Film Crew Besieges Ely Cathedral

Image: Film Crew Besieges Ely Cathedral

If you live in Ely you will (probably) know that Ely Cathedral was chosen as major film location for Handmade Films and is currently being besieged by a film crew and a number of Hollywood’s elite actors for the new film Golden Age, the follow-up to the 1998 award-winning film Elizabeth (about the early years of Elizabeth I’s life and reign), is transforming Ely Cathedral’s 12th Century Lady Chapel to become the great hall of Whitehall Palace in Westminster, which was the centre of Government and state ceremonies as well as the Queen’s main home. They are also using the main nave of the 11th Century cathedral to double as buildings from Elizabeth’s reign, from 1558-1603.

Ely Online had hoped to show some photographs of this with the possibility of some interviews but it appears the film companies PR department had other ideas. Ely Cathedral’s Marketing Manager informed Ely Online: ‘Press Event is looking less likely at the moment since the film companies PR dept are not letting anyone in since some of the principal actors have requested that there are no members of the press/media on set’.

The Ely Cathedral website stated: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for both the Cathedral and the city of Ely’ said Stephen Wikner, the Cathedral Bursar – ‘We have had a number of meetings with the directors, producers and members of the crew and they are all highly respectful of the Cathedral, the building, its spiritualism and the fact that it is, first and foremost, a Christian place of worship.’

That said, Ely Online was suprised to see that Ely Cathedral was actually closed for 4 days to accommodate filming. Ely Online wasn’t aware that anyone had the right to close a place of worship for financial benefit.

Today the film crew was cleaning up and moving out to make way for the Open University graduation ceremony.

Daily Telegraph Letters & Ely Cathedral’s Meadows

Image: Ely Cathedral

As the controversy continues to surround ECDC’s proposal to extend a car park onto land that houses an ancient orchard in a designated conservation area of the cathedral’s precinct. It is good to see such important stories about Ely making the The Daily Telegraph’s letters page.

Anna Hitchin first raised awareness with her website – Parkland or Car Park? As Anna states on her website: ‘The area which it is intended to pave over is an ancient Orchard in a designated conservation area, having historical and natural significance. It is part of the cathedral precinct, and has been used by the monastic and cathedral foundations as vineyards and as orchard land since the middle ages. It is important too, as surviving physical evidence of the economic changes to monastic cathedrals at the Reformation, and as part of the greatest range of medieval monastic buildings in continual use in Europe.’

The area which it is intended to pave over is an ancient Orchard in a designated conservation area, having historical and natural significance.

There does seem to be some confusion with the local media as to whether Ely Cathedral are in favour of this proposal. In an interview with the Ely Standard: Cathedral dean, the Rev Michael Chandler, said: ‘We were approached by representatives of East Cambridgeshire District Council some time ago and the matter was given consideration. But we are not in negotiations with anybody about this land.

‘We would never consider putting a permanent car park in the meadow that would impinge on the cathedral or the park. We would never do anything that would be seen as a negative development for the Cathedral or the city of Ely.

‘If it were to go-ahead it would be on a lease basis and any developments would be reversible once the lease came up for renewal or concluded. The dean and chapter today is very different to those of 20 years ago and that has to be a consideration. We are very protective of the cathedral. The people of Ely will have to trust us.’

Listed below are recent letters that have appeared in the The Daily Telegraph’s letters page.
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Southery 2006 Subbuteo World Cup

Image: Southery 2006 Subbuteo World Cup

Last weekend saw Ely Subbuteo Premier Leauge host their first Subbuteo World Cup event from Southery.

The Southery 2006 Subbuteo World Cup’s full fixture list was based on the real World Cup, and 36 players all eager to lift the World Cup Trophy travelled to Southery to compete.

After 63 games and loads of fun along the way, Jason Flack’s Poland and Scott Insall’s Argentina made it to the Subbuteo World Cup Final. Argentina went into the game as favourites and didnt dissappoint, beating Poland 3-0 in a game that was hotly contested by both players. A fitting end to a fantastic day for all concerned.

As well as winning the World Cup, Scott Insall also took the Golden Boot for scoring the most goals, with 17.

‘We are going to try and run tournament every year’ commented Andy Everitt, one of the organisers. ‘Everyone loved it, even the woman and children, everyone had a great day’

There will be a DVD of the tournament available very shortly. Pricing will be a meargre £5.00. So what you waiting for, reserve your copy now by getting in touch with Ely Online.
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The Car Parking Controversy & Ely Cathedral

Image: Ely Cathedral

The Dean & Chapter of Ely Cathedral have released a statement to deny claims that Ely Cathedral are currently negotiating with ECDC to lease the small piece of land next to the Broad Street car park with a view to extending the car park. Here is the full statement from the Ely Cathedral website.

As a result of the recent correspondence and coverage in both the national & local media, the Dean & Chapter of Ely Cathedral feel it necessary to make an official statement regarding the East Cambridgeshire District Council’s plans to use an area of Cathedral land to extend the Broad Street car park.

