Family Adams shop: a true Fen Treasure Chest

Heritage Lottery FundIn a recent post I highlighted that there have been relatively few HLF-funded projects in The Fens so far. Some real gems have nevertheless been managed; one of these is The Family Adams Project which was delivered last year.

J H Adams, at 17 Main Street in the heart of Littleport, was at the centre of community life, serving residents and Cambridgeshire-wide customers for more than 100 years. Started in 1880, at its height this shop played an international role in the making of the world ice-skating championships whilst also selling all things domestic from screws and rivets, to paint brushes, pots and pans.


International Skating Match in Littleport. The Adams shop contained numerous skates and skating memorabilia; source:

Last year, ADeC managed and delivered an exciting project to record the community heritage found in the shop. The project has brought together local people, schools, museums and artists to collect and preserve personal memories, stories and images of the village, creating an unusual public archive in the process. A great range of pictures of the shop and the project itself can be found at the Family Adam’s Flickr photostream site. See many more pictures and other great information on the Family Adams project’s dedicated website.

The below short video gives a good flavour of what the project explored and the authentic remains left in the shop:

Or watch here for the much longer (45 minutes) project documentary film, as previously shown on Community Channel TV:

Following this project, an exhibition is now touring around the county. After first showing in Wisbech, it can now be seen in Ely Library and can also be seen at the following locations:

  • Ely Library 4 March – 25 March 2013 inclusive
  • Denny Abbey 25 March – 6 May 2013 inclusive
  • Cambridge Museum of Technology 6 May – 17 June 2013 inclusive

ADeC’s staff will also be leading on a project for the Ouse Washes landscape Partnership scheme – building on its extensive expertise in community art & heritage projects, they will be creating murals in various communities across the Ouse Washes area – more about this in due course.

This entry was posted in Communities, Events, Heritage, Projects, Theme 2-Hidden Heritage, Theme 3-Fen Folk & Legends and tagged , , , , , , by markatousewasheslps. Bookmark the permalink.

About markatousewasheslps

I am currently coordinating a partnership-led bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (for a circa £600K Heritage Grant bid) focusing on strengthening the unique yet vulnerable natural heritage in the Cambridgeshire Fens surrounding the Old west River, the new 'New Life on the Old West' project. Until recently I was the Programme Manager for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme, leading on the 1-year development and 3-year delivery phases of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant-aided Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP) scheme (from Dec 2012 until March 2017), on behalf of and in close cooperation with a wide range of local, regional and national partner organisations. The Ouse Washes LP's portfolio of 51 projects have focused on: conservation works to historic and natural environmental assets; improving community participation & engagement with the landscape and its heritage; increasing access and learning opportunities; and providing more opportunities for training in traditional land management skills. The overall aim has been to leave a long-term legacy for this fascinating and unique landscape, in the process creating tangible improvements to social, economic and environmental aspects of this landscape, its heritage and communities.