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New site for Mill Road temple arch in Cambridge approved





Permission has finally been granted for a stone archway to be erected in public gardens in Mill Road after it was saved from being thrown in a skip when a former temple was cleared.

The stone carvings were spotted by hairdresser Piero D’Angelico when Cambridgeshire County Council was redecorating the former Mill Road Library, once the location for the Bharat Bhavan Hindu temple.

Piero D'Angelico with residents, traders and supporters of the Mill Road sculpture by the banner that has been erected showing what the final piece will look like. Picture: Keith Heppell
Piero D'Angelico with residents, traders and supporters of the Mill Road sculpture by the banner that has been erected showing what the final piece will look like. Picture: Keith Heppell

He bought the carvings for £1 for the council through Mill Road Traders, of which he is a member, and has since been campaigning for them to be put on display in a public place.

Now Cambridge City Council has granted him planning permission to put the archway in Ditchburn Place gardens and he has raised the funds to lay the foundations.

Piero said: “I’m very happy that we have got this far. It has been a lot of work and many people have donated toward the stones being carefully removed and stored. Now they will have a new life where everyone can enjoy them at Ditchburn Place.”

So far the campaign has raised around £25,000 toward the project in cash and in kind - through offers of help from businesses. Now they need to raise more money to install the archway and modify it to fit the placement.

Piero D'Angelico is trying to save the carvings in former Hindu temple / Mill Road library . Picture: Keith Heppell. (56702717)
Piero D'Angelico is trying to save the carvings in former Hindu temple / Mill Road library . Picture: Keith Heppell. (56702717)

Piero said: “We have had a quote to have the stones transported and erected in place and have been told we need to raise a further £28,000. Our next fundraising event will be at the Mill Road Winter Fair where the Mill Road Traders have selected three bands to play live. Any donations will go towards this temple arch installation.”

Headlining the Mill Road Traders’ Association concert at the winter fair on Saturday December 3, which will be held on the corner of Mill Road and Perowne Street, will be a samba band, the Errico Cutolo Quartet, who will be travelling here from Los Angeles.

After the fair, work will begin on digging the foundations for the project and construction is expected to start in February.

Piero D'Angelico with residents, traders and supporters of the Mill Road sculpture by the banner that has been erected showing what the final piece will look like. Picture: Keith Heppell
Piero D'Angelico with residents, traders and supporters of the Mill Road sculpture by the banner that has been erected showing what the final piece will look like. Picture: Keith Heppell

As the archway is designed to be a focal point for all people on Mill Road, Piero intends to install four benches around the base and dedicate them to local figures.

He said: “We will have benches named for local historian Allan Brigham and for the founder of Mill Road Winter Fair, Suzy Oakes. They were both extremely important to the area and I hope this is a meaningful way to remember them.

“We also want to dedicate a third bench to Syed Abdul Hekim, a very popular man in the community who came to Cambridge from Bangladesh and did a lot of good works in the community. He also changed the curry scene here forever by introducing the first ever tandoori oven to the city.”

Piero D'Angelico is trying to save the carvings in former Hindu temple / Mill Road library . Picture: Keith Heppell. (56702748)
Piero D'Angelico is trying to save the carvings in former Hindu temple / Mill Road library . Picture: Keith Heppell. (56702748)

The dedication for the fourth bench is yet to be decided.

To make a donation or find out more about the project, visit cambridgegatewayfromindia.co.uk.



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