BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

13 November 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites

Contact Us

Places Features

You are in: Cambridgeshire > Places > Places Features > Cambridge 800

Cambridge 800 in Pembroke College

Cambridge 800 in Pembroke College

Cambridge 800

800 years in the making; 18 months in the planning. Welcome to the University of Cambridge's 800th anniversary celebrations - Cambridge 800 is a year-long event showcasing the very best of its past, present and future...

Happy birthday to our fine University!

Over the coming year, the University of Cambridge will be opening its doors as never before in celebration of 800 years of the kind of education and innovation that has helped secure its reputation as one of the finest universities in the world.

Bell ringing at Cambridge University

Bell ringing at Cambridge University

You may have noticed the banners festooning streetlights around the city, across bridges and on The Backs, advertising the 800 celebrations. There are 200 of these banners, so if you haven't spotted them yet, you soon will - and they'll stay in place for the entire year.

Ringing in the 800th year of the University

The celebrations have already kicked off in style, with a lightshow featuring projections including artwork specially commissioned for the event by the illustrator Quentin Blake (he of Roald Dahl fame), and an ex-Downing College student.

Darwin, by Quentin Blake (copyright image)

Copyright Quentin Blake 2008

The show, projected onto the walls of the Senate House and Old Schools was a stunning sight accompanied by bells from many of the city's churches and college chapels ringing out touches of 800 changes especially composed for the occasion by Clare College alumnus Phil Earis.

Bells joined in with this new composition from churches across the world, including Canada, the USA and Australia, marking the start of this very special year.

Quentin Blake talks about the lightshow

Artist Quentin Blake spoke to BBC Look East presenter about the lightshow, the artwork he created for it, and his memories of being a student at the University of Cambridge. "It's a great memory for me," he says. "A huge step forward in my education. It altered my whole attitude to education and reading."

Watch Quentin Blake talking to Susie Fowler-Watt by clicking on the link below:

We also spoke to Professor Jeremy Sanders, who knows everything there is to know about the University's history, achievements, students and its place within the city - not because he's 800 years old himself, but because he's in charge of making sure that Year 800 goes with a bang!

He explains to our Breakfast Show presenter, Jeremy Sallis, why this is such an important landmark for the University of Cambridge and what they're hoping to achieve during the coming year.

Cambridge 800 banner (copyright H Rice)

Banner - copyright H Rice

The slogan for this anniversary is "Transforming Tomorrow". Professor Sanders explains that the University has been transforming the world through the ideas and innovations of its students and staff - from Darwin and Newton, to the development of test tube babies - not to mention the actors, writers and performers who have honed their craft here in Cambridge.

"The University is more than the stereotyped images of punting and May Balls," he says.

And that's exactly what the 800th anniversary year is setting out to prove to us all.

You can listen to the full interview with Professor Sanders by clicking on the link below:

Cambridge 800

More information on the history of the University and its 800th anniversary

Watch BBC Look East presenter Kim Riley's report on the importance of the University within the city, as well as the academic community - including the global influence of its 31 colleges, on this link:

And Susie Fowler-Watt looks at the history of the University and its effects on all of our lives from the discovery of DNA to football rules. "You're very aware that you're standing on the shoulders of giants," says the University's Dr Andrew Lacey...

last updated: 19/01/2009 at 13:09
created: 16/01/2009

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Danielle Sanches
It is very sad that the videos are not played when you're outside of UK. If Cambridge University is so important to the world, why just citizens from UK are allowed to see the videos?

Rhoda Joseph
Brillant job

Shame that 2009 sees the beginning of the end of prining at Cambridge University Press the oldest printers in the world.

The lightshow was simply stunning! Such a shame that it wasn't better publicised in advance nor ran for longer as I'm sure that far more people would have liked to have seen it.Maybe they could bring it back in the summer?

Philip Roberts
Will you be recording any of the bellringing?If you are, how can I listen to it?I'm a bellringer from Quainton, Bucks.

You are in: Cambridgeshire > Places > Places Features > Cambridge 800

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy