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 info@mill-road.com.


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.


5 thoughts on “Mill Road in Lockdown – Railings at Ditchburn Place Gardens”

  1. What a beautiful idea. We’ll bring some ribbon next time we take a walk down Mill Road.
    Best wishes to the people of Ditchburn Place and all our Cambridge neighbours.

  2. It’s good to know that the people of Mill Road are still communicating in this difficult time, and what a lovely colourful way to do so. After all, the meaning of the word ‘community’ id people speaking to and for one another at all times, a d this is what’s happe ing at Dit hburn Place.

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