Tribute to town’s trail blazer

An annual commemoration day to mark the life and achievements of Wisbech’s most famous daughter is set to take place on Sunday (December 3).

The all-day programme of events includes the 25th annual Octavia Hill memorial lecture, which is being given by Michael Baldwin on ‘Working around Grenfell’. Mr Baldwin, who was trained by members of the Society of Women’s Housing, managed and worked in Kensington and Chelsea for 30 years.

Admission is free to his talk is at 11am in the Long Room at Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House at 7 South Brink, Wisbech, and all are welcome to attend.

In the afternoon the bravery of a local man will be recalled at 2pm when a plaque is unveiled to a Great War participant who was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Fred Rowe, of the Cambridgeshire Regiment, served as the Wisbech town beadle, and his medal – the oldest British award for gallantry – was a decoration for valour shown in the field by other ranks of the British Army.

St Peter’s parish church will be the stage for a service at 3pm featuring a commemoration address given by the Reverend Robin Hine on the theme of ‘The call to service’, and music will be provided by the Clarkson Singers and the Army Cadets.

The Birthplace House Museum opens its doors at 1.30pm. Artwork by members of the Octavia Hill art club and the U3A water colour group will be on display, and tea and coffee will be provided by courtesy of the Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum Trust.

Trust chairman Mr Peter Clayton said: “The annual service and memorial lecture ensures that we all remember the work and achievements of Wisbech born Octavia Hill, founder of the National Trust, the army cadet movement and social housing.”