Cambridge Repair Cafe Plus

We’ve all got them … those slightly sorry, broken objects stuffed into the cupboard under the stairs.  You think you’ll get round to sorting them out one day.  Or if you’re not handy (like us here at New in Cambridge!), you try to find someone who can fix these things then realise that the humongous repair bill means that it probably makes more sense to chuck said objects out and buy new.  But for Cambridgeshire dwellers, there is a better way.

Cambridge Repair Cafe Plus
Image credit: Cambridge Carbon Footprint

The Royston Repair Cafe inspired Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Transition Cambridge to kickstart the Cambridgeshire repair cafe movement about four years ago,  to help reduce waste and promote skill sharing in a socially welcoming environment.  Fifteen groups now run repair cafes across the county and last year, Cambridge hosted the world’s biggest repair cafe, comfortably smashing the world record for the number of repairs made.

Cambridge Repair Cafe Plus
Image credit: Cambridge Carbon Footprint
Cambridge Repair Cafe Plus
Image credit: CCF

There’s a Cambridge Repair Cafe Plus happening on Saturday 22 September at St. Andrew’s Hall, Chesterton, from 1 – 4pm.  It’s a simple system.  A whole range of experienced repairers volunteer their time and skills to fix all sorts of items from electricals to jewellery and bikes to books.  You either pre-book or just turn up (in which case there might be a short wait) with your object for repair.  There is no charge for mending things but donations are always welcome and Cambridge Carbon Footprint is grateful to Mackays and Draper Tools who sponsor and supply the tools used by the repairers.  Most things can be fixed but for the 15% of items that can’t, they’ll advise you on recycling and disposal.

 

Cambridge Repair Cafe Plus
Image credit: Cambridge Carbon Footprint

You’ll also find a sewing repairs skillshare.  Here you can learn basic sewing skills like hemming, darning and sewing on buttons that mean you can make simple repairs yourself in future.  And if you’ve got any unfinished sewing or knitting projects hanging around, they’ll help you get to grips with those too.

Cambridge Repair Cafe Plus
Image credit: Cambridge Carbon Footprint

There’s a draught proofing and repairs workshop with information on how to make your home cosier and cut your bills plus they’ll give you a free draught proofing pack to take away.  Perfect now that there’s definitely an autumnal nip in the air!

Cambridge Kids' Repair Cafe
Image credit: Cambridge Carbon Footprint

For the younger generation, there’s going to be a Kids’ Repair Cafe on Friday 26 October from 9.30am- 12.30pm.  It’s hosted by the Cambridge Film Festival at Arts Picturehouse and they’ll be screening environmental films including WALL-E through the day.  Children can bring consoles, mechanical toys, gaming devices, electronic toys, teddie and dolls.  As with all repair cafes, kids and their parent or carer stay with the repairers, using the process as a learning experience and helping to work out the best way to repair the broken toy.

I enjoyed meeting Nicole Barton, Volunteer and Events Organiser at Cambridge Carbon Footprint, to find out more about the repair cafes before writing this post.  As she says, we talk about throwing things away but where is “away”?  Nicole’s a woman with a lot of amazing statistics at her fingertips but one in particular blew my mind …..

….. if you repair a 13″ Macbook rather than chuck it out and buy a new one, you save the equivalent of 750kg of carbon

I’ll leave you with that thought!

http://www.cambridgecarbonfootprint.org

http://www.transitioncambridge.org

http://www.circularcambridge.org

St Andrew’s Hall, Chesterton, CB4 1DH

 

 

 

Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale

Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale returns to the city from 21 – 29 September with forty three printmakers, who specialise in hand-pulled original prints, exhibiting at the historic Pitt Building on Trumpington Street.

Louise Stebbing: Hunstanton Cliffs linocut
Louise Stebbing:  Hunstanton Cliffs linocut

The Biennale was inaugurated in 2014 by three local printmakers who built it into a bigger event in 2016, adding more speakers, workshops and demonstrations as well as producing a catalogue.  This year, the exhibition is further expanded to showcase the next generation of printmakers from the city’s two sixth form colleges and the Art Foundation courses at Cambridge Regional College as well as graduates of the MA Printmaking course at Cambridge School of Art.

