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Minutes of Riverside Meeting

Thursday 19th April 2012

Present: Malcolm Green (Acting Chair), Margaret Haw (Minutes), Angela Moody, Terry Overall, Alice Sibley (Maltings), Patricia Simmonds (J.Gdns) and Peter Webb (IWA). The Acting Chair welcomed Helen Stratford, Local Artist, who gave a presentation (see item 4.)

1. Apologies

Ian Burton-Palmer, Margaret Bowles, Andy Byrne (Maltings), Mike Rouse, Caroline Cawley, Helen Moore, Ted Coney, Liz Wainwright and John Yates.

2. Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on 22 March 2012 were approved and signed by the acting chair.

3. Matters arising

(i) It is understood Mark is currently targeting dog walkers and is busy with other issues in his role as Enforcement Officer.

(ii) Margaret was tasked with asking Lewis if he can provide us with regular mooring reports as he previously did.

(iii) No report was available on the Town Centre Committee proposal.

4. Presentation

Helen Stratford – A Day With A Duck
Research Project and Gallery Presentation, Babylon Gallery Ely.

'I’m an artist and an architect living locally and working in Ely.
My work has been presented nationally and internationally including
Metropolis Biennale Copenhagen, ICA, Tate Modern London, and
École Des Beaux Arts Paris. I specialise in site-specific work made
in response to the use of space in our daily activities.

Ely has a unique relationship with the feathered denizens of its city.
The idea of 'A day With A Duck' is to take the path of an Ely duck
as a lighthearted starting point to investigate how residents, visitors,
tourists and workers use the City and how their actions maintain
its distinctive character.

As you know, Ely is in the midst of change - currently undergoing a
masterplanning process of 'planned growth' to 'maintain the city's
unique identity.' Amidst this envisioning process are numerous people,
whose daily routines, some centuries old, produce the city everyday.
As a counterpart to the masterplanning process and its vision, I propose
to learn about and make visible how the public spaces of Ely are currently
used and maintained by spending time with and experiencing the routines
of different people. I would like to arrange to meet some of your members,
to spend time with them, to talk to them and experience their routines that
help make Ely what it is (some of which may indeed cross paths with a duck.)

You can contact me at the following telephone number(s) 07940 773303,
01638 721475 or email

The Gallery show itself will include drawings inspired by the people I meet,
which use the language of architectural drawings and diagrams to depict
daily routines. There will also be a series of artist-led city walks, inviting
other artists and local experts, alongside my research, to provide
unexpected views of the City.

I hope you can help me and I look forward to hearing from you'

5. Ely Master Plan and Country Park

Alison Conder sent a report that the repairs to the mound have been completed and the slide is now open for use. Mike Rouse sent an e-mail stating that he was meeting with Alison Conder next week to get fully updated on recent work and proposed work at the Country Park and hopes to have a fuller report at the next meeting. Members present were concerned about (i) reduction of litter bins along the river; (ii) lack of a dog bin down Kiln Lane; (iii) surface of Fisherman’s Car Park and presence of large puddle in the corner and (iv) despite recent rain, that the new trees do need watering.

6. Reports

Alison Conder had emailed to inform us that following reports of the footpath collapsing under the railway bridge, ECDC roped off the areas and immediately notified Network Rail who are responsible and they have now put down some boards to enable the path to be used before they then undertake the necessary engineering works to repair the embankment pathway, which may have to be closed temporarily while the works take place.

Natural Environment
No report available.


21 April - Ely in Bloom Market Stall – 08.30 to 4pm
05 May - Ely Eel Day
14 May - Mayor-making – William Burton

Jubilee weekend:
02 June - King’s School Agricultural Festival (instead of Etheldreda Fayre)
02 June - Last Night of the Proms – Ely Cathedral
03 June - Big Lunch, Jubilee Gardens (in conjunction with Adec)
04 June - City Council planning ongoing for event in the park from 4pm
07/20 July - Jubilee Concerts – Ely Cathedral
13/14/15 July - Ely Folk Festival
14 July - East Cambs Arts Festival Society – Cosi Fan Tutte (Swansea City Opera)
08 Oct - Aled Jones – Ely Cathedral
19-30 June - 2013 ECDC Arts Festival:

Peter reported that the trials to move sewage by river proved not cost effective. He believes there will be fewer boats through Ely this year because of the closure of canals in Northants.

7. Future Organisation of Riverside

No report

8. Slipway

Still awaiting information

9. Jubilee Gardens

Patricia reported that at the AGM some changes were made to the committee. The next event will be on May Day (7th) Song and Dance by Octagon Dance Studios (11am-1pm). If wet, this will be in The Maltings. The next Working Party will be 18 May at 9.30. Grant of £1750 towards tree planting will be given by the Parks and Open Spaces. Possibly will resurface the play area. Collaboration with Adec for the Big Lunch. The Friends will be providing a cake to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Gardens. An English Hornbeam has been planted to mark the Queen’s Jubilee. Colour scheme this year will be red, white and blue.

10. Ely in Bloom

There will be a fund-raising stall on the market on Saturday 21 April. Volunteers would be welcomed. On 22 May a briefing meeting will be held. A date is to be arranged to sort out the plug plants and hanging baskets. Judging for local competitions will take place on 7 August. The station garden is looking very nice, including window boxes. Donations of spare plants would be appreciated – especially bushes and dry garden plants. Two concerts will be held to raise funds for the 2013 Arts Festival – 31 May at Barcham Stevens’ house and 14 July, Mozart at the Hayward Theatre.

11. The Maltings

Alice gave a report on behalf of Andy. The restaurant re-opened on 2 April with a new menu, including snacks, baguettes, pies, salads, jacket potatoes and side dishes. Newmarket sausages will be on offer as well as a special ‘children’s lunch menu’ and scones and cakes all day. Choice of traditional roasts will be available on Sundays between noon and 2.30pm at £8.95. A special summer party package will be available, when the riverside restaurant and bar will be available to hire for parties (7pm to midnight). This will include two glasses of Pimms per person and a two-course barbecue cooked and served on the terrace overlooking the river. New benches and parasols will be purchased and smaller tables. A new stair lift has been installed and quotes are being sought to re-varnish the hall floor. Other events include Collections Fair on 16 May, Dolls on 20 May and Stamps on a quarterly basis. The Maltings will also be involved with Eel Day from 11am.

12. The Maltings Cottage

No report available

13. ADEC

Ted left a written sheet outlining the activities at the Babylon and the Cinema. At the Babylon Gallery an exhibition called Natural Rhythm: A Year at Wicken Fen from Saturday 21 April until Sunday 13 May. A general leaflet is available showing the list of films during May. Ely Cinema will also be offering its first National Theatre production on the big screen in June with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller in Frankenstein. Tickets on sale shortly. The first live screenings later in June with opera from Glynebourne. On Ely Eel Day, Bob and Carol Banks' show will be on and a special free family activity at the Gallery during the day. For a full list of current and future events see the ADeC website

14. Date of Next Meeting

Thursday, 21 June 2012, 7pm at the Maltings.
N.B. There will be no meeting in May.

15. Any Other Business

(i) ECDC received a request for a memorial bench to be located alongside the river near the High Bridge and had asked for this Group’s advice. The members present were in favour of allowing the bench on condition that it is of non-organic material. The preferred location is south of the railway bridge near the lifebuoy stand.

(ii) It was generally agreed that we need to have a good presence at the next meeting in order to discuss the future of the group. Please let Margaret know in good time if you are unable to attend.