For people of a certain age and musical inclination, the title of this blog may ring a bell or two. On the Tuesday, I may well have been without a garden party invitation but I was in Cambridge and perfectly placed to find out if punting was indeed jolly fun. Don't for a minute think that I wandered down to the river Cam and hired a punt and did it myself - I had my camera with me, my mobile phone wouldn't work after being wet and a return bus ticket to Haverhill which I'm sure would suffer badly from a dip in the water. There are several companies offering punt trips on the Cam, with a practiced person, usually a student earning a few drinking vouchers, who is unlikely to tip you over the side and offering an excellent running commentary of the sights to be seen, so for a very modest sum I found myself comfortably seated at the back of a punt.
This is the back of Trinity Hall College which was founded in 1350 to replace lawers killed by the black death. This building of their's is the Jerwood library which is very recent, being built in 1999, and certainly more attractive than most of the other modern buildings along the river.
This bridge is the mathematical bridge. There is a local legend that says that the bridge was designed by Sir Issac Newton and was held up by pure science without the assistance of pins or nail. Good story but quite untrue, when it was built by James Essex (designed by William Etheridge) in 1749, Issac Newton had been dead for 22 years. It was also quite securely pinned together. Being made of wood, it doesn't last forever - this is the third version of the bridge built in 1904.
This is the Bridge of Sighs - named after it's namesake in Venice. It actually bears virtually no resemblance to the Venice Bridge of Sighs other than the fact it is enclosed - this would appear to be enough though. You could call it a neo-gothic covered walkway with traceried openings but, if Queen Victoria described it as "so pretty and picturesque", then that is good enough for me.
I think this is the back of St. John's college.
This is definately St. John's college. the hole in the wall is for catching swans. The fellows of this college are legally allowed to eat unmarked mute swans - the only people to be allowed to do so outside the royal family.
This is the Wren library which I visited just before my wee spin on the river. They have a small display out of illuminated books and early printing, as well as some examples of correspondance from Newton, Faraday and several other prominant people. But for me it was a delight to see A.A.Milne's handwritten manuscript for Winnie the Pooh.
It was jolly fun.