Tracey Ashman Summoning Laso
Tracey Ashman:  Summoning Laso

I met with Steve and Tracey Ashman, both members of the core team which organises this event.  They’re working hard to develop the educational aspect of the Biennale with an enriched programme of workshops, demonstrations and talks lined up.  They’re also producing a limited edition book featuring the work of all the printmakers exhibiting this year.  And in a fascinating marriage of cutting edge technology with traditional printmaking techniques, their 3D Print Project will use a 3D printer to create a plastic template which is inked up and then hand pulled on a press.

Sue Jones Moon Dance ll
Sue Jones:  Moon Dance II

Organising the Biennale is no mean feat.  Steve and Tracey tell me that planning starts twenty months in advance when the core team comes together, each member bringing a different skill set and taking on different responsibilities.  Printmakers, who must live within a thirty five mile radius of Cambridge, submit their work by the end of January, then the images are sent to an independent panel of art world professionals.  Their selection process takes time as entries are always oversubscribed but by the end of March, two thirds of submissions have been accepted.  The Biennale all comes together in one gloriously hectic day in September as the team sets up the exhibition in the Pitt Building before opening with a private view that evening.

The Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale is open from 10.30am – 5pm each day and entry is free.  Talks are free but there is a charge for workshops.  A booking facility for these plus full details of the programme are on the event website.

http://www.cambridgeoriginalprintmakers.com

The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RP

This post is part of my “New in Cambridge” column in September’s issue of Velvet magazine.  See more on http://www.velvetmag.co.uk

Coming up in Cambridge …..

The River Cam will echo to the rhythmic beating of drums and splashing of oars on 8 September as the annual Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival returns, with more than forty teams battling it out along a 200 metre course, raising money for Addenbrookes Charitable Trust.  Dragon boat racing is a terrific spectator sport so head down to Fen Ditton Meadow from where you can see all the action on the water and enjoy entertainment, food trucks and a bar on the river bank.  Read more here

www.cambridgebid.co.uk/events/dragon-boat-festival

Dragon boats on the Cam
Image credit: Vanessa Barton Photography

Bridge the Gap on 9 September is a circular walk through the beautiful grounds of six Cambridge colleges, several of which are not normally open to the public.  Starting and finishing at Parker’s Piece, this annual event is wheelchair and pushchair friendly.  There’ll be music and refreshments along the way, Blue Badge guides in each college to answer your questions plus entertainment, competitions and a tea tent on Parker’s Piece.  Your entry fee goes to Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Romsey Mill to support their invaluable work in the city.  Read more here

www.arhc.org.uk/bridgethegap

Bridge the Gap Cambridge
Image credit: Sir Cam

Open Cambridge on 14 and 15 September sees the University and partner organisations across the city open their doors, offering special access to places often hidden from public view.  There’s an extensive programme of tours, talks, exhibitions and events offering captivating glimpses into Cambridge history and heritage.  Most events are free, some require pre-booking.

www.opencambridge.cam.ac.uk

Trinity College Cambridge

 

This post is part of September’s “New in Cambridge” column in Velvet magazine.  See more on http://www.velvetmag.co.uk

 

What’s on in September

Well, now we’re in to those last days of the summer holidays, there’s a distinctly autumnal nip in the air most mornings and a sort of back-to-school feeling, even for those of us who left school many moons ago.  Maybe it’s better thought of as a time for new beginnings!  Here’s the what’s on listing for September.  There’s plenty happening in the city and I’ll update through the month so do check back when you can.

All Saints Garden Cambridge
All Saints Garden

1st    12 – 4.30pm  Medieval Fair.  Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road CB5.  Free event.  http://www.cambridgeppf.org

1 – 30th    Cambridge Festival of Cycling.  Celebrating the city’s cycling culture. http://www.cambridgefestivalofcycling.org  Read more here

1 – 2nd    Oktoberfest Beer Festival, Jesus Green CB5.  http://www.cambridge-oktoberfest.co.uk

1 – 2nd    Taste of Anatolia.  Films from Turkey.  Facebook: tasteofanatolia

8th    9.30am – 2pm  Queen Edith’s Share Fair and Skip Day.  Wulfstan Way shops, Wulfstan Way CB1.  Pop up moneyless market to swap and share clothes, games, books, stories, skills, home grown fruit, veg, flowers and more.  http://www.queen-ediths.info/event/8sept2018

