Issue 15 â€˘ Autumn 2012
O ur N ew Ma st e r Ph o nes and Floo d s South Lon d o n Inspir at i o ns Cool J a p a n Two Epic R i d es Both Cult u r e s Br ight New Fell ows A Blessed Mi x i ng A Diplom a t i c Cent ur y A Gate Retu r ns
EDITORIAL This fifteenth issue of The Fountain appears in an interregnum or, better, intermagisterium. Martin Rees’s initiative and enthusiasm inaugurated our new alumni relations and development ambitions eight years ago and, with them, this newsletter. In his interview with Antonina Kruppa on the facing page Gregory Winter promises to continue in this, our newly invented tradition. Both will have something to say in this year’s Annual Record. Trinity often has cause for modest celebration. This year is no exception. The talent and industry of our undergraduates—and not the fact that Peter Tompkins (1978) is a Trinity man—has put the College at the top of the Tompkins inter-collegiate Tripos table for the second year running. Nor do our achievements end there. It was appropriate that the Olympic torch should make a circuit of the Great Court as it passed through Cambridge. It followed the course of the Great Court Run. That both runners—Alice Ellison, a local schoolgirl and Edward Roberts, a Cambridge research student—and watchers were all drenched under grey skies far too early on a Sunday morning was perhaps punishment for Trinity’s past refusal to allow Chariots of Fire to be filmed within the College. We were glad that Peter Brandt (1951), who rowed for Great Britain in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics was with us—one of Trinity’s five living Olympians, four of them being oarsmen—as well as Paul Deighton (1975), chief executive of the London Organising Committee. We might have had another
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Olympian this year, had not Charlotte Roach (2007) suffered a devastating car crash in her second year. The interview she gave Sonum Sumaria (2008) and Andreea Tudose (2011) shows, nonetheless, good cause why, with her epic cycle ride, we should celebrate her and, likewise, Catherine Suart (2005), who has recovered from her own tragedy with a very different pair of wheels. Indeed, this issue of The Fountain could well be said to be a celebration of Trinity’s women—not only Antonina, Charlotte, Sonum, Andreea and Catherine but also our transatlantic Casey Brienza (2009) with her interest in ‘Cool Japan’ and, not least, our thirty years of women choristers, their story sung by Susanna Spicer (1982) and Ros Hindmarch (2004). We also celebrate Trinity’s history, with Aaron Watts’s (2010) report on his afternoon with Francis CummingBruce, Lord Thurlow (1930), Trinity’s most recent centenarian, and the account by our senior porter, David Phillips, of how our still older great gates are being strengthened to survive another five hundred years. We take pride in our links with south London, too, inspirational in different ways, directly so with our interest in ‘Trinity in Camberwell’ and, less directly, but thanks to our investment in the Greenwich peninsula and, now, the energies of Stuart Axford (1987), in the project to build the Aluna tidal clock. Trinity’s future depends on the scholarly reputation of our Fellows as well as on our students’ talent. So it is good to celebrate the achievements of
our Fellowship, new and not so new. Robert Eddison (1955) adds to our wisdom at the bottom of four of our pages. None of Trinity’s contributions to learning or other endeavours would be possible without our ancient endowments, now reinforced with our members’ generous philanthropy, recorded here by Paula Jackson. When, eight years ago, the idea of The Fountain was first floated, one senior Fellow dismissed it as a project likely to be ‘unworthy of a second-rate public school’. I hope I hand on to my successor as editor, Neil Hopkinson (e 1983), a journal, available on-line from now on, rather more worthy of a first-rate College. If so, it owes everything, in its earlier years, to the energies of Corinne Lloyd and, in more recent times, to my incomparable managing editor, Lynne Isaacs. Editorial Board Professor John Lonsdale (Editor-in-Chief) Dr Richard Serjeantson (Webmaster, Trinity College website www.trin.cam.ac.uk) Ms Lynne Isaacs (Managing Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org)
S ir G regor y W i n ter s c ie n tist, e n tre p re n e u r , a n d o u r n e x t M aster By Antonina J Kruppa
On a warm spring day in 1969, Sir Gregory Winter came to Trinity for interview. He remembers, ‘it was just like paradise… it was love at first sight and I’ve tried to avoid leaving Trinity ever since.’ Winter, a pioneer of therapeutic antibodies, is about to become our next Master. Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins produced by cells of the immune system when they detect foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. They recognise and bind to specific patterns on their surface (antigens), as a key fits a lock. This blocks the activity of the pathogen, and can also act as a flag to recruit specialised immune cells to attack and kill the pathogen. Antibodies can also be turned against human cancers. If mice are immunised with human cancer cells, their immune system makes antibodies that attack and kill the cancer. However, if these mouse antibodies are injected into humans with cancer, the human immune system detects them as foreign and makes human anti-mouse antibodies, preventing any therapeutic effect. The advent of recombinant DNA technologies in the 1980s offered Winter a solution. He used genetic engineering techniques to humanise the mouse antibodies, which, being 95% human, were well tolerated by the human immune system. Several are now major pharmaceutical drugs, including Herceptin and Avastin for treating breast and colorectal cancers, respectively.
In competition with US scientists, Winter also developed the phage display method for making entirely human antibodies. Huge libraries of human antibody fragments were built from human antibody genes, displayed on the surface of bacterial viruses (phages), and screened to find an antibody that bound to the desired antigen. He compares this method to a master thief trying to open a locked door: ‘with a large and diverse enough set of keys, there will be one key that opens a lock.’ Once the right ‘key’ was identified, these antibody genes were cloned and built into complete human antibodies. These ‘man-made’ human antibodies were a breakthrough and avoided the use of mice altogether. Using this technique, Cambridge Antibody Technology, founded by Winter, created Humira, the first human antibody approved for therapeutic use. It is used to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and is predicted to be the world’s top-selling pharmaceutical this year. ‘There has been a revolution in antibodies and it all started here in Cambridge,’ Winter remarks. Humira is not alone. A vast range of therapeutic human and humanised antibodies has been developed, opening up new avenues for the treatment of cancers, immune disorders, and infections. This is translational medicine—from bench to bedside—at its best. Nevertheless, Winter believes the antibody revolution is not over. He is now venturing into new territory in trying to develop antibody mimics
called ‘bicycles’ at his company Bicycle Therapeutics. These can be chemically synthesized and may thereby combine the power of antibodies with the low cost of small chemical drugs. All Winter’s decisions have been influenced by advice given by his Trinity supervisors. Neil Hamer told him: ‘just work it out yourself,’ while Brian Hartley advised: ‘always choose the right problem. Yes, it may be interesting but ask yourself, is it also important?’ Winter was first elected a Fellow of the College in 1976 and, among other distinctions, was knighted for services to molecular biology in 2004. He takes over as Master from Lord Rees in October. In addition to continuing to strive for excellence at Trinity, he wants to promote relations between the College and industry, especially with start-up companies, as well as with alumni. Antonina J Kruppa (2007) has successfully completed her Ph.D. on Alzheimer’s disease at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research.
