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Tribute unveiled for Allan Brigham, founding member of the Mill Road History Society and former council employee





Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society have unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham. Allan was a founding member of the Mill Road History Project and Society, a local historian, and a long serving employee of the council.

Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair
Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair

The society worked closely with Janice Western, Allan’s partner, and the council, which organised the installation of the bench in time for the Mill Road Winter Fair, which took place last Saturday (December 3).

A celebratory event was held at the start of the fair. A group of approximately 70 people including the mayor and lady mayoress of Cambridge, Cllr Mark Ashton and Barbara Ashton, city councillors, friends and family gathered at the bench to the accompaniment of a saxophonist and drummer.

Sophie Smiley, Green Badge guide and Cllr Richard Robertson, ward councillor for Petersfield, both spoke of their admiration and affection for Allan. The bench was unveiled by Cllr Robertson on behalf of the council and Mary Naylor, chair of the Mill Road History Society.

Allan Brigham. Picture: Philip Mynott Photographer
Allan Brigham. Picture: Philip Mynott Photographer

The bench has been funded with the help of donations from friends and family, the Mill Road History Society and the council. Allan worked sweeping the streets of Cambridge for nearly four decades as an employee of the council. He also led history tours around the city for tourists and residents.

Cllr Alex Collis, executive councillor for open spaces, food justice and community development, said: “Allan wore many hats in this city as a council employee and well-known member of the community.

“This bench is a tribute to Allan, to Allan’s passion for Cambridge and its history, and his many contributions to making our city a better place. You couldn’t help but be drawn in by his love of Cambridge, and of the environment – I remember going on a fantastic bat safari with him around Romsey recreation ground. I am so pleased that we have been able to come together as a community to pay tribute to someone who gave so much to our city.”

Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair
Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair
Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair
Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair

Caro Wilson, a founder member and secretary of the history society, added: “Allan was a street sweeper, a shop steward, a local historian, tour guide and a community activist, and was very much loved by many people in Cambridge.

Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair
Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair

“It seemed right to place the bench on the railway bridge, next to the one dedicated to Suzy Oakes, overlooking Petersfield, Romsey and the former depot site where he worked. Suzy was another much-loved Mill Road champion who worked closely with Allan. I think these benches look good side by side and will be welcomed by many passers-by.

Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair
Cambridge City Council and the Mill Road History Society unveiled a memorial bench on the Mill Road railway bridge in memory of Allan Brigham ahead of the 2022 Mill Road Winter Fair

“We would like to thank people for their donations and are hugely appreciative of the council for commissioning and arranging the installation of the bench, just in time for the Mill Road Winter Fair. Allan loved the fair and always ran an early morning tour of the road before it started. He is hugely missed.”



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