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Showing posts from March, 2022

'The Arbury' - The Memories Of Mr Cardinal - Part Two

The second part of Mr Cardinal's memories finds the harvest beginning on the Arbury fields... 'The Arbury' By Gordon Cardinal Part Two As my brother Bert was the eldest, he started to help my father on the milk round before me. That would be before he went to school in the morning (6am start), Saturdays and Sundays, and school holidays (our schools were then first to Milton Road Juniors then on to Chesterton Senior School in Gilbert Road). The early round was for customers who liked their milk on the doorstep before they got up - mostly half pints. When that round was finished, Father would load up the milk float and set off on the main round. The 'extra' items carried in those days would be eggs and cardboard pots of cream at weekends. As I got older, so it became my turn to help as well, but my interests were always elsewhere! Sometimes I would go and help Grandfather Cardinal, who lived in Victoria Road. I would go with him to his 'allotment', which was a

Arbury 1970s Archive - Part 4: The Kingsway Tardis and a Tomorrow Person in Carlton Way...

The Kingsway Flats on South Arbury in 1972. Back in the 1970s, we had no modern gizmos. No mobile phones, no ipods, ipads, or wot-nots. We were telly zombies a lot of the time, and fashion was followed and pop stars fawned over and so on, but, with few of us even having landline phones - and the first handheld, the DynaTAC 8000x, not making its debut (as an expensive 'yuppie toy') until 1985, we were technologically very light in comparison to today. The calculator had arrived - but that was a fat lot of good as you couldn't use one at school. And the digital watch arrived around midway through the decade. Loads of these sprouted on wrists everywhere from the mid-70s to the late-80s. Many of the early ones had 'fallen off the back of a lorry' and soon displayed a blank face. The video recorder came home to roost in the 1980s. Around 5% of UK households had one in 1980, and it slowly took off after that as it became more affordable. If you missed a telly programme, y

'The Arbury' - The Memories of Mr Cardinal - Part 1

After the publication of Arbury Is Where We Live! in 1981, Sallie Purkis wrote in History Today (1983): 'The establishment of an Arbury archive has scarcely begun'. Several local people were working to address the issue. Mr Gordon Cardinal wrote to the Cambridge Weekly News in 1982, inspired by the book and a feature on Arbury Road - part of the paper's local history series. The Arbury Archive contacted Mr Cardinal, who was a very helpful gentleman, and he happily agreed to write about his memories of Arbury life in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s for us. Mr Cardinal died in the 1990s. He was very keen to deposit his memories somewhere so that they may benefit future generations, and his enthusiasm and fondness for Arbury shone through on each page of his manuscript. Now, for the first time, via the miracle of the World Wide Web, we would like to share extracts from his work, which he called The Arbury .  The memories begin about ten years after the ending of the Arbury Story

Arbury - 1955

Glorious colour photograph of Arbury Road in 1955, showing the entrance to the Manor Farm, with Numbers 1 and 2 Manor Farm Cottages, part of the Manor Orchard, and, in the distance, Mr Ernest Sale's Manor Nurseries. Mr Sale lived at No 1, Manor Farm Cottages. In February 1955, work was underway on the original South Arbury, previously Hall Farm, with Stage One planned to include about 240 houses, flats and bungalows, two churches, a cinema, a pub and a shopping centre. The new primary school (Arbury) was underway.  In the end, South Arbury never got the cinema, but did get two pubs - the Carlton and the Snowcat. The Council was already considering the land north of Arbury Road (Manor Farm) for a northern counterpart estate. This would become North Arbury, with work beginning around 1958 on the Manor Schools (boys' and girls') - which opened in 1959. We have marked the photograph with items of interest, and also included our 1900 map for orientation - the red dot marks the

The Manors of Arbury

The Manor Farm - Arbury Road. Most of us with an ounce of nounce about Arbury history know that the estate had a long history of 'Manors'.  The Manor School - Arbury Road. There were at least two in Arbury Road - Manor Farm and Manor School/Community College/Academy. And the Arbury land was once part of the Royal Manor of Chesterton, William The Conqueror having taken a fancy to it all. Campkin Road, the Arbury Road end, was once the Manor Farm drive. Now, there are no vestiges of the Manor link to Arbury (a bit sad as at least Hall Farm, the site of the original South Arbury, is commemorated with a road name) but that's life. Far fewer people know that Arbury Road had a third Manor. Manor Nurseries, a business started by Mr Ernest Sale of No 1, Manor Farm Cottages, after the First World War. Mr Sale had been gassed in the trenches, which permanently affected his health, and had been advised to seek outdoor work. He rented part of the Manor Farm  from the County Council and

BOING! - A Tribute To Arbury Court Library...