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T H E A NNU A L F UN D , P H AND CAROL ROLL By Paula Jackson In 2011 Trinity ran its first-ever telephone appeal in support of the Annual Fund. Our team of student callers had many wonderful conversations with the almost 1,000 members we were fortunate enough to speak to during the two-week calling period, and were able to raise just over £395,000 for Annual Fund projects. Speaking directly to our members was such a positive experience for all involved that we decided to hold a second telephone appeal this year. Between 20 March and 2 April you may have had the opportunity to speak to one of the 14 current students who were part of our dedicated call team. They talked with Trinity members all over the world and heard of the warmth and affection that many members still feel for their College. They listened to and shared stories about Trinity past and present. Once again, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of our members; more than half chose to donate, with the result that a further £285,000 has been raised for the Annual Fund. We give our warmest thanks to everyone who took part in the 2012 telephone appeal and, most especially, to those of you who donated to the Annual Fund. We have learnt, since the launch of the Annual Fund four years ago, of the continuing generosity of our members; however, we are still amazed each year at the wonderful response that we receive not only to our telephone appeal but also our brochure mailing. Your support is important to us and makes a real and immediate difference to Trinity and the lives of current students.
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The student callers from the telephone appeal.
We are also grateful for the commitment and enthusiasm of our student callers who worked tirelessly during the two week telephone appeal to speak to as many Trinity members as possible and who spoke so persuasively of the current challenges facing Trinity. With the telephone appeal now a firm fixture in our calendar we look forward to the opportunity of talking with more of our members next year. If you would like to be part of our telephone appeal in April 2013 or have any questions at all about our Annual Fund, please do get in touch (the contact details for the Alumni Relations and Development Office are given at the bottom of the next page). Or, if you wish to contribute to the Annual Fund, there is a gift form included with The Fountain; you can also donate via our website Trinity Members Online http://alumni.trin.cam.ac.uk.
A student caller’s perspective For two weeks in March, fourteen current Trinity students sacrificed their evenings and weekends to contact our distinguished alumni, raising money for the Annual Fund. I was initially drawn to this opportunity as I receive financial assistance from the College and felt it was time to help return the favour—but it’s not all about the money. It was truly heartening to discover that Trinitarians have had such fantastic success in so many different areas, and in all corners of the globe. In particular, I had fascinating conversations with a former opera singer, a lottery designer, the Dean of a Dutch university and a young internet entrepreneur. I would like to thank all the alumni I called for their kind words and advice, and of course everybody who donated to the fund, for their outstanding generosity. George Danker (2009)
ONES, FLOODS A lu m n i R el at ions a n d Dev elopm e n t Off i c e S u m m e r E v e n t s
T h e Gr e at Cou rt C i rcl e
The Alumni Relations and Development Office team were looking forward to welcoming several hundred Trinity members and their families and friends to Trinity for two of our events this summer: the Benefactors’ Garden Party and the Annual Family BBQ on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July respectively. It was, therefore, extremely disappointing for us to have to take the difficult decision to cancel both these events following a night of heavy rainfall in Cambridge on Friday 13 July, an unlucky date. Photos of the flood water are shown below. We are extremely sorry for the disappointment caused to Trinity members by these cancellations and hope to see you at another event very soon.
Anyone who has notified the Alumni Relations and Development Office that they have included Trinity in their will is eligible to join the College’s legacy society, the Great Court Circle. The society enables us to thank those who have pledged a legacy during their lifetime. We hold an annual lunch in College in May/June and members of the Great Court Circle are also listed in our annual List of Donors. This year we welcomed back 75 members and their guests to Trinity on 26 May. Drinks in the Master’s garden were followed by a lunch in the Old Kitchen. In the afternoon there was a choice of three activities: a visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum, a walking tour of Cambridge or a circuit of the portraits in the Master’s Lodge. The afternoon ended with afternoon tea in the Master’s Lodge.
T RINI T Y CAROL ROLL We are delighted to announce that the recording of the Trinity Carol Roll, mentioned in last year’s autumn Fountain, has just been released, on the Obsidian label. This earliest known collection of surviving carols, recorded in the Wren Library and featuring a former member of the choir, Clare Wilkinson (1995), is available from Amazon.
Things are best brought into the open behind closed doors.
The Great Court Circle Luncheon next year will be held on Saturday 22 June. If you have already made arrangements to leave a bequest to Trinity and would like to join the Great Court Circle, please contact the Alumni Relations and Development Office. The office will also be pleased to give further information about legacy giving to any member who asks. Alumni Relations & Development Office Trinity College Cambridge CB2 1TQ email@example.com 01223 761527
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A L UN A R L E G A CY FOR 2012 By Stuart Axford
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© The Aluna Foundation, image Wagstaffs Design/ Stuart Forbes Architects
2012 is a memorable year, marking as it does London’s hosting of the 30th Olympiad and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It’s memorable for me too: I got married, and it’s twenty years since I moved to London, after graduating from Trinity. When I arrived on the Isle of Dogs in 1992, it was a curious place to be. A Manhattan-style skyline was emerging from the redundant docks; young graduates working in US investment banks rubbed shoulders with retired stevedores in pubs once frequented by the criminal brothers Kray. 1999 brought the Jubilee tube and the ‘Dome’. 2007 saw the Dome relaunched as the O2 Arena, 2011 brought the UK’s third largest shopping centre, all precursors to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Living in the midst of all of this, I became involved. In 2009, as a partner responsible for pro bono work in a large law firm, among the sponsors of the 2012 Olympics, I met Laura Williams, who had designed Aluna, an extraordinary project for the Thames riverside—the world’s first tidal-powered moon clock and, at 40 metres wide and 13 metres high, larger than Stonehenge. Its design portrays its function. Its three concentric rings, clad in recycled glass, represent, in turn, the lunar phase, the lunar day, and the tide. Low-energy LEDs beneath the glass will produce Alunatime, an animation of light that flows slowly round the rings, to show the moon’s wax and wane, its rise and setting, and the tidal ebb and
flow. Aluna will be visible and accessible to the public, day and night—a waterfront living sculpture located at 0° longitude, in the heart of the Docklands at Greenwich, the home of time. “Aluna will be a beautiful and monumental new feature on the London waterfront. It celebrates a tradition of maritime and astronomical achievements. It also reminds us of our dependence on the tides and their near-eternal cycles, and of our powerful connections with nature and the cosmic environment.” Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal & lately Master of Trinity College The moon’s gravitational energy will power Aluna, harnessed from the Thames by tidal turbines. The master time code is designed by the National Oceanography Centre to tell the world’s most accurate lunar time. A breathtaking zero-carbon landmark that unites art, culture, science and the environment, Aluna celebrates the global heritage of our river-based city and symbolises our drive towards a greener future. It will change the way we understand time, showing the fundamental relationship between humanity, the moon and our blue planet, to remind us of the slower natural rhythms that shaped our past
and will continue to determine our future. Aluna will transform the Thames riverside, and will provide a new public landing pier for the peninsula. It will sit alongside the O2 Arena (sitting on land bought by Trinity as an investment in 2009) beneath the laser light that marks the prime meridian. Due for completion in 2014, it was alas not ready for the Olympics, nor for my wedding in the neighbouring former Naval College. But it will contribute to 2012’s legacy and the regeneration of this part of London, in which Trinity, whose most recent Master is the Astronomer Royal, has a direct interest in the O2 site. Stuart Axford (1987)
h o w t r i n i ty alumni can help Aluna’s development board is looking to bring together founding benefactors and sponsors to deliver the project at this unrivalled meridian location. If you are interested in joining backers such as the Mayor of London and the Millennium Dome architect Mike Davies, please contact me at stuart. firstname.lastname@example.org, or you could join the Friends of Aluna by visiting www.alunatime.org/donate
TRINITY IN C A M B E RW E L L By Duncan Rodgers ‘Trinity in Camberwell’ plays a large part in Trinity’s charitable and extra-mural educational work. Set up by Trinity in Victorian times as a mission in the parish of St George’s Camberwell, it has been supported by Trinity students, fellows, staff, and alumni ever since. This South London parish remains one of the 5% most deprived areas in the country. ‘Trinity in Camberwell’ runs a community centre, the Trinity College Centre, which opened in 1982. This is used seven days a week by many different groups, including a pre-school, an after-school club, a group working with black teenagers excluded from secondary school, and a club run by and for adults with learning disabilities. As the only community facility in the area, the Centre is also used by various cultural and religious groups, and for family celebrations. The commitment of time and resources by current and past members of the College allows this work to be maintained and developed, even in these ‘austere’ times. Trinity’s links with Camberwell The friendly and productive links between Trinity and the parishioners of St George’s have continued to prosper. A group from Camberwell visits Cambridge every year; our undergraduates and staff also help with the Summer Holiday Scheme, running a programme of activities and trips around London. An exciting
our grant of £30,000 from the Olympic Legacy Fund to redevelop our Centre’s Play Area, to make it suitable for all ages and types of user. £5,000 from Trinity’s Annual Fund and a further £5,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation will complete the scheme.
