What’s on in Cambridge – July 2019

I love summertime in Cambridge.  The May Balls and graduation ceremonies are done now and as the students leave for the summer, the rhythm of the city seems to change.  There’s plenty going on, as you will see from this listing which I’ll update as the month unfurls.

Tomatoes at Cambridge Market
Tons of tomatoes at Cambridge Market

1 – 14th    Strawberries and Screen.  Live screening of BBC coverage from Wimbledon on a giant LED screen between One The Square and The Tamburlaine Hotel.  100 chairs available.  Bring your own picnic or buy from food vans (mainly available at lunchtimes).  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/lovecambridge

3rd    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Afro Tema, a danceable mix of Senegalese salsa, furious mbalax, afro-rock and some serious roots reggae style music.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

4 – 7th    Independents Week.  Celebrating the independent business community in Cambridge with offers and events.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/independents-week-2019

4th    6 – 7.30pm  Open Mic Night for local musicians and poets.  A celebration of music and the spoken word.  Free admission.  Waterstones, Sidney Street.  http://www.waterstones.com/bookshops/cambridge-sidney-str

5 – 7th    The Big Weekend.  Parker’s Piece.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk/city-events/events/big-weekend

6 – 7th    11am – 6pm  Cambridge Open Studios.  Over 350 artists in and around Cambridge open their studio doors to the public.  Fine art, photography, pottery, glass making, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery and furniture.  http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk  Read more about last year’s Open Studios here

6th    10am – 1pm  Family Saturdays: Drawing Plants.  Free event.  Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

6th    10am – 4pm  Eco Living Festival Cambridge.  Talks, workshops and masterclasses.  Lion Yard Shopping Centre.  http://www.cambridgeecolivingfestival.uk  Read more about Eco Living Festival Cambridge here

6th    2 – 4pm  Family First Saturday.  Activities and art-making on the theme of “caring for our museum”.  Free, drop in event.  Fitzwilliam Museum.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

6th    7.30pm  Charity Concert supporting Cambridge Summit on Homelessness.  Mawson Road Community Orchestra with classical pieces, a cappella from “Sound Scribblers” and traditional music from Greece, Russia, Romania, Macedonia, Scotland and Ireland plus an Auction of Promises.  Tickets on the door.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road.  http://www.mrco-cambridge.org.uk

8th onwards   Cambridge Shakespeare Festival.  Productions performed in College gardens, in full period costume and with live Elizabethan music.  http://www.cambridgeshakespeare.com  Read more about last year’s Cambridge Shakespeare Festival here

9th    7.30 – 9pm  Talk: Swimming in Cambridge.  Mill Road History Society.  Ross Street Community Centre, CB1.  http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk/events

10th    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Martin Kemp’s Organised Chaos.  Swing and jazz standards from 1930s to present.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

11th    7.30pm  Alex Hitchcock Quintet.  CUC Wine Bar, Granta Place.  http://www.cambridgejazz.org

13 – 14th    11am – 6pm  Cambridge Open Studios.  Over 350 artists in and around Cambridge open their studio doors to the public.  Fine art, photography, pottery, glass making, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery and furniture.  http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk  Read more about last year’s Open Studios here

13 – 21st    Cambridge Veg Fest.  A city-wide celebration of local and seasonal vegetables, bringing people together to grow, cook, eat and enjoy delicious veg.  http://www.cambridgesustainablefood.org

13 – 27th    Cambridge Summer Music Festival.  Live classical music, focusing this year on music by women composers and music by – and inspired by – J S Bach.   www.cambridgesummermusic.com

13th    12 – 5pm  Castle Hill Open Day 2019.  Art, music, history, tours, talks and food.  Free event.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/events/castle-hill-2019

13th    4.30pm (child friendly) and 7.30pm  Music for a summer’s evening.  Fairhaven Singers.  Strawberries and sparkling wine (included in ticket price) will be served on the banks of the Cam during the interval of the evening performance.  Queens’ College Chapel.  http://www.fairhavensingers.org.uk

14th    11am and 2pm  Science on Sundays: Stop and smell the … pollination!  Free, informal 30 minute drop in plant science talk.  Botanic Garden.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

