Colin Finds His Forever Home at Littleport Academy

Grace and Jack with Colin on arrival at Littleport (photo credit: Mark Cooney)

During December, owner of Pure Ely, Cheryl Bailey decided it was time for Colin the Bear to leave the nest and make a family happy but before he left the shop on Three Cups Walk, he had one more life-saving task to perform.

Colin makes himself at home with Grace and Jack, while Maria and Cheryl look on with pride (photo credit: Mark Cooney)
Colin makes himself at home with Grace and Jack, while Maria and Cheryl look on with pride (photo credit: Mark Cooney)

Colin who is over 2 metres tall and weighs more than most humans was put up as a prize in a raffle to raise enough money to buy a defibrillator for the shop. During the December competition, Mrs Bailey also gave training to all her staff, both first aid and in the use of the defibrillator.

During the live draw, Cheryl thanked everyone for taking part and confirmed enough had been raised to buy the life-saving kit before pulling out one of the tickets belonging to Maria Isaacs.

On contacting Maria, she decided Colin, while very lovely, was too big for her home and wanted to give it away. Comments on the social media post mentioned many good causes, but Ms Isaacs who worked at Highfields in Ely decided the new Highfields would get the most benefit.

The unnamed 6 metre snake (Photo credit: Mark Cooney)
The unnamed 6 metre snake (Photo credit: Mark Cooney)

And she was right, yesterday on arrival at the school, the children looked out through every window to see the arrival of Colin. Met by Grace 10, nearly 11 and Jack who is 8 1/2, Colin was shown to assembly along with an unexpected addition, a 6-metre snake who as yet has no name. The snake was donated by a friend of Maria’s.

Colin will be used at the school in the Therapy room which is being created. A place where children would be able to relax and take time out and a cuddle from Colin would make the children more at ease.

Littleport Highfields Academy needs more play activities (Photo credit: Mark Cooney)
Littleport Highfields Academy needs more play activities (Photo credit: Mark Cooney)

Littleports Highfield Academy has now been open 2 years and still in the process of trying to get more equipment for their school especially in the outdoor play area. SOLHA, The Supporters of Littleport Highfield Academy are constantly raising money and applying for grants but also are relying on the generosity of local businesses including Life Fitness who recently gave the school an outdoor Foosball Table.

Maria Isaacs and Cheryl Bailey outside Littleport Academy (photo credit: Mark Cooney)
Maria Isaacs and Cheryl Bailey outside Littleport Academy (photo credit: Mark Cooney)

The school have asked us to pass along a BIG THANK YOU to SOLHA, Cheryl and Maria for their generous contributions.

Couch to Mini-Triathlon Begins

On February 3rd or 10th, depending on the weather, Spotted in Ely admin Mark Cooney will be attempting to do a mini-triathlon around Ely.

The event is not an official event but he will be raising money for the new Spotted in Ely Community Fund by swimming 1km in the river followed by 25km on a bike, consisting of 5 laps of 5km and finishing with a 5km run, 5 laps of 1km.

Mark, who hasn’t done much fitness training since being in the RAF nearly 30 years ago is working with Aaron McCombie from Atrium Fitness on Newnham Street.

Aaron has been a fitness instructor with the local gym for some time and is giving up his time to train Mark up to the fitness required in the short time span.

Although some fitness and cardio work has taken place in December, the actual stamina or consistency training began today. Mark is only currently about 1/5th of the stamina/distance he needs to complete the challenge.

Spotted in Ely are currently working with an accountancy firm to set up a sponsorship account and money raised in the SiECF (Spotted in Ely Community Fund) will be used to grow local events, support youth and sporting activities and hopefully set up a “The Apprentice” style program to teach our kids business and money. All organisations will be considered for projects being created.

After each training session, 3 or 4 a week to start, SiE will update you on the progress. Mark and Atrium also invite anyone to come along and train with them for a small donation. The Atrium is also offering 50% of peak memberships should you wish to join up long-term.

Changes in 2019 – Reviewing 2018

2018 may not be over but with just days to go before Christmas, it’s time to look back at what has happened this year and look ahead at what’s to come.

As with every year before, Spotted in Ely has helped with lost and found items, travel reports, local good news and community issues, local event awareness and so much more. We’ve now set up a Littleport page on our website specifically for the villages news items, all possible thanks to the great work Maria Stableford. We are looking to set up ones for other locations.

In 2018 over 3,000 hours have been spent gathering all the information for Ely and surrounding villages. This has created more than 5 million post engagements on Facebook and encouraged over 1 million views on our website for the first time.

You may have noticed that more and more of the news items are now on the website? This is so we can create a better library of historical news but this comes at a price to keep the server running, especially with the number of high quality images we receive.

Running Spotted in Ely also comes at a cost personally both financially and mentally. This year we’ve had some serious issues to resolve in-house with people who wanted to work with us under a different agenda. This has created a small but manageable rift between those people and a few select followers, but Spotted in Ely maintains the same premise it started with, it’s a brand and it needs to protect itself.

Financially, the site has been funded with some job adverts and few advertorials but mostly by us and in 2019, this has to change.

In November 2018, after much thought and chat, we considered to shut down SiE and to be honest this could be a possibility as the cost is just too much month on month to maintain and I have to go and work late evenings to make up the shortfall in our own bills and running costs meaning I am working over 80 hours a week and this isn’t healthy.

BUT, the good news is, we are staying open for business in 2019 but before I go on and tell you the changes to be made, let me tell you about something I am doing in January and I need your support.

Thanks to Matt and Atrium Fitness Ely, I am going to be doing a 30 day COUCH to MINI-TRIATHLON challenge which will see me hopefully complete a 1k swim, 25k bike and 5k run on Sunday 3rd or 10th February (based on weather) around Ely. This is not an organised triathlon, just one I will be doing. We will keep a video diary of the whole project and make a documentary at the end plus daily social media updates.

WHY? Well 2 reasons, (actually many reasons but 2 main reasons).

Firstly, we want to create a SiE Community Fund which will help and benefit local charities, organisations etc with various projects. It will also be used to help us start our Community Stars Project (may not be the name, still working on that one) in association with the Cathedral. They are really keen to do something every month during 2019 with us on this project. I have set myself, what feels like an impossible target to raise £10,000 from my get fit to triathlon project but big targets mean I work harder every day. This fund will also create a “The Apprentice” style program for local schools to learn business skills.

The second reason is simple, I used to enjoy being fit and was a big cross country runner during my school and RAF days. These days with my various jobs, I do a lot of sitting around and often eat junk, so time to change. Not getting any younger.

During training and the event itself, I invite people to join me. You can do part or all of the event. Your choice. I’ll be taking part in gym work, swim, fitness classes etc. Chuck a donation in and join us and be part of the social media activity.

I am also looking for a serious corporate sponsor to help fund the project and put some change into the donation bin also. In return, I am happy to promote you with branded wear and over the various social media activities.

Back to SiE in 2019.

I make no bones that we lose money each month and I have to work extra hours to make those up. We have bills to so I cannot stop that but we have to consider who we help.

From now and with immediate effect, SiE will no longer post for people asking for recommendations. People asking for those will be sent a link to our business directory. We know of lots of companies who have done well out of the recommendations and a very small handful have come forward and done some advertising with us and very few have thanked us.

We also get a lot of companies messaging us asking for our time to help them promote a good cause project they are doing. While we appreciate the gesture they are committing, if they don’t support us in the first place then we will now have to refuse to help. We just do not have the time.

Next our Event Calendar. This is where Alison spends most of her time and personally, I think there are better ways using the new Facebook Local system. Until July 2019, side by side, we are accepting co-host requests. This means your event will appear on the Spotted in Ely events tab. This does not mean we will automatically promote the event on the main timeline. We will be asking for a small fee for this happen.

The jobs section – we have huge success for those who use this section. We currently charge £49 per listing, we will be increasing this to £79 from early 2019. We have an over 90% hit rate and some amazing reviews. Other sites are 10x this and other local media is into the hundreds of pounds. “Fulfilling Local Jobs for Local People”

Trying to create a wage for 2 isn’t cheap and unless we can monetize SiE, then it will disappear and the date I am determining for that choice is July 2019.

Spotted in Ely isn’t just a notice board like other groups etc, we get out and get involved and that is what has made us different and so when people say cut back, well if we do then we are just a notice board and so we are determined to make differences and be different.

We recently had congratulations from the local Police due to some things that we have stuck our nose into that has made changes in policies and we have a few other things we want to stick our nose into also. We also want to get into more campaigns like Ask for Angela and I’m Des.

SiE for the next 6-7 months is at use us or lose it stage. We want to help local businesses and groups but they to must help us, co-operation is key and we ask that if we put something out for you, don’t leave it there, share it just like you do when other media put it out. For certain events, we may ask for a donation for our time.

Likewise, in 2019 we will be selective with the events we take part in due to those time constraints. Often, more than one event type may clash with another, we find we enjoy being more involved with the the event that involves us most. For us to attend events, we need planning time. We are constantly asked 20 hours before if we can attend and this just isn’t possible.

Much more to come in the next months.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Team Spotted in Ely.

Ely Free WiFi: Reaching new heights to provide connectivity to Ely

Ely Free WiFi was a project that we started in April 2018 to deliver digital connectivity across Ely in time for the Christmas lights switch on in November. Owing to the limitations of mobile signals in the area due to the majestic presence of Ely Cathedral (something 12th Century planners failed to consider when it was built!) an outdoor wifi solution was required – for the public, and to enable market traders to use e-commerce solutions.

Julia Davis and Lisa Quin from Ely Markets with Martin Smith from East Cambs District Council

“Ely Free Wifi is a collaborative project that has drawn together the needs of the public, shoppers, market traders and tourists visiting the city. We are proud to have delivered a digital solution within tight timescales, which introduces very important infrastructure that is essential to the local economy. As the project develops next year we’ll be exploring options to increase coverage of Ely Free Wifi beyond the city and into a wider East Cambridgeshire connectivity programme.”   

Martin Smith, Economic Development Manager at East Cambs District Council

In collaboration with Ely City Council, Visit Ely, Ely Markets, Connecting Cambridgeshire and Ely Cathedral, we conducted a feasibility exercise to determine the needs of shoppers, tourists and market traders.   What exactly was required? Where should wifi be implemented around Ely? Why was it required? Who would use it? When could we deliver connectivity by? How would it be implemented to provide a strong, reliable signal for users?

Tracey Harding from Visit Ely outside Ely’s Tourist Information Centre

“Visit Ely is delighted to be consulted on this important project and work alongside East Cambs District Council to provide free wi-fi coverage to the city centre areas.  This is great news for visitors who can easily access online content such as hotel availability and restaurant locations on the go. They can share their experiences on social media; all of which makes Ely a more attractive place to visit.  This new infrastructure investment is just the first stage towards making Ely a smarter digitally connected city, whilst protecting users’ privacy by not collecting personal data. We are pleased to have helped deliver this speedy online connection so that visitors can fully experience and enjoy our historic city!”   

Tracey Harding, Tourism, Town Centres and Events Manager for Visit Ely

We looked at several technology options and decided that local specialists, Air Broadband, have the expertise to deliver a cost effective and comprehensive mesh network solution to Ely’s wifi requirements utilising their tried and tested network infrastructure.  Air Broadband’s solution also includes an easy to use connection to access to internet.

Following consultations, detailed planning to deliver optimum service for the public and traders was completed to map out the phases of the project, with the first stage of connectivity to include Market Square, High Street, Market Street, Forehill and around the Cathedral as a priority.   

Andrew Glover from Air Broadband installing equipment in Ely Cathedral

Ely Free Wifi uses base stations carefully hidden within Ely Cathedral’s West Tower as a vantage point to broadcast out across the Fens, providing an uninterrupted view of Ely’s main shopping and tourist areas.

We accompanied Air Broadband on a climb up the West Tower (288 steps!) as they installed the wifi equipment across Ely, linking these in turn to the superfast fibre optic connection at Ely Cathedral. After a climb into the belfry sits a small comms room, hidden from public view, installed many years ago by BT for their mobile service in the 1990’s. This comms room is now used to house servers for the fibre optic network into and around the Cathedral.  (Here’s a fact, the cabling from the rooftop aerials were originally installed by abseiling telecoms engineers and the servers, cabinets and server room construction materials where taken up to the belfry by means of a rope and trapdoor hidden in Jesus’ right foot!)

A soft launch of the installed wifi equipment around the market place in early November ensured the market traders could trial the new wireless network and we gathered their feedback on the service and what this would mean for their business.

Ely Free Wifi is now live. Simply find “Ely-Free-Wifi” on the list of available networks on your device and click “Connect” to get online. Ely Traders have a separate, password protected, network of their own.

System being trialled at the Christmas lights switch on event

Press release from Enterprise East Cambs

Customers raise a toast as Anglia Wines say farewell. 

Ely High Street wine merchants, Anglia Wines, has announced they are to close their doors in the New Year, as the shop’s owners return home to Australia.
The shop, which specialises in fine wine, spirits, beer and cigars from across the globe has been open since 2010. Owners Kate and Matthew Street took over in 2014 and hosted a farewell party for long standing loyal customers to make the announcement, ahead of their closing down sale starting later this month.
Gary Griffiths, Master Sommelier and loyal Anglia Wines customer is sorry to see Anglia Wines close. “To find someone like Matthew Street, with his in- depth knowledge and expertise in wine is so refreshing. He is always pleased to help and guide customers. I shall personally miss Matt and Kate and that expertise will be a loss to the High Street”.
Kate Street said: “Matthew and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Ely and will be very sad to leave our friends and customers behind as we return home to spend more time with family. We’d like to thank everyone for their custom over the years and encourage people to continue to use the local High Street and support their local businesses. It’s not all bad news though from us; we’ll be holding a significantly discounted closing down sale, as all stock must go. We look forward to having the opportunity to say farewell and thank you to customers in person around the festive season.”
Anglia Wines sale starts on Wednesday 12th December to the Christmas/New Year period. For more information follow the Anglia Wines Facebook page or visit

Press Release by Jo Evans

Ask for Angela Initiative Relaunched in East Cambs

Spotted in Ely yesterday (Monday) relaunched the initiative where a simple code word could help someone who feels insecure for many reasons while on a night out.

With the help of East Cambridgeshire District Council and the local Police, the “Ask For Angela” initiative is to be relaunched and reintroduced into local licenced establishments over the next week leading up to the Christmas season.

Back L to R: Stewart Broome, Licencing Officer ECDC, Cllr David Ambrose-Smith, Chair ECDC Community Services Committee, Mark Cooney, Editor of Spotted in Ely, Christopher Whelan, Manager RBK
Front L to R: Sgt Mark Rabel, Ely Police, Shona McKenzie, ECDC Neighbour Support Officer, Mayor Cllr Michael Rouse, Angela Parmenter, ECDC Housing Officer and Cllr Christine Ambrose-Smith


Maybe you are on a date and it doesn’t seem to be going as planned or just feeling a bit weird about someone hanging around. Well, you go to the bar or door staff and just Ask for Angela.

