It had been a harder than usual winter and spring in 1816.

And the Littleport Riot that erupted on May 22 in that year is famous mostly for the infamous sentences meted out in Ely and the hanging of five Littleport men. But it left an existential legacy.

The rioters were justifiably aggrieved members of Littleport’s benevolent mutual society and their supporters who were mostly farmworkers with no work, therefore with nothing to live on - no money for rent, food and clothing.

The majority of Littleport’s citizens have ever since been mindful of the needs of their neighbours.

The Littleport and Ely Timebank is a worthy descendent of that old benevolent mutual society into which people put some money in weekly and it was shared at regular intervals with those suffering hardship.

It was when it was found to be an empty pot that sparked the call to rebellion outside what is now the Co-op in Main Street.

Littleport and Ely Timebank is not a coin-based mutual society, but it has that same practical caring for others ethos based more on the old 17th century Digger principles of barter founded by Quaker and Cromwellian Gerrard Winstanley.

They meet at the Adams Heritage Centre in Main Street - opposite the Co-op – every Thursday 10 am where everyone is made welcome and chat about what needs doing over tea and biscuits.

You can get help with tasks you need doing in exchange for your help using your own set of abilities! Gardening, shopping, form-filling, dog walking etc.

Jolly Roger Bramford is chair, a favourite speaker for Guide Dogs, Mick Bennett, is vice-chair, Chris Bennett of Guide Dog fundraiser quiz fame is secretary and lots of other nice Littleport people are members and it’s free to join. Contact the Ambassador Stephen Cole 07776201813.

There’s a fantastic Ely and Littleport Riot Border Morris Side who literally dance Littleport’s history around the UK. They were in Ely last week thrilling the onlookers.

Originally all women, they say, “no matter your gender, race, religion or sexuality, the side would be delighted if you would like to dance with us”.