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Ed Lloyd Jenkins

Community Champion

Ed Lloyd Jenkins (1941–2023) was a well-known and much loved Mill Road character, notable not only as a champion of all things Mill Road, but as a poet who shared his poetry generously, providing free  framed copies to the many cafés he liked to frequent up and down the road, and in other parts of Cambridge as well. He was a proud Welshman who never lost his accent and that accent was one of the joys of conversation with him.

He came to Cambridge for work reasons. Starting his career as a research physicist he spent most of his working life in various managerial and teaching roles in education. He was Senior Tutor at St Andrews College for seven years enjoying the affiliation the role offered with Trinity and Pembroke, and worked as his last job with the Cambridge Examination Syndicate.

But it was in his retirement that Mill Road first got to know him and to experience his keen commitment to community issues and cultural events. He was very involved with the Romsey Art Festivals organised with the Cambridge Arts Salon. He was very active in the well known No Tesco in Mill Road Campaign and in 2015 was closely involved in setting up Mill Road TV and its YouTube channel. Their film “The Road–The Film” (2013) features a poem written by Ed with many well-known Mill Road people sharing the reading. It is Ed who speaks the last two lines:

‘It’s quite unique; no others the same
Mill Road Cambridge, long may it remain’

Many shops and cafes can boast an Ed poem on permanent display; his poems are warm hearted and friendly just as he was.

Even when he was far from well, Ed came to every Mill Road event, and was always enthusiastic and grateful to the organisers. One of the last events he came to was the Grand Opening of the Gateway from India in September 2023 and Piero D’Angelico recalls how pleased Ed was to have a plaque there which was subtitled at Piero’s suggestion with the words Community Champion.

Ed Lloyd Jenkins - Community Champion

Plaque at The Gateway from India

Another great Mill Road champion, as is engraved on the commemorative bench for her, was Suzy Oakes and a favourite photograph shows Ed on Mill Road Bridge holding hands before the opening of the 2011 Winter Fair as part of the Shh for Suzy two-minute silence.

Ssh for Suzy event, Mill Road Winter Fair 2011

An obituary for Ed was published in the Cambridge Independent and a moving service of remembrance was held in St Philips Church on Saturday 24 February (Order of Service).

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