The campaign was kick-started back in 2016 in Lincolnshire and soon resonated around the world and was even endorsed by Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher over social media.

ECDC has recently received the White Ribbon Award for ensuring that people who feel abused are safe in our district and it is hoped the Ask for Angela campaign is a further step to increase the safety of not just women but also men in our area.

Mark Cooney, Editor of Spotted in Ely said, “I recently attended a safeguarding course delivered by a company from Cambridge who mentioned the campaign and having received distress calls from friends in my job as a part-time taxi driver, I could see how this could help. I plan to contact all licenced premises and have posters added to all available areas but furthermore ensure that all taxi drivers are aware of the campaign and the importance of getting someone to safety. Along with ECDC and Sgt Mark Rabel, we hope to offer training to those who can keep both women and men safe on a night out.”

At the launch of the campaign on Monday at Riverside Bar and Kitchen, Sgt Mark Rabel told us “It encourages people to discreetly ask for help by going to the bar and ‘Ask for Angela’ – a phrase aimed at alerting bar staff to the cry for help so they can help defuse the situation. A poster has been distributed to all licensed premise in East Cambs and is a visual aid which might provide a vital lifeline to someone who finds themselves in a difficult situation and can’t get out of it. ‘If you go to the bar and “Ask for Angela” the bar staff will know you need some help getting out of your situation and will call you a taxi or help you out discreetly – without too much fuss.’

“Very positive feedback has been received from the East Cambs Community Safety Partnership who have supported this initiative by organising the printing of the posters as well as using their relationships to have the local pubs place these posters in prominent places in their establishments.

“Keeping people safe is everybody’s business and this is a good example of the community working together. We are very grateful to Mark Cooney from Spotted in Ely for instigating this project.”

Chairperson of the Community Service Community, Cllr. David Ambrose Smith stated, “Ask for Angela is a simple strategy designed to keep both women & men safe. When what is expected to be an enjoyable evening out, perhaps a meeting set up online and the situation changes and becomes uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, “Ask for Angela” can provide a safe exit from the situation.”

What should you do if you feel uncomfortable on a night out or date?

  • Go to the Bar, find a member of staff or just approach someone you may recognise and “ASK FOR ANGELA”
  • This will highlight that you need help. You will be offered a place to wait away from the public area, out of sight. A taxi or a friend can be called, and you will be assisted to leave the venue out of the sight of the person(s) causing distress.
  • If you are in a licensed taxi, the driver will know not to leave you alone.
  • If necessary, the police can be involved.

Supporting Documents:

Win Colin, the 2 metre tall Bear who wants to Save Lives

Three Cups Walk business Pure Ely has been home to the very special guest whose mission is to now save lives.

Flirty Colin the Bear is up for grabs to one lucky person in a draw to fund a new defibrillator for Ely.

Standing over 2 metres tall and quite an impressive figure to move, Colin has pride of place in the shop window of Pure Ely run by local businesswoman Cheryl Bailey. The salon is now in its third year of trading.

One of the salon’s regular customers, Charlotte Salmons was the inspiration behind getting the life-saving piece of equipment that costs over a £1200.

Charlotte at just 31 suffered a cardiac arrest and thanks to the fast thinking of her husband James, is alive to tell the tale. However, 1 year later, mum of 2 suffered another arrest and has recently undergone surgery to help her through her heart issues.

Owner of Pure Ely, Cheryl said “Charlotte is a special customer of ours and when we heard her story, we just knew we had to do something. Next Monday, we are having every member of staff trained to be level 3 First Aiders and understand how to use the new defibrillator once installed.

“We hope lots of people come and buy tickets, Colin has become a member of our family and he took some effort to get into the shop. We hope the lucky person will enjoy him as much as we do. Everyone outside seems to love him, we’ve seen people coming up to the window and taking selfies”.

To help raise the money for the defibrillator, the shops beloved Colin is being raffled off and come 21st December, Colin could be sat enjoying Christmas Dinner in your home.

To enter, take £5 to Pure Ely and buy a strip. Every penny will be used to hopefully save lives in the future. The winner will be drawn on the 21st-22nd December via a live stream on Facebook from the Pure Ely page.

You can help spread the word about the competition by taking a selfie and using the #ColinSelfie on your social media.



What’s the difference between a Heart-Attack and a Cardiac Arrest?

There is a difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart stops and thus causes a section of the heart muscle to begin to die; whereas a cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating as a whole.

Ely to Celebrate Small Business Saturday with a HUGE GIVEAWAY

Ellgia a local, community-minded recycling company has pledged to raise the profile of small businesses this Christmas. Partnering with Visit Ely, Ellgia has called upon their wide network of business contacts to seek donations to come up with a variety of free giveaways this December.

Joe Hemsley-Rudd, Sales Director at Ellgia said: “We are a locally based company and have always been keen to support the community. We initially came up with the idea of asking our business contacts for donations for one Christmas hamper. However, we were bowled over with the response and so now have five luxury hampers to give away! Working with Visit Ely we have come up with what we believe is a fantastic celebration of local businesses as well as a great Christmas promotion for local residents.”

To be in with a chance of winning one of these five amazing hampers filled with fabulous gifts and vouchers from over 50 different businesses, simply e-mail and you will be automatically entered into the free prize draw. Alternatively, you can enter in person by calling into the Tourist Information Centre.

In addition, starting on Small Business Saturday (1st December), Visit Ely will be putting out a daily post on their Facebook page for the chance to win a bottle of fizz, courtesy of Ellgia along with a gift voucher kindly donated by some of our fabulous High Street shops and restaurants.

Tracey Harding, Visit Ely’s Manager said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Ellgia on this initiative to raise the profile of our independent shops and businesses and of course encourage everyone to shop locally this Christmas.”

The Christmas giveaways culminates with an evening event at Poets House for all the businesses who have supported the campaign. During the evening the Christmas prize draw winners will be drawn in spectacular style, details of which have yet to be revealed! A charity raffle will also be held with proceeds going to EACH, the local charity supporting families with children and young people with life-threatening conditions.

Lucy Frazer MP said: “I am delighted to support this initiative which highlights the valuable role small independent shops and businesses make to our town centres. Equally it is always rewarding to see company’s such as Ellgia who understand the importance of working with other businesses and supporting the community they serve.”

Driving Instructors across the Country Raise Funds for Children in Need with The Big Learner Relay

Hampshire driving instructor Louise Walsh is the inspiration behind ‘The Big Learner Relay for Children in Need’ planned for November this year. This two week event, now in its fifth year, features driving instructors and pupils across the country all getting together to raise money for Children in Need.

Driving Instructors will be relaying a top box, (the kind that driving instructors have on the roof of their cars), from one driving lesson to another around England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The relay starts with a day in Jersey on Monday 29th October followed by a day in Northern Ireland on Wednesday 31st October. The top box will then continue its convoy around the rest of the UK from Friday 2nd November. The grand finale will be a lap or two around Silverstone Race Circuit on Friday 16th November, which is the Children in Need Appeal Day 2018 – 17 days, 3000+ miles, over 190 lead driving lessons and many thousands of instructors and pupils joining the convoy!

With many months of planning, the route will cover in the region of 3,000 miles and driving instructors have been preparing to take part since May. Each instructor will come up with ways to raise funds in whichever way works for them, their pupils and their businesses. Some are getting together and are going to do something as a local group, some are working with local driving instructor associations and some are just doing things within their franchises or on their own. Ideas so far include sponsored lessons, fancy dress lessons, PJs for Pudsey and car washes. But by far the biggest fundraiser is ‘sponsor a spot’. Pupils, businesses and the general public are donating money to sign a coloured spot and stick it on the instructor’s car. Keep your eyes peeled for spotty cars across the UK.

In 2014, our first year, the total raised was over £65,000. This was £60,000 more than we believed we would achieve. Since then The Big Learner Relay for Children in Need has raised over £300,000.

We have a selection of driving Instructors that are involved on a more committed level by being lead cars. This is to ensure that every leg of the relay has a confirmed instructor and pupil in place to carry the top box to ensure the relay runs without a break in the chain.

The lead cars demonstrate the diversity in this profession; independent schools, franchises both national and local, Instructor trainers, instructors teaching in diesel, petrol and electric cars and instructors who specialise in teaching people with disabilities. Instructors in every part of the country are planning on joining the relay and convoying behind the top box lead car.

Not wanting to miss out on any of the fun, Louise is travelling the whole of the UK route in the back of each lead car’s lesson. She comments: “I am so looking forward to meeting the hundreds of participating instructors, taking photos, cheering the convoy on, updating the live feeds, communicating with the media and wearing my Big Learner Relay hoodie with pride as we travel around the country.”

The fifth year of the Big Learner Relay promises to be even bigger and better than the previous four years. The grand final will be held on Friday 16th November. We would like to thank Silverstone and the BBC for their ongoing support of the Big Learner Relay.

For more information on how to get involved please visit

Councillors pay a visit to award-winning Recycling Centre

Members from East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) were recently invited to visit an award-winning recycling company based in Lancaster Business Park.

The visit is a part of a wider effort to meet with and understand the needs of businesses from across the district.

Ellgia, who recently won a national award for Independent Operator of the Year at the MRW National Recycling Awards, pride themselves on using the latest technology to design bespoke waste solutions in Cambridgeshire.

Councillors and officers of ECDC were given a guided tour around the facilities where they gained an understanding of the business and an insight into recycling.

Ellgia presented their innovative ideas and methods for waste management to councillors, including how they fulfil their zero waste to landfill commitment. They not only offer recycling options for cardboard, paper, plastic, metal and rigid plastic but also converts leftover general waste into a material to fuel power stations and food waste into biogas. Creating renewable energy in this manner has saved thousands of tonnes of waste going to landfill.

Councillor Steve Cheetham, service delivery champion for economic development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Councillors thoroughly enjoyed their recent visit to Ellgia. It was a fantastic opportunity to see what the company does and how it works to reduce landfill.

“Ellgia is another example of a business that has decided to grow within the area, with two of their depots based right here in East Cambridgeshire and local offices close by.”.

Joe Hemsley-Rudd, Sales and Marketing Director said “It is great to have interest from East Cambridgeshire District Council. There is a really strong message that needs to be told with regards to waste management.

“Waste Management is now becoming a science as we are no longer just a recycling business, but a manufacturing business”.

For more information visit the Ellgia website at

Working together to showcase local businesses to the community

You might have seen advertorials on Spotted in Ely (SiE) for a while now and they’re growing in popularity.

An advertorial is a great way for a company to share what they do with their local community and for people to find out what’s available to them on their doorstep.

Spotted in Ely have partnered with Dot to Dot Business Development to help more businesses take advantage of this, with an exclusive offer. Dot to Dot will plan and write advertorials and businesses can take advantage of a special discounted advertising rate when booking a series over a month or even a year.

Dot to Dot Business Development specialises in helping small businesses to grow and are delighted to be working alongside Spotted in Ely. Carly Mason, of Dot to Dot said ‘Advertorials are a great way to join the dots between a business and a consumer. Working with SiE on advertorials means that we can help people to find things locally and to help local businesses thrive and showcase the very best of what they offer.’

But what is an advertorial?

An advertorial is a paid advertisement which is written in the style of an article. Spotted in Ely always make sure an advertorial is clearly marked, so you can decide whether it’s of interest to you
or not.

We’ve got some amazing businesses in Ely who are proud of what they do, and rightly so! An advertorial means they can share more about what they do, giving them a forum to reach the wider community without being limited to a small advert.

You can think of an advertorial a bit like a blog post – a chance for a business to tell the world what they’re up to and where they’re going next.

I run a local business, tell me more!

Mark Cooney, editor of Spotted in Ely says “Advertorials are the way forward. Plain graphics on a piece of paper just does not cut the mustard for advertisers any more and we are inundated with adverts already on our social media platforms so we have to be different. We’ve already enjoyed huge success with companies like Ely City Golf Club and 11A to see that advertorials work.”

The exclusive offer gives you two advertorials per month as well as listings on the SiE business directory. All this, for the low monthly fee of £149, if you are planning month to month or just £99 if
you sign up for 12 months. Dot to dot will help you to plan your advertorials and will take care of writing them for you. You’ll get the final say, of course, all content is yours also.

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, you can either contact Mark at Spotted in Ely on 07778576470 or email

What other services to do Spotted in Ely offer businesses?

SiE is massive now in Ely, a household name many would say and the first port of call for news and events. Over the past 5 years, we have worked on building our portfolio of services including our very successful jobs page which still offers the biggest platform for finding new team members in the local area. We also do video and photography work with our partner Inyoni Productions Ltd which can be used to make more impact on your advertorials and social media.

Spotted in Ely is trying to make your marketing needs affordable while trying to cover its own costs on a monthly basis.

One Project Opens another Begins – Work to commence on Underpass

Opening Ely Bypass on 31 October means work can seamlessly start on the next phase with the underpass work beginning the next morning (Thursday 1 November).

Once the bypass has opened, we can close the underpass to begin working on improving access for pedestrians and cyclists in the area. This closure will also encourage drivers to use the new improved road from the outset.

The bypass will open on 31 October in the afternoon but to minimise disruption during the evening rush hour, the underpass will be closed from 11am on Thursday 1 November.

The underpass work will be carried out under a 24/7 road closure and is expected to last up to 12 weeks, with access for cyclists and pedestrians maintained at all times. This allows the work to be completed safely and as quickly as possible and minimising costs.

By building a new bypass, the need for heavy goods vehicles to use the railway level crossing has been removed and they avoid an accident-prone-low-bridge.

Key features of the improved underpass scheme include the introduction of traffic lights at either side of the underpass to create space for a new shared use footway/cycleway, a new one-way cycle lane from Angel Square roundabout, and the existing pedestrian crossing will be upgraded allowing people to cross both carriageways at once.

The existing bus stops will also be re-located to Angel Drove as the new bus route avoids using Station Road when the level crossing is closed. Improved signage for the low bridge will be installed in new locations to provide more advance warning.

Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council Cllr Steve Count said: “Building a new bypass doesn’t just improve lives for car and lorry drivers. The new underpass facilities being carried out will benefit both pedestrians and cyclists with a new shared use path. We anticipate that by improving these facilities we are encouraging more people to walk or cycle into the city and it will reduce the number of cars.

“We are starting the underpass work at the same time as the bypass opens so that people can get into the habit of using the new road straight away. By closing the underpass 24/7 we also ensure our contractor can carry out the work as quickly and safely as possible.”

The closure of the level crossing and improvements to the underpass area are part of the planning conditions for the Ely Bypass. The new road will provide a huge boost for the area and will ease congestion in and around Ely by providing a new link between Stuntney Causeway and Angel Drove.

More details about the underpass scheme are available on

Registered Charity All In Sound needs your vote!

All In Sound are delighted and very excited to be through to the Voting Stage for the Aviva Community Fund to continue to build on the work they are doing in Ely and the surrounding villages.

