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By the Mark! Alison Wilding RA in conversation with Rosie Cooper

Delve into the creative process of one of Britain's most acclaimed living artists, Alison Wilding RA. In conversation with her will be Rosie Cooper, Director of the Wysing Arts Centre, Bourn.

An Industrial History of Mill Road and its Environs

Fri 19 July

Mill Road Community Centre

Beyond the idyllic lawns, chapels and dining halls of the Colleges, Cambridge (to the surprise of many today) has always been a hub of industrial activity. Prior to the first industrial revolution, windmills, iron foundries, breweries, paper mills and other ancillary forms of proto-industrial production were present in the area. With the coming of the railway in 1845, this hotbed was greatly diversified to include scientific instrument manufacturing, advanced ironworking, coprolite mining and processing, cement production and brickmaking. In the second half of the nineteenth century, a significant portion of Cambridge’s industrial activity shifted east from central Cambridge toward Mill Road. This shift saw the emergence of a diverse range of local industries, from the heavy manufacturers of the Headly and Cam Foundries to smaller-scale domestic laundering and smithing. In this talk, we explore how industrialisation shaped the physical and social landscape of this distinct area of Cambridge which, as the late Allan Brigham put it, was “closer in spirit to a mining community than to the traditional university market town of which it was a part”.

In the second half of the session, we move from the industrial past of Mill Road to the present day. In this 45 minute workshop, we open up the floor to the audience and invite you to discuss whether the industrial past of Mill Road creates or upholds a sense of place or community today.

Kieran Gleave is a second-year PhD student at the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge and is a Trustee at the Cambridge Museum of Technology. His research explores how the ‘everyday’ traces of the industrial past inspire what it means to belong to a community from the Mill Road area.

This talk and workshop is free and open to everyone. Doors open at 6:45pm, the talk will start at 7pm, fully accessible venue

Doors open (18:45)
Talk (19:00 – 20:00)
Refreshment break and questions (20:00 – 20:15)
Workshop (20:15 – 21:00):

Cost: £3 (suggested)

Enquiries and booking

No need to book.


In person

All times

Fri 19 July 7:00PM - 9:00PM


Address: Mill Road Community Centre
6 Hazell Street
Telephone: 07751 530 359