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Lanterns light up Cambridge’s Mill Road




The annual Mill Road Winter Fair may have been cancelled this year, but that doesn’t mean an end to the festivities.

Penny Sobr with some of the Mill Road lanterns she has made
Penny Sobr with some of the Mill Road lanterns she has made

The Mill Road Winter Fair committee reluctantly took the decision to cancel this December’s event, as government Covid restrictions do not permit large gatherings.

Instead, they put in place a community project, Mill Road Lanterns, alongside an online fair.

Chair of the fair committee, Kate Collins, said: “This and other local community projects are funded by a new charity, Love Mill Road, and we are thrilled that this will help to make the fair more sustainable long term.”

Mill Road Lanterns celebrates the identity and culture of the area, highlighting the diversity, history and independence of the neighbourhood.

Some of the Mill Road lanterns made by Penny Sobr
Some of the Mill Road lanterns made by Penny Sobr

Throughout the summer, local residents and schoolchildren from some of the side streets off Mill Road put together words and images to reflect what is special about their community.

These have been transformed by artist and illustrator, Penny Sobr, into the 10 community lanterns, which have been hung in shops on either side of the Mill Road bridge.

The lanterns are illuminating the first two weeks of December, spanning the weekend when this year’s event was to take place. The hope is to add further lanterns to represent Mill Road streets, schools and organisations in the years to come, and that the lanterns will form the core of the community parade in future fairs.

An illustrated Mill Road Trail is accompanying the lanterns. The route begins at Arjuna Foods and goes past such landmarks as Mill Road Cemetery and Ditchburn Place, before finishing on Mill Road Romsey, on the corner of Romsey Terrace.

A portrait-style version of the Mill Road lantern trail map. Image: Mill Road Winter Fair (43511120)
A portrait-style version of the Mill Road lantern trail map. Image: Mill Road Winter Fair (43511120)


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