Covid-related poems from E.L.Jenkins


(4th March 2020)

Here’s a tongue in cheek, somewhat poetic-licensed view of our current situation and what it may be like when we emerge from it at the ‘other end’.


We can have ‘Corona’ today,
The ‘Corona Man’ is on his way.
Lime’s my fave, but Raspberry’s ok,
And ‘Cream Soda’ though extra to pay!

Now ‘Corona’ when it’s heard
Has become a feared word!
Deadly, spreading across the World,
Millions to die! But surely absurd?

Stocks and shares to collapse,
‘Advanced Capitalism’ too, perhaps!
Community then will mean a lot,
Bartering to live, using one’s stock.

Whoever survives will be immune,
A New World System can emerge.
People will matter, everyone the same,
No elitism, no meritocracy, certainly no fame!

The old and young will have died,
Middle-aged will try to stem the tide
They’ll strive to procreate once more,
To help overcome whatever’s in store!

No need then for a warning,
Climate’ll be no longer warming.
No more temperatures extreme,
Earth green, deserts further between.

Man’s ingenuity will win through
However much there’ll need to do,
Yes, we’ll be here for eons to come,
Until Earth’s gobbled up by the Sun!

The Laws of Physics and the Universe,
Outside of our immediate world,
Will determine when mankind’s gone,
It’ll be when time and times are done!

E.L.JENKINS 4th March 2020


(3rd May 2020)

We are hopefully going to have an opportunity to contemplate what kind of future we’d like when this pandemic is eventually overcome. A number of possibilities may occur and indeed from news editorial and newsletters, together with discussions on tv and radio, it appears that more people are beginning to realise and contemplate our (and the World’s)  future, in ways that would have seemed bizarre speculation only a short time ago.

Some, of course, are contemplating a swift return to a similar economic situation to that prevailing before the virus took hold!

Thinking this and possible outcomes, I felt it worthwhile to write a follow-up poem to ‘VIRUS’ – ‘VIRUS-SEQUEL’. The content is intended to be both controversial and contentious (somewhat ‘Brave New World’), but nevertheless thought-provoking! I truly believe poetry can be a fine medium for this approach.

Again it’s a ‘tongue in cheek’, somewhat poetic-licensed view of our current situation and what it may be like when we emerge from it at the ‘other end’ (present/future).  I hope you like it.


When a vaccine’s been manufactured
All will flock to its Standard,
Virulence will have been quashed,
The Corona Virus’ll be squashed!

There will be some silver lining spun
With battle won, Man will Soldier on.
Many of the old will have gone
Our Health Service could be second to none!

And Youth will need to play it’s part,
To treat life more seriously,
Over indulgence a thing of the past,
Weekend revelling, much more modestly!

A&E will then easily cope,
Hospitals tranquil and calm no doubt,
Fewer ‘Oldies’ to block their beds,
Hopefully less disease to spread.

Costs of course will be much less,
Fewer hierarchical ladders perhaps to climb?
More altruism, more sublime.

Would people be ready to go at a certain age?!
Or ‘Coldly Preserved’ for eternity!
Wisdom archived by electronics,
No one ever old enough to be a sage.

Teaching performed through holograms,
Research advanced by linked-in Apps,
Robotic technicians, always agreeable,
Equipment everlasting but biodegradable.

As the Young will still be here
Man’s future could be more clear,
Time to consider how to progress
To try to prevent another mess!

Permanent synthetic production halted,
Only degradable plastics moulded,
Doors and sills made from Nature’s Bounty,
No bursting landfills spoiling country.

Science and Art to be paramount,
No ‘tribal’ politics in between,
Bureaucracy to be minor
And very rarely seen.

Then with less people, maybe,
We can give the Earth a chance.
To let Nature mend itself,
And finally restore the balance.

The Planet and Mankind in accord
Each benefiting from the other,
Symbiosis on a Worldwide Front,
Abundance for all; we can afford!

There could be a turn away
From Global based economies,
Back to Countries on their own,
Running their markets alone.

Enjoying cultures unique
Eating and living differently,
Respecting everyone’s ways,
Without any uniformity.

For a long time to come
This thought should prevail,
Less travel for pleasure,
And mainly by rail!

As has been said before,
We’ll be here for evermore.
Eternal hope resides, at least
Until a greater force decides!

E.L.JENKINS 3rd May 2020

Cam Valley Forum Update

Our friends at Cam Valley Forum inform us…

Although our working parties, events and face-face meetings have had to be curtailed due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus, we are still actively monitoring, campaigning and working to improve the environment of the River Cam. Our coronavirus policy is available here.

