Posts Tagged ‘Benet Street’

Rainy Cambridge

A dinosaur in the Grand Arcade

On the face of it, travelling to Cambridge on a rainy day would seem an unusual choice. Apart from visiting the street where one of my Great Grandfather’s lived at the time of the 1921 census (thanks to the help of a lady in the local u3a Genealogy group) I wanted to see how the city appeared in the rain, for purposes of research. Arnold Lane keeps nudging me hoping for a return and in response I have written a couple of tentative chapters.

How was Cambridge in the rain? Wet is the answer. I got off the bus at New Square rather than Drummer Street, thinking that Greggs would give me a bit of shelter. Hopefully, the rain would die down a little over a coffee and roll. Foolishly, I had left the umbrella in the car at St Ives; I remembered it once I was on the bus.

The rain was having none of it and carried on relentlessly after I left Greggs I crossed over to Wilkos and bought a cheap brolly. Even the threat of an umbrella didn’t stop the rain. Such is the nature of research, I had once driven from Cambridge to Heacham in the rain, recording it all on my dash cam for research, my wife thought I was mad, she still does.

I found the house in Norwich Street where Great Granddad had lived, took a look at the outside and set off back to the top of the road. There was a most unusual delivery van parked up further along the road, it had four wheels was pedal powered with an electric motor to assist. I had a chat with the driver; he said it was okay in windy weather particularly if it had a full load, which surprised me, it looked very lightweight and likely to catch the wind.

Pedal-powered deliveries in Cambridge

The bus around the corner in Hills Road, delivered me to Emmanuel Street; I had a short walk to the Grand Arcade and my next destination, the Central Library. There was an exhibition of life size animated dinosaur models in the arcade, I stopped and photographed them before spending an hour writing in the library.

Pterodactyl
More Dinosaurs

Benet Street, was next on the list to visit, I wanted a look at the damaged Grasshopper Chronophage at Corpus Christi College. It is a sad sight, to see this beautiful clock stilled and the grasshopper unable to munch through the minutes.

The damaged clock
Close up of the Grasshopper clock in happier times

It was time to return home so it was back to Drummer Street and to catch the bus back to St Ives. I was saddened by the damage to the clock whose picture occupies the cover of my novel, Killing Time in Cambridge. Hopefully, it can be repaired and the grasshopper put back to work, I know Arnold hopes so too.

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