8th    10am – 5pm  Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival.  River Cam, Ditton Meadows, Fen Ditton CB5.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/events/dragon-boat-festival  Read more here

9th    From 8.30am  Bridge the Gap.  Depart from Parker’s Piece CB1.  A circular walk through the gardens of six Cambridge colleges, raising money for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Romsey Mill.  http://www.arhc.org.uk/bridge-the-gap.asp  Read more here

9th    3 – 5pm  Jazz on Jesus Green CB5.  The Alley Cats with saxophonist Alan Barnes.  Free entry.  http://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/city-events/events/jazz-and-brass-parks

11 – 29th    fig-futures.  A month of free performances, installations, film screenings and talks.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street CB3.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

14 – 15th    Open Cambridge.  http://www.opencambridge.cam.ac.uk

15th    9.30am – 4pm  Madingley Hall Local Food Fair, Madingley Hall CB23.  Pop up Farmers’ Market showcasing local artisan food and produce.  Free entry.  http://www.madingleyhall.co.uk/events/local-food-fair

15th    10am – 4pm  Cambridge Buddhist Centre Open Day.  Tours, talks, meditation sessions and “Human Touch” photography exhibition.  38 Newmarket Road CB5.  http://www.cambridgebuddhistcentre.com

15th    10am – 5pm  All Saints’ Church, Jesus Lane CB5.  Tours, history zone, quiz, textiles talk, organ recital, refreshments.  Free admission.

15th    11am – 5pm  Reading Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own”.  Literature Cambridge study day.  Stapleford Granary, Cambridge CB22.  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/room-2018  Read more here

15th    1pm  Phoenix Vocal Ensemble.  Mozart, Faure and Bruckner.  Great St Mary’s Church CB2.  Free admission.

15th    7.30pm  O Quam Gloriosum.  Music for the saints by Tomas Luis de Victoria.  De Profundis, Cambridge’s all male early music vocal ensemble.  Jesus College Chapel CB5.  Tickets on the door or from bit.ly/DPSaints

15 – 16th    10am – 5pm  Cambridge Food, Garden and Produce Festival.  Parker’s Piece CB1.  Free entry.  http://www.oakleighfairs.co.uk

21 – 29th    10.30am – 5pm Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale.  Pitt Building, Trumpington Street CB2.  Free entry.  http://www.cambridgeoriginalprintmakers.com

22nd    1 – 4pm  Cambridge Repair Cafe Plus.  St Andrew’s, Chesterton CB4 http://www.cambridgecarbonfootprint.org

22nd    7.30pm  The Academy of Great St Mary’s Orchestra.  Wagner, Brahms and Dvorak.  Great St Mary’s Church CB2.  http://www.adcticketing.com

23rd    10.30am – noon   Baby and Children’s Market.  Nearly new sales of kids’ stuff.  Cambridge Regional College CB4.  http://www.babyandchildrensmarket.co.uk

23rd    10.30am – 5pm  Milton Country Park Autumn Festival.  Milton, Cambridge CB24.  http://www.miltoncountrypark.org/autumnfestival

25 – 27th    Sorted! Festival.  To celebrate the opening of Rising Path.  Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Brookside CB2  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

27 – 30th    Inspire Cambridge.  Home interest show.  Quy Mill Hotel, Cambridge CB25.  http://www.inspireshows.co.uk/cambridge.html

28 – 29th    LifeLab  Celebrate science and join LifeLab investigators in events and activities exploring the latest breakthroughs and discoveries   www.camlifelab.co.uk

28 – 30th    Cambridge Art Fair.  Quy Mill Hotel, Cambridge CB25.  http://www.cambridgeartfair.com

30th    Open Eco Homes.  Ten eco homes in and around Cambridge open for householder led tours.   There’s a repeat of this event on 6th October.  Free but advance booking is essential.   www.openecohomes.org

30th    7.30pm  East Anglian Chamber Orchestra.  Mozart, Strauss and Sibelius.  West Road Concert Hall CB3.  http://www.adcticketing.com

Acorns on Jesus Green Cambridge
Acorns on Jesus Green

 

 

Cambridge Festival of Cycling

Cambridge is a city of bicycles … it’s by far the easiest (and greenest!) way to get around and now the city’s cycling culture is being celebrated in the first Cambridge Festival of Cycling, brought to us by Camcycle, with events happening throughout September.

