Cambridge Local Plan – get your views in

Residents of Petersfield ward – we have just five weeks left to comment upon, and insist on change, to the Cambridge Local Plan before it becomes set in stone and LEGAL carte blanche for developers until 2031. The deadline is 5pm on 30 September 2013. The Government recently passed legislation saying that any Local Plan becomes the MINIMUM developers are allowed to do! The Local Plan boasts that it is overseeing a change in levels of planned growth unmatched since the interwar years: but we are deeply disturbed by the resulting impact on our area, and by the lack of real democratic support or mandate, or accountability. The Local Plan is available for you to view online or (theoretically, but NOT in practice!) at Mandela House.

Below, and in the attached PDF and Word document, are some of the issues PACT feels most concerned about relating to this area. If you agree, then THERE IS NO TIME TO LOSE: please email/write to the addresses below with your concerns. Alternatively, add your details to the letter below, & write “I AGREE” on it before signing and sending.

Send your comments:
By email:
By phone: 01223 457000
By post: Draft Local Plan Consultation, Planning Policy, Cambridge City Council, PO Box 700, Cambridge, CB1 0JH

Please copy them to:
Our councillors:;;;
Our reporters:;;,
Our public servants:,,,
as well as our MP: Julian Huppert,
and PACT at

Dear Councillors, planners, and civil servants:

1. More and more people live in the Petersfield area. Yet this area of Cambridge has the LEAST public green open space per person in the entire City. This is even despite the inclusion of Fenners sports ground (NOT open to the general public, nor available for general open air activities such as picnics, ball games etc) & the cemetery in calculations. While we value these sites and agree that they must be protected open spaces, we do NOT feel that they should be the basis for calculating our available public green open spaces. The only real area which qualifies as public green open space locally is St.Matthew’s Piece.

We therefore call upon the City and County Council to use the opportunity of the Local Plan to ensure a greener future for this area of Cambridge by committing to provide us with specific sites – viz., the Howard Mallett (HMC) site – for protected public open green space.

2. The Howard Mallett (HMC) was built on land given to US – local residents – for rest & recreation IN PERPETUITY. That means for ever and ever. To you and me. Our children. Our children’s children… Yet the Local Plan aims to replace a chunk of that land with 3-storey residential or office buildings. Moreover, p.200 (Policy 73) of the Local Plan states that:
Loss of facilities
The loss of a facility or site that was last in use as a community, sports or leisure facility will only be permitted if it is demonstrated that:
i. the facility/site can be replaced within the new development or relocated to at least its existing scale, range, quality and accessibility for its users.
For leisure uses, it should satisfy peak period need; or j. the facility/site is no longer needed.
So we request & require that the former Howard Mallett Centre (HMC) which was our community, sports & leisure facility for this area, on our land, be EITHER restored to its original use OR that, in view of the desperate need for green open space in this area, the site be returned to protected public green open space, and the facility REPLACED AND RELOCATED nearby to at least its existing scale, range, and quality for this area, with consideration given to the fact that the residential density is more than 4x what it was when the HMC was first built.

We therefore fundamentally and utterly oppose the proposal to replace the site with residential or office buildings as part of the “Opportunity Area for Major Change.” This designation MUST therefore be changed.

3. Just because your neighbour declared that they needed to expand, would that give them the automatic right to take your house and garden? No? Well, the Local Plan allows ARU to grab an additional 6,000 sq m (yes. 6000m²!) of this area for additional faculty space for its East Road Campus – and that’s on top of the 600 student dwellings ARU intends to add here within the next 18 months. We believe that this is wrong: if they want to expand they should do so elsewhere, NOT by carving up this crowded residential area just because they want to.

We therefore require the Local Plan to STOP ANY FURTHER STUDENT development AND ARU expansion in the Petersfield area. Enough is enough!

