What’s on in Cambridge – November 2019

So November is here, with bright frosty mornings and leaves crunching under our feet.  As ever, there’s loads going on in the city this month.  Do get in touch if you know of an event that I could add in to this listing and don’t forget to check back every now and again as I will update it through the month.

Gourds at Cambridge Market
Gourds at Cambridge Market

1st    7pm  Cinema under the Whale.  A special screening of the Spielberg classic JAWS, in the dark under the skeleton of a 21 metre whale. Plus a short pre-screening talk on threats to sharks and work to protect them.  Museum of Zoology,  Downing Street.  http://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk

2nd    10am – 1pm   Family Saturday – Feed the Birds.  Help the birds in your garden survive the frosty winter nights by making bird feeders to put out in your garden.  Free event.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

2nd    10.30 – 11.15am  Sharing Stories.  Stories from around the world, told, read and sung.  Free, drop in.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Milton Road Library.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

2nd    2 – 4pm  Magic and Mystery Family drop in.  Magic crafts, family tours and story telling.  Free.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

2nd    3.30pm  Autumn Concert.  Cambridge Wind Band.  The Ashburton Hall, St Faith’s School, Trumpington Road.  http://www.camwindband.com

2nd    6.30pm  Even You Song.  Director of Music Owain Park with Cambridge Chorale and school choirs against a backdrop of digital projections and new writing.  An immersive work based on Choral Evensong inspired by space travel.  Trinity College Chapel.  Tickets from http://bit.ly/2YvwxAb

5th    7pm  Firework Display and Bonfire.  Food stalls and fairground open 6 – 10pm.  Midsummer Common.  Free event.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk/city-events/bonfire-night

6 – 14th    Cambridge Music Festival.  A programme of classical music with world-class artists, both well known figures and rising stars.  http://www.cambridgemusicfestival.co.uk

6th    7.30pm  Handel Coronation Anthems, Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op 3 No 2 and Organ Concerto in F Major, Op 4 No 4.  Academy of Ancient Music and Choir of King’s College Cambridge.  King’s College Chapel.  http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/concerts

8 – 9th  Cambridge Oktoberfest.  German beer, food and music in a tent on Jesus Green.  http://www.cambridge-oktoberfest.co.uk

8th    7.30pm  Mike de Souza Trio.  A vibrant young trio performing new, original music drawing on the sounds of contemporary jazz, Radiohead and Deerhoof.  Unitarian Church, Emmanuel Road.  http://www.wegottickets.com/listencambridge

9th    6.30 – 10.30pm  Ceilidh.  Raising funds for Cambridge Street Aid and The Cyriacs,  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road.  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk

9th    7.30pm  Brahms: German Requiem and Cello Sonata in E minor.  New Cambridge Singers.  Little St Mary’s Church, Trumpington Street.  http://www.newcambridgesingers.org.uk

12th    7.30 – 9pm  Changing Landscapes in Romsey Town.  Talk by John McGill for Mill Road History Society.  Ross Street Community Centre.  http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk

13 – 24th   Cambridge International Jazz Festival.  Main events, Fringe events (many of which are free), family events, workshops, talks and films at venues around the city.  http://www.cambridgejazzfestival.info

13th    7.15pm  True Stories Told Live.  Local storytellers and a song.  NCI Club, Holland Street.  FB @cambridgetruestories

16th    10.30 – 11.15am  Sharing Stories.  Stories from around the world, told, read and sung.  Free, drop in.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Milton Road Library.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

16th    2 – 5.30pm  Literature Cambridge Study Day: Understanding “Hamlet”, with Cambridge scholars Adrian Poole and Fred Parker.  Stapleford Granary, CB22.  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/hamlet

16th  North Pole Cambridge Ice Rink opens.  Skate under a transparent roof.  Funfair,  Alpine Cabin themed bar and stalls.  Closes 5.1.20. Parker’s Piece.  http://www.thenorthpolecambridge.co.uk

16 – 17th  11 am – 5pm  Ink, Paper and Print Illustration Fair.  Screenprints, letterpress, hand-made books, lithographs, linocuts and more.  Free admission.  The Guildhall, Market Square.  http://www.inkpaperandprint.co.uk

