Notice of upcoming works – Milton

We have been asked By Cambridgeshire County Council to share the following notices:-

“Carriageway maintenance works are due to take place on the A10 Milton and the A14 J33 Gyratory, between Arbury Road and Kings Hedges Drive. The works will take place between the 23/10 – 8/12, Monday – Friday, Overnight between the hours of 21:00 and 05:00.

The works mentioned above will be carried out under a full road closure. Due to the nature of the works through route access will be allowed unless agreed prior.”

Your invitation to view Milton’s historic Repton Gate

Do you want to see the original Repton Gate? Our famous Repton Gate, designed by Humphry Repton, which stood at the entrance to the Rectory from the late 1780’s until the late 1980’s has been carefully restored and is now displayed in the Pavilion at North Lodge.

We invite all residents to view the installation when we open the doors of the Pavilion on Tuesday 10th October from 6.30pm to 8.00pm. There you will be able to view the gate and hear our local history group give a short presentation on the history of the gate and of Repton himself.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see this important Milton artifact.

Welcome to Milton!

Photo of village gateway sign

The project to install new signs began in January 2022 when the Parish Council approached local resident Chris Thomas who volunteered a possible concept for the gateway design which included seven elements to represent the village.

The suggested focus was emphasis on the people and community of Milton and its visitors. The aim was for a modern clean look – loosely based on Art Deco style. The proposal was then interpreted by Vanessa Morris, the artist at Morris Cast signs, keeping very close to the original designs.

The three main elements which immediately catch the eye are:

  1. Female Milton footballer (representing village sport, diversity, equality). Milton has a number of successful football teams.
  2. Male Milton cyclist with children (representing family, transport, environment).
  3. All Saints Milton. The oldest building in the village – in continuous use by the community since the beginning of the 12th Century.

    The four minor elements that are revealed when taking a closer look are:

    1. Bowls players on the green (representing the many village sports and other activities for residents of all ages)
    2. Lake, trees, and path (Country Park, recreation, community facilities).
    3. Baits Bite Lock & River (recreation and transport).
    4. Jane Coston Bridge (modern construction, linking communities – Milton to Cambridge).

    We appreciate this is an idealised representation of Milton, a mainly residential village, but one that aims to reflect us and our community at this moment in the 21st century.

    All those involved in creating these signs have contributed their time and effort freely without expecting or receiving any payment. They were manufactured by Morris Cast Signs with all costs being paid for as a developer funded arts project. No monies from local rates and taxes of residents were used for this project.

    Inconsiderate Parking in Milton

    The Parish Council have received complaints and comments about the increase in inconsiderate parking (parking on footpaths, parking too close to junctions and on bends)

    Some of the areas in question are: Old School Lane, Willow Crescent (in front of Red Balloon and the junction), The Elms, The Rowans and Woodman Way

    In particular, parking on the footpaths causes an obstruction to pushchair, wheelchair and mobility scooters users as they cannot pass safely on the path and therefore have to pass on the road – please park on the road and be considerate to other users.

    Inconsiderate parking poster

    Advice from SCDC for the refuse collection changover

    Information from SCDC on the waste collections during the September schedule changes

    We have received the following advice  from SCDC :

    “There will be a few villages / parishes that have a slightly longer wait for the collection of one waste stream but then have an earlier collection than the usual 2-week cycle for other waste streams. This is temporary and will only happen for the first 2-week cycle after the new collection arrangements go live, following which the routine collections for all bins will then be the usual 2-week cycle.

    We have had to do this to be able to optimise the existing arrangements – if we tried to introduce constraints of maintaining existing collection days etc, then we wouldn’t have been able to readily optimise the existing arrangements.

    In the case of Milton:

    There will be an additional 6 days wait for recycling collections on top of the usual fortnight (14+6= 20 days), whilst for refuse collections there will be -8 days relative to the usual fortnight (14-8= 6 days). 

      1. For those that have two black bin collections in a row and are concerned with the build-up of recycling and green bin waste:
        Please follow our side waste policy. We can collect one transparent sack of mixed recycling (excluding glass) and one bundle of cardboard left next to your blue bin on collection day. Please read our guidelines on how to set these out correctly. You can take separated materials (cans, paper, glass etc), and garden waste to the large Household Recycling Centres near Milton or Thriplow. We also recommend home composting if you have a lot of garden waste.

