Sunday, 7 August 2011

Behind the scenes

On one of the busiest Saturdays in summer,
with Cambridge full of tourists,
but colleges closed to visitors
for restoration and decoration,

we slipped past a barrier,
(by special dispensation)

under the archway where King Henry VIII
clasps a table leg instead of a sceptre,
(removed by student pranksters and never replaced),
into Great Court,

scene of the famous run in Chariots of Fire,

then followed a porter into the silent Neville's Court.

That's the Wren library,
including among  2500 other manuscripts
 A.A Milne's original Winnie the Pooh.

We looked into the vast hall with its
hammer-beam roof and lantern

and emerged rather hastily due to a fire alarm
(toast probably)

onto the Backs.

I feel a theme tune coming on.


  1. Ha Ha, very amusing end! How deliciously naughty to sneak in and have peace and quiet... that's what I put in my post about William Morris' Kelmscott, when I sneaked back to be alone with Janey & Rossetti, after everyone else had gone! Looks like you had a lovely day among the dreaming spires. The Time Sculptor

  2. Oh I am green with envy!! How I miss England. And my husband and I love Chariots of Fire!! How I hope to return--& I shall add this to my to-see list. ;)

  3. You have given me a lovely start to my day with this post. Love the roof in the hall and of course, the music will now be with me all day............

  4. How lovely to enjoy the college on your own - what a treat to be able to take all those lovely pictures without other people getting in the way!

  5. You have taken me back to my youth, when I haunted those places. Word at the time was that Trinity refused permission to film, so that it was done in Caius instead - not sure if that is true? I went back for a wedding in Trinity recently, and it was still as beautiful as ever - but I am sure that I didn't appreciate quite how beautiful at the time. In the ignorance of youth I think I just took it all for granted, and only appreciated it truly in hindsight.

    Pomona x

  6. I've always wanted to see inside and now I have, thank you. It all looks very serene.

  7. Pomona: yes I think that it is true that Trinity didn't allow the filming. My son says it was filmed at Eton.

  8. what a magnificent, peaceful place ...

  9. Wonderful photos, brought back memories of a visit I had to Cambridge many (many!!) years ago.

  10. Oh, that makes me homesick! I've walked there and seen that so many times (but so long, long ago). Lovely, lovely.

    And I do love Chariots of Fire!