Camberwell teenagers at Newton’s feet.
venture in recent years has been the annual visit to Trinity by teenagers from Camberwell. This enables them to find out about university life at first hand, from our own students. We hope this will encourage them to apply to university, to broaden their horizons, and fulfil their potential. The Warden is concentrating on three areas of work: the pre-school, which prepares socially deprived children to make the most of fulltime education; work with young people as they make the precarious transition from junior to secondary school; and the encouragement of higher aspirations among teenagers as they make crucial choices about their tertiary education. Our Olympic Legacy One little-known advantage of the support we enjoy from Trinity’s alumni is that ‘Trinity in Camberwell’ thereby becomes eligible to gain matching funds from other sources, so that one pound given to the Appeal can bring in five or ten times that amount. The latest example of this great benefit has been
Vanity dictates that flattery is often mistaken for a compliment.
Current fund-raising priorities The Centre is undertaking a programme of renewal and upgrading as it approaches its 30th birthday. Thanks to alumni donations and outside funding we have recently replaced the kitchen and improved the lighting in the main hall; we now plan to redecorate the hall most used by younger children. We are also raising money for a replacement minibus. Donate to Trinity in Camberwell on-line We continue to rely on the generosity of college members to help with the Centre’s running costs and capital projects. If you wish to help us in our work there is now a quick, easy, and secure way to do so. Simply go to the link https://mydonate.bt.com/ charities/trinityincamberwell. My Donate is a service provided free to charities by BT. They also collect the Gift Aid element on our behalf. The latest encryption software is used to ensure the security of your details. You can still, of course, send a cheque payable to ‘Trinity in Camberwell’ to The Alumni Relations and Development Office, Trinity College, Cambridge CB2 1TQ. Thank you! Duncan Rodgers, fund-raiser for Trinity in Camberwell
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T R A N S N AT I O N A L M T R A N S N AT I O N A L R E By Casey Brienza Imagine entering Waterstone’s bookshop on Sidney Street. You step into a softly lit interior decorated in conservative shades of brown and gold. You pass displays of the latest bestsellers and new releases and continue on past the checkout counter. Walking between stacks labelled ‘Fiction’, ‘Literary Criticism’, ‘Crime’, and ‘Science Fiction’, you finally arrive at a bank of three tall bookcases tucked into a corner at the back of the store. Each shelf, alphabetized by title, is amply stocked with colourful paperbacks and, because some have been shelved face out, something immediately strikes you as odd about them. On closer inspection, you realize with a jolt that instead of reading from left to right, they read from right to left. The front is where the back should be! Neatly printed signs above the bookcases tell you that these strange, backward, books are called ‘Manga’. What in the world are they? Manga, or ‘irresponsible pictures’, is Japanese for the comic book. Although some art historians have traced a Japanese tradition of visual storytelling going back hundreds of years, manga in its modern form dates from the period after the Second World War with the prolific, pioneering work of artists like Osamu Tezuka. Now, over sixty years later, there is manga to suit all ages, both genders, and every conceivable taste and interest. One in every four books published in Japan
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is, in fact, a manga, and increasingly, these manga are going global. Halfa-dozen publishing houses, nearly all of them based in the United States, now translate manga for the Englishspeaking world. Hundreds of new titles are published every year, and the comic books in the ‘Manga’ section of the Cambridge Waterstone’s are their wares. Had you walked into a Waterstone’s or any other bookselling chain anywhere in the English-speaking world only a decade ago, you would have found no section for ‘Manga’ and hardly any individual manga titles for sale. Indeed, contemporary literature in translation, especially from East Asian countries, has historically constituted a tiny portion of the Anglo-American book trade. But from 2002 to 2007 the sales of manga expanded 350 per cent. No one in the publishing industry had ever seen anything like this rate of market growth in their lifetimes, and it was at the height of this explosion of newly translated and published content that the bookstore chains officially added a ‘Manga’ category to their shelves. The formation and continued presence of this section begs questioning: How did these books get here in the first place? Why did manga take off in the way it did at that particular point in time? I sought answers to these questions in my MA dissertation at New York University. This research, now peerreviewed and published as ‘Books, Not Comics: Publishing Fields, Globalization, and Japanese Manga in the United States’, in the journal Publishing Research Quarterly, focused on the particular conditions of manga’s
production and distribution. Comics publishing and trade-book publishing in America—and in Britain—are two different fields with different centres of production, different networks of distribution and retail, and different target readerships. Throughout the 1990s, I argued, manga had been sold primarily as a comic book—and was not particularly successful. But at the dawn of the 21st century, with the support of the multinational retail bookselling chain Borders, manga publishing companies migrated into trade publishing. There they found a host of new opportunities, and the rush to exploit them fuelled the boom. This was an exciting conclusion because it thoroughly refuted the common wisdom about the sources of manga’s global popularity. Previous commentators had assumed that it was a bottom-up phenomenon, fuelled by the demand of passionate fans. To the contrary, I had proven it to be a topdown phenomenon, both driven by and dependent upon powerful corporate interests. Naturally, I was eager to build on this preliminary research at the doctoral level: Who, precisely, stands to benefit from this transnational flow of culture, and how will manga influence and, in turn, be influenced by the continuing transformations in publishing and bookselling in the digital age? Unfortunately, as I began to formulate this new research agenda, I crashed headlong into one big problem: There is only a handful of people in the academic world with any interest or particular expertise in the contemporary book publishing industry, and they are difficult to come
by even in New York City, a world publishing capital. One of these few, as it happens, is a Professor of Sociology at Cambridge. With an External Research Studentship from Trinity I was able to accept an offer from the University for a place on the PhD course. Indeed, manga in English, ostensibly a form of entertainment, has become very serious business. English is the de facto global language and gives those who use it access to the world. One of the most important stakeholders in the global success of English is the nation of Japan itself. Faced with a
second decade of economic malaise, the Japanese government has begun to promote the monetization of cultural exports and, by extension, the improvement of its national ‘brand’ by dissemination of its popular culture. In June 2010, for example, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry established the Creative Industries Promotion Office; its stated aim is to promote the expansion of Japan’s cultural industries and the export of their products overseas. This vision of ‘Cool Japan’ is not just for bureaucrats; it has been a buzzword in the mainstream Japanese media for several years. The national television network NHK has had a show called Cool Japan on air every Saturday, and the well-curated English version of the Asahi Shimbun website has a tab devoted to ‘Cool Japan’. To determine whether and how the Japanese government’s ambitions for its manga are being realized, I spent over a year in the field, gathering data through participant observation and seventy interviews conducted in the greater New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Tokyo metropolitan areas. The people I interviewed were employed by more than ten different companies and in a wide range of roles and experience, ranging from unpaid summer interns and freelancers to CEOs and the founders of entire imprints and publishing houses. My findings suggest that the Japanese will be disappointed. The permanent closure of the Borders bookstore chain and subsequent rise of e-books and digitized bookselling
With global warming it is as well that no man is an island.