4. The Local Plan repeatedly refers to the need for affordable housing and community
facilities – yet the City Council’s track record in enforcing this (e.g. in the Station Road
developments) is exceedingly poor. We therefore request and require that specifics be
committed to within the Local Plan – including their enforcement within current developments such as the Station Road area. We find it scandalous and unacceptable that developers are being allowed to “ignore” their way out of their LEGAL REQUIREMENTS for minimum open space, community facilities, and affordable housing. Therefore this needs to be addressed and redressed BEFORE giving a green light to further developments.

5. The Mill Road Depot (MRD) site (site R.10 in the Local Plan): politicians promised it would include public green open space AND community facilities… yet the Local Plan STILL labels this site as suitable for 167 new dwellings: a density of 62 dwellings per hectare (dph). This is vastly higher density than other developments (e.g. Travis Perkins at 35 dph) and is out of keeping both with local densities (e.g. Sturton St 40dph) AND with government-recommended densities of 30dph for sustainable developments. Remember the new law which says that any numbers in the Local Plan become the MINIMUM built? So 62dph would become the MINIMUM in this site! We also heard today that open space & community facilities are NOT guaranteed in the site – despite the LEGAL obligation to do so.
We find this UNACCEPTABLE.
a.    Access should ONLY be via Mill Road, not Hooper Street.
b.    A specific and stated proportion should be dedicated to green open space in this development rather than the current vague promise of including “some”
c.    Community facilities must be similarly specified and guaranteed
We also believe that the MRD site should be developed by residents for residents, NOT by developers for maximum profit and density. It could be made a flagship car-free development, with monies from the developers subsidising local bus tickets to ensure that residents are encouraged to use public transport. We believe that there may also be a conflict of interest for the Council as being both the owners and developers.
d.    The trees & space next to Mill Rd bridge should be retained along with the library.
e.    The garages to the south of Hooper St should be retained: this area is already too short of parking spaces.

7. Hotels. No further hotel developments should be permitted in this area – those on the corner of Coldham’s Lane/Newmarket Road are unattractive and have grossly insufficient car parking. This is already overwhelming local streets and residents’ car parking. Any further hotels should be sited in industrial areas e.g., close to the airport.

8. We are concerned by the wording in Policy 22 that “The character of the area will be enhanced by creating a block structure and developing building forms which moderate the scale and massing of new development in a manner that is responsive to their context and reflecting the finer urban grain of the area.” What EXACTLY does this mean? We require clarification – and power of veto. By residents, not only by developers.
Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Charity auction update

Thank you to everyone who donated prizes and who bid for items in our charity auction. Bids for the items raised several hundred pounds for PACT!

BUT – it’s not over yet! The reserve price was not met for 7 lots and these are still up for grabs until 1 August. They are:

4. Computer Resale – Dell Pentium IV PC, 3.4GHz, 80GB hard drive, 1GB RAM, DVD-RW, 8x USB, including monitor, mouse, and cables
5. WT’s Snooker (1) – a lifetime membership, and play a snooker frame with Joe “The Gentleman” Perry, a world championship quarter finalist
6. WT’s Snooker (2) – a lifetime membership, and play a snooker frame with Neil “The Thunder from Down Under” Robertson, a world champion
7. Tattoos by Fabio – ear-piercing voucher worth £25
13. Kelsey Kerridge (1) – 1 x course for 10 gym sessions, RRP £64
14. Kelsey Kerridge (2) – 1 x course for 10 fitness classes, RRP £56
18. Cambridge United – family ticket for four to a match next season

last lots

This auction is a ‘silent auction’ or ’sealed bid auction’ – a written bids state: 1) your name & contact details; 2) the item you are bidding for; 3) the maximum price you are prepared to bid for the item. Whoever submits the highest bid for the item wins the item. There is no limit on the number of items for which you are allowed to bid: and you are allowed to bid more than once for an item. Only the highest bid will be counted. All bids are binding: winners must pay in cash when they collect their prize (at a mutually convenient time).

Email your bid, contact details, and lot details to!

Summer Event photo competition and carnival costume winners

PACT is delighted to announce the winners of our PACT/Norfolk Street Summer Event carnival costume competition, and to share the photographs that have won and were shortlisted for our PACT Summer Event 2013 photographic competition!

