If you take the cycle path from Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge out towards Great Shelford you find yourself following this odd multi-coloured path. The colours seem to be randomly distributed and the whole thing goes on for quite a distance.
The Sustrans website explains:
This section of the National Cycle Network .... marks the 10,000th mile of the National Cycle Network, opened in September 2005 by Sir John Sulston. The work on this route celebrates the role of the nearby Sanger Institute in decoding the vital human gene BRCA2.
BRCA2 is just one of the 30,000 genes in the human genome and, plays an important role in our bodies; producing a protein that helps to repair human DNA.
A series of stripes in four colours representing the 10,257 genetic letters, or bases, of the gene BRCA2 have been laid on the path using thermoplastic strips heat welded onto the tarmac. It is the sequence of the four bases colour coded - adenine (A) in green, cytosine (C) in blue, guanine (G) in yellow and thymine (T) in red - that contains the code for life. As visitors cycle or walk over these stripes they will be traversing a portion of their own genome.
Royal And Ancient ?
On Royston golf course there are many mounds and hollows to be negotiated. Most of the mounds are raised tees or greens but nearby is this mound (as well as several other similar ones) which is of an altogether more ancient origin. For it is a Bronze Age burial mound constructed for a tribal leader and situated on the skyline and commanding huge views over the flatlands of Cambridgeshire.
Colour In Church
In Bassingbourn church are these welcome splashes of colour - quilted banners hanging from the stone columns or, in the case of the larger one, decorating the pulpit.
Tucked away in the corner of Abington Piggots church is this rather battered chest. All parishes used to have one to store important records. Generally there were several locks and all the keyholders would have to be present in order for documents to be deposited or taken out. Even so records in many parishes are incomplete.
When I was young I remember being very taken with the word 'obelisk'. It was only ever used, as far as I could tell, to describe Cleopatra's Needle, the Egyptian obelisk on the banks of the Thames. It seemed a waste of such an excellent word! Little did I know that we had one in Cambridgeshire.
It is a memorial to Gregory Wale who departed this life in 1739. What heroic deeds did he accomplish to deserve such a monument? Well, apart from a leading role in local government, nothing very remarkable. And that's what I like about it. It was erected by a friend to mark the fact that Mr Wale was "a good subject, an agreeable companion, a faithful friend, an hospitable neighbour and in all parts of life a useful member of society": things which can not always be said of those who have achieved more fame.
Everything Under The Sun
A house displays a Fire Insurance plaque as householders would have had to do in the early days of insurance. If you didn't keep up to date with your payments they wouldn't put out the fire!
I'm not sure if this is an original plaque or not - it's certainly been put up quite recently as can be seen from the modern screw-heads!