Award-Winning Show Comes To Ely

An award-winning one–woman show comes to King’s on Wednesday 14 March when Rohan McCullogh presents Testament of Youth, based on the life of Vera Brittain.

Image: Rohan McCullogh

The dramatic and moving piece won The Scotsman drama award for the actress who began her career in the original cast of the musical Hair. She has appeared as Antigone in Oedipus at Colonnus (Manchester Royal Exchange) and in Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Royal Shakespeare Company).

Her film and television appearance include Sunday Bloody Sunday, Derek Jarman’s War Requiem, and David Hare’s Strapless.

She has given poetry and music recitals at the Wigmore Hall, the South Bank, and at arts festivals nationwide.

But she has achieved her most notable success with her one-woman shows. Testament of Youth tells the story of the life of one of the most inspiring women of the early 20th century.

Having battled her way to Somerville College in the face of parental opposition, Vera Brittain abandoned her studies at the outbreak of the First World War to serve as a volunteer nurse witnessing the horrors of trench warfare. In 1918, with many of those closest to her dead, she returned to Oxford and later devoted her energies to the causes of pacifism and feminism, writing and lecturing worldwide.
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Ever Get The Feeling Of Déjà Vu?

Ely Online: April 2nd 2006:

Absolutely Quackers – ECDC To Suffocate Ducks:

In a move that King Herod would be proud of, East Cambridgeshire District Council plans to suck the life out of Ely’s newly laid Muscovy duck eggs before the cute little chicks hatch by oiling eggs (meaning dip them into paraffin). ECDC have, apparently, received many complaints about the number of Muscovy ducks in Ely.

Cambridge Evening News: March 5th 2007:

Council Hatches Plan To Curb Duck Growth:

ELY’S ever-growing duck population may be checked by special measures to stop eggs hatching.

East Cambridgeshire District Council says it will consult local residents and cover Muscovy duck eggs in oil to stop the growth in numbers if enough people express concerns.

Ely Scholars Prepare For Historic Hoop Trundle

Ely King’s and Queen’s Scholars are preparing for one of the most fiercely contested events in the King’s School school calendar – the annual Hoop Trundle.

The scholars, in their scarlet gowns, run races in the Cathedral precinct while bowling traditional wooden hoops.

The Hoop Trundle commemorates the re-founding of The King’s School Ely by King Henry V111 in 1541. Having dissolved Ely monastery, which had educated children for centuries, he gave the school its first royal charter and established the 12 King’s Scholars (boys). One of the privileges he allowed them was to play games, including the bowling of hoops, in the Cathedral precincts.

Image: King's School Hoop Trundle

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Ely Sinfonia in Ely Cathedral

Image: Ely Sinfonia

Ely Sinfonia presented a refreshing concert in Ely Cathedral on Saturday 3rd March 2007. An attractive programme of music with Spanish connections offered works by Chabrier, Rodrigo and Dvorak that were both appealing and challenging.

“España-Rhapsody for Orchestra” by Chabrier provided a fitting attention-seeking opening to events. The tantalizing variety of rhythms and colours in this work were brought alive in the hands of conductor Peter Britton. His ease on the platform and the suave precision that permeated his conducting style inspired great works from the orchestral members.

David Massey was a youthful but formidable solo guitarist. His capacity to sail through swift passages with unerring effortlessness and his command of the tremendous variety of styles and techniques his performances demanded, thrilled the packed audience. He positively stirred the hear-strings in Rodrigo’s “Fantasia para un gentilhombre” and his firm exploration of the deeper tones of the instrument was awe-inspiring.

Ely Sinfonia accompanied David with measured skill and this splendid orchestra had by now proved to be highly accomplished – able to work cohesively and effectively incorporating many highly skilled solo passages that gave the virtuosic flourishes and more sonorous, contemplative episodes excellent value.
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Ely’s Four-Pint Bridge World Record Attempt

The next time you pour the last dregs of milk from your four-pint milk carton don’t throw it away as you can be part of an ambitious project to build a 36-metre-long bridge that will span the River Ouse – the bridge will be made from 14,100 empty four-pint cartons!

Image: Four-Pint Bridge

Once completed the bridge will bear a load of 30 people at any one time and allow an an environmentally friendly Smart car to drive across the river and will be a new world record.

The bridge is aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues and is the idea of Jack Waterfall, a councillor on ECDC. Jack said: ‘The bridge will represent the amount of plastic people in Cambridgeshire are consuming before dinner time. That amount of plastic consumption is not sustainable, so it is bringing that forward to the public’s attention.”

