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Directions to the French music session in Ely

October 2010, New VENUE, Royal Standard, Ely.

The session usually takes place on the second Tuesday of the month in the The Royal Standard public house, 24 Fore Hill, CB7 4AF (map). There is a large public car park behind the pub. You can enter the pub from the public car park or from Fore Hill.

You are strongly encouraged to use the directions shown below, other routes to this part of town involve negotiating multiple traffic lights and/or pedestrianisation schemes and road humps. The easiest way to the pub is as I indicate below. The map shows the A142 where the roundabout is mentioned.

By Car:

From Newmarket: Drive to Ely, under the railway bridge, take the right hand turn at the roundabout onto Back Hill. Take the second right onto Broad Street. Drive to the end of Broad street, turn left into the large car park just before the large office block (on your left) at the end of Broad Street. The pub is at the top of the car park on the right.

From the A10 or A142: Drive to Ely, take the bypass towards Soham, Newmarket (A142). When you get to Tesco, go past the first roundabout. At the second roundabout turn left onto Back Hill. Take the second right onto Broad Street.Drive to the end of Broad street, turn left into the large car park just before the large office block (on your left) at the end of Broad Street. The pub is at the top of the car park on the right.

By Train:

The local train station is a 5 minute walk from the pub. Walk from the train station to the main road. Turn left and cross the road at the pelican crossing. Continue to the roundabout and walk past the roundabout onto Back Hill. Take the second right onto Broad Street. Walk to the end of Broad street, turn left into the large car park just before the large office block (on your left) at the end of Broad Street. The pub is at the top of the car park on the right.

Why does the session move around?

We don't want the session to move, but we have had to move for various reasons:

Not much you can do about a pub going out of business. But the second issue, the entertainments licence, really grates. It is not uncommon for a conditions to be placed upon the obtaining of an entertainments licence. Typically these conditions require changes to the physical structure of the pub to allow wheelchair access. Such changes are ramps, wider doors, modified toilets etc. Upwards of 10,000 in costs for the pub to absorb. In some excessive cases an entertainments licence can require "door supervisors" (that is bouncers to you and me) to be added. Quite an incredible day to day cost to absorb. Fortunately the door supervisor thing doesn't happen often. These are not something a small backstreet pub can afford just to increase the number of patrons on a cold Tuesday night in October. Its a shame, but that is the reality of an entertainments licence (that should not be required for folk music, see Ireland and Scotland for examples).

Many public houses are struggling to make a living. Allowing a few musicians to play on the less busy nights of the week brings a few extra people into the pub and makes the pub that little bit more viable. We need to make it easier for pubs to do this, not harder.

I hope the new coalition government will amend these entertainment licences to deal with social music sessions in pubs in a similar way that Ireland and Scotland do. Just about all of the problems covered by the entertainments licence are already addressed by law that covers Health and Safety, Fire, Noise and Nuisance and alcohol licensing legislation. You can get an excessively rowdy or noisy session closed down via these mechanisms.





Contact: stephen [at] sprezzaturra [dot] com

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