HIDE AND SEEK Near the entrance of the grocer s shop next to the station in Ely is a map. It s called the Business and Service Guide to Ely and District and has a large map of Ely and a smaller map of the whole area. On the district map are centres of c


Near the entrance of the grocer's shop next to the station in Ely is a map. It's called the 'Business and Service Guide to Ely and District' and has a large map of Ely and a smaller map of the whole area. On the district map are centres of commerce and population such as Littleport, Burwell, Welney, Wicken, Isleham and Six-Mile Bottom which can be found quite easily. One place that the sponsors, Cambridgeshire County Council, didn't feel was worthy of including is poor old Soham. Well, you wouldn't, would you; there are only 10,000 people here, two industrial estates, lots of other businesses, one of the best schools in the county, two football clubs and historic common land. No, hardly worth considering, let alone marking on a map. Especially when you compare us to Welney and Six-Mile Bottom.

Mind you, if the county council see fit to ignore us, why shouldn't we ignore them? Perhaps we will suddenly become important again when they want us to finance the teeming hordes of bureaucrats in Shire Hall when the Council Tax season opens again.


I have it on good authority (one of the managers) that there will soon be a footpath from Budgens car park to the High Street again. It had to be shut to allow for the flats to be built behind the butcher's, but as soon as the finishing touches have been done and it is safe to walk it will be opened up again with a new access from the car park. When the old footpath was in use it was good for both Budgens and the businesses in the High Street. How many times do you nip into a supermarket for the one thing you've forgotten and come out with at least four?


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I've found something else that tells me I'm getting old. On top of Big Brother, rap music and lager I can't see the enjoyment in what seems to be the latest craze on the streets of town. Exactly where is the pleasure or satisfaction in uprooting estate agents' For Sale signs and planting them in nearby hedges? I can understand that three and four letter words could antagonise passing SNOBS members if they tried to read them and that they might want to get their own back on the sign, but you would have thought that a quick argument would have done the trick. No, that wouldn't work, any wooden sign should be able to outwit the SNOBS!


Every Friday afternoon the young at heart of Soham gather in the Pavilion for some tea, chat and entertainment. The over-60s club has been going for many years and will probably see us all out, but has come up against a minor snag, a scarcity of entertainers. They have wide ranging tastes, anything from a sing-song to a talk on virtually anything is greatly appreciated - possibly a communal limbo dancing session might not get everyone going, but everything else goes down well. To keep this group happy and entertained (believe me, you wouldn't want to come across them when they're not happy!), anyone who can give them an hour on a Friday should call Vera Seal on 01353 721080 for a chat, I'm told the tea is excellent.


Apparently this year's carnival is to have a French theme in honour of the pending twinning of Soham with Andrézieux-Bouthéon and the visit of some dignitaries from the town to the carnival. One thing that should make our French visitors feel at home is the state of the main street through town these days. Knowing how difficult it is to walk a yard and a half to put your take-away rubbish in the nearest bin I fully understand why there is so much paper on the streets at night. The fact that it is all cleared up by the morning is a tribute to our street cleaner who is doing an excellent job. It is through his efforts that our visitors should feel at home - most French communities have a bit of pride in their home towns and very little litter, perhaps we might take that part of the twinning to heart straight away!