No Butts About It – Ely Is Smokefree

From Sunday 1st July, the Health Act 2006 becomes law. This means smoking in all workplaces and public places will be banned.

Image: Ely Is Smoke Free

As East Cambridgeshire gears up to go smoke free this weekend, officers from ECDC are giving out final reminders about what the new laws will mean.

The smoke free legislation means shops, pubs, offices should be places free of smokers lighting up and any second hand cigarette smoke. If any public or work places do not comply with law, they may face fixed penalty notices or fines.

Liz Knox, Head of Environmental Services & Housing, said: “Basically the legislation means that any place of work or enclosed public space should be smoke free. This includes places like restaurants, shops, museums and more significantly work places which means an end to smoking rooms in the office. Landlords will also have to ensure that common parts of shared houses comply with the legislation.

“There has been a tremendous amount of advertising and publicity regarding the new legislation so there will be no excuse for pleading ignorance especially with fines in the region of £50 – £200 for non compliance. My team will be about from Sunday to enforce the legislation but the feedback we have had leads us to believe the new laws will be self enforcing with everyone taking time to enjoy their new environment.”

Folkin’ Hell 2.0 – It’s Festival Time

Fellow Folkster’s, the 22nd Ely Folk Festival begins this evening and once again Ely Online brings you a folk flavoured podcast in the spirit of the festival. This year we have added a lot of new folk spanning several folk genres such as Freak Folk, Weird America, Folk Rock, Folk Progressive, Psych-Folk. There are also some older songs though it is pretty hard to tell which is old and which new.

Now if only we could get Devendra Banhart, Adele or Lupen Crook at the 2008 Ely Folk Festival…


  1. Mud – Ivor Cutler
  2. A Silver Boot For Sam – Lupen Crook
  3. Son – Michaelangelo
  4. Little Emma’s Smile – Viking Moses!
  5. In Vain – Oliver
  6. All I Ever Wanted – Meg Baird
  7. Mama Wolf – Devendra Banhart
  8. Daydreamer – Adele
  9. Hard Times – Gob Iron
  10. Snakes In A Hole – Accolade 2
  11. Mouse Song – Faun Fables
  12. Boulders On My Grave – Mellow Candle
  13. Losing The Will To Survive – Findlay Brown
  14. You Never Wanted Me – Sandy Denny
  15. No Other Name – Peter, Paul & Mary
  16. Same Old Man – Holy Modal Rounders
  17. Tale From Black – Tunng
  18. Our Pasts, Like Lighthouses – Rock Plaza Central
  19. Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream – Pete Seeger
  20. End Of A Holiday – Fairport Convention

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Peacock’s Tea Room, BBC One & The One Show

Back in June we ran a brief article when the BBC visited Ely for a segment on their tea-time show, The One Show.

That was aired recently at 7pm. Many of you probably didn’t get to see it so you can now view it at your leisure.

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You Are Lawful But We Dislike You!

Planners at East Cambridgeshire District Council have received an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness from the developer who owns Roswell Pits.

The application covers a range of uses and works that the owner considers do not require planning permission. It includes the use of the Pits for boats, temporary moorings, maintenance works and temporary works.

Developers make applications for Certificates of Lawfulness in order to establish whether activities or works can go ahead without planning permission.

The Council will take legal advice before determining the application. The onus is on the applicant to supply significant supporting documentary evidence. The decision on such applications is taken purely on this factual information, without any regard to ‘suitability’ considerations or reference to local planning policies. Under Planning legislation these applications are not advertised or sent out for consultation with public because it is a legal determination rather than a debate about the acceptability of the proposals.
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Farmers Market 7th Birthday

This Saturday (14th July), Ely’s Farmers’ Market is celebrating it’s seventh birthday and ‘MP’s support their markets Month’ with a visit from James Paice, MP for Cambridgeshire South East and Councillor Fred Brown, Chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council.

As part of the birthday celebrations a face painter will be on hand to decorate accompanied children, there will be information on how the Farmers Market can reduce carbon footprints and competitions will also be held during the morning.

To complete the celebrations, there will be a birthday cake supplied by Tom’s Cakes, one of the Farmers Market traders for market shoppers to try.

Councillor Fred Brown, Chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Farmers markets are a modern interpretation of an age-old idea, that local farmers and food producers have a place in which to sell their wares locally to local people. At a time when many markets are in decline, Ely Markets remain well supported and have continued to evolve to ensure they meet the needs of our growing population. Our success in achieving a highly commended in the National Market Awards earlier this year shows the achievements of Ely Markets.
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Beware The Ides Of July

One of the highlights of Ely’s Amateur Dramatic calendar is the annual ADS open air Shakespeare production, performed each year in the Sue Ryder Gardens. This year’s presentation is the classic drama of power, betrayal and political intrigue, ‘Julius Caesar’.

