Ely Eel saved from slipping away thanks to money raised at Isle of Ely Produce's annual potato race
PUBLISHED: 17:01 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:01 13 December 2017
The company that organises the annual Ely Potato Race has stepped in to help save the Ely Eel Festival from slipping away.
The eel is in such poor condition, having been paraded, transported and stored, that Isle of Ely Produce has donated £300 for repairs.
The company will pay for the eel to be repaired and refreshed, thanks to money raised from the race which took place in High Street, Ely, in October.
Artist Cary Outis will work with Youth Ely Hub, which is based at Centre-E, to repair and refresh the eel in time for next year’s parade. Since eel day began in 2004, Babylon ARTS has worked with artists, young people and community groups to create the eels to lead the eel festival parade.
Nathan Jones, co-director of Babylon ARTS, said: “Being a small charity we rely on grants and donations to do our community arts work, so this really is a wonderful and timely surprise.
“We were worried that we would not have the time and resources to get the eels up to scratch so this will help a great deal.”
“It will also allow us to support a local youth club by offering them the chase to take part in a creative project, the results of which will be shared with the whole city”.
Oliver Boutwood, of Isle of Ely Produce, said: “It was a fantastic race and we look forward to welcoming everyone back again next year.
“To raise more than £3,000 for charity was fantastic, and now we are looking for nine more local charities and groups to help spend it.”
Austen Dack, potato race organiser, said: “We are looking for groups where this £300 will really make a difference.
“Saving the Ely Eel is a great example of how we can help a service who would struggle to get the money elsewhere.”
Each successful group or charity will receive £300. The closing date for nominations is January 31, 2018.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org explaining why your charity or community group should receive a share of the cash.
The annual Eel Day Parade begins from Cross Green (adjacent to Ely Cathedral). Ely’s Ellie the Eel heads the carnival inspired procession along part of the Eel Trail Heritage Walk.