‘A Strange Day at Queen Adelaide’ - a review by Rosemary Westwell

Jack Waterfall (Director of the film) and Martin Whitworth;

Jack Waterfall (Director of the film) and Martin Whitworth; - Credit: Archant

Ely Cathedral is known for hosting a variety of events, but last night when the theme of ‘messing about with boats’ was the order of the day, it must have been a first.

Ely String Quartet: Laura Shipsey, Izzy Swinhoe-Standen, Anna Growns and Csilla Waterfall and Beryl

Ely String Quartet: Laura Shipsey, Izzy Swinhoe-Standen, Anna Growns and Csilla Waterfall and Beryl Smith dressed in a Civil Defence uniform of the day - Credit: Archant

How many cathedrals can boast of having a boat-naming ceremony within its hallowed walls?

Martin Whitworth, one of the original rowers at the 1944 Cambridge-Oxford boat race held on the Great Ouse near Ely, managed a sterling job of naming a new boat displayed in the Cathedral ‘Honours Even’.

The majority of the evening was taken up with the film: ‘A Strange Day at Queen Adelaide’ and it contained many fascinating images from war time as well as interesting descriptions and interviews of what it was like at that time.

The evening was enhanced with musical items from Ely String Quartet and displays from local organisations including: Cambridgeshire Geosites Team, Fenland Rivers, Diamond44 Community Group, Ely Film Society, Isle of Ely Rowing Club, March Veteran and Vintage Cycle Club, Ouse Washes Landscapes Partnership, RAF Witchford Museum and The Willow Studio from Queen Adelaide.


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Profits from the retiring collection will go towards the continuing development of community rowing on the River Great Ouse at Ely.

Overall, the evening felt like a friendly, community affair – a unique experience, well worth attending.

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