Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Cambridge YMCA - No Gym Until The 1980s...


My room at the Cambridge YMCA in Gonville Place in 1986. The Pye Tube Cube and the Now That's What I Call Music Pig are both indicative of the era.

I recently had an e-mail from Tracey:

You state that there was no gym at the Cambridge YMCA in Gonville Place in 1974 when it opened on its present site, but a recent article in the Cambridge News called 'It's Fun To Train At The YMCA Cambridge Gym' states that it opened in 1974."

The Cambridge News article is incorrect, Tracey. There was no gym at Queen Anne House in 1974. There was a sports room, providing activities like table tennis, but no gym. The original planners were concerned that the Queen Anne House complex would not duplicate the facilities of the sports hall (Kelsey Kerridge) next door which may have led to objections to the YMCA development from that establishment, and as there were severe financial restrictions (galloping inflation 1974 style!) and much less demand for gyms, it would have seemed an unwise investment anyway. The first proper gym studio at the Cambridge YMCA was the Gymcam in 1988. Incoming director Roger Hunt outlined his vision for turning existing office space into a gym in the Cambridge Evening News in February 1986. The 1988 Gymcam originally offered a range of weight training and other machines, but no free weights.

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