Town & Gown. A New Thing? Hell, No!
By Kat, Jan 16 2017 08:00AM
I found this great article that charts the very long history of Town & Gown. It sums up the surprise from so many people who had never imagined there was anyone doing a manual job in Oxford, let alone the thousands and thousands of Townies that have been there, hidden away, for centuries.
"...the world was surprised to discover that Oxford had a working class, council estates, no-go areas and joy riders. The City of Dreaming Spires that had supplied the world’s establishment with tyrants, Marxist/Leninists and an intellectualised bourgeoisie has been a facade for a class war that has been waged for hundreds of years in and around Oxford. Bit over the top? Exaggeration? Let us guide you through the darker side of Oxford’s past and present."
"Students were often beaten and sometimes murdered by the ‘Townies’. By the mid-19th century the relations between the working class and colleges of Oxford became commonly known as Town and Gown; on May the 1st every year at 6 o’clock in the morning ‘Townies’ would descend on the Colleges to chuck what students they could find in the river, after the obligatory slapping of course!"
I remember the tradition of going to Magdalen bridge at 6am. Although by the mid 90's people were just jumping in off their own drunkern back! They now line the bridge with police. The rumours say someone jumped in and landed on a shopping trolley and died. Ridiculous, but not that unlikely!
Have a read HERE