16 – 17th  10am – 5pm  A handmade Christmas pottery exhibition and sale.  15+ potters, a wide range of ceramics from rustic to refined, free kids’ craft.  Kiln Cambridge, 61 Ditton Walk, CB5.   FB@kilncambridge

22nd – 8 Dec   11am – 4pm Fri – Sun, 5 – 8pm Weds.  Here and How?  An exhibition of artists from the North West, curated by STOCK Gallery.  Motion Sickness Project Space, Petty Cury.  http://www.motion-sick.wixsite.com

23rd    11am – 5pm  Worth the Weight Vintage Kilo Sale.  Vintage clothing from the 60s – 90s.  £15 per kilo.  St. Paul’s, Hills Road.  FB @worththeweightvintage

23rd    7.30pm  Mozart Requiem.  Trinity Singers.  Trinity College Chapel.  Tickets on the door.

23rd    7.30pm  Dance the Night Away.  Brahms, Khachaturian, Offenbach and more.  A concert in aid of Cambridgeshire Lupus Group.  Cambridge Concert Orchestra.  The Church of St John the Evangelist, Hills Road.  Tickets from http://cco.org.uk or http://www.eventbrite.com or on the door

26th    Feast & Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800 exhibition opens (running until 26.4.20).  Presents novel approaches to understanding the history and culture of food and eating.  Free entry.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street. http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

28 – 30th    12 noon – 7.30pm Thursday/10am – 6.30pm Friday and Saturday.  Cambridge Made Christmas Fair.  Loads of fabulous hand made goodies from local makers.  Free entry.  St. Andrew’s Baptist Church, St. Andrew’s Street.  FB @CambridgeMade

28th    5 – 9pm  LATE: A Feast for your Senses.  See the new Feast & Fast exhibition, join pop up talks, learn more about Christmas food traditions and book for a special screening of Bright Star, a romantic drama about John Keats.  Christmas shopping, live jazz and seasonal treats in the Cafe.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

30th    10.30 – 11.15am  Sharing Stories.  Stories from around the world, told, read and sung.  Free, drop in.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Milton Road Library.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

30th   2pm and 3pm  “Mouse’s Night Before Christmas”.  Award winning author Tracey Corderoy reads from her new book.  Festive craft activity.  Tickets £3 in advance, redeemable against a copy of the book when bought on the day.  Heffers, Trinity Street.  http://www.heffers.co.uk/events

Autumn colour in Trumpington Street Cambridge
Autumn colour on Trumpington Street

What’s on in Cambridge – October 2019

Well here we are, it’s October already and the rhythm of the city is changing again as the students return.  There’s so much happening in Cambridge this month … festivals of film, ideas, craft beer and gin, storytelling, fundraisers for local charities, art exhibitions, Diwali celebrations and lots more.  So do take a look and come back too, as I’ll update this listing through the month.

Autumn colours on Trumpington Street, Cambridge
Autumn colours in Trumpington Street

1 – 12th    8am – 5pm  Illuminating Cambridge Libraries.  Exhibition of Sara Rawlinson’s photographs of College libraries.  Michaelhouse Centre, Trinity Street, CB2.  http://www.sararawlinson.com

1 – 31st    9am – 5pm weekdays.  Black Cantabs: History Makers.  Photography exhibition celebrating 260 years of Cambridge education for black Cambridge students and graduates from the 1700s to the 21st century.  Fitzwilliam College, Storey’s Way, CB3

3 – 27th    The Cambridge Show.  Painting, photography, performance, sculpture and other media from 22 local artists.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

5th    10am – 1pm  Family Saturdays – Brilliant Bats.  Learn loads of bat facts and enjoy bat themed craft ready for Halloween.  Free event.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

5th    10.30 – 11.15am  Sharing Stories.  A family friendly story telling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Free, drop in.  Milton Road Library, CB4.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

5th    11am – 1pm  Toy Swap Shop.  Also books (fiction/children) and clothes swap (women/children).  Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington.  http://www.atoyslifeandbeyond.org

5th    2.30pm  Nearly New Sale of pre-loved parent and baby goods.  Sports Centre, Cambridge Regional College, Kings Hedges Road.  http://www.nctcambridge.org

7th    7.30 – 9pm  LATE: Gallery Party.  Celebrate the launch of a new season of programming on the theme of Sensual/Virtual.  Music, cash bar and surprises on the night.  Free event.  Fitzwilliam Museum.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

