Soham – Wasted Potential

Soham, a town well known for the murders of 2002. The way the community came together after these terrible incidents would’ve made you think of Soham as a normally peaceful town with a good community ready to help each other when disaster strikes. You’d be wrong.

As a lifelong resident of Soham I have never used the high street for anything other than Indian Takeaways and various haircuts a lot of years back. I only use the town’s single ‘proper’ supermarket, a smaller than average Asda, when I desperately need to pop down for something as it is almost too convenient that we are situated 10 minutes away from Newmarket and Ely either way. Two places rich in ACTUAL shops, ACTUAL infrastructure and an ACTUALLY USED high street. Yes these places have their own individual problems but it seems that Soham’s economy has gotten smaller and smaller as businesses and companies have been sucking the people of Soham away from it’s already derelict high street to these larger towns/cities.

However, because of all the patches of land between the old town and the bypass are empty, every estate agent in Cambridgeshire seems to want to build houses there. We have had nearly 10 estates with varying amounts of houses, underused parks and nothing else brought into the town. The larger ‘Eastern Gateway’ is still yet to come. But with all these houses being built there are no shops, varying facilities for the younger generations, or good sports facilities being added. This leaves the soon to be 15,000 people of Soham to share 1 average recreational ground, a small Asda and average Co-op, 2 petrol station ‘shops’ and an old sports centre with no money to help refurbish/repair it. It is no wonder why a growing minority of younger people in Soham are starting to cause trouble and terrorise certain local residents. A large factor of this has got to be that there is such a lack of to do in the town they spend most of their time in that they decide to go down the route of gangs, drugs and violence. You can say that they are rip-off, wannabe ‘road-men’ the way they approach you and insult you in the street.

Let’s not forget the ignorance of some of – not all of the – but some of the older generations who still believe that the town is perfect as well as still being convinced that Soham is a small village like it was 70 years ago. They will blame their house being damaged on two things:

  1. Out of towners. This excuse mainly comes from the older generations who are against people coming into Soham, whether that’s coming to live there or visiting a mate. They are NOT fans of the new station and are NOT fans of Soham having links to the rest of the country as they would like it to stay isolated despite never leaving the town unless going to garden centres in Fordham or Houghton.
  2. And I hate to say it, but these people will often blame ‘foreigners’ for damage to the town or it’s inhabitants property. There still is a sector of ignorant people in this town who are in fact racist and are not big fans of people forced out of their own countries coming to Soham for a better life.

In conclusion, Soham is a town with potential that is running out, the train station is the best thing since, well I don’t know, but it is a brilliant thing and will be better when we get hourly services. The station is also sending a lot of the youngsters who cause trouble in Soham out of town, so that makes a good change.

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