BRAKESPEARE: Cambs man eating his cockerels following complaints about their crowing

LABOUR Parliamentary candidate’s cocky tweet, why it’s important to get your facts straight and a campaign for a town crier for March are topics also highlighted by our diarist this week.

• COUNTRYMAN Paul Boon strikes a forlorn figure after being ordered to get rid of the six cockerels following complaints about their noisy early-morning crowing.

One has already gone, however, eaten by Mr Boon for his Sunday lunch but, sadly, the other five must go ... one way or the other.

If not, he’s been told by his landlords – Sanctuary Housing – he risks eviction from his Littleport home.

I rather chimed with Mr Boon, growing up in a Norfolk village, and he’s probably right in suspecting the complainants are from a new housing estate unused to the dawn chorus of a handful of cockerels.


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Mr Boon, 66, said: “If they don’t like country noises they should not move here. Before the houses were built the land was used as a dairy farm and, of course, I never complained about the mooing of the cows.”

Not that’s he’ll be bereft of company altogether if the cockerels go. He also keeps 10 chickens, three white geese, a Chinese goose, seven ducks, a barn owl, a Harris hawk, an eagle owl, nine kakarikis, three cats... and two Jack Russell dogs.

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But in case we fail to recognise the quality and character of the man, he adds that “I was born and bred in Littleport. I am a countryman and a Fen Tiger”.

The saga has taken several months to unravel and Mr Boon at one point soundproofed the cockerels’ pen after locking them in each night to reduce the noise.

But Sanctuary insists there remains a “substantial” noise nuisance between 3.20am and 7am and so the cockerels – or him – must go.

“Mr Boon agreed noise levels would be monitored and, if found to be unacceptable, the offending animals would be removed,” says a spokesman for Sanctuary Housing.

“It was found the cockerels, which start crowing from 3.20am, were causing noise pollution.”

• THREE travellers who appeared before a district judge proved not to be the brightest of defendants when it came to getting their act together over a stolen generator.

A district judge was told the three men, all from Newbridge Lane, Wisbech, each claimed to have bought the generator for �30 legally.

But, said the prosecution at Spalding magistrates, when pressed, each defendant gave a different description of the man alleged to have sold it to them.

Needless to say, the story held little conviction with Judge Richard Blake.

He stung each with �200 in fines and costs and warned each they would face jail if they came before him again.

• FRESH update on the window in County Road, March, which I featured a fortnight ago – and thanks to Hannah Auffret for the information.

She works nearby at Kent Memorials and “I see this window open and close several times a day and more so in the last week due to the unusually warm weather.

“However, you are incorrect in saying the window belongs to the financial services. They, like me, do not have the luxury of a window in their shop, which is very frustrating.

“In fact, it belongs to the house to the side of the shop which is currently rented out. I agree it is a hazard and one wonders why they did not put the window at the top.

“I have seen many mums with pushchairs struggle to get past. Thankfully, the occupants only open it in the afternoon and close it when they go out!”

Hannah’s e-mail made me chuckle at the end – the message notes it had been “sent from my Windows Phone”.

• MY old chum Hew Dunnit has switched allegiances to community website Shape Your Place, where I see he is campaigning for Reg Kemp to be allowed to become the town crier of March.

Reg reckons the estimated �1,800 cost put forward by March Town Council of providing a town crier outfit is wrong and �400 would be a more realistic sum.

“You spent thousands of pounds on robes for yourselves for prestige purposes but are not interested in doing something for the town which would cost little or nothing,” says Reg.

Now he’s found a supporter in Mr Dunnit, who suggests Reg should either buy his own outfit or “seek public subscription if necessary. I’m sure that lots of people would chip in a �10 to help”.

He poses the question to which I have no answer and this is whether town criers have to be licensed “or can anyone walk about the town bawling out news!

“Oyez, oyez, March Town Council too mean to buy town crier’s regalia.

“Boo! Hiss!

“God Save the Queen.

“Oyez, Oyez!”

Oh crikey!

• LAST time I checked the declaration of members’ interests at Fenland Hall, I was struck by several things ... notably how much some councillors did outside their civic duties and how little some others did.

One whose interests covered multifarious charitable and social organisations was Wisbech councillor Simon King, whose diverse and eclectic range of interests would be the bane of some and the envy of others.

Should you wish, however, to look online to discover what those interests are then you’ll be out of luck.

For while nearly every other county councillor has agreed for their interests to be published on the Cambridgeshire County Council website, Cllr King has opted not to do so (as is his right).

Anyone interested in reading them can pop into Fenland Hall, March, or Shire Hall, Cambridge, where statutory written records are kept and are available.

• THIS most curious of photos popped up on Twitter the other day – a picture from a 1950s guide to Wisbech.

“Very colourful,” noted Nick Littlewood, the vintage poster enthusiast who came across it.

“I was rather taken by it,” he said – a view I feel confident will be shared by Brakespeare’s fans.

• LABOUR’S Peter Roberts, who fought the last General Election in NE Cambs, has returned to expounding his thoughts on Twitter following an absence due, I suspect, to his academic duties at Cambridge.

Cocky as ever, Mr Roberts tweeted that “I’m always right, just fell 20,000 people short in Fenland agreeing with me”.

• BUSINESS Link in the East of England has conducted a survey into the expectations of local businesses in advance of the 2012 Olympics, but I’ll leave it to you to determine its level of helpfulness.

“With the Games less than a year away, the survey has found that one in four local businesses are expecting an increase in staff holiday requests,” says Jackie Bates, senior account executive.

Most helpful.

Brakespeare always does so enjoy receiving the wisdom of account executives paid handsomely to state the bleedin’ obvious.

• AT a loose end in Cambridge the other day, I popped into the University Library to catch a glimpse of an exhibition I’d been intrigued to see since a press release of a month ago headed ‘Let’s talk about sex’.

If the aim was to attract my attention it did, but the serious intent was to publicise the Books and Babies exhibition now under way, looking at human reproduction through the areas.

“Books and Babies bring together a medieval bestiary and an 18th century Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus and a condom packet distributed by Cambridge University Students’ Union,” noted the press release.

This is probably all you need to know, in advance, of the exhibition which is open until December 23, daily, except Sunday.

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