You may feel that Cambridge is a rather clean and fresh-smelling kind of place, with all the greens and commons. But one piece of street furniture, found all over the place, suggests it was once a much smellier city.

Tony’s Trough

Photograph of dog's drinking trough courtesy of Caroline Mead

Between a set of bike racks and next to Lloyd’s Bank, on a north Cambridge traffic island, there is a rather strange monument: a memorial dog trough. This was erected in 1934, in memory of a dog named Tony. It was put there at the request of Prince Chula of Siam, who studied at Trinity…

Chesterton Mill

Photograph of French's smock mill courtesy of Caroline Mead

Teenage me had a paper round and I used to deliver papers to a converted mill in the mid-1990s. It was the office building of an educational publisher called Pearson Publishing. Their order was all the daily papers plus a large amount of trade press. I used to have to do that drop-off first, then…

Cellarer’s Chequer

Photograph of Cellarer's Chequer courtesy of Caroline Mead

I went on a few tours by the brilliant and sadly deceased former road sweeper and tour guide Allan Brigham, and remembered a few “hidden places of Cambridge”, such as the sign near the Grafton Centre showing the location of an old women’s refuge, and how he said: “This shows the history of the real…

Chesterton Tower

Photograph of Chesterton Tower courtesy of Caroline Mead

I grew up in Cambridge and have lived here permanently since 2006. I thought I knew it well. I was wrong. One of my most interesting lockdown activities has been discovering new parts of the city and new buildings.It started with a walk. Or rather, a Sunday lunch in a pub (on one of the…