Photo competition

The shortlisted photographs, submitted by members of the public and voted on by PACT’s trustees, were on display at our AGM on Tuesday 9th July in the Squeaky Gate community room from 7:30pm. They will then be on display at The Box Café on Norfolk Street, with kind permission of Ozy. The winning photographs were selected by Dave Harwood, professional photographer for the Cambridge News, and announced at the AGM:

  • 1st place: Steven Lee with a striking shot of the Chinese lion dance that opened the Summer Event
  • 2nd place: Steven Lee, again! A candid shot of a couple examining the schedule of events
  • 3rd place: Matt Hodgkinson’s shot of the colourful ‘Graffiti Gardens’
  • Kenn Martin deserves a special mention, having taken 11 of the 25 shortlisted photos

Thank you to all the photographers who submitted photos – Steven Lee, Matt Hodgkinson, Rachana Mahapatra, Kenn Martin, Iain Hay, Keith Edkins, Will Bowles, Simon Boyd, and Sa’adiah Kahn.

Carnival costume winners

We were so excited by the response to our carnival costume workshops and the parade on the day. Here are the best costumes from the Carnival Parade:
carnival costume winners

  • First place: Paul Little as the fly – and yes, those ARE windscreen wipers which found new life as his antennae!
  • Second place: Evie as the red bird
  • Third place: Siâna C-R as the ladybird – complete with leaf!

Congratulations to all three! An honourable mention goes to Herbie for his simple-but-super toadstool costume.

Auction closes soon!

Don’t miss out on bidding in the PACT/Norfolk Street Summer Event charity auction! There are 20 lots including swimming passes, massages, snooker memberships, motorcycle training, a gallon of ale and much more! For details of the lots and rules, see the previous post. To bid, email your name, bid and lot number to

You can also bid in person at our AGM at the Squeaky Gate on Norfolk Street at 7.30pm on Tuesday 9 July – we hope to see you there. Good luck bidding!

Cambridge Open Studios in the Petersfield area

Cambridge Open Studios 2013 starts this weekend, giving a chance to meet local artists and see them in action. It runs over four weekends, the 6th-7th, 13th-14th, 20th-21st, and 27th-28th July – not all of the artists are doing all the weekends, so do check the dates. There is plenty on offer for people in Petersfield – 14 artists in all!

Running roughly north to south…
* Alison Peock is a contemporary silversmith, and will be open to visitors 20-21 and 27-28 July at 73 York Street.
* Rosemary Catling is a painter, printmaker, and digital artist. She will be welcoming visitors to 10 Gwydir Street on 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28 July.
* Irene Wilkes is open each weekend at 21 Milford Street. She is a painter who works with many different media.
* Carole Ellison works on still life, landscape and nudes in pastels, watercolours, and sketches. She’ll be open on the middle two weekends, 13-14 and 20-21 July, at 40 Gwydir Street.
* John Tordoff uses mixed media and collage to create landscapes of Cambridge and Umbria and still life. He’s at 38 Norfolk Terrace, again on the middle two weekends – 13-14 and 20-21 July.
* John Wiltshire does paintings and drawings inspired by folklore and natural history, and will be offering cake and cordial to visitors to 35 Sturton Street on 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28 July.
* Just down the road at 22 Sturton Street, and on the same weekends, Seb Antoniou is a painter and illustrator. See his portraits, landscapes, and graphic novel illustrations.
* Seb’s neighbour at number 20, Binnie Macellari, is also a painter. Her landscape and seascape oil paintings can be viewed 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21 July.
* Sheila Farrant, paints life drawings in pastels, and landscapes in acrylic. Drop in at 16 Cross Street on 13-14 and 20-21 July.
* Crossing over Mill Road, the St Barnabas Rd Group is offering work on 6-7 and 13-14 July by Jessica Hebden (printing, etching and drawing), Claire Holmes (silver jewellery, etched and textured) and Jacki Perry (pottery/ceramics) at 24 St Barnabas Rd.
* Two artists on Glisson Road round off Petersfield’s Open Studios artists. Rog Palmer is an action photographer of shapes, movement and emotions from dance. Virginia Neild draws taking inspiration from dance and music. They’re both displaying their work at 5 Glisson Road on 6-7, 13-14 and 27-28 July.

