Graffiti on the Cam

For some time now students have been painting graffiti on the A14 bridge over the river. Some people have referred to this as a "tradition" but I don't remember it being done when I was a student here. Moreover it seems to have got worse in the last couple of years. I took at trip down to the river on Tuesday, 30th May and took some pictures.

Every flat surface between Baits Bite and the railway bridge is now daubed with paint. Even the trees are not immune. During the trip I took over forty pictures of different bits of graffiti. Here are some of the highlights.

This is one of the posts used for racing. They should be white and were only a couple of years ago. All are now blue with yellow bands or a yellow top.

The bridge supports, looking south. You can see several generations of graffiti here. Wolfson in the foreground.

... and here's Girton Men's and Women's first boat crews

view from the other side.

Even the ceiling has graffiti on it!

And on the southern face of the bridge we have this. Last year it was maroon, this year it's blue. Notice even more graffiti on the other bank.

Continuing south we reach the tin hut. This belongs to the university. When this came before Milton PC for planning permission we were worried about the erection of a building in the Green Belt and one thing that persuaded us was that the university agreed to paint it green ...

This is one of the sadder examples. This is a log which the conservators carved into a bench. It was a lovely thing to sit on. It's no longer a nice natural wood - it's now blue with yellow strips just like everything else.

All the signs have had the blue and yellow treatment too. Here's just one example of many.

All along the river willow trees have been daubed with paint. Here's one in particular right in front of the first house you come to as you walk south.

A more formal bench, once black I suspect, now blue (they must have run out of yellow paint!). This is just one of several in this state.

I hope by now that you'll have a flavour for what's been going on down on the Cam. The City Council are currently trying to reduce the levels of graffiti in the city however most of this graffiti is happening not in the city but in the parish of Milton. It seems to me that if we tolerate this sort of vandalism by students it validates anyone to put graffiti on anything.

And here's an example: we're just out of Milton now and into the city and here's a dog bin by the side of the river covered in graffiti. Not boat club graffiti, just the usual sort. If this is unacceptable then it seems to me that so is all the other graffiti on the river.

Paul Oldham