For his first event of the year, our new Master, David Szymanski, was joined by 30 Liverymen and guests on a wonderful tour of Queens’ College, Cambridge, ably conducted by Dr James Campbell, a Fellow of the College and Director of Studies.
The tour commenced in the Old Senior Combination Room with coffee and a brief history of the College. Dr Campbell then took the party on a fascinating tour of the buildings, including visits to the chapel, the ancient library, the Mathematical Bridge, the President’s Lodge (the Master of Queens’ College is titled the President) and his own Fellow’s Office and accommodation where he tutors students in Architecture and the History of Building Construction.
Dr Campbell amused the party with his many tales of intrigue and mysteries at the College over the centuries and he highlighted some of the excellent brickwork and construction techniques of the various buildings as well as some of the disasters! We were indeed very proud to be shown the wonderful York Handmade bricks supplied by Liveryman David Armitage, used in the construction of a new Porter’s Lodge at the College.
A wonderful anecdote given to us by Dr Campbell relates to the President’s cats. Under ancient College rules the President is allowed to keep “dogs and a wife” in his quarters, but no other animals. The current President is the proud owner of two cats, so this slight dilemma was overcome in the normal Cambridge manner by calling his cats “honorary dogs”, which entitles them to be housed in the President’s Lodge, brilliant!
The Tour concluded back in the Combination Room where the party was treated to the delights of a wonderful lunch accompanied by fine wines from the Fellows’ wine cellar.
A truly memorable and enjoyable time was had by all and the Master ended the proceedings by thanking Dr Campbell for his excellent company and most interesting tour of such a magnificent College.