See the Cambridge Open Studios website for more details and contacts of these artists, and you’ll probably want to explore beyond the ward boundaries – see their handy interactive map of the events.

Round up of the Summer Event 2013

On Saturday 22 June, Petersfield Area Community Trust held our annual PACT/Norfolk Street Summer Event. For the second year, Norfolk Street was closed to traffic for what is a growing celebration and showcase of the Petersfield area. See our gallery below for a taste of what the day offered – also see photos of our carnival parade workshops. The charity auction is still open until 9 July – so get bidding!

The day saw dance, sports, art, music, international food, and ended with a colourful and noisy carnival parade. Holding out against some early showers and gusts, the day started with a bang – well, quite a few bangs – from the vibrant Chinese lion dance!

Coton Morris Men livened things up:

The sun soon shone out, and Fruity Clavé samba band got us ready for our carnival parade with a performance and workshop:

For our 140-character takes on the event and its run-up, see the Twitter hashtag #pactsummerevent

Cambridge News’ Adam Luke gave online coverage of the event, and Cambridge 105’s Ceri-Ann Littlechild (also the Mill Road Co-ordinator) visited and reported for their Summer in the City programme (podcast, listen from 29:50-33:05 for an interview with PACT’s chair and event coordinator Anna and 43:25-49:10 for an interview with the Eco-Salon).

Mick Brown made a video montage of the day to the soundtrack of the Coton Morris Men:

Special thanks go to:
* FLACK’s volunteers for making our beautiful signposts
* Janek Dziewulski for his continued support, helping apply for funding, sorting PACT computers, and more.
* Jill Fordham for coordinating our artistsPoster for PACT/Norfolk Street Summer Event 2013 by  Lily Bracey
* Lily Bracey for designing our winning Summer Event poster this year (see right)
* Matt Hodgkinson for being responsible for PACT’s social media presence, and other unsung jobs
* Nick Ellis for our fabulous event Map
* Philly Owles for being a superb Treasurer, steward of PACT Summer Event’s finances (and PACT in general), and for marshalling set-up and loaning us the use of her garage for temporary storage
* Siâna Chalkley-Robinson for galvanising our awesome group of stewards
* Simone Chalkley for organising the fabulous carnival costume workshops over the two weekends preceding our Event, for coordinating the carnival parade itself and marshalling set-up!
* Definitely not least, Anna Lindsay for coordinating such a successful event!

Funding:Cooperative funding
* Cambridge East Area Committee – the bulk of our Summer Event funding
* The Cooperative membership community fund for Cambridge & East Anglia – supported the PACT/Norfolk Summer Event carnival parade
* Anglia Ruskin University – contribution towards the Summer Event

Stewards and helpers: Chris Vandriel, Daniel Gordon, David Chandler, Emon Miah, Jan Dziewulski, Jane Hellings, Janet Simpson, Kevin Blencowe, Lesley Tubb, Lindsay Percival, Lynne & Kenn Martin, Mary Owles, Mohon M, Mostyn Maltpress, Philly Owles, Richard Harvey, Ross Shelley-Pilsworth, Seb K, Shipon Miah, Suraiya R, Theo T, & Connor.

