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December 2010 Meeting Report

Sawston Postcards by Eric Jacobs

The December meeting was scheduled to feature Amanda Tucks unique Magic Lantern show as a prelude to the Christmas buffet provided by the members. Sadly, Amanda was unwell so unable to make her presentation, which, now, hopefully will be rescheduled in next years programme. So, at 5 minutes notice ( or perhaps 10) Eric Jacobs gave a slide presentation from his considerable collection of Sawston post cards from around 1900. Some especially notable slides included a Sawston celebratory street procession dated 1910, the purpose of which remains unknown; various views of the high street from 1907 until 1970; and the Fire Station shed, now replaced by a house to the left of the Black Bull. There was also a wonderful picture of an open topped double decker bus in the High Street, outside Coulthards Pharmacy dated 1910. After Eric’s fascinating show we were able to indulge in the traditional pre-Christmas buffet.

I have now received confirmation by email, from Carol Miller, that a famous Chinese poet, Xu Zhimo, stayed in Sawston for some months in 1922, while studying at Kings College, Cambridge, where a marble stone commemorating him was installed in 2008. His fame was such that the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, after his controversial visit to Cambridge in February 2009, wanted to stop over at the Jade Fountain Restaurant in order to visit the village where Xu Zhimo had lived. Can any reader confirm this or throw any light on where Xu Zhimo stayed in Sawston? Xu Zhimo also wrote a very famous poem called “Saying Goodbye to Cambridge again”.

As ever, our archivists Bryan Howe and Andrew Little are “on duty” in the Sawston Archive room at the Sawston Parish Council Office in Link Road on Monday mornings. Just pop in if you have any queries relating to Sawston past and present.

Bruce Milner

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