More #LostCambridge


…and some of these are really heart-breaking

I spent more time earlier on in the Cambridgeshire Collection to see what I could find. I wasn’t told earlier but there is a £10 daily charge for people like me taking snapshots of items the staff pull out from the archive for us – which for me is a bargain in the face of the cuts to libraries. See here for the county’s archive pages.

As an aside, there is a new Friends of Cambridge Central Library group that launched this year, and they are having their inaugural AGM on Sat 23 April at 3pm in the Central Library (normally on 3rd floor meeting rooms). I’ve set it up as events on Be the change’s Meetup group here and also on its Facebook page here. Please share widely if you are Cambridge/Cambridgeshire based.

Without the staff and the facilities, I would not have picked out the photos I found.

Lost churches

Now, when I talk of lost churches, I’m thinking from the perspective of keeping a nice looking building but just using it for a different purpose.

The above used to be on Hills Road – where now resides a featureless set of offices. How did we end up allowing this building to be demolished?

The above are an interesting pair because this was before the early 20th C developments along Hobson Street that led to the construction of the magnificent art deco cinema and magnificent buildings along Hobson Street. But being a major bus artery there is no way that street will be pedestrianised short of a bus tunnel.

The magnificent ‘New Theatre’ that I referred to in my previous blogpost (that got demolished in the 1960s) looked like this on the inside. Again, a tragedy that it could not be turned into a more flexible venue at the time.

The above are photos of the old Playhouse on Mill Road…and what you see below is what a community venue with its heart ripped out looks like

IMG_3077What’s worse is that all this damage was done for a short-lived supermarket before it was turned into the Salvation Army’s charity shop ‘Sally Anne’s which it has been for the past thirty years – certainly as long as I have been around.


There have been some stupendously interesting ones – like this of the old town gaol by Parker’s Piece on Gonville Place – where these days instead of being chained up, people exercise on Kelsey Kerridge sports centre or are stuck in cars in the Queen Anne Car Park. Someone tweeted that they should have kept the gatehouse as a pub & demolished the rest.


This one fascinates me – Hills Road/Station Road corner before the First World War (you can tell because there’s no war memorial) with the original Kett House in the background. Note the tram rails in the middle of the road – we had horse-drawn trams in Cambridge at the time.

So…yeah…more ‘Lost Cambridge’

See #LostCambridge 2 for more old photos courtesy of, and copyright of the Cambridgeshire Collection. See also Lost Cambridge 1 for the first set.


One thought on “More #LostCambridge

  1. Hi Antony – you are very welcome to come and look through our archives at The Museum of Cambridge too 🙂 We would love to see you. Hilary x

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