"Blizzard"

I think the word "blizzard" might be a little excessive for what doesn't really appear to be too much snow, although nowadays this much snowfall would cause the entire country to grind to a halt for a couple of days.What's really interesting is to see a policeman still out there directing traffic in Piccadilly Circus. Actually, the surprise is not that they're still out there in the snow, it's that they're out there in the first place......
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Going Underground

These are Piccadilly Circus and Hyde Park Corner tube stations, from February 1958. In so many ways, these look pretty much as they do today. The second one is remarkable in that there's no-one else there - when did you last see an empty tube station? The advert in the first one caught my eye - "We Want Watney's Brown Ale". From what I understand, it was a reasonable brew in those days, long before the dreaded Watney's Red Barrel and Party Seven....
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Skiffle Group

August 1957, and some sort of street fair in Soho, with a skiffle group playing in the street - you can tell it's skiffle because someone is playing a tea chest.Even if you wanted one and could afford one, you weren't allowed to use a proper bass - it had to be the piece of string attached to a tea chest. It's in the rules of the International Skiffle Federation - look it up if you don't believe me....
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"Sound Effects"

From the Imperial College Drama Society's production of Dispersal.It must have been really difficult to do sound effects for a play in those days, presumably before even tape recorders were widely available. I assume everyone does it from a laptop these days, with just a mouse click to kick off the relevant sound. Imagine trying to cue up records and start them off at the right point - not to mention stopping them in time as well....
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"Morphy Day, General Melee"

November 1955, on the footpath of the ThamesA bit of digging on t'interweb reveals that Morphy Day traditionally consisted of various bits of Imperial College (which was made up of the Royal College of Science, the City & Guilds College and the Royal School of Mines) having a flour and tomato fight on the towpath at Putney whilst the Morphy and the Lowry races took place between the three colleges on the river. Somehow I suspect the rowing wasn't the most important bit of the day......
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Commemoration Day, 1955

My father on graduation day (known as Commemoration Day), October 1955 at the Royal Albert Hall.EDIT: Just found this in felixonline.co.uk (the IC student newspaper):In 1945, King George VI and the Queen Mother visited Imperial College to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal College of Chemistry, the oldest of the institutions that were amalgamated into Imperial College in 1907. It was decided that this royal visit would be commemorated annually, and it is this ceremony, held in the Royal Albert Hall, at which Imperial undergraduate students celebrate graduation....
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Rowing, 1955

Head of the River Race, 4th VIII throwing the boat.Imperial College 3rd VIII at Walton Regatta, my father 2nd from right in the front rowAlong with the Drama Society, my father also rowed for Imperial College, competing in the Head of the River race two or three times. I'm not quite sure how he managed to combine both of these activities along with studying for his degree, but he seemed to manage it!Interestingly enough, three of his interests were photography, cycling and rowing - I do the first two and have done the third. Something went wrong though, as I've never been interested in the theatre....
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