General News

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:04


ICE e-Newsletter launched

Our new email newsletter is designed to keep you up-to-date with courses, events and other activities at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE).

Sign up today and receive the newsletter every three months direct to your inbox. We simply ask for your name and email address, and you can opt in or out at any time.

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View the Summer 2011 issue - and find out about new programmes at Madingley Hall

Do you have ideas for how the newsletter could be improved, or for features you'd like to see? We would be glad to hear from you. Email us at

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You can also follow our activities on Facebook and Twitter.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011 17:52


David Spiegelhalter on risk: new lecture video

Imagine you have two bowls of beans in front of you. One bowl contains 10 beans, of which one bean is red. The other bowl contains 100 beans, of which eight are red. Which bowl would most people choose if asked to make a 'lucky dip' for a red bean? The answer might surprise you!

In this new Madingley Lecture video, filmed at Madingley Hall on 3 May 2011, Professor David Spiegelhalter explains how people's perceptions of risk and uncertainty are influenced by the words, numbers and pictures used to communicate them. Using a range of topical examples, from statins to swine flu, he explores different ways of communicating risk, uncertainty, and uncertainty about uncertainty...

Watch the video >>

Professor Spiegelhalter is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge.

Find out about forthcoming Madingley Lectures


Wednesday, 15 June 2011 14:42


Barbed-Wire University: the untold story of Allied POW camps

The conventional picture of life in an Allied POW camp conjures up images of daring escapes (Colditz and The Great Escape) or the terrible brutality of the Far East (Bridge on the River Kwai). But these stories conceal the much more compelling battle of everyday life behind barbed wire.

Midge Gillies, who teaches creative writing at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), reveals the real lives of WWII prisoners of war in her new book, The Barbed-Wire University, published today.

She describes how Allied prisoners displayed amazing ingenuity and determination to turn their camp into a hive of activity. They used Red Cross parcels to make musical instruments, cooking utensils, even holes for a golf course. In the Far East doctors used bamboo and scraps of rubber to save lives; a magician performed tricks to earn extra food for his friends.

Many sat exams and learnt languages. A few wrote books that became bestsellers; others studied birds in research projects that became definitive monographs. The future abstract artist Terry Frost took up painting with a brush made from horse’s hair and bits of old tin. St Trinian’s creator Ronald Searle developed his inimitable style as a POW in the Far East. Many future actors learnt their trade on improvised stages, and Dad’s Army star Clive Dunn found inspiration for Corporal Jones in a German POW camp.

Gillies – whose own father was a POW – interviewed ex-prisoners to produce a work of social history that will redefine our picture of the camps and the men who survived them.

Find out more about the book and hear Midge on the BBC Today Programme

Midge Gillies is the author of an acclaimed biography of record-breaking pilot Amy Johnson, and Waiting for Hitler, a history of the home front in the first two years of the war. She will be teaching a course on how to write non-fiction as part of ICE's new programme of short courses, the Madingley Weekly Programme.

Writing non-fiction: being creative with the truth - Midge Gillies' new short course at the Institute of Continuing Education


Monday, 09 May 2011 08:08


Live concert recording: 'Broken Song'

Listen to the Ball Quintet play ‘Broken Song’ by Lliam Paterson, live at Madingley Hall.

'Broken Song' received its first performance at Madingley Hall on 1 May 2011, alongside works by Samuel Barber and Jean Francaix.

The work is inspired by several Japanese sources: Sakura folk music, Taiko drumming and the Haiku. It also draws on chords from the works of Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.

The Ball Quintet is Sebastian Armstrong (flute), William Ball (oboe), Joseph Shiner (clarinet), Tamsin Alexander (bassoon) and Stephen Craigen (horn).

About the Madingley Concerts

The Madingley Concerts are a series of free public recitals given by leading University instrumentalists. They are designed to showcase new student work alongside more traditional repertoire.

The concerts take place at Madingley Hall, the headquarters of the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), and are open to all.

Find out more about the Madingley Concerts and join the mailing list


Wednesday, 04 May 2011 16:51


Madingley Hall wins business travel accolade

Madingley Hall has been declared ‘Best Hotel for Business Travel’ by a leading hotel booking specialist. has released a list of the best hotels for business travellers, ranked using a combination of positive customer reviews and numbers of corporate bookings. Madingley Hall scored particularly high because of its transport links to London airports.

The full list is as follows:

  1. Madingley Hall, Cambridge
  2. Hotel Royal Ramblas, Barcelona
  3. Mint Hotel, Leeds
  4. Dylan Hotel, Dublin
  5. Grimscote Manor Hotel, Birmingham
  6. The Macdonald, Manchester
  7. RE Hotel, London
  8. The Hampshire Hog, Portsmouth
  9. Hotel Wilson Opera, Paris
  10. Hotel Palace, Berlin

Andrew Pumphrey, Managing Director commented: “Personal service is essential for business travellers, whether that’s being made to feel welcome after a long day on the road, or those extra touches to ease the stress of a hectic schedule.

“The hotels on our Best for Business Travel list are a great example of properties that go the extra mile to cater for corporate clients.”

Find out about Madingley Hall’s business facilities

Book accommodation at Madingley Hall on


Wednesday, 06 April 2011 17:33


ICE announces new Director of Public and Professional Programmes

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Ian Baxter to the post of Director of Public and Professional Programmes here at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE).

