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Skating Rink, Pyrometer Factory, Picture Theatre, Rendezvous, Rex, Magrath Avenue

History of the Skating Rink etc

Chesterton OS map 1901

…………..

1913:

University and Town Skating Rink Cinema

A Andrews, manager

………………

1914:

Horace Darwin, founder of the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company, set up a factory at the outbreak of WWI to manufacture pyrometers which until then were largely imported from Germany. The Porcelain sheaths were sourced from Royal Worcester. The work-force was recruited largely from women, working a fifty-three and a half hour week, and forbidden to wear steel corsets containing ribs. this was because the factory also developed magnetic mines used against submarines and surface vessels.

See Mike Osborne, Defending Cambridgeshire

Chesterton OS map 1926

……………….

1919:

Rendezvous Cinema, ballroom and iceskating rink

1931:

Cinema burns down. Reopened with 913 seats and enlarged to 1,100 with cafe, ballroom and cinema organ.

1934:

Operated by Lou Morris. He left in 1936.

1937:

Renamed Rex Cinema.

The Rex had a poor reputation with local residents. Ian Stephens of 47 Hertford Street remembered in 1981, a nearby menace because of the nocturnal noise it created was the Rex and that mercifully has been abolished. Cristina Sherriff of 14 Hertford Street recalled The Rendezvous. I remember one evening some friends called to take me there but my father wouldn’t let me go.

1967:

Ceased operating as cinema

1970-2:

Reopened as cinema

1979:

Demolished and site became car park

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