Mirror, mirror on the wall....or not, Tesco’s ‘conversion’ to town centre stores, Clarke’s political assessments and former Soham pupil makes it to the X Factor.

BRAKESPEARE finds traffic issues are a bit like buses- nothing for ages and then two identical ones come along together.

In Wisbech residents have raised the possibility of a mounting a mirror to help motorists ease themselves out of a junction. As one reader told community website Shape Your Place “you have to pull out into the road to see if there’s anything coming!”

The road in question is Nene Parade, past the docks, and at the cross roads with Mount Pleasant.

“If you carry straight on onto Osborne Road there is a blind spot to the left which is a dead end with factories on either side,” says the correspondent.

“If a mirror was mounted on the opposite side of the road it would be a great help because to see if any traffic was coming as some of the traffic is heavy lorries.”

But, on the basis you live and learn, I discovered it is not county council policy to allow to or authorise mirrors, such approval needed by the Department of Transport who rarely give it in urban areas.

“If, however, local people wished to provide their own equipment and position it in locations which are not on the highway, there is little that the county council could say regarding such action other than to perhaps warn individuals not to rely totally on mirrors.

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Similar advice has gone to residents in Ely who fear turning out of Chapel Sreet onto Downham Road.

CHARMING letter from a correspondent in March who reckons “what a clever little man (buffoon) you think you are without a pot to p*** is”.

Beautifully scripted, an endearing signature and complete bafflement but Brakespeare wonders quite how he caused such offence.

I HAVE refused, until now, to be drawn into the supermarket issue at Whittlesey but was tempted by a correspondent who drew my attention to council minutes from a couple or so years back.

This was at a time when Tesco hoped to build in the centre of Whittlesey and so were unhappy that a developer, Harrier Ltd, was proposing a supermarket in Station Road.

Karen Crowder-James told the planning committee of Fenland Council “that she is a consultant acting on behalf of Tesco who are of the opinion that the location is wrong in planning terms.

“She made the point the proposal is out of the centre of Whittlesey and her client (i.e. Tesco) is, in her opinion, proposing a food store on a sequentially better site. She expressed that the view that a supermarket is required within easy walking distance to Whittlesey town centre, otherwise it would have a catastrophic impact on the town centre.

“She made the point that this proposal (i.e. Station Road) had no end user and is speculative.”

The minutes, if you haven’t choked thus far, also noted that Tesco had now changed their policy “and it is felt the out of town stores are detrimental to town centres”.

The meeting was on September 19, 2009. My how times change- I wonder what became of Ms Crowder-James?

THOSE of a nervous disposition would probably do well to avoid county council leader Nick Clarke’s election conference assessments.

Of The Greens he reckons “you probably did not notice or care” and of UKIP he lambasts them for having 12 MEPs “thanks, I am sure, to the ridiculous PR voting system- a big warning against extending it any further in the UK”.

Not that Lib Dems get off any lighter where he claims Nick Clegg did his best but trying to lead them “is a challenge for anyone let alone a discredited leader who can no longer be trusted. I’m told the smell of open toed sandals and peanuts was overwhelming”.

And of Labour he reckons “the only question is whether the hard left will be locked up in cupboards or otherwise persuaded to remain silent. I think we all know how bad it can get with a Labour government. Let’s hope everyone remembers.”

For his own party, who begin their conference on Sunday, he concedes “it will not be easy, it never is when you are in power”.

INTERESTING isn’t it when bad news needs dispensing it is so often the poor old spokesman who gets rolled out to take the flack. It happened again this week as protesting traders in Ely started to count the cost of testing streets lamp columns for the in bloom efforts.

They’ll also, no doubt, be issues over Christmas lights too and, interestingly, I noticed the workmen out in March stringing cable across the High Street ready for the festive season.

Of course the county council is aware of the pitfalls following the ensuing chaos in St Neots five years when lights collapsed, injuring one woman so severely she was knocked unconscious and needed five stitches to her head, a punctured lung and three broken ribs. Her friend fell onto a pram to protect her baby and ended up with three broken fingers and some serious bruising.

A spokesman for the county council told Brakespeare: “As part of the countywide streetlight replacement programme we have been reminding organisations and councils across Cambridgeshire of the requirement to ensure that where anything is going to be attached to a lighting column that the column has been strength tested.”

NOT often mind you but good to see Horse and Country magazine covering X Factor and it took former Soham college boy Jamie Hamblett to win them over.

Jamie is, of course, the 24 year old former Soham College pupil and apprentice jockey who in the space of a week amassed 130,000 Twitter followers following his band’s success in this year’s X Factor.

It could easily happen that Jamie, who spent four years as apprentice to Sir Michael Stoute and rode 23 winners and even rode for The Queen, might eventually find similar fame to JLS.

Nicky Mackay who used to ride out with Jamie at Newmarket reckons he might well be onto a winner since if we look at One Direction’s success “they didn’t even win it!”.

Nicky says she’s not sure “there’s ever been anyone famous from Newmarket from outside of racing and this shows that it isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all of success!”

THE businessman who died in the recent sky diving accident at Sibson airfield in North Cambs left behind an enterprise described as “probably the best wine shop in the country”.

Patrick Sandeman from Putney had spent the past 24 years building up with his partner a multi million pound wine business with four stores across some of the most prosperous parts of London.

Guy Woodward, the editor of Decanter magazine, said Mr Sandeman was considered one of Britain’s leading wine merchants.

“He was a great guy and a very well respected, forward thinking, wine merchant - it is very sad,” he said.

“He was someone who loved wine and was certainly considered one of London’s leading wine merchants, if not the country’s.”

A younger French diver, who became entangled with Mr Sandeman as they began to land, was seriously injured in the accident which is being investigated by air safety officials.

SIGN of the times...found on photographer Steve Williams’ travels, this sign at Marshalls Bank, Tydd Gote, which has adopted cultural changes to publish fishing signs on four languages.