Filed under Art, Ely 2018, Holidays

Ely Eel

Eel Sculpture

Ely lies in the heart of the Fens and was once an island surrounded by marshland and water that contained many eels. It is thought that the abundance of eels led to the name that the city bears to this day.*

Eels were historically part of the local staple diet as well as a valuable source of income. Jellied eels were popular until recent times and clients would come from London such was the reputation of Ely’s eels.*

Eels are still caught in the Great River Ouse although only one commercial catcher still remains. *

Commemorative Plaque

The eel art pictured is a 3m high galvanised steel eel sculpture by local sculptor Pete Baker. It was a gift from Ely Rotary Club to the people of Ely to mark 100 years of Rotary International.*

*From the Eel Trail leaflet

1 Comment CherryPie on Nov 19th 2018

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13 (KJV)

Ely War Memorial

8 Comments CherryPie on Nov 18th 2018

St Mary's Church


14 Comments CherryPie on Nov 17th 2018

River Ouse

Bags packed we went to breakfast and had another enjoyable breakfast and conversation with George. We settled our bill and as we left the building we noticed that the air had an autumnal feel to it.

Anglesey Abbey

After deliberating where to visit before we set off on our journey home, we called in at Anglesey Abbey which is only a few miles away from Ely. The air was a little misty and the sky was overcast so we decided to do the grounds first in case it rained.

Anglesey Abbey

We enjoyed our walk through trees with their autumnal colours, the waterside walk to the load mill and the winter garden. Statues are displayed in the gardens, many which were acquired from other country houses that were in financial difficulty.

Anglesey Abbey

The house was built on the site of a former priory and incorporates some remnants of the priory which can still be seen today. We found the house and its contents fascinating, the contents being the collection of Huttleston Broughton, 1st Lord Fairhaven.

Anglesey Abbey

All too soon it was time to start on our journey home but not before we had lunch in the tea room. By this time the sun had come out and the autumnal feel of the morning air was a distant memory.

10 Comments CherryPie on Nov 16th 2018

The River Ouse

George greeted us as we came down for breakfast. Rachel served us with granola and yoghurt topped with fresh fruit followed by freshly cooked breakfast items of our choice. As we ate, we had an enjoyable conversation with George.

Ely Cathedral

After breakfast we walked to Cromwell’s House to visit the Tourist Information Centre but we were too early; it didn’t open till 11am. We flexed our plan and went into the Cathedral. Our first impression of the Cathedral was its immense size and we were impressed with the view looking down the transept towards the apse. The artwork on the ceiling and dome is exquisite.

100 Armistice Commemoration

Just to the side, as we entered, there was a stunning poppy display made of knitted poppies commemorating the 100 year anniversary of WWI. We browsed the Cathedral shop before having a cup of tea in the cafe. Next we explored some of the Ely side streets, spending some time in the City Cycle Centre, which is much more than a cycle centre,selling children’s toys, games, Airfix models and paints.

Cromwell's House

We had a slightly late lunch where I opted for a something modest, a toasted tea cake, because of the filling breakfast. By this time Cromwell’s House was open so we were able to visit the Tourist Information Centre and visit the Cromwell Museum. The building that houses these was once the family home of Oliver Cromwell. We were asked to consider if Cromwell was a villain or a hero; we came to the conclusion that he was a man of his time.

We returned to Toppings bookshop and came away with some purchases. Next, we visited the delightfully named Cutlacks, another department store where we picked up several kitchen items, so many we decided not to venture onto the upper floors lest we be tempted to add to our purchases. After this shopping experience we made our way straight back to the B&B so that we couldn’t be tempted further! I took advantage of the lovely roll top bath where I had a long soak before getting ready to go out for dinner.

The Old Fire Engine House

We dined in The Old Fire Engine House where we were served by a delightful Scottish lady. The food was delicious. I had sea bass and Mr C had melt-in-the-mouth beef casserole. Seconds were offered, although I declined. We shared a dessert of rum and raisin ice cream, which was just as well because the portion was huge.

When we left, Mr C left a tip with the lady who had served us. It made her day being it was a Scottish note left over from our recent trip to the borders. We retired to the B&B for a nightcap (it would have been a shame not to take advantage of that lovely sitting room).

10 Comments CherryPie on Nov 14th 2018

Market Harborough

We set off on our journey to Ely a little later than we had intended which, as well as the travel taking longer than expected, led us to change our plans and not pay a short visit  visit to Cambridge. Instead we broke our journey for lunch in Market Harborough. Being a Sunday the nice tea shop had we enjoyed on our previous visit was not open so instead we settled for a sandwich in Greggs. Amply replete, we headed straight to Ely and checked into Peacocks B&B.

When we arrived at Peacocks tea room, which has rooms above, we were served with complimentary drinks and cake. I chose elderflower water and lemon and lavender cake, which was delicious. We were provided with a local map and shown where to find the local attractions.

Peacocks B&B

Peacocks B&B

Peacocks B&B

We were then taken to the side access (which avoids walking through the teashop) and to our mini suite. The rooms were fabulous with a generous seating area, a bathroom with a roll top bath and a shower. In amongst it all, there were several bookcases full of books. My kind of heaven.

River Ouse

Rather than unpacking straight away we headed into Ely to make the best of the afternoon. As Mr C was moving his car into a non-restricted area, I stood and looked out over the river Ouse. A lady came a stood nearby and told me to mind my handbag. She then told me that she had been mugged and other various woes. All the while she was taking sideways glances at a couple of young men nearby and advising that Ely looks nice but it isn’t what it used to be. She then apologised for wearing dark glasses explaining that she had something wrong with her eyes that made them sensitive to bright light.

We took a walk along the river, through the Jubilee Gardens, past the Cathedral and then on to look for the two restaurants that we had pre-booked for evening meals. As luck would have it they were opposite each other. Just as we had located the second restaurant a voice piped up, “I am not following you”. It was the lady I had encountered just outside the B&B, this time without sunglasses and about to get in her car.

Peacocks B&B

We returned to the B&B pausing to browse in Toppings along the way. Toppings has got to be the best bookshop I have ever visited. We spent some time relaxing in our rooms before making our way to The Poets House for dinner. I chose black seabream followed by pressed apple and elderberry sorbet. An elderly lady nearby was struggling with her menu choices. The first dish went back because it wasn’t piping hot and she opted for a different dish which, as it happened, was the seabream. When this arrived she didn’t like the way the meal was served. After our meal we stopped off in the Drayman’s pub before returning to the B&B for a nightcap.

18 Comments CherryPie on Nov 13th 2018

There But Not There

Following the 2014 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, which represented the 888,246 British and Commonwealth Service men and women who lost their lives in the First World War, this Tommy commemorates the centenary of the end of the 1914-1918 war and those who lost their lives.

There But Not There reminds us of those who served in WW1 and did not return home. I believe that alongside each symbolic figure stands the spectre of five others who did return and found themselves so changed by what they had experienced that life for them and their families would never be the same again. There But Not There stands as a powerful symbol for us to not forget them too.”
Lt Gen Andrew Graham CB CBE

There But Not There

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Robert Laurence Binyon

There But Not There

20 Comments CherryPie on Nov 11th 2018

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