Aerial view of the riverThe Ditton Corner plot from the airFen Ditton - an aerial view

Home Up Gazette 2005 Gazette 2004 Gazette 2003 Gazette 2002 Gazette 2001 Gazette 2000 Gazette 1999 Gazette 1998 Gazette 1997



Alice in Wonderland icon.jpg (3089 bytes) Gazette banner fs.gif (3341 bytes) Hooray for Henrys icon.jpg (2499 bytes)


Someday my son you’ll appreciate the ‘97.

Vintage Year in Chateau Coburne
Checking out the vineyards of Bordeaux and the surf of Biarritz

1997 is already being hailed as the French vintage of the century - exceptional sunshine, disease-free summer and a storm-free harvest have combined to produce grapes that have the French vineyard owners grinning from Gauloise to ear. The Coburn family holidayed at Le Bugue supervising the harvest and trying to drink existing stocks faster than the viticulturalists could bring it in.

This year’s search for the perfect claret took us to the South of France following reports that the weather was producing a bumper harvest. The first debauche was with the Joly family at their mansion in Biarritz for a week of surfing on the beaches and studious avoidance of eye contact with the topless mademoiselles.


The families hiked to Spain through the the Pyrenees, but although hungry and being ominously circled by mountain vultures, arrived in time for a hearty lunch across the border.

Other beasts

Moving on to a gte in the Dordogne in time for the vine harvest itself, Alice and Henry learned about French wildlife from the mysterious scrabblings in the floor boards and the noisier farmyard animals outside.

Wall-to-Wall Geese

The Perigord is of course goose country. Menus consist of foie gras, roast, boiled or grilled goose and crme of goose brle for pudding. The wine wasn’t too bad either.

Alice, Andy, Henry, Alfred, Elloise, Carol, Louis and Etienne with his arm round Helen 

Chez Joly a Birritz


Bronzed legs in the south of France  

Fine Pyranees holiday

Home News


Sydney harbour boat ride

Coburns Down Under

A great holiday - er business trip - in Australia. Sydney in February is glorious compared with grizzly old England. The need to gather good data on cyclones in Queensland took Coburn diving on the Barrier Reef.

Olympic Stadium

Helen made a site visit to the new Homebush Bay Stadium under construction for the Sydney 2000 Olympics - she has been involved in ventilation modelling for the project this year. The children got to enjoy a lot of blissful swimming and cuddled up to a koala. We got one of those hats with corks round the brim of course.

The happy travellers (before Henry threw up)









Florida Adventures

We ended the year with a blockbuster family holiday to Orlando, to track down the elusive mouse and his compatriots. There were 18 oz T-bone steaks for Grandpops Coburn, space-shuttles for Uncle Nick, stingrays to stroke for Alice and a ride on Dumbo for Henry. Helen enjoyed the Alien Encounter and Andy got into blueberry pancakes in a big way. The pool, the palm trees, the azure sky, the alligators...

Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sorefeet and the rest of the cast visit Snow White’s retail emporium


Photo Finnish

The summer brought a new addition to 2 Rock Road Incorporated. From Finland we welcomed Sanna, (she’s the one at the bottom) our indispensable au pair. Alice and Henry had a wonderful time perfecting their cartwheeling technique, acquiring lots of Finnish vocabulary (if not the fiendish grammar), and even learning to appreciate meatballs.

Sanna shows Alice the ropes



Twelve under sixes climb the tree house

Top Notch

Alice’s friends were delighted that a top storey to Plum Tree Cottage was inaugurated on her sixth birthday, in June. The ladder was in place, the guardrails securely fixed, and small objects (like Henry) could be hurled with glee from the ramparts.


Helen braves quaternessential firestorm

Forty Somethings

There’s a seven in the year so its our big anniversary time. Helen turned 40, Andy and Helen celebrated their 10th anniversary and Edna, Helen’s mum, gave a big party for her 70th. Also ten years ago, C.A.R. was founded (see Business Section) and Ph.Ds were finished. What a year ‘87 was.


Monster spiders in the garden

Spider Invasion

Suddenly in mid-July the garden was filled with monster arachnipods spinning giant webs. Daily stock-takes revealed that they didn’t get any of the children.

Photo Summary of the Year


Poise, style and hard boiled in 3 minutes

Alice (6) demonstrates superb egg-and-spoon technique at the school sports day.



Paddle Alice!

Andy and the children find themselves up the Dordogne without a paddle...



There is intelligent life in Australia!

Coburn contemplates sea cucumbers in a dive on the Barrier Reef.



The under table shot

The carpet croquet champion shows off his tricky bunker shot in the dining room.



What duck-billed platypus???  Aaaargh!

Dad gets the push
in Australia...



Patricide from the guy with the water-wings

...and ducked
in France



The rain I can stand, it's listening to the Richard Thompson band that's making me suicidal.

A skip, some hops and a pint of ale. (It rained all day at the Cambridge folk festival)



You hum it son, I'll play it.

Schubert no trousers. Henry (3) tickles the ivories on a furry piano stool.



Dolls and their dolls.

The cutting club. Alice and her friends try their hands at block-making for dolls couture.



Business Section

C.A.R. marks 10th Anniversary

Ten year’s of consultancy in the architectural and property business were celebrated with a major party (of course) and reminiscences by all concerned (“I remember doing heat flow calculations on the old Apple II”).

The Space Girls

A new initiative ‘CAR Design’ was launched to cover research-related spatial design. This combines the talents of Helen with new Associates, Anne Cooper and Katie Thornburrow.

Tellytubbies practice energy efficiency in their earth bermed shelter

Underground buildings finally become famous...

Helen’s trips this year took her to France and Austria in search of the perfect Euro-collaboration.

Other projects include studies of dynamic insulation, increased consultancy for risk management, unexploded bombs and Olympic ventilation.

CAR Directors at the dinner

Party on. Cambridge Architectural Research goes from strength to strength, starting with 13% and ending with the Absolut.


CARtograph invades Europe

CARtograph developed a new suite of risk management products this year to appeal to the international marketplace and succeeded in increasing sales by 75%. Exploratory marketing trips to Australia, France, Germany and other European countries have developed the marketplace and led to sales to important partner customers in key territories.

CARtograph Merchandise - polo shirts, mouse mats, pens and brochures

My Street is What?

In the UK, business remains strong and this year saw the development of very high resolution data for insurance companies - giving street-level information on the risks of flooding, subsidence, crime and wind storm.

Where next?

The business continues to grow, employing 40 staff and keeping the travel agents busy.

The CARtograph product - risk management mapping and analysis


Cheshire Cat Productions 1997