Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Anyone for a fight?

Living in Oxford, you become extremely aware of persons walking about that are neither residents nor tourists. They are only there at certain times of the year, and for most of it, they stick to their own little courtyards. Except, of course, around May time, when they all pour onto the high st and stand nervously, dressed in formal black and white, holding a mortar board, outside the Examinations school, like a pack of especially clever penguins.

Yes, I am talking about students, and no, I didn't eat anything really strange for lunch.

Why, I can hear those who have got this far ask, am I talking about these people? Well quite simply because of an event that happened over 600 years ago.

On this date in 1355,
the St Scholastica’s Day riot began in Oxford, with opposing forces of town and gown going on the rampage for three days ... it seems even in the 1300s, those pesky students were getting in the way, and probably flaunting their brains in the faces of the farmers (sorry for the bad mental image I just conjured up!).

Something inside of me feels that the time is right for another Town V Gown - although without the violence. If we could all fight like Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones, then it would all be ok! Simon - as the only Gown here in Oxford that I know - would you care to flap your hands in my general direction? I'm sure we'd be a great tourist attraction!

6 comments:

GeraniumCat said...

Could you stage your re-enactment for the end of March, please, when I shall be bringing my own troop of misplaced persons (conference delegates)to Oxford. They would be greatly edified!

oxford-reader said...

I will converse with Simon and see what we can do ;-). Would you be coming for the literary festival? That's at the end of March!

StuckInABook said...

Having spent a year on the Town side, I am torn!

oxford-reader said...

Ah yes, but you have once again submerged yourself into Gown-ness, and the year on the Town side was spent in the Bodleian, so I don't think it counts!

farmlanebooks said...

I was born in Oxford, and still have relatives there. It is not so much Town v Gown as Town + Gown v Japanese tourists! I keep bumping into them as they stop to take photos of everything!

oxford-reader said...

Oh yes! I've simply taken to walking in front of their shots now - I'm so sick of having to walk in the middle of the road, instead of the pavement!