A Fenlander's diary

THE proud new owner of the Griffin Hotel in March is hoping to maintain the status quo" of the establishment. Martin Ellis, a former sound production manager for rock and roll band Status Quo, moved in to the historic 16th century coaching inn on Wednesd

THE proud new owner of the Griffin Hotel in March is hoping to maintain the "status quo" of the establishment.Martin Ellis, a former sound production manager for rock and roll band Status Quo, moved in to the historic 16th century coaching inn on Wednesday. Within hours, he was in the bar celebrating his new purchase.As long as he doesn't replace the jukebox music with the likes of Rockin' All Over the World and Whatever you Want, we should get along very well.FOOTBALL referees who think it must be tough at the top might well be reflecting that it's not that much better at the bottom either.One member of Whittlesey United must have thought it something of a jolly jape to "imprison" local referee Nigel Thorold in his changing room for 15 minutes after he had allowed a controversial late goal.Apparently, there's a bolt on the outside of the refs' room which was flicked across, imprisoning Mr Thorold until someone came to his rescue.The club was fined £50 for "allowing their players to act in a manner that is irresponsible to the game".There are some, Mr Thorold no doubt included, who might be thinking the penalty too small.ANTHONY Stocker, of March, has formed a branch of Mums' Army, the political party set up to combat the growth of yob behaviour.Mums' Army already has a register of more than 10,000 supporters and, according to Take a Break magazine, is Britain's fastest growing political party.It has 54 candidates ready to stand for council election and Mr Stocker is expected to be one of these.Mr Stocker's wife Debbie died last August after a long battle against cancer. During her illness, the family endured years of harassment from local youngsters.Take a Break editor John Dale says: "This is only the beginning. "People have lost faith in the ability of police and other authorities to combat the wave of anti-social behaviour that is ruining thousands of lives."IT'S not just humans, it seems, who shed a few pounds after Christmas. This week, I heard of a special clinic in Wisbech for pets who need to fight the flab.So far 25 dogs and cats are enrolled in the special clinic at Paddon Veterinary Surgerys in Elm Low Road.GOOD to see former Councillor Pop Jolley holds no grudges against his former Conservative colleagues.I notice he is the official proposer for the Tory candidate, Robert Sears, who hopes to succeed Mr Jolley as Manea representative on Fenland District Council. Five candidates, including two independents, will contest the poll on February 2. Mr Jolley, meanwhile, who quit the council rather than face bullying allegations, is expected to make a move within the next week or so against those he holds responsible for forcing his resignation.Fresh from a Dubai holiday, he is said to be fully fit and equipped with a sense of purpose to restore his good name. A DECIDEDLY odd theft in March (apart from that of a canary in a cage stolen from a mobile home) is that of a number of street signs.Signs have been taken from Chestnut Crescent, Almond Drive, Butt Avenue, Willow Drive, Cherryholt Avenue, Brewin Avenue, Birchwood Avenue, Ellingham Avenue.Fenland council says they will "replace them as soon as we can".Brakespeare suggests mums should start looking under their offspring' beds just in the case they were nicked as some sort of schoolboy prank. RAIL buffs in the Fens will, no doubt, be casting an envious eye over a disused signal box being sold for £90,000 in the village of Thorney. Planning permission has been granted to convert it into a home.The box will convert into four rooms, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and lounge and could be extended subject to further planning. It was built of brick and timber in the 19th century.

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