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

Trumpington Village had a population of 7,000 when we first arrived. Several new housing developments encircled it, anticipating the arrival of another 10,000 residents. Proud Trumpingtonians who sustained the village’s resident committees and local history groups welcomed us. They talked about their apprehension of the imminent arrivals and the impact they would have on their community – Who would these new people be? Commuters?! Foreign investors? Would the existing heritage be overlooked, unacknowledged or even succeeded by new residents? And what would they bring to the area?

We also wanted to understand who these new residents would be. We were there to carry out research as part of an on-going art project under a public art strategy by Futurecity for Countryside’s Great Kneighton development: to explore the integration of the new residents with the existing surrounding communities, and their relationship and influence on the future character of this new development.

The site was in mid-construction when we arrived and completely devoid of any inhabitants. We were greeted with developers’ glossy hoardings that promised real life, with real people, in a real community. The place was dotted with show homes, arranged to clearly demonstrate how Great Kneighton would be occupied and by whom. Fittingly, the site was originally home to the Royal Show – the principal UK agricultural show of 1951, 1960 and 1961 – so we started referring to it as “the Showground”.

With the promise of real people in mind we searched the display homes. They were meticulously staged for potential inhabitants to experience the stunning interiors, and carefully placed household objects acted as gentle cues to expose and perform personal preference and similarities. We talked about how interpreting and creating a sense of home can be central to people’s identity, and also how the show homes take advantage of this. Feigning immunity, we were drawn in: Who uses Ecover over Persil? Organic coffee beans over Fair-trade ground? Or vice versa? The person who lives here will bake apparently, and there is no microwave...

And there was an offer of detail variation in the ‘choice room’ – yes, there was a room in which to make choices – whereby choosing from a selection of textile samples you may be able to adapt the tone of your home through the upholstery. Even amongst the subtle preferences and variations presented in Great Kneighton, we could clearly perceive the residents who were to occupy the place.

In fact, I can still picture some of them now, flicking through the stylish heavy coffee-table books near their three-piece suite: The Perfect Gentleman. They have breakfast in bed, from a wooden tray with a cafetière of fresh coffee, to be sipped out of a white bone china cup.

A dining room was arranged to show us that there would be four-course meals under a hanging chandelier. We could glimpse the panache of the lady-of-the house, because we know she wore that grey designer dress on the bed and we could see she would be a slim UK size 10. Maybe she’d wear it for the quick jaunt into Cambridge city centre, which is certainly quick with the new guided busway. Or maybe she’d put it on to entertain the guests who’d come for the dinner party downstairs. And we could see Addenbrooke’s Hospital across the fields and we thought, that is where a potential Great Kneightan would work. They may not ever need to take their car from the connected garage at all – it is the perfect location indeed. Just a few minutes bicycle ride away. And is it here that we are told we can locate this real life, real people and real community?

This plot of homely possibilities, now part occupied, hovers over what we refer to as Trumpington Village, a much more tenuous display of living. Firstly, its inhabitants were already very much present when we arrived. There is a low-rise housing estate surrounding a green, and in the late 1940s this was the plot for potential new residents. There are allotments, with chickens and orchards; untended gardens and well-tended gardens, but it seems all houses have gardens; a house with a wind turbine on the roof and one with a caravan outside. There are large stately homes too, white houses and blue houses, red brick and stone houses. There are net curtains, extensions and chimneys. There are many speed bumps and on-road parking, and there is a little old church and a pavilion, where over-60s bingo is played on a Wednesday afternoon.

In Trumpington Village there is a network of pathways connecting long-existing inhabitants to newer residents. There are various generations with narratives that are physically manifest in the land and its existence as ‘the housing estate’, ‘the village’ or ‘the manor’. Trumpington, we were told, was just a road with a Waitrose on the end, a re-evoked ghost of the past with an unpleasant estate, a thoroughfare for the Park & Ride, home of the famous Maris Piper potato, to Lord Byron and halls of lords, an Anglo-Saxon stronghold and an archaeological utopia.

We were told many versions of Trumpington – from Tramp-ington to Lord Byron-ton. Show houses and marketing apparitions now enfolded it. In harmony or in conflict, Trumpington will soon become part of a new larger community. We cannot help but start speculating on what new versions of Trumpington might look like.

In many ways we sensed that Trumpington Village was vocally clumped together, as antagonist to the impending giant of Great Kneighton and the surrounding developments. In the absence of people, they delivered real living as community through a situation where interests, or interior design preferences, are agreed. Through the impeccable and completely made-up residents of the staged show homes, a community based on taste and lifestyle, similarities and agreements, was conveyed.

Yet communities fundamentally occur in individuals sharing proximity and land. They come from people living together and are indeterminate by their very nature. How can we, or should we, even imagine harmony between so many (17,500+) disparate and entangled histories and interests? It is apparent that real living also involves real differences, not a constant search for similarities and shared interests.

Near the beginning of our research, in the middle of Trumpington estate, Ceri Galloway unintentionally started telling us of her grief over the poplar trees being felled. Just a short encounter with her on the street, and just a snippet of personal narrative about the trees she looked out on every day, revealed the real emptiness of the show homes and the real impossibility of selling living through sameness and generalities. Like this, particular accounts, versions and conflicts from residents came to us through other personal narratives, which generated the idea of Habitorials. We met local people who invited us into their homes and told us their stories. This complex network of narratives revealed to us the tangled messiness of real living. All the people who gave their stories also gave many views of what it means to have a place in common. Thank you for your generosity.

As narratives, Habitorials are inherently conflicts, connecting the past to the future from the position of the present, of Trumpington and Great Kneighton. These Habitorials could be considered a presentation of real life, with real people, in a real community, whilst searching for some sort of a common.

The ‘commons’, after all, is an Anglo-Saxon term for arable land jointly owned by all village members, removed from social status. Such a space that we can call ‘common’ is still an essential space, where all individuals have power to make quotidian yet radical contributions. Through their generation, these Habitorials have the potential to help bring together individuals and their differences. They do not promise consensus or negotiation through shared interests. They offer a space that allows conflict to surface and for us to begin discussions. Here, we offer a showground for differences and – a discursive space for genuine questions to be asked. What do you want, for a space of real living in a real community?

share this article:

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