Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

27 Northampton Street

History of 27 Northampton Street

BS sent this information in 2022:

Albert and Violet Pye lived there after their marriage in 1934 and I was born there in 1940 and my sister, Joan, 1946.  I have, even as a toddler,  some wartime memories.  For example diving under the substantial dining table and my mother throwing herself on top of me when, I think a bomb was then dropped in Madingley Road and another (at the same time?) at the top of Castle Hill.  I remember many tanks making their way along Northampton Street during the war and also watching a “doodlebug” over head and everyone praying that the light would not go out!  The glow from London burning is a vague memory and the remarks of “poor people” from the adults around, or stronger words to that effect!
Albert Pye was a member of Cambridge Brass Band for many years until rheumatoid arthritis put an end to this wonderful gift.  There were many happy occasions of the band playing on Christ Piece when there was a bandstand there, obviously, and also “charabang” trips on Sundays to various fetes around the area in summer.  He was always absent on Christmas morning as the band would be playing carols outside the old hospital in Trumpington Street.

Mrs Annie Williams at No 28 was my “child minder” during the war whilst my mother, Violet, worked at the butcher’s shop in Bridge Street – the women, as we know, taking over the men’s jobs to a large extent whilst they were away fighting. My father, Albert, was
“reserved occupation” as he worked at the Pye factory making radios for the forces.

No 27, our home, was primitive by today’s standards – outside loo, no bathroom and a very cold attic where, in winter  (colder ones then) frost would be on the inside of the window and any glass of water would freeze.  Clothes were kept under the eiderdown so that they could be pulled on quickly in the morning without getting out of bed!


A J Pye


Do you have any information about the people or places in this article? If so, then please let us know using the Contact page or by emailing

Dear Visitor,


Thank you for exploring historical Cambridgeshire! We hope you enjoy your visit.


Did you know that we are a small, independent Museum and that we rely on donations from people like you to survive?


If you love Capturing Cambridge, and you are able to, we’d appreciate your support today.


Every donation makes a world of difference.


Thank you,

The Museum of Cambridge