Matthew Jeynes – Goes Way Back

Regular visitors to this trip down York’s Memory Lane will be familiar with the surreal musings and requests which frequented that much under-rated section of the old editions – the Personals.

Fortunately, the Wednesday June 12 edition in 1968 didn’t disappoint. From sage advice to an unidentified individual to “buy some glasses!” to adverts for a “Tubby, Cuddly teddy bear – slightly used”, they never cease to entertain. I find myself wondering whether the “well-stocked harem” ever found a “qualified eunuch”, or why Ian Jack is a “bourgeoisie revisionist” for buying a new pair of pumps. Unfortunately, the rememberance that they were all mere fiction saddened me slightly.

Managing to drag myself away from the small ads, my eye was caught by the letters section, and one in particular entitled “Proletarian Soul”. The article, full of elaborate and often misspelt words, is an attack on the “bogeois” (not sure who they are) and the artistic statues around campus. The recipient of particular venom is the “Martian monstrosity” in “Langworth courtyard”.

The origins of the title are revealed when praise is loaded on the men who repair the statues and, according to the author, “beautify” them. The “functional excellence of the working man” and statues that have been “beautified by the hands of toil” are examples of the author’s lavish exultation. Emotional as the letter is, I sincerely hope the author never revisits campus; the current appearance of the structure found between Langwith and Central Hall may well just give him a heart attack.

A quick trip to the back page makes it apparent that very little seems to have changed in the world of sport. Such as the report on a very talented cricket team that still didn’t quite manage to win all their matches, and one on College Athletics Day in which only two Langwith students turned up. Although, the two students, Hytch and Gretton, did proceed to win every running event, so really any other people would have just gotten in the way.

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