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Learning to live with and without prosthetics in a technological world

a talk at Milton Road School by

John Willis


Wednesday 17th January 2018 7.30pm


John Willis was born in Cambridge without fully formed arms and legs. He has participated in just about every sport and has made it his life's work to make sport accessible to the disabled, and to enable them to participate with the able-bodied. To this end he has set up a charity Power2Inspire of which he is the CEO and which organises sports events in which all can take part. A man who inspires others and an inspiring speaker himself.

This talk will be at the school (in the rear hall), not the library which is about to undergo demolition and reconstruction. Car parking is available at the school



Space is limited and these talks are ticketed. Please apply to the Friends of Milton Road Library by email to fmr.library@gmail.com or by leaving us a note at the temporary library.

Tickets are free to all and donations for the Power2Inspire charity will be welcome.




A Wander Round Wodehouse

This was the annual Christmas event, a dramatic presentation by Geoff Hales Travelling Theatre

Geoff performed his play about P.G.Wodehouse in which the creator of Bertie Wooster, Jeeves and Lord Emsworth addresses a literary society and talks about his beginnings as a writer, his early life, his career as a lyricist and his time as a Hollywood screenwriter.

Wednesday 6th December 7.30pm

at Milton Road School


Would Fermat's Last Theorem have been solved without Milton Road Library?
                      a talk by Simon Singh


Well known science populariser, writer and broadcaster on 

Fermat's Last Theorem – Puzzle and Proof

A Layperson's Introduction to the Most Notorious Problem in the History of Mathematics.

Friday 10 November 2017

To be preceded by an informal get-together marking the end of this stage of the library's life before it is demolished and rebuilt

Fermat's Last Theorem was proposed in the 17th century and remained unsolved for over three centuries despite the efforts of many great mathematicians.  In 1963, at the age of 10, Andrew Wiles came across the problem in Milton Road Library.  In 1994 he managed to prove the theorem to wide acclaim, making front page headlines around the world. This is the story of a childhood dream, an adult obsession and a battle against an apparently impossible problem.


The Augustinian Canons


at Barnwell Priory, Cambridge

A talk by Dr Sarah Preston                        The Cellarer’s Chequer, Barnwell Priory

The Priory of St Giles and St Andrew, Barnwell, was one of the earliest houses of Augustinian Canons in England. Although little remains of its buildings, its surviving manuscripts are an important source not just for Cambridge history but that of the entire order. This talk on the history of the Priory, both before and after the Reformation, places Barnwell in its proper significance in English history. 

7.30 pm Tuesday 25th April


The Search for

Thomas Farrer

A talk by Michael Bond  

9th March 2017

It all started with a clock. The clock stood on the turn of the stairs of our cottage. The maker’s name was Thomas Farrer, Saxmundham.

My talk is the story of the search to find out who he was. I hope it will inspire others to get around to doing their own research into family history.


Love Food, Hate Waste

A talk by Birgitta Laurent        Wednesday 8th February

Recycling Coordinator for Cambridge City Council

UK households waste about £12 billion worth of good food and drink every year.  That’s up to £50 a month for the average family.  You can help reduce this.  Come and hear how you can make a difference

Christmas Presentation   -   Thursday 8th December at 7.30

The Friends invited you to their annual Christmas event at Milton Rd library, with a dramatic presentation by Geoff Hales Travelling Theatre

This year Geoff performed his play, Private Kipling, about the life of Rudyard Kipling. The play depicts an empire on which the sun is about to set and in the play Kipling reads a number of his poems.


The History of the Post Office in Cambridge

a talk by Dr Simon Kelly   17th November

Cambridge Post Office 1635-2016

Dr Kelly will examine the ten known sites of the Head Post Office in Cambridge from 1635 to date and show you what can be seen of them today. He will describe some of the changes in how the mails were carried and introduce postal personalities of significance, such as Hobson of Hobson's Choice and the Blind Postmaster General.

The story even involves dragons and skeletons! Finally he will bring some Post Office equipment and artefacts which has been rescued from destruction!