All In Sound runs Sing! Together, a singing and music-making group for people living with dementia, memory loss and their carers in Ely on Monday mornings. Being successful with this grant application will enable the group to continue as well as allow All In Sound to reach out to more people through visiting and working in collaboration with local care homes, as well as inviting in more professional musicians, to work in a creative way in these settings.

An exciting time, All In Sound received charitable status in July this year and is looking forward to being able to bring lots of exciting initiatives that have great benefits to all involved

Please VOTE for All In Sound – follow this link and use your votes – you have 10!! –

June Massey, Chair of All In Sound states, “ Sing Together” is a project which will give people living with dementia and memory loss and their carers the opportunity to enjoy the many health and social benefits of making music together.”

For any more information about “All In Sound” and/or “Sing! Together” please contact Kathryn Rowland, All In Sound’s Director on 01353 662022 or email

Another High Street Shop to Close, New Look Announces

Image source: Google Maps

After being on Ely’s High Street for 23 years, women’s fashion retailer New Look is set to close its doors on November 19th.

Staff are said to be gutted according to a source close to a member of staff and it’s thought that rental costs of the property was the deciding factor. “They are all gutted! Been negotiating with the landlord for months but to no avail” was the comment given.

Earlier this year New Look did announce closures of up to 60 stores in order to restructure and make the business more profitable. This closure joins several others this year including Mr Simms, The Yarn Room and another fashion retailer Select.

Spotted in Ely approached New Look Press Office for a quote but didn’t want to give one at this time but did confirm closure will happen on the 19th November.



Rackhamed Up some cash for Warwick Davis’ Charity

Warwick Davis (star of films including Star Wars, Willow and Harry Potter) joined the children of Rackham C of E Primary School in Witchford today as part of Dwarfism Awareness Month.

Along with his wife, he spoke to the whole school in assembly about what life is like with dwarfism and how a positive outlook has helped him achieve so much success in his career.

Warwick was kind enough to spend time with one of our reception pupils and her family; she too has dwarfism and it was the ambition of our fantastic SENDCO, Amy Boyden, to make the experience as inclusive as possible that led her to reach out to Warwick’s charity, Little People UK.

The children and school staff have also spent the week busily fundraising. Our two reception classes took part in a sponsored pyjama walk, the whole school had a non-uniform day and the teachers took it in turns each morning to be on exercise bikes at the school gates, cycling the equivalent of Ely to London!

Everyone’s efforts combined raised an impressive £1,390 for Little People UK.

Total raised announced after Walk The Bridge

Over 2000 people turned up despite the wet weather to Walk the Bridge last weekend over the new Ely Southern Bypass.

The event was organised by Lady Ava Paice to raise money for Mcmillan Cancer Support. The amount counted in the bucket after the event was £5,046.43.

The organisers wish to offer a special thank you to Kings Ely and the small army of volunteers who helped with parking, as stewards and collectors.

The bypass is due to open on the 31st October as announced by Cambridgeshire County Council last week.

Did We Predict the Future in April? Is Nando’s Coming to Ely

On April 1st this year we played an April Fools saying that Nandos was opening in Ely on that day and many fell for it, including Jane who said, “Cruel joke to play on a pregnant lady who looooooves Nandos!!”

So did Spotted in Ely predict the future back then? Seems so. This is not a continuation of the April Fool, just thought we best get that in right now.

It seems a potential deal has been struck for the final unit on Ely’s Leisure Village as Nando’s are now advertising for a First Assistant Manager on the catering specialist website, The advert was discovered by eagle-eyed Twitter follower, Jemma Murfitt who tagged us earlier today.

Our April Fool highlighted that many in the area would like a Nando’s to accompany the other businesses on the park such as Arbuckles, McDonald’s, KFC etc. The fool reached nearly 18,000 people and received countless comments and many differing reactions.

Kate seemed in favour, “Just posted to Nando’s page…think they may want to know how many people would actually like this to happen…”

As did Lisa “That is the meanest April Fools EVER!!!, I’d give anything for an Ely Nandos.”

Not all comments where in favour, like Sue, “It wouldn’t bother me if it did open as I have never eaten in one and never intend to! Lol….hope this joke doesn’t become real”

Whatever your feelings about Nandos, it seems it is about to happen and we are going to predict something else now. It won’t happen before Christmas as the average fit out of the bigger premises has taken between 8 and 12 weeks to complete.

It will also mean that all units of the Leisure Village are now complete although a mystery surrounds the property sold to Chosen Bun.

If you want to see the original Facebook April Fool then CLICK HERE

Be One of the First to Walk Across the Bridge

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the MacMillan Walk Across the Bridge event this coming Sunday which will mark the imminent arrival of the opening of the long-awaited Ely Southern Bypass.

The event has been organised by Lady Ava Paice and is available for anyone to attend between 9 am and 12 noon.

Arrangements have been made for people to enter the bypass from the Stuntney side and will walk up to the middle of the bridge from where the viewing station will eventually be and then walk back. Buckets will be available for anyone to place donations of cash, all of which will go to MacMillan.

Children are invited to attend but the numbers of people expected are going to be high so caution getting to the site of entry is required.

Organisers are suggesting, anyone living in Ely should walk to the bypass as parking will be restricted. If the weather is good then parking will happen on the Amherst Playing Field between the station and the bypass, however, in case of bad weather, parking will be at the Kings School with a shuttle service in place to ferry participants to and from the bypass.

Stewards have been arranged to help people get to and from the site safely and to assist with parking.

For more information see the event in the event calendar:

A Great Starter to the Day at Inaugural Veterans Breakfast

The first Veterans Breakfast was held this morning (Saturday) organised by Les Wilson who was presented with the Super Breakfast.

Over 50 ex-service personnel and the Mayor of Ely Mike Rouse arrived at On Par to enjoy a networking session reserved for those who served their country in any of the armed forces. Predominately Army based lots of witty banter, cheering and booing (in good grace) took place as breakfast was served.

Meetings like these have been organised all over the UK for many years through the Official Armed Forces and Veterans Club organisation and is just the cost of breakfast to attend for those who have served. The organisation also serves as a support network providing a relax and friendly atmosphere to attend.

The next meeting will take place at On-Par on November 3rd. For more information email


Morbagging – Ely sets a Zero Plastic Bag Free City Target

Ely is the latest city to set a target of zero plastic bags following a trend around the world by Claire Morsman over 10 years ago.

The 5p plastic bag charge levied on customers has already saved potentially millions of bags going to landfill and entering into the worlds oceans. The 5p levy is to rise to 10p.

Globally over 1 million plastic bags are consumed per minute by marine wildlife. The national news has recently been widely publicising the devastating effects that this has had on the marine environment.

‘Ely Morsbaggers’ is the initiative of Sew Much To Do on High Street Passage and is calling on volunteers to help create the bags that local shoppers and visitors to Ely can use. It is hoped that some of those bags travel far and wide.

The website Morsbags has patterns that you can follow. Labels are available from either Ely Tourist Information Centre or Sew Much To Do, High Street Passage.

The community scheme led by volunteers is aiming to get 500 into circulation by Christmas.

Tracey Harding, Tourism, Town Centre and Events Manager for Visit Ely said: “This is a fantastic initiative and we really hope local people and businesses will become involved. We are extremely grateful to Sew Much to Do for co-ordinating a series of group sessions which will kick start the project and make Ely another step forward to becoming a plastic free city.”

Local shops will be given them for free and asked to encourage local shoppers to return them. Many supermarkets are no longer restocking plastic bags but encouraging customers to purchase the more expensive Bags for Life.

Ely’s Biggest Increase for Taxis

Today, 1st October sees the biggest increase in fares for taxis ever in East Cambridgeshire with a new timetable for rate changeover’s.

The council is responsible for setting the tariffs for fares to ensure fair pricing for customers and fair working pay for taxi drivers and operators.

Liz Knox, Environmental Services Manager at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “The option to increase prices came from a formal request from members of the taxi trade. Following June’s Licensing Committee, members agreed to consult on this matter.

Notice was given by East Cambridgeshire District Council in accordance with the provisions of section 65 of the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1976.”

The fares change in the following way.

Rate 1 – Mon to Sat 7am to 11pm excluding Bank Holidays. Start at £4 plus extras such as booking fee with the metre increasing by approximately £2 per mile in 20p increments.

Rate 2 – Mon to Sat 11pm to 7am excluding Bank Holidays. Starts at £5.50 plus extras and increasing like rate 1.

Rate 3 is Sunday rate from 7am to 7am Monday. Starts £4.50 plus extras and increases like rate 1.

Rate 4 is Bank Holidays and starts at £7 plus extras plus and increases by £3 per mile in 30p increments.

Should you have an enquiries please contact East Cambs District Council on 01353 665555.

New Speed Limit in Witcham

Pictured from left: Jane Huck sitting on horse Patsy, Sally Wilkin from Witcham Equestrian Centre, local County Councillor Lorna Dupré, Alan Hiscox from The British Horse Society, Jane Hart and James Tebbitt both from the Witcham Equestrian Society.

Quick News from Cambridgeshire County Council

A new speed limit scheme was formally marked in Witcham, near Ely, last week.

The local community, led by Witcham Equestrian Centre and the Parish Council, came together to campaign and raise funds for a speed reduction scheme in the village after a car collided with two horses and their riders last year.

Horses Patsy (pictured below) and Fleur were injured in the accident but made a full recovery. The scheme, reducing the speed limit from 40 to 30mph in various sections and install new signage, has now been installed.

A massive congratulations to the community in Witcham for this fantastic effort!

The picture above from left: Jane Huck sitting on horse Patsy, Sally Wilkin from Witcham Equestrian Centre, local County Councillor Lorna Dupré, Alan Hiscox from The British Horse Society, Jane Hart and James Tebbitt both from the Witcham Equestrian Society.

EDITOR REVIEW: Ian and Lola’s Pub Quiz

Last night (Tuesday), myself and Alison decided to check out the pub quiz in The Minster Tavern run by Ian McKendrick and assisted by his canine companion Lola.

We do like a pub quiz but this one seemed different. Having reviewed the event we saw that the quiz itself is run through your smartphone. I am always curious to see how the modern days of technology are improving the things we like to do on a regular basis.

If I am honest, I didn’t hold much of an expectation. Usually, these new ideas take a while to get right and often fraught with bugs that can ruin an experience. To my surprise, my expectations were completely wrong and found it was really simple to set up and take part.

The questions themselves come in 3 formats, words, numbers and a buzzer system. You don’t even have to spell names right as you only select the first letter of any answer and adding the fastest finger first for bonus points is genius. Each round has a clever scoring system that gives everyone a chance.

ROUND 1: ergh, my deepest fears – what happened in last weeks quiz. Sadly we were not there but it’s a great incentive to go next week and have the insider knowledge needed to excel in this round.

After 20 questions, we were winning!! Yes, we were in first last place and trailing by some points. I thought it was all over before it began.

ROUND 2: This weeks news. I watch and read the news so this should be easy for me. Actually, we did ok, clawed a few points back but I recommend you read a lot of celebrity news.

ROUND 3: A music quiz. You do need an in-depth knowledge of music. I know Ian’s music background is very clear to see in the questions asked. After round 2 and 3 we were still in last place but not so far behind. By this point, I had a few beers consumed and so I hope I am getting everything in the right order.

ROUND 4: TV Intros round – We love old TV programmes and so listening to old intros from Dady Army and Dallas was great fun and brought back some memories of childhood. This round changes every week with differing formats. Another good round for us and up to 5th.

After a short break, a secondary game was introduced called ‘Sing along a Bingo’. No, you don’t have to sing but they will be songs that you’ve probably picked up a hairbrush too. Lots of musical intros are played and you can use an app called Shazam to identify the songs. When a song is played and you have it on your bingo board, you tick it off, complete the pattern and shout BINGO!! Very simple and I am pleased to announce we won it!! Excellent.

Back to the quiz and ROUND 5: We really enjoyed this round, a buzzer round all about Queen. You wait for a song to be played of the several in a lineup and hit the buzzer on your smartphone when you hear it. Simple and you need to be quick to pick up the bonus points on offer.  A great round for us, up to equal 4th.

6th and final round: A general quiz and music trivia. We did ok and there was a bonus question at the end worth a massive 30 points.

We ended the evening in 4th place but we didn’t have to mark papers, it was very slick and overall really great fun and got to meet lots of lovely people taking part.

If I have one criticism, people stood at the bar began to make a lot of noise during the final rounds and made hearing the questions difficult in places but that should not stand in the way of how much time and effort Ian has put into his new venture.

If you are into your pub quizzing, this is one quiz you MUST check out every Tuesday night from 8pm. Ian spends a lot of time researching the questions and I think he is on to a real winner with the technology he has chosen to assist him with the quiz and I am sure for the £2 per person entry fee, it is affordable for everyone. Oh, and the £5.79 burger and drink deal is worth a take up too.

Do you recognise this man from the CCTV footage from Italian Jewellers in High Street Passage, Ely?

Took just 30 seconds for a man to steal a £3,000 ring from Jewellers in Ely

The man shown in the video below asked to see a ring at 2.49pm on Friday 14th September and within seconds has flown out of the door and towards Market Street.

He appears to be in his 20’s, black t-shirt with check collar, blue jeans, blonde hair, shaved around the sides and about 5’8 to 5’10 tall.

The shop assistant was shaken by the incident and thankfully not hurt.

If you have any information or were in the area on the 14th September at 2:49 then please contact the Police on 101 using crime reference number 287/14/9

Driver Hospitalised After Crashing into Boarding House

This morning a driver of a black Range Rover crashed in to the boarding house of Kings Ely on Back Hill opposite Barton Road.

The driver was hospitalised but details of their condition has not yet been realised. No one else was injured.

It appears at first glance that no other vehicle was involved and all emergencies services attended.

Despite being closed, all roads are now open and flowing freely.

Search for the 2018 Spud Runners!

The thrilling Ely Potato Race is close again to being under starter’s orders – with the team behind the event celebrating its seventh year.

The annual relay race, organised by Isle of Ely Produce in conjunction with over 30 local potato farmers, is being held on October 13 and will be officially started by Mayor of Ely, Mike Rouse.

The contest sees teams racing from Market Place to the end of the High Street, near the Cathedral. It is the only street based potato race in the world.

Last year we had racing potatoes (literally) Ambulance Crews plus a Firemen in full kit running the course.

Each competitor is required to run the race with a 20kg bag of potatoes on his or her back.

Oliver Boutwood, director of Isle of Ely Produce, said: “Last year’s race was amazing – more than 1,000 people lined the streets and helped us raise over £3,000 for local schools and charities.”

“The race fits in nicely with our campaign which highlights the journey the potato makes from field to the frier. It also brings agriculture into our city, and people love to see the races.”

The team – as well as calling for spectators and runners – are also looking for local sponsors. All money raised will go to local charities.

The race which also coincides with Ely Cathedral’s harvest festival starts at 11am. A schools race will also take place.

The cost of entering a team of two people is £10. Places are limited.

