HOW CAMBRIDGE GOT ITS ‘BLUE’

May 2019

In December, Engineering Fellow and fount of all Caius knowledge, Dr Michael Wood wrote to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph to get the story straight about the origins of the Cambridge blue.

His letter, published on 24th December 2018, replied to an article entitled ‘How Eton blue became the Cambridge colour’, which stated, correctly, that ‘Cambridge blue has its roots in the second Boat Race, held in 1836.’

In his letter, Dr Wood wrote:

‘Sir – There were three Caius men in the Cambridge boat of 1836. Tradition has it that they called for R N Phillips to get a light blue ribbon to correspond with the colour of the well established flag of the Caius College Boat Club. The nearest haberdashers only had Eton Blue, which was purchased and used.

Cambridge won by 20 lengths. After this, the University Boat Club asked whether the university could take over the colour. The College graciously agreed, so the university light blue is actually Caius blue. We still carry the light blue stripe on our blades.’

Caius 1st men’s boat went Head of the River in the 2018 Lent Bumps. The club was founded in 1827 and built a new boathouse in 2016. The clock tower is a privilege allowed only to clubs that have held the May Bumps headship for 5 successive years.

The blades awarded to 2 family members commemorate crews which achieved 4 bumps in either the Lent or May events.

Registered Charity No.1144757.|A company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales No. 7783492|All content is Copyright to The Cobbold Family History Trust © 2019