DATA BASE REF: T 1004 and I 1039 and E/M 1036
MILTON FERRY TOLLGATE
In 1963 my husband Aubrey Weston was appointed a job as gamekeeper on the Milton Estate. We moved into one of the flats at Milton Hall, and stayed there for about two months until the Milton Ferry Cottage became vacant. We moved into the Ferry Cottage in May 1963 and found one of my duties was to open and close the tollgate on Milton Ferry Bridge for anyone wanting to go that way to Alwalton or return from Alwalton to the Ferry in which case they paid at Alwalton end and handed me the ticket they were given. There was no bell or any other way of letting me know when anyone was at the gate so I had to keep looking out to see if anyone was there. Anyone using the gate regularly was able to purchase a key, and farm workers were supplied with their own key, otherwise it was 2/6 for a car, 2/- for a motor-cycle and 1/- for a cyclists or walkers. I suppose looking back it was quite a dangerous job as I had to cross the A47 which was very busy and at the time very heavy lorries used the road. Each year I had to go into Peterborough to the Milton Estates Office (then in Priestgate) to hand in the money I had taken and collect my wages. I was paid about £5 for the year.
Towards the end of 1964 to our delight I found I was pregnant, and as I began to get bigger found it more and more difficult to keep going across the road, Aubrey was concerned about me and as my time got nearer we began to worry how I was going to manage to look after the gate when our new baby arrived. Aubrey decided to talk to Mr. Sam Egar who was then the Agent for Milton and was relieved when he agreed I should not be doing it any more, he in turn spoke to Earl Fitzwilliam and he agreed and said it was time it stopped anyway as fewer people now used the bridge. At that time the land was farmed, Horrels were the tenants and in the early 70’s the land was taken and the Ferry Meadows were developed. I understand that in the days of Daniel Defoe the toll was the same 2/6 for his carriage and horses.
I am pleased to say on 15th April 1965 our daughter Susan was born in Thorpe Hall, she is married and has two daughters, Jennifer and Rebecca.
The Tollgate as I remember it. By Millie Weston. 2002.