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Showing posts from December, 2022

1986/1987/1988: Mrs Hinchcliffe's Old Arbury, Chesterton And Vicarage Terrace Memories - Part 1

More material from the Arbury Archive. Mrs Grace Hinchcliffe was the cousin of Mrs Muriel Wiles, whose memories have already featured in our archive series. Mrs Hinchcliffe's paternal grandparents, Richard and Amelia Brett, lived at the Manor Farm on Arbury Road. Her maternal grandparents, Andrew and Susan Prevett, in Vicarage Terrace. Mrs Hinchcliffe lived with her parents, Henry and Lydia Brett, in Milton Road. Andy had many conversations with Mrs Hinchcliffe, who was his grandmother, for the Arbury Archive in the 1980s. She was a year younger than Mrs Wiles, and although they grew up in the same era, they were very different personalities. Their contrasting attitudes and observations make for fascinating reading. As always, the emphasis here is on Arbury, but Andy has included material on Chesterton and Vicarage Terrace, which are of wider interest to Cambridge readers. 'When I was a kiddie Arbury was two farms, Hall and Manor Farm. Hall Farm was where Carlton Way is now, So

Arbury Archaeology And History - Part 2

As promised, we continue our look at ancient Arbury history by featuring original documents from archaeologists of 1964-1970. The first document, by David Trump and Ray Farrar, is a preliminary report on excavations at Arbury Road from 1964-67.  What has always been fascinating about the history of the Arbury is the various 'layers' of occupation, from the iron age onwards. This was used as the basis for 'Arbury 1980' and the  Arbury Is Where We Live!  book in 1981 - with primary school children beginning in the modern day with a study of how the original (then modern day) Arbury Estate functioned, and moving back in time to the old farms, and the Roman and Iron Age eras. The earthwork surrounding the iron age settlement later had Roman buildings in the fields adjacent, including a villa, and, of course, we come up to the Chesterton Enclosure and the farms of the 1800s and 1900s. The area of the Arbury Road excavations. Note the route of the original Arbury Road, past t

1986: Mrs Wiles Remembers Old Arbury and Chesterton - Part 7

The final part of Mrs Muriel Wiles's memories of life in Old Arbury and Chesterton - added to the Arbury Archive in 1986. 'Gran went downhill quite slowly and then seemed to die quite suddenly. She faded away... quite gently, really. We were all really upset. Grace was a lot more outgoing than me, always cheerful, always laughing and talking to people, I liked to keep in the background, but she was really upset by Gran passing away. She insisted on buying her own wreath. I think we'd just started earning then. Mum said I should go in with her and Dad for our wreath, which I was happy to do. 'Looking back it sort of... well... marked the end of my childhood. Well, that sounds a bit fanciful, but you know what I mean,' said Mrs Wiles. 'Things had been unsettled since Gran got ill and the family left Manor Farm.  'When Gran died it was a bit like one chapter coming to an end - all those happy days at Arbury ending sadly - then the whole thing about work and bei

What Arbury Means To You...

We thought it would be good to invite comments (or emails - from readers about what Arbury means to you. Of course, many have already made their views plain on here, but we like the idea of a dedicated blog post. Please be aware that we are referring to the original Arbury area here, the area between Gilbert Road and King's Hedges Road, not modern electoral wards/misnamed apparently 'separate' housing estates. From 'Arbury is Where We Live!' (1981): Community action has always been important in Arbury. The first Arbury community groups were formed with the building of South Arbury in the 1950s, and North Arbury has seen many fantastic community efforts - resulting in the likes of the Arbury Adventure Playground, Arbury Carnival, Arbury Community Centre and the Arbury Town Park. So, what does Arbury mean to YOU? How long have you lived here? Are you interested in Arbury history? What do you like about Arbury? What do you dislike? What mak

A 1970s Arbury Christmas

No room at the inn? No room in the Cunningham Close chimney in this case. When I wrote An Old Arbury Christmas , focusing on Christmas at the Manor Farm on Arbury Road, as celebrated by the Brett family in the early 1900s, it never occurred to me that my own memories of celebrating Christmas in Cunningham Close, South Arbury, in the 1970s are also quite distant history. It was a bit of a shock to realise that, but it is so.  So, I thought I'd write this as a follow-up to the tales of peg rugs and Christmas Eve family gatherings, of Christmas stockings filled with nuts and an apple, and games of 'Poor Puss' after Christmas Dinner. In the 1970s, an Arbury Christmas was a very different affair. The first thing that marked the start of the onset of the festive season for me as a kid was the release of the 'Annuals'. These were yearly books, supplementing comics, TV series, etc, and when they arrived at Arbury Court, the 'Stopsiz' branches in North and South Arbu