has depressed revenue in the Englishlanguage manga industry; publishers can no longer rely, as once they did, upon visibility in the shops to attract new readers, and the teens who were once its core market are too young to have the credit cards needed for online shopping. As a consequence, presses have increasingly pushed the costs of publishing translated manga back onto the Japanese copyright-holders—and since most books do not make money, the latter find the financial risks enormous. Failing that strategy, Westerners have produced their own ‘global manga’, cutting the Japanese out of the equation completely. The manga imprint Hachette USA, Yen Press, for example, also publishes a bestselling comic book version of Stephanie Meyer’s young adult vampire novel series Twilight. So manga and ‘Cool Japan’ are unlikely to enliven Japan’s stagnant economy or bolster its cultural status on the world stage. Does that mean that manga does not matter? Absolutely not. Although expansion of the manga category has slowed down, it will not be undone. That ‘Manga’ section in Waterstone’s is there to stay. And for those making a living in the publishing industry who have given so generously of their time in my pursuit of this research—and the hundreds of thousands of people who read manga— it certainly matters. It matters a lot. Casey Brienza (2009) is now writing up her PhD, provisionally titled ‘Domesticating Manga: Japanese Comics, American Publishing, and the Transnational Production of Culture’.
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BY BIKE FROM BEIJING By Sonum Sumaria and Andreea Tudose
Charlotte Roach came up in 2007 to read Natural Sciences. In her second year she was selected for a Triathlon training programme at Loughborough and hoped to compete in this year’s London Olympics. But then a serious car crash in 2009 caused two punctured lungs, twelve fractured vertebrae, multiple broken ribs and a broken collarbone. After four months of rehabilitation, she returned to Trinity to finish her degree. Although her Olympic hopes had been dashed, three days after graduation she embarked on a 10,000-mile bike ride from China to England, intending to raise funds for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance—the service that saved her life. We listen in amazement as Charlotte tells us of her 6-month ride. She averaged 100 km per day and slept in a tent. Setting off from Beijing for Singapore, she decided to avoid the Middle East and cycled through Australia instead, to make up the miles. She resumed her ride in Turkey, cycling all the way home from there. ‘Western life is controlled and predictable’ she says, but she had plunged into the deep end of a nonwestern lifestyle, spending two-thirds of the journey entirely on her own. She felt scared at night, sleeping
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Charlotte in China.
sometimes in derelict houses. Once she unknowingly camped in a field full of bulls, to awake to a smelly surprise in her shoes! In Australia she faced magpie attacks and unwelcoming drivers, and was left to sleep outside a petrol station when her tent was stolen. Charlotte admitted to psychological difficulties, especially towards the end of her trip when her motivation was exhausted. Friends and family encouraged her to continue, so that ‘my lack of the courage to quit outweighed my lack of the strength to carry on.’ She completed her bikeride in January this year, raising over £9,000. Her mental and physical strength are truly inspiring. Charlotte’s time at Trinity, if safe from magpies and bulls, had nonetheless been a challenge. She struggled with what seemed to be constant pressure, sharing the sense most students have that everybody else is working harder than they. Yet Charlotte managed to juggle running and triathlon clubs, swimming, cycling, committee work for both Hare & Hounds and the Osprey
society, involvement in CUSU and being a campaign leader for the creation of a new sports centre, as well as her intense Natural Sciences course. We laugh when she tells us the list does not end there: she was also responsible for hiding ducks around college, leading to an appearance in Travisty. After hearing all this, it comes as a shock to learn that Charlotte spent her first term trying to leave. Why? ‘I wasn’t happy because I was trying to do everything—work, extra-curricular commitments, and training’. After realising that she had to focus only on what was most important to her, she settled in. ‘Cambridge is a good place to learn that you yourself must be comfortable with what you are doing, to ensure that you get what you want out of your time there.’ So Charlotte talks fondly of her time at Trinity, feeling very privileged to have studied here. The best thing about it? ‘No doubt, the people you meet; they are all so driven to achieve their goals. It makes you realize nothing is stopping you from getting what you want, you just have to go and get it.’ Currently working as a construction site manager in London, Charlotte plans to start her own business: a project to make gyms more fun. As for cycling, she laughs: ‘I would be up for another crazy challenge sometime soon.’ Sonum Sumaria (2008) read Modern & Medieval Languages (Russian and Spanish) and is planning on filmmaking as a career; Andreea Tudose (2011) is currently reading English.