Over to South Arbury to the Arbury Court Library for a brief hymn of praise. The Library was officially opened by the Mayor of Cambridge on 28 January 1966. The building has a lovely cosy feel for browsing and study. A reassuring constant in a changing world, as children we took out Magic Roundabout books , and we still use 'our' library today. And about those Magic Roundabout books: Eric Thompson narrated the English version of the show and created his own characters to go with the wonderful French visuals of Serge Danot. A legend was created. Boing! Zebedee arrived. Mr Thompson wrote a series of books based on the series and his characterisations - and they contain stories with the same child/adult crossover humour appeal of the TV series. If you liked the 1960s/70s series and you haven't read these books, they have since been republished and turn up on eBay. A treat awaits. The pic below is the cover from the early 1970s edition of the first volume, eagerly sought for

An Arbury Story of Farming Folk - Part 4 - And A Tribute From Professor Muriel Bradbrook of Girton College...

Back to the Cambridge Weekly News articles of January 1987 for the final part of Andy Brett's Arbury Story of Farming Folk . The early 1920s - and bad times have come with a vengeance. Mabel has sleeping sickness and Amelia has tuberculosis. Richard is still holding down multiple jobs to support the family.  The Bretts come to realise that their time at Manor Farm is at an end... The article. Please click on the image for a readable view and download if required to keep. In response to the articles, Professor Muriel Bradbrook wrote a tribute to Arthur Brett, who was a maintenance man at Girton College for many years. In 1987, his niece, Mrs Hinchcliffe, commented: 'Well fancy that! She's met all sorts of high-up people, like the Queen Mother, and yet she remembers Uncle Arthur and wrote in. That's lovely!'

Exploring The REAL King's Hedges...

The Cambridge and St Ives Branch railway line is now the Guided Busway. Where was King's Hedges historically? How did the name come about? Why is the majority of King's Hedges Road no more historic than late 1970s - and nothing to do with the course of the original road? What have council planners of the 1960s and 1970s and the needs of motorists got to do with the King's Hedges presence in the historic Arbury district? All will be revealed... We're going to leave Arbury briefly and go to King's Hedges. No, not King's Hedges Ward - that area is, in reality, one of the most Arbury of Arbury areas in Cambridge historically, but the REAL King's Hedges. North of the Guided Busway. You see, the land north of Arbury Road is the site of the Arbury Camp, the Arbury/Harborough (a variation on the Arbury name) Meadows and the Arbury fields of Manor Farm.  It has absolutely nothing to do with King's Hedges at all. And King's Hedges was never a district. Land no

King Henry In Arbury?

'John of Ely' asks: 'What's the link between Arbury Road and King Henry VIII? I heard a modern folk song recently referring to it and the old Snowcat pub?' As far as we know, King Henry VIII never had any links to the Cambridge Arbury Road, John. The song writer/s may have got mixed up with Arbury in Nuneaton - which did have history with a couple of kings of that name: Arbury Hall, like so many other great country houses, was founded in Henry II’s reign as a monastery but suffered dissolution and confiscation at the hands of Henry VIII in 1536.   - The 'King's Hedges' thing in Arbury comes from the inappropriately named 'King's Hedges' electoral ward/estate. King's Hedges was historically north of what is now the guided busway (see map) and the most likely source of the name is a hunting warren, a warren of hedges, planted to trap and kill animals for hunting 'sport'. The Royal Manor of Cheste

Arbury Map - Mid-to-Late 1950s

South Arbury is getting there, but Alex Wood Road connects to Arbury Road, and Arbury Court is absent, as are the Kingsway Flats. North Arbury is still the Manor Farm, which covered most of the land north of Arbury Road, and Arbury Road still runs its original full length from Milton Road to the Histon/Cambridge Road as King's Hedges Road (the meteoric highway which vroomed across Arbury and sent the name to where it doesn't belong in the late 1970s) still leads to King's Hedges - which was never a district but a 58-acre farm north of the railway tracks/guided busway. Well, imagine that!  The Arbury, Grove, King's Hedges and Manor Schools are also still absent. Arbury School opened in 1956 and was probably there, but unmarked on the map at that time. The Manor opened in 1959 and the Grove and King's Hedges in 1963 and 1968 respectively. Hall Farm buildings are still marked on the map in Carlton Way.


  Question to Arbury Cambridge blog: 'Do you remember back in the '70s and '80s when loads and loads of people across The Arbury watched CROSSROADS - and nobody admitted to it? Answer: We don't know. We never watched it. 😉

An Arbury Story of Farming Folk - Part 3

Back to the Cambridge Weekly News , 1987, to discover more of the story of an ordinary Arbury farming family from the 1880s to the 1920s. The 20th Century has begun, and Richard and Amelia Brett are concerned for their children in a rapidly changing world. The old order changes tremendously at the Manor Farm, as it is sold to Cambridgeshire County Council. But nobody can predict just how much the world is going to change, and 1918 finds the Brett family mourning a son lost in the trenches... The wedding of Louisa Brett to Walter Ashman on 12 September, 1908 (see Part 2), was a grand occasion. In 1986, their daughter, Mrs Muriel Wiles, told me: 'They looked as if they owned the Earth in the photograph! But they didn't. Grandad was a very hard worker and kept the family in as much comfort as he could.' This week's instalment. Click on the image for a readable view and download if wanted to keep. Cambridge Daily News, 1919: memoriam notice for Alfred Brett. Sales particula