LETTER: A trip down memory lane in Wisbech...

PUBLISHED: 11:45 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:45 22 September 2017

William Hoggins praised Wisbech Museum after a recent visit - but what about the rest of the town?

William Hoggins praised Wisbech Museum after a recent visit - but what about the rest of the town?

Archant

Having left Wisbech many years ago, I rely on keeping touch with the goings on in the town in the Standard and online edition.

I managed to spend a couple of days in Wisbech during August and was astonished at how much the town had changed since I had left.

Firstly, the Queen’s School for Boys where I attended was completely unrecognisable as the Thomas Clarkson Academy – what impressive buildings they now have.

Similarly, the Isle College has appeared to have grown enormously over the year.

The Market Place appeared to have lost a lot of its soul – where are the cobbles? And on the Saturday of my visit there were about 10 or 12 market stalls; I can remember when there were several rows of stalls and it was a really bustling place – did I hit it on a bad day or is that the norm?

Some things never change – St Peter’s Church remains a fabulous building. Wisbech Museum was superficially the same but on going in I was pleasantly surprised by the new gallery and meeting rooms and the fact it was still free – remarkable!

There were things that cast a bad light on the town – despite the lack of stalls the Market Place seemed to be having a free-for-all, clearly yellow lines are there to brighten up the tarmac.

I suppose one of the major changes was the number of East European grocery shops. I visited a couple and was immediately struck by the variety of goods they managed to stock in fairly limited space and the staff were friendly and able to switch effortlessly between English and other languages as they served customers.

I would now like to turn my attention to another story – the demise of the Citizens Patrol.

When I read about this group it reminded me of one of the films in the Police Academy Franchise – ‘Citizens on Patrol’ – in this film an eclectic and disparate group of citizens self-appoint themselves to patrol the town to prevent crime, with the usual chaotic results of the films.

On reading the article about the Wisbech Citizens Patrol I was reminded of the words of Oscar Wilde, who said: “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life!”.

WILLIAM HOGGINS

St Albans

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