Shirt Factory

Thomas 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.

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The Barn, Littleport

The Littleport Society has grown over the years accomodating various areas of the lives of the people in Littleport. It was inevitable that they should eventually acquire premises to house the Society. An old barn in Littleport was converted into a fine, modern building to house their needs and was opened in 1999.

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St. Georges Church, Littleport

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"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."
[Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]

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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