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."

As you head along Trumpington High Street towards Cambridge, you may have spotted two subtle changes in the last 12 months. On the right hand side, the old watering hole, the Tally Ho pub, has been spruced up into a gastro pub and has changed its name to the Hudson’s Ale House. And just across the road, the model shop that had been a firm fixture in Trumpington since 1985 has closed its doors to the public and reopened last February as a trendy looking estate agent’s called Cooke Curtis & Co.

We talked to one half of the Cooke Curtis duo – Sam Cooke – who has worked as an estate agent in this area since he was 19 and has lived in Trumpington for the past eight years with his wife and three young kids. We wanted to know whether these changes were a sign of Trumpington’s changing demographics? We wanted to understand why Trumpington has become such a property hotspot – with house prices rising more than 20% over the last 12 months (the average house price in the area is now more than £348,000 – which is twice the national average). And most of all, we wanted to get to the bottom of why Trumpington has become such a desirable place to live, even attracting the attention of the TV show Location, Location, Location last summer (Sam and his business partner Jamie Curtis persuaded two first-time buyers – young doctors working at Addenbrooke’s Hospital – to buy a 1960s fixer upper on Beverley Way with a stairlift for the princely sum of £350,000).

First, why is the price of houses in Trumpington going up and up when there are so many new houses being built?

“Supply and demand is all that matters,” explains Sam. “There are thousands of new houses being built in Trumpington – so there’s a big rise in supply, but the rise in demand is bigger. We have more jobs than that coming to the area. These little hubs work together. We’ve seen it with one of the big biotech firms AstraZeneca moving from Cheshire down here. The university is building more and more accommodation for students and they’re widening their catchment. Cambridge University has been massively expanding its postgraduate programme. And all these people need somewhere to live.

There have been lots of flats, lots of terraces and lots of houses with modest gardens built in Trumpington. We haven’t built anything like that in the 35 years before that. So there’s this huge gap in the Cambridge market. In terms of choice, our housing stock is dreadful. There are very few nice family houses with big gardens. (Well, there are, but they cost £1.2 million!)
It’s easy to say in hindsight, but what they should have done is build more over the last 100 years, slowly. They’ve suddenly realised we need more houses. And I think it’s right that they should build them where people can walk or cycle to town so they don’t make the traffic worse.

The reason you buy in Trumpington is usually the practicalities – you need to be able to cycle to town, you need to be able to get your kids to school, you need to be able to get to the M11…”

So what kind of people are moving into Trumpington these days?

“It’s quite nicely varied actually,” says Sam. “We recently re-sold a two bedroom detached house on Abode [one of the new developments off Addenbrooke’s Road] that was just two years old. We had three people bidding on it. We had two young girls whose parents were buying for them to live in while they did their first year of medicine studies; the other bidders were people coming here from abroad to work in the hospital; the third bidders were a couple in their sixties who were downsizing from a big house in Cambridge and wanted something easy to run. He’s a Green Party activist so he wanted something that was efficient, eco-friendly and easy to run, something that was easy to lock up and leave without worrying about but that offered something interesting architecturally. So it’s nice because you’ve got young people who want it for doing their young people things; you’ve got professionals doing well for themselves, working at the hospital; and you’ve got Cambridge people too.

It is mainly professional people who are moving here – there are lots of researchers, lots of people working for biotech firms and lots of people working for the hospital or industries connected with it. That’s just the geography of it. The hospital is the largest employer within a mile of here.

You do get London commuters but it’s not as significant as it’s been made out to be. Cambridge has a multicultural, slightly artistic feel like bits of London do. And it has good schools, lovely architecture, it’s very safe and all that sort of thing. But London commuters certainly aren’t as big a group as the local workforce in terms of people looking to move to Trumpington.

And the buy-to-let investor thing is massively overstated. It makes a great soundbite. Certain estate agents and certain builders – when they build blocks of flats – have in the past travelled to other countries and pitched them as investments. But the majority of houses in Trumpington are owner occupiers.

There are lots of people from abroad who are buying here, but it’s often for their children who are at school here and they want to have a base here while their children are at school. Or their jobs brought them here.”

There's a big rise in supply, but the rise in demand is bigger.
Has there been a noticeable change in the demographics in Trumpington then?

“When we sell the house on Foster Road for the working class person who’s owned it from new, it sells to a professional. We all know that Foster Rd/Byron Square used to be ex-local authority. The houses were lived in by generations of tradespeople. Now every one we sell is to doctor so and so and professor so and so.
So there is a shift in demographics because, sadly, we sold all the council houses off in the 80s. By the nature of that and how expensive houses are, there is that shift.

And then conversely, with the affordable houses that are coming along with the new builds, there are more lower income people that are coming into the area. It’s one of the wonderful things that, because of the requirement for affordable housing and because the City Council/South Cambs have been quite good at upholding that, there are now affordable places for people to live. People talk about how expensive the new houses are but 40% of the houses out there are ‘affordable’.

Trumpington has always been quite middle class. It’s an edge-of-the-city suburb, appealing to all kinds of different people. There are a lot more houses now, but the mix is the same.”

What does the average house cost in Trumpington?

“An average-to-good three bed semi would be in the £400ks. If you’re a young professional couple and you want to borrow that sort of money, you’ve got to be earning £60k each. That’s serious money. There’s little around that’s cheaper than £350,000. That’s why it’s the professionals who are buying around here because realistically they’re the ones who can afford it.

