Letters: Bishop's prayer, bell salute, litter problems and search for family

The Right Revd Stephen Conway - Bishop of Ely

The Right Revd Stephen Conway - Bishop of Ely shares a message of prayer following the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip - Credit: DIOCESE OF ELY

Bishop's prayer after death of HRH Prince Philip

I express with you my sadness at the death of HRH Prince Philip. We give thanks to God for his life and service.

Our hearts and our prayers reach out in sympathy for Her Majesty the Queen in her profound loss after 73 years of loving marriage and shared duty.

We pray also for Prince Philip’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

We thank God for the Prince’s deep sense of duty in his support of the Queen and the service of his country.

We remember his keen intelligence and wit, his promotion of the initiative and growth of young people through the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, his promotion of new technology and scientific research and his patronage of hundreds of good causes.

We also remember his fine record as a serving naval officer and his sporting gifts and passions.

We are thankful for his Christian faith and his commitment to clergy support and development through St George’s House at Windsor.

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Most of all, we praise God for the example of a person dedicated to his family and its wellbeing over more than seventy years with the joys and the sacrifices which come with such a commitment. 

We thank God that Prince Philip now enjoys the fullness of the resurrection life.

We pray for Her Majesty that she will know all the consolations of her own deep faith in this time of mourning. God save the Queen!


Council’s tribute to Duke of Edinburgh 

It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on April 9.  

On behalf of the members and staff of the City of Ely Council and residents of the City of Ely, we extend our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and all the Royal Family. 

The Duke of Edinburgh had visited the City on several occasions and was always warmly welcomed by residents.  His interest in our City will always be greatly appreciated.    

As a mark of respect, the City of Ely Council’s flag is being flown at half-mast. 

Due to the pandemic and to ensure people stay safe, unfortunately books of condolences will not be permitted.

But an online book of condolence, which has been set up by Cambridgeshire County Council can be accessed via their website. This will remain open until 6pm on Saturday April 17. 

For residents who are not able to participate in the online book of condolence, arrangements are currently being made for councils to accept postal condolence messages, which will then be collected and placed together.   

East Cambridgeshire District Council will be taking part, so residents will be able to send these to The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4EE, clearly marked 'condolence book'. 

Arrangements have also been made for residents to be able to drop off written messages in Cambridgeshire libraries by placing condolences in clearly marked boxed. 

Residents may normally have wished to lay flowers as a mark of respect, however the Royal Family has requested that members of the public consider making a donation to charity instead of leaving floral tributes.   

A link to their statement on this can be found online

CLLR SUE AUSTEN, chairman of the City of Ely Council and The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Ely  

Bell salute 

At St Mary's church Ely the tenor bell was tolled 99 times half-muffled on Saturday April 10 at noon, as part of the national gun and bell salute.

To date over 1,300 churches have participated in the national In Memoriam ringing, following the ancient tradition of one blow on the bell for each year of the person's age.

There will be tolling again on Saturday April 17 at the time of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

Current Covid-19 restrictions limit bellringing to a single person so memorial peals will be deferred to a future date.

JOHN MITCHELL, St Mary's Ely Bellringers tower secretary

Litter bugs

Driving down the Fordham Bypass earlier today, found myself despairing that there are people in our country who think it okay to chuck their rubbish wherever they feel like it.

I think it was a year ago a bunch of litter pickers were out there every weekend clearing and now it is even worse than it was before.

I would like to join a group if anyone is interested.  In the USA signs everywhere about on the spot fines of $250/$500, I saw police pull over a car for chucking a small bit of paper out the window.

Why does our council not even have signs up stating that littering is a criminal offence? Or is it not anymore?

Seemingly our local councils are not bothered as I found out when trying to raise it some time ago.

Not only is it unsightly, animals can die because they get caught up in things or swallow them.

My father was always having a vet out to operate on cattle that had swallowed bottle tops back in the late 1960s. Six decades on and it is on epidemic proportions.

Instead of mayors and police commissioners let's spend that money on tackling this awful behaviour because it seems that those in such posts don't care or they would be doing something about it, along with council CEOs and councillors.

For starters get those doing community service to litter pick instead of probation officers, et al saying it is "too demeaning".

Interesting because it is not too demeaning for council workers to empty bins and clean public lavatories!



I read your article with great sadness as this is a blight which has seemingly accelerated in recent years and perhaps reflects society in general.

“Keep Britain Tidy” was a campaign launched in 1955 (predominately by the Women’s Institute) so the problem is certainly not new however it does seem to be getting worse.

Whilst fast food chains are frequently targeted as the core of the problem it runs far deeper - responsibility for your own litter is surely not the responsibility of the fast food chain.

