Maurizio Dining & Co – Innovation during lockdown

Click the image to take you to the Maurizio Dining & Co website

Sweet Gill D’Apollonio writes (28/05/2020):

Nearly three months ago lockdown began and the way we trade on Mill Road changed forever. Within the space of a week we went from being fully booked to no sit-in customers at all. Like a lot of our Mill Road neighbours we had to think quickly about what to do next. So we switched to contactless payment and a free delivery service (home, work or parks) for our gourmet pizzas, puddings and wine.

Our local community and our loyal customers are our biggest supporters but it’s been hard work keeping the business going alongside family life as well. Like most small businesses, we are constantly juggling to provide a quality service, to give clear communications about what’s going on, and to keep perspective.

And hopefully we’re giving something back too, by supporting Cambridge Food Hubs and donating pizzas to key workers in our area.

Currently there’s no clear guidance of when we can re-open for sit-ins but when we do, we’ll be making sure that we follow strict health and safety guidelines to keep our customers and team safe at all times. As part of this plan, we’ll continue with best practice for hand hygiene and contactless payments, as well as introducing socially-distanced seating. We’re really looking forward to seeing more people (but not cars) back on Mill Road!

One of the notable things has been a decrease in traffic and that feels like a breath of fresh air. Going forward some kind of pavement café culture should be encouraged especially on the Petersfield side of the bridge.

One of the things we do best on Mill Road is work well together as a community and we’re sure post-lockdown we will all continue to do so.

Click the image to take you to the Maurizio Dining & Co website

Maurizio Dining & Co are at 44 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AS
Free delivery in Cambridge. Monday – Saturday 4.30-9.30pm.
No physical contact required, card payments only.
Call 07957 735844 to order.
Email enquiries on

Happier times…

Do you run a business along Mill Road? Would you like to tell us how you’re serving customers during the Covid-19 lockdown, or how you’re preparing for the future? Email us on We’re here to unite all of Mill Road’s ‘Community of Communities’.

Perhaps you’re a customer, and would like to tell us about the great service you’re receiving, or how much you’re missing a favourite café, pub or shop. Email us on

Comments on this post should only relate to Maurizio Dining & Co. General comments about Mill Road in Lockdown should be left on the Mill Road in Lockdown page.

Al:Amin trading through lockdown

Al:amin are open on a reduced opening time from 10.00 am to 6.00pm everyday.

Note: closed Sunday 24th May 2020 for EidulFitr 2020.

Eid al-Fitr 2020 begins in the evening of Saturday 23rd May and ends in the evening of Sunday 24th May.

Abdul Arain writes:

In the light of the complex and ever evolving challenges created by the Coronavirus COVID-19, I would like to reassure you that we are following the recommendations given by the British Government and the global health organisations.

Customer Visits, Collections and Deliveries

Our family run business is built on delivering exceptional service and whilst we are continuing to run our business as normal for the time being, our priority is protecting the health of our employees and their families as well as our customers and suppliers that visit our site. We have marked 2 metre separation boxes across the store to help us all keep our distance, please respect this boundary.

We are now offering deliveries to support those who cannot leave their home Please email us on

We are also offering order and collection at counter and kerbside. Please email us on

As the situation evolves, we are taking great care to monitor the changes and we will have to adjust to suit those changes as advised by the Government.

We understand that you rely on us and in turn we rely of our suppliers providing us with goods and materials to enable us to continue to serve you. Rest assured that we will do the best we can.

If that supply chain falters in any way then we will have to reconsider our decision to stay open for business. However, we hope to continue via our usual telephone and email contact.

Stay Safe,
Kind Regards,
Abdul and The al:Amin Team

Al:Amin can also be contacted by phone on 01223 576396‬ or 01223 576397‬.

Al:Amin can also be contacted by phone on 01223 576396‬ or 01223 576397‬.

Editor’s notes:

It’s no less than what we might well have expected from Abdul and the team, who are very community-minded and huge supporters of Mill Road in obvious and not-so-obvious, behind-the-scenes, ways.