The World Record Attempt will take place on June 23rd as part of the Ely Rowing Club and Ely Sailing Club’s ‘Ely Classic Regatta’ which starts 12 noon to 5pm (accessed from Willow Walk or Kiln Lane, Ely).
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Relax, Enjoy, Recycle In Jubilee Gardens

Visitors,who come to the Jubilee Gardens in Ely to relax, read a newspaper and drink a bottle of water, now have somewhere to recycle their items when they have finished.

The new Mini On-Street Recycling Bin is the first in any of East Cambridgeshire’s parks and open spaces and accepts the following items:

  1. Plastic bottles (without lids and squashed)
  2. Glass Bottles
  3. Drink Cans
  4. Paper (newspaper, magazines)

Keith Stronach, Principal Facilities Officer at ECDC, said: “We know there are lots of people who come to the opens spaces in the district to relax, read a magazine or have a picnic. A number of these people got in touch with us to ask whether we could provide some recycling facilities so they weren’t just throwing away their papers and food containers. Members of the Parks and Open Spaces teams also had the same idea so we have set the bin up in the Jubilee Gardens as a trial.

Image: The new Mini On-Street Recycling Bin

“The Mini On-Street Recycling Bin will accept paper, glass, plastic bottles and cans – so will be useful for visitors or boat owners who have moored by the riverside. In the week that it has been in position, we have already emptied it four times which proves it is being used.
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BBC’S Countryfile Visit’s Ely Cathedral

Last week, BBC’s popular countryside and environmental show ‘Countryfile‘ themed a whole episode from Ely.

The show started with a fascinating interview with Ely Cathedral curator, John Webster. The interview can be viewed below.


Over the next few days we will also bring you Countryfile’s features on Wicken Fen, Eel Fishing and Ely’s association with the Cambridge/Oxford Boat Race.

The Ely Cookery Lectures By Alison Sloane

Image: Alison Sloane

Food throughout history has had a huge effect on the culture and development of nations from the Irish potato famine to the success of conquering armies to the introduction of spices from the East.

To celebrate this impact, Oliver Cromwell’s House in Ely is running a series of cookery themed lectures throughout the year from local food historian, chef, lecturer and writer, Alison Sloan.

Alison will be spending two hours with her audience; this will include a talk, cookery demonstration and then the chance to eat what has been made during the refreshment break. Recipe cards are also provided to recreate the dishes at home.

Image: Oliver Cromwell House

The first lecture will be on Tuesday 24th April between 2.00–4pm and will discuss ‘The History of Afternoon Tea’. Visitors will hear about the history of afternoon tea and then see a selection of mouth-watering cakes and savouries made.

Tracey Harding, Tourism and Events Officer at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: ”The course of human history has been affected by many things such as religion and commerce but food has also made a significant impact. Wars have been won and lost on the supply of sustenance as recognised by Napoleon when he said ‘An army marches on its stomach.’ The lectures at Oliver Cromwell’s House may not be that life or death but they will certainly make you think.
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Swimming Sessions A Success For The Disabled

After a successful trial, swimming sessions especially for people with disabilities and their families has had over 170 users since they began in the winter.

The session which runs on Sundays from 1.30 – 2.30pm at the Paradise Pool, Ely is open to all people with disabilities. The sessions provide the opportunity for whole families to spend some recreational time together in a fun and relaxing environment.

The move is a joint initiative between Disport East Cambs and the Paradise Pool is designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities and their families.

Jenny Lowe, Sports Development Officer, East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “Over 170 disabled people and their families have taken advantage of the swimming session at the Paradise Pool. As a great way to get fit, swimming is an activity available to everyone and we are really pleased so many have been coming to the session.
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Ely Book Launch For Patrick Lennon’s Corn Dolls

April 19th see the book launch of Corn Dolls, a chilling and atmospheric debut from an exciting new talent in crime fiction, Patrick Lennon.

Image: Corn Dolls

Set in Cambridge and surrounding fenland, Corn Dolls begins for detectives Tom Fletcher and Sal Moresby with what looks like a very bloody accident in a farm machinery showroom, and reaches back into the past – his own and that of the local police force – before slamming into the present with all the force of the most up-to-date criminal power in the world. Crackling with secrets and surprises, packed with haunting landscapes and haunted characters, freighted with the hot, thundery atmosphere of a Cambridge summer and the inevitable paying-out of past betrayals.

There will be a book launch event at Topping & Co bookshop, 9 High Street, Ely on Wednesday May 8th where you can come and meet debut author Patrick Lennon. There will be a wine reception.

To reserve a ticket contact the bookshop: 01353 645005 or email:

Ely Online will be reviewing the book shortly.
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