Friday, 28 June 2013

Cambridge Fact File: First Cambridge Newspapers

The Cambridge Daily News, St. Andrew Street - 1962


The first newspapers for Cambridge started in 1744 and were called the Cambridge Journal and Weekly Flying Post. Over 144 years later in 1888 the first daily paper called the Cambridge Daily News began.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Cambridge Fact File: Cambridge Railway Station

Cambridge Railway Station - 1938

The railway station in Cambridge is believed to have been designed by Sancton Wood and Francis Thompson and opened in 1845.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Cambridge Fact File: Lord Byron's Bear

Lord Byron in 1824


When Bryon became a student at Trinity College in October 1805 he was annoyed that rules kept him from keeping a dog, so he got himself a tame bear, arguing that there was no mention that he was not allowed one. The college authorities had no legal basis to complain, and the bear stayed with him until he graduated.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Reality Checkpoint

Reality Checkpoint is the name given to a lamp-post in the centre of Parker's Piece, which is believed to be the oldest electrical lamp-post in Cambridge.

On researching the age of the lamp-post it was hard to locate a date for it's original erection, there are rumors it was put up in 1894, after it was requested the year before by local residents. It is also reported damage was made to it during the VJ celebration by American GI's and in 1947 repair work by local firm George Lister & Son was undertaken.

There are many tales of how it got the name 'Reality Checkpoint' and below is four of the more well known stories.

Story 1 : In the early part of the 20th century this area would become very foggy during the autumn months and it was hard to see even directly in front of you, so you would have no idea where you were. It is thought  people would stumbled through the fog and reaching the lamp-post they would know they were at the centre of Parker's Piece  and because of this it would give them a sense of reality to their location.

Story 2 : After a night of drinking in a nearby public house it is thought when a drunken person crossed Parker's Piece and reached the lamp-post this was the time to walk like a sober person, like in the real world and reality, it was a sign to snap out of the drunken state before passing the Police Station in Parkside.

Story 3 : The lamp- post is found in the middle of two paths that intersect, so anyone who is in a daydream and don't turn into reality will more than likely walk into the lamp-post, hence 'reality 

Story 4 : The lamp-post marks the end of the University and the beginning of the town ( Mill Road side ), so you were either entering or leaving reality.

There are many more tales, but these are the more commonly known ones.

It is believed the name was first painted on in the early 1970s by students from the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology ( now known as Anglia Ruskin University) and since been repainted on number of occasions when it got removed. In recent years it as been scratched in the paint work.

In the late 1990's a unofficial plaque with it's name was added, but was later taken down by the council.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Cambridge Fact File: Samuel Pepys and the Central Hotel

Central Hotel in 1935

The Central Hotel in Peas Hill is where Samuel Pepys is thought to have stay after a heavy drinking session in 1660. It was a listed building, but this didn't stop it getting demolished in the late 1950s.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Cambridge on Film

Below is a collection of links to films from the East Anglian Film Archive which are about, or feature Cambridge.


Cambridge in 1944

Running Time : 23:03

The daily lives of undergraduates at the University of Cambridge in 1944.

Cambridge in 1931

Running Time : 11:05

A day in the life of a student at the University of Cambridge, including many scenes in and around Cambridge.

Proposed Redevelopment of Central Cambridge - 1962

Running Time : 12:47

Anglia Television report on plans to redevelop central Cambridge.

City in the Sixties: Cambridge

Running Time : 12:11

Anglia Television programme depicting life in Cambridge in the 1960's.

Sir Winston Churchill Opens Churchill College

Running Time : 4:41

Sir Winston Churchill inaugurates Churchill College by planting two trees.

Filmed on 22nd October 1959

The Leading Motor Engineers - 1932

Running Time : 3:41

Promotional film for King and Harper's, automobile and accessories dealers in Cambridge.

Calling V.H.F - 1955

Running Time : 26:51

An instructional film for sales engineers on V.H.F. Communications equipment and how to sell it.

The Greatest Folk Festival in the World

Running Time : 25:27

Anglia Television celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Cambridge Folk Festival

The Cambridge Story - 1957

Running Time : 17:28

A film promoting the applications of Pye radio and television equipment.

Un-identified Flying Objects - 1964

Running Time : 6:59

Anglia Television report on the meeting of a Cambridge group seeking flying saucers.

Cambridge Bumping Races - 1961

Running Time : 5:49

Anglia Television footage with commentary of the May Bumps along the river Cam.

Topical Budget: Bumps On The River Cam - 1927

Running Time : 1:03

Bumping races on the River Cam.

Famous Director Of Thriller Films, Mr Alfred Hitchcock - 1966

Running Time : 4:42

Anglia Television report on Alfred Hitchcock's visit to a meeting of the Cambridge University film society.

I AM A Fugitive From A Sane Gang - 1933

Running Time : 8:18

A silent comedy by amateur filmmaker and cinema historian H.A.V Bulleid.

For More Cambridge Film Click HERE