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Introduction

The concept of A glimpse into Melbourn’s past came after a conversation one morning between an elderly resident of the village and two people out for a walk. The gentleman was reminiscing over old times and his knowledge of local history was vast.

Following this conversation, the Melbourn Village History Group was formed, to research and record information, such as that of the elderly resident, to make it available to everyone and to preserve it for future generations.

A wealth of information on the history of our village is stored in local archives including the Cambridge Collection and County Archives, with newspaper reports dating back to the 18th century and old photographs. A number of interesting books have been written by local residents and historians such as Nina Campkin, Jan McNiece, Dr. Dennis Mills and Dr. William Palmer. It is from these sources, together with artefacts, memorabilia, photos, and information supplied from local residents, that this publication was produced.

Over three years was spent in preparation. During this time, over 1000 photographs of Melbourn were collected. An enthusiastic photographer and local resident, Percy (Peep-Bo) Salmon, took a great number of these in the early 1900s.

The photographs came to us in varying states; some were in excellent condition, others faded with time or damaged, but by using modern technology, we have been able to restore them and in some cases reveal areas which were previously difficult to see. In light of the initial conversation that sparked the idea of the project, two ‘tea parties’ were held, where local residents chatted over tea and cakes, and their conversations recorded. These can be heard on the accompanying DVD together with a ‘slideshow’ – Memories from days gone by.
This book has been compiled and researched by volunteers and hopefully, we have produced an enjoyable and entertaining book, as well as preserving some of the history of Melbourn for the future, and that you are taken back in time, to the days before piped water, electricity and gas and transport was by horse and cart or Shanks’ Pony.

Thank you to all those who have contributed to this book through information they gave, stories told and the many photographs loaned. Also to the residents who came to the village tea parties and gave us some wonderful tales of their childhood days.

This book is dedicated to all the residents of Melbourn past, present and future.

Taken from the introduction page of A Glimpse into Melbourn’s past.