SMALL WHEELS CAN M A K E A B I G D I F F E R E NC E By Catherine Suart Paul Bullivant
Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats is not unusual but this June Phil Deakin (2006) took on that challenge with a considerable difference—riding a small-wheeled, folding Brompton bicycle. Usually seen neatly stowed on commuter trains between Cambridge and London, it was not the obvious choice for a two-week 1,000-mile charity ride. However Phil, never one to resist a challenge, had a special reason for dreaming up such an outlandish event. Just over a year ago I lost my brother and my mum to cancer. In recognition of the wonderful care their local hospice offered them, my boyfriend Phil set out to raise £50,000 for the charity Hospice in the Weald. A few weeks later his two friends Harry Bullivant (Churchill 2006) and Rich Denny joined in with their own charities Great Ormond Street Hospital and Help for Heroes. At this point we had only one Brompton between us but the idea quickly took off as our enthusiasm spread among friends. The aptly-named Small Wheels, Big Difference soon attracted the interest of dozens of other Brompton riders whom friends tracked down at organised training rides and charity events across the country. And when Brompton Bicycles Ltd offered three more bikes—one for each charity—so that other cyclists could get involved, we soon had over 40 cyclists joining us for all or part of the long road from
Land’s End to John O’Groats. This was the largest group of cyclists who had taken this well-trodden path on their Bromptons and, as a result, by day one we had booked over 200 beds from Royal Air Force and Army bases to the Royal Cromarty Hotel and had bought an unimaginable number of spare bike parts. With such a broad spectrum of riders—from students to the over 60s and from FTSE 100 executives to freelance musicians—we knew our route would be anything but boring, and while the weather in June turned out to be of the wettest in recorded history, we saw some extraordinary British countryside, tasted every local delicacy and made some real friends along the way. The support we received was incredible: from companies to individuals, from our friends to strangers in the street, everyone wanted to know why we were completing the toughest UK cycling route on small-wheeled folding city bikes with only three gears. But as Bill Bryson said, “Nothing gives the English more pleasure, in a quiet but determined sort of way, than to do things oddly!”
Better to be wise after the event than not at all.
Whether or not the small wheels made our journey harder or just more entertaining, they captured people’s imagination and fostered great generosity for our charities and now, so soon after our journey’s end we have already raised nearly £30,000. But in many ways the end seems more like a beginning. The team have other challenges in mind, other routes—possibly in more favourable climes!—which will push our small wheels even further. Since charity events are becoming increasingly popular, it is a challenge to organise a project that stands out in the crowd. Our small wheels appear to have done just that and we have every faith that we can continue using them to raise awareness and money for our wonderful charities. Never in the field of cycling history have so many ridden so far on such small wheels. www.smallwheelsbigdifference.org www.justgiving.com/teams/ smallwheelsbigdifference Catherine Suart (2005) read Modern and Medieval Languages (Russian and Spanish) at Trinity and now works for the corporate intelligence firm GPW.
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NEWS OF FELLOW PU B L I C A T I O N S Catherine Barnard (e 1996) has co-edited Tony Weir on the Case. It contains all his 1000word Cambridge Law Journal case notes, including one the CLJ refused to publish, and the introduction to his Tort book. Free copies are available from the Alumni Relations & Development Office. Anson Cheung (1999) has co-authored, with M. Warner, A Cavendish Quantum Mechanics Primer with Periphyseos Press. Roy Flechner (e 2006), lately Title ‘A’, created a stir when, on St Patrick’s day, he suggested that Ireland’s fifth-century patron saint, far from being enslaved in Ireland before his conversion, fled there from Roman Britain to avoid his aristocratic fate, that of a hereditary tax-collector—an increasingly risky job with imperial power in decay—and took his domestic slaves with him. Evidence for either version of the saint’s Irish journey is slim but Roy believes his to be the more probable.
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Philip Hardie’s (e 2006) new Rumour and Renown: Representations of Fama in Western Literature studies the struggle and collusion between elite and popular attempts to control the spoken and written word, on a spectrum from rumour and gossip to fame and renown—from Homer to Alexander Pope. The cover shows a 16th-century woodcut of the Virgilian personification of ‘Fama’, winged ‘Rumour’. Béatrice Hibou, from SciencesPo, Paris, a student of Africa, used her recent Visiting Fellow Commonership to finish her book on the paradoxical relationship between society and markets in our globalised world. Supposedly ‘free’ markets require ever more regulation and compulsory standards, norms that increasingly invade the governance of society. To unravel this neo-liberal paradox she has added to her franco-german training some ‘anglo-saxon’ insights gleaned from Cambridge’s libraries. Hugh Hunt (e 1990) continued his wartime reenactments with an aerial attempt to escape from Colditz by glider.
With the support of the Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre Julian Hunt (1960) is setting up an Asian Climate Change Initiative, meeting next in Kuala Lumpur. Richard Hunter’s (e 2001) Plato and the Traditions of Ancient Literature: The Silent Stream (Cambridge) explores how Plato challenged existing literary forms, mainly Homeric epic; how later literature created ‘classics’ out of some of Plato’s richest works; and how the ancient critical tradition explained the relationship between Plato and Homer, the two greatest Greek writers, given both Plato’s obvious debt to the epic and the extraordinary fact that the philosopher had banned the poet from his ideal state. Nick Kingsbury (e 1983) was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa (Dhc) in the Bethlehem Chapel, close to the Old Town Square in Prague. The Chapel, dating back to 1391, was recently restored by the Czech Technical University (CTU), itself one of Europe’s oldest technical
S’ RESEARCH AND universities, founded in 1707. Previous recipients of the CTU’s Dhc include Tomas G Masaryk, founder president of Czechoslovakia. Nick, the 159th recipient, has had links with CTU since 1987, working with Professor Ales Prochazka on signal and image processing with multi-resolution wavelet methods. Heonik Kwon (e 2011), has published North Korea Beyond Charismatic Politics with Rowman & Littlefield. He examines the problems of personal charismatic power in contemporary politics and argues that we need to bring back Max Weber in order to find solutions. Angela Leighton (e 2006) has published a new collection of poetry, The Messages, with Shoestring Press. ‘The Penny Ferry’, locally inspired, gives a taste of her style: The Penny Ferry Yet, water might afford a crossing… spill and whirl go riverring across the fen’s rough fodder, flood-plains, soft-rush, sweet-flag, saw-sedge, plantain, long lost slip-roads to a landing-stage, where once the penny ferry carved
desire-lines on uncompassed water, paused, and took them lightly over… shore to shore a boat-ride only-toll and passing, sleep and story. John Lonsdale (1958) helped to launch in Tokyo, in July, his co-edited Ethnic Diversity and Economic Instability in Africa (Cambridge)—a challenge to the conventional economic wisdom that ‘tribalism’ has been the root cause of Africa’s difficulties. The book is the fruit of a research programme funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, JICA. Jo Miles (e 1999) is working on two enquiries funded by the Nuffield Foundation. First, with Dr Emma Hitchings of Bristol University, she is examining 400 final settlements in financial disputes following divorce, where we need to know more about how agreements are reached. Secondly, Jo is advising on how the law might react to the views on child-support obligations revealed in the British Social Attitudes Survey. The team includes Professor Ira Ellman of Arizona State University, a Visiting Fellow Commoner in 2010, who studies similar problems in the USA. Details of both projects can be found at: http:// www.nuffieldfoundation.org/
Robert Neild (1943) has followed his financial history of Trinity, Riches and Responsibility, with The Financial History of Cambridge University, published by the Thames River Press. Denying that the animals portrayed resemble any persons living or dead, he leaves to his readers the question why he chose one of Tenniel’s illustrations in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland for his cover. Alexandra Walsham (1990) won a Wolfson History Prize for 2011, always announced a year late, for The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity & Memory in Early Modern Britain & Ireland (Oxford). In this distinction she follows Nicholas Thomas (e 2006), with his Islanders: The Pacific in the Age of Empire (Yale) who, in his turn, followed Dominic (Chai) Lieven, who won in 2009 with his Russia against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe 1807 to 1814 (Penguin). Trinity, never known to rush, did not elect Chai Lieven to a Senior Research Fellowship under Title ‘B’ until 2011. Nevertheless, let no one say that only one of C P Snow’s Two Cultures, the scientific, flourishes in Trinity.
