Infrastructure work is now underway at Prologis Park Wellingborough West and we are preparing the 110 acre site for construction of the first logistics buildings in early 2017. While the park has the potential to bring over 2,500 jobs to the area, the land we are developing has an important place in the history of Wellingborough. So, when we build for the future, we will also take care to remember the past.
In Wellingborough, poverty was widespread and a group of nine men: Richard Smith, John Avery, Thomas Fardin, Richard Pendred, James Pitman, Roger Tuis, Joseph Hichcock, John Pye and Edward Turner, signed a Declaration, dated 12 March 1649, to form a Diggers commune.
The Wellingborough Diggers started cultivating a field known as Bareshanks, which is now part of the Prologis Park Wellingborough site. But, the local Diggers’ movement was short-lived and following the intervention of Thomas Pentlow, Justice of the Peace for Northampton, it was closed down.
Wellingborough Diggers’ Festival
Although the Wellingborough Diggers were active for only a brief time, their influence can still be felt at the annual Diggers’ Festival. This was set up in 2011 by a group of local people who respected the Digger ethos and wanted to commemorate the nine men acknowledged in the Declaration of 1649.
The Festival has expanded to include Fringe events and in keeping with the original Diggers’ ideology, audiences are encouraged to bring non-perishable goods, which are then donated to the local food-bank.