Railway Cottages and Morcombe House
No. 128 Mill Road is Railway House, providing accommodation for up to twelve young single homeless people aged 16–21 and a member of staff. Nos. 126, 132 and 134, that along with 128 were originally known as Railway Cottages, are now flats and bedsits. No. 124 also has eight flats and was built on the site of Morcombe House. All are managed by Cambridge Housing Society.
Did You Know?
From 1884 to 1948 Morcombe House was occupied by Station Masters and had a private passage leading to the railway station.
On 30 January 1941 the cottages were hit by bombs and uninhabitable until after the war. Roger Simpkins (aged 3 1/2) and his mother were in No. 130 and survived by sheltering under the staircase until they were dugout.
In the late 1970s the cottages remained occupied despite being in a run down state and still having no indoor toilets.
Squatters occupied some of the cottages in 1981 and in March 1984 a judge refused an eviction order to allow the squatters time to find alternative accommodation.
c.1850 Railway Cottages & Signal Man’s House built
1874 (or earlier) Morcombe House built
1889 Mill Road Bridge built, Signal Man’s House demolished
1941 Nos. 130/132 partially demolished by bomb
1948 Nos. 130/132 repaired, Morcombe House possibly demolished
1953 (or earlier) Railway Cottages reoccupied
1966 (or earlier) Morcombe House no longer present
1966 Used by City Council for temporary housing
1981 Squatters in 126, 130 & 134
1984 Cambridge Housing Society
1985 No. 124 rebuilt
Rear view of Railway Cottages, date unknown. Courtesy Cambridgeshire Collection, CP.H217.