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Showing posts from September, 2022

The Manor School Chronicles 1977-1982: Part 2

Andy again recalls being part of the new intake at the Manor School on Arbury Road in 1977... This is the school in 1982. I can't remember my first year teacher. I think it was a girls' PE teacher who had long hair and often wore a track suit, but not at all sure. Funny that. My memory is usually excessively good when it comes to trivia. But not, of course, when it comes to what I learned in maths or history or when to restock the tea bags. The important things of life. The headmaster of the whole school was Mr Lewin. I remember seeing him in a corridor once. It must have been some sort of special occasion, because he was wearing his mortar board hat and a cloak. 'How posh!' I thought. And 'How old fashioned!' This was 1977, and the Sex Pistols were much more my scene. Mr Lewin, like Mrs Firman, had been with the school since it opened in 1959 and the school had gained an excellent reputation. When I started there, we were 'banded and streamed'. This mea

Mr and Mrs Pepper of Manor Farm, Arbury Road

  One of the things we love best about the Arbury Archive is that much of it contains accounts of life and people in the area that are now beyond living memory. It is always fascinating to study census returns, old newspapers, etc, for details of people long departed, but they usually reveal nothing, or very little, about character. The handwritten manuscripts, like Gordon Cardinal's The Arbury , seem particularly evocative as they provide a special link back to the writer. Mr Cardinal died in the 1990s, but every time we even glance at the manuscript, his handwriting brings memories of him and his dedication to the Arbury community and its history to life for us. Many interviews took place with Andy and other Arbury Archivists taking notes, and scrawling quotes, and the characters of some of the people who told us their memories also remain strong when reading them. When Andy interviewed Mrs Dora Long, sister of Ernest Sale of Manor Nurseries acclaim in 1983, she made him a couple

Arbury Artefacts - Part 5

This edition of 'Arbury Artefacts' is a bit different as we're focusing on one small plot in the Arbury landscape - the Park Meadow at Manor Farm. This, of course, later became the site of the Manor School/Community College and is now the site of North Cambridge Academy. Join us as we flip from Manor Farm to Manor School for some fascinating findings from the old days, and a tie with knots in. First off is the cover of a 1983 Manor Banner, newsletter of the Manor Community College on Arbury Road. The school was preparing for its annual play, and 1983's was Dracula Spectacular. Geography teacher Ken Harker wrote a very witty piece to publicise the preparations. The play itself was spiced with local references. A thunderous knocking at the front door of Dracula's Castle brought forth Dracula's resigned comment: 'Not Janet Jones with more leaflets?' Ms Jones was then the Cambridgeshire County Councillor for the Arbury electoral ward. Sticking with Manor, bu

1959: The Manor School For Boys And The Last Remaining Vestiges of Manor Farm...

A fascinating mix of old and new in this view of the Manor School for Boys, Arbury Road, in 1959. Some Manor Farm buildings are still in existence, and will be until 1960. The Manor was built using the highly modern 'intergrid' system, which was later reviled by some. Many years later, Principal Ben Slade described it as looking like a 'grim 1960s car park'. Well, to be honest, nobody could call the original Chesterton Community College building of 1935 an architectural show piece (the view down Bateson Road hardly reveals an aesthetically pleasing structure), and as one Arbury Archivist said at the time of Mr Slade's comment: 'With headmasters like that, who needs enemies?' Mr Slade was, however, campaigning for improvements to the school. During his reign it became an 'academy' of the performing arts. Some locals expected to find pupils dancing on the tops of cars in legwarmers in Arbury Road, like the kids from Fame , but this never came to pass.

Ask Arbury: The Roman Villa in Arbury

     E-mail to Arbury Cambridge blog: Was a Roman villa found at King's Hedges? I recently saw an outside display in North Arbury/King's Hedges Ward called 'The Roman Landscape in King's Hedges' which claims there was one. And is King's Hedges Road Roman?  We've seen that display. Electoral wards are not historic areas and local historians really do need to be mindful of that fact. The answer to your question regarding the Roman villa and King's Hedges Road is no. The Roman villa was found on the site of King's Hedges School, which is not part of the historic King's Hedges acres. Historically, King's Hedges was simply a named property, a farm, of fifty eight acres, and is now north of the guided busway. It was never a district. King's Hedges School is dearly loved by many of us and we treasure it, but those in the know accept it's not actually in any historically meaningful King's Hedges district, and the site had nothing to do w

Chesterton Local History Group Journal, 1986.

