They've got a lotta bottle!

IT was plain sailing for two of Ely s most eminent citizens when they took a relaxing trip along the river on hundreds of milk bottles to mark St. George s Day on Monday. The Dean of Ely Cathedral Dr. Michael Chandler joined Ely Mayor Cllr John Ison to te

IT was plain sailing for two of Ely's most eminent citizens when they took a relaxing trip along the river on hundreds of milk bottles to mark St. George's Day on Monday.

The Dean of Ely Cathedral Dr. Michael Chandler joined Ely Mayor Cllr John Ison to test the raft made from four pint plastic cartons which will form part of the city's ambitious milk bottle bridge.

Despite being adrift in the middle of the Great River Ouse in the shade of the cathedral, they found the whole experience calming enough to catch up on news in The Ely Standard and The Church Times.

Cllr Ison said: "It was great fun and the raft was very secure and very safe. It was amazing how buoyant it was.


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"At one point we were holding a St. George's Day flag between us and we were getting up quite a speed. I think the bridge will be solid enough to take a tank when it's built."

The flag, which was given to Ely City Council during the visit of the loving cup several weeks ago, was presented by Cllr Ison to the Dean to fly on Ely Cathedral.

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Cllr Jack Waterfall, who launched the project to build the bridge from 14,100 milk bottles in a bid to break a world record, said: "You couldn't have had two more eminent dignitaries than the Mayor and the Dean to test it."

Milk bottles are being collected throughout Ely and across the county with businesses and groups offering to build sections of the bridge which will be constructed for the city's third Classic Regatta on June 23.

On Thursday the Ely Standard held a coffee morning and shoppers and passers by helped to build a section of the bridge from bottles collected at the newspaper's offices in Market Street.

Cllr Waterfall, Cllr Ian Allen, joint project organiser, and Cllr Bill Pickess showed them how to stitch the bottles together.

"People were really brilliant," said Cllr Waterfall, "and really engaged with the project."

Anyone interested in building a bridge section which can be personalised or taking part in the challenge should contact Cllr Waterfall on 07767 795895.

CAPTION: RIVER RUN. The Mayor and the Dean take time off to relax on the milk bottle raft.

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