COMMENT: Griggs of Soham by Geoff Griggs-
PUBLISHED: 09:51 11 May 2016
I managed to cast my vote for Cambridgeshire's top police bureaucrat on Thursday. It's not that difficult to mark a pair of crosses on a piece of paper, I hear you say.
True, but you’ve got to get hold of the piece of paper first and to do that you’ve got to track down the polling station. We always used to vote at the Cherry Tree which meant that you could have a relaxing sit down after the exhausting process of exercising your mandate.
Then we were sent up to the pavilion and last week we had to go to the Comrades Club. When my vote, which appears to be migrating north, ends up in Stuntney Social Club I may not bother. Stuntney’s a long way on a mobility trolley!
It does seem a rum idea that the police force should be answerable to a politician with no background in law enforcement. It also seems pretty rum that none of the candidates bothered to contact us to set out their stalls. I know that being ignored caused several voters to ignore the election altogether. If this process of installing bosses whose area of expertise is nothing to do with their area of power continues can I apply to be the governor of the Bank of England, please?
TOO LITTLE INFORMATION
Jake the spaniel, being a dog, isn’t too much of an expert at reading. In fact, he can’t read at all but he’s got looking appealingly at the closest human if he needs something read out to him down to a fine art.
With this limitation Jake is quite taken with the blank sign on Sand Street (Ely Standard April 28) and was also rather pleased to see two more signs that say nothing. One of the direction indicators on the war memorial island has not arrow on it so, presumably, has no reason to be there.
Also the bus company has put up a sign near the Red Lion that could hold a timetable but is again totally blank. Given these two additions to the blank list Jake doesn’t feel as left out as he once did.
HIDE AND SEEK
I see that Soham’s number one crooner, Michael Anthony, entertained the inmates of Millbrook recently. No doubt he found each and every note with ease, as always. He doesn’t always track everything down so successfully, though. The other day I was trundling along Sand Street trying to avoid the rook’s efforts to bomb passing townspeople when I saw MA in his secret identity standing on the other side of the road looking puzzled. He was looking for a certain house number but instead of standing between the two bungalows where it logically should have done it didn’t appear to exist. Never wishing to see anyone in trouble I looked the other way and carried on. He’d gone when I passed that way on the way home so something must have gone right. Let’s hope he has more luck finding his next singing venue!
I see that there is now a Newmarket version of the world’s longest board game, Monopoly. It makes you wonder what would be on the board if there was a Soham version. There’d be four blank squares where stations would otherwise be. There’d be no gaol as we don’t even qualify for a police officer. We could manage four schools, though, which, if they are all to be academies, would be an opportunity to make money. The other mainstay of the game, building houses, fits in ideally with what is going on in Soham at the moment. Cafés should be no problem as we have at least four at last count and we could fill in all the rest of the squares with take-aways. In the meantime it might be best to stick with the London game.
Soham is blessed with a number of old charities dating back many years. One provides overcoats for poor people. Another, Bishop Laney’s Charity, was set up by the good bishop to pay the indenture fees for apprentices from Soham and Ely. With fewer and fewer apprenticeships available these days the charity can help students with the cost of their textbooks, another expense to those who are trying to better themselves and add to the expertise of the nation in the long term. Each year the charity puts its books on public display to the populous of the town in the church. This year the accounts are due to be available from 1245 next Tuesday, May 17. A degree in accountancy might just be handy!
There are several events on Saturday. Prickwillow Museum, the home of the mighty pumping engines, is hosting a rally of microcars, something close to my heart, as my first vehicle with more than two wheels was the only BMW that I’ve ever aspired to, a three-wheeled bubble car called an Isetta. It was great fun apart from when the vibration of the engine caused the carburetter to fall off. No such problem these days, electric trolleys don’t have carburetors.
Downfield mill, now resplendent with a full compliment of sails, is open on Saturday and Sunday as part of national mills weekend as are Wicken mill and the pump on the National Trust fen. If looking at all these mills makes you thirsty then you can wander down to Wicken recreation ground and enjoy some real ales at the village’s annual beer festival. Or you could stay in and watch the Eurovision Song Contest!