No 25 Christmas 2003


St Andrews

Merry Christmas


No. 25 - Christmas 2003


Twenty-five newsletters and two reunions under our belt – who would have thought it likely when the first news went out way back in March 1997?

THE MEMORIES – From the earliest days of Kinnessburn’s male incarnation come some witty tales from Commander MIKE DICKINSON. “We also decided that as everyone still thought of Kinnessburn as an Annexe to Hall we would perform at the Bejantine Tea rather than at the Bejant Smoker. This caper was hijacked by a bunch of hooligans (not of Kinnessburn): the only one I remember is now a distinguished medical practitioner, so I won’t mention his name, who broke up our act and tried to throw me off the stage into Mrs Tudhope’s lap.

I recently came across some photos of that year’s Kinnessburn Charities float, based on the Beeching cuts which are just hitting the BBC’s History slots. The height of the Signal Box caused some problems with phone cables – Remember lying on my back on the top of the tower, easing the cable over the float with a broom handle. I had also found a tubular leather structure for the Engine’s funnel out at the West Sands coup and acquired some smoke generators from a source not to be mentioned. These made the Engine on the float smoke very realistically, while nearly choking the operator, until they set fire to the funnel, a development that fortunately was controllable.”

THE NEWS - E-mail correspondence between Frank Duncan and ‘Arch’ Andrews : “Just got the latest newsletter - loved the gruesome picture of Kinnessburn High Tea!  We appear to be eating a dish of baked beans with a sausage roll floating on top.  It reminds me of “The Dandy" when Corky the Cat sometimes invited his friends to a "slap up feed" at the "Café Posh" - they always ended up eating a heap of mashed potato with sausages sticking out of it.”

“Looking (on the original negative) at the fare, going up the centre of the table: the basket (bottom) seems to have crackers & oatcakes in it; the plate has bread; the next plate seems to have something triangular, possibly sponge cake; the next has some form of fruit loaf; butter dish ('butter' balls); dish of chips ('crinkly' chips); another basket of crackers or oatcakes, another plate of bread; glass dish (jam); empty glass dish - did that one originally have Dairylea type cheese portions in it? As I recall they were one of the things you dived on pdq when (indeed as) you sat down.  Donald’s and Bill's sideplates each appear to have a piece of 'rectangular cake' on them.   Note the general heaped nature of the sideplates.”

On the subject of plates: when St. Andrews station was closed and boarded up in 1969, one Man of Kinnessburn went down by night and 'liberated' all the name plates eg. 'Station Master', 'Waiting Room' and such like; I hope he still has them; no names, save that he is on the 'Lost' list.

MORE MEMORIES - It is now 41 years since Kinnessburn opened as a male residence and this year has seen some of the older Men celebrating important birthdays or significant wedding anniversaries.

In those golden days term used to start the second Thursday in October (perhaps it still does) and that year the previous day had been earmarked for a national rail strike. In order to avoid a £5 fine from Dean Woozley for failure to meet theirAdvisor of Studies (a fiver would buy forty pints at The Whey Pat!) three Men travelled up on the Tuesday. So it was that David Dixon, Graham Robertson and Phil Wheeler sat down to an ad hoc dinner in the Common Room that evening. And met up again at Derek & Helen Kennedy’s joint 60th Birthday Party this summer together with Robin Bell and Allan Hood.

On Saturday 30th August RENNIE FRAZER wrote, “If you are adherents of 'Thought for the Day' (BBC Radio 4), then this morning was a Kinnessburn treat. Brian Prothero gave a homily about a wayward bowls player. I don't recall if he was a resident or annexe member; it was a brief stay but he made some impact.

Dr SANDY YOUNG’s mugshot was found by ‘ARCH’ on a diabetes website. Sandy is currently a member of the Tayside medical world. Also recently ‘found’ are STEWART (‘Sam’) HARVEY in Dundee, TED HILL in East Lothian and TREVOR JONES in Ayrshire.

Trevor Jones writes from his Clydeside retreat, “Sorry, I have put off contacting you, only to find that I’ve missed the boat by a month for the return of the lunch booking form. [That was last year’s lunch.] It was my intention to attend but with the renovation work here finally getting under way this week, non-attendance seems more prudent. We’ve battled for two and a half years to get to this stage, so it is important to get the work completed timeously, the more so since we are listed in the Tourist Accommodation Guide as opening this summer.

I’ve taken (early) retirement from my teaching job to become personal assistant to a hospitality executive – my wife. Ishbel is working to develop a bed & breakfast business. Our house is between the A78 and the Firth of Clyde, three minutes’ walk from Wemyss Bay railway station and CalMac’s ferry terminal for Rothesay. The property, sold to us as Beach Cottage, comprises the former stable, coach-house and coachman’s cottage to Beach House. The lack of a sandy beach at the foot of our garden and the insertion of a 1970’s bungalow between us and Beach House broke the link and encouraged us to re-name the house Taigh a’Charbadair, the Coachman’s House.

ALAN O’BRIEN writes, “The newsletter prompted me to scour my photographic archives and I have come up with a few shots, including one of Professor Gavin Bremner dangling from the branches of one of the trees on the other side of the road from the house. I have about 20 photos of various people including Scott Moffat, Stewart ("Sam") Harvey, Colin ("Judas") Miller, John Cordingley, Romney Johnstone, Alec Coull and Roger Cunningham. I have attached a few in .jpeg format to this e-mail and can send more if they are of interest. One of the pictures is of the Kinnessburn name plate - perhaps this could be adapted for use on the website.

I remember the first week of my first term when there was a get together with a beer barrel in the common room to get to know your fellow in-mates. Each person introduced themselves in turn. I was next to Allan Halliday and as he introduced himself a cry of “Big Al!, Big Al!” went round the room (led by Scott Moffat, if I remember). It was my turn next. “Little Al,” I said, almost without thinking and that was it. “Little Al!!!, Little Al!!!” chorused the room and I was known as Al for the rest of my time at university, though it had always been the more formal Alan before and has been ever since.”

Christmas Tree






Produced for the Men of Kinnessburn by Graham Robertson


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