What’s on in Cambridge – September 2019

September always feels to me like a time of new beginnings and although it’s never easy to get back into top gear after the hazy drift of summer days, the slight nip in the morning air reminds us that it’s time to crack on.  There’s lots of fun stuff happening in the city this month, which should help us ease back into routine.  I’ll update this listing through the month so do check back and please get in touch if you know of an event that I can add to it.

Acorns on Jesus Green Cambridge
Acorns on Jesus Green

1st – 29th    Cambridge Festival of Cycling.  A month of events celebrating our city’s cycling culture.  Over 20 cycling themed events, including social bike rides, bike maintenance and photography workshops, a film night showing the documentary “Motherload” and the Cargo Carnival.  Most events are free or have a minimal charge.  http://www.cambridgefestivalofcycling.org

1st    10.30am – 12 noon  Walking Tour: Hidden Cambridge and the Museum of Cambridge.  http://www.museumofcambridge.org.uk

1st    12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Artist led workshop for families.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

3rd    7.30pm  Shoot for the Moon.  Improvised comedy night with the Ministry of Unplanned Occurrences.  Pay what you want.  Blue Moon Pub, Norfolk Street, CB1

5th    6 – 7.30pm  “Mindfulness on the Meadows”.  Practise mindfulness of nature and meditation with Claire Thompson.  Stourbridge Common.  http://www.mindfulness-of-nature.com/workshops-in-around-cambridge

7 – 8th    10am – 5pm  Wimpole Autumn Craft and Produce Fair.  Crafts, food stalls, live music, beer tent serving local ales, face painting.  Wimpole Estate.  FB Wimpole Autumn Craft and Produce Fair

7th    Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival.  In aid of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust.  River Cam, Ditton Meadows, Fen Ditton.  http://www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk

7th    10am – 1pm  Family Saturday.  Plants of the Pharoahs.  Find out about plants used by the Ancient Egyptians, including plants used to make paper and to help preserve bodies.  Free event.  Botanic Garden, Brookside.  http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk

7th    10.30 – 11.15am  “Sharing Stories”.  A friendly family story telling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung.  Free, drop in.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Milton Road Library, CB4.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

7th    12 – 4.30pm  Stourbridge Medieval Fair.  Traditional dancing and singing, stalls, crafts and talks.  Visit the Chapel (which is shut for most of the year).  http://www.cambridgeppf.org/Event/cambridge-medieval-fair

8th    11.30am – 4.30pm  Knit for the River.  Free, drop in, all ages welcome, no need to book.  Museum of Cambridge, Castle Street.  http://www.museumofcambridge.org.uk

8th    3 – 5pm  Jazz and Brass in the Parks.  City of Cambridge Brass Band.  Cherry Hinton Hall.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk

9th    7.45 – 9pm  Talk about the history of Cambridge Railway Station by Rob Shorland-Ball.  Cambridge Museum of Technology, Pye Building.  Tickets £3 on the door.  Enter via Cheddars Lane entrance.  http://www.museumoftechnology.com

10th (until 9th October)  Open Eco Homes.  Advice from local householders and experts, householder led tours and low energy home workshops.  http://www.openecohomes.org

10th    7.30 – 9pm  “Archeology found by the public”.  Talk from Mill Road History Society with Dr Helen Geake, well known for being party of Channel 4’s Time Team.  Ross Street Community Centre.  http://www.millroadhistory.org.uk

11th    6.45 – 9pm  Cafe Sci Cambridge: Gut bacteria and human health.  Using genomic tools to study gut microbiome to help us understand its role in health and disease.  Free, non-ticketed.  Espresso Library, East Road.  http://www.publicengagement.wellcomegenomecampus.org/cafe-scientifique-cambridge

13 – 14th  Open Cambridge.  Discover the local history and heritage of Cambridge with special access to places that are normally closed to the public or charge admission.  http://www.opencambridge.cam.ac.uk

15th    9.30am  Bridge the Gap.  A charity walk through Cambridge University College grounds.  The route is wheelchair and pushchair friendly.  Raising funds for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Romsey Mill.  http://www.arhc.org.uk/bridge-the-gap.asp

15th    9.30am – 12.30pm  An Introduction to Mindfulness of Nature with Claire Thompson.  Mindfulness based exercises, meditations, walking, games, discussions and poetry.  Trumpington Meadows Nature Reserve.  http://www.mindfulness-of-nature.com/workshops-in-around-cambridge

15th    10.30am – 5.30pm  Dog Day.  Free ice cream for kids with a dog.  Gift stalls and more.  Benets Cafe, King’s Parade.