Last year, we sold two semis on Foster Road within six months of each other. One sold for £375k and the other sold for £450k. People see a big house with a big back garden on a quiet road where you can walk to Addenbrooke’s in ten minutes and it’s relatively cheap. The most expensive houses in Trumpington cost upwards of £2 million (including some of the new houses on the Aura and Halo developments off Long Road).

I genuinely don’t know where people on average salaries would live if it wasn’t for all the affordable stuff that’s been brought with the new developments. If I was still in my salaried job, I couldn’t get a mortgage for my house and I think there are loads of people in that situation.”

There are a lot more houses now, but the mix is the same.
When did you move to Trumpington?

“I’ve only lived here for eight years. I grew up down the road in Stapleford. Mrs Cooke has lived here on and off for 34 years. She grew up on Shelford Road.

We bought our first house in Haverhill. This was 16/17 years ago. I was 19. At that age I looked around at what I could afford on my meagre salary. I looked at the cost of mortgages versus the cost of renting and I thought, ‘Blimey, let’s buy a house.’ I looked at Cambourne (that was just coming out of the ground) and a two-bed house was £120k and then I looked at Haverhill and a two-bedroom house was £60k. We did what a lot of people do and moved away from Cambridge because we couldn’t afford our first house here. Then our salaries got better, house prices moved and we moved back when we’d got a bit of equity.
I would have moved back to Stapleford. It’s quite peaceful. But my parents moved away and Annie has family connections here [Annie, Sam’s wife, who works as a childminder, is the daughter of former Cambridge Mayor Philippa Slatter]. We wanted a house that was not on the main road. At that time, there was only Bishops Road that worked for us. But actually having lived here, I do absolutely appreciate the practicalities. I look forward to not ferrying my kids about when they’re older!

If you move further out, you can get so much better value. If you go a bit further than Sawston or Foxton, you can buy a lovely big detached house with an acre of land for the price of a semi in Trumpington. Ten miles away and the world is your oyster. But I still live here for its practicalities.

And it’s still a nice balance between feeling a bit urban, feeling a bit connected, feeling a part of our wonderful city. You feel like you’re a Cambridge citizen but you also feel far enough out that you get a bit more garden and it’s a bit less busy. It feels less urban but it doesn’t feel like suburban soulless sprawl like you get in big cities. It still feels like a little community.”

Has Trumpington changed as a place to live over the past eight years?

“I used to look out of my back window across fields but now I wave at my neighbours in the new houses instead! But I’ve got over it. If I was 65 and wanted a peaceful life, I might think differently.

I’ve got three children between four and nine. And they now have play grounds to play in; they now have a secondary school that’s going to be within half a mile from our house rather than having to go five miles by bus to Sawston every day. They will now have a skate board park. They have a safe cycle route into the city along the guided busway. They have a much wider range of friends from all over the world and different social backgrounds that they can mix with.

OK, my view has gone but overall I think it’s been great for the area. I think everything that’s gone on is nothing but positive. There’s been so little Nimbyism. The Trumpington Resident’s Association – which is the closest thing we have to a parish council – has embraced everything and have been very practical about it all.”

And has the community changed at all?

“Trumpington has become a place I want to live,” he says. “It always felt a bit like no man’s land – it wasn’t Cambridge and it wasn’t a village. I grew up in Stapleford – which is a very traditional village where you can walk everywhere and everyone knows each other. To me, Trumpington was two roads. But having lived here, I’ve realised that community does exist. It’s just not immediately obvious as you’re driving through it. And we now have a cluster of houses rather than a ribbon of houses.

It’s like a lot of communities, until you live here you just don’t understand it. Because a community isn’t about the roads or how it feels as you go through it. It’s about what goes on behind it – the friends you make and how you engage with it.

I think community is an important thing. Giving me and my family a sense of belonging here is very important. That’s why I got involved as a governor at the new secondary school. It’s quite exciting! It’s the first new secondary school in the city for 60 years. It’s quite different in terms of its architecture.

The existing schools – like Netherhall and Sawston – are very traditional. They’re very successful, good schools but this is something a bit different. There are no corridors, no staff rooms. It’s a very inclusive, intimate school all focused around a central atrium. And it’s going to be fairly small. When I was at Sawston, it had 250 pupils in a year. It never felt like a tight community. It felt like a big sprawling school. The new school is going to have 90 pupils in each year. Everyone’s going to know each other. For a growing evolving community, that will be really a nice thing.

With the sporting facilities and things like evening classes at the school, you’ll now be able to walk or get on your bike and do evening classes go and get a coffee and sit in the square afterwards. In my mind, it’s going to feel like a lovely little centre – I may be wrong, it may be that nobody goes there. But I have a romantic feeling about that being a part of a thriving centre.

All of this is driven by money making, one way or the other. The biotech companies don’t exist for the good of us. They exist because they want to earn millions of dollars. Builders market houses because they want to sell them well, but the end result is they do tend to build quite nice houses. So if you create a nice community and consider how people are going to live in it – specially with someone like Countryside who’s building over a five or seven year period – they want it to be positive.

And I think the City Council has been good at providing community facilities. When we get the hub – in the square with the shops, café, the secondary school – I think it’s going to work. It’s going to make this one community.”

Do you think Trumpington will lose its identity as it continues to grow?

“I think it will always have its own identity,” says Sam. “If I’m talking to a local person, I would never say ‘I live in Cambridge and my office is in Cambridge’. I’d say ‘Trumpington’. The developers very specifically didn’t call the new development ‘Trumpington’, they called it ‘Great Kneighton’. But nobody calls it Great Kneighton. And I think that’s right. It shows the strength of Trumpington’s identity and history as a village.”

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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.

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