'Chesterton', the journal of the Chesterton Local History Group, 1986. St Andrew's School is pictured on the cover. The Manor Farm children attended there, and were allowed to leave ten minutes early in the winter months so they could complete their journey home before it got dark. It was in late 1985 that Andy gave a talk to Chesterton Local Group at St Andrew's School in the village entitled 'Rural Arbury - 1840 to 1960'. This covered the period from the Chesterton Enclosures to the building of the North Arbury Estate, and centred heavily on the Manor Farm on Arbury Road. Derek Stubbings headed the group, and was very dedicated. 'A great local history enthusiast and thoroughly nice bloke,' says Andy today. In early 1986, Andy wrote an article for Chesterton , the group's journal, about Manor Farm. We believe it was Derek's son who did the illustrations for the journal. It was not easy to get photographs clearly and affordably reproduced for pr

The Manor School Chronicles - 1977-1982 - Part 1

The Manor Schools (boys' and girls') as they originally were in 1960. Andy takes us back to his first impressions of the Manor School in 1977... My cousin Sharon (not her real name - she insists on anonymity) and her mate - another Sharon (not her real name either, but her name was the same as my cousin's), used to walk to school together and my mother insisted I went with them on my first day at Manor. I was disgusted. Cousin Sharon was more like a big sister to me than a cousin, and although I thought the world of her, we got on each other's nerves like nobody's business. And cousin Sharon's friend, Sharon, was one of those blonde headed girls who was always flicking her hair around like she was in a Silvakrin advert. And they talked about incomprehensible and disgusting things - like who was the best looking, David Soul or Paul Michael Glazer. I mean, YUCK! I walked several paces behind them, and scowled. They didn't like me being there either and kept f

Ask Arbury: From Field Names and North Arbury to the Snowcat and Mr Dean's Shop...

A greeting from the gent at the Kingsway Kebab van during Andy and Deb's Arbury tour recently. Lots of comments and enquiries here. All requiring personal replies have been dealt with, so here is our round-up of some of the questions you've asked the Arbury Archivists this week... Hello! I like your blog. Did the original King's Hedges have field names like the Arbury Manor Farm? Yes, it did! although there were only fifty eight acres, there were names. To find the original King's Hedges on the map, just look north of the railway track/guided busway. We've updated our trusty old map and inserted the names. Nothing to do with the subject, but as an aside, the other side of the Mere Way Roman road was Impington Park and Impington Hall - which was mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary. And next... As an old Arbury geezer I say incredible work. You all deserve medals, not many would bother. Do you have anymore info on the old Snowcat? I was always in there for years. Tha

2022 - Day Out In Arbury - Part 3

The Story So Far... Andy has been driving Debs and her wheelchair all over the original Arbury Estate ('Stop, chauffeur, in need of fish n' chips!' she said at one point), looking at the area, remembering the past, and having a good day of it. Starting in North Arbury at Arbury Town Park, the pair have visited the Arbury Community Centre in Campkin Road, the old Manor School site, North Cambridge Academy, Nicholson Way and Walker Court. Then it was over to South Arbury for Arbury Court and the Carlton Terrace shops and Carlton Arms in Carlton Way.  Sadly, they were too tired to get up to the North Arbury Chapel and Arbury Kebab van in Cameron Road, and the site of the legendary Arbury Adventure Playground on the Nuns Way playing field. They're now finishing off with a look at Carlton Way... Now, READ ON! The 1950s council-built houses in Carlton Way always say 'Arbury' to us, even when we see similar in Cherry Hinton. . . The Arbury Primary School made its debut

2022 - Day Out In Arbury - Part 2

Debbie gazing out at Colonel Bennett's Manor Farmhouse trees from the Arbury Town Park in Campkin Road. The story so far.. . Intrepid Arbury Archivists Andy and Debs (Debs in her wheelchair) have gone out exploring Arbury in September, 2022. They have rediscovered the old Manor Farm cowshed, given up searching for the old Manor Nurseries gate columns in the Arbury Road hedgerow, had a breather in Arbury Town Park, enjoyed the view of the old Manor Farmhouse trees, and been to look at the modern day contents of the old Arbury Field. Then they moved over to South Arbury, where they assessed the 'Arbury history' display at Arbury Court. Now, READ ON! Having to miss out the North Arbury Chapel, The Ship public house and the Arbury Kebab van in Cameron Road, and the Nun's Way field, site of the legendary Arbury Adventure Playground, was a pain, but with only so much energy to spare, our heroes made some time for the original South Arbury Estate. Although time (and lack of en