Photo credit: Steve Haywood

Diarmuid Hester


Dr Diarmuid Hester is a radical cultural historian, and an authority on sexually dissident literature, art, film, and performance. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3, and last year was named a BBC New Generation Thinker. Diarmuid’s new book on sexuality, culture, and place will be published by Allen Lane/Penguin in 2023. He teaches at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, and is a research associate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Diarmuid spoke to us in September 2021 about his popular queer audio trail, revealing how LGBTQ+ people have shaped the history of the city and been shaped by it in turn.

Visit Diarmuid’s website to explore his work and download the audio trail.


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Ian Rawlinson


Ian Rawlinson is an artist who was born in Cambridge. He grew up in the city during the 1960s and 1970s and studied art at Cambridge College of Art & Technology (now Anglia Ruskin University). He left Cambridge in 1982 to further his studies and now lives and works in London. To date, his work has been shown in many group and solo exhibitions, both in the UK and internationally and is held in public and private collections.  Rawlinson’s work explores places of transition and aspects of change and identity. His recent projects draw upon ideas of place and memory and he has produced a series of exhibitions and short films inspired by transitional areas of Cambridge connected to his past.

Visit Ian’s website to explore his work.


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Photo credit: Victoria Lukens

Ruth McPhee


Ruth McPhee is the host of Ruth is Stranger than Fiction, a podcast all about the strange histories and unlikely characters of East Anglia. Past episodes have covered folkloric figures including will o’ the wisps, giants, and toadmen, gruesome events such as witch trials, bodysnatching, and tragic murders, and plenty of hauntings and ghostly goings on around Cambridge and other towns of the area.


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Jonathan Spain


Jonathan Spain is a historian living in Shepreth, in South Cambs. After graduating from York University with First Class honours, he has worked as a historical researcher/writer, in addition to working for various history-related bodies, including the Historical Manuscripts Commission, before it was merged into the National Archives, the MSS Dept. of Cambridge University Library and the New Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. As well as giving local history talks, he is the author of numerous articles and maintains a local history blog site. In July 2021 he self-published Fruit Farming in the Cam Valley – an horticultural, social and economic history set in the regional and national context. This study sets out to celebrate and record the history of commercial fruit growing in the Cam valley whilst it is still within living memory, drawing on the experiences of fruit growers and workers in addition to a wide range of documentary sources. This was the subject of a zoom talk for the Cambridge Museum on 16 December.


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Kirsten Huffer


Kirsten Huffer is a recent MPhil in Heritage Studies graduate from the University of Cambridge. Her dissertation explored the dynamics of community engagement with nationwide non-profit initiatives commemorating difficult heritage. Her case study was the Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI) National Memorial for Peace and Justice and its Community Remembrance Project, which together commemorate untold histories of what EJI terms “racial terrorism” in the United States between 1877 and 1950.

After graduating, Kirsten helped the Museum of Cambridge spearhead its ReStorying OUR Museum pilot project, which began engaging members of the local community in exploring the museum’s colonial legacy. She spoke with us in October 2021 about her experience of helping to carry out this project, including its challenges, results, and relevance in a local and global context. 

Formerly a Fulbright grantee in Cyprus and a College Advising Corps advisor at under-resourced American high schools, Kirsten is now eager to continue promoting inclusivity while engaging with communities as a heritage professional.


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Rachel Morris


Rachel Morris was one of the founding directors of Metaphor, a company specialising in museum master – planning and exhibition design.  As part of the Metaphor team, they worked all over the world, from Chile to the Hebrides, and from Singapore to the Grand Egyptian  Museum in Cairo.  Rachel specialised in museum interpretation – how to bring objects alive by the stories we tell about them.  Prior to this they had two novels published – The Fringe Orphan and Ella and the Mothers – both of which were very well reviewed.  Rachel has always loved writing.  The only thing that could have enticed them away from it for twenty years was their equal love for museums. 

Rachel spoke to us in September 2021 about her new book The Museum Makers.

Visit Rachel’s website to learn more about her work and buy The Museum Makers here.


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Nigel Fenner


Nigel Fenner won his Football Blue for Cambridge University, where he trained as a teacher. Related to Frank Fenner, the local tobacconist who founded Fenner’s Ground, Nigel’s other ‘Town links’ include living and working locally since 1981, mostly with disaffected young people. He now runs Cambridge Sports Tours and will be publishing Cambridge Sport: In Fenners’ Hands in 2022.

Nigel spoke with us in September 2021 about the history of football and camp ball in Cambridgeshire and East Anglia, and in April 2018 about the relationship between between football and cricket.

Visit Nigel’s website to explore his work.


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