Page 48

Steve Gonzalez

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steve.gonzalez@espmag.co.uk

The page that’s going to commemorate all the roadworks going on around the city by closing off half of this month’s double page with traffic cones.

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THE MOSTLY FENNY WALK OF FAME With thousands of visitors expected in the city this month to attend JLS' concert on the Embankment, I've put together 'The Mostly Fenny Walk Of Fame', a leisurely stroll around the city centre that takes in some of the places associated with the careers of Peterborough's most famous residents, various visiting celebrities and one genuine American legend. It's guaranteed to be an hour of your life you'll never get back...sorry I mean never forget. Allow: 1 hour

Gateway of the Cathedral

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Peterborough Cathedral

Waterstones office window, Bridge St.

START

Above the bookshop entrance is the the office window where many a visiting celeb has gazed out at the crowds assembled below for a book signing. Who can forget the the day in 2007 when Peter Andre lent out the window and waved to his adoring public ? Not me that's for sure - I shook his hand in that office, and just think that hand of his would've been all over Katie Price earlier that day. Man, I didn't wash my hand for at least half an hour.

The city's most celebrated and visited building (if you exclude McDonalds – which I do). The cathedral has a unique link with popular culture. William Westwood, father of Radio 1 rap DJ Tim 'Big Dawg' Westwood was the 36th Bishop of Peterborough from 1984-1996. 'Bishop Bill' was also a radio personality himself through his broadcasts on Radio 4's 'Thought of the day' becoming the first Bishop to broadcast his thoughts live on air. Contrary to popular belief he never introduced his thoughts with the phrase 'Bish, bash bosh, It's me Bishop Bill, so get ready to chill'.

The arch that looks onto Cathedral Square was used in a series of TV commercials in the late 70's and early 80's called 'The Peterborough effect'. Designed to encourage businesses to relocate to the city the ads featured a popular comedy actor of the time Roy Kinnear (kids, ask your parents) dressed as a Roman centurion. A street on the city outskirts was named 'Kinnears Walk' in his honour and Roy's son Rory has continued in his late father's footsteps as an actor, most recently in the 2008 James Bond film 'Quantum of Solace'.

3. 4. The phantom fountains of Cathedral Square

Back in the long-not-so-hot summer of 2009, while the rest of the country was panicking about swine flu, Peterborough was gripped by 'fountain fever' when the council decided that the best way to make the city centre more appealing would be the sight of water squirting up in the air from nozzles hidden below the pavements. Sadly the council's expectations proved premature as work was delayed and the excuses kept piling up. Last month when the hoardings were taken down, many locals were suitably unimpressed as the council couldn't even be bothered to have an official switch-on or get the story covered by BBC Look East. It was quite possibly the biggest anti-climax in Peterborough city centre history. Either that or the time Martin Fowler from Eastenders turned on the Christmas lights in 2003.

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6. Queensgate shopping centre

The corner of where Long Causeway meets Westgate

Opened in 1982, Queensgate will be of particular interest to JLS fans as last summer the band launched their first single 'Beat Again' inside the centre's HMV store. Growing up in Peterborough as a teenager Aston did most of his music buying at the shop and would also have travelled up and down on the escalators. Why not follow in his footsteps if you have time. (No backflips please).

This is the spot where wannabe punk rocker Donny Tourette (of Celebrity Big Brother fame) was filmed by TV cameras punching a local painter and decorator in 2006. It was during a documentary on 'Bravo' about his band and the punch-up occurred after the unknown local accused Donny's guitarist 'Rev' of having "chicken legs". This was a reference to the appearance of his skinny legs and not a reference to him eating chicken legs which of course are available from many fine takeaway establishments around the city.

Great Northern Hotel

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This is the first local landmark that greets visitors arriving to the city by train. It was also where comedian Ernie Wise and his wife Doreen held their wedding reception after being married at Park Road Baptist Church in the city with Eric Morecambe as best man. Doreen, who was originally from Peterborough and Ernie lived here together until the mid 70's and Ernie's connection with the city was frequently joked about on 'M&W' shows. On Boxing Day 2009 BBC2 showed a repeat of an old Christmas special from the 70's where Eric read out the New Years honours list and announced that the Queen had bestowed upon Ernie the title "Lord Ern of Peterborough".

www.es p m ag .co.u k ( July )

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The Broadway Theatre Before it was closed by a fire in 2009, the venue saw many memorable shows. Who can forget the time Rob Brydon was on stage joking about his lack of height only to be heckled by a member of the audience who shouted "I bet you're not as small as me !". When Brydon went to investigate he discovered the heckler was 3ft 6 actor Warwick Davis (from the Star Wars and Harry Potter films) who lives locally and the pair had an imaginary light-saber duel. Then there was the time in Nov 2005 when Bob Geldof walked on stage to perform and told the audience "I use to live here, did you know that ? Had my first English shag in this city". Sadly Geldof didn't elaborate on the identity of the woman involved, however, keep your eyes open for any old dears walking around the city whistling "Tell me why I don't like Mondays".

9. The Lido Peterborough's open air swimming pool which was opened in 1936 has the dubious honour of being Adolf Hitler's least favourite swimming pool. In June 1940 as World War II was raging it was bombed during an air-raid on the city by the Nazi Luftwaffe who destroyed part of the building. (I know what you're thinking cheeky b**tards!) Thankfully it was able to be rebuilt, and 70 years on the only 'bombing' that goes on is from people jumping in the pool.

ESP July 2010  
ESP July 2010  

ESP Magazine

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