This article was published in 2016, in Newsletter 124.
For many people the Mill Road Winter Fair is one of the highlights of the Cambridge year. Mill Road is one of the city’s most diverse and independent high streets, and the fair is a welcome opportunity to celebrate it. On the first Saturday of December a party atmosphere breaks out along Mill Road. This is helped in no small part by closing the road to traffic. Freed from the confines of the pavement, people spill onto the street to stroll along, chatting happily to strangers, while exploring the many street-side stalls. Bands perform on impromptu tarmac stages, and there are dance demonstrations to watch, or indeed to join in with.
The fair is also one of the biggest events for the Campaign’s recruitment stall. This year we were in Romsey with a spot on Mill Road itself. Our first priority was to secure the stall. There were 20mph winds and gusts over 40mph to contend with all day, causing problems for all the stall-holders. Fortunately our cargo bike proved sturdy enough against the wind so that we were able to tie the table to it with bungee cords! Once we’d added some weights to prevent our leaflets, maps and newsletters blowing away, we were all set.
Though the high winds perhaps put some off attending the fair, there were plenty of people visiting the stall. We had many positive conversations explaining what the Campaign is about, sharing recent campaigns such as progress with the Abbey-Chesterton bridge, and enthusing people to become members.
A frequent point of conversation was how wonderful Mill Road was without the traffic and, of course, what the Campaign would suggest to improve it the rest of the time. Without doubt Mill Road is one of the thornier issues for cycling in Cambridge. The Chisholm Trail’s proposed use of the spare arches under the bridge to pass Mill Road without crossing it was welcomed as an improvement by many.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped out on the stall. If you’d like to help out with future Campaign stalls please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also let us know of any events coming up to which we could take the Campaign stall.
To all our volunteers