News Reel

Find out what’s happening in and around Cambridge.

Science Festival

Walking tours

University of Cambridge Science Festival 2015

The annual Science Festival is in full swing. It runs from 9th to the 22nd of March.
Talks, tours, exhibitions..just so much stuff and nearly all free!

for more details click on Science Festival to take you to the official site listing all the events.

Hawking’s Home

seen from the churchyard of Little St Mary's Church. No.6 is the dark green door on the right.

seen from the churchyard of Little St Mary’s Church. No.6 is the dark green door on the right.

My grandfather and grandmother lived in Little St Mary’s Lane , for my money the prettiest street in Cambridge. In the early 70’s house No.6 was also the home of Stephen and Jane Hawking. By 1975 with their young family growing and Professor Hawking’s condition worsening they moved to Number 5 West Road, a more suitable property off Queens Road, owned by Gonville & Caius College.

Spring at Last!

Best way to enjoy Cambridge

Spring on The Backs

Cycled along The Backs yesterday bather if glorious sunshine.
The spring flowers are poking through (still a little reticent as the breeze remains distinctly cool). Just had

walking tours of the city with a blue badge guide

Trinity with King’s College Chapel in the background.

to stop and take some pictures (as you do).

Burst of colour

Burst of colour

The Museum of Cambridge History Week

Greg Jenner at Heffers

Greg Jenner at Heffers

A week of events put on by The Museum of Cambridge (formerly known as The Cambridge Folk Museum). Book signings/talks. Greg Jenner, he of Horrible Histories fame, was interviewed at Heffers Bookshop in support of his new book “A Million Years in a Day” (very good by the way). Lectures. A thought provoking presentation by Dr David L Smith which wondered if Oliver Cromwell was a hero or a villain (conclusion, probably both) and the weekend saw the 17th century Cambridge Carrier Thomas Hobson entertaining families at the museum itself.

Another Royal Visit

Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales

Prince Charles was welcomed at Peterhouse, the oldest of the Cambridge Colleges, to formally open some new student accommodation. Charles was himself a student here in Cambridge at Trinity College way back in 1967.
The building has been name the “Whittle Building” after Peterhouse alumni Sir Frank Whittle who developed the jet engine.

…..and now an OSCAR!

Last night the Academy awarded Eddie Redmayne  the Oscar for Best Actor.
We reckon it is the first ever major Oscar for a Cambridge alumni (Redmayne graduated from Trinity College in 2003 , 2:1 Honours for History of Art.)

The award was for his outstanding performance as Professor Stephen Hawking in the film The Theory of Everything..

So, as we stand beneath Trinity Great Gate regaling our groups with the great, the good (and the not so good) who have passed through it we can now add the name of Redmayne to rest alongside Bacon, Newton, Lord Byron and all those clever scientists!

Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking

Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking

Twilights at The Museums

Exploring the Museum of Archeology and Anthrapology by torchlight

Exploring the Museum of Archeology and Anthrapology by torchlight

Last Wednesday was a truly magical evening. The museums of Cambridge remained open until 8.30pm. The lights were switched off and the public invited to explore them by torchlight, A huge hit with the kids ……. and the grown ups!
This is now an annual event. Our own guide Jonathan, along with other official Cambridge guides, volunteered free tours starting outside the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and finishing at The Museum of Classical Archaeology. Judging by the length of the cues the Sedgwick Museum was the most popular. You just can’t top a dinosaur can you?

E Luminate Festival

Eluminate Kings Chapel 3
A festival of light showcasing clean technology and sustainability lit up iconic Cambridge landmarks. Pink and Blue colour bars on the Mathematical Bridge, changing coloured light posts along the screen at King’s College, King’s Chapel bathed in a purple hue, but my favourite was the installation at the Senate House which projected dramatic black and white patterns onto the building façade.

Eluminate Senate Spot 3Eluminate Senate stripe 3

Arnold Layne

Arnold Layne  45rpm

Arnold Layne 45rpm

On this day in 1967 a local psychedelic rock band played at the St Catherine’s College Valentine’s Ball. Pink Floyd.

Just 3 weeks later the single “Arnold Lane” was released and Pink Floyd would go on to be one of the worlds biggest rock bands, releasing the iconic “Dark Side of the Moon LP , a copy of which found its way into just about every discerning rock fans collection.


Grammy’s Too

Clean Bandit, a group formed in Cambridge when 3 of it’s members were studying at Jesus College, won a Grammy for The Best Dance Act.

Mixing classical and dance beats they have enjoyed success in the UK and the USA.

Will be back in town for a show at The Cambridge Corn Exchange next month.

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything

Saw this charming film about the life of Stephen Hawking at our wonderful Arts Picture House cinema last month.

On Sunday at the Baftas Eddie Redmayne (Trinity College alumni) won the Leading actor award for his portrayal of Professor Hawking.