15th    12 – 4pm  Studio Sunday.  Artist led workshop for families.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

15th    3 – 5pm  Jazz and Brass in the Parks.  The Brass Funkeys.  Jesus Green.  http://www.cambridgelive.org.uk

16th    6 – 7.30pm  “Mindfulness on the Meadows”.  Practise mindfulness of nature and meditation with Claire Thompson.  Stourbridge Common.  http://www.mindfulness-of-nature.com/workshops-in-around-cambridge

17th    5.30 – 7.30pm  Circuit Social.  A creative evening for 18 – 25 year olds.  Make some art, meet new people and discover more about Circuit, the young people’s programme.  All welcome, no previous art experience needed.  Free, drop in.  Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.  http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk

17th    7.30pm  Poetry in the Pub with John Clegg and Steve Xerri.  CB1 Poetry.  Blue Moon Pub, Norfolk Street, CB1  http://www.cb1poetry.org.uk

18th    7.30pm  True Stories Told Live.  NCI Club, Holland Street, CB4.  FB True Stories Told Live Cambridge

19th    7.30pm  Clara Rackham – her life and achievements.  A talk by Professor Mary Joannou (ARU).  Milton Road Library, CB4.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

21st    9 – 10am  Day of Peace Meditation.  On International Day of Peace, gather for meditations to find inner peace and to cultivate feelings of peace of others in our families, our communities and across the world.  White Lotus Meditation.  The Bodywise Studio, Gwydir Street.  http://www.whitelotusmeditation.co.uk/classesandcourses

21st    10.30 – 11.15am  “Sharing Stories”.  A friendly family story telling session with stories from around the world told, read and sung.  Free, drop in.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Milton Road Library, CB4.  http://www.friendsofmiltonroadlibrary.org.uk

21st    10.30am – 4pm  Artsfest 2019.  A day of workshops in printmaking, life drawing, papercloth, drawing, exploring abstraction, creative writing, expressive lettering and drop in sewing plus an all day cafe.  Early booking advised as workshop places are limited.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road.  http://www.stpaulsartsfest.org

21st    11am – 5pm  Literature Cambridge Study Day: Reading The Waves.  An intensive day of lectures and a seminar on Virginia Woolf’s lyrical novel of 1931, with leading scholars.  Stapleford Granary, CB22.  http://www.literaturecambridge.co.uk/waves

21 – 22nd    10am – 5pm  Cambridge Food, Garden and Produce Show.  Parker’s Piece.  Free entry.  Oakleigh Fairs.  http://www.oakleighfairs.co.uk

22nd    10.30am – 5pm  Milton Country Park Autumn Festival.  Seasonal food, craft, activities, music and entertainment for the family.  http://www.miltoncountrypark.org/autumnfestival

25th    6 – 9pm  Zoology Late: Board Games.  Animal inspired board games and bar.  Free, no need to book. 18+   Museum of Zoology, Downing Street.  http://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk

26th    6 – 9pm  LATE:  The Greatest Showman.  Special screening of The Greatest Showman to complement a new exhibition about Giovanni Belzoni, the 19th century explorer and circus showman.  Fitzwilliam Museum.  http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk

28th    10am – 4pm  Worth The Weight Vintage Kilo Sale.  Vintage clothing at £15 per kilo.  St Paul’s Church, Hills Road.  FB Worth The Weight Vintage Kilo Sale – Cambridge

29th    3pm rehearsal, 7.30pm performance.  Come and Sing Carmina Burana.  Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus.  West Road Concert Hall.  http://www.cambridgephilharmonic.com

29th    10am – 5pm  Cambridge Chinese Community Mid-Autumn Festival.  Parker’s Piece.  http://www.cambridgechinacentre.org

King's College Cambridge
This chestnut tree at King’s College is 160 years old!

 

 

 

Castle Hill Open Day Cambridge

Castle Hill Open Day is happening on 13 July with free events led by historians, local experts, artists, musicians and dancers.  There’s something here for all ages as you explore the art, history and heritage of one of the oldest parts of Cambridge.

Castle Hill Open Day 2019 Cambridge

A quick history lesson …. Castle Hill was originally an Iron Age hill fort and subsequently the site of the Roman town of Durolipante.  The Normans built Cambridge Castle there in 1068 but all that remains of it now is grassy Castle Mound, a rare hill in our flat East Anglian landscape!  Climb this and you’ll be rewarded with terrific views of Cambridge.

