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King’s Dyke champion Ralph Butcher dies

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Kings Dyke Opening, Whittlesy, Peterborough Monday 11 July 2022. Picture by Terry Harris.

Ralph Butcher, the councillor who fought for over 40 years for a new bridge crossing and which was named after him, has died.

Ralph Butcher – Kings Dyke., Whittlesey, Peterborough Wednesday 10 November 2021. Picture by Terry Harris.

The £32m Kings Dyke Crossing at Whittlesey was named the Ralph Butcher Causeway to honour the man who had fought so long for it to built.

Last October Fenland District Council praised his efforts as he was handed a certificate in appreciation of his efforts.  

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It was at the same meeting that his colleagues had voted to name the crossing after him.

Fenland Council chairman Alex Miscandlon spoke of Ralph’s “continuous and tireless determination” to get others to support his campaign.

L2R Iris Tordoff (11), Rhys Bedford (11) , Sophie Elsom (11) and Jake Oaks (11) Former pupils of Park Lane help Cambridgeshire Council and Councillors bury a Time capsule at the new crossing at Kings Dyke., Whittlesey, Peterborough Wednesday 10 November 2021. Picture by Terry Harris.

“He fought for this for over 40 years – well done Ralph,” said Cllr Miscandlon.

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In 1971, when Ralph was first elected a councillor, he said talk of a crossing over King’s Dyke was on the agenda even then.  

In accepting the certificate from the council, he spoke movingly of those councillors and officers who had worked with him.

Kings Dyke crossing opens on Monday – 50 years after campaign began, Whittlesey, Peterborough Saturday 09 July 2022. Picture by Terry Harris.

Fenland Council leader Chris Boden felt that naming the bridge after Ralph was “a fitting recognition” of his efforts. 

Cllr Butcher retired in May 2019, having been both chairman of Fenland District Council, and a councillor on Cambridgeshire County Council for many years, as well as the longest serving Whittlesey Town councillor.

Kings Dyke crossing opens on Monday – 50 years after campaign began, Whittlesey, Peterborough Saturday 09 July 2022. Picture by Terry Harris.

Town councillor Roy Gerstner said tonight: “I am very sorry to be informed that ex councillor and friend Ralph Butcher passed away this morning.”

  • please email tributes to john@cambsnews.co.uk

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