The ECDC (East Cambs. District Council) approached the Cathedral in January 2006 about leasing the small piece of land next to the Broad Street car park with a view to extending the car park to create approximately 59 new spaces. As with any request of this nature the Dean & Chapter would not be in a position to make any decision without input from two legally established independent bodies; firstly the Cathedral’s Fabric Advisory Committee (FAC) and secondly the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) which is based in London and has executive authority over both the FAC and the Dean & Chapter on all matters regarding the Cathedral fabric, buildings and land.
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Chris Hunt’s World Cup: Week 1

Ely-based author and journalist Chris Hunt is travelling around Germany covering the 2006 World Cup. Read his daily thoughts on the tournaments here, or at His book ‘World Cup Stories: The History Of The FIFA World Cup’ accompanies the BBC television series and is published by Interact and can be purchased on Amazon.

Friday June 9: Day 1

Image: Chris Hunt

Although Germany has a long and proud tradition as a major football power, at the opening ceremony of the 2006 World Cup it is apparent that many of its cultural reference points are borrowed from the English game. At least two recent official England songs have been hijacked by the Germans and transformed into a soundtrack for this tournament: in the minutes leading to the arrival of the teams onto the pitch for the first game, cover versions of ‘Altogether Now’ (England’s Euro 2004 song) and ‘Three Lions’ (Euro 96 and France 98) ring around the FIFA World Cup Stadium in Munich. They are sung in English but the latter has words adapted for the hosts.
Some 32 years after they last hosted a World Cup, the Germans are more than ready for this tournament. Even Munich airport has its own welcome for visiting football fans: a neatly wrapped World Cup-shaped brown paper parcel circles on every conveyor belt in the baggage claim hall. Maybe a nation not noted for its use of subtle irony really has finally found its sense of humour. But when the Germans sing “football’s coming home”, they really mean it. They may have kicked off the opening ceremony with 182 lederhosen-clad dancers, but this was a tongue-in-cheek reminder to the English who still chant about their “two World Wars and one World Cup” – Germany, despite all the stereotypes, is a country that has lifted the trophy three times! That’s as many times as England has lions on a shirt!

Image: World Cup 2006

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Les Français Envahissent Ely

Ely’s French Market brought a huge range of continental food and drink to the Market Place at the weekend, and saw a ceremonial exchange of bread between England and France. 24 market traders from France brought the sights, sounds and smells of a traditional French market to Ely’s market square.

We hope you enjoy this brief pictorial view of this weekend’s French Market.

Image: Ely French Market
Image: Ely French Market

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Chris Hunt’s World Cup: Week 2

Ely-based author and journalist Chris Hunt is travelling around Germany covering the 2006 World Cup. Read his daily thoughts on the tournaments here, or at His book ‘World Cup Stories: The History Of The FIFA World Cup’ accompanies the BBC television series and is published by Interact and can be purchased on Amazon.

Friday June 16: Day 8

An Englishman walks into a bar and says, “Have you got any Desperados?” The barkeeper shakes his head and suggests a selection of the finest locally brewed beers that the city of Cologne has to offer. “Is that German beer?” asks the England fan with disdain. He turns to his mates, “They’ve only got German beer. Is that alright?” With a reluctant sigh he turns back to the barkeeper. “Okay,” he says, “we’ll take five.”
While some England fans are using the World Cup as a cultural learning curve, the vast majority of the estimated 70,000 travelling fans get off the train at the Hauptbahnhof and head straight for the nearest Irish bar. They’re here to watch football and drink – and that’s about the long and the short of it. At the European Championships in Portugal the English came very close to drinking Lisbon dry, and although they’ve set their sights on breaking this record in 2006, they may have seriously underestimated the sheer volume of beer that is to be had in Germany. Still, they’ll give it a go. That’s another five beers please Fritz!

Image: Japanese and Brazilian Fans

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Ely Folk Festival ’06 – Pre-Event Gig & Ticket Offer

Image: Ely Folk Festival

Ely Folk Festival kicks off the festival with a pre-festival Gig at The Lamb Hotel, Ely on Saturday 1st July at 8pm. Appearing are festival guests Cave supported by John Meed. Entrance fee £5 payable on the door.

Cave are a young band from Northampton performing self penned traditional style folk rock songs bringing a new fresh sound to the folk music scene. John Meed singer and songwriter based in Cambridge, plays beautifully melodic heartfelt songs that range across war, the world, injustice and love.

Earlier on Saturday 1st July at lunchtime in Ely Market place another festival guest Adrian Nation will be playing alternating sessions with Cave between 12 and 2pm. Ely & Littleport Riot Morris side will also be dancing in town.

Ely Folk Festival organisers are also offering a chance for local families to go and see what the festival is all about and is offering reduced price family tickets for the Sunday – 9th July. For residents in CB6 and CB7 postcodes the festival is offering a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for £25. This includes admission to the site and all concerts and workshops held during the day and evening. This offer is limited to the first 50 families so make sure you book in advance!
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