Mill Road exhibition

Exhibition posterToday I went along to the Council’s Mill Road Exhibition  at Bharat Bhavan. I was immediately offered a lovely hot cup of tea – which was very much appreciated given the cold weather! There were a number of stands with information about many of the local community and residents groups in the area, as well as proposals for a traders association; and in the middle of the room was a giant map of Mill Road where people could jot down their ideas on sheets of tracing paper (which could be placed over the map) There were also some beautiful paintings and drawings of Mill Road by a couple of local artists.

Exhibition boardsIt was great to see lots of ideas from locals and there were all sorts of suggestions ranging from peoples ideas for more green space around Mill Road and a regular local market through to thoughts on the 20mph zone and improving the area for cyclists. I spoke to Ceri (Mill Road Co-ordinator and organiser of the event) and she told me that it had been well attended over the two days – and judging by the many post-it notes I saw this was most certainly the case! I jotted down my ideas, which included widening the pavement on the northern edge of Mill Road on the town side of the bridge (opposite Arjuna, Fagito’s, Nip-In et al) as it’s not currently wide enough for two people to pass each other without one of them having to step into the road. I’d also like to see cafes and shops being allowed to have tables and chairs outside (even if just one or two tables) as this would give people more of an opportunity to interact with and chat to each other and make the area even more welcoming in the summer months.

Exhibition boardI also drew a design for a new housing co-operative which could go on the site of the Mill Road Depot (which is moving at some point in the next few years). This is an idea that was suggested by a number of  people in the Local Plan consultations last year and I think it would really work for the whole community – especially as there’s a huge lack of affordable housing around Mill Road. I envisage something like a mixture of flats for single people and couples, and houses for families (little or no shared housing) on the back part of the site (furthest from Mill Road); this would have lots of green space and could house around 150 people. There would also be plenty of shared community space and at the front of the site a meeting area/hall that the co-operative would share with the whole community for free, as well as an upstairs area that could have free/low cost office space for local businesses/home-workers. There would also be a large outdoor area that could host community events such as barbecues, regular markets and other community activities. Bharat Bhavan, Regent College and other non-council buildings would of course be retained. By their very nature co-operatives are green and sustainable communities that are self-run, so the community would have the opportunity to shape and innovate their own housing and community space. In fact I suspect this deserves a blog post all of its own (!) so more on this another time.

I was glad I went along to the exhibition and I now have lots more ideas for Mill Road. If you missed out you can contact Ceri (millroadcoordinator@gmail.com) for more information. I will write another blog post soon about what will happen to the ideas and how to submit any other suggestions you may have. I think the exhibition was a really good idea and it has given people the chance to have real input into their local area.

Somewhere over Mill Road…

I usually take my camera everywhere I go (much to the dismay of some of my friends – who I’ve managed to take some rather ‘surprised’ pics of over the years) but a few weeks ago I realised moments after leaving the house that I didn’t have it on me. Even though logic told me that nothing too exciting was likely to happen on my three minute round trip to buy a pint of milk at the local shop, for some reason I felt compelled to go back and get it – just in case. I was very thankful I did go back, as just moments later a beautiful rainbow appeared over Mill Road!

Lots of people stopped in the street to take pictures and people came out of the Earl of Beaconsfield, Billy’s and the sushi bar to see exactly what it was that I and others were pointing to in the sky. From where I was stood it looked like the rainbow was emanating from the roof of Limoncello and looked so beautiful.

As I looked behind the Beaconsfield I saw another rainbow appearing over the rooftops and then a few moments later a third one appeared to the south of Mill Road. I had never seen more than one rainbow at a time before, it looked amazing. By this point it was raining heavily, but in my quest to get a decent photo I decided to stick it out for a few more minutes.

So I now make absolutely sure I’ve got my camera with me before leaving the house – just in case. Which reminds me – I’ve managed to capture a few nice sunsets recently, but more on that another time…

Sunset on Mill Road… Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I posted some of the sunset pictures I had taken around
Mill Road over the last few months. My pics turned out to be very popular and so, as promised, here are some more for your viewing pleasure. All these have been taken this month, and from various points along Mill Road and just off it. Each night seems to bring a different sunset and different colours, and no two sunsets are ever the same – well, at least that’s my excuse for taking so many pictures of them!

(Please see the ‘About’ page of this blog for info about my photos and copyright)

Sunset on Mill Road…

There are some pretty amazing sky views to be seen around Mill Road and I thought I’d share some of the photos I’ve taken over the last few months. Although they’re not very popular these days – except seemingly at weddings (oh and sometimes underwater!) – I had actually been using disposable cameras (eek!) as my staple for many years. However, I was given a shiny new Nikon Coolpix camera as a present last Christmas and all these pictures were taken on it. Those of you that know me may know that I have a particular penchant for sunsets (!). Here are some pictures of, well, mostly sunsets…

               

  

(Please see the ‘About’ page of this blog for info about my photos and copyright)

Art and soul of Mill Road

When I first heard about a new local art project, Show Me Your Art, last week I was very excited indeed – for three reasons. Firstly, the project sounds like a fantastic idea as it will give art a rightful place in the middle of our community. Secondly, the project is being organised by Cambridge resident and market trader Frank Rowsell – I know Frank and I think he could be just the man for the job; and thirdly it really inspired me to get creative – I enjoy painting and creating various crafts, but have often thought ‘what’s the point?’ because I just don’t have the space or platform to show my creations to the world.

Show Me Your ArtFrank believes that artists should have their talent recognised and he wants to involve the community, including schools, in his project ‘Show Me Your Art’. The project aims to bring art into the local community by creating a gallery and exhibition space on Mill Road, as well as an interactive website for artists to display and talk about their work and share ideas. Frank hopes to do this by taking over the former Misfits site in Romsey and is also working on creating the website – www.showmeyourart.com (which should be fully up and running in about three weeks time).

Show Me Your Art will be great for full time artists who want to display their work, but it will also provide a very welcome platform to those who are artists on a part time basis – for example, many artists and creative people often work in other jobs until such time as others start to notice their work and they can earn a decent – and often very well deserved – living from their art; and without space to exhibit how will they get noticed in the first place…?

The former Misfits shop has sat empty for some months now, but if the project gets the go-ahead to take over the site then this would see the Romsey side of the railway bridge, and Mill Road itself, given a new lease of life. The idea is already creating quite a buzz and as Frank himself says:

“I’ve already spoken to a lot of Cambridge artists and everyone seems really excited. Now we just need the support and sponsorship to make it work”.

If you’re an artist interested in exhibiting, or a potential funder/sponsor, or if you just want to find out a bit more about the project then do call Frank on (07815) 710180 or email him: frank@showmeyourart.com – he’ll be happy to hear from you.

A project like this can only be of benefit to the area and will encourage people in the community to work together, help give budding artists a step up the ladder and ultimately give us some lovely arty creations to look at and admire. In fact, the possibilities are endless! Now, where did I put that paintbrush…?