Letter: Bunting will 'add some cheer' just in time for shops re-opening

Multi-coloured bunting will adorn Ely’s High Street and Forehill from April 7

Multi-coloured bunting will adorn Ely’s High Street and Forehill from April 7. This archive photo is for illustrative purposes. - Credit: VISIT ELY

Bunting is coming

Multi-coloured bunting will adorn Ely’s High Street and Forehill from April 7.

This is thanks to funding from Grovemere Properties Ltd and the loan of machinery from Warren Access and the City of Ely Council’s Estate team and volunteers.

We very happy to be able to add some cheer to our High Street and Forehill, just in time for non-essential shops to re-open. 

I would like to say a huge thank you to Harvey Bibby from Grovemere Properties and Melissa Weeks from Warren Access for funding the project.

It’s going to look amazing and will remain in-situ until our Christmas Lights go up at the end of the year.

It’s been a very tough lockdown for retailers and decorating our High Street will certainly put a smile on everyone’s face!’

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Oliver Cromwell’s House, a popular tourist attraction in Ely, is re-opening its doors on May 17 and we are very much counting down the days.

Blossom outside Oliver Cromwell’s House in Ely, which is re-opening on May 17.

Blossom outside Oliver Cromwell’s House in Ely, which is re-opening on May 17. - Credit: VISIT ELY

Our doors have been firmly closed since Christmas Eve – this has been a difficult time for all retailers and business owners alike.

With the help of Heritage Lottery Funding and working with The Cromwell Museum Huntingdon, Oliver Cromwell’s House has a very new, fun and factual audio tour ready for re-opening day.

Scripts are currently in production for both a family tour and adult tour, so even more reason to come and visit us.

ANNA BENNETT, tourism and town centre manager at Oliver Cromwell's House and Ely Tourist Information Centre

Boat Race

I’d like to go and watch the Ely Boat Race on Sunday afternoon – if I can safely and legally.

If not, I’d like to know which footpaths I can walk on without risk of being arrested.

Gillian Beasley, the chief executive of the county council has issued a “direction” which she no doubt hoped would deny public access to the Boat Race.

It’s called the direction (public outdoor places) and it is badly written from start to finish.

Now, even Mrs Beasley doesn’t have the power to forbid access to all outdoor places.

So I have asked her (repeatedly) which public places the direction applies to, but she won’t tell me.

Something is wrong here. The public must be entitled to know where they are liable to arrest, without that there is no rule of law.

Clearly, Mrs Beasley needs to act urgently if she is going to make the proposed public ban effective.

If she does not sort out this mess then I for one will see no legal reason why I shouldn’t watch the race live.


Fundraising thank-you

I would like to thank all those people who kindly purchased plants from the stall on my driveway in Egremont Street during the first lockdown in 2020.

Together we raised over £700 for The Ely and District Parkinson’s UK Support Group.

It was an amazing result, and the Support Group were overjoyed to receive such a large donation from local residents.

I plan to have a plant stall on my driveway on Egremont Street in Ely this year and hope to sell a selection of tomato and chilli plants along with courgette and cucumber plants and sunflowers. All competitively priced.

I have chosen two charities to support. The first is Cambridgeshire Wildlife Care which is based in Soham and is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife in Ely and the surrounding area.

Some of the tomato plants that Caroline Nicklinson is selling

Caroline Nicklinson, of Ely and District Parkinson’s UK Support Group, is hosting a plant stall on her driveway on Egremont Street in Ely. These are some of the tomato plants she is selling. - Credit: CAROLINE NICKLINSON

The second is Versus Arthritis. Many people are touched by arthritis and the impact of arthritis can be huge as the condition intrudes on everyday life but is often dismissed as an inevitable part of aging.

I was overwhelmed by the support local residents gave to my plant stall last year.

It would be wonderful if we could work together this year to support two such worthwhile charities.

CAROLINE NICKLINSON, Ely and District Parkinson’s UK Support Group

Vax is for us all 

Everyone entering the UK, including indigenous people, already living here, should gratefully accept the pandemic vaccination, which many regard as a life-saving potion, regardless of any differing opinion, they may have.

Foreigners visiting other lands are expected to respect the rules and customs of the host country and yet that courtesy does not seem to be reflected in this country.

Such refusal would not be tolerated in many parts of the world, and such impertinence would be dealt with most severely.

Such objections would be totally ignored had it been known that such data had been gleaned from the idiotic fake news on social media.

That should be our attitude as well. Legitimate exemptions, at least, temporarily, could include a pregnant woman, who has been advised to consult a GP first.

72% of black people and 42% of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis are likely to refuse the jab, but it would be interesting if they persisted whilst back in their own countries and see if they got away with it.

21% of Caucasians have also implied they will avoid the jab. This cowardice attitude seems to be based on scaremongering but oblivious to the hazards they are fostering onto their families, friends and neighbours.

These ignorant morons deserve their own alias, just like their covidiot counterparts who are also putting everyone in danger without a guilty conscience.

