The preservation of an important piece of Indian heritage brought members of the Mill Road Traders’ Association (MRTA) together in an uplifting example of community spirit.

Three years ago, Piero D’Angelico who is a barber on Mill Road and also an Ambassador of the MRTA made a discovery. This was that the decorative carvings which had once adorned a Hindu shrine in the Old Library building on Mill Road in Cambridge were about to be demolished. Recognising their significant artistic value he managed to persuade Cambridgeshire County Council to sell them to him for £1. This was the easy bit. Negotiations then followed with Cambridgeshire City Council about a new home for the carvings and how their installations could be financed.

This played to the strengths of the MRTA and the community came together to make sure that the carvings were removed and safely stored while their future was considered. A plan was agreed, and the single archway was reconfigured into a four-pillar gateway. The Cambridge Gateway from India installation found a home in the gardens of Ditchburn Place on Mill Road.

Fundraising was ongoing and, as is often the case, it was the final push that was proving difficult. Mark Ganellin of Marketing Zone met up with Piero for a coffee to chat through some ideas:

“We came up with a sponsorship idea whereby local businesses could purchase engraved, brass plaques which would be positioned on the ground around the memorial. The plaques sold well (just under 200 sponsored plaques are now in place) and I am delighted that Marketing Zone is amongst them. Fellow Mill Road traders are proud to have their names around the gateway and many business and communities are represented.” It illustrates vividly the vibrant cultural makeup of the area.

“I count myself very fortunate to have played a small part in this project and to have connected with so many of the traders on Mill Road. They are an inspiring group of people and I look forward to working with them on more creative marketing ideas this year”.


Sponsorship idea raises vital funds for community project in Mill Road