From Show Home to Public Home

A Farewell from the Residents in Residence


Trumpington- the blueprint for an award winning community?

A Visitor's Reflection by Cecilie Sachs Olsen

As a place to live, this has everything

Carol Holloway

Lives inSefton Close (off Scotsdowne Road)

Moved to Trumpington in1990

Type of housing4-bedroom detached house, built in the 1960s

Current market valuearound £420,000 (according to Zoopla)

Favourite place in Trumpington“Byron’s Pool is my number one spot. I like the wildlife and the peace and the water and the trees, and all that stuff, which is wonderful.I also have also a fondness for the railway crossing that goes across the fields to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. My husband Jimmy (then my boyfriend) and I walked down there one evening when we were commuting between London and Cambridge and had a conversation about our future. We decided there that we were going to stay together long term. A month later I was pregnant. It feels like that spot has a force field under the ground! There’s a bridge there now. I know this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I love seeing Addenbrooke’s Hospital on the horizon. Partly because I worked there and partly because we had our wedding reception there, at the Frank Lee Centre.”


It's Like Being in Heaven

Tatenda Mukumbira

Lives inSpring Drive, Trumpington Meadows

Moved to Trumpington inDecember 2012

Type of housing3-bedroom terraced house, finished in the 2012, rented from housing association

Current market value2, 3 & 4 bedroom houses on the Trumpington Meadows are being advertised from £429,995 to £649,995 on Barratt’s website

Current council rent£165 per week

Favourite place in Trumpington"I love the parks because I love the fresh air I get when I’m out. The atmosphere helps me think up great ideas and I love playing with the kids or watching them play when I take my brother and sister out. It’s always full of excitement and laughter. Even in the horrible winter weather, it never loses its warmth – and I think there’s some beauty in that."

Location, location, location

Sam Cooke

Lives inBishops Road

Moved to Trumpington in2008

Type of housing3-bedroom semi-detached house, built in 1937

Current market valueHouses on Bishops Road have a current average value of £432,257, according to Zoopla

Favourite place in Trumpington"My favourite place in Trumpington is the Cooke Curtis & Co office. Obviously. The reason we liked this location on Trumpington High Street was because everyone knew where the Hobby Shop was. It’s a bit of a shame it closed down, because it was such a landmark, which is why we’ve kept the sign… But we didn’t feel like we were taking away a valuable village resource that could have been something great for the community."


One year in Trumpington: Living the eco dream

Lorna & Dave Rayner

Lives inLingrey Court, behind Anstey Way

Moved to Trumpington inJanuary 2015 (left in January 2016)

Type of housingFour-bedroom, semi-detached eco-home, newly built

Current market valueAround £550,000

Favourite place in Trumpington“Our favourite place in Trumpington is the park and field in the Foster Road estate – the children also love it too!”

Trumpington Through Time

Stephen & Shirley Brown

Lives inBishops Road

Moved to Trumpington in1974

Type of housing2-bedroom detached house, built in 2013

Current market valueHouses on Bishops Road have a current average value of £432,257, according to Zoopla

Favourite place in Trumpington"Shirley’s favourite place is her own garden, while Stephen’s is away from the city in the countryside."

Please note: some of the images included with this article were supplied by Stephen Brown. The image of the Plant Breeding Institute is supplied courtesy of the PBI. The black and white image is courtesy of Maurice Rayner.


This is our “forever home”

Catherine Wallace

Lives inConsort Avenue, Trumpington Meadows with her husband Derek, 48, and three children (Charlotte, 13; Alice, 10; James, 5)

Moved to Trumpington inOctober 2013

Type of housing4-bedroom terraced house, built in the 2013, rented from housing association

Current market value2, 3 & 4 bedroom houses on the Trumpington Meadows are being advertised from £429,995 to £649,995 on Barratt’s website

Current council rent£168 per week

Favourite place in Trumpington"Some of my fondest memories are of taking the children over to the park near the Pavilion. The children were relaxed and we’d pop into the Bun Shop [on Anstey Way] and get some treats.”

Trumpington Treasures

Sam & Steve Harris

Lives inShelford Road

Moved to Trumpington inSteve and his wife Dee moved to Trumpington in 1972; they share their house with their youngest son Sam, his wife Fran and their two young daughters, Katie and Amy

Type of housing3-bedroom terraced house, built in 1902

Current market valueSimilar houses on Shelford Road have a current value of around £455,000, according to Zoopla

Favourite place in TrumpingtonSteve loves going along to the car boot sale at the Trumpington Park and Ride on Sunday mornings to pick up a bargain. Sam’s favourite spot is the newly named local pub, the Hudson’s Ale House.


