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Newnham Path

History of Newnham Path

1878 Spalding

Newnham Path originally comprised four cottages. They were listed in Spalding’s street directory from 1878. One of them (No.4) was occupied by a family who lived there and/or in No.3 Church Rate Walk for nearly the whole of the 20thcentury. This began with Esther Bray (who worked at Chivers’ jam factory in Histon) in 1911 and possibly earlier, followed by her daughter Matilda who married Frederick Swallowe (a shoe-repairer), and then by their son Henry (also a shoe-repairer). Henry was profoundly deaf, as was his wife Gladys. They moved into No.3 Church Rate Walk in 1939, purchasing it in 1956 from Albert Chapman, and brought up three children there: their children could understand them, but others struggled to do so, so they were widely regarded at the time as being “deaf and dumb”. Henry was a very good chess-player, representing the England Deaf Association in an international match against Ireland. When Gladys died in 1951, Henry’s sister Anne and her husband Arthur Mansfield (a railway signalman) moved into No.4 Newnham Path, so that they could help Henry to raise his children. Henry died in 1994, aged 85; his daughter Gill continued to live there with her husband Malcolm Arnold (a postman and then a university assistant) and their three children until 1998, when they sold the house. (See No.3 Summerfield)

No 3 Summerfield, Cambridge – A House, Street and Area History


(1) Charles D Cox


(3) Mrs B M Rowell

(4) Arthur W Mansfield


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