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  • Writer's pictureFaruk Kara

The Grafton Centre II (Closer Look)

The Grafton Centre was built just before I moved to Cambridge in the 1980s. Completed in 1984 it was opened by the Queen. It has always been an odd addendum to Cambridge's shopping scene. While less than a mile from the town centre, I rarely visited. Internet shopping and COVID has done for it. It still has the multiscreen cinema and few large stores, but as a shopping centre it has died.

The plan is to redevelop the Grafton Centre into a mixture of business and retail. The cinema, restaurants and some of the larger stores at the main entrance will remain, the rest will become business space with a potential incubator space linked to Anglia Ruskin University across the road.

As part of a wider Cambridge Camera Club (CCC) documentary project, the club was given permission to photograph inside the Grafton Centre to capture the structure and look before it all changes. With about 10 photographers from the CCC showing up, we should have a comprehensive capture. Here are a few of mine looking on the outlets.

Shop window of women's dress shop with three mannequins on each side of the door. The photo is symetric with a woman in a red dress in the middle towards the back of the shop.
Your Starter for Ten
The Work, Study, Relax Discover centre. Photo through the window shows two students working.
Work, Study, Relax
The Grafton Centre ceiling lighting captured against the backdrop of a skylight showing the clouds outside. The lights are four circular rings. The photo has been taken so the rings are not  overlapping but distinctly seperate.
Ceiling Lights
Woman in green coat sat on a bench outside the Il Mercato delicatessen
Shot taken through the window of an empty shop that has been converted to a ping pong (table tennis) venue. Half a dozen players can be seen playing at number of table.
The Ping Pong Parlour
The Amelie eatery with its signature bright yellow food truck.
Photo booth by the escalator taken as the focus with intentional  camera movement (ICM)  making it look like the starship enterprise about to enter warp speed.
Photo Me

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