The college dons weren't the only cunning operators however, both the local landowners and then the railway-builders themselves soon managed to manipulate things to their advantage. In order to build their tracks the railway companies were forced to buy up large parcels of land that they didn't really need; no one was going to sell them a strip just wide enough to lay their tracks.
So the railway companies decided to build houses on the spare land, initially for their workers, but then for the increased population which the railway attracted. Mills and factories were built in the area and their workers needed housing. As a result the construction of railways became a very lucrative enterprise.
If you look at a map you'll see that Cambridge is a very lop-sided city; its growth is nearly all eastwards towards the railway, while the "city centre" is, in fact, completely off-centre, over by the western edge.
These streets are not much visited, apart from by those who live there, and are not much photographed either. However something made me want to investigate and see what I could find to point my camera at. It involved a lot of walking for not many photos, but I hope that what I found is of some interest, particularly to those from other countries.
Such high-density housing is common enough in Britain, particularly in the industrial towns built during the nineteenth century. It was before the advent of the motor car so everyone had to walk to work or to the shops. Nowadays in Cambridge almost everyone has a bicycle. But is this landscape ever....
Probably not, though when we've lost most of these streets, in another century or so, they'll no doubt be a campaign to save them for posterity.
You can see from the "Sold" signs in the photo above that these homes are still popular today, mainly perhaps because of their nearness to the city. In fact they are probably more sought-after than ever; I remember a time when people had mainly heard of these streets from the criminal court reports in the local paper!
Maybe there are some dodgy characters still lurking behind the curtains keeping an eye on passers-by!
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Speaking of dodgy characters.... I never thought there'd be any "huge prizes" to give away because the mystery photo of my last post....
....the one on the left, started out as....the one on the right, which was moss on an old mobile home, which also had snail trails on it. So no wacky baccy was smoked to produce such a psychedelic image. Just what I was on to be photographing snail-trails is another matter....