Slow and Steady wins the race!

Thanks to Chris Evans from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit we have these two lovely aerial images (taken by Paul Bailey) of the Tomorrow, Today model making slow but steady progress across the North West Cambridge site. Originally our hope had been that there would be archaeological activity within the actual site for the model but as it turns out the two sites have almost started to mirror each other - there was very little digging on 'our' side (to the right of the image) but more than expected on the other side. With each day as the model grows the visual and actual connections between the two sites become more marked ...
When you make a project like this you always hope these things will work - but when they really do it's a very nice feeling indeed!

You can now read more from all the volunteers who've been helping to build the work here on their very own Facebook page.

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Photos: Paul Bailey End of weeks 2 & 3

Enjoy Tomorrow, Today with Somewhere

Learn & Practise Self-Build Cob
Cambridge / 5-day courses / running from 19 May - 6 June

Due to the popularity of our first three weeks we have added a few additional places on the the last three Tomorrow, Today cob courses:

Come to Cambridge and spend a rewarding muddy week learning the ancient & sustainable technique of cob building from the UK's leading experts, and be part of an amazing public art project. Following a residency with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit on the site of the North West Cambridge Development Somewhere are creating a 'model village of the future' from the subsoil generated by the archaeological investigations. A walk-through scale model of the paths, houses & shops planned for the future of the site.

£50 per person / £25 concessions for 5 days including all tools, tuition, splendid lunches & teas. Your can book online here.

If you would like to see the project and get a taste of building with cob, we are now additionally offering one day places on Thursdays and Fridays for the next three weeks (starting 22nd/23rd May). You will join the team from that week and work alongside them building with cob and experiencing the model as it develops and changes.

£10 per person / £5 concessions for the day including all tools, tuition, lunch, tea and great cake. For more information or to book a place:

Call Cob Coordinator Kirsten on 07545 218 251 or email

*All participants needs to be over 18 and have a reasonable level of fitness - cobbing is a very physical manual process!*

Managed by the Contemporary Art Society with InSite Arts
Commissioned by the University of Cambridge's North West Cambridge Development as part of the North West Cambridge Art Programme:

Thanks to Cambridge Archaeological Unit

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Come Cob With Us!

Couldn't make a whole week of cobbing but fancy seeing the model in progress and having a go? The two Saturday open days could be for you ... !

Open Days - Saturday 10 May & Saturday 31 May, 11am – 4pm

Gravel Hill Farm, North West Cambridge Development, Madingley Rise,
Cambridge, CB3 0FU. Access via Huntingdon Rd.

Come and visit the work in progress of a scale cob model of the future North West Cambridge Development at open days on Saturday 10 and 31 May.

‘Tomorrow, Today’ is a spectacular walk-through scale model of part of the new North West Cambridge Development. Devised by artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, this ‘futuristic model village’ encourages its makers and visitors to imagine the future communities of North West Cambridge Development. The model is entirely constructed by hand using cob (a mix of clay, sand and straw) and will be approximately 75metres in length. Cob is an ancient, sustainable, building material that recycles material from the site. Over a six-week period, teams of volunteers join the artists and a leading cob expert to learn how to cob and to help construct the vast art work.

Artist Nina Pope said, "We've had a great first week working on the cob model with a really keen group of volunteers. What was particularly interesting was to be working alongside the archaeology team on site - as they were digging down into the past we were beginning to try and visualise the future of the site."

Our Visitor Open Days invite members of the public to see our progress, meet the artists and try their hand at working with cob on the model.

The idea for ‘Tomorrow, Today’ emerged from the artists’ year-long residency with the Cambridge University Archaeology Department and re-uses the earth dug from the recent archaeological excavations. The archaeology has unveiled that the area had a rich history with vibrant settlements throughout the ages from the pre-historic to Roman periods, including burials, coins, pottery, and even early 20th century University research buildings.

Once completed in early June, the model will remain in place temporarily before being buried under the growing Development, for re-discovery by the archaeologists of the future.

The open days will take place on Saturday 10 May and Saturday 31 May from 11am-4pm. Visitors of all ages are welcome. Sensible footwear and outdoors clothing are advised. For more information visit

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Welcome to Somewhere Muddy …

Can we extend a VERY warm welcome to Natalie McIlroy who has just joined us as our new project assistant for Tomorrow, Today. Fresh from Zurich to a muddy patch of Cambridge - as you can see she has been immediately assimilated into the cobbing team ... the yellow dots behind her are the student archaeologists also on site this week too.

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Natalie working on a housing block

Test bricks ... Tiny steps

It's only lunch time on day one of Tomorrow, Today and already we've 'foot-mixed' 6 loads of cob and the group test bricks are drying out ... Nice first steps for a long journey ahead!

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Cobbing begins!

Kate Edwards kicks off our first week of cobbing, I'm taking it as a good omen that more people than I expected arrived this morning rather than the normal start-of-course dropout experience!

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White sticks mark the spot ...

Well actually the edges of the spots that will become our cob model -as from next week! Very exciting to start seeing the shape laid out on the site and (yellow figures in the background) also lots of student archaeologists right next to our site. As we build up a picture of the future they will be digging down to the past ... At some points we even overlap!

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Solid, solid as a rock!

Our test cob block built in the CAU garden survived the winter rather well ...

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Come Cob with Us

Come and take part in our ambitious mud model project - Tomorrow, Today

Just a quick Friday reminder for any of you who thought about coming to Cambridge to create *cob (!) and let it slip through your in box -
there are still a (very) few places left for booking.
These are in Week 2 (5-9th May) and Week 4 19-23rd of May. Anyone who would like to know more should contact Kirsten (see across in red) our cob co-ordinator via:
cob 'at' - we'd love to have you join us!
As you can see from this picture we have a lot of material to make into cob and a very big flat space to fill with our model. With Karen & Kirsten is the fantastic cob expert Kate Edwards who will be mentoring us and instructing some of the groups over the 6 weeks.
*Cob - a mixture of compressed clay and straw used, esp. in former times, for building walls.

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Karen, Kate and Kirsten on the site for Tomorrow, Today

A job at Abbey Gardens


This excellent opportunity offers the challenge of working with a diversity of people within a newly formed charity. The role involves project managing the administration and funding of the charity, assisting in planning the garden’s programme and co-ordinating the garden’s publicity and communications.

The Project Co-ordinator will be self-employed and contracted for an initial 6 months, which can be extended, subject to funding.

Ideally, the successful candidate will possess some experience in charity administration or running local / community gardens. However, enthusiastic and motivated individuals with related experience will also be seriously considered.

To learn more and find out how to apply, please read the job description here.

Closing dates for applications is 12th April 2014.

For more information about this post, please contact jobs 'at' or visit the Friends of Abbey Gardens website.

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