A number of adjustments have been made to the shop including:

  • a large open area near the entrance/exit;
  • floor markings at 2m distances
  • clear perspex screens extending to ceiling height
    • at the butchery counter
    • at the cooked food counter
    • at the tills

Do you run a business along Mill Road? Would you like to tell us how you’re serving customers during the Covid-19 lockdown, or how you’re preparing for the future? Email us on We’re here to unite all of Mill Road’s ‘Community of Communities’.

Perhaps you’re a customer, and would like to tell us about the great service you’re receiving, or how much you’re missing a favourite café, pub or shop. Email us on

Comments on this post should only relate to Al:Amin. General comments about Mill Road in Lockdown should be left on the Mill Road in Lockdown page.

Taank Optometrists prepare for safe re-opening

We are delighted to know that Mill Road’s longstanding independent optometrist practice is preparing for the future.

After the devastating fire at the adjacent premises of the much-loved – and now much-missed – H Gee in July 2019, the practice has installed temporary premises at the rear, only to be shut down with most other businesses under the Cover-19 emergency regulations.

Plans have been submitted to Cambridge City Council for re-design and rebuilding, which can be viewed here on the Greater Cambridge Planning website. However, that’s for the longer term, what about when government regulations and advice permit regular eye-care appointments again?

Anjana Taank Writes…

While much of the guidance from government and media is confusing, we’re busy finding practical, safe solutions to your eye care challenges.

It turns out that the way we work is considered as pandemic-proof as you can get.

Read the full Taank Optometrists May 2020 Newsletter here.

As businesses reopen, they’ll all need to control and choreograph their customer ‘journeys’. This means sacrificing volume to protect staff and visitors. Luckily for us, government guidelines and social distancing requirements are perfectly aligned with the way we already operate.

How you’ll be protected when services resume:

  • One client in, one out: We’ll restrict the number of clients in the practice at any given time.
  • Hand sanitisation: You’ll be provided with hand sanitiser on arrival. This is a must. Naturally, all frames will be sanitised before you try them on.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): When it comes to protective gear, we’ll have the whole kit and caboodle to keep everyone safe. This includes:
    • Sneeze guards: ‘Ultra-stylish’ perspex guards that keep us all safe while still enjoying face to face interaction. They’re 100% compatible with smiles, eye contact, even laughter—the things that make us human.
    • Face masks: Finding frames that match your face and personality remains our Holy Grail. However, we’re required to add face masks to our seasonal list of ‘must-have’ accessories for the time being. When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll be offered a mask and the team will sport masks for close contact (two metres or less).
      Given how attractive our clients are (not to mention the movie star good looks of the team) it seems a travesty to cover up our perfectly formed noses and mouths, but so be it. With that in mind, our eyewear games will need to be strong to balance out our additional face wear. The right frames will instantly communicate something about you, your personality, and style. And we’re here to help.
  • Video styling consultations: Unable to visit us in person? We’re developing a Video Eyewear Styling Consultation to enable one of our eyewear experts to walk you through the process remotely.

Taank Optometrists can be contacted by phone on 01223 350071 or email

Do you run a business along Mill Road? Would you like to tell us how you’re serving customers during the Covid-19 lockdown, or how you’re preparing for the future? Email us on We’re here to unite all of Mill Road’s ‘Community of Communities’.

Perhaps you’re a customer, and would like to tell us about the great service you’re receiving, or how much you’re missing a favourite café, pub or shop. Email us on

Comments on this post should only relate to the Taank practice. General comments about Mill Road in Lockdown should be left on the Mill Road in Lockdown page.

Residents object to St Matthew’s Piece development

Friends of St Matthew’s Piece has had a massive response to their call for action against plans to build a block of student flats on the St Matthew’s Piece.

Image of the proposal from the developers’ website.

More than 100 objections flooded in to developers Federated Hermes, before the consultation closed on 18th May.

The FoSMP leaflet (PDF) urging residents to email the developers and copy in local councillors, is hosted by Petersfield Area Community Trust, which backs the Friends’ campaign:

I make it 118 responses that I’ve been copied into – all negative, in varying degrees.

There is a significant groundswell of opinion in the local community against the development. There is already enough student accommodation in the local area and we would urge the developers to reconsider.

