Cambridge in old picture postcards

Cambridge in old picture postcards

:   Michael Rouse
:   Cambridgeshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2960-2
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Cambridge in old picture postcards'

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Cambridge is perhaps one of the best known towns in the wor1d because of its ancient University. In 1951 Cambridge officially became a city and today has a population of some 100,000 and as well as the University has a growing reputation as a centre for the modern technological industries, many of them linked with the University, It is also, of course, a centre for shopping and recreation.

During the period of the earliest photographs in this book the population was ab out 40,000 and by the 1930's with the addition of parts of Chesterton, Cherry Hinton and Trumpington Cam bridge had grown geographically and from a population count to about 60,000.

During this century the hold of the University on the town - powerful enough to force the railway right on to the edge of the town in the 1840's and to stop trams running on Sundays and to have its own ga ol in the Spinning House - was being loosened. The railway brought large areas of werking men's housing in the Romsey Town and Mill Road part, while after the First World War large areas of council houses spread the town even further.

It would have been easy, but very dull, to have filled the pages of this book with photographs of the Colleges. There are many hundred and any dealer would be delighted to sell them at modest prices, but

they do not reflect the changing face of Cambridge. I have, therefore, looked for postcards that do show the changing face of Cambridge and preferably ones that have not been reproduced time and again.

In this search my thanks go to Alan Fordham, of the Granta Stamp and Coin shop in Magdalene Street, and Bill Kirkland, of London, for the loan of cards from their private collections. My gratitude also to Michael Petty, A.L.A. for steering me so expertly around the Cambridgeshire Collection at the Central Library in Cam bridge and for the opportunity to select photographs from their vast resources.

The Cam bridgeshire Collection has many negatives and prints of the photographic postcards of Ted Mott. MI. K.P. Humphries of Milton also has a colleetion of his photographs, prints of which are also in the Cambridgeshire Collection. I am grateful to MI. Humphries both for information about Ted Mott, summarised briefly elsewhere, and for permission to reproduce some of these photographs. Ted Mott was a fine photographer recording Cam bridge in the 1920's and really merits a book to hirnself, perhaps this book might stimulate such a publication.

In researching the captions for the photographs, particular thanks again to Michael Petty and Chris Jakes, A.L.A. and the staff of the Cambridgeshire Colleetion. Several books have proved particularly useful,

especially Sara Payne's 'Down Your Street' volume 1, which gives a fascinating word and picture portrait of the streets of central Cambridge. There are the various works of F.A. Reeve, especially 'Victorian and Edwardian Cambridge from old photographs' and the late Enid Porter's marvellous fund of information 'Cambridgeshire Customs and Folklore'. The Oleander Press of Cam bridge has published many entertaining and informative booklets on the City and for further study of some of the subjects touched upon in this baak I ean recommend 'Carn Bridges' by Richard J. Pierpoint, 'Cambridge Buses' by Mark Seal and 'Varsity Rags and Hoaxes' by F.A. Reeve. For background reading on the picture postcard publishers in the county 'Cambridgeshire in Early Postcards' is also still available from the Oleander Press and Bockshops. 'Rowing on the Cam' by James Douglas (Birds Farm Publications) I found most useful and 'Trams in Cam bridge' by Nigel Pen nick (Electric Traction Publications) gives a detailed history of the trams which this book merely touches. My thanks also go to that remarkable Cam bridge author and remarkable man, Jack Overhill, for his help.

To Dan Jackson of the 'Cambridge Evening News', my thanks for his assistance in trying to find inforrnation about sorne elusive cards. My particular thanks

to Miss Jean Robson, Mr. Richard Naylor and Mr. Bernhard Matthew for supplying information as a resu1t of a 'Cam bridge Evenings News' appeal through their 'Looking Back' feature. Also to the 'Cam bridge Evening News' my gratitude for being allowed to repro duce the final illustration in the book.

I make no apology for including the cartoon cards of Harry Moden and Frank Keene, for they have great charm and wit and they do depiet many aspects of Cam bridge life, especially where the University and the town met.

