Pleasures of the River Cam

Spent last night at The Milton Road Library for a talk by local historian Tasmin Wimhurst. It was arranged by “The Friends of Milton Road Library” who came together initially to prevent the planned closure of their library…and they were successful! Now this vibrant library is the focal point for many activities. More than just a library.

Tasmin’s talk was thoroughly enjoyable and very informative and complimented by some wonderful old pictures.
The talk focused on the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. With the coming of the Railway in 1845 much of the commercial traffic left the River Cam for the railways, thus freeing up the Cam for leisure pursuits. Diving, swimming and punting. It also ushered in the very first boat races or “Bumps” between the different colleges.

Until it was stopped in the 1960’s there was an annual “Swim through Cambridge” event. All and sundry would jump in at the Mill Pool and swim some 1630 yards along “The Backs” past 7 of the famous colleges and ending the swim at Jesus Lock. What a sight it must have been. I for one, would love to see it re-instated and take the plunge!

One Comment

  1. Shame I missed this speech, trying to learn more about the “The Swim Through Cambridge” as I am currently in talks with the Cam Conservators and Cambridge Council to get it started again in 2013. Hopefully you will get your chance to jump in ad take the plunge 🙂

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