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Wisbech club meeting again, corn exchange idea and thanks from retiring March hairdresser

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Here are the readers' letters which appeared in the September 29 edition of the Fenland Citizen.

Mental health critical to wellbeing

What amazing news that our rather neglected, run-down little town is going to get some funding from Arts Council England.

It was a lovely market town to grow up in many years ago, but, unfortunately the population has grown exponentially with very little in the way of new amenities.

Schools, roads, surgeries, hospitals and shops in the town have not managed to keep pace. However, there are pockets of excellence still surviving, such as Wisbech in Bloom, The Angles Theatre, The Wisbech Campus of WN College and various small clubs and organisations.

I am writing on behalf of one of these small groups. My name is Gill Repper and I am Chairman of The Wisbech Art Club. Our club is one of the oldest in the country, with a membership of approximately 40 people, 95% of whom are over 70.

We have struggled on throughout the pandemic by posting challenges and chats online, but many of the older members do not have computers. Therefore we were delighted to get back to a regular weekly meeting this week.

I am aware of the importance of developing vital cultural opportunities for local communities, particularly among children and young people, which as a retired teacher I am all in favour of.

However, my request today is for the older generation who have been hit particularly hard for the last 18 months by loneliness and isolation. When we started planning to get back to meeting again we had great difficulties finding a new satisfactory venue.

We have found one at St Raphael’s Hall but at quite an increased rent. To make it all viable we are now having to charge our members £60 per year instead of £25 before covid.

This a huge increase and some of our members have indicated that they can no longer afford to join the club.

This is a huge shame as we realize that this is a very important social date in their calendars. The ‘mental and physical health’ of our local pensioners is critical to their general well-being.

The group may be elderly but their talent is very good, as shown by our wonderful exhibitions in the past. We also try very hard to encourage youngsters to join us to develop their artistic skills.

I am negotiating with Robert Bell, curator of The Museum, to hold our first winter exhibition there for two years. Again, this is a big expense for our club. We have held quite a few very successful shows there in the past and would like to continue if we are able to afford the hiring fees.

Gill Repper

Wisbech Art Club chairman

John Elson's Fenland Citizen cartoon (51706684)
John Elson's Fenland Citizen cartoon (51706684)

Thanks for all your good wishes

Following Ashley Smith’s letter last week, I’ve retired after 27 years from Short Back and Sides March, and due to unforeseen circumstances have to close.

I would like to thank everyone for their good wishes and gifts and wish you all the best.

It’s been emotional and I’m going to miss the interesting, if sometimes controversial, conversations we have had.

Sue Hall

via email

Everyone get jabbed and then get back to work!

As a vulnerable disabled person I was jabbed early, along with my wife who acts as my carer.

At no time did we ever download the NHS app as we didn’t want to get pinged and have to isolate.

My wife worked as a key worker at a supermarket and worked overtime during the pandemic.

If there is any risk of transmission to a vulnerable person, surely this scenario is one of the most dangerous?

We kept to the strict regime of sanitizer and face masks, washing hands etc and quite frankly our life and daily activities never changed at all.

We still continue with the precautions and carry on regardless.

So what is all this ongoing hysteria?

Just get jabbed and back to work everyone!

Plan A , Plan B, what a load of waffle Boris Johnson.

Mark Burton



Why not turn old building into new concert hall?

In your paper last week I read of two events. 1 – The Wisbech Music Society is closing its activities; 2 – Wisbech Town Council is looking for something to do with the Corn Exchange. Well, why don’t the town council turn the Corn Exchange into a concert hall and then let the Music Society arrange concerts there?

Now that the Empire has changed to a bingo hall, the town is missing a concert hall. I remember Julie Andrews coming to the Empire at Wisbech with her mother and father at the invitation of Wisbech Male Voice Choir.

Geoffrey Doubleday


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