We Love Eye!
Eye is one of the biggest villages that make up the rural part of Peterborough. These villages have a lot of farmlands around them. They play an important role in the food production that comes out of Peterborough, like sugar. It’s the first time we have worked in a rural part of the city.
We have been working in Eye since November 2021. In that time, Keely (our Community Producer) has been going along to lots of events like the Christmas Wreath festivals and getting to know what makes people proud of the village, and what kind of projects people in Eye would like to see happening in the village.
We started off with a set of photo-walks because Keely discovered that there are some great photographers in the Eye. Plus, there are some really lovely places and views to take pictures of like the nature reserve and high street, with a real mix of folklore and history around them. Our photo-walk events are group walks led by an artist or local that guide walkers around an area and pause to take in the surroundings, share stories, and take and share photos with the group.
So far people have told us that they love community events where they get to be together and get to help others, walking around the village enjoying the sunsets, sunrises and being told stories.
Memories and History
We are really in love with Eye’s very long history. Not only have people lived there since Roman times, the name Eye comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for island. There has been a church at Eye since at least 1543. There is still an old Fire Station building and even an old morgue! The village was a home to a London Brick pit and quarry whose bricks helped to build millions of homes across the UK. The old quarry is now the Eye Nature Reserve.
There are lots of local legends and memories about Eye from German WWII airplanes flying down the high street to a giant pike! One piece of recent history was the popular ‘Drakies Farm’. The Drake family used to decorate their home every Christmas. It was so spectacular that it used to be visited by people right across the city. This cultural memory is the inspiration for the first big artist commission – Light Up Eye. This will consist of a series of hands-on lantern making and performance workshops culminating in a spectacular parade of light, street theatre, circus and music. Light Up Eye will be inspired by the village of Eye and created by residents and artists from June to November 2022.
We love the natural spots around Eye and how people protect and use them. Eye Nature reserve is at the centre of the village. It has lots of walkways around it with a real spectrum of wildlife, from its waterfowl to its flora – like pyramidal orchids. There is also Car Dyke which is the site of a Roman settlement. Both of these sites are important for nature and their archaeology. There are also lots places to play in, for example ‘Open Space’ park.
Photos taken by Steve Dytham
Buildings and their communities
Eye village has a real mix of buildings from the high street, which is a conservation area, to the houses and streets that lead off the high street, all the way to Eye Green which is just over the bypass. The buildings span all different ages and looks. There are also lots of venues that are used by the community too, from Manor Farm Community Centre, Eye Youth Club, Eye Library, the Church, the school, to the Leeds Hall. There are some thriving groups who use these buildings. A lot of them involve dancing! Also did you know that Eye was the home of Alfred Leeds who discovered the fossil of the largest fish that ever swum in the oceans. It is called a Leedsichthys which named after him, as is the Leeds Hall. You can see some of his fossils that Alfred Leeds discovered in Peterborough Museum.
What’s Going On?
See what events are happening in Eye soon!
Spread Your Wings – Design competition
Light up Eye – Lantern Parade
Sat 12, November 2022
Eye village is going to be the backdrop of a spectacular Lantern Parade in early November of this year. A creative community project that will support wellbeing at one of the darkest times of the year.
How to Make Your own Lantern
Watch: Make your own lantern at home to bring to Eye Lantern Parade on November 12 2022!
We are so proud of the strong community partnerships we have built in Eye, and we want to give these community groups a big shout-out from the PP team.
To find out more about any of our partners, click on their pic to be directed to their website.