This baak is not a comprehensive history, more a pictorial scrapbook or kaleidoscope - past streets, shops, faces frozen in time, University customs, royal visits, the river, the First World War, trams and early buses. It is not meant to be a mournful procession, for the City lives and changes and not all change is for the worse.

Finally my thanks go to the photographers. Where they are known, like William Tams and Ted Mott, they are named. Many, however, were the anonyrnous employees of national postcard companies like the Kingsway Real Photo Cornpany. Who ever they were their work exists, albeit it has to be found, and it helps us to see again and understand the Cam bridge of one hundred to fifty years ago.

1. The photographer sets up his camera on Market Hilliooking across the front of the canopied Guildhall into Petty Cury. He records the bustle of carts and people as they crowd the street alongside the market stalls. The year must be about 1890. Today, less than one hundred years on, not one building that can be seen survives.

2. The new Market Place was laid out in 1853 following a disastrous fire which had broken out on the night of Saturday 15th September 1849. The old market had occupied the eastern side of the present Market Hili and then ran in an L-shape between Petty Cury and Peas Hili. The buildings lost in the fire and the subsequent demolition of others made the open space that is known today. In 1855 a fountain was built with gothic style superstructure. Hobson's Conduit, which brought fresh water from Nine Wells, Trumpington, into Cam bridge, had stood on the Market Hili from 1614, but it was removed in 1855 to the corner of Trumpington Road and Lensfield Road. This photograph would appear to date from the 1890's.

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3. This later view of the Market Hill shows the original site of the Victoria Cinema. The Victoria Assembly Rooms were built in 1897 and became the Electric Theatre Picture House in 1911. In 1915, after refurbishment, they reopened as the Victoria Cinema and it stayed on that site until 1929. A new Victoria Cinema opened in 1931 on a site nearer the corner of Market Street. The first premises occupied by Boots the Chemist when they carne to Carnbridge in the 1890's, can also be seen. The railings around the underground toilets which were opened in 1900 can also be seen quite clearly. The photograph probably dates from around 1916.

4. This aerial view was taken from the spire of Holy Trinity Church about 1890 looking towards Great St. Mary's Church. King's College Chapel and other College buildings can be seen in the distance. The market is now fully set out and on the far side of the Market Place at the east end of the church a row of horse-drawn taxi-cabs patiently await customers as do their modern equivalent today at the same point.

5. A view of the Market Hill again showing Great St. Mary's Church, this time it is in the years ju st after the placing of the memorial to the men of the Cambridgeshire Regiment who fell in the Boer War. Lord Methuen unveiled the memorialon 12th June 1905. The gothic top of the fountain rises above the surrounding stalls, as it continued to do until1953 when it was found to be unsafe and was removed to the yard of the Folk Museum.

6. In the 1920's the Peas Hill Cash Drapery Stores, G.H. Lavender proprietor, stood on the corner of St. Edmund's Passage. W. & R. Fleteher, family butcher, was at No. 2, while Shrive & Son, basket makers, were at No. 3, with Sydney Parish, chemist, next to that. For centuries Peas Hili had been the site of a fish market and indeed when Maynard Keynes built the Arts Theatre on land behind Peas Hili, with a- narrow entrance passage way coming out next to these premises, he suggested calling it the Fish Market Theatre.

7. The 'White Swan' public house, selling Beales Noted Ales and Stout, is photographed here around 1892. The 'White Swan' was one of several public houses in Petty Cury. It stood on the north side. By 1901 the premises had been incorporated into Hallack and Bond's grocery store which occupied nos. 36 to 41 Petty Cury until 1926. Patriek Beale and Co, com merchants and maltsters, was one of Cambridge's many smal1 breweries in Victorian times.


8. Petty Cury, or the 'Little Cookery', was one of the best known and busiest streets in the town. Situated just off the Market Hili, here were some of the tewn's major inns: the 'Lion', 'Falcon', 'Red Hart', "The Wrestlers', the 'Coach and Horses', 'The Star and Garter', as weil as 'The White Swan'. 'The Wrestlers Inn', reputed to be one of the finest buildings in the city, was demolished and the site used for the new Post Office which opened in December 1885 and can be seen in the left foreground of this view which looks westward and dates from around the time of the First World War.

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