Pre-sixties Wadham

23rd February 2015

Alumni news

Wadham’s Spring Gaudy will welcome alumni from the years leading up to 1960. As the sign-ups flood in we are delighted to see that alumnus Clive Hildebrand (1960, PPE) will be returning to College from Brisbane in Australia. Here he shares memories and photos from his time at Wadham.

Memories of an antipodean in Wadham, 1960-63

“Memories undimmed.  The late David Malcolm (d. 2014) and I shared rooms on staircase five for two years.  In the New Bodleian by day preparing for tutorials, afternoon sports breaks, cellar then Hall, so many late night discussions, bridge, squash, visitors, beggar the sherry account! 

My two great mistakes while up - falling for then JCR President Nicholas Barber's winning ways and "volunteering" to run for a time/term his newly installed laundry in a dim basement near the Wren building; and being disrespectful at a rugby Cuppers practice.  The former taught me that tertiary students, especially the brightest, can't follow three part - 15 word instructions, most often seeking help late at night.  The latter?  I inconsiderately put my cheek and jaw bones in the way of a rampant Jesus Coll centre.  I remain indebted to the owner of that racy sports car (was it red too?) who kindly ferried a broken me to the Radcliffe.  I feel sure it was Stephen O'Malley.  I do hope I see him in March.  In hospital I was greeted by a doctor-rugby friend, ex Queensland home team colleague, who declared it happened to him last year and I'd be back on the field in six weeks.  You convinced me Roscoe - I regretfully muttered "like hell I'll be back"!  I was not concussed so my face was levered back to shape in the Radcliffe pretty much immediately and I was soon discharged.  Rugger captain Alan Bigg took the news to my sister (briefly in Oxford).  Brave man Alan.  Thanks.  I must have repelled everyone in Hall at breakfast next morning but I was hungry (and maybe even a bit sorry for myself) - sorry chaps.  I looked very red-eyed from the outside and from inside it didn't look too flash either.  Only Jim Harris was unimpressed (I'm sure I read regrettably that that wonderful man had died). 

It was surely my notoriety from these two great mistakes that saw me elected first 12 month President of the JCR in 1962, my year's extension enabled by a generous Rhodes House.  Before end of my third year I needed time out from being host to itinerant colleagues, my escape route provided by that great Scot-Yarpie-Yank-now-Canadian physicist/humanist Tony Key, as his sub tenant.  Henry Glyde and I were escorts to his marriage with the effervescent Mervyn in Wadham, photo supplied. 

But who arranged my infection with German measles within weeks of finals?  I ended my college days as a pariah riding around the Parks.  Ian Crombie laughed his head off when I called him.  I guess he was right - there's humour all around if you look for it. Even to laugh at oneself.  I look forward to swapping stories with those in photos and with others. 

Clive Hildebrand, in Brisbane Queensland, home to G20 November 2014. No riots, police handing out bottles of cold water to demonstrators.  Fancy that!”

  • The late David Malcolm (1960, Law) 'hamming it up' on staircase 5.

    The late David Malcolm (1960, Law) 'hamming it up' on staircase 5.

  • Henry Glyde (1960, DPhil Physics), Mervyn & Tony Key (1960, Physics) and Clive Hildebrand

Sharing your memories

We would love to hear from all attending the Gaudy (and those who can’t make it) with memories and photos from your Wadham days. With your contributions we hope to put together an exhibition of pre-1960s Wadham on 27 March. Please submit your memories and pictures to Julia Banfield julia.banfield@wadh.ox.ac.uk (including your return address for anything we need to send back). Rather than send original copies of photos, please try photographing your pictures with a digital camera and sending the file by email. Thanks in anticipation!

  • Wadham rugby, 1960 (Clive Hidebrand (1960, PPE) is seated, second row, far right)

  • Wadham cricket, 1961 (Clive Hildebrand in seated far left)