Get fresh with Rock Abundance: coming to Cherry Hinton Road this Friday

ROCK ABUNDANCE: “One person’s glut is another person’s feast”

Were you lucky enough to catch the Transition Cambridge pop-up stall at Rock Road Library last Saturday? I was, and went home happily with some beautiful sweet peas, a little jar of redcurrant jelly, and a prickly cucumber. The idea is that you take along any spare produce from your garden, and swap it for someone else’s superfluity.

This Friday, the group will hold its second ‘Rock Abundance’ stall outside the Blazing Saddles bike shop at 102 Cherry Hinton Road – that’s on the corner of Rock Road, for those who haven’t already discovered this gem of a bike shop.

It’s a brilliant idea: you just take along any home-grown (or foraged) fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs; and you swap them for your neighbours’ goodies. Even if you don’t have anything to take, you can take produce and make a donation. When Rock Abundance took place at the library donations went to the Friends of Rock Road Library for community events; this time they will go to the Homerton Children’s Centre community garden. Any excess food will be distributed to FoodCycle or other local charities.

sweet peasThe stall is just there for an hour, between 5.30 and 6.30pm on Friday – set up an alarm so you don’t miss it!

Further details: www.rockabundance.org.uk (Facebook: /RockAbundance; twitter @RockAbundance) [email protected]; or telephone Rebecca Jones, volunteer and first co-ordinator: 07792 531 400.

Cutting the tape: Vice-Chair and Mayor join locals to celebrate library transformation

RRL tape Last night, the new Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Gerri Bird, and the vice-chair of Cambridgeshire County Council, Cllr Sebastian Kindersley, came to cut the tape across the new doors to the library garden and to help us launch the new community room.

We heard from the Friends of Rock Road Library Treasurer James Berry about how the Friends had come into being; standing up for the library when it was under threat, and later working to achieve the improvements that we celebrated last night. We were also treated to a stimulating talk by Mr Owers of NARB Architects on potential future developments at the library.

The library was packed – in addition to our special guests, there were library professionals who had come to look, community development workers, volunteers, Friends, readers galore, several councillors — and as you can see in the picture, the library’s younger members were out in force!

The new community room is currently displaying original illustrations by Arthur Rackham, the artist of Alice in Wonderland and both the creator and inspirer of the Mad Hatter. It is hoped to put on more displays of this nature and ideas are welcome. The room will also be available for use by local groups Monday-Saturday, and booking charges start from just £4 an hour. To book, ring 01223 728530 or email [email protected]

Summer barbecue in a riverside garden

barbecueThe Liberal Democrats are holding a summer barbecue on June 23rd, in the delightful surroundings of the riverside garden of Key’s Cottage in Meldreth.

Key’s Cottage is just 5 minutes’ walk from Meldreth Station, and Meldreth is just a couple of stops from Cambridge on the Kings Cross line.

Please contact me or another member of the local team if you would like to go and we will order tickets from our colleagues in Meldreth.

Meat provided by Leeches’ Butchers of Melbourn, plus vegetarian options

June 23, 5:30-9:00

Tickets £13.50 or £30 per family with children under 18

Bears, benches and books

Rock Road Library is looking set to be a bit of a bear garden this Saturday.

First off, there’s the regular Rhyme Time and Story Time sessions for young children. These events are run by two lively and inspiring storytellers, Judith and Judy. The number of children grows every time: what more can I say?

Next is a Teddy Bears’ Picnic, organized by the Friends of Rock Road Library. Bears and their owners will get to see the new garden benches for the first time, as they will be unveiled at the picnic. These are no ordinary benches, but the first democratically elected benches I have heard of. Normally people get elected to se

Bookstart Bear

ats, but these benches were voted for by local people, when presented with a choice of different bench designs last year.

The latest news is that a celebrity bear is visiting to join in the fun  – the Bookstart Bear, whom you’ll know if you have young children, as Bookstart Bear is the mascot of the Bookstart reading programme for babies and toddlers. Bookstart Bear will be unveiling the new benches as well as meeting children.

So here is the programme:

10.30 Rhymetime

11.00 Storytime

11.30 Picnic in the library garden and unveiling of the new benches

Children should bring a rug, a picnic and their favourite teddy bear or other furry friend.

Easter events at Rock Road Library

The Friends of Rock Road Library are holding an Easter Egg Event in the Library Garden this morning, Saturday, March 23, 10-11am. Children can try different Easter craft challenges, and play the detective in an Easter egg hunt, solving clues as they go, and going home with fair trade chocolate eggs.

People of all ages are invited to join a Gardening Party 11-12, to get the garden ready for spring. The Rock Road Library Garden was developed by the Friends, and is a community enterprise. No expertise required, refreshments are provided, and a warm glow is guaranteed.

Books for sunflower growers, gold medals for readers!

the winning sunflower with its victory garland

On Saturday,  I enjoyed taking part in two prizegiving ceremonies at Rock Road Library, where prizes and awards were given to young readers and gardeners.

The Friends of Rock Road Library have run a Sunflower Competition for local children. Back in March, children planted the sunflowers in the library garden, which is maintained by the Friends. The grower of the best ones was awarded a prize in the form of a signed book by celebrated local children’s author Martin Jenkins.

Martin’s books include “Grandma Elephant’s in Charge”, “Chameleons Are Cool”, “Gulliver” (an adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels), and the “Time Book: A brief history from lunar calendars to atomic clocks”.  He will be there this Saturday to give out prizes.

The second awards ceremoney was for the Summer Reading Challenge, run by the Cambridgeshire County Council’s Library Service. Local children joined with other youngsters not only all over the UK but across the world — a great international event for this Olympics year. Over 20 children between 4 and 11 who had met the target of reading six books over the school holidays received gold medals and certificates.

The Friends of Rock Road Library support the work of the library and arrange community events to support it. The Friends originally came into being to create a garden at the back of the library. They have supported the library throughout the period of threatened cuts to its funding, campaigning to keep open this vital community facility.