Petersfield councillor Mike Davey

Petersfield residents have spoken loud and clear...

The proposed building, on stilts above an existing structure, would rise 19.7 metres (nearly 65 feet) above the ground at its highest point. It would tower over surrounding terraces and the popular tree-lined public open space.

The worry now is that the developers will push ahead with this monstrous scheme anyway, or scale back only cosmetically – to something like the grotesque proposals provisionally floated and loathed back in 2014.

Friends supporter Valerie Neal.

St Matthew’s Piece April 2019, Google Maps

‘Stop development at St Matthew’s Piece and create a park’ says Cambridge PPF – report in the Cambridge Independent.

Read Cambridge Past Present & Future‘s response to the developers here (PDF).

Stay in touch with Friends of St Matthew’s Piece on Facebook or email

You may also wish to contact your local Cambridge City Councillors:

If you would like to email Friends of St Matthew’s Piece with your three Petersfield councillors Cc-ed, use this link.

You may also leave (polite) comments below this post.

Mill Road in Lockdown – Cambridge Central Mosque

How is the lockdown affecting our Muslim community? Our Web-Editor receives email updates and thought it would be good to share these with the whole Mill Road ‘Community of Communities’.


The lockdown means that the Mosque has been closed for prayer since the middle of March. After ten years of hard work to make the project for a new mosque in Cambridge a reality, Muslims and all Mill Roaders have been saddened to see it close again temporarily.

Look, however at what a vibrant team of volunteers is doing to keep Cambridge Central Mosque at the living heart of Cambridge Muslim life, and serving the whole community.


Listen to the adhan, Qur’an recitations, lectures, and much more as they’re happening, on the Mosque’s Live Media page.

As always, there is more on Cambridge Central Mosque’s YouTube Channel and Facebook page.

Feeding the community

It will come as no surprise that, throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Muslim community have been vigorous in efforts to help the whole community: Critical Care Unit at Papworth Hospital; Jimmie’s Homeless Shelter; vulnerable families & individuals; Iftar Supplies to Addenbrooke’s.

For more details, see pages 2 & 3 of the Ramadan Newsletter.

Click the image to view/download the full Ramadan Newsletter PDF

Add your own comments, below, or Email your words and photos to us at

See also our index page Mill Road in Lockdown, and the posts on Mill Road Cemetery, Coleridge Rec and Decorations on Ditchburn Place Railings.

Mill Road in Lockdown – Railings at Ditchburn Place Gardens

In the olden days, by which I guess I mean way back in mid-March, the railings at Ditchburn Place were full of posters, and I used to like browsing them as I walked past. Even if they were advertising events to which I couldn’t go, it was nice knowing what was going on in Mill Road or elsewhere in the city.

Now the posters have been taken away, but at intervals a moving poster asks us to ‘help brighten the day’ for all the residents who are staying in their flats to keep safe but who are missing their friends and families.  The idea is that passers by tie ribbons to the railings or a coloured rainbow or another decoration.

And as the photographs show ‘we’ have responded; there is a lovely variety of things here now, and I’m sure more and more will appear.  The idea of tying things to trees, or to buildings is a very ancient one, and one which appears all over the world.  In places like Nepal and Bhutan strings of prayer flags flutter from trees and buildings so that the wind sends the prayers to the gods. In other cultures, tourists fix padlocks to places like the Eiffel Tower or to the Ponte dell’Accademia in Venice; I guess as a statement of ‘I was here’.

I have added several ribbons to the Ditchburn railings; some on behalf of people who are having a tough time or who are not going out right now, and one as a kind of talisman; good luck to us all, and to Mill Road and its future.  If you’re planning to be out in this part of the road do put into your pocket a bit of ribbon or wool or whatever, and add your own.

Thank you, Ditchburn residents for coming up with this idea and, in your words, helping us all brighten a sad and worrying situation.

Caro Wilson
17th May 2020

Add your own comments, below, or Email your words and photos to us at

See also our index page Mill Road in Lockdown, and the posts on Mill Road Cemetery in lockdown, Ramadan and Cambridge Central Mosque in lockdown, and on Coleridge Rec.

