1931: Alfred Baker, the son of the owner of a gravel pit at Woodston close by the sugar beet factory, and Harold Cripps were taking the topsoil off to get down to the gravel when a spade struck what proved to be a long bone. Saxon pots and pieces of earthenware had already been found where the two were digging so it was no real surprise when they found the skeletal upper torso of a man, but no sign of a coffin of any kind. It was a large skeleton - 6ft 4in or thereabout, they claimed - face up with arms by its sides. The skull came away when they were trying to get it out and the face and teeth, which were otherwise perfect, collapsed. One wonders what modern attitudes would have learned from the find. The cameraman for the Peterborough Advertiser rushed off in the hope of finding the bones undisturbed. No such luck - they had been collected and placed in a shed. They were retrieved, but the photographer had a better knowledge of taking pictures than he did of anatomy - so what the skeleton actually looked like may never be known. (Peterborough Advertiser)
Taken from The Peterborough Book of Days by Brian Jones, The History Press, 2014.