The tech giants must also shoulder a large chunck of responsibility by failing to remove this harmful propaganda from our screens, unless the originators can substantiate their allegations with facts.

Naturally, they will argue that it is not possible or practical but this is a prime example of fake news, in itself.

My interpretation of this baloney is that they would lose considerable profit, which of course is the real reason for failing to act.

The paranoia is based on false information on claims that vaccines contain animal products and alcohol and a means of changing our DNA, together with listening devices.

The truth is that they basically contain, potassium, sodium, cholesterol and sucrose, all of which our bodies need anyway.

All these vaccines produce antibodies which stimulates immune cells to produce natural antibodies to protect against Covid19.

All these ingredients conform with religion and alcohol requirements. A few side effects are possible but I assert that they are preferable to the alternative.

To put all this into perspective, is a dental patient who is about to have an extraction or filling likely to refuse an injection of an anaesthetic; or is a pregnant woman about to give birth going to object to having an epidural.

Of course not! So the next time you need an injection of antibiotics for a painful sepsis, it is probably wise not to say "what's in it doc?"


Build, build, build 

My husband and I bought a house in Witchford 10 years ago.

We wanted to move out of Cambridge and live somewhere quiet and lovely.

In the years since then, we have watched the village expand, and traffic on the main street increase dramatically.

This past year has been the worst. Developers are building large packed-in estates, in green spaces that should have been preserved.

One development is on a farm track we used to walk down. Now it's pavement and ugly houses that all look the same. Not one solar panel is to be seen. These houses look cheap and ugly.

I bet they will be like the house a friend of ours bought in Great Cambourne in the housing rush there some years ago, where the walls are paper thin and all sorts of strange issues arise such as doors not shutting properly.

On the other side of the village, there is an enormous estate being built. It looks like another town stuffed into what was lovely fields.

Also it's right next to the highway, where the occupants can enjoy (sarcasm) both the noise and the pollution coming off the traffic. The amount of concrete I see there is astounding. 

Already the traffic through the village is heavy. There is no doctors office in the village.

The bus service has been reduced over the years to once every two hours for most of the day and none at night. 

I did hear in the rumour mill a little over a year ago, that the village council had no plan for our village and thus the predatory developers, smelling quick money, moved in like the vermin they are, snatching up all the green spaces for sale.

It's atrocious, and how is this in any way good for the environment? In an era when we all know that we need to do better, here is our village turning into a bedroom community for Cambridge.

I am saddened, angry, and disgusted. I worked for years in a planning department and my job was to assess environmental impacts of development.

I know how detrimental these kind of housing developments are when packed into the countryside.

Also they lower the quality of life for everyone who already lives there, adding traffic, crime, noise, and more.

When Boris said "we will build, build, build" I wanted to tell him, "1995 rang and wants their ideas back".


New goal posts

The joint project that Cambridgeshire County Council and Soham Town Council have been working towards has an exciting update.

As of April 1 at 2pm, there will be two goal posts in situ on the Soham recreation ground free to the young people in the community for friendly kick-about and recreational use only as per STC Byelaws.

Those who want to can come along to the recreation ground to join us in a brief launch observing the social distancing regulations.

We are proud to have actively engaged the voice of our young people into positive action.

This has been a project we have been developing for some time and it was in response to the young people being asked what they would like.

The goals are going to be good  replacements for young people’s bags and sweatshirts and I am sure very well used.

It is a fitting time with the easing of lockdown and Easter holidays.

LIZZI WALES, youth and community co-ordinator at Cambs County Council

English Parliament

Each morning, my neighbour raises the St George’s flag up his flagpole.

Meanwhile my mum’s cousin is chairman of the local St George’s dinner club, while my brother thinks that Nigel Farage should receive a knighthood for services to Brexit.

To understand this growth in English nationalism I have recently been reading Gavin Esler’s excellent new book, How Britain ends: English nationalism and the rebirth of the four nations.

Esler was a presenter of the BBC’s Newsnight for 12 years until 2014. As a soft ‘remainer’, he explains in his book how Brexit was an expression of English nationalism.

His book is a warning to the ruling class of what could happen if it does not take English nationalism seriously.

Such nationalism was embodied in the UK Independence Party - and now in the Tory Party under Boris Johnson, which is now an English Nationalist Party.

Esler’s solution to ‘How Britain ends’ is to call for a federal United Kingdom, whilst keeping the monarchy.

He also calls for an English parliament with multi-member constituencies elected by single transferable vote.

At the same time, as he explains in his book, Brexit has done more towards the creation of a united Ireland than the IRA ever did.

Socialists must take English nationalism seriously and therefore neutralise the reactionary side of this nationalism by supporting the call for an English parliament, whilst also devolving power downwards from Whitehall to the regions and local councils.

Socialists must also support the establishment of a socialist federal republic of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, as part of a socialist United States of Europe.

England needs its own parliament.