Three men in a boat in a library

Three men in a boat

The Friends of Rock Road Library invite local residents to enjoy a dramatisation of Jerome K Jerome’s comic novel Three Men in a Boat – a one-man show by local actor Geoff Hales.

The show is at Rock Road Library and starts at 8 p.m. after a welcome drink. There is no fixed charge but the Friends invite the audience to donate towards their funds, which go back into events such as this.

Geoff Hales read English at Cambridge, went away and came back! He runs his own theatre company, ‘Travelling Theatre’, which performs one-man shows about great writers. He has appeared all over England and in Prague, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Germany and Switzerland.

Three Men in a Boat was first published in 1899 and has never been out of print since. Come and see why!


The Friends of Rock Road Library support the work of the library and arrange community events to support it. The Friends Group originally came into being to create a garden at the back of the library. See

They supported the library throughout the period of threatened cuts to its funding.


Rock Road Library is on Rock Road, between Cherry Hinton Road and Blinco Grove.

Nightingale Avenue: the Trim Trail is coming

trim trailCambridge City Council has formally agreed to spend £30,000 of developer contributions on a new trim trail and outdoor gym equipment for Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground.  The design will be discussed at the forthcoming South Area meeting on 6th September, to be held at Homerton College (Alison Shrubsole room).

There has been a public consultation this year on designs from four different suppliers; the one chosen is HAGS SMP, a global play equipment manufacturer whose motto is ‘inspiring all generations’. There will be outdoor fitness equipment including a ski stepper, leg stretch and parallel rails, made of steel but coloured green and grey to blend in with the park environment; and wooden trim trail items such as balance beams, hurdles and chin-up bars.

Dress up for the stage with Classworks

Classworks Theatre & Costumes is at 2a Rock Road, nestling in the corner of Rock and Cherry Hinton Roads. Overshadowed by a large betting shop, it’s easy to walk past. Don’t! Go and have a look.

I went to investigate the other day, as I had heard Classworks are taking part in ‘Cambridgeshire Open July’, a programme of events taking place next month.   Inside is a cornucopia of theatrical costumes and props from the days of Ancient Greece to the present, and a staggering variety of props. The collection is hired out for shows and special events.

Given the thousands of hats, shoes, dresses, coats and props that are there, you should find what you are looking for, but if not, they will make your costume for you – and even style your hair so it’s right for the part. They are opening their doors to everyone next month, so you can go and try costumes on. I’ll be looking for a flapper dress from the 1920s. Feather boa, anyone?

2nd-31st July, Tuesday, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 10.30am-4.00pm.

For information on other events or activities, see

Holbrook Park: the new equipment is here! and in use too

IMAG0573-1Our small park on Holbrook Road has seen three new arrivals over the past few weeks: a multi-use activity centre, a climbing frame and a spinner roundabout. And despite the freezing weather, local children have been enjoying trying out the new kit. I am glad their blood is warmer than mine!

The new pieces of play equipment have been installed by Cambridge City Council as part of a makeover, and there’s also new safety surfacing.

The equipment was last updated in 1995 by Cambridge City Council after youngsters got up a petition, which I helped them take to the Council’s Leisure Committee. The climbing frame installed in the 90s was well used by children over the years, but had become tired and outdated.

I am very grateful to all the people who took the time to share their ideas about the makeover when I ran my consultation last summer, and I hope you are pleased with the results.

Great response to Holbrook Park playground survey

A big thank you to all those who took part in the survey I ran about new equipment for the Holbrook Park playground. There was a mixture of replies, from children themselves as well as parents and a few grandparents. The most popular options were the Climber and Rotator 2 (the more disc-shaped of the two carousels).

Thanks also for the other comments and ideas about this park. I shall be feeding them all back to the City Council along with people’s preferences, and we hope to see some new equipment soon!

New play equipment for Holbrook Park

Holbrook Road has a small park with a children’s playground and football area, a few doors away from Homerton Children’s Centre. It has a range of play equipment: a slide, wooden climbing frame/ obstacle course, swings, a few springy things, football goalposts and a picnic table.

The wooden equipment came about as a result of a petition by local youngsters in 1996 and the picnic table was also something requested by local residents, so there is a tradition of the community having an input. When I heard that the City Council was planning to spruce the park up and instal a few new pieces of kit, I asked if we could run a small survey of park users. The Council has agreed we can canvass local views.

