Introduction to the book by Thomas Sherwood
A couple of years ago Lida asked me to find and photograph every Cardozo Kindersley Workshop inscription at Girton; towards a record which might become a leaflet for College members and visitors. Girton has a large Kindersley store, and not just stones: many oak panels in the chapel, for instance.
This exercise was a useful dry run. The Workshop has carefully organized files of everything that has been done since 1930. Location is simply noted: 'Chapel' is easy enough, but 'Old Chemistry Laboratory' was a challenge. I learnt about inveigling myself into the confidence of college staff, and do not just mean bursars. Porters, gardeners, cleaners proved particularly useful. Colleges change continually with the times; their rooms are remodelled, reassigned, and their old functions forgotten. The Old Chemistry Laboratory turned out to be House Services (but tablet intact).
So when the task was expanded to include all Cambridge colleges, there was some walking and talking to do. It took about a month. My chief experience was of willing and helpful people keen to assist me, after an initial moment of reserve about what I might be up to. In our security-dominated age a strange someone clambering around the place with a camera is apt to arouse suspicion. Quite often concerned college members halted me in my tracks. Only to be pumped for information once I had explained myself.
Colleges vary of course in their Kindersley holdings, from one or two to some so brass plates in Trinity College Chapel alone. The locations could be exotic. I enjoyed climbing to the roof parapet where the slate commemorating architects, builders and bursars is exposed to all weather and seen by no-one. The outside wall of a chapel might need quite careful scrutiny to discover the simple initials of a past someone elegantly carved there. 'This room is named...' leans up against some wall on a floor behind a TV set: not in a college building after all now - intentions change. There are plangent stones in college gardens recording people lost, needing leaves and branches to be brushed aside.
And I have been moved, finding the short memories (as I tried to locate this or that forgotten relic) and the lasting beauty of these inscriptions. There is Purcell's Dido's heart-breaking 'Remember me, remember me': Cambridge Kindersley stones make sure we do.
The book is in two parts: plus a map inside the covers for walks round the colleges. Descriptions of the work in each college are Part 1; here the inscriptions are numbered, in red if illustrated. These numbers allow ready reference to Part 2; a comprehensive catalogue with dates, materials and dimensions.
About the authors
Lida Lopez Cardozo Kindersley studied, design at the Royal Academy in the Hague before joining David Kindersley in 1976 as an apprentice in his workshop. She became his partner in David Kindersley's Workshop in 1981 and joined him in training apprentices. Since David’s death in 1995 she has run the workshop, continuing in a tradition inherited from Eric Gill. Many of the workshop’s stones are in churches and cathedrals, and on public buildings, but she has always been most passionate about memorial stones for individuals.
Thomas Sherwood was the foundation Professor of Radiology and also Clinical Dean of the Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine. He was drawn into the Kindersley Workshop through commissioning various stones there, and at Frensham Heights School and for The Lancet. He is a writer of medical papers, textbooks and occasional pieces.
1st edition 2011, paperback, 136pp, packed with over 200 full colour photographs, 12.3 x 19.5 cm