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Memories of the Victoria Building Dancing in the asylum, 1880s No room in the old asylum, 1880s The women's common room, 1912 A wartime memory, 1939 A.

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Presentation on theme: "Memories of the Victoria Building Dancing in the asylum, 1880s No room in the old asylum, 1880s The women's common room, 1912 A wartime memory, 1939 A."— Presentation transcript:

1 Memories of the Victoria Building Dancing in the asylum, 1880s No room in the old asylum, 1880s The women's common room, 1912 A wartime memory, 1939 A distraction in the Tate Library, 1890s The Tate Library Taking the biscuit in the Arts Lecture Theatre, 1892 A musical interlude in the Arts Lecture Theatre, 1892

2 "During the session I read a course in Economics. Lectures were given by Mr Macdonald in a room on the first floor of this old building. The room was heated by an open coal fire which Mr Macdonald kept generously stoked from a well-filled open scuttle. The room was dusty and had a peculiar smell, compounded I suppose by rotting timbers and dirt. Mr Cecil Sharpe collector of folk songs and pioneer of folk dancing gave a lecture to the students. He was allotted a first floor room in the asylum. Fired by his enthusiasm some of us announced our intention of starting a Folk Dance Society. He responded by teaching us on the spot the dance 'Gathering Peascods.' This energetic dance proved to be too much for the old structure, and we literally went through the floor. I recall no repercussions from this damage to the fabric...." Memories

3 "During the session I read a course in Economics. Lectures were given by Mr Macdonald in a room on the first floor of this old building. The room was heated by an open coal fire which Mr Macdonald kept generously stoked from a well-filled open scuttle. The room was dusty and had a peculiar smell, compounded I suppose by rotting timbers and dirt. Mr Cecil Sharpe collector of folk songs and pioneer of folk dancing gave a lecture to the students. He was allotted a first floor room in the asylum. Fired by his enthusiasm some of us announced our intention of starting a Folk Dance Society. He responded by teaching us on the spot the dance 'Gathering Peascods.' This energetic dance proved to be too much for the old structure, and we literally went through the floor. I recall no repercussions from this damage to the fabric...." Memories

4 ‘Every fragment of space, corridor or closet, heated or unheated has been pressured into service: single rooms are curtained off into double, no professor or lecturer can regard any lecture room as his own and equip it accordingly: maps and diagrams must be carried from room to room: successive classes must wait on one another’s exit and use the air exhausted by predecessors. There is no common room for members of staff…every professor's private room is shared between two or more…Library books are stowed away in cupboards because there is no room for new shelves…Student common rooms and meager luncheon rooms are in the basement…there is no lecture room capable of accommodating an attendance of 150 and college functions must be enacted anywhere but in the college.’ Memories

5 Memories of the Victoria Building The Women’s common room about "Our cloak room was the first floor balcony rail, which was always draped with out coats and hats and every woman student wore a hat. These hats tended to slide down into the Victoria Hall, then not a thoroughfare but a stamping ground for the men students. When a hat fell, some man would pick it up, scale the life-size statue of Christopher Bushell that stood on a high plinth and place the hat on its head, where it remained until the owner could persuade Parrington, the head porter, to fetch his step ladder to rescue it.’ Memories

6 Memories of the Victoria Building The Women’s common room about "Our cloak room was the first floor balcony rail, which was always draped with out coats and hats and every woman student wore a hat. These hats tended to slide down into the Victoria Hall, then not a thoroughfare but a stamping ground for the men students. When a hat fell, some man would pick it up, scale the life-size statue of Christopher Bushell that stood on a high plinth and place the hat on its head, where it remained until the owner could persuade Parrington, the head porter, to fetch his step ladder to rescue it.’ Main contents Memories

7 Memories of the Victoria Building “We were a small carefree group of first year students who entered the Faculty of Arts in October We would forgather before and after lectures near the War Memorial and talk about the erudition and idiosyncrasies of our lectures… Our student group consisted of Priscilla Roaf, Marjorie Ashton, Alice Jones, Henry Burrows and Stewart Sutcliffe (a relative of the Cricketer Herbert Sutcliffe)…as might be expected Stewart played cricket for the University. We could no longer be carefree when we met for the last time in autumn 1939 for war had been declared…Stewart was killed during the war.” 1930s, Lesley Randle Cottrell. Main contents Memories

8 Memories of the Victoria Building “We were a small carefree group of first year students who entered the Faculty of Arts in October We would forgather before and after lectures near the War Memorial and talk about the erudition and idiosyncrasies of our lectures… Our student group consisted of Priscilla Roaf, Marjorie Ashton, Alice Jones, Henry Burrows and Stewart Sutcliffe (a relative of the Cricketer Herbert Sutcliffe)…as might be expected Stewart played cricket for the University. We could no longer be carefree when we met for the last time in autumn 1939 for war had been declared…Stewart was killed during the war.” 1930s, Lesley Randle Cottrell. Main contents Memories

