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Columnist John Bone takes an irreverent look at Newmarket's week

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It may be a sign of our benighted times but I now look to shocking events and how they are treated for comfort and even joy.

So I rejoice that an 18-year-old Newmarket youth believed by police to have encouraged another into selling drugs has become an early candidate for the dubious honour of having a Slavery Trafficking Order slapped on him for exploiting a local 15-year-old.

Let us give thanks for detective Janet Harris and her colleagues for successfully pursuing this novel and difficult legal course towards curbing a loathsome trade.

John Bone, the columnist who gets Newmarket talking.
John Bone, the columnist who gets Newmarket talking.

But let us not leave it to Janet and her fellow officers. We all have a duty to be vigilant in the care of our young people against the pestilence of addiction.

And let me mention another source of satisfaction in something shocking. For too long, police forces have deployed too few rural crime officers to police vast areas of counties like Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Now, at last, those two counties together with Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Essex and Kent have combined to make it easier for different forces with different tactics to work together in certain sorts of law-breaking. This will make life a little harder for highly organised thugs from far afield who ravage our countryside for the disgusting ‘sport’ of hare coursing.

There you are, two sorts of shocking crimes that have offered a strange source of comfort that effective action is being taken against them.


Who am I to harbour doubts after the full weight of law and the ancient office of coroner have been bent towards the mysterious vanishing of Corrie McKeague?

Yet there is something about the certainty that his supposed death was connected to those big plastic rubbish bins that seems too plausible, too easy, too neat.

The coroner has even extended this certainty to call for national concern over bin safety. But it was in the middle of the night, no known witnesses, the airman was drunk and wandering.

Who can be sure this bright young man wasn’t snatched from the street and ended up the Lord knows where? In my foolishness I am still awaiting a witness who has always kept silent but saw something on the hitchhiking road from Bury to RAF Honington.


Blast! I can’t get to the East Anglia UFO group meeting in Newmarket on Monday to hear how the Moon landings were faked.

I have a prior engagement to give a talk on how the Queen is not really the Queen but a double substituted during the coronation service by a foreign power so that she should spend her whole reign spying for a gang of assassins based in New Zealand.


How galling it must be for James Palmer that his brainchild, Soham’s new railway station, is teeming with travellers but he gets scant credit for its success.

His successor as Mayor of Cambs & Peterborough got his name on a platform plaque but James, a son of Soham, is almost forgotten in what should be his hour of triumph.


I know I rattle on about the unfair treatment of the taxi industry, but I am not alone.

Never mind about hailing a cab, hail the MP for Cambridge, Daniel Zeichner. Yesterday he was hosting a parliamentary event to recognise the role taxis play in society.

They are a vital link in Suffolk’s scattered communities where buses are ridiculously rare and car ownership cannot be assumed.

This is a key issue and anything any MP can do not only to protect the public from rogue cabbies but to protect the cabbies from crazy councillors is welcome.


I pity the poor judge at Snailwell Dog Show next month.

When I did the job for another village it was worse than judging a baby show. Adoring owners are fiercely defensive of their pets’ merits and a judge can be cursed for failing to be seduced by the charm of some scruffy, ill-tempered, flea-ridden mongrel.

One bit me. The dog, that is. Not the owner. Although it could easily have come to that.

I mean, at Snailwell there will be classes for ‘Pretty bitch’ and ‘Cutest eyes’ plus an elimination event called ‘Catch the Sausage’. And what do judges get for their labours? Not a sausage.

There should be a Royal Society for the Protection of Humans.


When I was a lad practically every boy in my school was called either John or George. Henry was thought to be quite exotic. How times have changed!

Glancing through the Newmarket Swimming Club squad named on our sports pages, I see everything from Anniston to Zac by way of Romilly, Adrija, Noah, Guste, Casey, Raven, Isla, Flossie and Phoebe. How dull to be just John in such company.

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