Historian Mike Rouse to reveal more secrets of Ely in two new books released this month

Historian Mike Rouse - pictured here with one of his other releases, The Story of Ely - is releasing

Historian Mike Rouse - pictured here with one of his other releases, The Story of Ely - is releasing two new books this month. - Credit: Archant

Local historian, Mike Rouse, will be officially launching two new books published by Ely History Publications at Burrows Bookshop in High Street Passage on November 25.

‘Ely Market Town and Fair City’ tells the story of Ely’s historic markets and the fair which once visited the city twice a year. The book also looks at the history of the much-missed corn exchange and public room.

“The markets are so much part of Ely’s life and I have many happy memories of the Thursday market and the time when my grandfather Harry Unwin and my uncle Doug would sell their cattle cribs, ladders and other agricultural woodworking products that made at their Prickwillow Road works,” Mike said.

“It’s also easy to forget the three days of colour and excitement that the travelling fair brought to Ely in May and October but those days have gone now.”

The second book ‘Girls in Green’ tells the story of the evacuation of the Central Foundation Girls’ School to Ely in 1939.

“Some years ago, when I was researching into the evacuation from the East End of London to Ely in 1939, the school sent me a copy of the magazine written by the girls in 1944 and they have kindly given me permission to edit some of material and publish this annotated revision for a new readership. I think it is a heart warming story of how Ely welcomed these girls into our small market town,” Mike added.

The publication of these books coincides with ‘Secret Ely’, a look at some of the lesser known aspects of Ely’s history published by Amberley.

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Mike said: “I’m not sure I’ve uncovered many real secrets, but I hope that it is Ely’s history presented in an accessible way, illustrated by colour photographs and will again prove what a fascinating city we are privileged to live in.

“If for no-one else but myself, I think I’ve sorted out Christmas presents for this year! If you know any local history lovers, then it will be worth going to Burrows Bookshop and getting some signed copies.”