library shenanigan, 1970s Oxford style

July 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm Leave a comment

An anonymous shenaniniganner writes:

In the mid-nineteen seventies, at Finals, one of Oxford’s finest pranks (which truly means something, given past traditions) was perpetrated.  At the time, Vincent Quinn was Master of the Balliol Library, and his pride and joy was an original sky blue Morris Mini drophead with split folding windscreens.  The car was never seen in less than impeccable situation, and enjoyed a berth of expansive width in the park facing Broad Street to protect it from the evils of those who might park too close.

Not to be outdone by the parading of goats through Seny Hall, nor the wearing of Cat-In-The-Hat hats at the Snell Dinner, a group of Balliol’s finest and most intrepid – with the aid of a crane hire establishment – removed Doctor Quinn’s revered conveyance during the Finals Dinner to a new and glorious parking place, atop the Balliol Library, its front wheels perched upon the stone rail which surrounds the central tower above the fourth floor.

Christopher Hill, then Master of the College, made no inroads into any discovery of the masked perpetrators during the inquest which followed, as the crane hire had been paid for in cash, and the invoice signed, “Vincent Quinn.”

I hope it’s true! Thanks, anonymous shenaniganner. It’s too bad there’s no photographic evidence like that of a similar shenanigan at Cambridge in 1958. We must also bemoan the lack of documentation for Oxford’s “half-naked half-hour.”

Entry filed under: academic libraries, perpetrated by students or patrons.

Lesbrarians! wingtips and squeaky toys

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