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Bob Schroter

Bob Schroter recollects Morphy Day student antics.

Morphy Day traditionally consisted of the constituent colleges, particularly the RCS and the Guilds, having a bit of a flour and tomato fight on the towpath whilst the three constituent colleges rowed out the Morphy and the Lowry races along the river.

The years before I was president I had actually been rowing on the river, but this year as president I had to take part in the fight along the towpath and I always remember that there was a young policeman on one of those Noddy early motorcycle bike things that he thought he was going to stop this rampaging on the towpath, so he very foolishly rode his motorcycle into the middle of the foray and got totally but totally plastered in tomatoes and flour. And I think in those days he was a student and could get away with making a monkey out of a policeman, you couldn't do that today but I was petrified about what might happen and I saw at the edge of all this foray his boss, his superintendent was there so I went over to him and said I am awfully sorry about all of this, that we would obviously pay for all the cleaning up and the policeman's response was, well I think he has learnt to deal with crowd control. So he wasn't worried but it was a great fear for us and when I went back to college I went and talked to the Rector (Linstead) about it and said look I am sorry we may have had an incident which is not going to reflect well and I explained it all to him and he was very sympathetic, he was perfectly happy and said oh that's alright they've respected it.

And we then somehow got onto his student days and how what they class as irresponsible life here at the college days but for them they used to go and play football in Hyde Park and I think the college archives somewhere has a photograph of Linstead playing football in Hyde Park. So you see this eminent Rector in shorts kicking a ball around. But to get to Hyde Park and back again of course they had to cross the main Kensington Gore and they tend to do that in crocodile and cause chaos for the traffic. So of course causing chaos in the 1920's is just as bad as doing it today, so I think that you learn pretty quickly that even eminent Rectors have had a misspent youth.

  © 2007 Imperial College London

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