The Best of All Worlds

David Plank & Jen Runham

Lives inCedar Road, Novo development

Moved to Trumpington inAugust 2013

Type of housing4-bedroom detached house, built in 2013

Current market valueCurrent value of around £583,000, according to Zoopla (the house cost £490,000 in 2013)

Favourite place in TrumpingtonJen: “My house. I love the sun rises and the sunset. It’s just different every day. It’s fantastic.”

David: “I love the house but I also particularly like the walk down by the River Cam. It’s beautiful down there, it really is."

Is this Trumpington’s Time?

A writer's afterthought - by Vicky Anning


Episode 4: Community Gardens

The Show Garden Garden Show

Trumpington Show Reals

Short films made by young film makers


Episode 3: The Making of Trumpington Show Reals

Look behind the scenes and meet the film makers

Episode 2: Hobson's Square

Showground Cafe and Real Living Library


Showground of REAL LIVING

An introduction by Aislinn White

Field of Dreams

Joan Haylock


Lives inByron Square

Moved to Trumpington in1966

Type of housingThree-bedroom, end of terrace council house, built in 1947

Current market valueCurrent market value of around £260,000 (according to Zoopla)

Current council rentApprox £120 per week

Favourite place in TrumpingtonSitting on a chair in her dining room looking out over the recreation ground


We’re community builders

Jens Kirschner


Lives inChaplen Street

Moved to Trumpington inMarch 2013

Type of housingFour-bedroom, three storey, private house, built in 2013

Current market valueCurrent value Around £534,000 (according to Zoopla)

A Countryside Property

Antony Pemberton


Lives inTrumpington Hall

Moved to Trumpington inThe Pemberton family have been resident in Trumpington since 1715. They originally came from Pemberton in Lancashire.

Type of housingManor house first built circa 1600, with 600 acres of land

Current market valueundisclosed

Favourite place in TrumpingtonTrumpington Hall


Everyone’s a newbie here


Georgie Morrill & David Willsher

Age31/ 46

Lives inChaplen Street

Moved to Trumpington inMay 2013

Type of housingTwo-bedroom apartment rented from housing association

Current market valueAround £299,000

Current council rent£150 per week

Favourite place in TrumpingtonApart from their home, their favourite place in Trumpington is the beer garden at the Lord Byron, where they like to stop off for a refreshing pint after a Sunday walk to Grantchester.

Before Georgie Morrill and David Willsher moved into their two-bedroom flat on the new Great Kneighton housing development, Trumpington was just somewhere they used to drive through on the way to other places. It wasn’t somewhere they had ever really stopped. But after David was knocked off his push bike and Georgie fell pregnant, the couple needed to find somewhere else to live - and fast. Their previous flat in the north of Cambridge had a “no kid” clause. When they found themselves at the top of the waiting list for the much coveted affordable housing stock on the new Abode development in Trumpington, they jumped at the chance. They were one of the first families to move into the newly-built apartment blocks in May 2013 with their 18-month-old son Felix.

There were more builders than neighbours on the estate when Georgie and David first started unpacking their boxes. But it was exciting seeing all the building work going on around them. And they loved the sense of community spirit among the new residents.

“When we first moved in everyone over the road came out and introduced themselves and said hello,” says Georgie. “Within a couple of weeks, we got an invitation to drinks and nibbles. And we went to a BBQ across the way.”

“Everyone’s friendly, even people you don’t know,” adds David. “Everyone’s on the same page.

Moving somewhere new, it’s the perfect chance to start from scratch. Everyone’s on the same level. It’s not like moving into an area where people have been living there for 10, 20, 30 years and you feel like the newbie. Everyone’s a newbie here so everyone makes an effort. Even the builders stop and chat. I cycle to work every day and I say hello four times before I even reach the roundabout. We wanted somewhere with some kind of community spirit.”

Their new flat couldn’t be more convenient for David, who works a few minutes’ bike ride away at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. But it wasn’t just the convenience factor that most impressed him.

“When we were looking for somewhere to live, we didn’t look here because we had a fear that it would be like every other new development we’d seen,” he says. “We thought it would be horrific, not somewhere we’d be interested in. It wasn’t on the top of our list. But as we found out more about this, we saw it had potential – to create something new, incorporating old values.”
“It’s really amazing,” he says. “This road is turning into that exact blueprint, with balconies, people saying hello, walking down cobbled streets...”

