GRIGGS OF SOHAM: Could lorry reversing into Co-op be the answer to getting more people in town centre shops?

An old school blazer on display at the exhibition.

An old school blazer on display at the exhibition. - Credit: Archant

OUR columnist also talks about why junk mail should be banned, his visit to the school days exhibition and the reluctance of celebrating St George’s Day.


NOT being one for conspiracy theories, I tend to credit people with pure motives until they prove different.

Consequently, an incident last week could have been purely innocent, but you never know!

I was driving slowly down the High Street, wondering where and how it can be revived, more variety in the shops, perhaps, when the whole column of traffic came to a stop.

A driver was expertly but slowly reversing his articulated lorry into the Co-op car park which necessitated drawing across the road and gently manoeuvring backwards.

Now I don’t think that holding people hostage on the High Street is a viable way to revive it, but if it works its got to be worth a try.

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Now, if we could only sort out the parking!


JAKE the spaniel is always up for a party. He’s not a great one for birthday cake, he keeps burning his mouth on the candles, but he’ll chomp on jelly and sandwiches with the best of them.

Consequently, he’s hoping for a bit of a do on Tuesday when we celebrate England’s patron saint, St George.

Jake has never fully understood the reluctance of the English to make a fuss of their patron saint. It may be that he was a Roman from the eastern Mediterranean and never actually came to England, but that doesn’t stop the Scots from really celebrating St Andrew who was equally untravelled.

Whatever the rest do, Jake is determined to have a bit of an English day on Tuesday, he might even celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday, too, as it also falls on Tuesday.


I HAD a bit of change over the weekend. Not the sort of change that I would have chosen, though.

All day Saturday I was having a bit of a job getting my breath, in fact walking from the Clay Street car park to the School Days exhibition in the library (see picture of vintage grammar school blazer) almost did me in.

Things didn’t improve as the day wore on and by 11pm, I was really struggling. Mrs of Soham called the emergency services and a paramedic arrived pretty quickly complete with oxygen and needles.

Eventually I was put into an ambulance and carted off to Addenbrookes. The ambulance was from a private contractor, but not a “private ambulance” thank goodness, I wasn’t feeling that bad!

After some time in A&E when, among other things, I saw an ambulance man, searching for the little green button that opens the door to the ward, turn off all the lights I gained a bed on a ward.

By this time it was about 5am and I was feeling a little tired. I could breathe, though.

After a day of inhalers, nebulisers and cups of tea one of the succession of doctors said I could come home on Monday. That’s when the patience had to cut in. It took some seven hours for the pharmacy to dispense eight pills.

But I’m home now and thanks to the excellent care of our wonderful NHS fit for almost anything.


I’VE never been one for moaning and groaning about junk mail. If it doesn’t interest me it goes straight into the recycling box.

I was a bit concerned the other day, though. I arrived home and when I walked in the door I saw Mrs of Soham studying a leaflet and looking at me in a curious way.

I discovered that the leaflet was for a beginners class in karate and I really don’t want to know why it caused her to give me those curious looks.

I now think that junk mail should be banned!


THERE are a couple of things happening on Saturday that might interest some people.

High in the sky the Lisa Barnes Fund for the Arthur Rank Hospice will benefit from Robert Barnes strapping himself to a passing sky diver a leaping out of an aeroplane.

He had a go in September, but this time will be joined by Christine Gibb of Soham who is currently studying to become a nurse and hopes eventually to work in the hospice sector.

To support these two brave but bonkers people go to www.justgiving/lisa-barnes1953

More down to earth, there is an Historic Town Walk on Saturday from the Church gates at 9.30am. A place can be booked on or at the JakHibs shop in Churchgate Street.


THIS week Jake is walking along a road that shares its name with one of the many butchers who used to trade in town. Half way down he turns into a road named after a shape the moon achieves twice in a cycle although the road is nothing like the shape.

Two weeks ago Jake was walking along Julius Martin Lane and turned into Thorn Street.