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.
Some of the (huge amount of) protest letters featured in the 'Cambridge Evening News'. To quote one woman from Campkin Road:
The Manor's school magazine, The Manor Banner, was at the heart of the pupils' response. We love the picture on the front cover of the 16 November 1983 issue - sad pupils leaving the Manor for 'Other Schools' and the Shire Hall depicted as a bat infested Dracula-style castle.
It was bold and very human.
Here is an extract from the student editors' Banner Comment:
On Monday, the 31st October 1983 a proposal was made by the Cambridgeshire County Council's working party to close our College. Initial reaction was stunned amazement. Why should anybody want to close the Manor? Our School, our Community? When the news had sunk in we were all horrified and puzzled. The first thought was 'Why pick on us?' The Manor is the largest school in Cambridge in terms of land and buildings.
The school has done so much in its short life time both for the Arbury Community and the pupils who have passed through it, that closure would be like tearing Arbury's heart out. We think that Manor is Arbury's heart. Taking it away would kill most of Arbury's Community spirit - a Community that is still fast growing.
We had left the Manor by then, but participated in the fight to save it.
'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there,' to quote LP Hartley.
We preferred it in some ways.
Today's world of school league tables and 'rebranding' schools regarded as 'failing' ('branding' and 'rebranding' is everywhere - we seem to live in a giant supermarket) leaves us cold.