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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 Manor School/North Cambridge Academy.

Mr Downham told the children about farming in Arbury...

... and the wonders of the mythical 'gas telly'!

The children stretched their imaginations and became trees in rural Arbury!

The photograph, bottom left, is of Numbers 1 and 2 Manor Farm Cottages, which stood at the junction of Arbury Road and what is now Campkin Road. Traffic now passes over the spot where the cottages stood.

Putting together two of the book's photographs is an interesting experience. They are both of the same location - in the 1930s and 1981. The cottages site is in the road - approximately where the car is in the photograph. The cottages' back gardens stretched across part of what is now the Arbury Town Park. 

'King's Hedges Road was a dead end for all but pedestrians...' King's Hedges Road as it is today is a very modern innovation and was extended and redirected over the old Arbury/Harborough Meadows by the ancient Arbury Camp in the late 1970s - lopping off the original end of Arbury Road.

Shopping, heating, and the Second World War...

Part 3 is here.


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