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Cambridge University's Homerton College marks its 250th year

Homerton College 250 years festival. Visitors enjoy taking part in the steel drum workshop Picture: Richard Marsham
Homerton College 250 years festival. Visitors enjoy taking part in the steel drum workshop Picture: Richard Marsham

There was music, dance, magic and amusements as the public were invited to 'look under the bonnet' of a Cambridge college at the weekend.

Homerton College celebrated 250 years of free-thinking education with one of the biggest public events ever staged by a University of Cambridge college.

Taking place on Saturday (October 27), the Homerton 250 Festival offered a diverse programme of events – from the highbrow to the high-energy, and catering to all ages and tastes.

Alumni, staff, neighbours and first-time visitors to the college all joined in the party, which was attended by more than 1,000 people.

Rhys Blakey, who attended with his family, said: “We all had a fantastic time at the festival – especially our two little girls, who went home with painted faces and balloon animals. It was a brilliant event with tons to do, and a brilliant, welcoming atmosphere.”

The event also showcased the range of research conducted by Homerton’s academics, inviting the public to ‘look under the bonnet’ of the college.

College principal Professor Geoffrey Ward said: “We were truly thrilled to open our doors to the wider community, and to show off the amazing work being done by Homertonians, both students and researchers alike.”

Another of the festival’s highlights involved Homerton honorary fellow and world-class percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie, who gave an unannounced interactive performance with members of the public in the college gardens.

The musical theme will be continued on Saturday, November 24, at the final event of the college’s anniversary year. The Homerton 250 Concert will feature newly commissioned music, as well as performances by Homerton-based ensembles.

Homerton will also mark 100 years of women’s suffrage in the UK, with a celebration of alumna Leah Manning on Tuesday, November 20. A relentless campaigner for education and equality, Leah is best known for organising the evacuation of 3,840 children during the Spanish Civil War, descendants of whom will attend the event.

Find out more about the events, and the history of the university’s newest college, at homerton250.org.


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