Photographers: Steven Lee, Alex, and Will Bowles

Other stars of the day: Andy Bowie Jazz Band, Anthony Paul & his Fruity Clave samba band, Anupma Wadheera, British Science Association with Dr Rose Spears, Cambridge 105 local community radio and Ceri-Ann Littlechild, Cambridge Community Circus, Cambridge Constabulary, Cambridge Edition, Cambridge Evening News, Carisma Kickboxing, CB2 Café, Chinese Lion Dancers (Wendy & Co), City of David Choir, Claire Cooper, Mayor of Cambridge Cllr Paul Saunders, Coton Morris Men, Dawn (Facepainting), Dolores Maher (artist), Dhruvi (mehndi), Elaine Shortt, Elite Sports with Alex, Ellis & Connelly, Emily Fowke (artist), Fairytale Marquees, Farhana Begum-Miah (mehndi), Feel Free Dance, Cambridgeshire Fire Service with their fire engine, Helen Imogen Field (artist), Hilary & Beverley of Oblique Arts (the ‘Eco-Salon’), Hungarian Chimney Cake stall, Irene Wilkes (artist), Irie Caribbean Food, Jack’s Gelato, Junkyard Stilties, Kazna crafts, Kinnerz Dance, Kirsten Lavers (artist), Lanie Fowke (artist), Local Secrets, Monica Smith (artist), Peter Lee, head Tony Davies for the St.Matthew’s Primary School tour and lending us their sound system, Norfolk Street Bakery stall, Norfolk Street Deli, Olga Mielczarek (cake), Olga Plocienniczak, Ozy Ozcan, Salus Wellness Clinics (who collected donations to PACT in exchange for taster treatments including very welcome massages), Siâna Chalkley-Robinson (hula hooping), Squeaky Gate performers, St John Ambulance with Jan Dziewulski, Rob Rescorla, St.Matthew’s School Choir & teacher Emily Barratt, St. Matthew’s Primary School pupils for their origami flowers and animals, with Costa and Flo, The Banner Stall with Lanie and Emily, The Box Café, The Map Project (Hugh Chapman & Sa’adiah Khan), Tribal Bellydancers (Tracey), Zhonghua Calligraphy and Chinese culture stall – and all the businesses who donated prizes to our tombola and charity auction!

Venues and logistics:
* Alex Wood Hall: costume storage on the day.
* CB2 café: use of premises for Summer Event planning & other meetings, and hosting the Map Project on the day.
* Man on the Moon: use of the community room for our carnival workshops, events on the day.
* The Box Café: use of premises for Summer Event planning meetings, barbecue on the day, agreeing to host our photo competition winners.
* Squeaky Gate Community Room: Squeaky Gate for agreeing to host art on the day; Andy Slaymaker for arranging the picture rail to be put up in time; Ridgeons for providing the picture rail; Mackays of Cambridge for providing the special fittings for the picture rail.
* PA equipment: Colin – for manning the PA system on the green; William Smythe – PA in the Man on the Moon; Cambridge Audio Visual for lending us the PA equipment.

Tombola prizes and auction lots for the Summer Event

What amazing generosity! Local businesses have done themselves proud in supporting our PACT/Norfolk Street Summer Event on Saturday 22 June. Below are the prizes we have received for our tombola and charity auction, and you can see some pictures on Facebook. Want to win? Come along to our Summer Event and buy your tombola tickets! Many thanks to everyone who donated these wonderful items (and to Anna for organising this), and good luck to everyone on the day!

Auction à·go-go

The charity auction is on now! This auction is a ‘silent auction’ or ‘sealed bid auction’ -written bids state: 1) your name & contact details; 2) the item you are bidding for; 3) the maximum price you are prepared to bid for the item. Whoever submits the highest bid for the item wins the item. It’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3. Don’t let it get away!

There is no limit on the number of items for which you are allowed to bid: and you are allowed to bid more than once for an item. Only the highest bid will be counted. The auction finishes at the close of our AGM on Tuesday 9th July. All bids are binding: winners must pay in cash when they collect their prize (at a mutually convenient time).

You can submit bids:

  • via email to
  • in person/writing at the Summer Event
  • in writing to PACT Auction, c/o 168 York Street, Cambridge, CB1 2PY
  • in person/writing at our PACT AGM on Tuesday 9th July.

The auction items can be viewed at the Summer Event by the PACT info stall in the sunken green on Norfolk Street. The lots are as follows – and see more detail in this PDF.