The very word responsibility seems to have lost its meaning along with respect. Two vital words which over the years have drifted out of most of our lives.

Until and unless these two words are drummed back into society from childhood I sadly feel the problem will never go away.


Banks opening on Saturdays

I am concerned that several of the banks in Ely have taken the opportunity to close their branches on Saturdays during lockdown and I fear that they will make this a permanent, cost cutting decision. 

I have several times in the last year wanted to go to the banks on Saturdays, for various needs. Not everything can be done online!

I work Monday to Friday and have done so all through lockdowns.  

I feel very annoyed and let down, that I have been disregarded as a worthless customer and would like a campaign to see the local branches open again on Saturdays. 

If you want people to visit the city/high street,  please can we have all banks act like we are open for all.


Charles 'Ray' Crick 

I found an article in your paper regarding Charles “Ray” Crick a Glider Pilot in WW2.

I am researching the Glider Pilot Regiment with the aim to placing faces to all the names associated with the Regiment. 

Would it be possible to forward this email to the Crick Family please as I would like to use the photograph as part of my research and learn a bit more about his time in the Regiment.

When completed my research will be held with the Army Flying Museum at Middle Wallop and a copy to the Glider Pilot Regiment Society.  

My father was a Glider Pilot in C Squad . 

Should the family feel uncomfortable in talking to me, I know the archivist at the Glider Pilot Regiment Society would love to hear from the family. 

Email gprsarchivist@gmail.com


Cost of police at the boat race

I do not think it is right that the locals should have to pay the cost of having police at the boat race last sunday.

The locals were not asked if they wanted to host the competition and had to suffer delays and road closures all around our village.

Just leaving my street (padnal) I had to race security trying to stop me from try to going to the main street (which is in the opposite direction to the river)

A quick google search shows that Cambridge university makes 2.192 billion and Oxford makes 227.3 million.

Since only cambridge and oxford members are eligible to race then the universities should be more than able to cover the bill rather than locals.


Bill for boat race police and more gripes

The boat race comes to Ely and the locals are not allowed to watch it.

Cambridgeshire residents should not be expected to foot the bill for something they haven't benefitted from seeing.

Other gripes.....

Many potholes down Ely high street. The bricks are dipping and it's really dangerous for cyclists.

Strange how money can be spent on re vamping a small area off Nutholt Lane, an area which didn't need altering. Another gripe.

When sitting in traffic at the Lancaster way roundabout fiasco, I observed so many motorists texting and speaking on their mobiles as they passed the waiting traffic.

This is also very evident outside the police station near the traffic lights.

We are paying a lot of money on council taxes. Exactly what do we get for our money?


Looking for biological father and brother in Sutton

My name is Rebecca and I’m looking for my biological father Paul Easy and a stepbrother called Ryan.

Please can you help me find my long lost family. I’d love to finally meet them if they were willing.

Ryan I’ve only ever seen a photo when I was a child, and my dad was occasional visits.

I moved out of the area and now live in Portsmouth. My dad has always remained in Sutton.

Call 07445 221811 or email Rebecca.aley@icloud.com

MISS REBECCA JANE ALEY, formerly known as Rebecca Jayne Everett but birth name is Rebecca Jayne Easey

Reply to 'build' letter

I write as a citizen of Witchford, not as a member of Witchford Parish Council. 

In answer to Bettina Brynca’s letter to the Ely Standard ( ‘Build, build, build’ 1 April 2021 p. 4`), I agree with her.

But when she suggests that the parish council has ‘no plan’ for the village, she might be interested to check out Witchford's ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ that has been successfully implemented.

This protects some of our green spaces at least and is quite a comprehensive ‘plan’ for the village.

She will find it if she searches for ‘Witchford Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan’ on the internet. 

Even though central government has a plan to build, build, build and while the parish council is subject to decisions made by the district council, I am sure our council is doing all it can.  

She might like to visit the parish council meetings which could be arranged by contacting the clerk.

The clerk’s contact details are available by searching for ‘clerk Witchford Parish Council’. 

I hope she enjoys her time in the village and would recommend the village walks.  

ROSEMARY WESTWELL, citizen of Witchford 

Art project 

Ely Hereward Rotary club is delighted by the quality of entries so far to the community art project we are running to celebrate the holding of the 2021 University Boat race in Ely.     

We do hope that the excitement of the race on Easter Sunday will inspire you to enter the competition if you haven’t already done so.

Go to Community Art Project – Ely Rotary (rotaryclubely-hereward.org) for details and entry form.

Entry remains open until April 25.

JANET PORTER, Ely Hereward Rotary club