Late Night Alcohol Licence

Note: the deadline for making your views known on this application has now passed.

The hearing will be held on Monday 15th June 2020 at 10:30 am, using Microsoft Teams.

There has been an application for a new late night drinks license from Brothers International Supermarket, 28 Mill Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB1 2AD.

If, like many Mill Roaders, you think this will be of detriment to our neighbourhood, you may wish to email your opposition by Monday 18th of May.

We understand that the Police and local Councillors have expressed opposition to this proposal but the voice of residents is particularly important when the matter is considered by the City licensing panel.

There is a longstanding acceptance by City Council, licensing committee and the police, of residents’ views that there are sufficient drink ‘off-licences’ in Mill Road and that the cumulative impact of more is likely to lead to additional public nuisance. Hence, Mill Road has been designated a ‘cumulative impact zone’.

Late night off-licences encourage those passing through our neighbourhood (usually from the town centre) to buy additional drink to consume on the street, to the detriment of the residential amenity of our neighbourhood, and to cause more late night disturbance and vandalism.

Furthermore, this application, if allowed, would set a precedent for more applications. You can read the details of the application here.

Please email If you use this link, the email’s subject line should auto-complete.

Otherwise, manually add “Brothers International Supermarket, 28 Mill Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB1 2AD Application WK/202082835”.

You must also include your name and address.

All representations will be published in full on the Cambridge City Council website unless you advise that you wish your personal details to be removed prior to publication. If you wish your personal details to be removed please state this in your or email.

Mill Road in Lockdown – Coleridge Recreation Ground

Like so many other people in this city, I’ve been seeing out lockdown in a small flat with no garden, so my local parks are a lifeline.

Our daily walk tends to take us through Coleridge Rec, which is our closest park, and then onto Cherry Hinton Hall. I’ve loved seeing everyone make great use of both parks, walking their dogs, exercising, and playing with their families. And it’s been really good to see how well people are social distancing too.

I’ve always loved our parks, and I spent some time as Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces before I moved to my current role (as Executive for Communities). They have always been a green lung for our cities, and are especially important for people with no gardens of their own.

But up to now, I wouldn’t have walked in them every day. For one thing, as a local representative, I’m normally door-knocking, talking with residents, once the evenings get lighter. And at the weekend, we would have gone out of town much more for our walks.

And of course that’s now changed. Walking in our local area has been the highlight of our days, and we’ve loved watching spring develop in front of our eyes. We’ve even started trying to identify the trees, and friends of mine with greater knowledge have been very patient in answering what must be pretty basic identification requests from me.

A particular favourite has been the avenue of flowering chestnuts, which have treated us to fantastic pink flowers.

And then there’s been the pictorial meadow. It started with the daisies, and now there are fantastic purple flowers too.

Though I think I will always particularly love looking along Davy Road, under the amazing green of the tree canopy, offset by the wonderful wrought-iron gates of the Rec.

Lockdown has been incredibly busy for me. I’m still doing the day job, where we are working as hard as ever, and as the councillor lead for our city’s community resilience work, I’ve been working flat out helping to support our council officers, volunteers, local charities and mutual aid groups as they make sure everyone in our community gets the help they need. It’s busy, and hard, and sometimes the things you hear are heart-breaking. And through all this, spring in our city has still managed to give me really special moments. Thank you, Coleridge Rec.

Cllr Anna Smith, City Councillor (Romsey Ward), Executive Councillor for Communities, Deputy Leader, Cambridge City Council

Web editor’s note:
And thank you, Anna for this tribute to the joys of Coleridge Rec and the lovely photos.
Today (Thursday 14th May 2020) I enjoyed seeing the blossom on the chestnut trees in Hooper Street, and was proud of all the local residents who opposed their felling and/or mutilation. And thanks too for city councillors who rejected the planning application. See our earlier post.

Web editor’s note:
We are delighted to have received this additional contribution. More are welcome.

Having lived on Coleridge Road for 18 years the rec (or park as we normally refer to it) has always been a central part of our lives. 

Our two girls grew up loving the playground and paddling pool, and the wide open space for cricket, rugby and kites. One learnt to unicycle on the tennis court – this may not be encouraged I guess! – but it was perfect to edge round the fence and gradually push off for longer and longer until one day she didn’t need to rely on it again.

