Tales from the Pembroke Grapevine
Dísa Greaves gives you the lowdown on staircase gossip (all PG-rated, of course) and introduces a few celebs who have graced Pem with their presence #fame.
Many tales can be heard along the Pembroke grapevine, some of which are - granted - taller than others... But nevertheless, we at Pembroke Street are determined to get you in the know on our college’s trivia, whispers and gossip!
Through the ages, the college has been home to a vast array of Valencians, with some gaining notoriety from their time in college and others claiming post-Pem fame through their professional lives...
Going back to the 1950s, Pembroke had Britain’s former poet laureate, Ted Hughes, in residence. He is said to have frequented the Mill pub at the end of Mill Lane, and if you happen to believing in Red Buildings room H1, Old Master’s Lodge room N8b or finally in the beautiful scholar’s room E1 in OldCourt then you are on the right track to becoming Hughes 2.0 (but who’s to say whether that’s a good or bad thing...)
A little later in the sixties, Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame, became a Valencian. E staircase seems to be where all stars started out, as rumour has it that the Pythons formed along that very corridor. This is not an unlikely scenario, seeing as John Cleese and Graham Chapman were also at Cambridge at this time. Idle went on to become president of the Footlights and was the first to admit women into the group!
Tom Hiddleston (swoons) has ascended to A-list fame over the last few years, thanks to his role in hit- show The Night Manager, being in the short-lived ‘Hiddleswift’ relationship AND just happening to be a Pem Classicist! He is believed to have had a room in M staircase in the late nineties, and went on to have a scholar’s room in Foundress. He was clearly quite the hard worker, becoming a successful thespian and graduating with a double-first. This comes after some speculation that Hiddleston resided in W in Orchard, which an actual resident of the time has denied. Instead, there was (allegedly) a homeless man occupying the bath between W/V. While homelessness in Cambridge still remains a huge issue for the city, and is the focus of much charity work by Cambridge students, this particular occupant has since moved out...
More recently, we had Joe Thomas (The Inbetweeners and Fresh Meat), who, like Eric Idle, also met his future collaborators at Cambridge. Both went on to achieve immense comedic success but of different generations. From one we gained the Ode to Henry Kissinger, and from the other, the garish yellow ‘Muff Wagon’ and ‘bus wankers’ (which, of course, none of you will be, seeing as Pembroke is located in the centre of Cambridge woo!).
Just three years ago, Skandar Keynes graduated from Pembroke with a degree in Arabic and Middle Eastern History - and is basically Cambridge dynastic royalty. His great-great-great-grandfather was none other than naturalist Charles Darwin, his great-great uncle was the economist and icon, John Maynard Keynes, not to mention two more uncles being Cambridge
dons. Oh, and he played Edmund Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe so was actual royalty in the country of Narnia...
These are just a few trivial gems from the treasure-trove of Pembroke gossip - and who knows, maybe future students will be writing about your antics in the years to come!
Disa Greaves is a second year Land Economist and the Pembroke Street blogger