Hear how North Cambridge was portrayed through song and verse

Songs and Worms from North Cambridge is the latest in a series of art projects commissioned and supported by The Chesterton Partnership developing Cambridge North.

Emily Peasgood. Photo: Hope Fitzgerald

Led by composer and artist Emily Peasgood, the project collaborated with locals to create 34 songs and verses that tell the stories of the many communities in and around North Cambridge.

Inspired by the tradition of folk songs, the book captures what it’s like to live in this part of town.

The resulting collection of songs and verses ranges from poignant ballads to comedic verses covering topics such as mental health, encounters in CB4, and an escaped python.

The book focuses on the CB4 postal area, which includes Arbury, Chesterton, King’s Hedges, Orchard Park, Cambridge Business Park and Cambridge North Station, telling the stories of a wide range of people aged eight to 84.

Emily had to adapt plans for song-making and verse-making workshops in person when the pandemic hit, but, after launching an open call for ideas, she was inundated with submissions. Emily and her songwriting team of Anna Hester Skelton and Bob Hines then worked with the contributors to translate the ideas.

Kirsty Roberts and her cousin Rory Yanez, who contributed to the book, in Green End Road Park with the children of Rory, Mason, 12, and Taygon, 10.  Photo: Keith Heppell
Kirsty Roberts and her cousin Rory Yanez, who contributed to the book, in Green End Road Park with the children of Rory, Mason, 12, and Taygon, 10. Photo: Keith Heppell

The songs and verses are available in a beautifully illustrated hardcover book that will be distributed to county libraries starting July 1, to local schools and community groups.

The public can also pick up a free copy at the following locations:

  • Chesterton Community College, June 7-18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To be collected at the reception of the school.
  • Ferme d’Argile library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pick up at reception.
  • Museum of Cambridge Tuesday June 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • St Andrew’s Church Hall, 97 St Andrew’s Road, Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pick up at the entrance to the hall.
  • Storey’s Field Center, Eddington Avenue, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pick up at the center office.

With the exception of two pieces, the book is available for the community to use in any way, without a license, to preserve and share the stories of this community.

Emily said: “It was a hugely ambitious project, especially for doing everything online. But he did not suffer from it.

“The resulting book is thoughtful and demonstrates the community spirit in a Cambridge pocket that is often overlooked.

“It’s surreal that I haven’t yet met any of the locals in person and can’t wait to meet them all in July!”

Sven Topel, CEO of Brookgate, added: “We see public art and collaborations like Songs and Worms from North Cambridge as an important part of our development process. They help us discover and connect with the communities we develop, which helps shape great places for people to live, work and socialize.

Download the free eBook via emilypeasgood.com/songs-andverses-from-north-cambridge.

Read more:

Novotel opens at Cambridge North station

Share stories to create North Cambridge’s great songbook

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