If you would like to enter please call 01353 863355 or email

Ely College want to show off their changes

Ely College management is inviting everyone to see changes made since CMAT (Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust) which it took over more than 2 years ago.

The event which takes place on October 11th between 5:30pm and 8:00pm will be to showcase changes made and advancements to the school over the last 2 years. Teachers, students and subject leaders will be on hand to show what the college can offer children in the area.

On their Facebook event, Ely College state “Open Evening at Ely College is THE event of the academic year and we welcome our local community to take a tour. Join us for a look at what we can offer your child and get involved in some wonderful activities host by our students, subject leaders and teachers. While this evening has prospective Year 5 and 6 students in mind, we encourage adults to have fun too!

Should you not be able to attend the event, Ely College has set aside another date of 12th October between 9am and 11:30am.

For more information see Open Evening Event

COLUMN: Swift Action at The Maltings

Wildlife needs to be protected where ever possible, so many are in decline and need to be helped where ever possible and I was delighted when a member for Action For Swifts contacted me at the City of Ely Council.

Swifts are migratory birds and arrive in the UK around April/May they stay long enough to breed and are off again around August back to Africa. They are monogamous and roost on the wing and only land between one breeding season and the next.

In helping these declining birds, I am pleased to inform and confirm that East Cambs District Council (owners of the Maltings ) and City of Ely Council ( lease holders of the Maltings ), have given their permission to install more swift boxes at the Maltings for these legally protected birds, that are in decline with their nest sites.

Installation of extra swift boxes will hopefully be installed ready for swift awareness week when the next breeding season starts in 2019.

Deputy Mayor of Ely Cllr Alison Arnold

Featured image shows an example of Swift Boxes

Outstanding Service to Cricket Award to local coaches

Congratulations to Ben Cross and Andrew Foster on their award at The NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Award ceremony.

The award was in recognition of their efforts in running Ely CC’s highly successful All Star Cricket programme.

Simon Cross, brother of Ben said to Spotted in Ely “I am biased as it’s my brother but Ben and Andrew are deserving of this recognition. They have done a great job of encouraging youngsters into cricket, as well as, helping the first team win promotion”

Well done chaps!

For more information about City of Ely Cricket Club visit their Twitter @ElyCricket

EOSA receives Calor Award and offers thanks to Ely

Just a few months ago we launched a campaign to help Ely Outdoor Sports Association get to the top of voting charts to win a £5,000 grant from the Calor Rural Community Fund.

Your help not only got EOSA to the top but we smashed the record for the most ever in the annual event.

Today, the award came and hopefully a new kitchen will be fitted very soon.

On their Facebook page, EOSA said “Thank you to all who voted for us. We are very proud and hope a new kitchen will arrive very soon”

Bishop Laney Sixth Form Celebrates Impressive Results

Students and staff at Bishop Laney Sixth Form are celebrating today, following another excellent set of results and a 100 per cent pass rate for its vocational courses.

Bishop Laney Sixth Form opened its doors in 2017 as a new collaboration between Ely College and Soham Village College to provide excellent post-16 education for students across East Cambridgeshire.

Currently the Sixth Form offers predominantly vocational and technical study programmes and therefore has no A Level results to report today. However, from this September, Bishop Laney Sixth Form will also be offering a suite of A Levels, alongside its successful suite of professional and vocational qualifications.

The Sixth Form achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for its vocational courses, with 56 per cent of results awarded at Distinction or Distinction* level and 93 per cent awarded at either Merit or Distinction level.

Principal of Ely College, Richard Spencer, said: “We are delighted with these results, which reflect a great deal of hard work from students and staff. We’d like to congratulate all of the students on their achievements. We are also very pleased that so many of our students have secured excellent university, employment or further training opportunities and we wish them all well for the future.

“These results demonstrate that Bishop Laney Sixth Form is already delivering excellent outcomes for students locally, and we are looking forward to expanding the curriculum to include some A Levels this year. Students in East Cambridgeshire deserve to be able to access excellent sixth form provision without the cost and stress of a long journey. We are delighted that Bishop Laney Sixth Form is successfully delivering that opportunity.”

A number of students achieved particularly high results including Holly Cole and Ewan Evans, who achieved Distinction* grades in Media, with Louisa Bennett and Brandom Ransome also attaining the top grade in their achievements; Louisa in Business and Brandon in Sports Science.

Within the Media department, all the grades achieved were at either distinction or distinction* levels, with Sports Science also performing noticeably well; 80% of the grades achieved were at the top two levels.

Our Business & Finance students also performed well, with all of our Level 3 Accounting students, completing the AAT Advanced Diploma at Merit level. The Personal Finance course, which is a core part of the Bishop Laney offer for Level 3 students, also added to the high achievers group, with over 20% students achieving an A grade.

Could Ely’s Leisure Village Underpass be getting a makeover and can you help?

We often receive messages regarding the graffiti that appears on the wall of the underpass leading to Ely’s new Leisure Village and we have today spoken with an officer at the Council who tells Spotted in Ely, that they are aware and plans are underway to make big changes.

When plans for the new underpass where unveiled, several people approached us and asked about making a community mural from graffiti and we thought it was a great idea at the time but due to red tape, various owners of various plots made it impractical at the time.

The officer from East Cambs is now in talks with highways about how the local mural will benefit the underpass and any further graffiti will then be easily removed with the artwork having a special coating to protect it. Although agreements are not in place, we need local artists to come forward and help create the masterpiece like the examples below.

With the help of Spotted in Ely, East Cambs will approach the Highways Department from Cambridgeshire County Council and seek permission for work to begin.

Are you a local artist or know someone who can assist in designing and creating a lifelong masterpiece for the barren walls? Then please email me, and let us turn an eyesore into a place to visit.

Sad day for retailers as an Ely Favourite is set to close

Mr Simms Sweet Shop on the High Street in Ely is set to close.

In an announcement this morning, owner and manager David Learner said, “It’s with great sadness that I have to tell you that Mr Simms Ely will be closing soon. The combined efforts of business rates and the fading footfall on the High Street have made the renewal of our lease impossible. A final trading date will be announced shortly”.

The favorite shop of all children opened 5 years and has enjoyed a sweet success until recently, it seems.

Many have already taken to social media to say how sad the day has become with the news. Elizabeth said, “What sad news not only for yourselves but also the residents of Ely. My grandchildren love coming in and choosing some favourites. good luck for the future” and Zoe said, “This is such sad news, Evie and I absolutely love your shop, for its wonderful selection, but also it’s wonderful friendly staff.  We wish you all the best, and hope your next adventure is a good one.”

David is also known for his generosity after giving away stock and prizes to local charity giveaways and for establishing Ely 501, the writing competition for children.

David, seen in a video we shot with him back in 2015 also said in his release, “If you have any unused Mr Simms Ely gift vouchers or Pick n Mix cards, please ensure these are used as soon as possible as they may not be used at any other branch Mr Simms.

“Thank you. The past five years have been truly extraordinary and a wonderful adventure.”

From everyone at Spotted in Ely we wish David and Jane all the best on the future and hope they find another project to fuel their passion soon.

Soham Groups Benefit from the Carnival Atmosphere

For the past 65 years, the Carnival has been staged every year to raise money to go back into the local community. This year The Carnival raised £7500.00 to donate to various Schools, Charities, Clubs and Organisations.

Our main beneficiaries this year were the 3 Primary schools in Soham.  St Andrews, The Shade and The Weatheralls who were each presented with £1500.00 each.

The remainder of the money was distributed to our other beneficiaries which included Soham First Responders, Pos+Ability, Daisy’s cause, Cruse Bereavement Services, Soham Bowls club, VIVA  Arts,  KD Theatre Productions, Soham North Chapel, Molyn,  Soham Day Centre,, Soham Comrades Band, Soham Over 60’s, Royal British Legion-Soham Branch and Soham Christmas Lights.

We also presented our Townspersons of the year, John and Helen Attlesey with the Townsperson Cup- Every year John and Helen decorate their house with an amazing Christmas lights display whilst raising money for Charity at the same time. It’s truly a magical experience for the children and adults alike of Soham and surrounding areas. Many congratulations and thanks to them- we all appreciate their kindness and generosity.

The Carnival 2019  is to be held on Monday 27th  May at the Recreation ground Soham.

You can keep up to date with information on our Facebook page.

If you would like to get involved with the 2019   Carnival please email

Another Year for Ely’s Green Flags

Keep Britain Tidy’s green flags will continue to fly high in Jubilee Gardens and Ely Country Park thanks to the hard work of volunteers and East Cambridgeshire District Council’s open spaces team.

Ely Country Park and Jubilee Gardens have received recognition from Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award for 2018 this week, which recognises them as some of the UK’s very best green spaces. This is the 14th year that Jubilee Gardens have been awarded a Green Flag and the 5th year of recognition for Ely Country Park.

Councillor David Ambrose-Smith, Chair of the Community Services Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Our open spaces team work very hard to uphold the high standards which come with being accredited by the Green Flag Awards scheme. This is just one way that the council keeps to its commitment of making the district a fantastic place to live, work and visit.”

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that Ely Country Park and Jubilee Gardens boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, with more Green Flags awarded this year than last year.”

“Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to enjoy, and hope that next year, we award even more flags.”

Ely Country Park’s green flag award comes after an already successful year following accredited country park status by National England. Over the past year work and improvements to the park includes the installation of a play ship, new seating provision and the provision of toilets during the summer months.

Jubilee Gardens was opened in 2002 by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate the Golden Jubilee year of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The gardens are supported financially and practically by the friends of Jubilee Gardens and are currently rated number 5 out of 34 ‘things to do in Ely’ on Trip Advisor.

Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag Award status.

Press Release by East Cambridgeshire District Council

Spring Meadow School, make nearly a third of all support staff redundant before the end of term.

Spring Meadow school, an infant and nursery school with an assessment unit in Ely plans to make nearly a third of all support staff redundant before the end of term.
Spring Meadow school launched a three week long consultation with all support staff on 11.6.18, proposing to lose 19 support staff, with 22 jobs at risk. Spring Meadow School cites a falling school role and subsequent loss of £80 thousand pounds of school funding as the rationale for the proposed job cuts.
Currently there are 65 non teaching job roles (some staff have more than one role) and it is proposed to reduce this to 48 job roles, with a new structure in place for September 2018.
The majority of posts proposed for redundancy are staff directly supporting children’s learning and welfare, mainly amongst teaching assistants, with midday assistants and supervisors and school facilities staff also facing job losses. Other posts planned to have reduction in hours include nursery lunchtime club, administrative staff and the family support worker.
The majority of the support staff at risk at the school are UNISON members and they fear the effects of the redundancies upon the welfare and education of the children at Spring Meadow School. The end of consultation has now been shifted to 2nd July, with staff due to hear if they have lost their jobs ten days before the end of term.
Julia Drummond, an organiser from Unison Cambs County branch said: “We believe these cuts to be sort sighted due to the imminent  housing development at Kings Meadow, which will soon increase the pupil numbers at Spring Meadow School. A local authority school such as Spring Meadow could bolster their finances with a deficit budget until numbers increase, rather than lose experienced staff who work hard to do their best for all the children at the school”
Management claim that the school is “over staffed” which is hotly disputed by Unison and their members at the school.
Julia Drummond said: “We are gravely concerned that parents and the local community have had no say or involvement in the the proposal to lose 19 roles supporting children’s welfare and learning at Spring Meadow School. Currently they are unaware of the proposals and are due to find out after the redundancies have been made. This consultation appears to be a rush job.”
Press Release from Julia Drummond Unison Cambs County branch

Try The King of Summer Sports for Free

It’s day’s like these you imagine being at Centre Court watching famous names like Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Johanna Konta but somewhere is history these guys have learned to play tennis at their local courts. Probably with a knock about using their local coach to see if the enjoyment and love for one of the UK’s most viewed sports was burning inside them.
Maybe you watch Wimbledon on the tele and think “I would love to play” or you have a need to get fit and want an outdoor activity that can be played at any pace.
This weekend, 12th May, Ely Tennis Club is opening their doors for anyone, any age, any ability to just come and “GIVE IT A GO”.
You do not need to bring anything as rackets and balls will be supplied and the 10is Academy coaches will be on hand to give you tips and advice.
The open day last year was so well attended that this year you will need to register your interest to attend by going to It’s very simple to do.
The club will be open from 12 noon till 5pm this Saturday, 12th May and is located behind the Leisure Village and next to the Rugby and Football Club.

Spotted in Ely – Issue 11 – Truly Heartwarming Appeal

In this weeks Spotted in Ely eMagazine – Meet the youth offer their friendship to Florida, The Marathon Runners and much more.
We have a competition for you this week, check out our Facebook page for more details.

Competition Terms & Conditions
You must be able to collect your prize from a CB6 or CB7 postcode.
You must be over 18
Family of Spotted in Ely staff may NOT enter
Entry close midday Sunday 29th April. Entries after this date and time will not count
Winner will be announced in next weeks eMagazine.

Emotional Bon Voyage to former owners of Drayman's Son

Ely Campaign for Real Ale (CamRA) were once again out in force this weekend to present awards to the winning establishments but like the last 2 years, Ely’s awards didn’t take long as all 3 applicable awards went to The Drayman’s Son.
This year however was different as a fourth and exclusive award was presented to Andy and Jo Pearson, who recently sold the pub on Forehill to Dan, Alex and Stu, also known as Three Blind Mice, after the micro-brewery they run.
The fourth award was in recognition and service to serving real ale in Ely and has never been presented before. In speaking to the crowd at the Draymans, Andy said, “It’s been an honour owning this place and we will miss it but we only sold to a group of fellas who we know will do whats right and carry on where we left off”.
The other 3 awards presented were the City Pub of the Year, Cider Pub of the Year and Overall Pub of the Year and it is now the third year in a row that the Ely attraction has scooped all the awards.
In speaking, Dan from Three Blind Mice said, “We wish Andy and Jo all the best as they head to pasture new but we will continue to keep up the good work they leave behind”.

Ellgia aims to raise £12,000 for Macmillian

Waste Company, Ellgia based at Lancaster Way plan to raise over £12,000 over the next 12 months for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Last year, the same partnership raised over £5,000 when Managing Director Steve Cook and Technical Director Cameron Murdoch took on the Berlin Marathon.

Steve Crook – MD , James Murdoch and Cameron Murdoch – Technical Director

Macmillan is the UK’s leading cancer care charity, with the purpose of improving the lives of anyone affected by cancer. From diagnosis, through to treatment and beyond, Macmillan are a constant source of support.
Michelle Hutchinson, Fundraising Manager at Macmillan said “Nearly 84 people every week in Cambridgeshire hear the overwhelming news that they have cancer and currently Macmillan cannot be there for everyone. We are delighted to be working with Ellgia in Ely, as with their help we can reach more people and raise more money to support people affected by cancer.”
Steve Crook, Managing Director said: “After the success of last year’s fundraising for the Berlin Marathon, we are delighted to team up with Macmillan again and announce them as our Charity of the year. The charity to close of many people’s hearts and we hope to make an even bigger difference this year.”

