Thank Blue, Cambridge

Churchill College

Last night marked the last chapter in Cambridge's #MakeItBlue campaign which has seen the #ShineBright team illuminate over 20 of the city's most famous landmarks during the past nine weeks. Over the lockdown period, this group of event professionals has been secretly liaising with venues to bring a bit of colour to our city.

“To echo what we said when we first started the campaign, our businesses have been affected greatly by the lockdown, but we wanted to bring some positivity to light.’” said, Justin Crane, Director of The Crane Event. “Pulling together a small team of event suppliers to bring a glow to some of Cambridge’s stunning architecture has been brilliant, but it’s come to a natural end. We hope, at the very least, it’s illuminated Thursday evenings for the Cambridge community.”

For the final week, the team wanted to highlight the community spirit that has prevailed throughout the lockdown and say a great big thank you to everyone who has stayed home and stayed safe.

Robinson College (Photo credit Martin Bond, A Cambridge Diary)

With 31 colleges throughout the city, keeping the community spirit high has been imperative for each of them. This week, the team visited some of the more modern ones including Robinson College (above) where they were able to turn the distinctive red bricks, blue!

Robinson’s Warden Prof. David Yates said “The Robinson College community has gone from strength to strength with everyone pulling together during this challenging time. Our teaching Fellows are in regular touch with our students, the Robinson College Students’ Association is organising events online for all, and our Chef has been donating surplus food items to the local church for distribution to those in our local community that find themselves in need. We are delighted to be part of the #makeitblue campaign in Cambridge. Well done to all involved in such a worthy initiative. We want to thank all our key workers, carers and NHS staff for their efforts and sacrifices. Thank you all.”

With the simple word ‘Forward’ being Churchill College’s motto, it’s no surprise that they have been strong in keeping their community together while finding new ways to move on.

“Community has taken on a whole new meaning in the last few months. At Churchill College, our community is currently scattered across the globe, but every day we share stories of our members who are united in doing their bit in the fight against Covid-19, whether its sewing face masks for colleagues who still need to work, shopping for elderly neighbours, volunteering for the NHS or doing vital research. The Churchill community spirit remains strong despite our dispersal; we are all learning the true meaning of community in these unprecedented times, and now, here at Churchill we are delighted to be part of the #makeitblue community, showing our gratitude to all of those on the front line who are making huge sacrifices every day. We thank you for all that you are doing.”  said, Professor Dame Athene Donald, Master of Churchill College (image top of this page). 

Newnham College (Photo credit Martin Bond, A Cambridge Diary)

Cambridge’s oldest college run by women and for women, Newnham College lit up its Dorothy Garrod Building (above) to highlight the hard work everyone has been doing over the past few months.

Alison Rose, Principal of the college said “Newnham College is delighted to be part of the #makeitblue campaign in Cambridge. We want to thank our NHS staff, carers and key workers, and especially all those members of the college who are contributing so much in many different ways.”  

Granta Park

Finally, the team headed out of the city centre, to the heart of the Cambridge science cluster, Granta Park (above)

TWI's Director of Operations Mike Russell said: “TWI is delighted to have the opportunity to demonstrate our support and gratitude for the amazing people of our NHS and essential support services, who have acted with such bravery and resilience during this extraordinary period. We are also grateful for the work of many colleagues at TWI in support of PPE systems, ventilator developments, running blood donor sessions and many other charitable and support activities. This challenge has brought the best out of our community in many areas and it is fitting to recognise all those involved via the light it blue campaign.” 

To summarise the past couple of months, Justin Crane said:

“It’s given us a continued purpose in these uncertain times. The sense of community from the events world has solidified why we do what we do. We may be wrapping up Cambridge’s #ShineBright campaign for now, but keep your eyes open, you may well see us pop back for a few celebration evenings in the future!”

The #ShineBright team has been made up of kind-hearted event professionals: The Crane Event, JMPS, Pink Lamp, Blueshed, and JezO’s.

Photo credit (images 1-3): Martin Bond, A Cambridge Diary


The Crane Event is an independent, Cambridge-based event agency run by husband and wife team: Justin Crane and Jemma Crane. Their management and marketing services make events memorable for clients such as Arm, Johnson Matthey and Green Custard.

The Crane Event