LETTERS: Celebration of a life cut short

Emma Hales

Emma Hales, 35, (left) events’ organiser at Soham Lodge care home, who died aged 35. She once persuaded Ely Pride to organise an event at the home. - Credit: Family

Funeral will be a celebration 

We finally have a date for Emma's service of thanksgiving 

. It will be held at 2pm at St Andrews Church in Soham, on Friday July 30. 

All are welcome to come and help celebrate Emma's life and work.  

Tha family will first attend a private service at the crematorium.  

We are asking everyone to wear bright colours and something pink. 

This will not only be an opportunity for anyone whose lives Emma had touched to say goodbye but also to share the moments of love and care that Emma showed so many.  

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We are asking that rather than flowers being sent if anyone would like to make a donation to the Friends of Soham Lodge via Soham Lodge care home. 

This was one of Emma's passion projects and had enabled her to arrange days out, entertainment and other projects like that sensory bathroom.  



More police, please! 

The public space on the north side of Ely Cathedral behind the High Street is a place with persistent anti-social behaviour associated with alcohol misuse. 

On the evening of July 16, it was particularly bad.  

Early evening, at only around 6pm, a group of approximately four or five inebriated individuals were being extremely rowdy.  

Although not threatening anyone directly, they were aggressive, loud and foul-mouthed. 

An altercation which broke out between them was intimidating to all around including those relaxing on the lawns and dining outside Prezzo.  

It drove most other people, trying to enjoy some Friday evening sunshine around Ely's famous landmark away, including a number of families with young children. 

I don't know if a Public Spaces Protection Order is in place in Ely under which this seemingly ongoing problem can be dealt with. 

I really think for everyone's safety, enjoyment and comfort, some local policing presence in the evenings, particularly weekends, to confiscate alcohol from those abusing it and moving anti-social groups on would help matters.  

As I understand it Cambridgeshire's new Police and Crime Commissioner recently pledged to 'act on residents' concerns' (Ely Standard, May 19 2021).  

As an Ely resident himself, I hope this is on his list of priorities for our city. 

Mr S 

(Name and address supplied) 

Illegal gill nets 

I am writing to follow up on the article and photo that you recently featured following the discovery of an illegal Gill Net on the River Ouse.  

The fishing rights on the river are issued to the Ely Beet Sports and Social Club and our volunteer bailiffs assisted the EA at the incident as the E A requested their support.  

We are disgusted at the actions of the people responsible and  

I would ask all your readers to report to the EA action number.   

Should you observe any pollution in the river please telephone the Environment Agency Hotline (0800 807060) to report the incident.  

The number is Freephone and is a 24-hour service. Poaching can also have a devastating effect and can be reported to the same EA hotline). 

Any sightings of illegal net fishing, as this is poaching on our waters, and theft of our stock in a brutal way by a slow death with the fish entrapped for hours. Also, 

 these nets put at risk other river occupants such as wildfowl, swans and otters as anything entangled will die before the net is recovered. 

We have stepped our patrols and are determined to catch these thieves and to hand them to the authorities for prosecution, 

So, any assistance from the public in the Ely and surrounding areas would be much appreciated. 


Ely Beet Sports and Social Club. Angling Chairman 

My thanks, for a change 

It isn't often I can find a reason to compliment our public services, but congratulations to Cambridgeshire County Council. 

They have just cut a width on most of its verges, thereby allowing plants to flourish and provide for important insects such as bees.   

What a joy to see so many cowslips, followed by daisies and other treasures and especially the gorgeous dog roses.  

Please keep it up.  One good mow before winter will save time, money and preserve what little wildlife and plants we have left.  Thank you. 


(By email) 

Hedgehog help if you can 

Anita Nixon explains why she is hoping to find someone to print off the picture of a hedgehog

Anita Nixon explains why she is hoping to find someone to print off the picture of a hedgehog - Credit: Anita Nixon

I run a hedgehog awareness group and will be having a tombola stall at Soham pumpkin fair in September as well as doing some of the judging.  

I would also like to run a colouring competition for under 7s, 

What I'm asking is if you could put a request out to anybody/business who would print me off 200 A5 of the attached pic. 

I am hoping to involve all schools in Soham. 

All money on the day will go to Cambs wildlife care. 



(please forward offers to john.elworthy@archant.co.uk and we will pass them on) 

Painting will help cathedral 

Sunset over Ely 

Sunset over Ely - Credit: Graham Austen

Having perused a recent copy of the Ely Standard and seen the photographs of sunsets over Ely I wanted to bring to your attention my latest painting. 

It is a view of Ely Cathedral from the river and is available to buy from the cathedral shop, with all profits going to the cathedral.  

Previous promotions of the Peregrine paintings have proven extremely beneficial to raising funds.  



New retail park scrutinised 

Plans for a retail park at Angel Drove, Ely, have been resurrected and a third attempt to build is now being debated. 

Here's what some of our readers think about it.  

1000 jobs for a small-town retail park are absolute tosh. Ely town centre probably isn’t worth 1000 retail jobs in total. 

And incidentally what would be the knock-on effect to the retail life of the town centre? 

Maybe we need far more detailed questions and answers before puffing up a scheme. 


(via Facebook) 

1,000 jobs from a retail park? How many shops are they proposing? 


(Via Facebook)

Awful idea. It will wreck the city centre. 


(Via Facebook)

I'd prefer something on the other side of the city. All supermarkets are on the same side 


(Via Facebook)

I kind of like a park...the kind with lots of trees and wildlife...access to the river...and a bench to watch trains go by. Ahh... to dream! 


(Via Facebook)

Let's do it. Ely is way behind so many other places of similar size. 


(Via Facebook)