Just off main Mill Road is Hope Street Yard – a community in its own right with a fantastic mix of independent traders – including Makers’ Gallery with its picture framing studio and light and bright art gallery space; Romsey Retro where the motto is ‘finding forgotten treasures’ and the very unique and very colourful School Run Centre, also known as Cambridge Dutch Bikes.
Upstairs at Makers’ Gallery, owner Neil Christie offers a bespoke framing service. Using his artistic eye as well as his practical skills, Neil produces all the framing work himself from an extensive selection of mounts and mouldings. Adjacent to the framing studio is the gallery space where Neil has the opportunity to exhibit his own paintings, drawings and sculptures. This ‘artspace’ is also home to life drawing classes – also taught by Neil.
Over at Romsey Retro, owner Clair has polished, repaired and painted old items so they can find new owners. The original stories of these objects have been lost, but when they leave Romsey Retro, they become part of a new story. A folding butterfly chair lives on a barge on the Cam. A local photographer snapped up an anglepoise lamp and the familiar green cups and saucers of the WI have a new home in Illinois.
The different permutations on transporting varying numbers of small children (and your pet dog), doing the weekly shopping or tackling the daily commute, appear endless but are all catered for by Hugh Salt at the School Run Centre. And as the Yard is traffic free, you can test drive a classic traditional dutchbike, cargobike, mummybike, tandem or tricycle easily and in safety. The brands Hugh stocks include Azor, Bakfiets.nl, Nihola, BSP and Onderwater.
Hope Street Yard
Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3NA
The School Run Centre
Discover unique boutiques and boutique hotels mingled with communities of artists and craftspeople. Sample an award-winning restaurant or thriving little café tucked away in a back street – all easy to locate with the 200 page full-colour Independent Cambridge guide.
Handily presented with a map and an index at the beginning of each section, this book is the indispensable key to finding out what’s on offer from the independents of Cambridge. Get your copy from Waterstones, Heffers, many of the independent shops or online at www.independent-cambridge.co.uk