Cambridge Festival of Cycling logo

Launching the Festival on 1 September is a social ride from King’s Parade to Eddington.  This will be leisurely so think about packing up a picnic and you’ll be able to buy ice cream and coffee from cargo bike traders.  Further highlights in a packed schedule include a screening of the Dutch film “Why we cycle”, a family cycling event and the Cargo Carnival.  Decorate your bike and join this parade of cyclists on a ride through the city centre, starting and finishing at Lammas Land, showing what you carry on your cargo bike!

Cambridge Festival of Cycling
Image credit:  Lucinda Price

And in a look back at the cycling attire of Victorian women, the Cambridge Ladybirds WI and Dr Kat Jungnickel, author of “Bikes and Bloomers” will host a discussion and cycle ride and, this being the WI, there will of course be tea and cake.  Other partner organisations are joining in through September with many diverse events so for the full programme, check out the Festival website.

Cambridge Festival of Cycling
Image credit: Lucinda Price

Camcycle started out life as Cambridge Cycling Campaign in 1995.  Then, as now, it works for better, safer and more cycling in and around Cambridge and provides a voice for the concerns of Cambridge cyclists.  Its campaigning has resulted in more cycle parking on streets and at transport hubs, early start green lights to enable cyclists to clear a crossing before cars and much, much more.  Camcycle has also been heavily involved in planning for the “Chisholm Trail”, a proposed new 3.5 kilometre walking and cycling route which will closely follow the railway line and run between Cambridge Station and the new Cambridge North Station.

You can become a member of Camcycle for a modest fee.  Not only will you be supporting their work, you’ll receive six newsletters a year, a quarterly magazine, discounts at a large number of bike shops and access to an online discussion forum.  The monthly general meetings at the Friend’s Meeting House on Jesus Lane are open to both members and non-members.

Camcycle Cambridge
Image credit:  Lucinda Price

Camcycle is a non profit organisation with a very small team at the helm so it always needs and welcomes volunteers to help with a huge variety of tasks through the year, whether it’s working on the magazine, taking photos, organising and marshalling rides or manning the Camcycle stall at events, to name just a few opportunities.  For the Festival of Cycling, many volunteer roles are available so whatever your skill set, if you’re keen to offer support in this way, check out the “Volunteer” page on the Festival website.

Camcycle Cambridge

Take a look at the website as there is so much more going on than I have space to write about here.  Most events are free and you don’t need to be a Camcycle member to join in the fun, everybody is welcome.

http://www.cambridgefestivalofcycling.org

http://www.camcycle.org.uk

This event takes place at multiple locations in and around the city.

MAKE Cambridge Fashion School

Founded in 2015 by Kath Goodwin, MAKE Cambridge Fashion School offers fashion and textiles classes for children, teenagers and adults.  It’s based at The Cambridge Fabric Company on Peas Hill in the city centre, a shop brimming with beautiful fabrics, trimmings and sewing paraphernalia that I just can’t walk past without popping in!

MAKE Cambridge
Image credit:  MAKE Cambridge

The teaching area downstairs is a relaxed environment where no kit or prior experience is needed and students of all ages can master design and sewing skills.

Kath Goodwin MAKE Cambridge
Image credit: MAKE Cambridge

Kath set up MAKE after a long career in the fashion industry.  At the age of 9, she knew she wanted to be a fashion designer and indeed, can’t remember a time when she didn’t sew, learning the skills from her mother and grandmother seemingly by osmosis as she grew up.

MAKE Cambridge
Image credit: MAKE Cambridge

After art college and fashion design studies, Kath worked her way up in the industry, learning the ropes as a Design Assistant at Coates and, following a move to Cambridge for love, setting up her own collection “Pure Design Studio” with help from the Prince’s Youth Business Trust.  Her label’s clubbing and rave fashion sold well here and in Japan.  Sponsored by the Fashion Council, Kath showed at London Fashion Week as a next generation designer before continuing her career with retailers including Top Shop, Tesco (she was in the design team that set up the F&F label), House of Fraser and Arcadia.  Travelling all over the world for work was exciting but by now, Kath had a young family which led her to rethink her work/life balance.

