COMMENT: Griggs of Soham by Geoff Griggs

Street lamp in Kings Parade

Street lamp in Kings Parade - Credit: Archant

QUITE QUIET It all seems to have gone a bit quiet on the “Eastern Powerhouse” devolution front of late. Cambridge council appears to have got its way and scuppered the plans for the three counties to join together. Afraid they might not be quite such a dominant fish in a larger pond, presumably.

Open All Hours

Open All Hours - Credit: Archant

At least our district council came out on the side of the people at large and argued for the amalgamation rather than the establishment of some sort of greater Cambridge covering the four former counties. Meanwhile those who can’t afford to live in Cambridge are still being tempted to move to Soham and commute.

The fact that we have no station, although it’s on its way (we’re told, repeatedly), and it takes forever to get onto the A14 at Newmarket in the morning can make the daily commute less than enjoyable or efficient.

There was a headline last week stating that if more housing in Cambridge wasn’t built some businesses would move out of the city. Now this seems like a plan, alleviating some of the congestion and pressure on house prices in one stroke.

If this doesn’t happen then presumably the city council with go ahead with their plan to cut down congestion by closing some of the main arteries into the centre. No, I can’t work it out, either. Let’s hope it’s not too late to join Suffolk, they may be “silly” but they’re not totally daft!

CURIOUS

Jake the spaniel is hoping someone will take him to an event on Saturday. The occasion is the Weatheralls school summer fair. For years this event clashed with Wicken Fete and Jake always thought that he ought to be in Wicken, or anywhere else with a dog show, owing to his outstanding good looks. But this year the Wicken do is a fortinight after the Weatheralls event so he can go to both if asked. The reason he’s so keen to have a look round is that he’s heard about a couple of the attractions, “hook a duck” and “bottle in a bag.” Trying to work out exactly what these might be has kept Jake amuse four several hours since he first heard about them.

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HELP WELCOME

It was a shame that the temperature wasn’t a bit friendlier for the Carnival last week. When people have put in so much work, not least ensuring that random trenches have been filled in, the least the elements could do is smile on them. Still, it was better than a few years ago when the heavens opened and the whole rec was awash. Not to worry, 2017 beckons. All credit to the people of Soham for buttoning up and supporting the event.

The other main event of the summer takes place at the end of September, 29th this year, when amazing produce of all sorts is exhibited at the Pumpkin Fair.

Unfortunately, like many other organisations, the organising committee is getting smaller and smaller. To ensure that the event continues it is fairly essential that some new blood is recruited. You dont have to do everything, put in a bit of time or lots of time, whatever suits you. Some people’s talents lie in committee work, others in digging holes.

All efforts are welcome and valued. If you feel that you could help out, if only on the day, then have a look on office@sohampumpkinfair.co.uk. It would be a real shame to lose this major social fixture after so many years. No doubt the people of Littleport thought that their annual show in late July was safe, but it died through lack of help, don’t let the Pumpkin Fair go the same way!

HISTORY

One of my many and varied careers involved driving one of Neal’s Transport’s coaches. In fact it involved driving almost all of them at one time or another.

One of the rules of the company was that, whatever time you got back to the yard you mopped out the vehicle and washed it down. There’s nothing quite so enjoyable as standing in the dark holding a hose pipe with the rain running down your neck.

One of the bonuses of working in Isleham was Mr Patterson’s shop. If Mr Patterson didn’t have one, you couldn’t get one and never would.

It was a cross between the village shops Giles drew in his cartoons and Arkwright’s from Open all Hours, although much bigger. Now I see that Cheffins are selling the buildings where Mr Patterson kept all his treasures. It really should have been preserved by the National Trust. I bet whoever buys it doesn’t revive the café that closed for lunch.

DIM VIEW

I met two ladies from the new King’s Parade the other day. Neither was very impressed with the new streetlights, claiming that things are much duller now with the new up to date, whizz-bang street furniture than they were before. As Griggs Snr used to say, “We don’t get improvements, just change.” I think these ladies would agree.

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