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 College. The plaque reads:

In memory of Tony, a dog who gave him friendship and happiness during his Cambridge years.This trough is erected by His Royal Highness Prince Chula of Siam.

A report from the Town Planning Committee of 13 June 1933 states:

‘The Committee further considered an offer received from HRH Prince Chula of Siam of a water trough for animals to be placed near Trinity Backs or Milton Road and, in connection therewith, the Town Clerk submitted a letter from the local inspector of the RSPCA intimating that his association fully supported the erection of such a trough.

Resolved that the offer of HRH Prince Chula of Siam of a water trough for dogs be accepted with the best thanks of the council; that it be suggested that the trough should be a small one for dogs only and further that the water trough be placed at the junction of Milton Road and Chesterton Road, near the Police Box.’

Around the time the trough was constructed, Prince Chula settled in Cornwall, where he built several more similar drinking troughs to honour departed dogs.

It is either a coincidence, or a continuation of the tradition, that the Portland Arms on the other side of the road from Tony’s Trough describes itself as ‘dog-friendly’.

Caroline Mead was born and grew up in Cambridge, and works as a copywriter for the RSPB. Covid-permitting, she also enjoys choral singing, flute playing, bellydancing, ballet, running, walking, and discovering little-known parts of Cambridge. She has BAs from the Open University and the University of Birmingham, and an MA in Sociology from the University of York. She is also a qualified massage therapist.

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