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O U R N E W J UN I O R F E L L O W S UN D E R
One of Trinity’s principal supports for research is our maintenance of a great number of research fellows, nearly forty of them, both senior scholars under Title ‘B’ for renewable terms, and junior, post-doctoral, fellows or JRFs, each for up to four years, under Title ‘A’. The Fountain has previously welcomed the latter in its Spring issue, after their election in the previous October. From this year a new timetable for the JRF competition, with an election held in January, is designed to ensure a more level competitive field for young scholars from all over the world. This, therefore, is our first opportunity to welcome young scholars who promise to become leaders in their chosen fields. Florence Brisset-Foucault, from the University of Paris 1-Sorbonne, an historically minded political scientist with the techniques of an anthropologist, analysed radio talkshows in Uganda to discover how Africans establish the rights—and limits—of a citizenship differentiated by class and gender. Her main actors are ‘polite’ young men, using oldschool privileges to exclude ‘irrational’ talk from women and poorer men,
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and Baganda who debate how to be a subject to their King. Her findings are entirely original; nobody had previously done the fieldwork. Florence looks likely to lead the study of African politics in fruitful directions, with a rare ability to work in both anglophone and francophone Africa. George Corbett works on medieval philosophy, especially that remarkable philosopher and poet, Dante. He asks how Dante thought about those who did not believe in an after-life. He shows that the Canto of the Inferno about these ‘Epicureans’ gives us a two-sided view—of heretics who were nonetheless noble followers of this-worldly virtue. Corbett’s unusual dualistic understanding of Dante’s thought has repercussions for the whole Commedia. In particular, he illuminates the poet’s treatment of just pagans such as Virgil and Cato, in which Dante was inspired less by Aquinas than by the followers of Averroes, and more than either by his own, highly original, way of relating Christianity to its pagan heritage. Nicholas Hardy works on the theory and practice of ‘criticism’ in
seventeenth century England. He takes in the histories of classical and biblical scholarship, and of literary criticism, as well as the politics, philosophy, and historiography of the period. He draws on sources (some previously undiscovered) held in Oxford, Cambridge, London, the Netherlands, and the Vatican. He shows that what we think of as ‘textual’ criticism, the emendation of texts corrupted by copying, and ‘literary’ criticism, the appreciation of literature for its stylistic and rhetorical qualities, were more closely conjoined in the seventeenth century than they have subsequently become. Hardy’s work will make him a leader in the history of scholarship. James Hodgkinson obtained his BSc first class honours in chemistry from Queen’s University Belfast in 2007 and undertook his PhD studies at Cambridge under the supervision of David Spring (Trinity) and Martin Welch. He works on Quorum sensing, at the interface between chemistry and biology. He completed his PhD in 2011 on ‘The synthesis of pseudomonas quinolone signal analogues and their effects on quinolone signalling in
RESEARCH T I T L E ‘ A’
P. aeruginosa’ and has already published in this field. His research interests include the synthesis of novel chemical entities and their biological application in the study of bacterial signalling pathways, and the identification of novel anti-bacterial agents. Alexis Litvine has studied philosophy in Argentina, economic history in England, and politics, philosophy and history in France. He has applied this multi-lingual learning in an attempt to re-write the history of industrialization in Europe. He challenges the paradigm derived from British history—in which the experience of others appears as secondary and derivative—and replaces it with one based in France, Belgium and Italy. These followed different courses to equally significant ends. Litvine highlights neglected aspects of industrialization, especially the relations between agriculture and industry and between social and physical mobility, so making familiar landscapes appear fresh and exciting. The histories of industrialization and modernity in Europe, and what those terms mean, may never be quite the same again.
Nir Navon, from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, is an atomic physicist studying the coldest matter in the universe, a gas of atoms cooled to one millionth of a degree above absolute zero. He is shedding new light on fundamental quantum phenomena like superconductivity and superfluidity, with several breakthroughs already published. He has demonstrated a new experimental approach that allows more direct connection between atomic gas experiments and other physical systems with similar quantum phenomena, from tiny atomic nuclei to gigantic neutron stars. Nir has already demonstrated some universal properties of interacting quantum particles which have hitherto lacked experimental confirmation since being postulated in 1957 by two Nobel Laureates, T. D. Lee and C. N. Yang. Duy Nguyen, from Vietnam, was educated in the US but worked on his PhD here, at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, supervised by Jason Chin, Fellow of Trinity. Duy’s research lies at the interface of chemistry and biology. He has used clever synthetic chemical strategies to expand the
genetic code of life. The proteins in our bodies are built up from twenty different types of building blocks (amino acids). Duy has expanded this code so that proteins can be made that comprise novel building blocks, some of which are light sensitive. This seems very apposite for a new JRF since the fellowship election is designed to admit new light and life to Trinity. Péter Varjú studies ‘random walks on groups’. A ‘group’ is an algebraic structure consisting of objects that can be multiplied together. Starting here, you can define a ‘random walk’ by taking a random product of a few of these objects, called generators. The longer the sequence of random generators you multiply together, the less you know about their product, until finally you know virtually nothing: all elements of the group are, roughly speaking, just as likely to be that product. Some groups reach this stage faster than others. For years all this has defied full understanding. Varju has found a brilliant way of sidestepping an obstacle to progress, so that earlier results have now been simplified and substantially generalized.
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A BLESSED MIX
T H E F I R S T T H I RT Y Y E A R S O F W O M E N C H O By Susanna Spicer and Ros Hindmarch Then It was a great privilege to be one of the first girls in Trinity’s Choir, although I got off to an inauspicious start by mistaking the time of our first rehearsal. Shamefully summoned from my room, Richard Marlow bawled me out in no uncertain terms and I have been paranoid about punctuality ever since. The standard started pretty high; many girls had come through either the Eton Choral Course and/or mixed public school choirs that gave us relevant experience—but RKM’s standards seemed eye-wateringly unachievable nevertheless. Pencils flew, ‘Marlovians’ and semiquaver rests littered scores the moment they hit the stalls. We soon knew that in pursuit of perfection nothing would be left to chance. It was exhilarating, challenging, at times nerve-wracking, but hugely rewarding. Our first disc, Music for Advent, recorded in a perishingly cold AnteChapel heated only by the three-bar fire filched from the Organ Loft, remains close to my heart, although I dare say it has been surpassed by subsequent CDs. We followed it with Parry’s Songs of Farewell, taken in warmer climes from up by the Altar. Other highlights were the first tour, to Düsseldorf and Cologne, where the Cathedral authorities were horrified to find that the small boys they expected were an attractive bunch of young women, one even showing an ankle. ‘Tell that girl to uncross her legs…’
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was whispered Chinese-fashion down the nave from the sanctuary during one of the readings. We also trawled College livings in the North West, laid Lord Butler’s Garter Banner to rest in Saffron Walden, and relished ‘our’ master, Sir Alan Hodgkin, wearing his slippers for our second choir photo, taken by the Fountain far too early one summer morning. Our first long vac found us basking in the southern Italian sunshine of Martina Franca, where senior organ scholar Tim Lole valiantly tried to steer an irreverent and often inebriated crew through operatic choruses for an international festival. In short, we first girls had a ball, if an extremely productive one. On the back of what it taught us some of us have sung for our suppers ever since, my ever-expanding waistline proving that I for one have managed to ward off starvation. RKM once told me in a rare moment of honest recognition of his own achievements that even in the profession we would probably never find choirs equal to Trinity or the Chamber Choir (CUCC was RKM’s other
The Choir in 1983.
