GRIGGS OF SOHAM: They certainly think big in Isleham these days!

The Ark is being built by members of the church congregation.

The Ark is being built by members of the church congregation. - Credit: Archant

Our columnist also calls for action over a breakout of Japanese knotweed and discusses the temptation of purchasing a One Direction toothbrush while in the chemist this week.


As threatened I made a brief visit to Isleham during the week.

They certainly think big over there these days!

The last time I passed that way the village hall, where I used to go with my mum to watch the Isleham amateur dramatics in their latest triumph, still stood at the corner of the recreation ground.

No more! The site of the village hall is now part of a car park and a new, gigantic community centre stands at the far corner of the field.

This building has its own café I’m told. The last café I used in Isleham was in Mr Patterson’s late lamented shop - Mr Patterson’s café was the only one I ever came across that shut for lunch!

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Further into the village I came across the gigantic wooden structure that the members of the High Street Church are building.

They certainly like things big in Isleham!


Jake the spaniel is wondering if there might be an opening for a messenger dog at English Heritage.

It would appear that they are not too good at listening to each other, so Jake wonders if he might be of use carrying notes back and forth.

What has prompted this is the release from English Heritage saying that the Downfield windmill is at risk.

Like anyone else with any interest in the mill, Jake knows that there has been extensive work there throughout the summer under the auspices of, would you believe, English Heritage.

In fact, all that needs doing now is the installation of the new sails, currently in the engineers yard, and the wheel.

Jake wonders if the good people at English Heritage are too busy trying to get a view of Eric Pickles from Ely Cathedral to know what they are doing themselves.


Apart from the fact that it is the only way to find out what is going on hereabouts, another good reason to buy the Ely Standard every week is the 3p per litre discount voucher for fuel at the Downfield filling station.

This, combined with their twice-a-week discount days, can make a worthwhile saving.

Or used to.

Currently the two days of “cheap petrol” means a whole penny off.

Now I may be wrong, but surely the difference between full price and “cheap” is more than 0.81%, isn’t it?


Two different people have told me that there is a real threat lurking in Eastern Avenue.

This is not something that only comes out at night or carries on its evil aims in secret. This menace is open and there for all to see.

Japanese Knotweed has shown up on more than one garden on the estate and, despite appeals to East Cambridgeshire District Council and Sanctuary Housing, so far, nothing has been done.

As this particular plant is liable to break through concrete and even into buildings, as well as throttling plantlife when it gets a hold, one would have thought that starting on the long eradication programme should be a priority.

Meanwhile, let’s hope that it doesn’t make the small jump to the Weatheralls allotments.


While travelling through Fordham the other day it occurred to me that there must be plenty of opportunities for anyone wishing to get into the world of catering, especially on the waiting side.

Fordham has six eating establishments: garden centres at Simpson’s, Scotsdale’s, the White Pheasant, the Chequers, the Crown and Linh’s excellent Chinese restaurant.

There should be no problem if anyone wants to join the noble band of waiting professionals.


I am not usually one to give in to impulse buying.

A purchase is normally preceded by some consideration, some more consideration and being convinced by Mrs of Soham that I don’t need it anyway.

But things almost turned out differently last week. I was in the chemist as is the wont of many people my age when I noticed something on the dental care fixture that almost tempted me.

While I was waiting for the lady ahead of me in the queue to be served I wrestled with my conscience and eventually overcame my urge to purchase.

I saved my money and went home without a One Direction toothbrush!