10th    7.30 – 9pm  Miss Jebb revisits Mill Road.  An evening of fact and fiction, drama and poetry as Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children and author of “Cambridge – A Brief Study in Social Questions (1906), takes us for a walk down Mill Road.  Free event.  Ross Street Community Centre, Ross Street.  http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk

12th    10am  2019 Heffers Classics Forum.  A day of talks from some of the top names in the world of Classics.  The Old Library, Emmanuel College, St Andrew’s Street.  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk

12th    10am – 3pm  The Kenya Youth Project Autumn Fayre.  Stalls, pictures, stationery, handcrafts, nearly new, books, jigsaws, toys, homemade jam and cakes, Kenyan gifts.  Wesley Methodist Church, Christ’s Pieces.  http://www.kenyayouthproject.org.uk

12th    10.30am – 2.30pm  Nearly New and Used Book Sale.  Milton Road Library, CB4

13th    12 noon – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Artist led workshop for families.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

13th    1.15 – 2pm  Lunchtime Concert: Works for piano by female composers.  Diana Brekalo presents music by Lily Boulanger, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann and Countess Dora Pejacevic.  Free.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

13th    7.30pm  Schumann:  Overture – Genoveva, Piano Concerto in A minor, Symphony No 2 in C.  Sinfonia of Cambridge.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.sinfoniaofcambridge.org.uk

14 – 27th  Cambridge Festival of Ideas.  Debates, workshops, talks, exhibitions and performances celebrating the arts, humanities and social sciences.  This year’s theme is “Change”.  Free.  http://www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk

15th    7pm  Fundraiser Evening for Cam Sight.  Dining and music from CBT.  The Three Horseshoes, Madingley.  http://www.camsight.org.uk

16 – 19th    The 2019 Cambridge Greek Play: Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles.  A modern day interpretation, performed in Ancient Greek with English surtitles.  The tradition of performing a play in Greek every three years at Cambridge University goes back to 1882!  Cambridge Arts Theatre, Peas Hill.  http://www.cambridgeartstheatre.com

16th    7pm  Cafe Sci Cambridge: The ethics of medical data sharing.  Espresso Library, East Road.  FB  @cafescicambridge

17 – 24th    Cambridge Film Festival.  UK premieres of new features, classic retrospectives, insightful documentaries, short films, discovery titles from the global stage, family favourites and several international film festival winners.  http://www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk

17 – 20th    Eddington Craft Beer and Gin Festival.  Local craft beers, flavourful gins, live music and food vans.  Storey’s Field Centre, Eddington.  http://www.eventbrite.com

17th    7pm  Cambridge Breast Cancer Appeal Fashion Show.  In aid of Addenbrooke’s Hospital Breast Cancer Appeal.  Grand Arcade.  http://www.cambridgebreastcancerappeal.com

18th    7.30pm  Somersaults.  Propulsive, joyous spontaneous music ranging from swinging free jazz to timbral and textural improvisations.  Unitarian Church, Emmanuel Road.  http://www.wegottickets.com/listencambridge

18 – 19th    7.30pm  Dracula Part 1: Jonathan Harker’s Journal with Martin Prest in the haunting and atmospheric one man show adapted from Bram Stoker’s classic novel.  The Leper Chapel, Newmarket Road.  http://www.ThatsMyCueProductions.com

19th    10am – 4pm  Cambridge Photography Show.  For anyone who is passionate about photography and video.  Free entry.  Guildhall, Market Square.  FB Cambridge Photography Show 2019

19th    10.30 – 11.15am  Sharing Stories.  A family friendly storytelling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Free, drop in.  Milton Road Library, CB4.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

19th    12 noon – 4pm  WE ARE CAMBRIDGE Family Day.  A fun, interactive day exploring what living in and around Cambridge means to you.  Artist led workshops where you can create artwork inspired by Cambridge, your ideas of home and hopes for the future of the city.  Plus a wildflower seed-bomb workshop inspired by the history and work of Alan Turing.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

19th    2 – 5.30pm  Literature Cambridge Study Day: An Introduction to Reading Poetry.  Do you love poetry and would you like to understand it better?  Accessible lectures and a seminar with leading young Cambridge scholars.  Stapleford Granary, CB22.  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/read-poetry