‘baby’). Having sung with virtually all the leading UK choirs and some in Europe over the last 25 years, I can say that he was very nearly right. Only one or two have come close to RKM’s level of musical discipline, and it is a joy to see Stephen Layton maintain that level of uncompromising musicianship unabashed, and to find myself singing alongside younger Trinity colleagues who more than prove it. Susanna Spicer (1982) read History, but has since sung professionally in a variety of roles as soloist, consort singer and chorister with conductors such as Simon Rattle, John Eliot Gardiner and Richard Egarr all over the world.
Now Trinity’s credentials as a first-rate mixedvoice choir were well established when I came up in 2004. The unique sound of the girls was summed up by the notion of the ‘Trinity soprano’, a
hallowed term in Cambridge musical circles that describes the pure, soaring voices that characterise the top line of the choir. Of course, the addition of girls to the choir in 1982 also allowed for the mixture of countertenors and female altos, whose fruiter tones contribute another aspect of the choir’s special sound. Needless to say, the prospect of living up to such epithets was somewhat daunting to my 18-year-old self. Having sung previously only in my school choir, I started at Trinity with relatively little choral training compared to my female counterparts, many of whom had experience in school and cathedral choirs, in the National Youth Choirs, and in Eton Choral Courses. One of the major changes in today’s intake compared with that of 1982 is that we now admit some already experienced girl choristers, thanks to the foundation of separate girls’ choirs in many of the country’s cathedrals, the first appearing in Salisbury in 1991. Working with Richard Marlow during
The Choir today.
my first two years ensured that I gained a wealth of choral experience, with the discovery of much wonderful repertoire being a highlight, not least J. S. Bach’s motets, pieces with which Richard had a special affinity as conductor. Since then I have had the privilege of working under the current Director of Music, Stephen Layton. Stephen’s constant quest to champion new music is particularly inspiring, and Trinity has recorded a number of discs with music by contemporary composers from around the globe. The recent Grammy nomination for a recording of American choral music, Beyond All Mortal Dreams, is testament to the choir’s success with this new repertoire. Stephen has balanced these new ventures by keeping many traditions. One example especially familiar to Trinity sopranos is the opening of the Advent Carol Service each year with Richard Marlow’s specially composed Responsory. In the chapel’s darkness, a lone soprano up by the altar begins with a solo that has tested countless singers over the years and continues to do so.
Spine-tingling moments still abound in the choir’s performances. For the girls especially, the exhilarating experience of performing Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols at Snape Maltings in Stephen’s first concert with Trinity in 2006 sticks in the memory. High-profile tours in recent years to Canada, the United States and Australia have generated many electric performances, not least a concert in Sydney where we sang the entire programme from memory during a live broadcast on ABC national radio. This was a nerve-wracking experience and the celebratory champagne afterwards was much needed! This October sees another first, the arrival of Trinity’s first female organ scholar, Eleanor Kornas. For the current contingent in the choir, it seems unthinkable that there should ever have been a time when women were not an inherent part of the team. This is perhaps testament to one of Cambridge’s endearing features, namely the rapid adoption of new ideas and practices, so that these almost immediately become intrinsic to the traditions of the place. As we reflect on the thirty years since the first girls joined the choir, there is good reason to believe that future generations of girls will continue to build on the foundations laid by their predecessors, enjoying the excitement, challenges and rewards of singing in Trinity. Rosalyn Hindmarch (2004) read Music and will soon complete her PhD on Robert Schumann, with reference to the compositional genesis of his 1843 oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri.
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AN AFTERNOON WITH F R A NC I S CU M M I N G - B R UC E ( 1 9 3 0 ) , CENTENARIAN By Aaron Watts When Francis Cumming-Bruce went down in 1934, George V was on the throne and Ramsay MacDonald in No. 10. With the onset of war, Francis entered a quill-driving life at the Foreign Office. Later, as Lord Thurlow, he sat as a hereditary peer in Westminster until New Labour’s House of Lords Reform Act 1999. I met Trinity’s most recent centenarian at his home in the brick-and-flint surrounds of Mapledurham, South Oxfordshire. We compared our experiences of Trinity and discussed the tumultuous century to which he bore witness. Trinity made an indelible impression. ‘How could it be otherwise?’ Francis recalled a ‘wellorganised Chapel’, daily exercise on the Fens, and dining at the Pitt Club. The College was a ‘sufficient world of its own—incomparable’. An ‘excellent grounding’ at Shrewsbury School stood him in good stead for Part I Classics. Well into the twentieth century, Old Salopians notched up Porson Prizes and Browne Medals with disproportionate success. In his first two years, therefore, Francis and several gilded contemporaries did ‘little else’ but enjoy themselves. But this was the depressed 1930s and the University worried lest communism tempt talented men into the radical fold. No lesser figures than the writer and politician James Klugmann and the poet John Cornford expanded the appeal of the Communist Party within Trinity. Unlike his twin
brother, a ‘firebrand communist’ at Magdalene, Francis eschewed student politics, having a ‘gentle disdain’ for its ‘distractions’. Nonetheless John Maynard Keynes persuaded both twins to convert to Economics for Part II, to help mitigate the Red Threat. Francis explained why he had acquiesced: ‘I wanted to understand the causes of Depression—such devastation’. The full extent of national hardship was underscored by Trinity’s missionary reach into Camberwell.1 Francis’s treatment of these crisis years, however, was not narrowly political—a posture he has maintained. With impartial courtesy, he refused to be drawn by my suggested comparison between the 1930s ‘bankers’ ramp’ and present-day concentrations of wealth and power. Yet, then as now, undergraduates feared conscription into unemployment. Total war rescued a generation from joblessness. Francis entered the diplomatic service, initially in New Zealand. He experienced the violence attending India’s Partition in 1947 and played an influential, underacknowledged, role in preserving Nigerian unity at the ‘crucial moment’ in 1966.2 A distinguished career, in which Francis was among the youngest to be knighted as an Ambassador, culminated in the Bahamas, where he served as the penultimate Governor and Commander-in-Chief. His memories confirmed an orthodox reading of the Empire’s ‘peaceful divestment’, in Noel Annan’s phrase. Essentially benevolent, a colonial élite ‘bestowed democratic constitutions and kept a check on corruption’.
