Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2022

Arbury People - Past And Present - Part 1: Sister Cummings

The first edition of the VOICE of Arbury newsletter from November, 1979, gave us an idea. In that first edition, they presented a profile of the then Arbury Community Midwife, Sister Cummings, who arrived in North Arbury in 1966 - and by the late 1970s was also helping to run relaxation sessions for expectant mothers and parenthood classes for expectant Mums and Dads at the Kingsway Clinic in South Arbury.  Inspired by this, we've decided to present some profiles of notable and ordinary Arbury people from across the years, going back to the days of the Manor, Hall and Arbury Camp Farms. We begin with VOICE 's profile of Sister Cummings, Arbury Community Midwife, who had an absolutely essential and highly interesting job. 'I deliver anyone, anywhere!' she said. Her observations about the original Arbury Estate are heartening.

The North Arbury Flood of 1970, The Ship Pub Provides Liquid Refreshment in 1974 and Hairdressing at the North Arbury Post Office in 1981...

Photo captioned 'Flooding at North Arbury, 1970'. The children are having fun! Well, here's North Arbury in flood in 1970! We'll have more on this soon. Note the dear old Jenny Wren on the left - and we've got more on that too! Why 'Jenny Wren'? We'll have the details. South Arbury had the Carlton and the Snowcat public houses, which opened within a couple of weeks of each other in 1959, but for years North Arbury had only the Jenny. Until 1974 - in May the  Cambridge Evening News reported:  Residents of the North Arbury estate did not need a heat wave to remind them of their need for another pub and the opening of The Ship will meet with eager response. Campaigners for real  ale will be pleased to find that Wells of Bedford are making this their fourth Cambridge pub,  providing beer connoisseurs with their prize-winning bitter as well as a wide range of other beers, wines and spirits in spacious new premises... Lots more to come on the pubs of the North

Main Streets of Arbury: Campkin Road - Part 1

Left: work begins on Campkin Road in 1961. Numbers 1 and 2 Manor Farm Cottages have been demolished, but the intention is to preserve the old trees lining the old Manor Farm Drive. Right: a similar view in more modern times, with the Arbury Town Park and Campkin Road. In 1982, Campkin Road was described as the 'Hauptstrasse of North Arbury' by local journalist Sara Payne. Ms Payne's local history articles in the Cambridge Weekly News were hugely popular and, for each one, Ms Payne visited a street in Cambridge and talked to the residents, collecting their memories for publication and producing a fascinating series of 'Then and Now' style articles. 'Cambridge Weekly News', 1982. Down Your Street followed in the footsteps of a similar series in the local press in the early 1960s - by Erica Dimmock - and both now make fascinating reading. We're starting our look at Campkin Road with material from the 'Arbury 1980' project and accounts from locals

Historic Arbury and the Arbury Carnival...

The Arbury Carnival returns this year, and we are delighted. Please support this venture - it is a wonderful community event that began not far off half a century ago (45 years) and is an immense boost to the community around Arbury and North Cambridge. We had a question from Len: 'Where is the location of the Arbury Carnival in the context of historical Arbury?' Right in the thick of it, Len! Most Arbury history lies north of Arbury Road and, as you will see by the map below, King's Hedges and King's Hedges Road were somewhere else. Historically, the name 'King's Hedges' and the 1970s redirected and extended King's Hedges Road highway have nothing to do with Arbury Camp, or the Arbury fields. We have adjusted our trusty 1900 Arbury Road map to show the old fields by the ancient Arbury earthwork and the location of the Carnival at Arbury Town Park in context. Much of the area was, at one time, known as Arbury or Harborough (a variation on the Arbury name

'The Arbury' - The Memories of Mr Cardinal: Part 5

Manor Nurseries, Arbury Road, Cambridge, in the late 1950s.  The fifth part of Mr Gordon Cardinal's memories of old Arbury, written in 1983 for the Arbury Archive.  Young Gordon has begun work for his aunt's brother, Ernest Sale, at the Manor Nurseries on Arbury Road... 'The Arbury' Part 5 By Gordon Cardinal Mr Eaton would be away from the nursery doing garden contracts except for the rough weather at winter times. Then he would come back to the nursery and spend his time making garden seats and rustic arches, etc. From Charlie Eaton I learned the art of creating a garden. From Sidney Arbor I learned the knowledge of propagation and from both Sidney and Ernie Sale the art of floral work. Mr Sidney Arbor at work at the Manor Nurseries in the 1950s. Manor Nurseries tried to be self supporting. The perimeter was planted with various evergreen trees and shrubs, which were used in floral work. Most of the basic flowers used were grown on the nursery. On Fridays, any surplus

Arbury and Cable TV in the 1960s and 1970s: The British Relay Years...

                       1962: Cable Television arrives in Cambridge! Coming to you straight from a one hundred and seventy foot aerial mast on King's Hedges Road... Coming into Arbury via the original Arbury Road junction with Histon Road in the early to mid 1970s would have given you a view of electricity pylons, hedgerows, allotments, perhaps a few sheep, and the fields of Arbury Camp Farm. If you were hoping for a romantic view of lovely orchards from the Chivers days (Orchard Park) or the ancient Arbury Camp, well, you would have passed the site but they were long gone. Particularly the Arbury Camp, of course, being prehistoric - at least a couple of thousand years before the Chivers orchards. Ahem. I think I'm beginning to get off the point... The impact of the A45/A14, including the major extension and redirection of King's Hedges Road, would render the Arbury Road junction and that stretch of Histon Road unrecognisable before the end of the 1970s. A semi rural spot wo

Main Streets of Arbury: Carlton Way - Part 3

                       Photograph from Sara Payne's 1981 'Down Your Street' article - the Kingsway Flats. The photograph was taken by the 'Hump' and the seats on the corner of Verulam Way. The seats were let into the low wall, facing the hills and the flats. They were removed sometime around the late 1990s/early 21st century. The South Arbury 'Hump'... North Arbury had the Arbury Adventure Playground in Wagstaff Close, the Arbury Town Park and the Arbury Community Centre in Campkin Road. South Arbury couldn't really compete with those. But the children of the South did have the Hump, the seats, the Kingsway hills and the Kingsway blocks to play on, as well as St Alban's and Arbury Court rec. The hump is fondly remembered for being an exciting bike ride - and for being an excellent place to kick up dust - fascinating play for many children back in the '60s, '70s and '80s. The Hump was bricked in circa 2008. Some of us still miss it. Contin