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You can tell it’s Autumn......

Strictly and X Factor are fighting for viewers’ attention; Downton Abbey is back on the box; Christmas gifts have appeared in the stores (mind you some of that occurred in August!) and on the roads around Ely mud is spread generously around to create its own ‘mini World Rally Championship’.  No one seems to care so let’s get out the party hats and celebrate.  It could be worse, we could have an epidemic of biblical proportions; having said that, have you all had your flu jabs yet?  The clocks have only gone back one hour however, I feel ‘jet lagged’ after week one as darkness descends at 4 o’clock.  At least there are the explosives to look forward to or ‘Guy Fawkes night’ as it is affectionately called. Some marketing idea that one, whoever came up with it.  That was definitely a 3 o’clock in the morning marketing department ploy after many double whiskies.  “I know what we’ll do Bob, we will recreate an act of terrorism and anarchy which had it achieved its objective would have taken out the Houses of Parliament and members of selected religious groups!!!”  Throw in a few roasted chestnuts and a couple of baked spuds, a bonfire and whoopee you’ve got yourself a party and somewhere to dispose of gunpowder if you have some knocking about!  Meanwhile, in the real world Ely is going to get a bridge/bypass/stuff and jam (delete as appropriate).  The debate is over and life can return to normal until the thing is constructed whenever, that may be!  In the mean time all these betting organisations can still put odds on how many commercial vehicles can get lodged under the existing bridge between now and opening day.

It certainly wasn’t all gloom, doom or despondency when children from King’s Ely Acremont visited Vera James Nursing Home in Ely to talk to residents about their childhood memories. As you can see from the photos on YourEly Facebook residents and children alike enjoyed the experience.

In keeping with this year’s theme of gathering historical photos of old Ely thanks go to David Clark and his Team who spotted a lovely photograph of J L George, Family Grocer. Their business was located on the corner of Forehill and Broad Street. We loved the advertising board which reads “Stop here for High Class Provisions. This is Georges” The photograph is by courtesy of Virginia, Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network and is dated in the early 1900’s.

We were really interested to hear that a Page Fine Jewellery customer proposed in true James Bond style by sky-diving out of a plane. His nervous girl-friend was standing by to watch his descent. When he safely landed he dashed over to his girlfriend, went down on one knee and then proposed. Once she got over the initial shock she was quick to say “yes”. Either that or he hadn’t paid the extra fees required to a budget airline.  The good news is he landed nearer to his selected destination than the budget airline could get him so all’s well that ends well!

Thank you to our friends at Jolly Good Van Hire who spotted that James Graven did not only sell cars but, also a wide range of vehicles including traction engines! Their business was based on Broad Street and the photograph courtesy of Pam Blakeman Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network dated to the early 1900’s.

That’s it for this edition; I am going off to prepare my hand held rocket grenade launcher (sparkler to you!) for next week and think about ‘parking’ my white van under a little bridge somewhere in the Fens.  It’s a ‘good life’ if you don’t let it get to you!