I’M proud to live in Wisbech, never prouder than the April 21 weekend when the Wisbech branch of the National Women’s Register hosted the annual area meeting attended by 60 plus women from the Fens and beyond.
We held our meeting at a new venue, an early Georgian mansion on the South Brink, built to rival Peckover House across the river. Now called Octavia View, it houses not only the first-floor cafe where we met, with its superb 1722 decorative plaster ceiling and great coffee, but also the locally-founded Ferry Project, providing much-needed hostel accommodation on the premises and practical help towards independent living for homeless single adults.
Ferry Project director Keith Smith explained how hire fees for the venue along with income from the downstairs shop and art gallery and the cafe, now open Wednesday through Saturday, all contribute to its work, which is self-financing.
Our next speaker was Peter Clayton MBE, founder of the Octavia Hill Birthplace House museum just a few doors along South Brink, who spoke about this great Wisbechian social reformer who died 100 years ago after devoting her life to offering good quality social housing to the poor with the conviction that everyone responds well to pleasant surroundings.
A potter round the town centre in the afternoon with flower borders, boxes and tubs blooming everywhere fitted perfectly with the theme. A good time was had by all. Thank you, Wisbech!
National Women’s Register,
local organiser for Wisbech