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Showing posts from February, 2022

Arbury Will Rally To Fight... The Closure of the Manor Community College

The tremendous community spirit of Arbury was very much in evidence in 1983 as residents gathered to save their senior school, adult education and youth centre, the Manor Community College... In October 1983, a Cambridgeshire County Council working party recommended closing the Manor Community College in 1987. Coverage from the 'Cambridge Evening News'. A very rare item - the first newsletter of SACC - Save Arbury's Community College, 1983. Some of the (huge amount of) protest letters featured in the 'Cambridge Evening News'. To quote one woman from Campkin Road:  Our main concern is to keep this school going, and like the Prime Minister we can also say "There will be no U turns" but a fight straight away to keep this part of Arbury alive. '... the people of Arbury will make this their campaign and fight to save their school,' said Councillor Janet Jones, chair of the Manor governors.  Vice chair of the governors, Councillor Peter Cowell, said: 

An Arbury Story of Farming Folk - Part 2

Please click on the image for a readable view, and download if required. Part two of the 1987 Cambridge Weekly News series, written by Andy Brett, one of our blog contributors, way back then! What was the Pumpkin Trick? Rumours mounted after an archaeological dig at Arbury Camp in the early 1900s that Arbury Road was haunted. Was it really Ancient Britons and Romans? Or did The Pumpkin Trick have anything to do with it? Here's our trusty old map of Arbury revealing some of the locations featured in this week's instalment.                                 This photograph of Henry and an Addenbrooke's nurse was taken by Ralph Lord, photographer, of Market Street, Cambridge. The nurse had inscribed it: 'To Mrs Brett, from her boy's friend.' 12 September, 1908 - the future site of the Manor School/ North Cambridge Academy, the Park Meadow at Manor Farm, was the location for Walter and Louisa's wedding photograph, taken by the well-known photographic firm, Starr

Arbury Snippets 2: Rutland Close And The Strange Dolly...

A couple of us Arbury Bloggers were strolling up Rutland Close in South Arbury the other day, when I was suddenly overcome with laughter.  And this was odd as we'd been discussing mental health issues and NHS waiting lists in the wake of the covid lockdowns. Somber indeed.  But, just seeing those familiar houses, caused my mind to suddenly produce an image of a bizarre vintage dolly saying, in neurotic tones and a heavy American accent, 'I'm falling apart - hur hur!'  This is the thing about walking around Arbury for me - memories lurk at every corner and over every roofline.  The bizarre remembered doll was called a Mattel Talk-Up Doll, released in the early 1970s. A young relative of mine, who lived in Rutland Close, had one of these - and the rest of us were amazed, amused and bemused by it.  Returning home, I found some wonderful footage of the doll on YouTube. So, you can experience it for yourself. It's very much a 'thing of its time' - but it's

An Arbury Story of Farming Folk - Part 1

Inspired by the 1981 book, Arbury Is Where We Live! Andy Brett set out to research his Arbury family history. Andy's great grandfather, Henry Brett, was born at King's Hedges in 1886, north of what is now the guided busway (the modern and inappropriately named "King's Hedges" has an Arbury history and is not actually in King's Hedges), the same year his family moved to the Manor Farm on Arbury Road. 'I wasn't aware of the exact year when I wrote the articles,' says Andy. 'So the new information needs to be inserted in places against the information I had at the time. But the vast majority of the information is unchanged. The Brett family came from Histon and Impington. They lived at King's Hedges for a few years. It was a small farm of 58 acres. Then they moved to the Arbury Manor Farm, which was 245 acres. I have also since discovered that Richard Brett, my great-great grandfather, was definitely, not 'probably', horse keeper at t


We have received quite a number of enquiries about the original Arbury Estate since we started this blog, and will attempt to answer them weekly. Sorry for any delays! This week, Alison has asked about Budgens in Arbury Court, South Arbury: It looks a much newer building than the main bit. When did the Court first get a supermarket? Thanks for that, Alison. That predates our memories, which only go back to around 1970, but we have the original full transcripts from the Arbury 1980 project here, including what was not published, and something a contributor recalled way back then sheds light on the subject: 'Arbury Court... it was much smaller  and you could take your cars right up to it where Bishops [Budgens] is now. When Bishops started it was in what is now Butchers, the hardware shop. It was called Palmers.'

The 1890s Arbury Child: 'Your Father's Working On Arbury', The Docky, The Beer, And The Rational Fear Of Chesterton Doors...

Louisa Brett - part of a school group photograph taken at St Andrew's School, High Street, Chesterton, c. 1894. What was it like to be an Arbury child in the 1890s? Well, thanks to the long ago recollections of some people who were actually there, we can get an idea... Mrs Louisa Ashman, née Brett, lived in Springfield Terrace, West Chesterton (or New Chesterton), from around 1916 to her death in 1968. She was full of memories of her childhood at the Manor Farm on Arbury Meadow Road, and many of these were recorded on paper as interest in Arbury grew with the building of the original Arbury Estate in the 1950s and 1960s. Louisa's daughter, Mrs Muriel Wiles, passed much of this information on to her cousin's grandson in the 1980s and we are very lucky to have it. Louisa was the third child of Richard and Amelia Brett and born in 1884. Richard was a labourer and also the horse keeper at Manor Farm.  Louisa remembered being given a black hair ribbon to wear as a young woman, a


The final part of the Arbury Is Where We Live! uploads sees us standing squarely in 1980, looking at life from a child's eye level. Many delights - the little girl who sounded like a fire engine, the Scalectrix-chewing bird, the British Legion Home, the Arbury policeman, the headmaster of King's Hedges School, Dave the milkman, the 'wogglely' tooth... and much more! Locked out at Hurrell Road, birds down the chimney and the Scalectrix chewer of Carlton Way... Great shot here of the North Arbury shops. Do you remember the 'Bob' grocery stores? The 'wogglely' tooth, Karina arrives in England, neighbours, and brotherly banter... The Good Shepherd Church, The British Legion Block of Flats and How Arbury cares for Retired People... A visit from Miss Samuel... Miss Samuel lived in Arbury for many years and will be remembered as an art teacher by many Manor goers. I last saw her when I was working at Arthur Rank House in the early 1990s - she was then helping

'Up Before The Beak'! A Pre-Arbury Estate Campkin Link At Manor Farm!

Miss Alice Brett of the Manor Farm, Arbury Meadow Road, circa 1913. There were smiles in one old Arbury family when Campkin Road, the first road in North Arbury, based on the route of the Manor Farm 'Drive', was named after Algernon Sidney Campkin, local businessman, magistrate, councillor, and one-time mayor. Why was that? Well, let's take a trip back to old Arbury... Miss Alice Brett, always known as Maud by her family and fiends, was a lively, kindly and fun young woman - she is remembered to this day for her kindness and good humour, and for being what one family member described as: 'The ideal sister, wife, mother and friend'. Being lively had its disadvantages when you lived out on the Arbury Meadow Road in the early 20th Century, and Alice, a daughter of Richard and Amelia Brett of the Manor Farm, suffered one night simply because of a missing bike lamp, her determination to enjoy some of the fun Cambridge activities of the time, the lack of buses, and the di