19th    3 – 4pm  Children’s Event: Author Isabel Thomas unlocks the life of Stephen Hawking with storytelling and activities.  Free event.  Heffers, Trinity Street.  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk

19th    7.30pm  Locked Opened!  Stories from the underground railroad told by Sheila Arnold.  Unitarian Church Hall, Emmanuel Road.  http://www.cambridgestorytellers.com

19th    7.30pm  Stargaze.  Adams, Prokofiev and Dove.  Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra.  West Road Concert Hall.  Free pre concert talk at 6.45pm.  http://www.cambridgephilharmonic.com

20th    10am – 4pm  Apple Day.  Apple tasting, identification, cultivation, activities and edibles.  Free Garden seasonal highlight tours, live music, pop up food trucks and craft stalls.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

20th    10.30am – 4pm  Cambridge Vegan Market.  Food stalls, lifestyle brands, luxury cosmetics, ethical clothing, interesting charities and more.  FB Cambridge Vegan Market

20th    1.15 – 2pm  Lunchtime Concert: Music for harpsichord.  Final concert of the complete Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, recital No. 30, performed by Francis Knights.  Free.  Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

20th    7 – 9.45pm  Sakhya Diwali celebrations.  A fundraiser evening of music, Indian food and Bollywood dancing.  All proceeds go to grass-root education and development oriented projects in India.  St Paul’s, Hills Road.  Booking required.  Email tickets.sakhya@gmail.com

20 – 26th    10am – 4pm  Art Exhibition.  Original paintings, drawing, prints and sculptures.  Cambridge Drawing Society.  The Leys School, Fen Causeway.  http://www.cambridgedrawingsociety.org

26th    5 – 9pm  Cambridge Mindful Pub Crawl.  Low and no alcohol drinks at three venues with the first round on Adnams.  Starting at The Castle Inn, Castle Street, CB3.  Tickets from http://www.joinclubsoda.com

27th    12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Artist led workshop for families.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

27th    1.15 – 2pm  Lunchtime Concert: Music for piano.  George Harliono performs Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor.  Free. Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

28th    7.45pm  Centenary Lecture: Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Master of Trinity College, on being the UK’s Chief Medical Officer.  Free admission, retiring collection.  Wesley Methodist Church, Christ’s Pieces.

29th    7pm  Graphene the new wonder material: But will it change the world?  Fundraising lecture from Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, CBE, FREng, FRS Director of Research Dept of Materials Science and Metallurgy.  In aid of Cam Sight.  Dept of Material Sciences and Metallurgy, Charles Babbage Road, CB3.  http://www.camsight.org.uk

Laxtons Superb apples
Fantastic harvest of Laxton’s Superb apples from our tree this year

 

School’s out!! Summer activities in Cambridge for children and families

School’s out, the sun is shining and there’s plenty going on in the city to keep youngsters amused through the summer break, much of it low cost or free.  Here are a few ideas!

Summer at the Museums    140 drop in and bookable activities at museums in and around Cambridge as well as the Botanic Garden.  A mix of events, trails and hands-on activities.  Download the full programme from http://www.museums.cam.ac.uk/events/summer

Cambridge Museum of Technology
Cambridge Museum of Technology

Cambridge Museum of Technology has recently re-opened after a major refurbishment – read more here.  They are running Family Engineering Mornings, where you work together to design, build and test rockets and boats and build a tower crane, as well as Family Papercraft Mornings.  The Museum is in a beautiful spot down by the river.  Food and drink are available but you’re welcome to bring a picnic and there’s lots of room for children to run around.  Click on http://www.museumoftechnology.com/whats-on for more.

ChYpPS is running Playdaze, a free daily programme of activities for kids plus Big Wednesdays, mini festival fun afternoons of art, sport and culture for the whole family.  Details on http://www.cambridge.gov.uk/chypps-activities

Great St Mary’s, the University Church on Senate House Hill, is running Family Activity Mondays on 5, 12 and 19 August from 11am – 3pm, offering family craft events with a different theme each week.  More on Facebook @GreatStMarys.

Waterstones Cambridge events
Waterstones Cambridge summer events

Waterstones in Sidney Street is offering a series of free events with storytimes, crafts and more, with a different theme each week.  See the photograph for details.