1. Parkside Pools – One year’s unlimited swimming – also valid at Abbey Pools, Kings Hedges Learner Pool, and Jesus Green Outdoor Lido
2. The Park – a pamper day for two
3. Salus Wellness – one-hour Swedish or deep tissue massage
4. Computer Resale – Dell PC, including monitor, mouse, and cables
5. WT’s Snooker (1) – a lifetime membership, and play a snooker frame with Joe “The Gentleman” Perry
6. WT’s Snooker (2) – a lifetime membership, and play a snooker frame with Neil “The Thunder from Down Under” Robertson
7. Tattoos by Fabio – ear-piercing voucher
8. Millers Music – ukulele
9. National Tyres – full MOT
10. Dobbler’s Inn – voucher for a gallon of real ale or cider, plus two pizzas
11. The Snug – cocktail class for four
12. The Teeth Whitening Company – one hour laser tooth treatment
13. Kelsey Kerridge (1) – 1 x course for 10 gym sessions
14. Kelsey Kerridge (2) – 1 x course for 10 fitness classes
15. DiVINE Hair Salon – Afro-carribean hair braiding
16. Finn Jordan – One hour full-body Swedish Massage
17. Camrider Motorcycle Training – a day’s Compulsory Basic Training course
18. Cambridge United – family ticket for four to a match next season
19. Elke Hausler – 1 hour back pain relief session
20. Serena Jewellery – pearl pendant necklace

Tombola time!

For the tombola, tickets are 50p each (no bulk discount) and there is a 1 in 5 chance of winning. You win something if you pick a ticket ending with 0 or 5, but you need to match the number and the colour of the ticket with the one on the prize. We have all of these tombola prizes!

Parkside Pools – family swims
Merhaba Turkish Cuisine – meal for two
Peppy’s Barber – haircuts for two
Tesco, East Road – boxes, & boxes, of chocolates
The Snug – meal for two
The Grafton Centre – £50 gift voucher
Inglot cosmetics – £20 voucher
Vue Cinemas – six ticket vouchers
Debenhams – three toiletry items
Benzer Bags – bag
Dukels International – giftbox set of Johnson’s toiletries
Fine Cuts – two haircuts
Grace’s Accessories – three necklaces
Kismet Natural World products – ‘California Republic’ cap worth £25
Multi-service Centre – seven watches
Urban Hair Company – two large salon-sized Wella shampoo & conditioner sets
Party Mania – Wally Ball game
Cambridge Nails & Spa – 2 x £20 vouchers
Moben/Sharps – gift box from Evolution
Billys – OgoDisk hand trampoline
Kymmoy – lunch deal for two people
Arena Cafe – vouchers
Discount Autoparts – car floormats, car care products
CB2 Bistro – meal for two, including wine
Uppercuts – two gift bags of hair care products, and one cut & blowdry voucher
Cafe de Paris – voucher
Neide’s Deli Cafe – 2 x vouchers for two
Tulip Restaurant – vouchers for lamb and chicken wraps
Cash Converters – DVD box sets (Rocky and Mr Selfridge)
CB1 Internet Cafe – two vouchers for meal for two
The Bike Shed – voucher for bicycle service
The Baguette Express – family meal for four
Nutters Hair Salon – “shine blaster” product
Fagito Takeaway – two vouchers for £9
Arjuna Wholefoods – decorative bag & products
Cambridge Framing Centre – mirror
IPG – paintballing discount vouchers
Kuoni Travel – two luxury branded towels
The Tram Depot – meal for two including bottle of wine
The Bakers – £15 meal
The Workshop Partnership employment agency – two bottles of wine
Andrew Northrop Family Butchers – £25 of fresh meat
Angel Beauty Parlour – four vouchers for treatments (eyebrow threading and mini manicure)
Petrou Brothers – three autographed books
Norfolk Street Deli – gorgeous hamper of specialty foods
Spice Gate – tray of Baklava
Nip In – seven boxes of biscuits
Cambridge Wine Merchants – £15 wine tasting voucher
Tezcan’s Hair Salon – vouchers for haircuts
Winfield Chinese Supermarket – 60 packets of noodles
Bosphorus Grill House – 2 x meals for two
Mace Stores – Lentil mini-hamper
Vision Unisex Hair Salon – haircut
Cam Cycles – bike bell, bike chain/padlock, lights, mini-pump and more
H. Gee – CD rack
Babylon IT Solutions – telephone wipes, screen cleaning kit
Cantab Millennium Computers – headphones, USB sticks, computer mice, SDHC cards
Prana Restaurant – meal for two, plus discount voucher
Lally’s Newsagents – bottle of cider & pen
Elitian Printers – ream of paper
Moda Barbers – one haircut at Mill Road salon, one haircut at East Road salon
White Swan pub – bottle of Bushmills whisky
Pets at Home – Fishtank and food, PLUS two £5 vouchers
Marks & Spencer (Beehive Centre) – two enormous boxes of chocolates, PLUS bottle of wine PLUS large bag of “Percy Rations” sweets
Bacchanalia – A bottle of Prosecco
Inspirations hair & beauty by Dipa – £10 gift voucher
Cambridge Toy Shop – a lovely teddy bear
Moghul Tandoori Restaurant – takeaway meal to the value of £30
Mr Peter Mullins of Norfolk St Dental Practice – 2 x six-packs of beer
Cook for You – 6 x £5 vouchers
Adilia’s Norfolk Street Bakery – 6 x £5 gift vouchers
Zhonghua Traditional Snacks – 3 x £10 vouchers
The Box Café – lunch for two, including dessert
Day 1 on Norfolk Street – bottle of wine, box of tea, box of Milk Tray chocolates
All Seasons Food – large selection of Afro-Caribbean specialities
Mickey Flynns – 7 ice buckets, box of shot glasses, carnival masks
Madame & Monsieur Hair Salon – 1 lady’s haircut, 1 gentleman’s haircut
Penguin Dry Cleaners – £15 dry cleaning voucher
Oriental Direct – large box of assorted specialities
Mill Road International Supermarket – large assortment of specialities
Jaffa Net Cafe – box of fresh baklava
Code Hair salon – 3 x £10 vouchers
Al Amin – gorgeous hamper
Kelsey Kerridge – healthsuite vouchers

