Wisbech – Scrimshires Passage and the Wisbech Social Club & Institute

I was intrigued as to what this tower was, since it dominated the skyline of the town, and it transpired it belongs to the Wisbech Social Club and Institute building.

Much of the money to build the institute was provided by the Peckover family, and this foundation stone (which is rather hidden away) is testament to that generous donation. The institute is still going strong today and they have a history room to keep items of historic interest relating to their past.

The back of the institute is reached by walking down Scrimshires Passage, a rather dark back alley which was more reminiscent of a city such as York.

I was reading the Cambridge Independent Press of 21 October 1854 (it’s a better read than the Daily Mail) and they reported that they wanted “to draw the attention of the proper authorities to the disgraceful state of the cesspool in Shrimshaw’s Passage (it had an apostrophe then, which it seems to have since lost). During the last few weeks it has emitted a most overpowering stench, which must prove not only detrimental to the health of the persons residing there, but to those who are compelled to go through the passage”.

Anyway, I thought that was of marginal interest, but I particularly liked the story above it in the newspaper.

The mischievous japes of the young Wisbech residents….

There are different periods of architecture along the passage.

The passage opens back out onto Nene Quay.