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Stapleford's noteable village people

Sidney Godolphin Osborne, clergyman, philanthropist and writer was born at Stapleford, Cambridgeshire on 5 February 1808.

Having taken orders, he was appointed rector of Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire in 1832. In 1841 he accepted the living of Durweston in Dorset, and he occupied it until 1875.

Osborne was mainly known for his letters to The Times newspaper signed "S. G. O." He constantly and provoked controversy. The series started in 1844. The final letters were about the Whitechapel murders, in 1888.

Osborne commented on free trade, education, women's rights, sanitation, cattle plague, and cholera. During the Crimean War, he made an unofficial inspection and aided the improvement of the hospitals under Florence Nightingale's care, and published the results in Scutari and its Hospitals, 1855.

Osborne married in 1834 Emily, daughter of Pascoe Grenfell of Taplow Court, Buckinghamshire and became brother-in-law to Charles Kingsley and James Anthony Froude.

Osborne was chosen to represent Stapleford on a worldwide digital map of famous people.

Award-winning voice actor Ben McAuley grew up in Stapleford.


Ben has been recognised at the SOVAS Voice Arts Awards,

the voiceover Oscars, three times 2019, 2020 and again in


He is now a full-time voice actor. Ben works from his home

recording studio in Cambridgeshire supplying voiceovers

worldwide for a huge variety of projects including radio and

television commercials, documentaries, corporate videos,

eLearning programmes, audio guides, in-flight safety

announcements and video games.

Ben has also presented shows on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

“I always wanted to be an actor, ever since I can remember,” Ben told the Cambridge Independent newspaper.

“I went to drama school when I left school and I classically trained as an actor, and then I sort of, in a roundabout way, fell into a job at the BBC in Cambridge as a presenter and a reporter.”

His strength is eLearning, including explainer videos.

Ben has voiced TV adverts for everyone from Coca-Cola to Just Eat.

One of the strangest jobs he’s ever had to do was voicing the instruction manual for how to use the toilet on board an Air Ethiopia plane.

For more information on Ben, visit




Keith Taylor is the photographer who took the beautiful Stapleford Barn photo on the homepage of the Stapleford Online website.


He has been living is Stapleford over 20 yrs and is a keen landscape photographer.

Keith Taylor is a self taught photographer who lives in Greenfield Close with his wife and two daughters. He first started taking photos at the age of 11 on an Olympus SLR.

Using film in a manual camera helped him understand the mechanics of photography and to value each and every shot. 


Over the years he has built up a large portfolio of Cambridge images both locally, around the colleges, city and river.


When he is not busy taking photos of Cambridge, he enjoys exploring and photographing the wilder parts of the UK, often with his family, from the Outer Hebrides to the Isles of Scilly.

More of Keith's work can be seen here.

A wonderful series of sunsets, including some of Stapleford, can be seen here

Posted Sept 1 21

Sir John Sulston FRS, who lived in Stapleford, Cambridge, died in March 2018. He was a biologist who was jointly awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sydney Brenner and Robert Horvitz for his work on the cell lineage and genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis Elegant. 

He was Chair of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester. Following completion of the initial work on the human genome sequence in 2000, Sulston retired from his role as director at the Sanger Centre.

Sir John was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1986. He was a leading campaigner against the patenting of human genetic information.

The Sulston Laboratories of the Sanger Institute are named in Sulston’s honour.

Sir John provided bail sureties for Julian Assange, according to Mark Stephens, Julian's solicitor. Having backed Assange by pledging bail in December 2010, he lost the money in June 2012 when a judge ordered it to be forfeited, as Assange had sought to escape the jurisdiction of the English courts by entering the embassy of Ecuador.


He was made a Companion of Honour, alongside J K Rowling and Sir Paul McCartney, “for services to science and society" in the Queen's birthday honours in June 2017.

Guardian profile of John Sulston


BBC Interview with John

Nobel Prize biography of John Sulston 




Stapleford mum Sylvia Morris, who has raised more than £2.5 million to help sufferers of the disease that claimed her daughter’s life almost 20 years ago, has been awarded an MBE. 

After her daughter Karen died of leukaemia in 1998, aged just 23, Sylvia set up the Karen Morris Memorial Trust, to raise money for other patients and their families.

The Trust has so far raised nearly £2.5 million, and has provided facilities in cancer care centres across the country, including ‘home from home’ rooms at Addenbrooke’s, where patients’ relatives can stay.

Sylvia told the Cambridge News: “I’m delighted with the award – and it’s as much for Karen as it is for me.”



Robert Huff is a British professional racing driver who was born in Stapleford in 1979. He currently competes in the World Touring Car Championship driving for Castrol Honda Racing. 

He was the 2012 World Touring Car Champion.

He attended St Faith’s School and the Leys School in Cambridge from 1993 to 1996. Huff initially started his driving career in karting

His father's Chartered Surveying firm has been one of his main sponsors.