But we have relied more on the park under lockdown than ever before.

Initially just for the short daily exercise we were allowed, whether solitary or as a family. Back in March it was still often damp and cold but the park was beginning to come to life in spring, just in time to lift our spirits. We would go every day at some point, a place to keep sane and experience nature. Taking up jogging like so many others, round and round the perimeter path, which helpfully is a solid 800m or so.

As the days have lengthened and warmed the exercise has increased, and we can sit and watch the mighty red beech cast its long shadow down the axis of the grass at the end of each day. The changing colours, the surprisingly satisfying meadow planting, and the benefit of the sunlight have all helped us through. 

Many more people are returning and starting to gather, mostly within the guidelines, and you can see how much it means to us all.

Normality is slowly returning but I think many people like us will have had their relationship with the park deepened through this strange experience. For that at least we can be grateful.

The Clark Family

Web editor’s note:
The anecdote about unicycling reminds me of a late friend who used a unicycle as part of his juggling, puppetry and clown act. I asked him how long it took to learn to unicycle. “Two days to learn. Two weeks for the pain to go away.”

See also our index page Mill Road in Lockdown, and the posts on Mill Road Cemetery in lockdown, Cambridge Central Mosque in lockdown, and Decorations on Ditchburn Place Railings.

Add your own comments, below, or Email your words and photos to us at

Mill Road in Lockdown – Mill Road Cemetery

Caro Wilson has shared her email to Friends of Mill Road Cemetery to keep in touch with you about Mill Road Cemetery, and to make a couple of suggestions if any of you are finding time hanging heavy on your hands.

Wildlife and Art

Some of you may be able to walk in the Cemetery at the moment and I hope if so you are able to enjoy the wildlife, particularly the birdsong without the usual traffic sounds. Perhaps you are enjoying the Bird Stones sculptures by Gordon Young. (Click through for further information.)

Gordon Young with ‘Blackbird’ Photo courtesy of Friends of Mill Road Cemetery

See also the wonderful Motherwell Album of sketches and bird song.

A set of seven stones by sculptor Gordon Young in Mill Road Cemetery. (Thrush, Dove, Goldfinch, Robin, Blackbird, Crow and Sparrow.) Each has a poem and phonetic inscription of the bird song. This is a video of my sketchbook, with soundtrack of birdsong recorded at the site.
– Sam Motherwell

See more of Sam Motherwell’s art on his website.

History and the Archive Project

Alas, the Friends of Mill Road Cemetery History Group had been planning an all-day mapping session at the end of April with our marvellous volunteer from the Ordnance Survey.  We hoped to complete a whole section from the Andrew the Great parish area.  This has obviously had to be cancelled but I do want to celebrate with you the fact that our extraordinary researchers, Mary Naylor and Claire Martinsen, have between them researched over 100 graves since lockdown began. This is complicated and, at times, frustrating work and we are hugely grateful.  They have also managed to get up to date with all the many requests that we get by email from all over the world to help locate and research family graves.  We are always delighted when those who have taken the trouble to get in touch with us are pleased with the results.

Thank you very much for the update. What a beautiful job you’ve all done! You truly do honour to their memory.


At the same time our splendid volunteer, Sheila Plaister, is undertaking the very painstaking work of collating all the research, keeping tabs on it all and amalgamating posts and life stories. This is in continuance of our project to print out all the webpages to give them the longevity this very special record of social history deserves. We have been asked to lodge this with the Cambridgeshire Collection in the City’s Central Library who recognise its importance. 

Monuments and their Stories

So, if you are in the Cemetery and you pass a monument that interests you, perhaps a namesake, or one whose design appeals to you, do look it up on the website and see if it is one we have researched already. This is easily done in situ on a smart phone, or just remember its name and do it when you’re home again. If you get stuck then do email and we’ll try to help.

