COLUMN: Lyn of Littleport
PUBLISHED: 11:16 26 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:17 26 July 2017
This weekly account of life in Littleport may not be Alistair Cooke's 'Letter from America' so much part of mine - and anyone else of certain years' - entertainment, but I think it has parallels.
Like a short time and space to give you a regular taste of what it’s like ‘being there’ in a place special to the writer...
Although there are some social problems common to all modern communities, Littleport is overall a hive of human industriousness, with thriving businesses of every kind, big and small, operating from trade premises or from home, many of which can be found advertising in the ‘Littleport Life’ glossy quarterly community magazine that their ad money supports.
Many of the shops that were open during those Letter from America days (1946-2004) closed a long while ago now, replaced by sundry useful service providers, and what we used to call, general stores.
And when our ancient oven decided to give up the ghost with a bang last Wednesday, I was wishing Ted Bamber’s old electrical appliances store in Main Street was still open.
But then I remembered Phil Malkin, and his charitable YPL auctions. I went for a gander to see what he might have on offer - and found an instant replacement without leaving Littleport.
I can’t not tell you that while I was there, I was surprised to see someone coming down from upstairs carrying a large wooden carved giraffe. It wasn’t an auction lot. Turned out he had bought it from an almost hidden first floor treasure trove of fascinating and bijou goods called Dee’s Delites. Its proprietor is the same Dee who is often to be seen helping out by cooking and serving at the in-house café downstairs.
Back in the village centre, although the 19th century Bargain Centre and building is still there. JH Adams ironmongers, that opened at the same time, exists now in some part only, albeit still an important part of village life, if of different purpose.
When its owners, David and Susan Porter retired, it later became the Heritage Centre. A gracious gift by its purchaser for development, loyal Littleport man, Peter Audus.
The Heritage Centre hosts many Littleport community groups, including Timebank, who meet every Thursday morning at 10am for coffee and a chat about exchanging skills. For example, by doing some gardening in return for tuition in English, organising the famous Littleport Litter Picks and more. Drop by or call 07702 517746.