MAKE Cambridge
Image credit: MAKE Cambridge

Kath has always loved to teach.  She’d enjoyed working with students on industry placements and internships and had also taught part time on the Fashion and Textiles Diploma at Cambridge Regional College.  She wanted to teach in a holistic way, with students learning how to design, measure, cut a pattern, select fabric and sew their own clothes, creating a piece that is totally bespoke to them.  So Kath set up MAKE on a shoestring, starting with after school classes for children that were full from the start, just by word of mouth and the magic of Facebook.

Three years on, Kath has expanded the range of courses, taken on more teachers and launched a new timetable of fashion and textiles classes for children, teens and adults, with a mixture of daytime and after school term time slots.  More workshops are being planned, including making children’s clothes, screen printing T shirts and upcycling vintage clothes.  And you can book MAKE for your hen party, baby shower or children’s party (from 8 years old) plus Kath offers bespoke courses for companies or groups in and around Cambridge.

MAKE Cambridge
Image credit: MAKE Cambridge

So whether you’re wanting to design and make your own clothes, create beautiful soft furnishings for your home or give your kids the sewing skills that just aren’t taught in school any more, check out MAKE’s Facebook page for up to date course news and email Kath to ask about availability of spaces.

Facebook:  @makecambridgefashionschool

Email  info@makecambridge.co.uk

The Cambridge Fabric Company, 7 Peas Hill, Cambridge CB2 3PP

 

 

Literature Cambridge

I’ve been following Literature Cambridge on social media for some time now so I was really pleased to meet Trudi Tate last week to find out more about this independent educational organisation which offers a range of study days and summer courses, open to all lovers of literature.

Reading A Room of One's Own

Literature Cambridge 2018 | Photo: http://www.ianolsson.com
Image credit: Ian Olsson

Trudi is a Fellow and Praelector at Clare Hall, a graduate college of the University of Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of English where she also supervises graduate students.  Trudi’s passion for literature shines through as she tells me how she came to set up Literature Cambridge late in 2015, running the first week long summer school on Virginia Woolf in 2016 at Homerton College.  It was hugely successful and the programme has since gone from strength to strength.

Trudi’s aim with the residential summer courses is to offer a Cambridge style educational experience, with lectures and supervisions from senior academics and post-docs.  Every morning, there’s an hour long lecture and a small group supervision or a seminar but there’s also plenty of time to socialise and chat with fellow students, lecturers and supervisors in tea breaks and at lunchtime.

Literature Cambridge King's College
Image credit: Jeremy Peters

Afternoons offer free time to read and reflect plus there’s a programme of visits to places like King’s College, The Wren Library at Trinity College and the Fitzwilliam Museum.  All visits are led by Cambridge academics and give privileged access to places and original manuscripts not normally available to public view.

Literature Cambridge Wren Library
Image credit: Jeremy Peters
Literature Cambridge manuscript
Image credit: Jeremy Peters

Students on the summer courses range in age from 17 – 70 years, are from every walk of life and from all over the world.  They come together to share their common love of literature and to immerse themselves in it, with many students returning year on year.

Literature Cambridge afternoon tea
Image credit: Jeremy Peters

Summer courses for 2019 are based at Wolfson College and include “Virginia Woolf’s Gardens” and “Fictions of Home: Jane Austen to the Present Day”, a course which explores the idea of home in literature and loss of home through the work of contemporary refugee writers, including Vietnamese-American Viet Nguyen.

Literature Cambridge also runs a programme of study days at Stapleford Granary, a study centre for the arts and music in south Cambridge.  Taught by leading academics, upcoming days this autumn include “Reading A Room of One’s Own”, Virginia Woolf’s 1929 book about women and fiction, “Understanding King Lear” and “Remembering the First World War”, a new look at the literature of war including the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Ivor Gurney.  Trudi is currently planning a series of events with contemporary writers for 2019.

Literature Cambridge Understanding King Lear

For full details of all Literature Cambridge’s study days, summer courses and lecturers plus testimonials, which speak for themselves, from previous course participants, take a look at the website.

http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk

http://www.staplefordgranary.org.uk