“I’ve lived in places before where was shut down and no one spoke to anyone,” he adds. “It was horrible. There were communal gardens but they weren’t used. You’d go out there and there were curtains twitching… But even though we’re quite on top of each other here, it kind of works…”

When we first met Georgie, David and Felix, six months after they had moved in, their flat already had the cosy feel of somewhere well loved and homely. They had just bought an old-fashioned wooden fireplace on Gumtree and they were planning to get a fake fire too. The vinyl flooring looks almost like natural wood under cosy rugs. The open plan kitchenette living room is the perfect space for watching over a fast-growing toddler. The two double bedrooms are both a good size. There’s a balcony overlooking the street (and their neighbour’s living room). In the summer, Georgie took a paddling pool out onto the balcony for Felix to splash around in. And there’s a small study room plastered with posters that doubles up as a hub for the couple’s main passion – organising gigs (Georgie is the lead singer in an all-girl punk band called Beverley Kills and David has been putting on concerts in and around Cambridge for as long as he can remember.) The couple’s only gripe is that the bathroom doesn’t have a window. And the stairs…

“I’d prefer a house with a garden,” admits Georgie. “It is difficult, specially when you’ve got a little ’un and you’re on the first floor and you’ve got the stairs to contend with. I know it sounds silly but it’s quite a struggle, when you’ve got a child, a buggy and bags of shopping to carry every day.”

But stairs aside, David and Georgie already feel totally at home in their new surroundings.

The old English way is: I want my garden, I want my castle, I want my car…

“Coming here it definitely feels like home,” says David, who grew up in Chesterton, on the other side of Cambridge. “It feels like a proper place to live. Before we moved in, when I saw the pictures, I thought this is my dream. There’s going to be a country park and a plaza with a community centre. It’s amazing. There’s a huge potential for putting on concerts – and I’d like to be involved because organising concerts is what I do.”

“People who hear about it but don’t see it have preconceptions. But this seems to be well planned,” says David, who is at pains to point out that both he and Georgie are working and don’t receive any government money. Georgie works as an administrator for the Medical Research Council while David works as a facility manager for Cancer Research UK at Addenbrooke’s.

They pay a market rent of £150 per week for their flat, which is a little more expensive than the social housing that is also dotted throughout the estate alongside the affordable housing stock and the private houses.

“In Cambourne they had a social problem,” says David. “They almost split the town between those who bought and people who lived in social or affordable housing. Here they’re trying to do it the right way. Here they’ve tried to mix everyone together.”

“We’re not against people in social housing,” he says.” There are good and bad people. We just want everyone to get on. Life is difficult enough without making your homeland uncomfortable.”

So did the couple feel any antagonism from the existing residents of Trumpington when they moved in?

“It never even crossed my mind moving here that would be the case,” says Georgie, who admits that she hasn’t mixed much with Trumpington residents beyond Great Kneighton so far.

“We’ve walked along the High Street, to Waitrose, Grantchester,” adds David. “We’ve never felt anything. There are two sides – and this has created so much essential housing. Housing has to be built somewhere. But you see some people who’ve lived along Shelford Road for years who used to have a view towards Addenbrooke’s chimneys. Now they’ve got a view of flats right against their gardens. It’s a huge shock for people. No one wants that kind of change on their doorstep.”

David believes the fact that the new houses and flats of Great Kneighton are rising upwards rather than sprawling outwards mitigates some of the impact of building on former green belt land.

“Going up is frowned on in Cambridge,” he says. “I’ve lived in London and I’ve visited some places in Denmark where there’s social housing that goes up high. I think it works. There’s more space for greenery.”

“The old English way is: I want my garden, I want my castle, I want my car,” he adds. “We’re an island. We can only do that for so long before we run out of space.”

David and Georgie only disagree on one thing when it comes to Great Kneighton. While he likes the look and feel of the new houses, Georgie isn’t so keen.

“Some of the buildings are very blocky,” she says. “There are lots of straight lines and it’s not very aesthetically pleasing. But at least they’ve started putting trees in now.”

In spite of their artistic differences, David and Georgie both agree that they feel like Trumpington residents after just six months of living here. They’re looking forward to visiting the new country park, when it opens. And they’re already enjoying exploring their new neighbourhood.

“There are places we never knew existed because previously we’d just pass in a car,” says David. “You’d just see the façade of everywhere. I had no idea the allotments were there. It was a shock when we walked through there for the first time. We couldn’t believe there were lots of hens and chickens! And the guided busway is a huge deal – it’s like an artery.”

During the summer they walk up and down the path that runs alongside the busway into Cambridge and the railway station.

“It’s really nice,” says Georgie. “I mean, when we first moved here, it’s one of the first walks I took my parents on. I was like, come and check out the guided busway! It’s amazing. You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.”