Castle Hill Open Day 2019 Cambridge
Image credit: Kettle’s Yard

The packed programme for this year’s Open Day includes

  • art workshops, talks and music at Kettle’s Yard
  • a rare chance to explore the former Nuclear Bunker behind Shire Hall
  • a tour of the New Hall Art Collection which has over 400 works of art by women artists plus you can pick herbs and make tea in Murray Edwards College Garden
  • a “Museum of Mysteries” trail and a Cabinet of Curiosities family workshop at the Museum of Cambridge
  • an insight into the area’s history through the biographies of 60 people buried at Histon Road Cemetery
  • free themed tours of the Castle Hill area
Castle Hill Open Day 2019 Cambridge
Image credit: Kettle’s Yard

Food-wise, there’ll be plenty of picnic spots.  The cafes at Kettle’s Yard, the Museum of Cambridge, St Gile’s Church (cream tea, anyone?!) and the Methodist Church will be open.  There’ll be several food trucks, a vegan pop up cafe at Murray Edwards College and an ice cream van.

Castle Hill Open Day 2019 Cambridge
Image credit: Kettle’s Yard

You’ll find more information and full details of the Open Day schedule on the Kettle’s Yard website.

http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/openday

 

 

 

Riverside Tea Garden at Cambridge Museum of Technology

There’s a massive chimney that dominates the skyline down at Riverside.  It’s in amongst a cluster of Victorian buildings that make up the Museum of Technology and I’ve walked past it dozens of times but never really knew what it was all about.  When I heard that there’s going to be a pop up Riverside Tea Garden there this summer, I decided to find out more and met with Assistant Curator, Morgan Bell.

Cambridge Museum of Technology

Built in 1894, the 53 metre tall chimney is part of a Victorian sewage pumping station which is now the Museum.  Here they burned the city’s household rubbish to create steam to fuel engines that pumped the city’s sewage out to a treatment plant in Milton.  Prior to this, sewage had discharged into the River Cam, causing cholera outbreaks so this wonderful Victorian engineering transformed public health in Cambridge.  The pumping station was decommissioned in 1968, at which point a group of local campaigners saved it from demolition and turned the buildings into a museum.

Hathorn Davey pumping machine Cambridge

Owned independently and funded by admission fees and donations, the Museum houses the last Hathorn Davey pumping engines in the world that still work.  It has also built up a collection of telecoms equipment, televisions and radios from Pye and historic scientific instruments from Cambridge Instrument Company.

Hathorn Davey pumping machine Cambridge

The Museum is currently closed as there’s a major redevelopment under way, thanks to money from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Restoration of the old buildings is complicated and painstaking as they are a Scheduled Ancient Monument and permission is needed even to paint in there!  There are plans for a new building to house exhibition and learning space plus a cafe building with views over the river.  The boiler is being repaired so it can once again supply steam to run the pumping engines and they’re hoping to be open by mid 2019.

Boiler at Cambridge Museum of Technology

This redevelopment is about preserving heritage of course but it’s also about inspiring a generation of future engineers and innovators.  Jinx St. Leger, the Education Officer, tells me about the outreach programme with primary and secondary schools, encouraging students to look at STEM subjects in a new light.  “It’s teaching engineering by stealth,” she smiles.  “We make stomp rockets, create origami, make print blocks and masks and use a morse code machine to send and decode messages.”  Jinx will be running four craft based and four engineering based events over the summer at the Museum of Cambridge (check out http://www.museumofcambridge.org.uk/events for more details).

Cambridge Museum of Technology

Now back to the tea and cake … on Sunday afternoons between 15 July and 5 August, you’ll be able to enjoy drinks and cream teas at the Riverside Tea Garden in idyllic surroundings on the Museum’s lawn overlooking the river.  There’ll be stalls selling treasures, crafts, books, clothes, baked goods and produce.  And I’ve booked my ticket for The Floating Museum, a boat trip happening on various dates through the summer, during which you’ll discover more about the city’s industrial heritage along the river.  All profits from these ventures go back to the Museum to help fund the restoration.  Full details, plus a booking facility for The Floating Museum, are on the website.

http://www.museumoftechnology.com

The Old Pumping Station, Cheddars Lane, Cambridge CB5 8LD