GRIGGS OF SOHAM: Isleham - home of Bible, beer, cricket... and how horses after trials visit

Isleham Horse Trials

Isleham Horse Trials - Credit: Archant

COLUMNIST Geoff also dismisses rumours that The Brook is set to close.


I HAD always thought of Isleham as “Bible, Beer and Cricket,” not necessarily in that order.

On Saturday I found that you can add “Horses” to the list.

I followed the signs to the horse trials and was amazed to find a cross-country course, dressage and showjumping in the middle of the fen.

There were more horse boxes than you would think existed in the whole country, each with at least one horse and lots of serious young people trying very hard.

I had a vague idea that something happened each year but didn’t realise how professional the whole event was. Unlike the horse racing at Newmarket hats didn’t seem to be compulsory and the atmosphere was very friendly.

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I wasn’t able to go on Sunday when the big guns were scheduled to perform, but watching the youngsters doing their best was a real pleasure.

I’ll think of Isleham in a different way from now on!


JAKE the spaniel wondered what all the noise was about last Monday morning. The church bells were chiming out at full pelt.

He thought that a Monday morning was a strange time to get married, so it couldn’t have been that and practice is usually on Monday evening, so he doubted that was the reason.

As he was having a brief wander round he realised the probable cause: the council had sent a gang to Soham and they were filling in the potholes on the main street including those on the sleeping policemen.

Jake thought that ringing the bells was a bit over the top, but could see the point of celebrating the fact that we had been remembered.


IT had been a while since I’d visited Soham library. In mitigation I submit that I was presented with a Kindle for Christmas and it’s easier to press a few buttons than to wander up Clay Street.

Anyway, when I did call in last week I was surprised at the changes.

There are now self-service tills for taking out and returning books and the shelves have been rearranged on the “huh”.

Another change is that the staff has been cut back to two with the slack being taken up by volunteers. As always the county council is saving money, which is a good thing, but is this possibly the thin end of the wedge?

Could it be trying to turn Soham into another totally volunteer-staffed library like that at Haddenham? We’ll have to keep an eye on them, as always.

One good piece of news is that the Citizens’ Advice Bureau is to operate from the library on Wednesdays from April 3. The more the building is used the better.


THERE are a couple of events coming up in the next week or so that may appeal to various members of the community.

On Saturday from 9.30am-2.30pm there will be a cake stall at Budgens for Lisa’s Fund in aid of the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge.

Not only will you be helping Robert and his band of volunteers in their very worthwhile efforts but you will almost certainly get a real bargain or two.

The following week, on Friday, there is a ladies hen night at the Comrades Club in aid of breast cancer research from 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 each and will be available at the door or upstairs at the Viva centre.

I’m not sure if there will be cake available, but I doubt if cake will be on the minds of the members of the audience!


ANOTHER rumour is charging around town like a demented ferret. This one concerns the imminent closure of the Brook venue in Brook Street.

As with most rumours it is totally unfounded and best ignored. You only have to look at these electronic cigarettes to realise that there can be smoke without fire!

There is a published programme of events up until June as well as the kings of Canvey Island, Dr Feelgood, tomorrow night, complete with a charity draw for Lisa’s Fund.

So don’t listen to the doom-mongers, just go out and enjoy yourselves.


THIS week Jake is walking along a road that is not without a city wall or far away. He then walks along a path that shares its name with the water that borders Hunstanton and King’s Lynn to the site of a bridge before it was moved.

Two weeks ago Jake was approaching town along Fordham road. He passed Windmill Close and then came across Mistral Close.