15 – 17th    10am – 5pm  Visitor Centre Open Days and Launch of Museum on a Bike.  David Parr House, 184 Gwydir Street.  Facebook: @davidparrhouse  Read more about David Parr House here

17th    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Truly Medley Deeply.  A hybrid of live band, DJ and jukebox producing a huge sound from Motown classics to stadium rock.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

20 – 21st    11am – 6pm  Cambridge Open Studios.  Over 350 artists in and around Cambridge open their studio doors to the public.  Fine art, photography, pottery, glass making, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery and furniture.  http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk  Read more about last year’s Open Studios here

21st    9am – 2pm  Mill Road Summer Car Boot Sale.  Gwydir Street Car Park.

21st   12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Artist led workshop for families.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

21st    3 – 5pm  Jazz and Brass in the Parks.  Soham Comrades.  Nightingale Rec.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk

24th    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Noga Ritter.  Singer-songwriter and band performing Afro grooves and jazz.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

25th    6pm  Summer Night Market and Open Air Cinema (Incredible 2/The School of Rock).  Market Square.  Free event.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/open-air-cinema-night-market

27 – 28th    11am – 6pm  Cambridge Open Studios.  Over 350 artists in and around Cambridge open their studio doors to the public.  Fine art, photography, pottery, glass making, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery and furniture.  http://www.camopenstudios.co.uk  Read more about last year’s Open Studios here

31st    6.15 – 7.15pm  Sounds Green.  Open air music.  Singer-pianist Ruth Applin with the Josh Kemp Quartet playing classic jazz, blues and bossa nova.  Botanic Garden.  Tickets must be bought in advance online.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

Sweet peas on my desk
Sweet peas from the garden on my desk

What’s on in Cambridge – May

It’s set to be another busy month here in Cambridge with so much going on from steampunk to poetry, comedy to ceilidh and everything in between!  Read on for more and please do get in touch through my Contact page if you know of an event I could add in to the listing. 1st    … Continue reading “What’s on in Cambridge – May”

It’s set to be another busy month here in Cambridge with so much going on from steampunk to poetry, comedy to ceilidh and everything in between!  Read on for more and please do get in touch through my Contact page if you know of an event I could add in to the listing.

Wisteria in Cambridge
It’s wisteria hysteria season here in Cambridge!

1st    4 – 8pm  Student Discount Event, 25% off at Tindalls Art and Graphics, King Street

2nd    8pm  St Matthew Passion, J S Bach.  Singers from Trinity, St. John’s and King’s. Cambridge University Bach Ensemble.  Trinity College Chapel.  Tickets on the door.

4th    2 – 4pm  Family First Saturdays.  Fun activities and art making for the family on the theme of “Toot, toot, beep”.  Free, drop in.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/calendar/whatson/2019-05-04/family-first-saturdays-40

5th    10.30am – 4pm  Cambridge Vegan Market.  Food stalls, lifestyle brands, cosmetics, ethical clothing, charities and more.  Guildhall, Market Square. http://www.veganmarkets.co.uk/cambridge  Read more about Cambridge Vegan Market here

5th    10.30am – 11pm  Steampunk in Cambridge V11: May the 5th be with you!  The seventh annual Steampunk in Cambridge event.  Museum of Technology, Cheddars Lane.  http://www.museumoftechnology.com

6th    9am meet for 10am departure.  The Reach Ride, a bike ride to the 800 year old Reach Fair.  Free.  Organised by Camcycle.  Assemble in front of the Guildhall, Market Square.  http://www.camcycle.org.uk/reachride

7 – 12th    Cambridge Festival of the Voice.  Cambridge Early Music.  http://www.CambridgeEarlyMusic.org

7th    8pm  Rhapsody in Blue.  Cambridge University Wind Orchestra and Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.adcticketing.com

8th    3 – 8pm  Spring Student Night, Grand Arcade.  Discounts, DJ, freebies, drinks.  www. grandarcade.co.uk

11th    10.30am – 4pm  Eat Cambridge.  Annual food and drink festival celebrating Cambridgeshire’s independent food scene.  Followed by two weeks of fringe events.  Guildhall, Market Square.  http://www.eat-cambridge.co.uk

11th    11am – 5pm  Open Gardens, Christ’s Pieces Residents’ Association.  8 gardens open in Parker Street, Victoria Street, Clarendon Street, Orchard Street and New Square.  In aid of Jimmy’s Homeless Project East Road and the Cambridge Children’s Charity.  £10 ticket on the day for all gardens (children are free) from the Unitarian Church, Emmanuel Road.  Tea provided.