Rob now lives in Newmarket.




Heather Craney is a TV and movie actor who was born in Stapleford in 1971. She has appeared in Eastenders, Holby City, The
Bill and Line of Duty.

She was nominated for a BAFTA for her supporting role as Joyce Drake in Mike Leigh's 'Vera Drake' as the social-climbing sister-in-law and has an ongoing role as the woman next door in the sitcom 'Life of Riley'.

Heather left Long Road Sixth Form College to study English and Drama at Liverpool Hope University, graduating in 1992. 


She then went on to London's Central School of Speech and Drama for its three year course until 1995.


Len Baynes, who died in 2016, published his account of being a Japanese prisoner of war in Burma in 2013 when he was 94.

“The Will To Live” sets out how he suffered through three years as a Japanese prisoner of war; years of brutality, starvation and sickness which at one point left Len, ravaged by malaria, weighing just four stone.

Throughout his ordeal, Len secretly kept a diary.

Building the notorious ‘Death Railway’, which would stretch from Bangkok to Burma, was one of the biggest challenges for Len and his fellow captives.

Beatings were commonplace at the camp, and Len describes occasions when he felt the wrath of the guards, including being clubbed around the head for buying herbs from a local Thai: “By the time I entered the camp I must have looked like something from Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors,” he writes. “I was covered thickly in congealed blood; I was also beginning to feel light-headed, and was unable to walk straight.

Sick of rice, Len tried to be more inventive with food, even catching a snake which he skinned and boiled.

After he was liberated, Len went on to have a successful career as a builder, and a full and happy family life

The Will To Live by Len Baynes is published in hardback by Pen and Sword, priced £19.99.

Read a full interview with Len in the Cambridge News


Rev Dr Simon Taylor is the Associate Priest for Stapleford and a part-time criminal judge, also known as a Recorder.

He now specialises in medical law and practises as a QC based in the Temple, London.

Rev Taylor works part-time in Stapleford while working in his secular role.

Originally from London, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, studying Medicine to start with and then Law. Eventually he qualified in both.

Rev Taylor is married to Lizzie. They have three grown-up children - Harry, Rosie and Izzi, who are now 22, 20 and 18.


Rose Robinson from Stapleford is a comedy performer, actress, and member of sketch comedy quartet Mixed Doubles.

In 2016 Rose finished a worldwide tour of the Young Vic/1927 smash hit Production of Golem.

Her credits include Josh and Sketchorama and she has appeared on both Radio 4 and BBC3.



Thomas Blossom, who spent some of his childhood in Stapleford, was one of the founding fathers of America.


Thomas and Anne Blossom were among the first Puritan settlers in New England. He was born in Little Shelford around 1580 while he and his family lived in Stapleford, Little Shelford and Great Shelford.

His American descendants include President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush.

Thomas Blossom was one of at least seven children born to Peter Blossom and his second wife, Annabel.

He married Anne Elsdon on November 10, 1605, at St. Clement Church, Cambridge and had six children.

Thomas Blossom emigrated to Leiden in Holland around 1609. In 1620, he was part of the original Pilgrim Fathers emigrating to America for greater religious freedom.

The Mayflower and the Speedwell were to sail as companion ships to America. The Speedwell was a little ship of 60 tons, which had been purchased and fitted out in Holland for the Pilgrim congregation. She sailed on July 26, 1620, from the port of Delfthaven, for Southampton, where the Mayflowerhad been waiting for a week with passengers from London. It was found that the little Speedwell needed repairs before putting out to sea. The two vessels then set sail for their long voyage, but the Speedwell proved leaky and both vessels put into Dartmouth for further repairs.


Then, once more, they sailed together and progressed some 300 miles westward from Land's End, when the captain of the Speedwell complained further of his boat's unseaworthiness. Again, the two vessels turned back, this time putting into Plymouth, and here it was decided to dismiss the Speedwell after a redistribution of passengers and cargo. The 'Speedwell' set sail from Southampton, on Aug 5, but about 300 miles from Lands End, England, the ship had to turn back as it was leaking.

This passage is from the Log of the Mayflower: "Deacon Thomas Blossom and his son were well known as of Pastor Robinson's flock at Leyden. They returned moreover to Holland from Plymouth, England (when they gave up the voyage) via London."

Thomas and his family returned to Leyden until he and others emigrated to the Plymouth Colony in 1629.

Thomas Blossom and his family sailed from Gravesend in March 1629 aboard theMayflower (not the original ship) and arrived in Salem on March 15, 1629. They were brought to Plymouth by boat and lived there where Thomas was believed to be a Deacon or Elder until he died of the “infectious feaver” of 1632/3.

Actor Nigel Davenport grew up in Woodlands Road, Great Shelford Road. His father, Arthur, was bursar at Sidney Sussex. Actor Nigel Davenport spoke to the Independent newspaper about his memories of growing up in Great Shelford. (external link)

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