Loughborough Alumni

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Defending Our Floor - 1982 - Rutherford

18 Apr 2019

Hall life captured in winning #LboroMemories photograph

Over the last couple of weeks, we ran our #LboroMemories Competition, seeking throwback photographs and memories from our alumni.

We received over 260 photographs from over 70 alumni and we have selected one lucky winner who will receive a £100 voucher.

The winning image captures the spirit of hall life at Loughborough in the 1980s. With a little mischief, rivalry and jest, the winner shared an image and story that encapsulates student fun.

Back in 1982, alumna Alison Pailing was a resident of Rutherford Hall, in the student village on the Loughborough campus.

A Block 16 resident, Alison and her hallmates felt the need to defend their floor from a group of fellow Rutherfordonians from Block 17.

The Block 17 students used to take toilet roll holders and a Christmas tree from Block 16 – and they succeeded in doing so on multiple occasions.

One day, the ladies decided to prepare for the Block 17 men to arrive again, but this time the ladies were ready with their Hockey sticks.

Defending our floor - sign

A sign on the door to the block warned off the intruders, and students were “armed” with their Hockey sticks, awaiting further intrusion from Block 17.

With great 80s fashion, hairstyles and a mop dressed up and standing guard in the window, this photograph shows a cheeky side to 1980s student life.

More details behind the story of the winning photo were later revealed by Alison’s University friend, Steve Major.

Steve, who graduated in 1984 with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, was one of the Rutherfordians in Block 17 who successfully stole the Christmas tree from Alison’s block.

By way of celebration, Steve left his block unguarded as he travelled to EHB for a beer with blockmates. But on their return, they found the tree missing.

Immediately suspecting Alison and the other girls in Block 16, the boys stealthily retrieved the tree for a second time whilst the girls were asleep, as well as the hockey sticks used to guard the block. As a parting gift, they also removed the spindles from all the doors.

To ensure the girls did not strike again, Steve and the rest of Block 17 wired the tree to a 150-dB horn, triggered by moving the tree. They also wired the door to a spare car battery. These measures, along with the hockey sticks, ensured that the tree remained in Block 17.

Congratulations to Alison, who graduated in 1983 with a degree in Modern European Studies and thank you to everyone who submitted their memories to our competition.

Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to share in the nostalgia through our weekly “Throwback Thursday” feature.

If you missed the competition but still have photographs to share, please email us.

+44(0)1509 228497

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