PUBLISHED: 12:46 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2010

COMMON PROBLEM THERE was an item in one of the Sunday papers recently about a new housing estate in the university town of Loughborough. Apparently they are building a new housing estate there and the local council is trying to stop students from renting


THERE was an item in one of the Sunday papers recently about a new housing estate in the university town of Loughborough. Apparently they are building a new housing estate there and the local council is trying to stop students from renting properties on it. Their reason for this is that the students push out locals from the area by paying higher rents and that there will be noise late at night. I don't think that Loughborough is alone in this. Locals here have problems affording the unaffordable houses. The difference is the students at Loughborough have to live there to pursue their studies, the people coming into Soham have chosen to because, to their minds, this is a cheap area. Late-night noise is a hazard of living with young people everywhere.

The third reason for not wanting the students on the estate is that they attract take-away outlets. We must have a very large student population in Soham without knowing it!


For a time now those of us with DIESEL cars have been a bit smug. While the people with petrol vehicles have had the wrath of the save-the-planet brigade showered on them, we have been able to point out that we have been using "bio" diesel from the dump off Regal Lane. Now all that has changed. The people off Regal Lane have stopped selling to the public and we are back on the hard stuff.

Never mind, we can go on the bus. Unfortunately we can't use the excellent Soham and Ely Dial-a-Ride service, as it is only open to people who don't own cars. The scheme has recently lost some lottery grant and is on the verge of a financial mess but won't benefit from extra revenue from people wishing to avoid congestion and parking charges in Ely as drivers can't use it.

The over-60s will soon be able to use the normal bus services for free, apparently. Unfortunately this will only apply within each specific district council area. Presumably this means that people will be able to go from Soham to Grunty Fen or Wardy Hill for nothing, but will have to pay the full fare to go to Newmarket. Even Cambridge is out of the free bus area and Bury might as well be on the moon. Perhaps the people behind this should listen to Fagin - "I think I ought to think it out again."


Up until now I have only had hearsay evidence of people using the Downfields bridge. Now I have concrete proof that at least one person has scaled the heights. The other day there was a sheet fluttering on the Fordham side congratulating Reece on his 21st. The only way it could have got there was if someone climbed up the ramp. At this rate the bridge will be worn out in no time.


Now that smokers are under orders to combine their vice with frostbite in the non-too-distant future I was intrigued by a headline in one of the regional papers recently. I know that once you are addicted to nicotine you have a real job to kick it, and that some people try other things. Patches, gum and plastic mock cigarettes all appear to have their place. Some people even go on to herbal mixtures, but you have to be really hooked for this particular headline to apply. It read "Blanket Smoking Ban in Pubs." The mind boggles!


It occurred to me the other day how some of the SNOBS rally team could save some money. The thumping-bass stereo systems that move your fillings about as the car passes can't be cheap. Presumably they are necessary because of the noise inside the car. Surely if the drivers spent a couple of pounds having the defective exhausts fixed (they must be defective, the racket they make) then there would be far less noise in the car and they could save a lot on the cost of the stereo.

With the money they save they might even be able to afford an extra thimble full of petrol and drive the extra few yards off the High Street. The other day they appeared to be going for a new record, there were four cars parked on the double yellow lines opposite Blockbusters. Obviously this was causing chaos to traffic, but as long as the drivers got their chips at no inconvenience to themselves they were happy.


There has been some correspondence lately about jets passing over Ely. I'm not sure they always use the cathedral as a marker. During the summer our allies seem to need charcoal smoke to point them towards Lakenheath. How else can you explain their noisy passage over Soham whenever we are burning sausages on the barbecue?

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