Cam Valley Forum website

Our Web Editor notes that the section of Cherry Hinton Brook at Burnside and alongside Snakey Path looks more healthy than when Antony Carpen reported on it in summer 2019. See our earlier post Save our local chalk stream!

There have also been reports on Twitter of a grass snake seen swimming in Cherry Hinton brook. However, vigilance…

Download the latest Cam Valley Forum newsletter here.

Read and download The River Cam Manifesto here.

Indoor Bowls

Alex Mervart – Marketing Manager of Cambridge Chesterton Indoor Bowls Club writes:

We are a thriving, modern indoor bowls club with an excellent restaurant and bar located on Logan’s Way in Chesterton. We currently have 600+ members many of whom play week in week out. There are others who play occasionally or are simply social members coming down to enjoy our spacious bar and restaurant areas. Other than the 8 bowls rinks where the action takes place, the club houses a large, relaxing area where you can catch up with other members, read a book, work on your laptop using our fast Wi-Fi or even do one of our jigsaws.

Bowls session in action

Bowls is our bread and butter and we are proud to have high-quality playing areas, numerous qualified coaches and all the equipment you need to get you started. It is a democratic sport, accessible to people of all ages and from all walks of life, keeping you fit without putting a great deal of strain on the body.

Coaching session

The club runs weekly inclusive sessions in collaboration with the City Council on Monday afternoons. We also have an annual Open Day which is pencilled in for Sunday 20th of September 14:00-18:00 (subject to Covid-19). We welcome visitors from every corner of Cambridge and beyond and would be delighted to see more residents of the Mill Road area. If there were enough interest, we could even setup a bespoke session just for you. Please check our website or call/email in early September for the latest info on our opening times and open sessions. 

Should you then wish to join, the annual membership for the 2020/21 season will be just £12.50 (down from £65), entitling you to bowl and use all the club facilities. 

Cambridge Chesterton Indoor Bowls Club restaurant

Finally, if you are a business or organisation looking for a venue that is a little bit different for your next meeting or conference, we also have diverse spaces available to hire throughout the year.

Mill Road Bridges website manager adds:

Whilst this is out of the Mill Road area, Cambridge Chesterton Indoor Bowls Club has received funding from Cambridge City Council, the Sports Council, a Lottery grant, and commercial sponsorship to be a city-wide (and beyond) facility. When we eventually ease out of Covid-19 lockdown, people will be looking to find new forms of exercise and ways to socialise.

The club, on Logan’s Way, Chesterton, Cambridge CB4 1BL, is just a modest cycle-ride away, via the Riverside pedestrian/cycle bridge, or a short walk from Chesterton Road (CMBDADPG) citi2 bus stop at the corner of Chesterton Church Street.

Legal note:
Cambridge Chesterton Indoor Bowling Club Limited,
Logans Way, Cambridge, CB4 1BL, is a company limited by guarantee with no a share capital. Company No.3206633, registered under the Companies Act, 1985.

When open (currently closed during the Covid-19 lockdown) the club can be contacted by email or by phone
Office: 01223 362713
Rinks: 01223 352096

Alex Mervart can be contacted on 07488 529703 or at

What makes a virus clever?

Hema Tasker of EHCP Services has kindly provided this information and worksheet PDF which you are free to download and use with your own child when schools are closed.

Viruses are tiny, 500 million can fit onto a pinhead! They contain genetic material which is either DNA or RNA and are surrounded by a protective coat. They can live inside other animals and make copies of themselves.

Viruses are not alive because they do not complete all of the seven life processes: Movement, Respiration, Sensitivity, Nutrition, Excretion, Reproduction and Growth.

Click on the image above to view/download the four-page PDF

Hema Tasker’s ehcpservices – “Effective, helpful, caring and personal service helping children and families with STEAM and SEND support, tutoring, home schooling and more” – can be contacted by email through this link or by phone on 07976 512 506.

It Takes A City

A Cambridge Homelessness Partnership

By Hema Tasker

Statistics indicate that there are 160 homeless people in the city centre, of which 130 are in temporary accommodation. This means that one would expect there only to be 30 homeless people with nowhere to go at night. Walking down Mill Road one questions this statistic. Some street people shy away from Jimmy’s as they need to hand over “details” – while others are fiercely independent in their response to welfare cuts, job loss and possibly addiction.

I had the pleasure to chat to Lee outside the church who explained how he wanted to change his life and liked to say “I’m homeless but not phoneless”.

