The Escutcheon

Volume 8

Number 1 – Michaelmas Term, 2002

The First Eve Logan Memorial Lecture

Derek Palgrave

When Eve Logan died, just under two years ago, her fellow members of the Executive Committee felt that it was important to acknowledge her outstanding contributions to the Society. They decided firstly, that there should be an Annual Lecture to honour her memory, and secondly that her transcripts of several Cambridge College Registers should be published in book form.

Dr Robin Glasscock was invited to deliver the inaugural lecture in the Thirkill Room at Clare College Cambridge, on Thursday, November 28th, 2002. He was introduced by Anando Mukerjee, a former President, who had been in office whilst Eve was serving on the Executive Committee during the year 2000. Anando spoke about the unique qualities Eve had brought to the Society and invited those present to drink a toast to her memory. He later presented a specimen copy of the Eve's book of transcripts to Dr Glasscock.

The lecture was devoted to the major changes which had taken place in Cambridge since the Roman occupation. The audience was shown a series of excellent maps and illustrations including several photographs, many of which had been taken either from the air or from high vantage points. The critical role of the river both as a physical constraint to building development and as a viable means of transport was explored in some detail. The lecturer pointed out that many of the open green spaces still seen in the town have been retained largely because of the ever-present risk of flooding.

Cambridge had very little in the way of good local building material and, although some chalk was used, it normally essential to protect it with a more durable coating. There were still several walls in situ which were dependent on this technique. However, most of the colleges had been constructed from imported stone much of which had been brought by water from Northamptonshire.

Quite apart from its prominence as a university town, Cambridge had always served its surrounding area by providing a regular market. A photograph showing cattle standing in the market place emphasised the importance of such trading which, after all, went on until quite recent times.

Understanding our immediate environment together with that of our ancestors is an essential step in appreciating the significance of change. There is often a tendency to take for granted so much of what we see in our surroundings. Robin Glasscock's lecture was a salutary reminder of our heritage.

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