Trowel is returned

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A COMMEMORATIVE trowel, used at the laying of the foundation stone of the Victorian Mission Church at Thorney Toll, is back in the village after being auctioned in Phoenix, Arizona.

The valuable silver and ivory trowel is inscribed: “Presented to Reverend Joshua Cautley on the occasion of his laying the foundation stone of St Paul’s Mission Church in Thorney Toll, Guyhirn on June 12th, 1872”.

It came to light as a result of an email sent to Brian Payne, of Wisbech St Mary, from Brian Zimmerman, of Phoenix.

Joel Henry Prescott III, his brother-in-law, had recently died and his effects were being auctioned. Mr Zimmerman assumed the trowel was purchased on a trip to England some years ago and wondered if the church was still in use.

Mr Payne said every effort was made to secure the trowel at auction so it could come back to Thorney Toll and afterwards be kept in Wisbech Museum.

At a ceremony in Thorney Toll Village Hall on December 4 the trowel was re-dedicated by Canon Matthew Bradbury and placed on display.

Mr Payne spoke about the history of the church building which is now demolished and how the trowel was obtained.

A fund has been opened to help with the cost of the trowel. Anyone able to help should contact Mr Payne on 01945-410755.