St Margaret's Church, Old Fletton
|North West Cambridgeshire|
Fletton is a residential area and ancient parish within the city of Peterborough, standing on the south side of the River Nene, in Huntingdonshire. The area is home to League One Peterborough United FC, known locally as The Posh, who play at London Road Stadium.
Fletton consists of two parts: Old Fletton and New Fletton; the former the site of the original village, long since subsumed in development, and the latter to the north at the head of the bridge leading over the Nene to Peterborough city centre. The boundary between the two is the Fletton Spring.
Fletton Spring rises in the west of the area near Celta Road but soon disappears underground, re-emerging near Fletton Fields before being fenced in again and eventually merging with Stanground Lode in the east.
The parish church, Saint Margaret, stands on Fletton Avenue. Although in the Diocese of Ely, it has now been placed under the pastoral care of the Bishop of Peterborough, acting as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Ely.
The town has a large Italian community, served by the Italian Roman Catholic mission church of San Antonio.
Old Fletton County Primary School is located in the area; secondary pupils attend nearby Stanground College and Nene Park Academy.
The sub-soil is Oxford Clay, the character of which led to the establishment of large brickworks. The area gave its name to the Fletton Brick Company and to Fletton Brick in the nineteenth century, when a large area of land was auctioned off to investors; this eventually became the London Brick Company, now owned by Hanson Plc. The dominance of London Brick in the market during this period gave rise to some of the country's most well known landmarks, all built using the ubiquitous Fletton. During the 1950s the requirement for workers in the brick industry was far greater than that available locally and many Italians—initially housed in the old prisoner of war camps and in barracks and hostels belonging to the company—were recruited in the southern regions of Apulia and Campania.
By 1960, approximately 3,000 Italian men were employed by London Brick, mostly at the Fletton works. Very soon after the first men had arrived, they were followed by around 2,000 Italian women, some of whom worked alongside the men, whilst others worked in sectors such as clothing, rubber, ceramics, food processing, agriculture and the National Health Service. Consequently, Fletton has a significant Italian population today. The Fleet complex, off the High Street, has been managed by the Italian Community Association since it opened in 1985.
Historically, diesel manufacturers, Perkins Engines, (previously Joseph Farrow's canning factory) and Bennie Lifts (later Kone Lifts), situated on Queens Walk, also gave work to a large number of people locally. Elliot Medway occupied a site next to the football ground off Glebe Road until its demolition in 2008 to make way for the Peterborough South Bank Development.
- RELIGION: Bishops bridge boundaries aboard boat Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 2 August 2004
- Bridging the divide in a city Diocese of Ely, Ref. 0471, 29 July 2004
- London Brick: 130 Years of History 1877–2007 Hanson, 2007
- Colpi, Terry The Italian Factor: The Italian Community in Great Britain (p. 149) Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 1991
- City's Italian community enjoys a Carnival celebration Peterborough Evening Telegraph, 12 February 2008