The Wave Pictures

Caught The Wave Pictures at The Portland Arms in Cambridge last Wednesday.
What a cracking 3 piece. Great noise, tunes and humour, Discovered them via Marc Riley on his BBC 6 Music radio show. Top gig and not so top photo!
Recommend the new LP “Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon” full of tunes of wit plus a couple of Credence Clearwater Revival covers. Remember them? Then you must be as old
as me!!! Bad Moon Rising………

Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon

Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon


King’s in the Snow

A dusting of snow in the week transformed the classic view of King’s College and Chapel from The Backs.

Snow on The Backs

Snow on The Backs

University Sermon

Janet Scott, of Murray Edwards and Homerton Colleges and Hughes Hall, will preach the University Sermon in Great St Mary’s, the University Church, at 11.15 a.m. on Sunday, 1 February.

Janet Scott, of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), was formerly Head of Religious Studies and Director of Studies in Religious Studies and Education at Homerton College. She is a Trustee of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and a Trustee and former Moderator of Churches Together in England. For twenty years she served on the Religious Education Council of England and Wales.

All are welcome.

Turin Street?

Turin Blue Plaque

Turin Blue Plaque

The University of Cambridge has plans to name one of the new roads on its North West Development site in honour of Alan Turin. Mathematician, code breaker and for many the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. Turin was at King’s College. His story is told in the recently released movie “The Imitation Game”.

The Blue Plaque can be seen on King’s Parade.


Alan Turin

0-0 = £1.5 million?

Talk on the Market Square this morning centred on last night’s match where Cambridge held the mighty Manchester United to a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup. The replay at Old Trafford could net Cambridge United £1.5 million..a very welcome income for a small club with big ideas.

During the game on one occasion the ball soared over the stands and out of the stadium. One cannot imagine Manchester United players being familiar with that experience!

The University has produced some fine Rugby Union and cricket players over the years, some going on to represent their country (Mike Brearley, Michael Atherton, Derek Pringle to name but three) however, as far as I’m aware , the only graduate to forge a career in football was Steve Palmer. A versatile centre back/ midfielder who played for Ipswich Town and Watford.

Manchester United come to Cambridge

Manchester United visit Cambridge

Manchester United visit Cambridge

A cold and frosty morning heralds the magic of the FA Cup. Manchester United come to town to play our own United tonight at the Abbey Stadium.
A sell-out, as one would expect, but the match will be screened live by the BBC tonight.

It was 150 years ago that the original Rules of Football were drafted here in Cambridge and soon after adopted by the Football Association.
An art installation has been commissioned to celebrate this founding occasion. It is to be a large block of granite which will have the rules of football inscribed on its surface. It is then to be cut into 9 sections. One remaining here in Cambridge (on Parkers Piece) and the other 8 transported around the world to stand in great footballing nations.
Cambridge reaches out!

Come on Cambridge!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cambridge Half Marathon

Cambridge Half Marathon

Jonathan with Phil and grandson’s Aidan and Joshua at the finish!

It was a glorious March day when Jonathan, a guide with The Cambridge Tour Company, set off with his brother Phil and 4,500 others to run the 13 mile half marathon. The race wound it’s way through the centre of this beautiful city and past most of it’s iconic buildings. Well, we made it! Crossing the finish line on Midsummer Common some 2 hours and 20 minutes after we started. I ran to raise funds for St Luke’s Primary School. A wonderful little state school here in Cambridge which my twin grandsons attend. Have just heard the total raised was £906.50 which the PTA will put towards a kitchen refurbishment where all the kids learn to cook.

Many thanks to all my generous sponsors!

Science Festival

science bannerThe annual University of Cambridge Science Festival takes place between the 10th and 23rd March 2014. As in previous years this event spills over with all manner of talks, events and installations with something in the program for everyone..not just science boffins!!

Plenty for kids too and nearly everything is free (although some events require pre booking.)

For more information please click on the link below which takes you to the official website with the program of events.

Science Festival



Newton’s Apple

Newton's Apple Tree

Newton’s Apple Tree

Newton’s Apple Tree which stands outside the Trinity College rooms once occupied by Sir Issac Newton, rarely bears any real fruit, however this year it does!
Stopped my bike to have a closer inspection and check my eyes were not deceiving me, (it is not unknown in the past for plastic apples to be teed to the tree branches). Well it’s the real deal. I believe the variety is “Maid of Kent”.
My learned fruit expert, Chris Carter, who runs a fine “Fruit & Veg”market stall, tells me it is a strange season for local fruit this year. Many of the apples and plums are smaller than usual, as a result of large quantities of fruit on the branch but clustered to close together to produce good size fruit.
Not everyday that Chris Carter and Isaac Newton are mentioned in the same article..but, that for me, is part of the charm of Cambridge where Town and Gown co exist.

Outside Trinity

Outside Trinity