Countdown to the Hive Opening – Spotted in Ely Exclusive

The countdown has begun for the launch of Ely’s new leisure centre, with a month to go until it opens, Spotted in Ely can reveal.

The Hive is due to open on May 14, with a “soft opening” for swimming lessons transferring from the Paradise Pools set for May 7.
Today Spotted in Ely got an exclusive interview with GLL’s Cambridgeshire partnership manager Daryl Emes, to find out more about the new centre, named to reflect Ely’s Fen heritage.
Although he plans an official launch for The Hive on May 14, there will be an open weekend on May 12-13 so that people can try free tasters and activities and get a look around.
Mr Emes said: “The layout of it is fantastic… It’s an amazing gym – probably one of the best I’ve seen and I’ve been in the leisure industry for 15 or 16 years.”

To find out more check out our latest podcast, featuring the full interview with Mr Emes, including membership details, pricing, details about lane swimming and kids’ activities.

Sparks Fly for 2 more Ely groups who benefit from Fireworks Cash Giveaway

Thanks to the suggestions of local Ely residents, the team who put on the Ely fireworks display last year have now donated a total of £2,000 to local good causes following the success of the 2017 event. So many amazing local causes were nominated that the team are evaluating many of the other groups that approached us for help.
The latest recipients of much needed funds are All in Sound, for their project ‘Sing! Together’ which is a group for people living with dementia, and Helping Little Hands Play, which helps children with disabilities to build their skills.
Kathryn from All in Sound said “Thank you once again to Ely Fireworks – without donations such as these we cannot make these projects happen, so thank you from ourselves and everyone who comes along to Sing! Together.”
The impact of the funds raised in the 2017 event has spread widely throughout the community, with previous recipients including The Forest School, who were the winners of the guy competition, The Royal British Legion, Global’s Make Some Noise and Ely Hereward Rotary. You can see full details of the donations and find out more about each group and the amazing work they do on the Ely Fireworks website.
The annual fireworks display is a long-standing event which has been running for 43 years and last year, following an accident in 2016, Ely Fireworks Ltd was formed with the sole purpose of continuing the tradition of providing the wonderful Ely community a spectacular, well managed and safe firework display.
One thing that hasn’t changed however, the community is at the heart of it.
We hope that our bid to manage the 44th  Ely fireworks spectacular will be successful and that the Ely community can again enjoy a safe and spectacular evening of fun in 2018. We aim to get the local community involved even further this year with involvement from more local groups. As part of last year’s planning we made every attempt to involve as many local groups as possible. In part due to timescales, some were unable to participate. We plan to approach these organisations again this year to ensure they can be part of this special event.
We had some excellent feedback from the 2017 event, with comments such as “Best ever! Spectacular display!” and “Best fireworks I’ve seen in Ely for a long time. Well done all involved!” We hope to bring Ely something even more special for the 2018 event and raise even more funds for local charities and community groups.
Press Release by Carly Mason, Ely Fireworks Ltd

Thirteen Million over budget but milestones passed and due to open in October

The project to build the Southern Bypass around Ely has now passed several major milestones.

Ely Southern Bypass will provide a huge boost for the area and will ease congestion in and around Ely by providing a new link between Stuntney Causeway and Angel Drove.
The new route will remove the need for heavy goods vehicles to use the railway level crossing, and avoid an accident-prone low-bridge.
Construction is progressing well, with the eastern, central and western embankments built. The abutments, which is where the bridge starts and ends, and the central pier over the railway are also complete.
The steel beams, weighing up to 350 tonnes each, which form the bridge decks have now been lifted into place.
Appreciating how important the scheme is to alleviate the misery felt by many residents in the area, working with partners the County Council found the initial funding to develop the much-needed scheme as early as possible to get the work underway.
Working under tricky conditions such as building on a floodplain and near a national heritage site has meant costs have increased by £13 million, which we’re working with our contractor to minimise.
Cllr Ian Bates, chairman of the County Council’s Economy and Environment committee, said: “Ely Southern Bypass has been a much wanted scheme for more than 20 years and there is no doubt it will ease congestion in Ely.
“We all took the brave decision to procure the contract early to get the scheme off the ground and the cost of the scheme is the reality of building in such a difficult area. Although this increase in costs is disappointing, we are clear the costs would have been much the same if we had waited, but we wanted to push ahead and get the road built as soon as possible. If we hadn’t taken that decision, the project would have been delayed a further 12-18 months and funding may have been lost.
“We have a good working relationship with our contractor and construction is progressing well. We’re all working hard to achieve the best result and get the new road open as soon as possible.”
The new bypass is being built across an area of poor ground conditions, which have been even worse and more unpredictable than expected. Building across a flood plain and poor fenland soils has resulted in large amounts of additional work and material being needed.
The depth of the foundations for the river viaduct is two thirds the height of the Cathedral – much more than expected. Also, as Ely Cathedral is a national heritage site, a unique, specially designed viaduct needed to be created which has given the team significant challenges. The viaduct will include a separate walkway allowing the public to cross the river.
The new road is expected to open in October 2018. Once the bypass has opened, the existing underpass at the low bridge will be improved for pedestrians and cyclists.
This project has been funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, East Cambs District Council, Network Rail and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership grant – £22m Growth Deal including £16m from DfT.
Press Release by Cambridgeshire County Council

Big Issue founder and Social Entrepreneur, Lord John Bird to speak in Ely

Co-founder of The Big Issue, Lord John Bird is to be the keynote speaker at Ely Cathedral 2018 Celebration of Business.

Lord Bird, who entered the House of Lords in 2016 has endured a chequered life, living in orphanages, on the streets and a spell in prison where he learned to read and write.
In the 70’s he worked in the Houses of Parliament washing dishes before setting up his small scale printing and publishing business to which he grew until 1991 when alongside Body Shop owner, Gordon Riddick, “The Big Issue” was created.
Although in the early days, the publication was a London magazine, it quickly spread across the UK into other cities and towns and then other countries. It is now produced in 34 countries and available in 24 languages.
The company now incorporates many others businesses all set around creating social change.
You have the opportunity to see and hear Lord Bird at The Celebration of Business, ‘Tough Times: Good Business’ on Tuesday 24th April at Ely Cathedral.
This years celebration, run by the Ely Cathedral Business Group, is just over one day unlike previous years where the exhibitors set up for a weekend of display.
To register as an exhibitor or visitor and hear the keynote visit:

YEH! Secures ‘Centre E’ on Barton Road in Ely until 2030

YEH!, the charity which runs Centre E on Barton Road in Ely, has been granted an extended lease on the building until 2030 by Cambridgeshire County Council, helping to secure the future of the building.
Youth Ely Hub Charitable Incorporated Organisation, a registered charity, was set up by local Councillor Elaine Griffin-Singh, with the support of fellow City of Ely, District and County Council colleagues. The charity took over the management of Centre E in 2015 to secure the community facilities and especially to provide a space from which youth services could operate. The County Council granted a short term, “less than best lease” on Centre E at nil cost for the first year, with the organisation paying 10% of income thereafter, but the lease was due to expire in 2020.
Since it began, the organisation has gone from strength to strength developing a strong volunteer committee and a huge variety of charities, community groups, social, health, and youth services running out of the building. Rooms are available to hire at community friendly rates for local groups.
Over 50 organisations currently operate from the building which also includes a number of County Council services. Centre 33 is a permanent onsite charity which provides counselling and support services for young people.
As well as the large main hall, the building has a number of counselling rooms and a purpose built therapy room for hire on an hourly basis to local service providers. Sanctuary Housing Association is currently looking to support the charity by donating computers and furniture to develop a community computer suite and DVLA have now moved their local theory driving test centre to Centre E. Later in the year, the building will also be hosting a week long free public educational science exhibition for children organised by the Cambridge Science Centre.
With the lease extension, YEH! can now apply for grant funding to improve the facilities. The vision includes extending the size of the Main Hall, new lighting and sound equipment, staging and a kitchen refit – subject to agreement by the landlord, Cambridgeshire County Council. Cllr Elaine Griffin-Singh said: “I am delighted that the County Council has granted Anna Bailey, speaking about her A10 upgrade motion at a Full Council meeting
at Shire Hall in May this extension to the lease so that we can pursue the grant funding. The upgrade will improve the Centre for our current users and significantly enhance the offer of new services which will secure the future of Centre E.”
County Councillor for Ely South, Cllr Anna Bailey helped to secure the lease in 2015 and supported the effort to get the lease extended. In her statement to the Commercial and Investment Committee at the County Council, Anna said: “Centre E is a well-loved and incredibly well used community building, which has become an absolute hub with an emphasis on activities and services for the community and young people. There is little doubt that this facility is helping to support community resilience in and around Ely.”
COLUMN: Councillor Anna Bailey

Drayman's to be run by Three Blind Mice!

A new era for Ely’s micropub is now official as local brewery partners, Dan, Alex and Stu, also known as Three Blind Mice purchase the award-winning establishment.
The pub went through a regeneration a couple of years ago when Andy and Jo Pearson bought the then named Liberty Bell and renamed it on behalf of Andys father to “Draymans Son”.
The Pearsons turned this one-time part-time business into a bustling enterprise which now features high on the Trip Advisor places to visit and has won the 3 available award from the local Camra society for the last 3 years.
In a joint statement to Spotted in Ely Jo and Andy said, “The Drayman’s was part of mine and Jo’s hearts. We lived it and loved it. The fact that Jo allowed it to be named after my father said it all. When we decided to sell, Three Blind Mice stated they wanted to buy. It was perfect, we loved the brewery and the three lads are our friends. Our dream is in safe hands and both of us wish them the very best for the future. We know they will take it to another level and be successful.”
When taking over the pub, the new owners said, “When an opportunity to be seriously involved in your favourite pub presents itself, it’s hard to refuse. In our humble opinion, the best pub in Ely was up for sale and we really wanted it! Shep and Jo told us their plans to move on to pastures new, and how they wanted to leave their legacy in good hands, so how could we refuse!
“The Drayman’s Son, a second home for so many, a community, an institution, a truly wonderful place to hang out and chat with lovely people, was up for the taking and we had a chance to be the new owners! After a meeting (or two) with the solicitors, all was done. And since the start of March, Three Blind Mice have take the helm. With the great support of the fantastic staff, Rob, Glenn, Stan, Zoe, Jacqui, and Ant, The Drayman’s Son is now not just our favourite pub, it’s our pub! So, come down and join us for a beer and a chat whenever you’re free!”

Deanta opens its Doors on Lancaster Way

Official Opening of Deanta UK Office and Warehouse Facility on Lancaster Way Business Park

On Friday the 23 rd March Deanta UK officially opened their new HQ facility at Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely.  Lucy Frazer MP for South East Cambridgeshire attended a Champagne reception and ribbon cutting to officially open the new facility which will employ up to 70 people within the next 2 years.
Deanta UK, designs, manufactures and distributes a range of real wood and veneer internal doors and look to provide excellent customer service, deliver a quality product and innovate to stay ahead of current trends.

Lucy commented “Back in early 2017 I attended site to witness the start of construction, 12 months on it is fantastic to see the completed building full of Deanta product and a busy workforce of over 40 people who are enjoying their new work environment.  Deanta are a dynamic team with a clear vision and I wish them every success for the future”.
Mike O’Toole Managing Director at Deanta UK said “Todays celebration provides attendees with a great opportunity to explore our new bespoke workplace and see how well the accommodation works to drive business activity forward.  Being located at Lancaster Way Business Park (part of the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone) means we have been able to safe guard land for future expansion and we also benefit from some business rates relief.  The building measures an impressive 48,000 sq. ft. and includes state of the art office accommodation and extensive warehouse space allowing plenty of room to grow”.

The best-kept secret in Ely: Ely City Golf Club

As you come into Ely along Cambridge Road, you’ll see Ely City Golf Club.  What you can’t see from the road is that if you turn in instead of driving past, you’ll be treated to one of the best views in Ely. A stunning 110-acre parkland course with a mature woodland and majestic views of the Cathedral.
While you’re there, why not stop for a drink or bite of lunch in the Clubhouse Bar and Restaurant. Enjoy a freshly prepared meal or a coffee in the lounge overlooking the beautiful course or on the large terrace if the weather’s good. If you’re looking for a great Sunday carvery, then look no further. A great family venue with plenty of space to park. You can even hire the Club as a venue for your special event.

Oh, and you don’t need to be a member. The doors are open to everyone, all year round.

Long gone are the days where the Club – one of the top three courses in Cambridgeshire – is exclusively for members and experienced golfers. Whatever your level of experience, you’ll be welcomed by the friendly team. If you’re looking to take up golf or improve your game, you can book lessons with a fully qualified golf pro to get you on the right track. There’s even a fully-stocked shop to meet all of your golfing needs. You can hire the Club for business meetings or sign-up for business membership to give your employees an excellent staff benefit.

Ely City Golf Club is much more than a round of golf.

Although you don’t need to be a member, becoming one brings some excellent benefits. Being a member is a great way of spending quality time with the family. There’s a full calendar of events all year round and you’ll make some great, long-lasting family friends. It’s not just about a round of golf, you’ll be part of a community.
If you’re thinking of taking up a sport this year, then golf is certainly one to consider. Golf is great for your health and wellbeing. A round of golf at Ely City Golf Club takes you on a five-mile walk in beautiful parklands where you can enjoy nature, get some exercise and good, healthy fresh air to boot!

If membership is for you, there’s no better time to join, with an offer on adult membership to celebrate this years’ Masters. The Masters’ Membership is a 7-day promotion running during the 82nd staging of the Masters from April 1st to April 8th.  Adult Memberships will be available from the clubhouse for a joining fee of £82, usually £600. New members will also receive the Welcome Pack with a retail value of £100 – branded balls, pitch repairer, club shirt and bag towel.
So next time your thinking about a round of golf, going for a drink, or out for Sunday lunch, drop in and visit Ely City Golf Club and enjoy the friendly welcome and beautiful surroundings of Ely’s best-kept secret.
#promotion by Ely City Golf Course, written by Carly Mason

Spring Tour Event – Your chance to discover more about King’s Ely Nursery, King’s Ely Acremont and King’s Ely Junior

WE know that if we could bottle the spirit of King’s Ely we would be onto a real winner, but we would like you to come and experience it for yourself.