        If you are uncomfortable leaving food waste in your bin for longer than 2 weeks, please alternate using your black bin and green bin for disposal of food during this time.

      2. For those that have two blue/green bin collections in a row and are concerned with the build-up of black bin waste:
        Please ensure that you place all items suitable for recycling in your blue bin, to optimise the capacity of the black bin. Excess black bin waste can be taken to the large Household Recycling Centres near Milton or Thriplow.In exceptional cases where waste is offensive, we may offer a special collection (nappies etc.) We will consider these on a case-by-case basis.
      3. All Waste streams:
      • For the first few weeks of the trial, extra vehicles will be out to support crews on collection days to ensure round completion for areas that will have a build-up of waste.
      • We have reviewed the list of flats where residents will have to wait longer than two weeks and are putting in place additional collections for those prior to launching the new routes.” 

    A vandal with taste but little respect…

    Someone loved the artwork in our bus stop on Landbeach Road/Humphries Way so much they decided to steal it! However, they have failed to respect how upsetting this is for the young child artist who has had their prized picture stolen.

    We would ask for it back but whoever stole it broke the corner off, so it is useless now to them and us. If anyone knows the person or persons involved in this crime, please let us know. We would like to bill them for the picture and the damage they have caused to our bus stop and to ask them to apologise to our young artist for the distress this has caused.

    We know the artwork in all our bus stops is very good and obviously others think the same way. However, if you are the person who did this and want copies of any picture, rather than vandalise our bus stops, we can put you in touch with our artists who we feel sure would be delighted to help you.

    The Repton Gate story

    A brief history of the Repton Gate which stood at the entrance to the Rectory and is now preserved in the North Lodge Pavilion

    The Repton gate is an important part of the history of Milton. It was designed by Humphry Repton (21 April 1752 – 24 March 1818) who is regarded was the last great English landscape designer of the eighteenth century and often regarded as the successor to Capability Brown. The gate, which is now 230 years old, was installed by Repton during his work at Milton Hall.

    The building of Milton Hall was started in 1772 by Samuel Knight, son of the Rev Samuel Knight, lord of the manor and Rector at All Saints’ Church. It was built on the site of a house which had previously been built by his father north of the church. The Hall was completed in 1794 after the death of the Rev Knight in 1790.

    A view of Milton Hall during the 1800s

    The grounds were landscaped in 1789 by Humphry Repton promoting informal ‘natural’ landscapes. Milton Hall had its pastureland, with scattered oak trees and a lake, all visible eastwards from the rear of the Hall.  Samuel Knight had met Repton while at Trinity College, Cambridge, and they had become friends. Repton was therefore the obvious choice to ask when it came to landscaping the grounds of the Hall. The proof that Repton undertook the task can be found in his account books. In the books he noted the phrase ‘en ami’ which means that this job of landscaping the grounds was for free and for a friend. Repton only charged for his expenses and in return Samuel contributed an essay to Repton’s ‘Variety’. This probably explains why this work does not feature in Repton’s ‘Red Books’ which were given to his paying clients.

    The gate, known in Milton today as the Repton Gate, was installed at the entrance to the Rectory in Church Lane. Since this was not listed in Repton’s ‘Red Books’ there was at some time uncertainty as to whether the gate really was the work of Repton. A letter in Country Life in the Dec 6th1962 edition asked the question ‘A Gate by Humphry Repton?’ However, since we know Repton did indeed landscape the grounds for Samuel Knight (which included the rectory entrance) he would have installed a gate. Furthermore, this gate is of classic Repton design, and it is highly unlikely it is by anyone else.

    Other examples of this same design of gate have all been attributed to Repton. Indeed, Repton himself painted a picture of the exact design of gate which he installed at Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, and which is the same as the Milton gate. This can be viewed at: https://www.watercolourworld.org/collections/?s=tww4f015a7a557c797f

    There is also an image of the gate in the book ‘The Landscape Gardening and Landscape Architecture of the late Humphry Repton’ by J C Loudon From the gallery of images, (fig 15), the gate shown is the same classic design. In the notes it does say that several of these gates can be found around the Welbeck estate so for Repton this was a common style. The book can be viewed at:https://www.splrarebooks.com/collection/view/the-landscape-gardening-and-landscape-architecture-of-the-late-humphry-rept

    There are several historic pictures of the Repton Gate in Milton. One, which can be found on the Milton website (https://www.milton.org.uk/) shows two footballers standing in front of the gate.

