David Dimbleby In Awe Of Ely Cathedral

Last night the BBC aired the first episode of their landmark series, How We Built Britain. The first episode featured Ely Cathedral.

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In the Middle Ages, the East of England was the richest corner of the nation and the Norman conquest of 1066 led to the first construction boom in our history.

The visionary Normans used their building skills to demonstrate their power over the local population. Ely Cathedral would take 300 years to complete, with its intricate stonework and majestic nave. But 1,000 years later it still towers over the Fens.

Says David Dimbleby: “There were no architectural drawings, there was no architect. Working with little more than a set square, some compasses and a grasp of geometry, medieval masons were able to raise this glorious building to the heavens.”

David joins modern-day stonemasons as they restore the cathedral, and embraces tradition by leaving a time capsule – including TV schedules and a Mars Bar – for future generations to discover.
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Ely Folk Festival Need’s You

Image: Ely Folk Podcast

Stewards are a vital part of Ely Folk Festival’s organisation, handling a huge variety of tasks from checking tickets and bar work to managing car parking and keeping the site clean.

If you are interested in stewarding at the festival please complete the form as soon as possible so we can start planning the rota. Shifts are likely to be around 3-4 hours per day, 8-10 hours in total, usually worked in 2-4 hour shifts. In return you will receive a free weekend pass with camping (if required).

In return you will receive a free weekend pass with camping

Please indicate on the form if you have any particular preference for duties. We also need people on the Thursday and Friday before for ‘set up’ and the Monday and Tuesday afterwards for ‘break down’ of the festival site so if you would rather help before or after the festival so you can enjoy the weekend please let us know.

You can download an application form here.
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Afternoon Tea With The BBC

Hardeep Singh Kohli, the popular writer, presenter and broadcaster was in Market Square this afternoon filming segments about the great British cuppa (that’s tea to the uninitiated) for BBC1’s The One Show that will air this July.

Hardeep asked members of the public to decide whether the ‘builder’s brew’ was better than traditional teas from India and China.

Image: Hardeep Singh Kohli, Ely

Why Ely, it’s not renowned as a place of pilgrimage for a cup of tea is it? Well, you may be surprised to learn that a tearoom in Ely was awarded the UK Tea Council’s elite Top Tea Place 2007 award, alongside The Dorchester in London who won the Top London Afternoon Tea award. The tearoom in Ely is Peacock’s Tearoom, located at 65 Waterside, Ely.

Irene Gorman, The Head of The Tea Guild, commented that “Peacocks offer a very special tea experience. The tea menu is extensive with lots of interesting, witty and helpful information. The quality of the teas and the delicious sandwiches, scones and cakes make this a must on any trip to Ely.

“The very warm and welcoming tearoom is attractively decorated with a display of tea memorabilia and pictures and the pretty garden provides a haven in warmer weather. All the staff are really friendly and visitors are very well looked after.”
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Roswell Planning, It’s The Pits

The new Planning Committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council yesterday (Wednesday 6th June) heard the latest developments regarding the actions taken so far by officers and options available for the future regarding Roswell Pits.

The members were told there had been no further work carried out at the site since mid May and that officers had served a Tree Preservation Order on Roswell Pits and a Planning Contravention Notice on the developer.

The Tree Preservation Order will protect the woodland at the Pits and the Planning Contravention Notice requests details from the developer of his plans for the site. It is a legal requirement he answers the questions in this Notice.

The report also outlined the concerns that some of the work that has been undertaken may require planning permission, and the unease of other bodies such as the RSPB, The Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency regarding the work already carried out.

Following meetings with the developer, officers believe they will be receiving planning applications in the near future for development on the Pits. Depending on the scale and nature of future development an Environmental Impact Assessment may be required.

Giles Hughes, Head of Planning and Economic Development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “My officers have continued to move quickly to deal with the concerns over work at the Roswell Pits.

“Following our action and the recent audit which has taken place of the Pits by the RSPB, work has stopped at the site. However, we have received an urgent health and safety request from the developer to fill in the trench, which was dug on the site. We have accepted that this should be done urgently following further discussion with the developer.

“The Council, as the planning authority, can only deal with planning and related legislation. Other bodies such as Natural England and the Police have to deal with work affecting Sites of Special Scientific Interests or offences under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. We are working with these bodies to ensure we coordinate actions.

“We share the concerns of the residents of East Cambridgeshire regarding the development of any areas of natural beauty and we are working as fast as the planning law will allow to ensure we protect these areas for the future.”

Friend’s Pay Respect – Tabloid’s Go ‘Wild’

Two teenage sisters found dead in their own home died from stab wounds, allegedly inflicted by their 39-year-old mother it has emerged. The mother was arrested on suspicion of murder at the family home in The Crofters, Stretham, at 8am today.

Here is last night’s BBC Look East coverage.

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Sample 2007’s Folk Festival

If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket for this year’s Ely Folk Festival then great news for you, the festival is going to be amazing this year, The Battlefield Band, Tin Tin Lady, Eddy Morton, Shooglenifty and much, much more.

Image: Ely Folk Podcast

Each year the festival just gets better than the last, with an impressive guest list and programme of workshops, concerts, displays, ceilidhs and children’s entertainment. The musicians appearing at the Ely Folk Festival reflect the rich diversity of the modern music scene, with a mixture of established favourites and newer talent.

The organisers are especially proud that the festival remains a small and friendly festival where you can meet the artists ‘unplugged’. You can take part in workshops, dances, sessions or perform in the Club Tent.

With less than a month before the festivities begin, Ely Online has created a special podcast to highlight the diversity of artists that represent this year’s Ely Folk Festival (July 2007).

Many thanks for all the artists that kindly allowed permission to use their tracks in this podcast.
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Derailed Train Salvage Begins

Two rail trucks full of ballast were left dangling over a bridge crossing a river in Cambridgeshire after a train derailed during the night.

The rail line, mostly used by freight trains, was closed near Ely station but no-one was hurt.

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Eleven of the EWS train’s 37 trucks fell on to their sides with two hanging over a bridge over the River Ouse.

One Railway services from Peterborough to London have been affected and an accident investigation is under way.

The bridge was damaged by the derailment so the River Ouse was shut to river traffic and a path was sealed off for safety reasons.
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Nutmeg Live At Redmere Festival 1986

Recently I decided it was time to purge my old videos having amassed far too many over the last 20 years – it appears I recorded everything! As a typical male I didn’t label any video so I had to play every tape to see what was a ‘keeper’ and what was destined for the dustbin. As it turned out my magpie tendencies led me to stockpile a load of junk video recordings.

There were highlights, one being a 3 hour video of footage from a long forgotten festival affectionately known as ‘Redmere’. Redmere (six miles from Littleport) Festival was the brainchild of Mick & Lee Gillett who, at the time, were heavily involved in the Ely Music Scene with their own band Wild Party Productions.

Redmere highlighted local talent – established as well as new bands. It was one of the new bands that stole the festival and the sad thing about their performance is not many people saw them. The festival was poorly attended and the band played two early afternoon slots, far too early for the masses that arrived later for the headliners. The band in question was Soham’s Nutmeg.

Nutmeg, in 1986, were a raw 60’s influenced garage band with a singer that had so much energy that you really need to watch the footage to comprehend.
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