Meeting reports 2023

  • How Cambridge Made England
    Chip Colquhoun is a storyteller who didn’t need a screen yet held us fascinated as he explained just how our very own Cambridge is entirely responsible for creating a whole country!
  • Bastardy, Bigamy, Brawling and Brothels
    Gill Shapland visited to present her talk, based on the Ely ‘Quarter Sessions’. We did not have one of our volunteers writing up this talk for us. A write-up of a very similar talk by Gill Shapland can be found on the British Association for Local History Newsletter archives of winter 2020.
  • The Great Plague in Cambridge 1665-1666
    A talk by Professor Emerita Evelyn Lord The similarities between the Great Plague and its societal consequences and what we have recently experienced with Covid-19 were brought out by the speaker. There are two types of plague: bubonic, caused by the transfer of a bacterial infection from the fleas on rats, and pneumonic with Covid-19, caused by a sort of cold virus, being the most recent example.
  • The History of Windmills in Cambridgeshire
    A talk by Elwyn Davies and David Pearce, who are co-owners of the restored twelve-sided Wicken Windmill.
  • The Social Impact of Industrialisation in Sawston c.1850 to c.1930
    This talk was given by Mary Dicken, a vicar’s daughter, who has spent all but her student years living in Sawston. The talk focussed on the young men who came into the area and decided to set up businesses, having been attracted primarily by the natural resource of the lime rich waterway.
  • The History of MacKay’s Tool Shop and Engineering Firm in Cambridge
    From a Scottish Croft to a Cambridge Shop: this was the story we were told by Duncan MacKay. Speaking without notes for over an hour, he was armed with a formidable memory for his family’s history and a series of amazing photographs. These ranged from an early daguerrotype image of his great great grandparents, Donald MacKay and Isabella Fraser, to one of the Meccano prototype of the radio telescope with which Martin Ryall won his Nobel prize.