Could Anglia Ruskin University host a Cambridge Local History Institute?

…and if so, what would it look and be like? Anglia Ruskin University hosts the Labour History Research Unit in Cambridge, and I know a number of their staff. One of the things that has struck me about the unit and the local history scene in and around Cambridge is the amount of overlap there … More Could Anglia Ruskin University host a Cambridge Local History Institute?

The women who made modern Cambridge – for Open Cambridge 2019

A couple of months ago I was invited by the organisers of the annual Open Cambridge event to deliver a public talk on my research on the influential women who made and shaped the modern city of Cambridge that we know today. Hence the event below. You can watch a video of the event online … More The women who made modern Cambridge – for Open Cambridge 2019

Cambridge residents denied the vote meet at the guildhall. 1859.

It’s easy to forget that the majority of people in the UK did not have the vote until after the First World War. Prior to that, the franchise at a local and national level was based on gender (men only) and a property qualification – ie did the individual own property and/or pay a sufficient … More Cambridge residents denied the vote meet at the guildhall. 1859.

First mass demonstration of trade unionists in Cambridge demand an 8 hour working day. 1913

1913 is significant a year in the history of Cambridge town – and two very significant demonstrations took place that year. The first was the Women’s Suffrage demonstration that formed part of the national pilgrimage to London – and the largest such protest in Cambridge’s history. The previous weekend had an even bigger demonstration of … More First mass demonstration of trade unionists in Cambridge demand an 8 hour working day. 1913

The guildhall question returns. 1908

I’ve written lots about the Cambridge Guildhall in Market Square – reflecting the controversy of how to accommodate the ever growing demands of central government to provide public services prior to the massive overhaul that Clement Attlee’s Labour Government would bring in following World War 2. The principle to remember up until the Second World … More The guildhall question returns. 1908

The shambles of Cambridge Borough Council’s deliberations on a new guildhall in the 1890s

Cambridge could have had a much more ornate guildhall built in the Edwardian Baroque style had councillors gotten their act together in the 1890s. As it turned out, they would spend several more decades squabbling over designs before Florence Ada Keynes just got on and got the present one built in time for it to … More The shambles of Cambridge Borough Council’s deliberations on a new guildhall in the 1890s

William Milner Fawcett – the Architect for Victorian Cambridge

I’ve written much about the women who made modern Cambridge – and deliberately so for their stories and achievements are incredible as is the fact that so few people know about them. That’s not to say that the men were all scoundrels and layabouts getting in the way of social progress. What I’ve recently discovered … More William Milner Fawcett – the Architect for Victorian Cambridge

The Other Cambridge – 1964

Journalist Kenneth Robinson tore into Cambridge’s architecture in a film piece in the BFI Archive. You can watch it for free at https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-other-cambridge-1964-online A fair amount of Cambridge town in the video has since been demolished, but before their demolition, some of these places formed the backdrop to my childhood. Cambridge as ‘any other town’ … More The Other Cambridge – 1964

The Annals of Cambridge – Charles Henry Cooper’s comprehensive record of our city

If you have the time and the patience, the history of Cambridge up to the year 1857 compiled by the Town Clerk covers pretty much everything there is to know. One of the greatest men to ever serve Cambridge town and gown was Charles Henry Cooper. He was both our town clerk (today, the Chief … More The Annals of Cambridge – Charles Henry Cooper’s comprehensive record of our city

Making Cambridge’s schools accessible to children – 1893

I’m still getting my head around the very complex set up of formal education for children in the latter part of the 19th Century. Throughout the 1800s, Cambridge like many other towns and cities went through a significant upheaval with population growth and the demands to provide for more than the bare minimum of public … More Making Cambridge’s schools accessible to children – 1893