Wednesday, 10th May, 2023

Today we awoke to brilliant sunshine again. The hours of daylight are gradually increasing - sunrise was at 5:13am today and sunset was at 8:39pm.

After doing a load of washing and hanging it out, we made our way to our usual breakfast place and then went into Cambridge to go punting down the River Cam. As it had rained quite a lot yesterday, the river was flowing quite fast and Adam, our "punter", had to work very hard when heading upstream. It was very pleasant in the spring sunshine. The 50-minute cruise took us along "The Backs".

The Bridge of Sighs

Marks showing the height of the water in flood. The highest was March 14th, 1947.

The Wren Library within Trinity College was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1695.

A punt is moved by using a long pole, putting it down to the bottom of the river and pushing. It's hard work!

The Chapel of King's College

The Mathematical Bridge

Parts of St Clement's Church in Cambridge date back to the first half of the 13th century. We visited this church in 2016 and it was in a sorry state. The roof was leaking which was causing a pervading musty smell in the building and it looked very tired. It was great to find that this was no longer the case in 2023. When we entered the church, we were welcomed by Robert, who kindly showed us around the church and even offered us tea and cake! We enjoyed over an hour with Robert who was very knowledgeable about not only the church but also Australian Prime Ministers!

This mural, of Christ in Glory surrounded by angels and saints, was painted by Frederick Leach in 1872. One of the saints is the artist himself!

This is belived to be the lid of a coffin from the 14th century.

The ceiling of the chancel.

A detail from the window above

During our visit, we noticed some people in the tower who appeared to be ringing bells but we couldn't hear them. We learned that there is a new ring of 6 bells installed in the church which are used to teach people the art of change ringing. The clapper of each bell can be attached to the bell, causing it to be silent. Those learning to ring wear headphones. A computer detects when the bell is being rung and sends the sound of the bell to the headphones at the exact moment when the bell would sound. Thus people can learn to ring without annoying the surrounding population. What a great idea!

Our next stop was the Museum of Cambridge. This is housed in a building dated about 1600. For more than 300 years, it was the White Horse Inn. Closing in 1934, it became a museum in 1936. It contains an ecletic collection of items relating to daily life in Cambridge.

I forgot to take a photo of the exterior so I found this one on internet. At present, the top floor is surrounded by scaffolding during a restoration.

This is the menu for a feast to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria. It took place in Cambridge and 15,000 poor people were invited to participate. Apparently a further 25,000 people came to watch! The picture below shows the scene.

What do you think this machine did? Scroll to the bottom of the page to find out!

Jelly moulds used at Magadalen and Clare Colleges in the 19th century

A section of a stained-glass window

A view of the River Cam

The tower of St Bene't's Church is thought to have been built between 1000 and 1050. Now that's old, even by English standards!

We called into the Church of St Mary the Great, locally known as "Great St Mary's" to distinguish it from another church, you guessed it, "Little St Mary's". We were not allowed to take photos. Finding that Evensong would take place at 5:15pm, we decided to attend. There was a choir of 14 children, mostly boys. They sang the Responses "Set 2" by Disraeli Brown, the unison canticles in C by Charles Hylton Stewart and the anthem "Risen Lord" by Barry Rose. They were not "King's" but we enjoyed the Service nonetheless.

After dinner at "Popeye's" (a take away chicken establishment) we called an Uber to take us to West Road Concert Hall. We attended a concert provided by the Academy of Ancient Music, a very well-known, Cambridge-based orchestra who have made many excellent recordings. They performed Handel's rarely-performed first oratorio "Il Trionfo Del Tempo e del Disinganno" (The Triumph of Time and Enlightenment). The musicians were Sophie Junker (soprano) as Beauty, Anna Dennis (soprano) as Pleasure, Reginald Mobley (counter tenor) as Enlightenment, and Nick Pritchard (tenor) as Time. The Academy of Ancient Music used period instruments and was concucted by Laurence Cummings. The skill of the musicians, both singers and instrumentalists, was awe-inspiring.

The answer to the question posed above:

< Back   Forward >

Back to Calendar