Hidden Tales Riddle of the White Sphinx
Image credit: Hidden Tales

Heffers on Trinity Street has organised several free children’s activities with local authors as well as a series of Museum Adventures with the Hidden Tales, tying in with Cambridge treasure hunt Riddle of the White Sphinx – read more here –  and featuring special guest appearances from four Cambridge museums and their collections.  Details on http://www.heffersbookshop.business.site

Have a wonderful summer!!

 

Riddle of the White Sphinx: A Cambridge Treasure Hunt

The summer holidays are almost upon us and while it’s wonderful to cast aside the daily routine of the school term times, many parents will be thinking about ways to get the kids out and about, engaging with each other and their surroundings rather than staring at screens.  For Cambridge parent Sorrel May, thoughts like these inspired “Riddle of the White Sphinx”, a magical book aimed at 8 – 12 year olds.

Hidden Tales Riddle of the White Sphinx
Image credit: Hidden Tales

Sorrel’s idea started to take shape when she mentioned it to Mark Wells, a friend who had started writing on retirement from his business career.  An alumnus of St John’s College and a Cambridge resident, inspiration struck Mark as he wandered round the Fitzwilliam Museum listening to a commentary through headphones.  What if certain museum artefacts could only speak to children?  He went home, wrote until 3am and sent his words through to Sorrel, whose children loved it.  So Mark kept writing, illustrator Jennifer Bell created rich, evocative images that children can pore over and Fiona Boyd of The Cardozo Kindersley Workshop designed the fantasy alphabet that’s used in the coded message which appears in each illustration.

Hidden Tales Riddle of the White Sphinx
Image credit: Hidden Tales

To solve the riddle, children need to find seven of the “Hidden”, each of which is in a different Cambridge museum, to free these “Hidden” from the sinister “Keeper of Secrets”.  There’s a Museum Passport in each book … get that stamped in every Museum because the word in each stamp makes a sentence which gives a big clue as to where the ultimate Keeper’s Secret is hidden in the city.  Plus there’s that code to crack and kids can also join the AHA! Club through the website to get advice and extra clues.

Hidden Tales Riddle of the White Sphinx
Image credit: Hidden Tales

Mark has worked with primary schools throughout the writing process.  Careful thought has gone into the book’s design; to help dyslexic readers, the story is printed in Baskerville font on off white paper and the print is not justified on the right hand margin, to avoid any distortion of letters.  Mark has created a literacy pack with lesson plans on reading, illustration and code breaking as well as a teacher guided tour of Cambridge museums.  Schools have been signing up for an author visit and reading plus Q & A sessions.

Mark Wells Cambridge
Image credit: Hidden Tales

Riddle of the White Sphinx launches on Saturday 20 July at Heffers Bookshop.  This family event, which starts at 2pm, will include a treasure hunt round the shop, a reading from Mark, personalised badge making, a drawing workshop and a Q & A session.  Other linked events through the summer include free weekly craft activities at Heffers with special guest appearances from four museums and their collections, a code cracking workshop at the Fitzwilliam Museum and an illustration masterclass from Jennifer Bell.

Hidden Tales Riddle of the White Sphinx
Image credit: Hidden Tales

You can buy the book in Cambridge bookshops and at the museums or order it through the website.  University of Cambridge museums are all free entry whilst the Museum of Cambridge is giving free entry to children who arrive with the book.  I reckon this is a great way to keep children absorbed for hours, working together in an analogue rather than a digital pursuit that gets them out and about in a quest to find the Keeper’s Secret, hidden somewhere in this city.  For more information, details of events and for more of Mark’s story, take a look at these websites.

http://www.hiddentales.co.uk

http://www.marknwells.com

Half term break in Cambridge … some ideas!

As I write this post, Spring is very definitely in the air, the sun is shining in a blue sky and we hope for beautiful weather next week for the half term break.  I’ve put together a few details of events in the city, many of which are free, both indoors and outdoors so you’re covered whatever the weather!

