No 33 September 2005








No. 33 September 2005


As presaged by your all-seeing Editor in newsletter no.30 in March, Dr DAVID BACHE has removed – to Drymen,  a small village not far from the south end of Loch Lomond. David is just about to retire, but is busy writing a technical book and climbing Munros when time permits.

From FRANK DUNCAN comes, “In 1972 when he was Rector, John Cleese dined at Kinnessburn and much admired the Moose. Some years later there was an episode of "Fawlty Towers" in which Basil attempted to hang a moose's head on the wall in the hotel reception. I like to think that Cleese's inspiration for writing that scene came from his encounter with the Kinnessburn Moose.”

GRAHAM FLEMING reports on two successful events in St Andrews. “First of all there was my son’s graduation, which turned out be a very happy return to the Younger Hall, the erstwhile scene of many a ‘hop’ and, alas, of even more examinations. I was extremely impressed by the Principal, Brian Lang: the warm atmosphere of the graduation ceremony was not just the result of the ever-inadequate ventilation of the hall!

Secondly my wife Lilian and I went on to attend the Mediaeval History reunion dinner, followed by the Alumnus Ball, the former in the recently renovated David Russell Hall, the latter in the Younger (where else?). Both great fun, I am pleased to report, with Anne Kettle on great form as the after-dinner speaker and the floor of the Younger as well-sprung as ever as we danced Strip the Willow, etc.




Died suddenly after illness


PETER (‘BEAR’) MARTIN e-mails a postscript to a note about The Three Bears Club, “By the way, do you remember when on the occasion of one of my birthdays [Just how many birthdays a year did a Bear have? – Ed.] my motorbike was somehow manhandled up the stairs and parked in my room on the second floor (which I shared at the time with Gordon Roy)?”

Your Editor has a vague memory of an ever so slightly lubricated Peter trying to bearpawdle (ursine equivalent of manhandle) the bike back to the level of Mother Earth and having it collide (oooh, narsty!) with the wall of the half-landing. But then Kinnessburn cycles did seem to have a life of their own. One recalls, for instance, that Allan Hood’s Tour de France model was known to have parked itself in his room at tea-time, that Anthony Newhouse’s city roadster favoured climbing the telegraph pole opposite the house, and the less said the better about Dr Alistair Forrester’s racing turn on his motorbike into the Kinnessburn bike-shed!

A similar episode of rushing headlong into the arms of Mother Earth comes  to mind.  Andy Green in a desperate attempt to escape from some dire retribution at the top of the house missed his footing, cart-wheeled down the same flight as the motorbike, did a back flip on the half-landing and came to a halt in an untidy heap outside the first-floor washroom. Help was sought from Doc Mair, the University sawbones, who arrived pretty promptly. He was a spare, stooping character who invariably wore a dark suit making him look just like an undertaker. His opening words on arrival were, “Well, chentlemen, and whair’s the body?

Webmaster JOHN STEPNEY has recently burnt much midnight oil upgrading the Kinnessburn website, giving it a far more professional look with buttons down the left-hand side and a moose logo on every page. There is access to copies of all the newsletters from the distinctly amateur no.1 (March 1997) to the latest rather more sophisticated issues. The website also contains special editions, such as “How the Moose Came to Kinnessburn” and a list of “Who stayed where and when” – please notify any errors/omissions/alterations to John at We owe John a load of thanks for his work dragging us into the twenty-first century. So make it all worth his while and have a look-see what’s on-site.

Whilst running “Kinnessburn” through a couple of search engines, your Editor turned up the amazing information that –

  •        Dr William Fullerton MacTier (d.1915) had carried out military service at Kinnessburn, St Andrews (!);
  •        The members of the Medics Rowing Club used to play pooh-sticks down the Kinnessburn.

There must be sufficient material available for a dissertation on the subject of Kinnessburn, if not for a PhD then at least Piled High and Deep!

The next “Tales of…” will be on Kinness food. We already have enough stories from the later years to fill a Gordon Ramsay kitchen rescue programme (complete with colourful language), but what about the early years when the food was regarded as pretty good and served four times a day? Let’s hear what you Older Men have to say. And from the later years do we have any further anecdotes? Keep ‘em coming!

Would anyone like to add to the myth of Moultrie Kelsall and Room 13? We have a skeleton of a tale from ‘Arch’ but need some flesh to put on the bones. So if you have a craving to see your name in print, send me your ideas of how to flesh out the story.


LIZ OGILVIE, who can be described as an ‘honorary’ member of Kinnessburn (1967-69), has asked me to remind people that the summer Christmas party was in fact in honour of her 21st birthday,” e-mails Jeremy Short.

Welcome back to PETE ROGERS on his re-emergence into the world of Kinnessburn!

Produced for the Men of Kinnessburn by Graham Robertson


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