11th    4pm  A Spring Concert with Rolling Thunder.  CSD Brass.  Free, retiring collection.  St Luke’s Church, Victoria Road

11th    7.30pm  Symphony 3, Mahler.  City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, St Catherine’s College Girls’ Choir and St John’s College School Senior House Chamber Choir.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.adcticketing.com

11 – 12th    Jesus Green Lido Open Weekend.  Everyone is welcome for a free swim this weekend as the Lido reopens for the summer.  http://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/cambridge/jesusgreenlido  Read more about Jesus Green Lido here

12th    12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Artist led workshop for families.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

15th    8 week course  Learn Improv.  Improvised theatre and comedy classes for beginners.  Facebook:  RedCapeImprov

15th    5 – 9pm  Late at the Fitzwilliam.  An after hours evening at the Museum, including talks, the Long Road Sixth Form College 2019 Graduate Art Foundation Show, late night shopping, wine and tapas.  Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/calendar/whatson/late-fitzwilliam-2

15th    6 – 9pm   Museum at Night.  Explore the Museum of Zoology after hours and experience the natural world after dark.  Age 18+  Free, no need to book.  Museum of Zoology, Downing Street.  http://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk

16th    David Parr House reopens.  A terraced house and arts and craft movement treasure which was home to Victorian decorative artist David Parr.  186 Gwydir Street, CB1.  http://www.davidparrhouse.org  Read more about David Parr House here

16th    7.30pm  Poetry at the Pub.  Readings from two poets, open mic floor spots and books for sale.  Blue Moon, Norfolk Street.  http://www.cb1poetry.org.uk  Read more about Poetry at the Pub here

17th    2pm and 4pm  Puss In Boots.  A ballet for children.  2pm is a Relaxed Performance.  Northern Ballet.  Cambridge Corn Exchange.  http://www.cornex.co.uk

17th    6 – 9pm  Drink and Draw.  After hours sketching in the Cast Gallery with a glass of wine.  Adults only, free, drop in.  Materials provided, all abilities welcome.  Museum of Classical Archeology, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3.  http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk/events/drink-and-draw

17th    6.30 – 9.30pm  LATE guest curator: Oscar Murillo.  Creative workshops, pop up talks, music, a performance by Oscar Murillo, cocktails and refreshments.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/events/late-oscar-murillo/

18th    10am – 5pm  Festival of Plants, with live music and pop up food trucks.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

18th    7.30pm  Mass in B Minor, J S Bach.  Cambridge Chorale and Academy of Ancient Music with soloists from Amici Voices.  Trinity College Chapel.  Tickets on the door or from http://www.cambridgechorale.org.uk

18th    7.30pm  From London to Venice: Fusing Poetry and Music.  Monteverdi, Grandi, Strozzi, Caccini, Ferrari and Merula.  Clare Hall, Herschel Road.  Tickets from Porters’ Lodge or music@clarehall.cam.ac.uk

19th    5.30pm and 7.30pm  The Pelicantata, narrated by Sir Tony Robinson.  Come dressed as your favourite Roald Dahl character!  Cambridge Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and Chorus.  Choirs from Chesterton Community College and Sawston Village College.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.cambridgephilharmonic.com

19th    6pm  The Time of Gifts.  Spring themed Medieval and Renaissance songs, traditional Spanish pieces with classical and contemporary works.  The Lucy Cavendish Singers.  Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington.  http://www.lucycavendishsingers.org.uk

20 – 22nd    Pint of Science.  A worldwide science festival which brings researchers to your local pub to present their scientific discoveries.  Various venues around the city.  http://www.pintofscience.co.uk/events/cambridge

20 – 25th    Cambridge Beer Festival.  Cider, perry, mead and English wine also available at this CAMRA festival.  Opening times vary.  Jesus Green.  http://www.cambridgebeerfestival.com  Read more about Cambridge Beer Festival here