9 'Sir, I am one of those misguided mortals who thinks they can work in the Tate Library. You go there shortly after ten, all is then peaceful though the atmosphere is clammy and cold. Shivering slightly you open your books in a side alcove…in a few minutes your work is disturbed by sounds of revelry. A group of merry yokels come bounding along…other sounds not far off compel your attention, the laughter of fair maidens who run up and down the library for exercise. You return in the afternoon hoping for better things. The light becomes dim, the electric light has wretched illumination, there are powerful draughts and cold. Later on when the merry yokels and playful damsels have gone home… "Please sir, we are going to close the library now." From, Imaginary Worker' Main contents Memories

10 'Sir, I am one of those misguided mortals who thinks they can work in the Tate Library. You go there shortly after ten, all is then peaceful though the atmosphere is clammy and cold. Shivering slightly you open your books in a side alcove…in a few minutes your work is disturbed by sounds of revelry. A group of merry yokels come bounding along…other sounds not far off compel your attention, the laughter of fair maidens who run up and down the library for exercise. You return in the afternoon hoping for better things. The light becomes dim, the electric light has wretched illumination, there are powerful draughts and cold. Later on when the merry yokels and playful damsels have gone home… "Please sir, we are going to close the library now." From, Imaginary Worker' Memories

11 ‘Going to the Tate was to me, a solemn act, not to be undertaken lightly, as its size, elaborate décor, compared with the plainer architecture of the New Arts Building and the realisation of the quantity and quality of knowledge sorted on its shelves, filled me with awe – not lessened should the silence be broken. A dropped pen could create the effect of a gunshot.’ Memories

12 ‘Going to the Tate was to me, a solemn act, not to be undertaken lightly, as its size, elaborate décor, compared with the plainer architecture of the New Arts Building and the realisation of the quantity and quality of knowledge sorted on its shelves, filled me with awe – not lessened should the silence be broken. A dropped pen could create the effect of a gunshot.’ Memories

13 Some background information The authorities of the university had decided that the public opening of the Victoria Building should be held in the Arts Theatre. Lord Spencer would perform the ceremony and many distinguished guests were invited but there was no room for the students to attend. After a protest, the students managed to secure the top balcony for their revenge. Muir was a student at the College and founded the Sphinx College Magazine in He later became professor of History at the University of Liverpool from Ramsay Muir MemoriesNext Page

14 'A wire had been rigged up from one horn of the semi-circular gallery to the other, the middle of it being immediately over the head of the Earl. When the procession filled the platform and just as the Chancellor took his seat, an enormous biscuit, about 3 foot in diameter, specially baked for the occasion, was run along the wire and amid the breathless attention of the whole audience gradually lowered until it hung right in front of the chancellor, completely obscuring him from the audience. It bore an inscription stating that it was for the Senate, which took the biscuit for its impudence in trying to exclude the students.' Previous Page Memories

15 'A wire had been rigged up from one horn of the semi-circular gallery to the other, the middle of it being immediately over the head of the Earl. When the procession filled the platform and just as the Chancellor took his seat, an enormous biscuit, about 3 foot in diameter, specially baked for the occasion, was run along the wire and amid the breathless attention of the whole audience gradually lowered until it hung right in front of the chancellor, completely obscuring him from the audience. It bore an inscription stating that it was for the Senate, which took the biscuit for its impudence in trying to exclude the students.' Previous PageMemories

16 'Remarkable musical efforts were produced by the student’s orchestra which consisted of bagpipes, tin whistles, penny trumpets, rattles etc….University songs were rendered with great spirit such as ‘Ta-ra-ra-boom- de-ay’- which is the sound clip that you can hear playing. It was amusing to watch the professors during the spectacle, one chewed his moustache so hard to keep himself from laughing that it has not recovered to this day, another stroked his beard and looked melancholy, a third, not particularly distinguished for keeping order in his classes, actually shook his fist at the gallery.' Memories

17 'Remarkable musical efforts were produced by the student’s orchestra which consisted of bagpipes, tin whistles, penny trumpets, rattles etc….University songs were rendered with great spirit such as ‘Ta-ra-ra-boom- de-ay’- which is the sound clip that you can hear playing. It was amusing to watch the professors during the spectacle, one chewed his moustache so hard to keep himself from laughing that it has not recovered to this day, another stroked his beard and looked melancholy, a third, not particularly distinguished for keeping order in his classes, actually shook his fist at the gallery.' Memories


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