Lee has, with the help of the people around him, managed to set up his own business: It Takes A City – A Cambridge Homelessness Partnership. He patiently explained why he advocates for It Takes a City. Looking at this website I can finally  answer the question how can I help? Well click on It Takes a City and find out who you can donate tampons, socks and furniture to. Or how you can cater for an event, or get your garden cleaned, while developing skills for homeless people in Cambridge through various social enterprises.

Hema Tasker
STEAM and SEND specialist tutoring and consultancy services

This post is an edited version of an article in Mill Road News Nº25 Early Spring 2020.

East West Rail plans go on show at Ross Street

Friday 20th March, 2:30pm – 6:00pm

Ross Street Community Centre, Cambridge, CB1 3UZ 

Following the publication of the preferred route option for the section of the line that will run between Bedford and Cambridge, community events enabling the public to study and give feedback on the East West Rail plans are under way.

On 30th January 2020 the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP, announced the preferred route option for East West Rail, between Bedford and Cambridge.

The Preferred Route Option links existing stations in Bedford and Cambridge with communities in Cambourne and the area north of Sandy, south of St. Neots, and was chosen following detailed analysis over several months.

Between February and March we’re hosting 14 community events to answer your questions and discuss what’s next for East West Rail.

East West Rail
Click the image to download a PDF. Click here for an interactive map.

You will be able to find out more about East West Rail, talk about the next steps for the railway, share your views, and meet experts.


Save our local chalk stream!

Those of us who have ventured to the far end of Mill Road to Burnside, and along Snakey Path during last summer, will have seen the poor state of Cherry Hinton Brook. This was highlighted in a YouTube video by local citizen blogger Antony Carpen.

Cam Valley Forum reports:
During the 2019 summer, the dry weather reduced our River Cam to little more than an elongated pond with a pathetic tickle over the weirs at Jesus Green. Some of the Cam tributaries dried up, many only flowing because they have been augmented by water from sewerage works.
How to Save Water, and the Cam posted 9th December 2019

Whist BBC journalist Mark Williamson Tweeted about the Granta/Cam at Grantchester.

And Feargal Sharkey reported Environment Agency information.

We are indebted to Cam Valley Forum for some of this information.

Cam Valley Forum Newsletters can be viewed/downloaded here.

Projector screen

Thanks to the Trash Nothing site and app – and the generosity of a donor in Shelford, Mill Road Bridges now has a small projector screen.

So Mill Road Bridges can be generous, too.

We can lend this to non-profit community groups in and around Mill Road.

It would be suitable for small meetings, of up to 20 people (maybe 30 at a pinch). See the image and dimensions, below.


Screen width: 95 cm
Screen height: 98 cm
Height from floor to top of screen: 166 cm
Extended leg radius: 43 cm

Could be positioned on a table-top for extra height (if you’re careful).

Terms & conditions

Email us, using this link, as far in advance as you can.
You/your group is responsible for collection and return.
There is no fee.
If you damage the screen, you/your group are responsible for finding a replacement of similar standard (2nd-hand, not perfect, but passable).

Greater Cambridge Local Plan

Open meeting, in the Mill Road, Wednesday 19th February 2020 7:30pm

And see, further down, about another meeting on the previous evening.

This public meeting was be led by Katie Thornburrow, Executive City Councillor for Planning.

Were you there? Please send us a report?

This plan will affect the way we live, work, travel and play in Cambridge over the next 20 years and beyond.

The shared planning department are committed to growing our economy, and planning for new homes and jobs which meet the needs of all our community, and meeting the challenges we face.

But it’s not just about the economy or development: the Local Plan is an important tool to help us become a net zero carbon society, and to meeting our target of doubling biodiversity in the area.

Click for more information about Greater Cambridge Shared Planning
An introductory video from Greater Cambridge Shared Planning

The big themes: biodiversity, climate change, wellbeing, homes, jobs, infrastructure…

Where to build?

Greater Cambridge Local Plan – The Big Debate

An evening of quickfire presentations from local groups and lively debate about the future of Greater Cambridge.

Tuesday 18th February 2020 18:30 – 21:00 GMT
Cambridge Corn Exchange, 2 Wheeler Street, Cambridge CB2 3QB

As part of the ‘First Conversation’ consultation on the new Greater Cambridge Local Plan, local groups were invited to share their ideas about the future of the Greater Cambridge Area. Eight local groups presented and debate their ideas.

If you attended either event, please send us a report using this link to email us, and we’ll add your report to the post.

Shorter comments are also welcome, below, but should be polite.