On Friday March 23rd, we are doing just that by hosting a Spring Tour Event for families interested in joining King’s Ely Nursery (ages 1-4), King’s Ely Acremont (ages 4-7) and/or King’s Ely Junior (ages 7-11).
Come and see how the adventure of a King’s Ely education enables pupils of all ages to flourish. Whether a student shines in a classroom or lab, on a stage, on a pitch or on a mountainside, our school promises an abundance of opportunity for personal development, both academically and socially.
We empower our pupils to challenge themselves, to push beyond the boundaries of their own expectations and to achieve more than they ever believed possible. Innovative approaches to teaching and learning are the hallmark of every section of King’s Ely. Through a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils develop the self-knowledge and inner resilience that will enable them to face the challenges of an ever-changing world.
King’s Ely is a family – a community that is vibrant, nurturing and inclusive. We are a school that can take each child on a seamless journey, travelling from one section to the next, whilst welcoming newcomers at key transition stages, giving support and adapting the offering to the needs of every child in our care.
Only by visiting King’s Ely can you feel the energy and warmth of our community. To book your place on our Spring Tour Event on Friday March 23rd, or for more information, please visit or call Admissions on (01353) 660707.
Advertorial by King’s Ely

Conservatives Set to Reject Proposals to Increase Charges for Social Care Services

Press Release by Councillor Anna Bailey – 6th March 2018
Conservatives at Cambridgeshire County Council have agreed to prioritise and protect support for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and their carers, by rejecting the three main proposals to change the way that adults with learning and physical disabilities and mental health issues are charged for social care services.
The proposals, which are due to be discussed by the Adults Committee on Thursday this week came about as a response to the Care Act, and would have brought Cambridgeshire into line with the charging policies of many other local authorities with social care responsibilities.
Conservative Chairman of the Adults Committee, Cllr Anna Bailey said: “Given that many other local authorities with social care responsibilities already levy these charges, given the changes arising from the Care Act, and given the Council’s funding situation, it was right to consider these changes and to consult residents. However, Cambridgeshire has long stated that it will prioritise support and services to the most vulnerable in our communities and following the feedback we received we are determined to continue doing just that.
“People that this would have affected have some of the highest level of social care needs; it matters little to those people and their families whether the income they have to support them with their disability comes from central Government or through locally funded support, what matters is that they can continue to live as full a life as possible.”
The proposals, due to be considered on Thursday, include taking the enhanced level of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) into account as income in the financial assessment process; changing the charging rules for people going into residential based respite care; charging people for support to run their financial affairs; and making direct debits the default method of paying social care contributions.
The last of the proposals, relating to direct debits, received a good level of support in the consultation and Conservatives will therefore support this, but will ensure that people have the option of other methods of payment too. The other three proposals will not be supported by Conservatives.
The proposed changes were predicted to make savings of around £282k in 2018/19 and the Council will now need to look at other ways of making those savings. Cllr Anna Bailey said: “The Council still has to make savings of some £82.5m over the next five years and we will need to consider where else the savings can come from. This really does highlight the need to keep pushing for a fairer funding deal for Cambridgeshire from central Government and we are delighted that Government has recognised the need to overhaul the system by launching a consultation which the Council will of course be responding to.
“We also continue to work hard on more radical reforms, such as the Neighbourhood Cares project which we are currently trialling in Soham and St Ives. We hope that Neighbourhood Cares, which is a highly localised, more human, flexible, and responsive model of delivering support, will provide better outcomes for less cost and will help the Council to get adult social care onto a sustainable footing for the future.”

Your help is needed to make the 2018 Ely Fireworks event go off with a bang!

The 2017 Fireworks event was produced by Ely fireworks Ltd who started the planning without a single penny in the bank. A grant was received from City of Ely Council for £500 but the rest of the funding came from just one generous individual who made a donation to make this important event possible. The hope was to produce a great community event and to raise enough money to make charitable contributions and help local good causes.
Putting on such a very well received and successful community event is a massive privilege which makes all the hard work and stress behind the scenes worthwhile. The only thing that tops that, and it’s because of your support, Ely Fireworks has been able to make donations to three charities and one local group. But we want to do more and need your help!
We would like to make one further donation to a local cause before this year’s event and we need your suggestions. If you know of a good cause, send an email to or visit before March 5th and help us to decide which local good cause should get our next gift.

It may only be February, but putting on a fireworks spectacular takes a lot of planning and this years’ event is already in the works.
2018 heralds 100 years since the end of conflict of the First World War, Ely Fireworks Ltd intends to make donations to Help the Heroes and again to The Royal British Legion. Global’s Make Some Noise associated to Heart FM and others will also receive our support and locally the Guy competition winner’s school will receive a cash prize.
We want to share our success with local business interested in their community who want to help support the event through sponsorship. Please contact for information on our sponsor options and to be part of making the 2018 event even more spectacular!

Food Supply Chain Industry Benefits The Economy In East Cambridgeshire

One of Cambridgeshire’s leading food supply chain specialists opened its doors to members of local and central government to showcase the inner workings of their purpose built processing and repack facilities in Newmarket.  Susanne Devanney from the Department for International Trade (DIT), MP Lucy Frazer and a number of East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) Councillors were given a tour of the premises which produces a wide range of chilled and frozen products for the retail, food service and ingredients markets.

Mark Cheadle, Managing Director at CP Foods (UK) Limited, said: “We were delighted to welcome Susanne, Lucy and all the ECDC delegates to our Newmarket facility. Having the support of the DIT and local government officers is important to our continued investment in the area. It was a good opportunity for us to showcase our operations here in the UK and to demonstrate the global reach and growth opportunities we have from being part of one of the world’s leading listed agro-industrial food conglomerates, Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited.”

CP Foods (UK) Ltd has invested heavily in the local area, with the construction of two state-of-the-art sites over 35,000 ft2.  Utilising the skills of local workers, the company employs over 220 staff in a variety of roles.  Operations run 24/7 and produce more than 36 million packs each year.

MP Lucy Frazer said “It was a pleasure to visit CP Foods (UK) Limited and take a fascinating tour of their facilities at Fordham Road, Newmarket. CP Foods is an important local employer and one of the region’s leading food supply chain specialists and it was great to have the opportunity to meet with its staff and senior management – we discussed, amongst other things, Brexit and the challenges facing the industry.  Thank you to CP Foods for inviting me.”

Councillor Steve Cheetham, service delivery champion for economic development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It is so encouraging to see businesses like CP Foods  investing and growing within East Cambridgeshire.  Enterprise East Cambridgeshire is highly focused on increasing the region’s strong business reputation and CP Foods is a prime example of the high calibre of businesses in the district. I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Enterprise East Cambridgeshire aims to encourage, support and deliver business initiatives that increase sustainable economic growth and inward investment. Located in one of the fastest growing regions outside of London, the area is strategically positioned to dominate regional economic development over the next 20 years.

Winter Wonderland comes to Ely with Best Christmas Window Competition – Editors Column

Last week I was asked to judge Ely’s shopfronts along with Mayor Richard Hobbs and Councillor Alison Arnold and if I am honest was very honoured to be given the responsibility.

The three of us trawled the High Street, Forehill, Market Square, The Passages, The Cloisters and Market Street in search of the best “Winter Wonderland” theme window.
What was surprising was the number of shops who chose to take part in the first competition.
After visiting lots of shops we went back to Sessions House for a deliberation and a winner was chosen but not before we shortlisted 7 of the many shops. It was a tough decision and not unanimous.
Initially, we were only going to give one prize but after rethinking this, it was decided all 7 shortlisted businesses would receive something and finally we nailed a winner.
Mayor Hobbs said, “My congratulations to all those shops that entered into the shop window competition with the theme of ‘Winter Wonderland’ whilst the winner was the Cancer shop I believe the effect of all makes Ely a great place to shop. Well done Ely shopkeepers.”
Alison Arnold leads the Christmas committee for the Ely City Council said, “I wish to thank all Ely shops as it was fantastic to see them taking part in the City of Ely Councils, best dressed ‘Winter Wonderland’ window display competition. Many had limited space to do this and as the saying goes, where there’s a will there’s a way and is an inspiration for their willingness to participate. All were inventive, very original, unique and different. With each having flair, quality of their end product window design, it was quite hard to judge. With debating all window displays  with the Mayor (Cllr Richard Hobbs), Spotted in Ely (Mark Cooney) and myself (Cllr Alison Arnold) the competition results are ……”

Cancer Research Charity Shop

When we surprised Cancer Research they were absolutely delighted. Shop manager Dawn was eager to tell me, “It was a real team effort with all our volunteers and every item was recycled. Sadly 3 of our members are not here today but well done to everyone. The 3 members who were not in are, Clare Laws, whose idea it was, Elizabeth Robinson and Mark Constable.

The other 7 shortlisted winners all received certificates.

Cherry Hill Chocolates


Artichoke Ely

Ely Fudge

Johnsons Dry Cleaners

Inheritance Legal Services Ltd

Lots of shops in Ely are also helping with a competition to find the missing letters from the words “HAPPY CHRISTMAS”, to enter download the form at For all other information see
More photos of the other shops can be seen on page 3 of the new Spotted in Ely magazine, see below.

That's £1300 up in smoke but all to worthwhile charities.

Ely Fireworks organiser Richard Stewart dropped into the Lantern School yesterday to give away what money they had left from the successful night of lights and explosions on Cherry Hill.

The Guy competition winning school received a cheque for £150 alongside the Royal British Legion.
Marc Beveridge from the Poppy Appeal said, “This is a really generous donation from Ely Fireworks and will help us provide support to Armed Forces, veterans and their families”. The appeal this year is on the way to about £38,000 so far.
The Hereward Rotary acted as stewards on the night and they received a cheque for £500. The evening Rotary group in Ely raise money for curing Polio and local charities. To receive the cheque was current president Jeff Hide.

The children of the Lantern School got very excited when Josh Lovatt from Heart Radio announced himself. Josh is the voice of producer for Hearts Kev & Ros Breakfast Show who raise money for Global’s Make Some Noise. The charity specialises in helper smaller charities and gives them a voice that is normally reserved for the bigger organisations.
Mrs Holland from the Lantern was the leader of the group who created the guy, along with help from the volunteers including, Emma Torrens, Gemma Gill and Nazmun Choudhary and the children Josh, Coco, Gemma, Lily and Chloe (seen below). A special mention for Scotts Farm Shop for supplying the material for the guy.

Left to Right: Josh, Coco, Gemma, Mayor Richard Hobbs, Lily, Chloe and Richard Stewart

Mayor Richards Hobbs presented the cheques on behalf of Ely Fireworks.

International packaging firm makes significant relocation within East Cambs

Local company Faerch Plast (formerly Anson Packaging) recently opened the doors of its impressive new UK headquarters and design facility on Lancaster Way Business Park in Ely.

Hosted by the company’s Managing Director, the MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer, joined East Cambridgeshire District Council’s economic development officers for a behind the scenes look at their new advanced research and design facilities.

Faerch Plast specialise in packaging for the food industry. This recent HQ investment comes on top of significant expansion of its high volume manufacturing facilities in Sutton near Ely during 2016. The company produces plastic packaging for fresh meat, ready meals and ‘food to go’. The firm has an ‘A- list’ client base linked to the supermarket sector and has been a leading force in the food supply chain since 1969.

Managing Director Andrew Osborne-Smith said “Following the successful opening of our new Design Innovation Hub at Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely, on Friday 13th October, we welcomed South East Cambs Member of Parliament, Lucy Frazer to our facility.   It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our continued investment into the region and we valued the opportunity of discussing our current position and future developments.   We were very grateful that Lucy Frazer was able to visit.”

The opening of the new facilities draws existing employees from within the region and creates new skilled job opportunities driven by the company’s impressive growth ambitions.  During the visit the firm’s commitment to waste reduction and environmental programmes was also of special interest.

MP Lucy Frazer said “It was a pleasure to meet with senior management and employees of Faerch Plast, one of East Cambridgeshire’s leading food supply chain specialists. On a guided tour of its facilities, I was fascinated to hear about Faerch Plast’s past and future expansion plans; welcome news for jobs and growth in our area and a vote of confidence in East Cambridgeshire’s vibrant economy. We discussed business drivers in the food supply chain industry and the challenges of Brexit. Thank you to Faerch Plast for hosting me.”

Councillor Steve Cheetham, Service Delivery Champion for Economic Development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It is very encouraging to see businesses like Faerch Plast, who already have premises in the district, choose to grow within East Cambridgeshire. Enterprise East Cambridgeshire is highly focussed on increasing the region’s strong business reputation whilst making it a great place to live. Faerch Plast’s investment in their new headquarters is testament to that and I wish them all the very best for the future.”

What has Abba, George Michael and Steve the Juggler all got in common?

All three will be performing at this years Ely Christmas Lights Switch On on December 1st.

Although Steve the Juggler is, in fact, real, Abba will be there in the form of leading tribute act “Abbababes” from Norwich and “Nelson” will be reliving some of George Michaels most significant numbers.
For 14 years, Ely has each year put on a switch on the event which has grown in both size and popularity. The Switch On is organised by the City of Ely Council and a group of small dedicated volunteers whose planning starts very early on in the year.
The main act is currently under wraps but other performers to appear on the evening include KD Theatre who are rehearsing for the annual pantomime at the Maltings and Octagon Dance Studios.
Santa will also there in the Switch On Parade arriving by horse-drawn carriage and kids can visit him at his grotto down Forehill.
The festivities which cover the whole city centre including Forehill starts at 4:30pm and be sure to look out for Minnie and Mickey Mouse as well as Olaf from Frozen.

New Car Parking for Commuters

Land that has sat empty for years is now a 128 space car park with commuters in mind

From next Monday 13th, the car park will be open from 7am but when Spotted in Ely went to check it out, it only found electronic pay booths.
And don’t think you can get away with free parking, number recognition in place and 5 CCTV cameras all connected and working.

Ella from ECDC Comms team said in a press release, “A new 128 space car park at The Dock, Ely will open for business on Monday 13th November at 7am. The Dock is adjacent to the old Strikes building and Tesco’s Click & Collect facility. There will be a pedestrian link to the existing Angel Drove car park and prices will be the same.

Delia Supports Christmas Charity Cake Bake

Delia Smith CBE – photo credit, Trevor Leighton

Volunteer bakers across the region are busy putting the final touches on Christmas cakes of all shapes, sizes and designs to be sold at the Ely Cathedral Gift & Food Fair next week in support of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH). The particular recipe the bakers have been recommended to use was provided by EACH’s very own ‘star baker’, the television presenter and cookbook writer, Delia Smith CBE.
Delia, who is an Ambassador for the charity, says “I am delighted that the annual Ely Christmas Food and Gift Fair is working with EACH again this year. Every year EACH have a stall in the cathedral selling a selection of Christmas cakes made and donated by kind supporters, with many of them made using my own tried and tested Christmas cake recipe! I am proud to be an ambassador for this great charity, and if you are looking for a Christmas cake for the festive season, this is a great opportunity to grab a homemade, classic cake without having to make your own, and you will be helping local life-threatened children and their families at the same time. Thank you for your support, and I wish you all a wonderful festive season.”
Up to 100 cakes are donated and sold at the event by a team of dedicated staff & volunteers. This is the sixth year the charity has been involved in the Christmas Gift & Food Fair. An event that is already proving to be one of the region’s most popular Christmas Fairs, with 150 bespoke stalls attracting over 13000 visitors.
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) provide care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across East Anglia. EACH provides families flexibility and control over where they receive care and support, whether it be in the home, in the hospital or at one of our hospice sites in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk or Ipswich. Across Cambridgeshire and at the hospice in Milton, EACH currently provides care for 229 life-threatened young people and family members. When time is short, EACH helps families make the most of their precious time together and create memories that last forever.
Ely Cathedral’s Gift & Food Fair takes place on 17-18 November 2017. Tickets and information is available from the website

Ely's Gospel Choir opens its doors for 2018

If you love to sing or have always wanted to be part of a choir, the Ely Pop Up Gospel Choir is inviting new members to join for their next season in 2018.