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

One of my favourite green spaces in the city is the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and there’s lots to do here for all ages.  Spring into Yoga on 19 February offers springtime yoga sequences for 8 – 12 year olds to get bodies moving and minds focused and calm.  The Red Alert Twilight Event on 20 February is a free, drop in session where you’ll see some of the world’s most endangered plants and meet the people helping these plants to survive.  Flowers, Friendship and Wild Wonders on 22 February tells the story of a friendship – expect dancing, drama and lots of fun for 5 – 7 year olds.  And if you’re free ranging around the Botanic Garden at any time, children will love the Crazy Cone Caper, a self guided family trail.  You’ll find details of all these events on http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

twilight_17_preview
Image Credit: Martin Bond

If you’ve seen the movie “Night at the Museum” and wondered how it feels to wander round a museum after hours, now’s your chance to find out at Cambridge University’s “Twilight at the Museums” event.  Explore fourteen local museums and collections after dark on 20 February from 4.30 – 7.30pm and experience these spaces and collections in a different way.  This is a free, drop in event for families with activities and themed trails across the venues, most of which are just a short walk apart.  So wrap up warm and bring a torch to help you explore those darker corners.  Visit www.museums.cam.ac.uk for full details.

Kettle's Yard Studio Sunday
Image credit: Kettle’s Yard

Kettle’s Yard On Castle Hill has plenty lined up for the break, starting with Studio Sunday, a free, drop in artist-led workshop for families on 17 February.  On 19 February, they are running a Collage Workshop for 8 – 12 year olds and a free Portfolio Afternoon for those aged 13+ who’d like to work with a professional artist to develop their drawing practice and their portfolio.  From 21 – 24 February there’ll be free drop in drawing activities each afternoon, suitable for all ages and abilities, in the Clore Learning Studio.  Or come and explore spirals, webs and weaving at the free, drop in Dream Weaver Community Day on 23 February.  Further details of all these and booking, where booking is necessary, on http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

Heffers Bookshop Cambridge

Heffers Booksellers are a Cambridge institution – they’ve been selling books in the city for over 140 years.  Children’s at Heffers is offering a number of free events over half term so you can meet authors, join in fun activities and enjoy Story Time.  See the photo for details and book your place via http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/heffersbookshop

Have a great half term break!!

 

 

 

 

Cambridge Literary Festival

One of the things I love most about writing for my blog and this column is the people I meet.  People who are getting on with their daily lives, have that light bulb moment and just go for it to create something wonderful in the city.  People like Cathy Moore, founder of the Cambridge Literary Festival.

Cambridge Literary Festival logo

Cathy first came to the city to read History at Newnham College and was only the second person from her Liverpool comprehensive school to make it to the University of Cambridge. She also loved English and books so after graduation, Cathy built a career in publishing before taking some time out to be with her young family.  A spell in teaching followed but Cathy returned to Cambridge and books, working part time in Waterstones and running their programme of events.  That’s where she met writer Ali Smith and as the two of them chatted about the Hay Literary Festival, they wondered why there wasn’t a similar event in Cambridge.

Cambridge Literary Festival
Image credit:  Chris Boland

Within months, Cathy had created Wordfest, doing everything herself and setting up twenty four events in three venues.  That was back in March 2003.  “There were about sixty literary festivals then”, Cathy tells me, “and now there are around four hundred in the UK, so we’re all in competition for the authors.”  Wordfest grew, events regularly sold out and initiatives like the debut writers panel made it truly a festival for writers as well as readers.  After gaining charitable status, Wordfest rebranded as Cambridge Literary Festival in 2014.  It now brings Spring and Winter festivals to the city as well as one-off events through the year and since 2017 has delivered the Wimpole History Festival in partnership with the National Trust.

These days, Cathy isn’t doing everything herself!  She and her small team have an office in Downing Place and they have strong support from patrons, media partnerships and sponsors.  A band of volunteer stewards welcomes the many thousands of festival goers and enables events to run smoothly for both authors and audiences.  More volunteers are always welcome so if you’re interested in giving your time (and enjoying some volunteer perks!), contact the team through the website.

Cambridge Literary Festival
Image credit: Chris Boland

 

Festival venues this year include several beautiful university spaces which are normally hidden from public view.  Refreshments will be available at most of these so you can grab a quick drink and a snack between events.  Heffers run a bookstall and there are author signings too.

I’m really excited for this winter’s Festival; it’s always a fun, buzzy weekend and the packed programme truly offers something for everyone, including a brand new Murder Mystery Musical from Sophie Hannah which sounds intriguing!  You’ll find details of what’s on and a booking facility through the Festival website at www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com

 

This post is part of my “New in Cambridge” column in the November issue of Velvet Magazine.  Read more on http://www.velvetmag.co.uk