BBC’s ‘The Big Dance’ Coming To Ely

Image: The Big Dance

As you may or may not be aware, Ely has been chosen as the Cambridgeshire venue for the BBC’s Guinness Book of Records attempt to have the most number of people dancing a set routine at the same time. Locations have been selected up and down the country and it is hoped that 80,000 people will participate in this Big Dance.

The BBC are working with the Arts Council, BBC Radio Stations and location organisers to put on this national event on Saturday 22nd July. At 11.30 am a professional dancer (yet to be named for our area) will arrive in Jubilee Gardens to rehearse the routine with as many local dance groups as possible. The idea being that dance groups will naturally pick the routine up much quicker and then when the general public join in at 12.30 pm there will be more people to follow. The routine is only ten minutes long and has been devised to suit all ages and disabilities. Radio Cambridgeshire will be broadcasting live from 11.30 am until 2.30 pm in the Gardens and the ten minute routine (and possibly more) from 12.30 pm to 12.40 pm will be recorded. Clips from all the locations will form part of a 1½ hour show on BBC that evening. The show, presented by Bruce Forsyth will appear in two parts – an hour show before Casualty and half an hour after Casualty.

Any dance groups willing to participate should be at the Gardens by 11.30 am for the practise and then encourage as many of your friends and families to join in this world record attempt at 12.30 pm.

Folkin’ Hell, It’s Festival Time

With the Ely Folk Festival 5 days away Ely Online decided to wet the appetite of our fellow folksters with ‘Folkin’ Hell’, a little mini-mix of some songs the guy’s at Ely Online really dig. All in an accoustic vein, some old, some new and some just so downright ocscure you never have heard of them!

Enjoy and get ready for Ely’s biggest festival of 2006! For full details you can read our Ely Folk Festival event listing or go to the official Ely Folk Festival website.

See you next weekend. John will have a Dragon Slayer and I a diet coke! **cough**, sorry I mean’t a ‘kilt lifter’!!

You can listen to the mix streamed online by pressing the play button below, broadband is your friend for this. If you don’t see the player below then you don’t have the Flash Player installed, that can be remedied by going here.



  1. Intro by Carol Batton
  2. Young Hearts Run Free – Nancy Wallace
  3. My Aunt Edna – Bonnie Koloc
  4. Bones For Doctor Swah – Wooden Wand
  5. Don’t Be Upset – Jeffrey & Jack Lewis
  6. Help Me Find Myself – Tudor Lodge
  7. Graveyard – Forrest
  8. Diamond Day – Vashti Bunyan

If you enjoyed the mix some feedback would be welcome. Thanks.

Chris Hunt’s World Cup Diary: Week’s 3 & 4

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.

Saturday June 24: Day 16

Image: Chris Hunt

In Stuttgart it seems more like a Michael Schumacher victory than a win for the national football team. On the banked steps of the Schlossplatz flags are waving and horns are sounding as Germany’s workmanlike victory over Sweden is beamed on to the giant screens of the Fan Fest. The match has been played in the middle of a blisteringly hot summer afternoon but still thousands stand here to experience the collective euphoria of a football triumph. For most it surely would have been easier to watch this game at home, but these Germans are backing ‘Klinsi’ and the boys all the way. A cheer goes up as a firework shoots into the air and the match is won. But as entire families start to make their way out of the town square for home, they are caught in a bottleneck caused by a small army of riot police, each one in full body armour, their faces and identities covered by balaclavas and crash helmets. They are standing between a large group of jeering Germans and an intimidating corner of the Schlossplatz that will remain forever English, where shaven headed men old enough to know better wave their large plastic jugs of beer in the air and sings songs about the war. One simulates a machine gun and pretends to mow down the passing crowd in an imaginary hail of bullets, while others, with their arms outstretched, make as Lancaster bombers. It’s time to get out of the town centre just in case the wicker chairs start flying!

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Ely Folk Festival Review 2006

Image: John Glover

Once again the Ely Online Folk Boy Three got our annual dose of Folk at the 21st Ely Folk Festival. I was there to provide the words, Karl the pictures and Holly the spangly jumpers.

Held over three days and three nights Ely Folk Festival has steadily grown (in size and stature) since its demure beginnings at Ely’s Pocket Park. This year sees the event undergo a slight change in name from ‘Ely Folk Weekend’ to ‘Ely Folk Festival’ and the publicity has a more polished appearance and what better time to do this with the sudden resurgence of Folk music.

Friday – Evening

It was fitting that the first act up on stage at the 21st Ely Folk Festival should be ex-committee member and Ely Folk Club stalwart, Andy Wall, who paid tribute to the committees ‘re-badging’ of the festival. As Andy explained, things have changed but have also stayed, comfortingly, the same. The festival logo has been updated and, cunningly, the ‘Weekend’ has transmogrified into a ‘Festival’. As for myself, I stepped into the weekend like I would a trusty pair of old Y-fronts.

As in previous years, it was Ely Online’s job to provide a non-folkie view of the festival. We knew we would be well catered for as committee chairman, John Adams, said prior to the weekend, there would be, ‘…a rich and varied line-up of blues, folk-rock, acoustic sets and African music’. We weren’t to be disappointed.
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