In the 1970s, the House of Lords displaced Nassau’s Government House as the focus of Francis’s activities. He helped put paid to the ‘illusion that there was some kind of dichotomy’ between EEC and Commonwealth memberships and warned against ‘outdated notions of sovereignty and independence’ at the high point of tension over the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. Hansard also records his prescient contributions on such diverse issues as mental health care and overseas aid. Francis explained his pragmatism in terms of his training at Trinity. His teacher and friend, the economist Dennis Robertson, who attacked Keynes’s ‘distortions and exaggerations of various kinds’, was an especially abiding influence. I was struck by Francis’s eagerness to hear of College life today. He seemed quietly satisfied that, with the appointment of Sir Gregory Winter as Master, Trinity had steered clear of overtly political superintendence. His affection for the place remains undimmed after almost eighty years. Aaron Watts (2010) reads History
1 For ‘Trinity in Camberwell’ today see Duncan Rodgers’s article on page 7. 2 Ghosts of Empire: Britain’s Legacies in the Modern World (2012) by Kwasi Kwarteng MP (1993) is a recent case in point.
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THE RETURN OF THE G R E AT T O W E R G AT E By David Phillips If, in 1523, you had walked along what we call Trinity Street you would have seen an imposing one-storey gateway nearing completion, with wooden gates of the latest design. Clearly, no expense was being spared to create a building which reflected its ancient royal patronage. Today we know this development as the Great Gate. Started in 1518, in pre-Trinity days, it was bound to be expensive. Given the absence of local rock, one had either to rob old stone from some defunct Cambridge building or bring it in new by river, from King’s Cliff quarry, between Corby and Peterborough. The Willow Brook leads from the quarry to the River Nene. Since, before the great fen drainage, the fenland rivers that joined Nene to Cam were shallow, the stone was carried in flat-bottomed boats not unlike today’s punts, and propelled in the same way. Several were tied together to form a train. The weight of stone meant that many journeys were needed—a costly business. Bucston, the carpenter, was contracted to finish the gates by All Saints Day 1523. A blacksmith, one Smith of Thaxted, supplied the ironwork and nails for tuppence farthing (2 and 1/4 old pence) per pound of nails and tuppence per pound for all other ironwork. The total cost, for both carpenter and smith, was £6, 13sh, 4d, or14 Marks. The gates were made up in layers and nailed to a strong frame, like fitting planks to the
ribs of a wooden ship. The sharp ends of the nails, which went right through the wood, were hammered flat to create rivets. The outer wooden layer was hand-carved into the linenfold pattern (illustrated) which was then a la mode. The gatehouse, then called the Great Tower, was finally completed in 1535. The upper storeys were added later. Weather and time had their effect on the gates; and the 600-kilogram weight of each eventually caused them to droop. In 2011, while the Porters’ Lodge was being modernised, the North Gate was removed and taken to the West Country for restoration. A lightweight temporary gate, covered in a facsimile print, disguised its absence. Once horizontal, the dire state of North Gate was confirmed. Some of the original wood had been of poor quality. Also, the way in which the front panels had been fitted had allowed them little room to expand and contract. This caused damage. Engineers took the gate to pieces and reconstructed it with a steel plate between the front panelling
and the backing layer. Front and back were then re-fixed to the wooden frame using the old nails, still in excellent condition. A stainless steel frame in the lower part of the gate fitted into a bearing in the ground so that the weight of the gate no longer hangs on its hinges. Meanwhile, dendrochronology confirmed the gate’s age. On 9 May 2012 the gate made a triumphant return but proved tricky to re-install. Even with two cranes it took eight hours. Its original installation, probably using block and tackle, must have been trickier still. The photograph shows how, to prevent damage, the gate was held in a steel frame and straps; these were removed only when the gate was finally slotted into place. With one gate replaced it was time to remove the other for restoration. When it returns the gates should continue to impress for another five hundred years. David Phillips, Senior Porter, has served in the Porters’ Lodge since 1978.
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Forthcoming events 23 September 2012 Eighth Annual Members’ Luncheon Nevile’s Court, Trinity College 10 October 2012 Trinity Engineers Association Meeting and Dinner, Trinity College 16 October 2012 Trinity in the City ‘Insights’ Meeting with Sir Gregory Winter, Royal Society 11 November 2012 Remembrance Sunday Service followed by a luncheon for former and current members of the Armed Forces. 15 November 2012 Trinity Law Association Autumn Drinks Reception London 6 December 2012 ‘Blues Village’ at the Varsity Match, Twickenham (a new package offered to Cambridge alumni) – further details to follow 10 December 2012 Alumni Carol Service, St Andrew’s, Holborn, to be followed by a mince pie and mulled wine reception for Trinity members 22 December 2012 Trinity Choir Concert St John’s Smith Square 9 March 2013 Trinity Law Association Annual Dinner Trinity College
Annual G at h e r i n g s Saturday 6 July 2013—(2002–03) Friday 20 September 2013—(1992–93) Wednesday 25 September 2013—(1962–64) Choral Evensong: 6.30pm; Dinner: 8.00pm Invitations for Annual Gatherings will be sent out at least three months in advance. For further information about Annual Gatherings or any of our other events, please contact the Alumni Relations & Development Office at email@example.com or on +44 (0)1223 761527.
The Choir The Choir’s latest release on the Hyperion label is a CD of choral music by Herbert Howells, recorded in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral and Lincoln Cathedral. Gramophone Magazine selected it as Choral Disc of the Month saying: “The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, is ideally pure and full in tone. The grand hymns and canticles are extrovert and focused, the intimate supplications such as Take him, earth sung with great poise … This is a perfect disc of its kind.” The disc was also chosen as Disc of the Month by BBC Music Magazine and Music Web International, and was Disc of the Week on Classic FM. More information about the CD is available on the Choir’s website: www.trinitycollegechoir.com
There are also YouTube clips of the recording sessions in Lincoln Cathedral, together with videos from other Choir concerts around the world. Copies of the CD are on sale in aid of Trinity College Choir Fund at £13.99 including postage and packing. Please send a cheque (payable to Junior Bursar Trinity College) to the Chapel and Music Office, Trinity College, Cambridge, CB2 1TQ
T HE F UON T IAN We must correct, with apologies, a mistake made in our last issue, when referring to Visiting Fellow Commoner Robert Watson’s research on Ben Jonson, to whom we lent a redundant ‘h’. This error, which we refrain from calling deliberate, was spotted by Professor Donald Friedman (1949), now of the University of California at Berkeley, doubtless relishing this blemish in our mention of the work of his colleague from UCLA. Roger Mitchell (1957) has a correction to make to Ian Fells’s article on his 1952 New Court reunions. When in September last year the friends found themselves in Hastings’s Trinity Triangle, they were not in ‘the old town’ but in its more recent, Victorian, extension. Henry Smith (1943), a loyal supervisee, regretted that in the article on F G Mann’s suspicion of supposedly light-fingered Australians we did not also note that he was an exceptionally kindly and helpful College supervisor. We are glad to note that characteristic now.
Many members have already indicated that they would prefer to read The Fountain and/or the Annual Record online. If you too would prefer this option, please do let us know by email. The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily represent the views of Trinity College, Cambridge. Cover picture: Lafayette Photography.