Bridge the Gap is a fundraising walk around the Cambridge Colleges in aid of the Arthur Rank Hospice and Romsey Mill charities. The event took place on the 11th of September and consists of a walk to discover the appeal of Cambridge. This year was the 15th year of Bridge the Gap. For this edition, the route went through seven of the University of Cambridge Colleges and in the University Library in celebration of its 600th anniversary. The meeting was on Parker’s Piece, the start and finish point of the walk, where you could register for £20 if you hadn’t booked a ticket on the Internet yet. You could get the tickets for £18 on the Internet. Once you registered you are given a goody bag with some booklets (including the map of the route that you can see just below), a pen, a fruit and a bottle of water provided by local shops. You then had three starting times: 9.30 am, 10 am or 10.30 am.
As you can see on the map, the route would lead you to Emmanuel, King’s, Clare, Selwyn, Peterhouse, Pembroke and Downing Colleges, where you could explore on your own all the secret recesses and read some details on the booklets. The route would also lead us to the University Library, celebrating its 600th anniversary and the highly-regarded Ai Weiwei exhibition at Downing College. The aim of the walk is to raise funds for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and (new this year) the Romsey Mill, two important charities directly benefiting the local community.
The Arthur Rank Hospice Charity uses the money raised to fund vital services for adults living with a lifelimited illness.. The association is building a new hospice with twice the number of patient beds and three times the amount of outdoor and garden space, the aim is to facilitate the care for patients and their friends and family. Romsey Mill works with over 3,500 people each year, including many of the most vulnerable and isolated young people and families. The money will help them create opportunities, learn new skills and grow in confidence.
Instead of giving you information on each college included in the tour, the focus will be on the Cambridge University library 600th anniversary celebration.
The University Library first appeared by name in March 1416, when the wills of two men, William Loring and William Hunden, left books to the Library for the use of the University of Cambridge students. Having started life as a small collection of few dozen volumes stored in wooden chests, the University Library today holds more than 8 million books, manuscripts, maps, journals and an increasing number of electronic resources, covering all possible subjects. Cambridge University Library is celebrating 600 years as one of the world’s greatest libraries with a programme of extraordinary exhibitions, events and activities for all the family running from March 2016 to March 2017.
(By Bérénice Comolet)