There is enough money for two new things, one piece from Category 1 only, and both from Category 2 if required. Please take a look at the pieces of equipment shown here and let me know what you think. All opinions welcome, especially children’s!

Feel free to comment here, email me at [email protected], or drop a note through my door (41 Holbrook Road).

CATEGORY 1: Rotators (small carousels with an original off-axis turning mechanism that provides an extra twist!)

Rotator 1

Rotator 2

CATEGORY 2: Small climbing unit or Springy Unit

Climber 1

Climber 1 (alternative view)

Springy Unit

Amanda Taylor: Your Liberal Democrat candidate in Queen Edith’s

Amanda standing for re-election

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Amanda Taylor is standing for re-election in Queen Edith’s. Amanda has been in Queen Edith’s for nearly twenty years and represented the area on Cambridge City Council since 1994. She lives in Holbrook Road with her husband Ashley, and their eight-year old son, a Morley Memorial pupil.

Amanda is best known for her work on transport and housing. Her biggest achievements have been Dunstan Court on Wulfstan Way, which replaced Labour’s sub-standard sheltered housing accommodation; and improved bus services, following her campaign for improved reliability. ‘When I first came to live here,’ says Amanda, ‘there were just two buses an hour into town from Hills Road – and they didn’t always come on time. Now there are over twenty buses an hour, and bus usage has increased dramatically.’

More recent successes for Amanda and the Lib Dem Focus Team include revamped play facilities at Nightingale Avenue Recreation Ground and new lighting and paving outside the shops on Wulfstan Way. They have also got the police to monitor parking outside schools.

Amanda is currently campaigning for improvements to cycleways in the area, for example lighting the Guided Bus cycleway, and for road safety improvements, eg yellow lines on junctions near the Queen Edith’s Primary School.

She is an active member of the Friends of Rock Road Library, which started as a gardening group and then took on a campaigning role in the fight to prevent the Conservative County Council from closing the library down.

In our wider community, Amanda chairs the Council’s South Area Committee, is a member of St John’s Church on Hills Road, and is a member of the Cambridge Fairtrade Steering Group.

Amanda and Lib Dem team visit residents in Queen Edith’s all through the year, not just at election time. When there are issues in a particular street, we always try to listen to the concerns of residents. At election time we try to call on as many households as we can, and we look forward to speaking to you soon, if we haven’t already! The BBC came to see us in action on Tuesday: see here.

Please see the link on the left for this year’s Liberal Democrat election manifesto for Cambridge.

Children’s activities with CHYPPS this half term

CHYPPS (Children’s and Young People’s Participation Service) is running a series of play activities this half term. They take place all over the city the ones closest to here are on Tuesday at Accordia (off Brooklands Avenue) and Wednesday at Cherry Hinton Hall. Here is the full programme:

Monday 24 October

  • Artz Mania at Bramblefields, 1-3pm
  • Spooky Art and Games at Newton, 2-4pm

Tuesday 25 October

  • Spooky Reccy on the Pulley, 5-7pm
  • Spooky Reccy on Accordia Green, 5-7pm
  • Pop in at Newton Q (11yrs plus), 7-9pm

Wednesday 26 October

  • Joy of Elder at Cherry Hinton Hall, 11am-1pm
  • Twilight Reccy at Trumpington, 5-7pm

Thursday 27 October

  • The Dec at Kingfisher Way, 1-3pm
  • Family Fun at Trumpington, 1-3pm
  • Spooky Reccy at Ditton Fields, 4-5.30pm

Friday 28 October

  • Spooky Reccy at St Albans Rec, 12-2pm
  • Picnic Reccy at Jack Warren Green, 12-2pm
  • Reccy at Jesus Green, 3-5pm

For more information about any of the ChYpPS projects, email [email protected] or telephone 01223 457873.

CHYPPS: Things to do for children in the school holidays

CHYPPS stands for Children’s and Young People’s Participation Service. They run play and youth activities throughout the year, including SummerDaze, a programme of things to do for children in different parts of Cambridge throughout the school holidays. Anyone can go.

The nearest places to find CHYPPS round here are:

  • Cherry Hinton Hall,
  • Coleridge Recreation Ground
  • Nightingale Recreation Ground
  • Gunhild Close Recreation Ground.

There’s loads of activities to choose from, but some of the highlights are a carnival, a Mad Hatters’ Tea Party, an alien space invasion, and visits from the Archaeology & Anthropology Museum and Botanic Garden.