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Showing posts from December, 2021

Old Arbury: Manor Farm/Manor School...

Two photographs: the Manor Girls' School's first lunchtime in 1960 and the Manor Farm's 'Park' Meadow with a grazing cow in the 1940s. The house in both pics is the same - the Manor Farm's foreman/horse keeper's house! Work had begun on North Arbury , but several of the old farm buildings still stood in 1960. The foreman/horse keeper's house features extensively in Andy's 1987 Cambridge Weekly News An Arbury Story of Farming Folk articles - here , and the memories of Mrs Hinchcliffe - here - and Mrs Wiles - here - recorded in the 1980s and detailing Arbury life in the early 20th Century. Copies of most of the prints featured on this blog are available to buy at the Cambridgeshire Collection, Cambridge Central Library. Many other prints and resources are also available there.

An Old Arbury Christmas... The Mysterious Tramp, A New Peg Rug And 'Poor Puss'...

Richard and Amelia Brett with their dog, Nell, at the Manor Farm, Arbury Road, 1913. The photograph was taken in the farm's 'Park' meadow - later the site of Manor School/North Cambridge Academy. The Bretts usually had family photographs taken in the 'Park'. 'Arbury' and 'Arbury Field' (on the other side of the Manor Farm 'Drive'/Campkin Road) were cultivated, but the 'Park' was a grassed meadow - sometimes used for grazing. Looking back at how Christmas was celebrated at the Manor Farm on Arbury Road, over one hundred years ago...  The Bretts, Richard and Amelia, lived at the Foreman's/horse keeper's house at the Manor Farm from 1886 to the early 1920s. They had eleven children and many grandchildren.  Richard and Amelia were married at St Andrew's Church, Impington, on 19/10/1880, and moved to King's Hedges a couple of years later. King's Hedges was a fifty eight acre farm, north of what is now King's Hedges

Up Above North Arbury - Before It Was Built...

  Arbury past... Taking you back to the days before North Arbury Estate , here's a view of North Cambridge Academy, Campkin Road and Arbury Town Park long before they existed. Find out what was there then - and what's there now. Following the Manor Farm 'Drive' to the left would bring you to Arbury Road, to the right to the future site of the Grove School. The fields at Manor Farm had names - 'Arbury', 'Arbury Field', 'Boys' Pit', etc. The Manor School/North Cambridge Academy site is part of the old 'Park' meadow. The circular shape of the old farmhouse garden was preserved in the Manor School's boundary fence, and two old garden trees, planted by Colonel Charles Bennett, a former County Land Agent and tenant of the house, remain. Copies of most of the prints featured on this blog are available to buy at the Cambridgeshire Collection, Cambridge Central Library. Many other prints and resources are also available there.

Arbury 1970s Archive - 2: The Lights Go Out All Over Arbury...

Our house in Cunningham Close, on South Arbury, was very well thought out. I've enclosed a plan, but one of the best things was the 'shed', included in the house structure, running from front to back, with doors at either end into the front and back gardens. Here, we once housed a sickly hedgehog in a cardboard box with a blanket and plenty of milk to lap. It had been hit by a bike and sadly didn't survive - but we did our best. It was a nice house - we moved in in 1971 - and settled in happily. There was a great back garden, with a few small trees at the bottom, a large 'through' lounge, an adequate kitchen/dining room, with pantry, and it was very comfortable. We didn't have central heating or anything like that, but then we didn't expect it. We settled in and life went on and... And then the lights went out!  Several times. I had my 'Look-In' put by at Arbury Court. I couldn't miss an issue because 'The Tomorrow People' were always

Arbury Is Where We Live! Part 2

  No doubt the best community-building publication in Arbury history (perhaps even in the whole of Cambridge!) Arbury Is Where We Live! - 1981. This section of the book features transcripts of talks older residents gave to the primary school children of Arbury, The Grove, King's Hedges, and St Laurence's about Arbury past. The children took their imaginations, beyond the ancient inhabitants of Arbury Camp and the Romans, to the rural era - life at the Manor and Hall Farms. And the development of King's Hedges Road from a farm track to a hugely extended and redirected highway. What was life like at the Manor Farm? Mr Reg Jones told children at the Grove School about his grandparents and how they lived, and about playing in rural Arbury as a child. Miss Evelyn Samuel, a fondly remembered art teacher at the Manor School, took the story onto the 1920s, '30s and '40s - and the night incendiaries were dropped across the Manor Farm's Park Meadow - later the site of Ma


The highly distinctive 'Arbury Is Where We Live!' book cover - etched on many people's memories across Arbury. Back down the time tunnel we go, back, back, to 1981: The Rubik's Cube was Toy of the Year for the second year running, the illegal CB radio craze went OTT - and legalisation came in November, Charles and Diana married, riots raged in some inner city areas in England, and Arbury Is Where We Live! was published. This book was the result of a project involving all the Arbury primary schools - Arbury, St Laurence's, the Grove and King's Hedges. The project was called Arbury 1980 - and was a study of the area's history - going back to the Iron Age. The children wrote interesting prose about - and accounts of - Iron Age and Roman times, life at the old Manor and Hall Farms, the building of the estate and the establishment of the Arbury Community Centre and Arbury Adventure Playground, and finally about their lives in the Arbury of 1980. Older people ca

ARBURY Road... The Only Road Name With Prehistoric Connections In Cambridge City...

From ' Cambridge Street Names -Their Origins And Associations' by Ronald Gray and Derek Stubbings, 2010:  The only street-name in Cambridge that has connections with prehistoric times is ARBURY Road. The name is spelled Herburg, Ertburg and similar in thirteenth-century documents, and means earthwork. It used to be thought that Arbury Camp, at the north end of the road, was a fort like the one at Wandlebury or the War Ditches at LIME KILN Hill, south of the reservoir (now destroyed) but it is today regarded as an undefended site. A low circular bank and ditch about 100 metres in diameter, it was almost certainly an iron age enclosure for keeping animals safe from wolves and robbers. (See Alison Taylor: 'Prehistoric Cambridgeshire', 1977, and Sallie Purkis, 'Arbury Is Where We Live!', EARO, The Resource Centre, Back Hill, Ely, 1981.)  The book is highly recommended for anybody interested in Cambridge history. The course of Arbury Road before the late 1970s wh