Following on from the company’s successful productions of ‘The Taming Of The Shrew’ ‘A Comedy of Errors’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Twelfth Night’, ‘Julius Caesar’ is the first ADS production to be directed by Fiona Gilbert, an associate director of all of the previous open air shows. “Like all great epics, this show has been a long time in the making,” explains Fiona. “I began my preparation as soon as the curtain came down on last year’s production and hopefully, after all this work, I’ve put together an entertaining and thought provoking version of the play.”

Despite being set in Roman times and written in the Elizabethan era, it is most definitely a play for today. On its debut, Shakespeare’s drama reflected the anxieties in English society provoked by Queen Elizabeth’s refusal to name a successor. Thankfully the intrigue that has surrounded this country’s 21st Century political succession has been resolved with accession of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, but the behind the scenes machinations that have brought him to power could have fuelled their own Shakespearian tragedy. “As we were rehearsing the play, whenever we got to Caesar’s famous assassination scene, I couldn’t help but imagining a version of the play that cast some of the great political leaders of this era,” laughs Fiona.
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Baebes In The Lady Chapel

Mediaeval Baebes, a stunning group of female vocalists who specialize in Mediaeval music, captured a packed audience in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral with their astounding sounds.

Their pure voices in perfectly gelled harmony and the impact of skilful instrumental support entranced the listeners with music that brought Mediaeval culture alive. With interesting descriptions of the way mediaeval people saw the world, we were taken on a magical journey to those times. Their songs told tales of love, mythical beings, and mystical religious adoration. A body-crushing snake, sweet soothing reflections on the rose and its symbolism, a tantrum throwing queen, and a song of the debilitating effects of alcohol were all par for the course.

Highlights included “The Lord’s Prayer” beautifully arranged and sung in Cornish and “Dringo Bell”. This song was made more effective by the delightful mocking tones used. Another special item was their mesmerising “Coventry Carol” – one of the two well-deserved encores.

Unforgettable moments also included the endearing choreography of the girls in their glamorous costumes, the striking effects of the lighting after the interval when the instrumentalists were starkly silhouetted as they wowed the audience with their skill. The mediaeval instruments included a mediaeval fiddle, a hurdy gurdy, the whole family of recorders including the highest ‘garklein’, a cittern, a guitar and drums. Instruments and voices were exquisitely and naturally interwoven to produce a gripping folk-like effect.

This was an evocative event that was undoubtedly highly successful. The Baebes expressed a desire to return to the Lady Chapel next year with the possibility of singing without amplification. (They certainly have the voice for it and the instrumentalists the ability to balance well). Let us hope that we will be able to see this excellent team in Ely again soon.
The Baebes are Katharine Blake, Bev Lee, Emily Ovenden, Melpomeni Kermanidou, Sofia Escobar, Maxine Fone and Clair Rabbit.

Ely Folk 2007 Video

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Ely Folk Festival Review 2007

Image: Ely Folk Festival 2007

There’s an old Neil Young album recorded at some Mudfest or other in the 70’s where he tries a spot of weather manipulation with the crowd. ‘Maybe if we all shout loud enough we can stop this rain!’ he implores the throng. Needless to say, it didn’t work and they all got trench foot and dysentery. However, after three weeks of continuous rain I thought it worth a try and in the week leading up to the 22nd Ely Folk Festival I did some furtive chanting, whilst pretending to work: ‘No rain. No rain. No rain’. At one point I started to rock back and forth in my chair and drooled a bit, prompting a concerned colleague to ask if I was ok. Going that extra kilometre on behalf of the weather pixies worked. By 6pm on Friday the rain had stopped. That wasn’t much consolation for the people who had to push caravans through the mud to get onto the site but it didn’t rain any more. Not a drop.

Despite the possibility of rain I was looking forward to the Festival with bated ears, quivering with anticipation at the opportunity to watch some decent live folk music. I’d watched brief parts of the Princess Diana Birthday bash on telly and was heartily sick of the diet of corporate rock bands that always play at those kind of events. I’m also getting weary of the kind of pap that record companies try to fling at blokes like me on Father’s Day – “40 Motorway Tearjerkers” and suchlike.
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Ely’s New Parking Regulations

Car parks designed to meet the needs of shoppers, visitors and commuters are on the agenda at next week’s Environment and Transport Committee.

Council Chiefs will debate changes to the car park regimes within Ely designed to ensure city centre car parks are available specifically for visitors and shoppers, while commuters get their own car park at Angel Drove. This all means an increase of approximately 200 car parking spaces across the city.

Councillor John Seaman MBE, Chairman of the Environment & Transport Committee, said: “We have to strike a careful balance between all the people who want to use the car parks in Ely. Currently the city’s car parks and streets are imbalanced with too many spaces in the city centre being taken by long stay users. This forces shoppers and visitors to have to search in vain for a free space.

“The changes which are being put forward to next week’s Environment and Transport Committee aim to tackle this problem. With the new car park at Angel Drove opening in late autumn, we have an excellent opportunity to come up with new car parking regimes in addition to having approximately 200 extra spaces which will fit the needs of our city. The goal is to free up the car parking in the centre of Ely for shoppers and visitors while preventing those who do not need such prime locations from using these car parks.
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