Since May I’ve made 12 visits: the first seven, research trips, to familiarise myself with the city. I assumed I’d 'do' the city as a tourist might, but all I’ve done is wander and, after six months, I’ve only been inside one college and that to see a temporary exhibit of pots. I have discovered my own landmarks – things I notice that help me orient myself – most of which are not in the official guides: the apparently abandoned Sandwich Plus shop at the corner of Station Road and Hills Road; the curved glass office block opposite that houses a company I worked for in London for 17 years; what looks like bronze apples on a low brick wall – the residue of cut off railings in front of a house on Lensfield Road; a relief sculpture on the Chemistry building opposite; Indigo Coffee House. I've bought every map I can lay my hands on and I've visited all the University Museums as well as The Folk Museum, The Round Church and the Museum of Technology. I have recorded each research trip with my own maps/itineraries, wondered if I could still take the visit outlined in the 1960 Official Cambridge Guide, and discovered that academic/scientific Cambridge is only one identity – it has been a major port; the site of one of Europe's largest fairs (Stourbridge); an agricultural centre; and has a religious story to tell. Cambridge has rich, multiple histories – some plainly visible, some hidden, or in decodable traces – like the three boats on the city's coat of arms.
© B.A.Zanditon 2013
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