From the introduction of the book
Having been 'Cutting through the Colleges' and 'Cutting across Cambridge', it is high time we cut our way around the county. Our work is all over the world, but Cambridgeshire has always been a first for the Workshop.
As in the City Book, we can present only a selection of what has been done in the county for over half a century: there is just too much, in a body of commissions that is always on the go. Church and civic work is side by side as before. We open with two special chapters; then go to the outskirts of Cambridge, and spiral round clockwise through the region. We end in Ely Cathedral. Strict county boundaries have been crossed on occasion in order to include conveniently grouped sites.
We were pleased to find the great bulk of what we were looking for: less of the lost property that has exercised us before. The threesome of these books underline what engages us most of all - that letters cut in stone and, other materials are part of the fabric of human experience, to be held very close. Or else we die.
David Kindersley (1915 – 95) had been Eric Gill’s apprentice (1934 – 36) before setting out on his own in Sussex and Dorset. Gill’s widow asked him back in 1943 to take over (rescue the more accurate term) that master’s workshop in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. David then moved to Barton in January 1945 in order to set up his own new workshop. It was a risky venture, particularly with two apprentices also engaged - would the commissions come in those austere post-war times? The Cambridge University Printer Brooke Crutchley had been encouraging, and there was an immediate January commission for a large memorial cross in a Cambridge cemetery (Lendon Smith 1946, see 'Cutting across Cambridge’).
It must have been especially pleasing that two further commissions arose at once in the village of Barton: Hopton Wood stones for Elliott Howes at The Five Houses, the first of 7 commissions there. They were followed by another big 1945 piece, a Portland stone ledger for Balsham churchyard – in loving memory of Hanslip Long of Balsham and his wife Mildred. Six other requests for stones in various counties also rolled in; a good beginning after all. The Workshop, with David 30 year’s old, was en route, moving later to the old school house at 152 Victoria Road, where it remains. We describe the Cambridgeshire harvest of the first 65 years.
1st edition, 2012, paperback, 168pp, full colour throughout, 12.3 x 19.5 cm