The choir has raised more than £5000 for charity following one-off concerts in May 2016 and July this year. More than 60 singers raised the roof at St Mary’s Church by performing songs from Sister Act, The Lion King and other more traditional gospel songs.

The Pop Up Gospel Choir was founded by West End performer and Ely mother of three Lisa Olsworth-Peter, who said: “We’ve had monthly socials since our concerts in the summer but are itching to start rehearsals again. It’s a proper community and the emphasis is always on having fun. We are a choir of all ages and abilities and will welcome new members with open arms – all you need is enthusiasm!”

The choir will be performing at the St Mary’s Church Carol Service on Sunday 10th December with a few rehearsals beforehand. One of the songs will include a unique Gospel arrangement of Silent Night.

Anyone interested in joining the choir can give it a go at our next social at Costa on Market Street at 7:30pm on Monday 13th November or join in with rehearsals for our performance at St Mary’s Carol service (email below for more details).

Or alternatively, wait until our weekly rehearsals begin in January 2018 as we start to prepare for our next concert in May 2018.

For more information about the Ely Pop Up Gospel Choir and for dates of rehearsals or venue information, please contact Kirsty Smith at

Ely Foodbank asks for help to create the Christmas Hamper Appeal

Ely Foodbank will again this year be making Christmas Food Hampers for their clients and need the help of individuals and businesses to make a seasonal treat.

Suggested items they need are: Christmas Puddings, Dried Fruit, Chocolates and Sweets, Biscuits, Mince Pies, Stuffing, Snacks, Hot Chocolate, Soft Drinks, Christmas Crackers and Toiletries.
Donations can be accepted up until the 5th December at various places around Ely including their base behind Centre E.
They do ask that no homemade or opened or out of date food be donated. Also, perishable items, medicines, alcohol or secondhand goods cannot be accepted.
If you have any questions please call Amy Lorimer on 07769777097 or email

Local Author, Maggie Jeffrey, writes book to raise money the Rosie

The Colour Fairies Christmas Book ‘The Colours of Christmas’

By Maggie Jeffrey
I have been writing the Colour Fairies series for two years now and they are all finished – all 30 of them. I had a wonderful illustrator from South Africa, Angela Warren, but unfortunately in May this year her health became a lot worse and she became unable to work.
I have now managed to find two good illustrators who, I hope, will stay with me until I finish the series. It has not been the best of years for me because as well as losing my illustrator, I had to undergo brain surgery in June to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. I knew it was going to happen and dreaded it for months but now it is over and things are looking up I feel I would like to ‘give something back’.
Book 8 of the Colour Fairies tells the story of how Christmas started and why Santa does his rounds as told by Father Christmas himself to Scarlett, the newest fairy, when he comes to be measured by her for his new suit. All the fairy books continue from one book to the next but each contains a complete story.AT the back there are colouring pages and activities. They usually have information in the story about how to mix colours and where the fairies get their ingredients.

I have decided that once this book is published which should be within the next month that I will donate £1 for every copy sold to the Rosie Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit who saved my grandson’s life when he was born nearly 11 years ago. The book will be available from Amazon for approx. £7.50 but I will also have some copies available myself. I usually produce a Kindle version and an Audiobook which is beautifully read by Leanne Yau.
My illustrators are Janene Pike, who is a talented local artist, who works in mixed media and digital and Joey Wood, an artist from the North East who does a more traditional form of image.

I moved to Ely 6 years ago, with my husband when we retired to be nearer to our family.

Ely Speedwatch Has Immediate Calming Effect

9 volunteers from Ely have become an instant success with a new Speedwatch scheme supported by Cambridgeshire Constabulary.

This morning, 6 of those volunteers set up on Witchford Road and even the local residents came out to thank them as there was an instant noticeable effect on speed and noise.
While we were there, the board only flashed twice, one to indicate 31 and the other 34. Witchford Road is notorious for speeding and while permanent speed boards are in operation, this has done nothing to quash speed along that road.
Accompanying the volunteers was Mike Brookes, Forcewide Watch Co-ordinator for Cambs Police. He told us that 10 areas in Ely have been highlighted and that all 9 volunteers are now fully trained and insured to carry out the work. They are also free to monitor any one of the 10 spots at any time of day and report findings to the Police.
All Speedwatch locations when being monitored are highlighted, so the idea is not to catch people but to act as a deterrent against speeding.
Ely Speedwatch is looking for volunteers to give as much or as little time as available. Every person will be trained and once completed (approximately takes 1 hour locally) will be insured to also take part in this vital community project.
To apply as a volunteer email: You can also use the same email to highlight other potential areas in Ely that may require a Speedwatch from time to time.

Witchford Rejoice as East Cambs Agree Five Year Deal

Witchford residents are rejoicing as plans to include the Witchford North East development of 720 homes have been dropped from East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Five Year Plan.

During the full council meeting, many councillors praised Cllr Coralie Green and the officers at East Cambs for their work on this document but many said they were supporting the motion to drop Witchford for all the plan to go ahead for the greater good. Stopping speculative builds by “greedy” developers seemed to be main reason given. The plan has a long way to go.
With this development out of the way, the full plan is now in order and the 57-page document, which has taken thousands of hours to prepare with managers from various departments at East Cambs, is firmly secure.
Now at this point, I am going to apologise. I do kind of understand it so I will pass on the information I can see.
The document highlights homes to be built throughout the whole district and East Cambs claims it will build over 10,000 homes over the next 19 years of which nearly 3,000 will be within five years and the remaining over the following 14.
Ely won’t see a build in the North till 2018/19 with 665 expected to be completed on the two northern sites within five years. These do not include the 10 homes on the controversial Barton Road development. These two sites will see 3000 homes developed with the 19-year plan.
Soham is set to get a further 1000+ homes in the plan but work is not due till 2020/21 and Highfields Farm in Littleport will continue with 50 news home per till complete in 2022/23. Two other major builds are planned in Littleport with 550 homes starting in 2019.
Affordable housing is included in the document as is much focus on Community Land Trusts (CLTs). East Cambridgeshire is currently one of the most desirable places to live and with the house and rental prices on the rise, more homes are needed to meet the need.
Some housing prices in the past year have risen by 20% and in the last 5 years some rentals are nearly double
This piece is written as an editorial by Mark Cooney

City to run its own Tourism and Oliver Cromwell House

At the Full Council meeting tonight, one of the final points of business was to discuss East Cambs handing tourism to the City Council.

Despite objections of the speed of the handover from Liberal Democrat Lorna Dupre and Independent Derrick Beckett the motion to give control to City of Ely passed.
Dupre asked the committee to consider setting up a working group to look at the impact of transferring the responsibility of Tourism and assets to the City but did agree that the City of Ely should look after its tourism. Beckett also asked the committee to agree for democratic reasons.
All other members eligible to vote denied the objections and with the exceptions of the two members agreed unanimously to pass the tourism and assets to the City.

Ted Coney from Coney Family Portraits attended the council meeting in favour of the City Council. He stated “I am delighted that the City of Ely is taking it (Oliver Cromwell’s House) over because the house itself is a fantastic resource and it’s brilliant to visit with kids. I think it’s a Hidden Gem that needs exploiting”.
Mayor and Councillor of both East Cambs and City Richard Hobbs could not vote due to a conflict of interest. He said, “The decision taken by ECDC to transfer tourism services to the City of Ely council is wonderful news.”
Hobbs continues “We have a very strong professional team at Oliver Cromwell house and we look forward to the challenges ahead making Ely a destination of choice and enhancing our city centre management.”
Options for towns in the area will be considered when it came to their tourism and each will an option to decide how best to proceed.
Handover is expected to be completed by April next year and staffing Oliver Cromwell House is expected to remain the same.

Are more awards in the pipeline for Atrium Fitness?

Atrium Fitness has been shortlisted in the UK’s biggest fitness awards and are in the running for a prestigious national award.

The club has been shortlisted in the Customer Service Category at the National Fitness Awards, an annual event which recognises excellence and achievement in gyms throughout the country.
The awards are organised by Script Events in conjunction with leading fitness industry magazine Workout, with support from headline sponsor ServiceSport, and in each category up to seven finalists have been selected, who will now go through to the next stage of the judging process where they will be out to impress by showcasing first-hand the great work going on in their clubs.
This stage involves a visit to each finalist by a member of the awards team who will take a look around the facilities and chat to members and staff before compiling a comprehensive report, which will then be passed on to an expert judging panel to decide the lucky winners.
Trophies will then be handed out a glittering awards ceremony on Friday December 1st at The Athena in Leicester.
National Fitness Awards’ event director Judith Halkerston said: “All our shortlisted facilities should be really proud of their achievements in being chosen as a finalist as the calibre of entries has been amazing.”
Atrium Fitness were winners of the East Cambs Business Award for Customer Service in 2016 and again in 2017.
Atrium Fitness Operations Director Naomi McCombie said: “We are over the moon that the customer service we provide to our members has been recognised for such a prestigious award. The whole Atrium Fitness team work extremely hard to provide a first-class service and they should all be very proud of themselves”.

Ely to get its first Reading Round

Ely Library is to host a Reading Round – a new kind of book club.

Award-winning local author Jim Kelly will run the sessions each week.
“It’s a book club but without the homework!” said Jim.
“You don’t have to read anything beforehand, and there’s no need for pens or paper or any preparation.
“Each week I will read out a short story and a poem. The Royal Literary Fund, which sponsors the scheme, has a ‘bank’ of great works from which I can chose. Then we all discuss the texts.”
The sessions will run on a Thursday – except during holiday periods – from 6.00pm to 7.30pm. There will be thirty sessions in the complete ‘round’. It is hoped to run further ‘rounds’ in the future.
There are now reading rounds springing up throughout the country thanks to the RLF.
“They have been a big success. People enjoy informally chatting about books in a friendly atmosphere,” said Jim. “It’s brilliant that the library has been able to provide a room and support. It’s the perfect place at the heart of the community.”
The only cost is a charge of no more than £2 a week to cover the hire of the room.
Numbers are limited to about a dozen. First session is on October 12. If you are interested contact Jim at

Arbuckles goes mobile with another VIP Trip up for grabs

Ely Leisure Villages first restaurant Arbuckles launches it’s first app on Monday available for Android and iOS devices.

Users of the app will be entered in a prize draw to win a VIP Trip to Norwich just like the one won by Spotted in Ely follower and Norwich City fan, Natalie Terriss.
As well as the VIP Trip, all users will also get £10 off their first booking and get access to new offers plus access the new “Loyalty Card” feature.
All of the offers are subject to terms and conditions but to enter the competition you must register on the app before the 17th October.

Could Ely finally get to see the Flying Scotsman?

Steam Dream Tours have finally booked the Flying Scotsman to pass through Ely on October 18th at about 17:15.
Enthusiasts are likely to take up an opportunity to travel on the world famous steam engine as a quick turnaround trip to Norwich is available for £79 each.\&DB=SteamDreams&Division=A&bookingtype=T&date5=43026&Tour=72000&Route=1&Adults=2&Children=0&Infants=0
The company do state that while the locomotive is rostered for the tips listed, it cannot be guaranteed. FINGERS CROSSED!!

Increasing Pressure on Queen Adelaide due to extra trains. Have your say!

This evening at Queen Adelaide Village Hall, Cambridgeshire County Council and Network Rail are asking people who live in the area or use the main route through the village to come to a public meeting seeking views.

The objective of the meeting to understand what impact to local residents more trains would cause especially on the road through the village. This leaflet was delivered to every local home and business.
In a press release, Cllr Ian Bates, chairman of the Economics and Environment committee said, “Working with Network Rail, we want to keep people safe and moving. We want to have a conversation with local residents and businesses about the impact this will have on them and understand how people use the area. At this early stage we want to gain the widest understanding of how people travel in the area and their feedback will help inform future transport solutions in the Queen Adelaide area.”
A local businessman is already fearing the worse, that the long term objective is to close the crossing claiming that Network Rail could not give him a definite no when he asked “Is closure of the crossing likely?”
Meliha Duymaz, interim route managing director for the Anglia route from Network Rail said: “The Ely area is a major bottleneck for the rail network and for future growth. Any future increase in the number of freight and passenger trains would mean that there would be a knock on effect for the level crossings in terms of safety and traffic build up.”
Representatives from both Cambridgeshire County Council and Network Rail will be on hand and Lucy Frazer, Member of Parliament for South East Cambridgeshire and local councillors will also be present.

The Mystery of Littleports Random Act of Kindness

This morning Littleport residents woke up to little surprises all over the village, 50 of them in fact and all courtesy of The Port Youth Group!

It was all part of the ‘Community Smile Project’ and trying to get a group of young people to keep the secret was the biggest challenge, but they succeeded.
With thanks to the Sharmans and Twenty Pence Garden Centres, the youth group, made up of year 6’s above have made their village proud.
There was also another objective to the day. The project was used to demonstrate how quick a kind random act could be spread across social media and how one small gift changes a person day.
Joanne Coe, co-ordinator for the group told us “The youths have really done a fab job & kept it a secret, which must have been a challenge”.

Pots of Happiness

Littleport is undergoing its very own Random Act of Kindness this morning as about 50 plants have been numbered and distributed around the village along with a message of happiness.

Many port residents have taken to the Facebook group “Littleport Notice Board” this morning to express their delight at finding one these plants including Donna who message said “Every Flower Must Grow Through Dirt” which has been a much-used inspiration quote.
On the back of each of the messages, it says “A little gift from me to you…. Please take me home – I have a number under my pot. If you can please post your find on Social Media”
Other messages include, “Even the prettiest flower will die one day. It’s nature’s way of teaching us that nothing lasts forever” and “Let Your Dreams Blossom”.

Did you find a plant in Littleport this morning? We would love to see a photo.

Get Involved in the BIG SING!

Rock Vox Choir would like to invite you to take part in our ‘BIG SING’.

We are planning a big charity event called “One Love – Ely” to raise money for the British Red Cross UK Solidarity Fund, supporting victims of the UK terror attacks in Manchester and London.
Date: 17th September 2017
Event times: 1pm – 5pm
BIG SING: 3:30pm
Location: Jubilee Gardens – Ely, CB7 4BJ.
The BIG SING songs are:
• Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis
• Love Shine A Light – Katrina & The Waves
The event is going to be a great family day out with fun activities for kids plus food and a bar for the adults! We would love it if as many people as possible would stand with us and sing – together we can show that the Ely community supports hope, not hate.
To help us raise money for victims of UK terror we are selling tickets for our big prize draw which will take place on the day. We would appreciate it if local groups could help with our ticket sales. Even if you can’t come and sing – could you help us reach our goal of raising £1500 by selling some tickets?Please RSVP to the e-mail address or feel free to give me a
Please RSVP to the e-mail address or feel free to give Clare Clay a call for further information on 07851634491.

