Comment: Griggs of Soham

Bus shelter at Soham

Bus shelter at Soham - Credit: Archant


It would appear that we are being met half way with East Cambs council’s appeal to “help us to keep our district clean.” Of course, it hasn’t extended to sending someone to pick up the rubbish strewn about town, but it’s a start. While staring at the ducks, Canada geese, black headed gulls and swans all looking pleadingly at anyone who might be toting some stale bread I noticed that the rubbish bin between the seats had been replaced. Now all that needs to be done is to educate some of the less imaginative among us to use it! The feeble excuse often used by the rubbish tosser is that picking up litter gives someone a job. Well, it obviously doesn’t, does it? There no longer appears to be a job for a litter picker in Soham any more so we need to help ourselves to “keep our district clean.” It does seem quite a trekk to carry the KFC beaker from the Cherry Tree area of Fordham Road to Brook Dam, though!


Jake the spaniel likes to keep an eye on what’s going on around town. He even likes to keep an eye on what isn’t going on, too. Among the latter is the maintenance of some of the street furniture. For example the “keep left” sign as you approach the Downfields estate from town is still canted over at 45 degrees and has been since May. Jake quite likes another example of neglect, though. The bus shelter outside the church gates at the top of Fountain Lane, notwithstanding its character-giving patina of moss and grime has boasted a broken glass for quite a time now. Jake isn’t exactly against this as the hole reminds him of a dolphin. He does wonder if the outline of an aquatic mammal quite fits in with a small, rural market town (without a market).


Things appeared to be looking up last week as far as the weeds growing up through the town’s paths. As I was walking along Tanners Lane one lunchtime last week a tiny tractor was coming the other way with spraying equipment attached to it, obviously on a mission to kill the unwanted foliage, or would have done if the sprayer was switched on. But then again, there’s no point in turning on a sprayer if the spray-tank is empty. How did I know it was empty? The lid of the tank fell off into the road just as it got level with me.Not to worry, at least sending the tractor out in the first place showed willing.


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On the subject of paths, it’s nice to see that the footpaths on both sides of Brook Dam Lane have been resurfaced. It does make you wonder if it really did need to take a fortnight, though. I bet the people in the “Good Luck” Chinese takeaway wondered the same thing, too. Not to worry, we now have at least two paths in town without cracks or weeds that are reasonably safe to walk along. It does make you wonder how long it will take to construct the road bypassing the Ely rail crossing if the resurfacing schedule of two paths is anything to go by.


Two bits of recent news don’t seem to fit together too well. We have been told that as part of our punishment for living in Cambridgeshire the county council have decided to shut almost everything down. This is not a good time to be young, old, enjoy reading books. We have also been told that, instead of attending incidents the police would like to talk to victims via skype on their ‘phones, tablets or computers. So what happens if your ‘phone, tablet and computer have been stolen? No problem! You wander along to the library and skype the constabulary on one of the community computers there. Hang on, the county council have just closed the library! Best get the bus to Ely and hope that the police station there is still operating.


There was a blast from the past on one of the minor digital channels last week. The fifty-year-old spine-chiller “Quatermass and the Pit” got another outing. You could see its age in part, it was a bit creaky, but all in all, it stood up well; the real horror was in an underground station, any anyone who has worked in London, using the tube on a daily basis can identify with that! Luckily the good guys won in the end with the help of a tower crane. The real horror of the piece came in a scene set in the bar of a London pub. There was a Watney’s Red Barrel pump on the counter, enough to frighten anyone who enjoys a pint of real ale.