David is a little more circumspect, especially since he broke his pelvis a few years ago after being knocked off his bike. He’s alert to the dangers of the guided buses speeding through the neighbourhood at up to 55mph without any fencing as it whizzes past cyclists and pedestrians using the path beside it. (Already there has been one serious collision between a cyclist and a bus.)

We wanted somewhere with some kind of community spirit

“First of all, there should be a fence down the side of it because it’s dangerous,” says David. “If you come off your bike and go over that kerb, you’re not going home for Christmas. I’ve seen cyclists swerve in and out of it. The closer you get to Hills Road, the scarier it gets. You feel the rush when it comes past at high speed.”

The couple appreciate the fields and mini-lakes alongside the busway – even though they’re aware that some of these fields are living on borrowed time as more and more of the former farming land is flattened to make way for the community square, a new secondary school and the rest of the 2,300 homes.

Both Georgie and David’s impressions of Trumpington have now changed completely – from a place that they just used to pass through to a place they are definitely happy to call home.

“Years ago, Trumpington estate had the connotation that it was a rough place to go,” says David. “I was a huge BMX cyclist all around town and you wouldn’t go into the park in Trumpington because it was too rough. But now there are some beautiful houses. I wouldn’t mind living there.”

“I think Trumpington is such a strange design,” he adds. “The high street is so super busy. It’s a main road, so it’s not a place people want to hang out. But if you go beyond Waitrose towards Grantchester, that’s really nice around there. That’s one of our favourite walks in the summer.”

“On that farmland that goes down to Grantchester Meadows, when the sun sets it looks like the most amazing place to live,” he says. “It makes us feel quite lucky.”

The only thing that’s missing, they say, is a row of decent shops, which they hope will come when the new community square is built.

“It would be nice to have an independent shop, a bakery, a delicatessen – with fresh bread delivered,” says David. “Where we used to live, the shopkeeper at the corner shop used to put four bread rolls aside for me if I was a bit late on a Saturday morning. It’s little things like that that make a difference – they’re nothing but they’re everything. And they really make your day.”

In time, David would love to see the community square for Trumpington become as vibrant as Cambridge’s Market Square – giving residents somewhere to hang out that’s not just a thoroughfare.

“In Cambridge city centre, in spite of all the amazing architecture and the university, still the most amazing place to go is the market place,” he says. “Walk around the market place on a Sunday and people are talking to each other and saying ‘hello’, ‘how are you doing’. You’re discussing things, you’re laughing at things…”

“A market place would be incredible,” he says. “As a community, you can support these things.”

Georgie dreams of a thriving community hub a bit like the centre of Fulbourn, where she grew up.

“Fulbourn’s got the most incredible village centre that’s got something for everyone – from toddlers to kids who want to skate to people who just want to hang round and watch football on a Sunday afternoon and drink a few beers. They’ve got everything.”

But for now David and Georgie are content with building the community on their own doorstep – biding their time for the rest of the building work to be completed. And spending more time getting to know their neighbours.

“When the building has calmed down in this vicinity, I think there’ll definitely be a street party,” says David. “We used to live in an old street in the middle of Cambridge and they used to have street parties there. I think next summer we could well have a street party down here. I can see that happening.”

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I feel grief for the loss of place

Ceri Galloway


Lives inFoster Road

Moved to Trumpington in2003

Type of housingThree-bedroom terraced former council house, built in 1947

Current market valueAround £310,000 (according to Zoopla)

Favourite place in TrumpingtonNine Wells – a nature reserve with several chalk springs that form the source of Hobson’s Conduit, which carries water along Hobson’s Brook into the heart of Cambridge.


My friends’ nickname for Trumpington is ‘Trampington’

Tom Warburton


Lives inPaget Road

Moved to Trumpington in2003

Type of housingThree-bedroom terraced council house, built in 1946

Current market valueAround £250,000 (according to Zoopla)

Favourite place in TrumpingtonCommunity Orchard

I get on with all my neighbours

Tanya Jolley


Lives inPartridge Close

Moved to Trumpington inJuly 2013

Type of housingThree-bedroom end of terrace house, rented from housing association

Current council rentAround £154 per week

Favourite place in Trumpington“I love my house”


In Search of Common Ground

A writer's afterthought - by Vicky Anning

Residents in residence

Live it. Love it. Buy it.


The story continues at Clay Farm Community Garden...

The Public SHED at Clay Farm Community Garden has become a hub for gardening activities and classes, social events and all sorts of meetings, hosted by gardener and artist-in-residence Lorelei Lodestar. If you would like to know more about progress on site and how you can get involved with the design and development of the permanent building and growing spaces visit or follow us at and/or