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Minutes of Riverside Meeting

Thursday 13th September 2011

Present: Margaret Bowles, Ian Burton-Palmer, Andy Byrne (Maltings), Ted Coney, Margaret Haw (Minutes), Liz Wainwright (Acting Chair), Angela Moody, Helen Moore, Mark Mehaffey (ECDC), Christine Pike, Malcolm Green, Patricia Simmonds and Peter Webb. Christine Pike was welcomed as representative for Adec.

1. Apologies

Philip Eden, Pat and Peter Hillman, Alan Mittins, Jonathan Wainwright, Mike Rouse, Caroline Cawley (Adec), Terry and Shirley Overall and John Yates.

2. Minutes

Minutes of the meeting on 12 July were approved but will be signed after Lewis confirms his amendments were incorporated as intended.

3. Matters Arising

Liz will endeavour to find out if the QEII Fields applies to the Country Park

4. Future organisation of Riverside

There was a meeting in August and feedback from the City Council is awaited. The Riverside would like to have a representative (e.g. Bill Burton?), or at least the Riverside Group should receive an update report for our meetings.

5. Ely Master Plan and Country Park

Mike Rouse sent the following via email: 'Allison Conder is now running the project. We have had two meetings about signage and equipment. She is looking at various ways of dealing with the problem of the slide mound and I am waiting to hear back from her. I am more optimistic that we'll get some of the problems sorted now.'

Comments from members at the meeting:
The orchard used to be a wild flower meadow. Springhead Lane specification may be wrong as the stones are beginning to be crunchy. The gate is still locked. There is still no bar coming out of fisherman's car park. Cresswell's Lane entrance is completely shut between the sewage farm and Cresswell's Lane so that you have to use the car park. Trees near the swings are dying and desperately need watering but the ones in the orchard are worse. The notice which was by the swings, regarding 'no dogs', has disappeared. Litter bins are always full and there should be more seats near the swings – or picnic benches. There is a lot of rubbish everywhere. There are bricks dislodged at the z-stone near the Babylon. Liz will contact Spencer.

6. Jubilee Gardens (Patricia Simmonds)

Eel Day was very successful and there was a membership recruitment stand at Ethedreda Fair. The annual outing was well supported. This was to 16th century Narborough Hall where the garden is being restored in an eco-friendly way. Three new designs of notelets are being offered, five altogether. The new playground equipment is well-used. The Gardens have been awarded the Green Flag Award for the 7th year in succession, with help from the Council as well as the Friends.

The autumn fund-raiser will be a talk in St. Peter's Church Hall by the poet, Wendy Cope on Friday 18 November at 7.30, tickets £10 each. There will be a flyer shortly. Next week the Newsletter is being printed.

There are plans to replant 2 trees near Broad Street where there is a problem with the roots. The 4 olive trees that were vandalized are going to be replaced and are on order.

A feasibility report has been completed in consultation with people who use the electric box near the bandstand. Ideally it will be put underground. Liz will talk to Spencer with the aim of making it a group project with local contributions. Ongoing maintenance must be kept in mind. Hopefully this will be a project for Jubilee Year.

7. The Maltings (Andy Byrne)

The restaurant will close for the winter on 31 October until Easter. It will still be offered free of charge any daytime or evening when the Hall is not being used, with set prices for coffee/teas/canapés. The bar will be open when the cinema is screening, also for coffee and teas.

The wooden sign is in hand regarding the change to the duck-feeding area.

As well as the Adec events mentioned earlier, Dr Feelgood will have a gig, Mic-Fest will take place and a medium, Susan Devere will be on tour at The Maltings on 30th September. On 22/23 October, 10.30am – 5pm, there will be 'Art Unequalled', a showcase of art and craft also for sale.

It is hoped there will be some entertainment on the night of the Christmas Lights switch-on. Suggestions would be welcome. The Maltings will not be open on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day but the New Year's Eve event will be as normal, no later than 2am finish. The Maltings will also help with the Beer Festival in January.

8. The Cottage

Nothing to report. This project is in abeyance pending setting up of the Trust.

9. Adec (Christine Pike)

3000 visitors attended the most recent exhibition 'Fakes and Forgeries'. David Palmer auctioned off several items. Brian Sewell, art critic, gave a talk. The next one opens on Saturday for 5 weeks when Jane Frost presents workshops and videos under the theme Fairtrade: Material Matters. Then there will be a film poster sale.

On 16 October there will be the first 'alternative content' screening in HD of the Bolshoi Ballet performing 'Esmerelda' (based on the Hunchback of Notre Dame) and filmed live at the Bolshoi in Russia the previous week. This will be a 'taster' which if successful may lead to investment in expensive technical kit.

Adec has also been working in partnership with Peterborough FM on a youth project where young people from Ely have acquired the skills to create their own radio shows which will be broadcast over the coming month.

Other events and films are well advertised on flyers and websites.

10. Slipway

Copies of the new proposed signage for duck feeding were passed round for comments. There will be a £2,500 fine for feeding ducks in unauthorised areas. There has been no progress regarding the proposed fencing.

11. Ely in Bloom

The Ely in Bloom group were congratulated on the city’s floral arrangements which were considered to be lovely, despite not entering into the Anglia in Bloom Competition.

12. Reports

See under 5. Country Park and 9. Adec

Natural Environment (Helen Moore)
Ely Wildlife Trust, Wildlife Watch and CPRE held a Creatures of the Night event when 43 people learnt about different species of bats and moths and other insects. Tawny owls were spotted. There will be an adults talk Invasive Aliens on the third Friday in October and a children’s Watch Group on the second Saturday in October.

Cruising (Peter Webb)
There is a proposed project to move sludge by water from Denver to King's Lynn. One container will carry as much as four lorry loads. Information is on the BBC website at It is thought this will help the eels as locks will need to be open longer. Andy offered to try to get more details and information about this.

Liz will get an update on the noise problems from late-night generators.


27 September, The Maltings – folk duo Spiers & Boden, Doors 7.30pm
30 September, The Maltings – medium Susan Devere, starts 8pm
16 October, The Maltings – Screening of The Bolshoi Ballet 'Esmerelda' 3pm
22/23 October, The Maltings – Art Unequalled 10.30am – 5pm
25 October, Jubilee Gardens working party from 9.30 at Bandstand*
28 October, The Maltings – Jenny Eclair, Doors 7.30pm
10 November, Jubliee Gardens working party from 9.30 at Bandstand*
18 November, St. Peter’s Church Hall – poet Wendy Cope, 7.30pm £10
23 November, The Maltings – The Vagina Monologues, Doors 7.30pm

*Please bring gloves and secateurs. Soup will be available at noon courtesy of The Maltings.

More events and information can be found at: or

13. Date of next meeting

Thursday 13 October at 7pm, The Maltings
N.B. Please note this is on a THURSDAY to avoid clashes.

14. Any other business

(i) Babylon Gallery has a new eel sculpture donation box made by a local artist

(ii) Ted made a request to plant bushes round the tree near Waterside Antiques. Liz will contact Spencer

(iii) The surface is very churned up and there are holes causing hazard in Fisherman’s car park at the bottom of Willow Walk.

(iv) The Ely Perspective AGM will be held on 29 September at 7pm in the City Council Chamber, Market Street, Ely.