23rd    7pm  “Guess the Toppings” pizza evening.  Guests will be blindfolded and have to guess the pizza toppings.  Fundraiser for Cam Sight.  The Punt Yard, Quayside.  http://www.camsight.org.uk/event/guess-the-toppings-evening  Read more about Cam Sight here

24th    6pm – 10.30pm  Summer Night Market and Outdoor Cinema, showing Coco and Mamma Mia.  Free.  Market Square.  http://www.cambridgebid.co.uk/open-air-cinema-night-market

25th    10.30am – 4.30pm  Affordable Vintage Fair.  Over 30 traders selling shop quality vintage, handmade, reworked and retro with fashion, accessories and collectables from 1940s – 1990s.  Guildhall, Market Square.  Facebook: @JudysAffordableCambridgeVintageFair

25th    7pm until late.  Ceilidh.  A charity evening in aid of the World Land Trust.  St. Paul’s Church, Hills Road  Tickets from becky.lockyer21@gmail.com

26th    12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Artist led workshop for families.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

26th    Cambridge Fringe Festival.  A community oriented comedy festival focusing on stand up and improv.  Free entry to shows.  Various venues around Mitcham’s Corner, CB4.  Facebook:  @FringeCambridge

Newton's apple tree at Trinity College Cambridge
Newton’s apple tree blossoming at Trinity College

David Parr House Cambridge

186 Gwydir Street looks like a typical Cambridge terraced house from the outside.  But when you walk in through the front door, you leave the 21st century behind and enter the world of Victorian decorative artist David Parr.

David Parr House Cambridge

David bought the house at auction in 1886 and lived there with his wife, Mary, and their three children.  He’d been apprenticed at the age of 17 to the Cambridge firm of artworkmen F. R. Leach & Sons and he worked for them all his life, painting grand houses and churches with designs created by luminaries of the Arts and Crafts movement, including William Morris.  After long days at work, David came home to decorate his house in the same style, painting by oil and candlelight during the evenings and creating intricate interiors in this relatively humble abode.

David Parr House Cambridge

The exquisite decoration incorporates the use of cut out stencils, through which he stippled paint, and pin prick stencil work, all with individualised repeats which bring the designs alive.  Pine doors and matchboarding are painted and grained to resemble more expensive woods.  The main bedroom boasts an early version of hot air heating.  David was bringing back ideas and sometimes left over materials from jobs he worked on to create a beautiful, unique home for his family.

David Parr House Cambridge

After David’s death in 1927, his widow continued to live in the house with grand daughter Elsie who, in turn, married and brought up her two daughters there.  The decor of the house remained unchanged through the generations but the family was very private and almost nobody knew about these wonderful interiors.  Tamsin Wimhurst first saw the house in 2009 after she put out a call for interesting spaces in Cambridge while researching for an exhibition she was organising at the Museum of Cambridge.  Elsie told Tamsin the story of her grandfather and the house, proud now to show off David Parr’s work.  After Elsie died in 2013, aged 98, Tamsin and her husband decided to buy the house to conserve and restore it.

David Parr House Cambridge

The programme of conservation and restoration has been painstaking.  Happily, David Parr had logged everything he did to the house room by room and all the changes he made, both inside and outside.  Family furniture, artefacts and textiles fill the house.  It really does have the feeling of a home where the family has just stepped out for a while.  On the day I visited, volunteers were busy landscaping and replanting the back garden as it is remembered by David Parr’s great grand daughters, both of whom still live locally.

David Parr House Cambridge

David Parr House reopens on 16 May.  For conservation reasons, tour places are limited at present as the team carefully monitors and assesses the multiple effects of visitor traffic on the painting and general fabric of the house.  The scheduled house tours for this year are now sold out but it is still possible to book a private tour.  Over the next two years, income from tours will be matched by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the proceeds will go into an endowment, the interest from which will fund a Curator post.

David Parr House Cambridge

I was absolutely captivated by David Parr House.  The care and skill that has gone in to this beautiful place, both from its creator and the team that has ensured its future, is awe-inspiring.  For more on the story of the house and the family, volunteering opportunities and tour reservations, take a look at the website.

http://www.davidparrhouse.org