Hugh Dalton and Clara Rackham celebrate Cambridge Labour’s 25th birthday under political storm clouds of 1937

Summary: Everyone knew war was coming, they just didn’t know when. But the rise of fascism cast a dark political cloud – even over Cambridge. It was a turbulent time for Labour. It took them over a decade to ban communists from affiliating to the Labour Party at a time when fascism was on the … More Hugh Dalton and Clara Rackham celebrate Cambridge Labour’s 25th birthday under political storm clouds of 1937

Residents of Cambridge in 1936 suggest improvements to the town…

Summary: August is *silly season* for news organisations because many organisations wind down for the summer holidays, and Parliament shuts down for a couple of months. So the Cambridge Daily News invited its readers to suggest improvements to the town – in the most inappropriate way possible. Cue the music <– Click. Imagine a game show … More Residents of Cambridge in 1936 suggest improvements to the town…

The funeral of Prof Henry Fawcett at Trumpington, Cambridge, 1884.

Summary: One of the most influential men to live and work in Cambridge was the husband of Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Prof Henry Fawcett. Despite being blinded in a shooting accident, he rose to achieve more in life time than many of us might care to achieve in three. Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister, University Professor amongst … More The funeral of Prof Henry Fawcett at Trumpington, Cambridge, 1884.

Cambridge Liberals’ local council manifesto ideas – part 3: 1907

Summary: Part 3 of the Liberal council manifesto ideas includes calling for the municipalisation/nationalisation of water, simplifying the parliamentary procedure for local councils to take powers for public service delivery, and calling for a unitary council to serve Cambridge. Transcribed from this digitised copy from the British Newspaper Archive here.   SUGGESTIONS FOR A LIBERAL … More Cambridge Liberals’ local council manifesto ideas – part 3: 1907

Cambridge Liberals’ local council manifesto ideas – part 2: 1907

Summary: Part 2 – This article covers what functions the borough council at the time delivered, and also lists the schools then funded by borough council and thus the local rate payers. This differs to today where schools are funded primarily through general taxation at a national level rather than at a local council level. … More Cambridge Liberals’ local council manifesto ideas – part 2: 1907

Cambridge Liberals’ local council manifesto ideas – part 1: 1907

Summary The first of three articles in the Cambridge Independent, making the case for a liberal manifesto for local government. This article is transcribed from the Cambridge Independent Press of 13 Sept 1907 – during the Liberal Government of the day and also when barrister Stanley Buckmaster KC was the Member of Parliament for Cambridge borough. … More Cambridge Liberals’ local council manifesto ideas – part 1: 1907

Church of England’s last ditch attempt to hold monopoly on school provision in Cambridge. 1876.

In 1870 Parliament passed the Education Act, which gave powers and responsibility on district and borough councils to build additional schools where existing provision from churches – and in particular the Established Church of England – was unable to provide additional capacity. In Cambridge, this caused huge concern amongst the clerical establishment, who met at … More Church of England’s last ditch attempt to hold monopoly on school provision in Cambridge. 1876.

How do you improve a town like Cambridge?

Summary: The Cambridgeshire County Archive on the Cambridge Improvement Commissioners.  I mentioned in my previous blogpost about trying to work out what the Cambridge Improvement Commissioners did. The text below is from the Cambridgeshire County Archive – now controversially being moved out to Ely from Cambridge by the Cambridgeshire Conservatives who are in control of … More How do you improve a town like Cambridge?

Being reminded what things were like when you had to pay for everything – while grappling with new technologies

Summary: Plotting out which long lost institutions laid the foundations for the public services that we take for granted today. For those of you who read my previous blogpost, I set out the journey from primitive small state to the place we’re in today – something I feel is going to change again in within … More Being reminded what things were like when you had to pay for everything – while grappling with new technologies