GRIGGS OF SOHAM: ‘Jake the spaniel is a keen walker, basically because he can’t drive, ride a bike or fly, although he’s never really tried flying to tell the truth’

From 1950 Soham Carnival float. Roland Pollard (cycle/car sales) on pennyfarthing and Dorothy Long o

From 1950 Soham Carnival float. Roland Pollard (cycle/car sales) on pennyfarthing and Dorothy Long on racing bike. - Credit: Archant

Who says that Newmarket exists only for horses? Despite what the Jockey Club would have you believe our southern neighbour is also a home for wild geese. I tried to catch some on Saturday.

In an effort to get mobile again I took professional advice from two sources and journeyed over only to find that all the advice was erroneous and that I was no further forward.

All was not lost, though, I managed to pick up a jacket for £5 from one of the many charity shops. Not expecting to be shopping I hadn’t brought a bag with me and didn’t want to risk looking like a shoplifter to I took up the offer of a plastic bag.

I was a bit surprised to find that the bags in this particular shop cost ten pence, that’s twice the charge brought in recently.

But at least I was sure where the money was going, not the vague “charities” that the 5ps are promised to that will probably end up as less than a penny once “admin” has been deducted.


Jake the spaniel is a keen walker, basically because he can’t drive, ride a bike or fly, although he’s never really tried flying to tell the truth.

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A chap he heard of recently who is also not much of an aviator but drives, rides a motorcycle and rides a bike, or used to.

This particular chap decided to reward himself for a hard week’s work with a measure of two of ale on Friday night and, being a responsible sort of bloke pedalled his way to his chosen hostelry.

He was not a little miffed when it came to the time to return home to find that his trusty cycle wasn’t where he left it, some low life had stolen it. He would very much like it back, please.

If you are not brave enough to return it in person just put it back where you found it and Jake won’t talk about you.


Many years ago when the sugar beet factory at Queen Adelaide was in full swing it was quite easy to forget what colour your car was when you set out from home if you were anywhere near Ely.

The roads all had a healthy coating on wet mud that had fallen from the wheels of tractors, trailers and lorries taking beet to the factory.

It was particularly exciting at night when switching on the headlights made hardly any difference as they were covered with a film of mud.

These days were brought back to us the other day when we visited the “No Hurry” at Upware. The road between the main Wicken-Streatham road and Upware had a nice even coating of mud which has given Mrs of Soham’s car a definite look of ‘60s Stuntney Causeway.

Nostalgia isn’t what it was, she’s not impressed!


Of Soham Jnr, now resident in Smethwick on the edge of Birmingham had a reminder of home the other day. He and his good lady had visited one of the major supermarkets to stock up on vegetables including some parsnips.

When they arrived home they found that these particular root vegetables originated from Clem Tompsett’s empire in Isleham fen.

It’s nice to know that city dwellers can still get hold of some quality stuff if they search properly.


Our trip to the “No Hurry” was a sad but in some ways warm occasion. We were there to say goodbye to Rolly Pollard, a multi talented man of Soham who passed away recently.

The underlying sadness was tempered by all the happy reminiscences and the “do you remember when’s?” There will never be another Rolly but he’ll never be totally gone from us while there is one person who remembers him.

Here’s to you Rolly!


It was a bit moist the other day. Not torrential by any means, but enough to make you thoroughly wet if you are out in it for long enough.

I was walking into town resigned to getting unpleasantly uncomfortable when I spied my possible salvation also heading towards the High Street.

The lady who, a few weeks ago, promoted me to walking stick status was passing in her little Honda. She saw me, I saw her, she smiled and waved, I smiled and waved, she carried on, and I got wetter.

It’s good to know your place!


We had yet another menu from one of the town’s many and varied food outlets through the letterbox last week. There was the usual array of pizzas, kebabs, burgers and bits of chicken but one of the items really aroused our curiosity.

Along with all the other stuff was an item listed at “qurly fries.”

The mind boggles!

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