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Arbury Artefacts - Part 2


So, having missed out on the archaeological digs at Arbury Camp, we're busy digging up artefacts from the Arbury Estate and the three Arbury farms of yore  - Arbury Camp, Hall, and Manor.

For our new selection, we begin with the religious text above, which used to hang in Mrs Amelia Brett's bedroom at the Manor Farm on Arbury 'Meadow' Road. The text was apparently obtained from a seed catalogue, about 120 years ago and framed between glass and board with a paper tape called 'passe partout'. If you applied water to this, it stuck like crazy, and came in a range of colours and finishes to give an attractive framed effect in the days before easily affordable mass-produced frames.

Amelia's place of religious worship was the Wesley Chapel, in High Street, Chesterton, and she was also a member of the Mothers' Union at the village's St Andrew's Church, where she was laid to rest in 1924.

We have several pages of complete transcripts of conversations of 1980 Arbury residents from the 'Arbury 1980' project, many never before published. These are a wonderful link back, with voices from the past telling of things that are now beyond living memory.

Mr Reginald Jones, of nearby Leys Avenue, was a grandson of Mrs Amelia Brett and a contributor to 'Arbury 1980' and Arbury Is Where We Live! He told children at the Grove School:


Years ago, Andy embarked on a mission to examine the microfilm newspaper archive at the Cambridgeshire Collection and collect material on Arbury from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. He came across many findings, which give life and colour to the Arbury of those times, including the 1920 Leys Laundry 'Lost and Found' request below:

Lost on Arbury-road, or near, SMALL BROWN HAMPER containing soiled linen. Finder please return to Leys Laundry, Arbury-road, Chesterton, Cambridge. Suitable reward given.

What would a 'suitable' reward have been, we wonder? We think it was very brave of the Leys Laundry to have confessed to the loss of a customer's washing in the Cambridge Daily News. Perhaps it was slightly like washing one's dirty linen in public, but also immensely honest and brave.

We're not renowned for our jokes - which is hardly surprising.

Leaving Arbury for a moment, we wonder if Peter, the black and tan puppy, was returned to 42, Mill Road?

We hope so.

Into more modern times, and part of the front page of the VOICE of ARBURY, August, 1981: The Arbury Adventure Playground has won a City Council grant of £13,000, Arbury In Print features Arbury Is Where We Live! and Sallie Purkis, and Mr Reg Tarrant, Arbury Court librarian, plans to open a toy library with the aid of the WRVS at the nearby Milton Road Library.


Finally, one of our favourite Arbury artefacts of the moment is this lovely 1981 ad for the North Arbury Post Office and Hairdressers at Cameron Road. Of course, we remember the North Arbury Post Office, but not the hairdressers. We imagine it was probably a small, back room affair and would love to hear from anybody who recalls it.

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