We present preliminary long-slit spectroscopy of a sample of nearby cD galaxies recently observed with the William Herschel and GEMINI North and South Telescopes. So far, we have accumulated data for 27 cDs. More is being observed with the GEMINI telescopes, to create a statistically significant sample. Unresolved stellar populations will be used to investigate the history of when stars formed in these galaxies. Central and spatially resolved line strengths measured from these high signal-to-noise data will be interpreted via population modelling and used to derive luminosity weighted average ages and abundances. Comparison with previous results from other Hubble types of galaxies will highlight relative differences in their evolution.