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The astute among you may have noticed lots of building work going on around Ely. I don’t mean at street level although, that has been a feature of Ely for the past 20 or so years and is set to continue apace. I mean at tree top level. I see rookeries’ are being re-established for this year. Now normally you would see many (more than one nest) in the trees and that is what I have encountered EXCEPT, out the back of my house where we have had many rooks nesting up in the dizzy heights for the past 7 or 8 years I have witnessed something very unusual! The annual meeting of the ‘rook club’ has arrived however, rather than all 20 or so of them constructing say 10 or more nests, this time they have constructed 1 nest with most of the group supplying the materials! Before anyone out there with a huge brain tells me I am watching a crow, I am not! This lot have the obligatory white face and are highly sociable apart that is from using my car as a local convenience. All I can think is that political correctness in the form of Health and Safety has hit the world of the rook. There is one ‘clerk of works’ let’s call him Roger, who sits in the assembling nest whilst his chums offload twigs and assorted paraphernalia which he then expertly fits into place. In the meantime most of Roger’s chums sit and stare at him in awe as to his building technique. I think I am observing a master class, either that or Roger is the only one to have passed his City and Guilds exams at his local academy! This year they tend to have longer breaks between construction. I saw some the other day sitting outside Mildenhall looking at planes landing. I swear some of them looked envious, “if only I could go at that speed instead of building flipping nests every year!”

There is much industry afoot at Sew Much To Do where Japanese Folded Patchwork is order of the day and subject of a workshop to take place on Friday 14 March between 9.30 a.m and 12 noon. Get yourself along there and start patching things up!

Our thanks go to David Clark who kindly sent us a photo of the Bishop’s Palace when it was still the residence of the Bishop. The photo was taken in the early 1900’s. There was an abundance of skill on show to construct that building that’s for certain.

The Price Bailey Teamare always on hand to help grow local businesses and it was interesting to receive a photo from them showing a thriving industry in the past; deliveries by barge at Annesdale in 1920 by Shell Mex BP. With the amount of traffic around Cambridgeshire on the increase perhaps travel by barge to the centre of Cambridge might be the answer especially if the U.K. is to flood annually!

The Team at Tindalls are hoping that the Animals of Africa will be an inspiration to customers to show their artistic talents. On Saturday 15th March Alicia Smit who produces wonderful and vibrant images of Africa in oil will be on hand to demonstrate how she produces her work and also help customers with helpful hints and tips.

I don’t have many elephants’ or rhinos’ at the back of my house however, Roger and his team are still busy in a slow but, contemplative mind set with their 2014 nest designs. It’s got to be a Health and Safety issue, that or it’s a “let’s throw our car keys into the nest and the lucky couple chosen gets to spend the night there!” Therein lies another tale...............to be continued!!!!