End of an era at the Man on the Moon?

The Man on the Moon, at 2 Norfolk Street, has been a popular pub and music venue in Petersfield for years – music magazine Drowned in Sound has called it “less-than-salubrious, yet fondly regarded”. The pub was taken over by John Nixon in July 2000, after he had been landlord at the White Hart (now the Backstreet Bistro). The pub was formerly owned by Pubmaster and then Punch Taverns.

Man on the Moon pub

Rumours around the future of the pub had been circulating: CAMRA thought it was shut already on 4 June, and on 7 June the news was confirmed – the new lease owners have given John notice to leave by October. John says he was in the process of applying to buy the lease of the pub himself when he was gazumped. John says on the website:
“Some of you may have heard the rumours flying around about the MOTM and I can sadly say they are true. Despite a 9 month long legal battle with greedy property developers & Punch Taverns, the Man on the Moon has been lost, and the doors will close for the last time on Oct 1st. The Moon will leave a hole in the local music scene that badly needs to be filled, We will be back, this time Bigger and Better!! We would like to thank everyone that has played at the Moon and made the past 13 years amazing! Especially Last Gang In Town, Dawn Kelly, Kelly Allen, Bruno Gonçalves, Will Smithe and Lex O’Farrell, thanks for all your hard work!!”

The landlord of the Alexandra Arms, Craig Bickley, says the owner is Beechwood Property (probably meaning Beechwood Estates), and they are planning to improve the pub. Beechwood Estates, also known as Bennell Developments, previously turned the Jubilee pub into houses, and bought the Royal Standard & tried to turn it into houses without success. Despite this history, property consultants Everard Cole told the Cambridge News that “Rumours that the pub will become student flats are simply untrue. The pub may close for a few weeks or months but will reopen as a pub and will remain so in the long term.” They also said on Twitter: “Man on the Moon, Cambridge. New FOT [free of ties] lease offered; experienced operator sought. Full details to follow shortly.”