The Magna Carta and Women  6th October

Today, more than 150 years after Harriet Taylor’s hopes, expressed in her ‘Enfranchisement of Women’ 800 years after King John agreed at Runnymede under the eyes of barons intent on advancing their rights, is Magna Carta relevant to today’s women?

In ‘Magna Carta in the Twentieth and Twenty First Centuries’ (2015), Michael Beloff, QC, contended Magna Carta was ‘an always speaking statute’: it ‘should be given its current, not simply its historic meaning’. How then does Magna Carta in its past and current meanings speak for women? Is Magna Carta a charter for advancing women’s rights or a licence for affirming women’s wrongs?

Jocelynne Scutt is author of
“Women & The Magna Carta – A Treaty for Rights or Wrongs?”


The Museum of Cambridge

a talk by Shelley Lockwood  from Cambridge and County Folk Museum   19 July

This was an opportunity to learn about the Folk Museum and the treasures it holds. The collection is constantly being added to and Shelley will provide an illustrated talk about the museum, its history and the many articles on display and in storage.


Dame Rosemary Murray

16th May

British chemist and educator, Dame Rosemary Murray was instrumental in establishing New Hall, Cambridge, now Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, and in 1975 was the first woman to hold the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

Her biographer, Alison Wilson, will talk about Dame Murray and researching and writing her biography “Changing Women’s Lives”

This talk has been arranged in conjunction with the Milton Rd Library Reading Group and is at the earlier than usual time of 7pm


Writing Science Fiction

7.30pm Thursday 19th May

A talk by the “rising star” of British SF, Chris Beckett

Winner of the Arthur C Clarke award 2013 for Dark Eden, author Chris Beckett will be talking about his writing and about SF as a genre.


Ferries on the Cam

A talk by local historian, David Stubbings

Until the 19th century ferries were the only way to cross the Cam between Magdalene bridge and the sea. Road and foot bridges then started to appear but ferries kept going for some time. A few remaining slipways into the river, Ferry Path and the (late lamented) Penny Ferry pub provide clues to their presence in the past. David’s talk promises to reveal far more about the way our predeccessors were carried across the river.

Wednesday 13th April  7.30pm at Milton Road Library


England Our England

A light-hearted musical presentation with words and songs on the theme of ‘England Our England,  presented by Rex Freeman (with organ accompanist). 
Rex presented a very popular evening’s entertainment entitled “Growing Old Disgracefully” in July last year. 

Thursday 10th March 2016


Down Your Street

Sara Payne talked about her research and writing the very popular articles in the Cambridge Evening News about life around Cambridge. Those articles were then turned into books. Volume III was published recently.

"Down Your Street, Cambridge Past and Present"

Each chapter consists of two parts: the first is the original article as it appeared in the Cambridge Weekly News thirty years ago. In the second Sara Payne revisits each street to find out how it has changed since. The recollections, anecdotes and observations of local residents old and new form the core of this update.

Thursday 11th February 2016


Four Ladies Wot Paint!

Local artists Carmen Renwick, Conni Johnson, Maureen Mace and Sarah Carter provided us with a fun evening’s talk about their inspirations, artwork and creativity in all its forms. More on the artists here.

Thursday 21st January 2016


Christmas Readings

A popular programme of favourite comic, traditional and sentimental Christmas poems and prose including readings from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Poster

The Friends once again arranged for Geoff Hales to make one of his theatrical presentations at the library.

Thursday 3rd December 2016


The Bin and Beyond:

a talk by Rebecca Weymouth-Wood, Recycling Officer at Cambridge City Council

Tuesday 10th November 2015

An over view of the recycling service in Cambridge. What can be recycled, what happens to it, are we any good at it?

Rebecca also brought some recycled compost, available free at the Waterbeach depot.


Living Wills

Thursday 1st October 2015

How do you convey your wishes for your end of life care? How might a Living Will help? This talk was by Dr Dominic Stevens who worked as a GP for over 40 years. Please click here for more information about this talk.





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