Ian has been appointed on Adrian Barlow’s imminent retirement (September 2011) and will take up his post in May 2011, giving a short period of overlap with Adrian.

Ian comes to us with a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge. He is currently at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he is a Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Heritage Management, seconded Head of Department of Management, and Director of Caledonian Business School Postgraduate Programmes. He has an MA in Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Cultural Resource/Heritage Management from the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

You can follow Ian’s tweets on culture, policy, museums and heritage management at @ibheritage. Ian will be joining ICE in exciting times as we build up to introducing a new and vibrant portfolio of Public Programmes.

We look forward to welcoming Ian as much as we recognize how much Adrian will be missed by colleagues and students alike.

Adrian Barlow

Adrian began teaching for ICE in 1998, becoming Staff Tutor in English in 2005, University Lecturer in English and Director of Public Programmes in 2007 and Director of Public and Professional Programmes in 2009. He is a senior member of Wolfson College, Cambridge, National Chair of the English Association, and Cambridge Inspector, Option Internationale du Baccalauréat Francais.

Adrian is one of our most popular and respected teaching staff, specialising in English literature and architecture, and with a vast – and often-plundered – fund of knowledge about Madingley Hall and its history.

His research interests include pedagogy of English teaching to adults, literature of the Great War, contemporary fiction, Victorian stained glass, and ecclesiology. He is the editor of the 21-volume Cambridge University Press (CUP) series Cambridge Contexts in Literature, and author of books for both Oxford University Press and CUP, including (most recently) World and Time: Teaching Literature in Context (2009).

Adrian has been blogging on ICE’s website for well over a year on subjects ranging from Rupert Brooke to Radiohead, and has an avid following. He will be teaching the following courses in the run-up to his retirement:

There will, of course, be opportunities nearer the time when we hope you’ll join us in thanking Adrian and wishing him the best for his future retirement projects.


Monday, 14 March 2011 08:27


Attention! It's the ‘Madingley March’

Listen to the Iridian Trio play ‘Madingley March’, composed by Tim Watts for the inaugural Madingley Concert on 6 March 2011.

'Madingley March' was played at that first performance alongside works by Mozart (K.452) and Schumann (Op.88). Both of these works contain march music and Tim decided to pick up on this in his piece. However, while Mozart and Schumann's marches share a quality of jaunty innocence, 'Madingley March' evokes an occasionally sinister sense of the mechanical: a trio of clockwork soldiers perhaps...

About the Madingley Concerts

The Madingley Concerts are a series of free public recitals given by leading young instrumentalists. The concerts take place at Madingley Hall, the headquarters of the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE), and are open to all.

Find out more about the Madingley Concerts and book your place for future performances


Tuesday, 01 March 2011 17:07


Time Team enlists the help of ICE archaeologist

Channel 4's Time Team joined forces with ICE's Dr Gilly Carr this weekend to uncover the forgotten legacy of the Nazis' five-year occupation of Jersey.

In Hitler's Island Fortress, screened on Sunday 27 February, the Team investigates a German anti-aircraft battery on a site now reclaimed by forest. Gilly’s expertise in ‘Occupation Archaeology’ comes to the fore as the dig progresses, and a horrifying picture emerges of a fortress island where installations were built by slave labour and the local population was left to starve.

Find out more about the programme

Watch Hitler's Island Fortress on the Channel 4 website

Gilly Carr is Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE). She has pioneered the new concept of 'Occupation Archaeology' using the German occupation of the Channel Islands as her case study.

About Dr Gilly Carr

On 19 June, Gilly will be teaching a day school at Madingley Hall on 'The legacy of Occupation: bunkers, ghosts and swastikas in the Channel Islands'.

Find out more about the day school and book your place


Monday, 28 February 2011 16:33


A survivor’s meditation on the Blitz

Dr Francis Warner recalls his experience of growing up during the Blitz in this new Madingley Lecture video.

Francis Warner was born in Yorkshire in 1937 but spent the years of the Second World War in Epsom, Surrey, where his father was a parish priest. In this very personal reminiscence, he describes the terrors of life in 'Bomb Alley', the sustenance provided by his family and his faith, and the effect the Blitz had on the lives of those who survived it.

Watch the video >>

Dr Warner is Emeritus Fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford and Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge.

Find out about forthcoming Madingley Lectures


Wednesday, 09 February 2011 11:35


Why the Devil has all the best tunes

A new book by Dr Fred Parker explores how some of our greatest writers have drawn on the Devil for inspiration.

In The Devil as Muse, to be published later this month by Baylor University Press, Dr Parker explores not just how the Devil is portrayed, and how this has subtly but radically changed over the centuries, but also how writers have engaged with the daemonic or diabolical as a source of their own creativity, drawing on evil for their inspiration.

Find out more about The Devil as Muse

Hear Dr Parker discuss the Devil on the BBC Today programme

Dr Parker is Programme Director for the Institute’s Literature International Summer School, and teaches on other of our courses, as well as being University Senior Lecturer in English. His teaching interests range widely, with an emphasis on English literature from Milton to Byron, tragedy, and relations between literature and philosophy.

About the Literature Summer School

Profile of Dr Fred Parker


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