A Timeline of Soham History

1923 AD - Water

The opening of the waterworks in 1923 was quickly followed with piped water. Prior to this residents had to draw water from the town pumps or the rivers and ditches, which were a constant source of disease.

1925 AD - The Grammar School at Beechurst

The Grammar School which was established in 1878 AD moved from its' site in Churchgate Street to a large former residence called Beechurst which had been purchased by Cambridge County Council in 1925.

1944 AD - The Soham Railway Disaster

Soham was saved from certain destruction when a train carrying bombs for the D-day advance caught fire at Soham Station in the early hours of 2nd June 1944. The town was saved by the uncoupling of the burning wagon which took up valuable escape time. The ensuing explosion, which occurred as the train pulled out of the station killed fireman James Nighthall and signalman Frank Bridges instantly while the driver Benjamin Gimbert and guard Herbert Clarke miraculously survived, being blown clear. A cargo of four hundred tons of bombs and the town of Soham remained intact due to the heroic actions of those four men, Gimbert and Nighthall were both awarded the George Medal, Nighthall posthumously.

1958 AD - Soham Village College Established

Henry Morris CBE, Cambridgeshire's Chief Education Officer had a vision of an institution he named, the 'Community College’ providing quality education for all. Soham Village College, built during the 1960's was one of the first to be established.

1965 AD - Soham Railway Station Closes

In the early 1960's, Dr Beeching reviews the National Railway Network and orders the closure of several stations across the United Kingdom. Soham Railway Station is closed down in 1965 and shortly thereafter the Warren Hill/Snailwell Junction Chord is removed severing the direct connection between Soham and Cambridge via Newmarket.

1972 AD - Soham Grammar School Closes

Changes in the education system finally put an end to the unique and highly prized educational institution of Soham Grammar School, when it was amalgamated with the neighbouring Village College and the sixth form transferred to Ely.

1993-1998 AD - Soham Village College becomes Grant Maintained

In September 1993 the College became a Grant Maintained School and in 1994 was awarded Technology College status. In March 1996 local benefactor Mr Simon Gibson opened a splendid new Gibson Wing extension to Beechurst and in November 1998 HRH Princess Margaret opened the new S Block for Science and Technology.


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