Cambridge News reported last July that the city council owned the pub, and Cllr Colin Rosenstiel confirmed that “The future of this pub is firmer than most because [Cambridge City Council] owns freehold, on 99 year lease from 1963 for pub use only.” Cambridge City Council, in the ‘Interim Planning Policy Guidance on The Protection of Public Houses in the City of Cambridge‘ (IPPG) of October 2012, lays out criteria before a pub can be lost and classes the Man on the Moon as a “Pub Site within edge of city clusters providing an important city wide economic and local community function”. Regarding any plans for the car park, the IPPG says: “When considering proposals for the development of car parking areas, the Council will require evidence that this will not undermine the viability of the pub, especially in the outer suburbs or village areas or site adjacent to main roads.” Building on the car park is not an option while the pub remains.

The pub has long been part of the Petersfield community. Simon_K on Flickr says of the early days of the pub, “In 1959, work began along East Road on central Cambridge’s first major slum redevelopment. Completed in 1969, with the final addition of the Man on the Moon public house, the scheme was designed as a fresh start, a comprehensive development of two, three and four storey interconnected blocks of flats, maisonettes and houses. The architects were David Roberts & Geoffrey Clarke for the City of Cambridge Housing Dept.”

The landlord before John was Mary Reid, who left in June 1996 to run the Royal Standard. She ran folk nights, which then moved to the Portland Arms. It was refurbished and briefly called The Office from 1998-2000, before John took over and changed the name back.

Although some local residents have had issues with late-night music and drinking, this will be a loss to the Cambridge music scene. Among the tributes and laments, Cllr Richard Johnson said “It will be a shame if Man on the Moon turns into another upmarket gastropub. Camb[ridge] needs pubs & clubs with character”.

John has been generous to the local community, for example letting PACT use his venue for our Summer Events – most recently for our carnival costume workshops. We believe that the Man on the Moon must remain as a pub, and we hope that the new lease owners are sincere in this intention and that the new landlord will keep it as a music venue and asset to the community.

Carnival workshops

** Update – the workshops and parade were a great success! Thanks to all who came along and especially to Simone Chalkley for organising and Lynne Martin from Elitian Printers for her amazing crocheted flowers and leaves. **

** The Cooperative membership community fund for Cambridge & East Anglia generously supported the PACT/Norfolk Summer Event carnival parade. **

** Photos of the workshops are in a gallery below. **

Cooperative funding

We are holding a Carnival parade at the end of this years’ PACT/Norfolk Street Summer Event on 22nd June – great fun for children and adults alike! The theme is the Millennium Garden, created by PACT and the City Council in 2002: think flowers, trees, insects, birds and the lovely mosaics.

2013-05-18 15.43.42 Millennium Garden mosaics

Simone is holding workshops to make carnival costumes (and she is already enthusiastically knitting bunting with plarn): the workshops will be in the Man on the Moon community room on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons for the two weeks before the Summer Event. A flyer for the workshops is here. The dates and times are:

  • Sat 8th & 15th June from 1.30-4.30 pm
  • Sun 9th & 16th June from 1.30-5.00 pm

The workshops will cost £3 per person or £5 per family of four; this will cover the cost of one or all of the sessions, including the cost of materials and equipment. Materials will be provided. All ages are welcome, though under 16s must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Spaces are limited, so book early! You can turn up on the day but there is no guarantee that there will be a place if you haven’t booked.

To book, please email

For the Summer Event parade on the day, the road will be closed to traffic. Meet at 4:15pm by the Millennium Garden on Norfolk St and the parade starts at 4:45pm. Don’t worry if you are unable to attend the workshops as you are very welcome to join the carnival parade on the day!

Community art with the Cambridge Map Project

Local artists Hugh Chapman & Sa’adiah Khan have created the Cambridge Map Project, a community art project to collaboratively create an imaginative and creative map of local people’s perceptions of east Cambridge – Romsey, Coleridge, Abbey, and Petersfield.

Taking inspiration from A.A. Milne and a 16th century painting of Dutch proverbs, they will take people’s depictions of places, things, and people to create collages to represent these areas. They are holding workshops, first to create the elements of the map, and then to put them together.

You can learn more on their website, FacebookTwitter, or by emailing them.