The Lyrics

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don’t you know you might find
A better place to play
You said that you’d never been
But all the things that you’ve seen
Will slowly fade away
So I start a revolution from my bed
‘Cos you said the brains I had went to my head.
Step outside, summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out
And so Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by
Her soul slides away, but don’t look back in anger I heard you say
Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows if it’s night or day
But please don’t put your life in the hands
Of a Rock n Roll band
Who’ll throw it all away
I’m gonna start a revolution from my bed
‘Cos you said the brains I had went to my head
Step outside ‘cos summertime’s in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
‘Cos you ain’t ever gonna burn my heart out
So Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late as she’s walking on by
My soul slides away, but don’t look back in anger I heard you say
So Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by
Her soul slides away, but don’t look back in anger I heard you say
So Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late as she’s walking on by
My soul slides away, but don’t look back in anger…
Don’t look back in anger…
I heard you say
At least not today.

Love Shine A Light – Katrina & The Waves

Love, shine a light in every corner of my heart
Let the love light carry, let the love light carry
Light up the magic in every little part
Let our love shine a light in every corner of our hearts.
Love, shine a light in every corner of my dream
Let the love light carry, let the love light carry
Like the mighty river flowin’ from the stream
Let our love shine a light in every corner of my dream.
And we’re all gonna shine a light together
All shine a light to light the way
Brothers and sisters in every little part
Let our love shine a light in every corner of our hearts.
Love, shine a light in every corner of the world
Let the love light carry, let the love light carry
Light up the magic for every boy and girl
Let our love shine a light in every corner of the world.
And we’re all gonna shine a light together
All shine a light to light the way
Brothers and sisters in every little part
Let our love shine a light in every corner of our hearts.
And we’re all gonna shine a light together
All shine a light to light the way
Brothers and sisters in every little part
Let our love shine a light in every corner of our hearts.
Shine a light in every corner of our hearts.

Want these lyrics to print? Click Here

Local Entrepreneur joins the board of world established technology company

Local businessman, serial entrepreneur and family man, Jonathan James has been appointed to the board of technology giants TLM Technologies.
James from Soham, who owns over 100 shops and many other businesses, has joined the board of the company in a non-executive role.

Jonathan James outside one of newly acquired Select Convenience stores

TLM create end-to-end solutions specialising in the convenience and fuel industries. Jonathan James’ has more than 20 years of experience in the sector will benefit this international business who customers already include HKS Retail, EuroGarages and Costcutter here in the UK.
Talking to Spotted in Ely Mr James said, “TLM is a very forward thinking business and highly respected in the Fuel and Convenience industry. With technology and the convenience market rapidly developing it is a very exciting time to be joining the business”
In a statement issued by TLM this morning, spokesman Lee Papper stated “‘I am proud to say that TLM is still expanding rapidly and we have a very exciting year ahead of us, from the launch of our innovative evo+ solution in October to the highly anticipated official launch of evoPOS next spring, TLM is going from strength to strength – and we are delighted that Jonathan will be helping steer us into continued success in the future!”

Certificate of Excellence Awarded to Ely Cathedral

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest review site has awarded Ely Cathedral with a certificate of Excellence due to the amount of reviews given by it’s visitors.
With nearly 2000 reviews of which over 1400 are 5 star, the attraction is rated first of 35 in the Places to Visit category.

The most recent 5 star was from Ralph2013, listed as being from Northern Ireland states “Quick visit with my two young grandchildren. Brenda the guide was lovely to them and we joined and left the tour at our leisure. The cathedral is superb and well worth a visit. Also enjoyed food there at the end of the visit. It would have been nice if someone had offered to help with trays as I had two small children but otherwise really good food and brilliant selection of gluten free cakes”.

The reviews don’t just come from UK visitors, over 20% come from outside the our shores, many of which from the USA and Canada.
If you’re a local from CB6 or CB7 postcode, you can visit the Cathedral for free. Just take along proof of address. This does not include the tours.

Another Monsterous Success in Ely

Monster Racing staged their middle and standard distance triathlons around Ely on Sunday, 20st August. These events attract a real mixed field from newcomers to the sport to GB age groupers and pro triathletes.
Monster Racing multi-sport events are well supported with a generous prize fund from their sponsors which attracts those chasing the podium finishes.
The start list promised to be a great race to watch with an exciting battle for the podium places and the prizes!
Over 425 athletes signed up to the events, which promised an iconic swim through Ely in the River Ouse to start, a flat fen bike course and a spectacular new run route around the city through the magnificent Cathedral grounds on mostly closed roads to the finish line.
The athletes in the Middle completed a mile and a quarter swim, 58 mile cycle and 13 mile run. Whilst athletes in the Standard followed the same course but with less distance, just under a mile swim, 26 mile cycle and a 7 and a half mile run.

For many the race was the end of months of dedication to training and many personal best times were recorded! The Monster Middle winner in a time of 4hr 13min 14sec was Simon George (Lincoln Tri/Giant Lincoln), second male was Scott Hill (Zone3 / RAF Triathlon), 4:21:19, and third male was Tom Burkinshaw, 4:24:27.
The female winner was Claire Weller (Ipswich Triathlon), 4:55:31, second female was Mel Sykes, 5:09:06, and third female was Samantha Roe (Les Stables Race Team), 5:31:27. For the first time the Monster Standard was won by a female in a fantastic time of 2hr 14min 41 sec was Kimberley Morrison (Race Hub), second female was Verity Smith (Stowmarket & District Tri Team), 2:35:40, and third female was Julie Tapley (Cambridge Triathlon Club), 2:39:17. The male winner was Gareth Hurst (Cambridge Triathlon Club), 2:6:28, second male was Dan Elliot (TriCentralUK), 2:17:23, and third male was Sean Watson (Leeds Triathlon Centre), 2:17:43.
All podium placed finished won vouchers donated by Zone3.
The winner teams, Team Average and Team Jinkerson took home prizes from Fenland Runner, a local retail brand. Tasty race nutrition was provided by Hammer Nutrition.
For those looking to race in September, Monster Racing have their Run Fest to tempt people with, be quick as limited places remain. Entries are open at The organisers commented: “Monster Racing events are known for their excellent organisation and brilliant, quick, courses!
This year’s events tried out a new route and for the first time featured a mostly closed road run which went down a treat with the racers.
The Monster Middle and Standard are popular events with a history of selling out so to ensure you get a place next register early to avoid disappointment.
We would like to thank everyone who helped marshal, all competitors, all safety and ‘behind the scenes’ crew as well all our sponsors. Thank you also to Kings School, Ely Cathedral and City and District Council for supporting the event with access to grounds and road closures.”
Image courtesy of Ian-Green Photography.

Rotary to Repeat Ground-Breaking Show

Last year Ely Rotary staged a special and unusual event at Ely Community College – a double-band show and dance featuring the “Glenn Miller” style music of the forties played by Opus 17, and the exciting Trad sound played by Barry Tyler’s Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
This event was such an outstanding success that it is being repeated again this year, on Saturday 14th October, a date chosen to overcome the problem of so many being away on holiday, and who were sorry to have missed it.
Opus 17 will be playing music from both the forties and the sixties this time, with hits from artists such as Dusty Springfield and Ella Fitzgerald from the superb voice of Kimberley Devonshire, whom we have had the pleasure of listening to before. Michael Duble sound-alike Tom Veasey will also be singing several of his popular songs. The magic of the big-bands comes through strongly too, of course, with the nostalgic reminiscences direct from the forties.
Since this show is entitled “Forties and Sixties dance”, this brings music from the Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk era, all recreated and superbly performed by Barry Tyler’s crew, with their amazing vocalist Binky Pollack, who also plays banjo in the band. Their playlist includes such toe-tapping hits as “I wanna be like you-oo”, “So Do I”, and plenty more from those days.
Tickets are available now from Burrows Book Shop in High Street Passage, Ely, and from Wade’s Opticians at the top of the High Street, priced again at sixteen pounds each. They are also available direct from Ely Rotary Club by email and personal delivery locally, or post for out-of-town, from, or by telephone 01638 780827.

Bishop Laney Sixth Form Celebrates Impressive First Year of Results

Ely’s new Bishop Laney Sixth Form is celebrating today as it receives an excellent first set of results.
Bishop Laney Sixth Form opened its doors last September as a new collaboration between Ely College and Soham Village College to provide excellent post-16 education for students across East Cambridgeshire.
Currently, the sixth form offers predominantly vocational study programmes but from 2018 Bishop Laney Sixth Form will also be offering a suite of A Levels alongside other professional and vocational qualifications.
The Sixth Form achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for its vocational courses, with 66 per cent of results awarded at Distinction* or Distinction* level and 89 per cent awarded at either Merit or Distinction level. The pass rate for the small number of A-Level entries was also 87 per cent.

Principal of Ely College, Richard Spencer, said: “We are delighted with these results, which reflect a great deal of hard work from students and staff. We’d like to congratulate all of the students on their achievements.
“We are very pleased that so many of our students have secured excellent university, employment or further training opportunities and wish them all well for the future. These results demonstrate that Bishop Laney Sixth Form is delivering excellent outcomes for students, and we are looking forward to expanding the curriculum further to provide a high-quality provision here in East Cambridgeshire.”

A number of students achieved particularly high results including Sophie Wensley, who achieved triple Distinction* in applied science, Laura Nicolajsen, who achieved triple Distinction* in business and Emma Bailey, who achieved triple Distinction* in media.

Other notable performances include Amy Cross who achieved Distinction* in Performing Arts, and Callum Munden, Philip Turner and Samuel Austin, who all achieved Distinction* in sport.

Major recovery operation gets underway to remove derailed freight train at Ely

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Wagons are being lifted off the track with a rail crane, as a major recovery operation gets underway at the site where a freight train derailed in Ely on Monday 14 August.

A rail crane was brought in overnight on Tuesday (15 August) so that work could begin to lift the 11 derailed wagons from the tracks. Each empty wagon weighs 11 tonnes, with the heaviest container including its contents weighing 106 tonnes and each one will be carefully lifted onto the undamaged track to be towed away. The train and the wagons that stayed on the track were towed away on Tuesday afternoon.
 [/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”” align=”center”][vc_column_text]The recovery operation is expected to take a number of days and once complete, nearly ¼ mile of track needs to be replaced. The work is scheduled to complete over the weekend and the line is expected to be open on Monday. In the meantime, the line will remain closed and passengers are urged to check before they travel.
Simon Ancona, Network Rail’s chief operating officer for Anglia, said: “We have an army of experts and specialist teams who are working day and night to remove the wagons as quickly as possible. Once they are out of the way we can replace the tracks, carry out the necessary repairs, reopen the line and get passengers on the move again. We expect to be able to reopen the line on Monday. I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience.”
The incident affects CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains and Greater Anglia passengers. Passengers are advised to check how their journey may be affected with their train operator, or[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ely McDonalds present new team kit to the Robins

Ely City FC seems to be on a roll collecting sponsorships in 2017.

McDonald’s in Ely is the latest corporate sponsor in using their Grass Roots Football Scheme. The scheme has been running for 3 years and Matt Jarrett, the franchisee in Ely presented the under 18’s team with an away kit for the season.

Matt Jarrett, franchisee of Ely McDonalds and Under 18’s Manager of Ely City FC, Paul Jeffery

Matt said, “Ely McDonald’s has donated the kit to Ely City FC as part of the McDonald’s FA Charter Standard Kit Scheme which is now in its third year.
“Grassroots clubs such as Ely City FC invest an incredible amount of time providing their local communities with footballing opportunities. They provide young people with the chance to get involved and feel part of a team.  it is important that businesses like McDonald’s support clubs as it means they can use the money saved by the kit and equipment to invest in training more coaches, improving facilities and reducing the costs passed on to players and their parents.
“I’m very proud to be involved in the kit scheme – it’s great seeing teams like Ely City FC in their new kits and we wish them good luck for the new season.”
After last years staggering vase run, Ely City are keen to forge new relationships with local businesses. Manager of the under 18’s Paul Jeffery told Spotted in Ely, “We as a club are keen to strike up new partnerships with all of the new tenants on site and owner, Matt Jarrett was keen to help out and come on board. The kit will be used for all away games this season.”

Ely based Ellgia are running the Berlin Marathon on the 24th September 2017 raising money for Macmillan

Last year the board was considering how Ellgia could support the community as part of its corporate responsibilities and various charitable activities were discussed.
One of the directors suggested that running a marathon would be an ideal way to support a charity and provide an incentive for a long term fitness campaign.
The idea turned into a challenge and then into an entry for the Berlin Marathon. So, on 24th September, Ellgia’s team of 5 runners will be taking on the challenge of a lifetime. The brutal training regime has already claimed a couple casualties, both with knee problems, and one withdrawal due to a well-timed pregnancy (some people will do anything to avoid training!), but friends and family have stepped up to fill in the gaps and the team is at full strength.

Steve Crook – MD , James Murdoch and Cameron Murdoch – Technical Director

With only a few weeks to go, the 18-22 mile training runs are pretty gruesome, but despite a combined age of over 100 years, MD Steve Crook and Technical Director Cameron Murdoch are on track for a great achievement, along with their fantastic teammates Jack, James, and Jacqui.
The team is running to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, a truly amazing charity that provides support for so many people affected by cancer.
And we want to make a big difference by raising £10,000, so we are asking our fantastic partners, customers, friends, and colleagues to make a donation and help us to help Macmillan.
Thank you for your support!

Ely Did It!! The Great Gold Torc will find a home in Ely Museum

Ely Museum today announced that the funds needed to purchase the Great Gold Torc have been raised and it will find a home in Ely.

In all £220,000 was needed and the money came from generous grants and donations and they hope to have the Torc available for a permanent display in the autumn.

The Gold Torc is 3000 years old and likely worn by a pregnant lady

Dr Neil Watkins from the British Museum recently gave an interesting lecture regarding the history of the Torc, regarded as one of the most significant finds for such an item in England. The Torc may have been worn by a pregnant woman in England 3,000 years ago. It is almost pure gold and was thought to be all the fashion 30 centuries ago.
It weighs 730 grams and was found by a lucky unnamed metal detectorist within 50 miles of Must Farm, a significant Bronze Age Village near Whittlesey but the exact location is not being released. It is believed to be within the East Cambridgeshire region.
The pattern of the Torc resembles one found in 1844 at Grunty Fen. Dr Watkins describes the craftsmanship as astonishing and it was made from a bar of gold which was then twisted and burnished. Every gap between each twist is precisely measured.
The Museum told Spotted in Ely that events will be held to welcome the Torc and give educational insights about the object once acquired but in the meantime to help raise funds for exhibition stands and events please do so by going to Details of the events will appear in Spotted in Ely’s Event Calendar as they are released.