Photo: Pamela Wesson, Proprietor, Fantasia & Friends, 64 Mill Road CB12AS

Here’s a recent story which I am particularly pleased to have been told about because the road I live in is named after him: Robert Willis (27 February 1800 – 28 February 1875) and do look up Frederick Burwick to whom we should all be very grateful. He did a lot for sanitation in Cambridge and worked on the main sewer at the old Addenbrooke’s site (now the Judge Business School on Trumpington Street opposite the Fitzwilliam Museum).

Mill Road History

One last suggestion for you.  If you haven’t done so already this might be a good time to sign up to the Mill Road History Society’s free mailing list and check out all the research on Mill Road’s History on the Capturing Cambridge website.

Go well and stay safe.

Caro Wilson on behalf of the Friends of Mill Road Cemetery committee.

More from local residents…

Roger and I counted 38 species of plant (herbs, ie weeds, shrubs and trees) in flower last weekend.

Photo: Pamela Wesson, Proprietor, Fantasia & Friends, 64 Mill Road CB12AS

There may well be more, but Roger is too lame to leave the made-up paths to investigate.

Janet & Roger, Emery Street.

A personal perspective of the ‘joys of Mill Road Cemetery’

I’ve always appreciated having Mill Road Cemetery just around the corner, but since lockdown it has brought so much extra pleasure. It’s a lovely bubble of nature and normality in a strange, strange world. While a short walk through is always therapeutic, I’ve delighted in wandering around, taking hitherto undiscovered little paths.

The first bluebells appear! Photo: Maggie Carr

It’s been wonderful watching spring unfolding, and pure magic seeing the first bluebells appear a little while ago. I love observing other people also enjoying the space and the way we all do the ‘corona dance’ to avoid crossing each other’s paths. I’ve reread all the bird poems, and am often amused by the way a particular bird will perch in the ‘wrong’ place, for example, a blackbird on the sparrow’s poem!

My favourite time is late afternoon/early evening when all the birds seem to be singing their hearts out at once. Aren’t we lucky to have this little piece of paradise on our doorstep?

Maggie Carr, Perowne Street 

We’re so lucky to have the cemetery for exercise during lockdown – wonderful wildlife haven. I was there at 5.20 am on Sunday [3rd May 2020] which was International Dawn Chorus Day. Birds everywhere coming really close to me – blackbirds the most common but also dunnocks, hedge sparrows, magpies, jackdaws, crows, robins, wood pigeons, a song thrush and a wren. Nothing rare or even unusual but songs prolonged and beautiful. No other people about at that time!

Sarah Oliver, Secretary Mill Road Bridges

Editor notes: We love magpies, jackdaws, crows, jays (corvids) but not covid!
More seriously, if you’d like to enhance your knowledge of birds check out the RSPB bird identifier, which lists 408 species of birds found in the UK, including some rare overseas visitors.

More photos from Pamela Wesson
Photo: Pamela Wesson, Proprietor, Fantasia & Friends, 64 Mill Road CB12AS
Photo: Pamela Wesson, Proprietor, Fantasia & Friends, 64 Mill Road CB12AS
Photo: Pamela Wesson, Proprietor, Fantasia & Friends, 64 Mill Road CB12AS

See also our earlier pieces:

Meanwhile, on the other side of the cemetery wall, in Perowne Street, Monica Smith celebrates VE Day with the original union jack from 1945.

More on Monica Smith from the Capturing Cambridge website.

Add your own comments, below, or Email your words and photos to us at

See also our index page Mill Road in Lockdown, and the posts on Coleridge Rec, Ramadan and Cambridge Central Mosque in lockdown, and Decorations on Ditchburn Place Railings.

Cam Valley Forum Update

Our friends at Cam Valley Forum inform us…

Although our working parties, events and face-face meetings have had to be curtailed due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus, we are still actively monitoring, campaigning and working to improve the environment of the River Cam. Our coronavirus policy is available here.

Cam Valley Forum website

Our Web Editor notes that the section of Cherry Hinton Brook at Burnside and alongside Snakey Path looks more healthy than when Antony Carpen reported on it in summer 2019. See our earlier post Save our local chalk stream!

There have also been reports on Twitter of a grass snake seen swimming in Cherry Hinton brook. However, vigilance…

Download the latest Cam Valley Forum newsletter here.

Read and download The River Cam Manifesto here.