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Camp on Midsummer Common 1914-18

Midsummer Common

History of Midsummer Common

There is a Wikipedia article about Midsummer Common:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer_Common

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A B Gray in Cambridge Revisited (1921) notes in reference to the 1603 outbreak of plague in Cambridge, that the entries in the parish Registers of St Clements contain many references to the plague. The contemporary name for Midsummer Common was Grenecroft and several plague pits were dug there. Pits were dug there during the 1665 outbreak.

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Josiah Chater records in his diaries frequent visits to Midsummer Common to see wild beast shows and circuses:

1844: 8 Nov. ‘Van Ambury is building a large brick place on Midsummer Common for the keeping of his wild beasts and to show off his horsemanship.’

1845: Nov. ‘Wombwell’s wild beasts are on the Common.’

1847: 14 May. Hylton’s menagerie was in town and had ‘ sent the elephant round this morning with a girl riding on its back’.

1847: Aug. Cook’s Riding Circus.

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The Cambridge Mammoth Show was held for the first time on Midsummer Common on August Bank Holiday 1904. In 1905 an attendance of 25,000 was reported; 1906 saw around 30,000. In 1906 there was a horticultural show, dog show, exhibitions of poultry, cats and mice, an athletics meeting as well as sideshows.

However, the event caused some controversy when the financial deficit was revealed the following year.

Cambridge Mammoth Fair post card from 1907

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Midsummer Fair circa 1910

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1914-18

The Common was used as a military camp

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