When our city was so great

PUBLISHED: 11:51 17 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 May 2010

I WILL be 69 this year and, like many people of my age, I have been wondering what has happened to our beautiful city? We were born and raised here so have seen many changes and many of these are not for the better. We appreciate that more houses had to b

I WILL be 69 this year and, like many people of my age, I have been wondering what has happened to our beautiful city?

We were born and raised here so have seen many changes and many of these are not for the better.

We appreciate that more houses had to be built and accept that this is important, but bringing people here is not enough.

We need to bring income into the city and not end up sending people into Cambridge to shop because there are not the required shops in Ely.

Ely used to be such a lovely place to live and we all knew each other, and it was great to go up the street to have a chat and we looked forward to the new babies being born and watching their progress as they grew. Now it has become more like larger cities where you don't know anyone.

When I was 15-20 years old, I worked in a shop on Forehill, which was always buzzing with shoppers and on the left-hand side going down the hill we had a shoe shop, a chemist, men's clothes shop, ladies' dress shop, baby clothes, butchers, a radio/TV/music shop, a greengrocers and, at the bottom of the hill, was a brewery.

On the other side of the road there were also lots of independent shops and also the Woolworths store.

In Market Street and High Street, there were plenty of useful shops and there were three cinemas and two dance halls. The chip shop, owned by Percy Cross, stayed open late to catch the trade from the cinemas and dance halls and we would walk home happily eating our bag of chips.

I feel sad when I see how the city has deteriorated. When you get to pensioner age you need things like shops on the doorstep and don't want to have to drive miles to obtain these requirements.

J HARRIS

Bell Holt

Ely

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