    Photo of two footballers by the gate

    Titled ‘Sam Conder and friend outside the Repton Gate’, you can clearly see the limewashed gate but note the very sturdy pillar. Unfortunately, the pillars are no longer around.

    Another picture shows a full football team.

    Here is the team photographed with the gate in the background. Teams would use the field close by the Rectory that is now North Lodge recreation ground. The story goes that the field had cows on it so before a football match they had to clear up the cow pats so they could play. It could be MJFC (Milton Junior Football Club?) The M is probably compressed into a seam as it would have been a stitched panel leather ball. The player in the middle of the front row looks like the player on the right on the previous picture. The date appears to be 1920-21.

    It seems that the gate remained in place until 1988/89 when the drive was widened and raised (possibly by the Waterbeach Royal Engineers) and the old rectory became the Hospice. At that time the gate had therefore been in place for 200 years. It had survived well, although there is evidence that a beam and a few spindles were replaced during its time at the Rectory.

    After the gate was removed in late 1980’s it was stored outside in the church grounds. Since the church owned the gate, they arranged for its dry storage at Sunclose Farm in Butt Lane sometime during the mid 1990’s. A picture in the Milton 2000 book shows a picture of the dusty gate stored in the roof of the barn.

    Photographed for the Milton Millenium Book  Milton 2000: a daily photographic record

    In 2022, Milton Parish Council agreed that as part of a developer funded arts project the gate should be restored and put on display. In 2023 once costs were agreed and a future home for the gate had been secured the project began.

    Jamie Cakebread of Cambridge Restoration took on the project in early 2023. Here he is seen examining the gate in the loft of Sunclose Farm prior to its removal.

    The gate was finally removed from Sunclose Farm on 29th March 2023 and transported to Cambridge Restoration workshops in Ely nearly 30 years after it was first stored in the barn.

    A dirty and dusty gate leaving Sunclose Farm

    The restoration work took just over 2 months. The bottom beam was replaced (the damage can be seen in the above picture), and several of the spindles were also replaced. The aim was to return the gate to a state as it might have looked during its time at the Rectory. Hence, after all the decayed parts were replaced and the metal hinges re-attached, the gate was given a limewash appearance. Some light distressing was added to show an aging gate and what it would have looked like while in service.

    The restorers recommend that the gate remains indoors and so the Pavilion at North Lodge Park was chosen as the new home of the gate.  This is a very appropriate location being close to where the gate once stood at the entrance to the Rectory. While this does mean that at times the gate will be locked from view it does ensure that better care can be taken of this important 230-year-old Milton relic.

    The installation of the gate began on the 14th June 2023.

    Cambridge Restoration return the gate to Milton.
    Craftsmen have replaced all the decaying parts and replaced or refurbished the metal hinges and latch.
    Jamie and Matt, the skilled craftsmen who undertook the restoration project.
    The gate finally returned to Milton and mounted in its new home at North Lodge Park pavilion

    This is not quite the end to the story. Milton Parish Council commissioned a metal bench which has the Repton design as its back rest. The bench could be seen on Pond Green so that people can view the Repton design at any time.

    The Repton Gate bench before installation on Pond Green

    Love Your Burial Ground

    As part of ‘Love Your Burial Ground Week’, this week Milton Parish Council have installed a few bird boxes, insect hotels and hedgehog houses to encourage more wildlife into the cemetery. These were all selected from the wide range available at the Phoenix Trust here in the village. Installing these items is just part of our plan to qualify for a Churchyard Conservation Award given to burial grounds which reach either bronze, silver or gold level of conservation activity.

    New signposts showing the areas we have designated for Summer and Spring flowing have also been installed. Visitors will soon be able to enjoy some additional seating and see a new Notice Board which will give information to what is happening around the cemetery.

    Everyone is welcome to visit this sometimes forgotten part of Milton along Landbeach Road and see for themselves the work that the Parish Council are doing to show how we care for this area.

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