COLUMN: The Ely Grumpster
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 February 2018
The Ely Grumpster
• Today, I have penned a short thriller, with an Ian Fleming feel, but set in Cambridgeshire. It is entitled “live and eat pie”
• MI5 operative, Oliver Cromerty was at the Cambridge Fitness Centre when his phone beeped. It was his trusted sidekick, Hereward O’Wake. “Get to Ely now. Andy and Jo are signing contracts at the Drayman’s. They think they are selling to a local brewery, but it’s a couple of shady characters from the Buck Church in Cambridge, who want to turn it into a drop-in centre for the local Dinosaur Denial Society”. “That can’t happen” thought Oliver. “Pragmatic science-based faith must always triumph over medieval ignorance”.
• He ran out of the sauna and pulled on his tux. His Aston Martin DB4 was ready and waiting and he roared off into the Hills Road. After two hours of not moving, he decided to abandon it and try for the station. “I still have plenty of time” he murmured. Suddenly he was aware of a mob running towards him, hurling copies of the Selfish Gene and quoting from Leviticus. “Buckers” he groaned.
• A train was about to pull out. He dived on, waving triumphantly at his frustrated pursuers. As the train clattered into Waterbeach, a metallic voice announced “This train will terminate here due to a fault. We apologise for any inconvenience”. Oliver grimaced, opened the doors with his teeth, jumped onto the track and started running. “I still have time to save Ely from Odd Job Trev and Gold Six Fingers Joe”.
• Then, from the trees, a mob in straw hats and dungarees appeared. An exploding Noah’s ark knocked him to the ground. He staggered to his feet and carried on. “Have to save the Drayman’s” he groaned. Weaving between the dozen sets of Anglian Water roadworks, he arrived exhausted at the pub, bleeding heavily. Inside, all was quiet. “Only one thing for it”. He dropped his shoulder and with a shriek of pain, smashed in the door.
• Andy and Jo were sitting by the bar, drinking tea. “What, why, where?” gasped Oliver. “You looking for the buyers?” chuckled Jo, pouring Oliver a pint. “We worked them out when they said they thought Drayman’s Best was what delivery drivers used to wear to church”. Alfie chased them off. “Ely is saved!”, Oliver shouted, draining his pint. “Indeed” said Andy. “Unlike my door. That will be two hundred quid please”.