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Linda Jones

(Physics, 1968-present)
shares her memories of mini skirts, three-legged football and a mobile discotheque

I first started working at Imperial College in 1968 when I joined the Physics Department as a Junior Clerk supporting the undergraduate teaching office. I remember clearly being overjoyed to see the latest in typewriting technology - an IBM golfball! The machine casings were lovingly cleaned with Carbon Tet... (what do you mean, Health and Safety?) Typing statistical mechanics problem sheets became quite a challenge but with Tipp-ex and other modern aids we got by.

Another innovative piece of equipment was the Roneo duplicating machine which was in constant use producing these problem sheets. What fun we had replenishing the ink! On one occasion the ink spilled and soiled my colleague's mini skirt which had to be hastily washed and left to dry outside the office window. To preserve her modesty in the interim she was wrapped in the first aid blanket. With the skirt flying like a flag outside the window we had record number of students coming into the office that afternoon and I think it wasn't just to collect the said statistical mechanics problem sheets.

Linda playing in the football match, departmental secretaries versus postgrad students. I worked primarily for the Admissions Tutor, Dr John Pain who actively encouraged me in my career and remains a firm friend to this day. One notable social event was a football match with departmental secretaries versus postgraduate students. The men played in pairs with their legs tied together. I can't remember who won but we had great fun both on the pitch in Kensington Gardens and in the Union bar afterwards. Photo right: Linda playing in the football match, departmental secretaries versus postgrad students.

Beit Quad, Union buildingIn the late sixties and early seventies we were all strongly influenced by pop music and we managed to set up a mobile discotheque called Sole Rollers which was run by a couple of enthusiastic postgraduate students. I even found time to type one of their PhD thesis on the aforementioned IBM golf ball. These two postgraduates organised a concert in aid of charity with John Peel as the MC with the Bonzo Dog Do Dah band and, I believe Brian May performing. The end of examinations was also a time for celebration which included piggy back races to the Union bar! So - was it all fun? You bet!

  © 2007 Imperial College London

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