Editors Note: This is an archived blog post from 9/10/2013
By Catherine Feely.
On Monday 14th October, History staff and students will engage in friendly battle at the History Society’s Pub Quiz (Bar 256, Fallowfield, 7.30pm). Many of you will know that this event has been organised by our lively and successful History Society. You might, however, be surprised to learn that the Society has now been bringing staff and students together on a social footing for over a hundred years.
The Historical Society (as it was then known) was founded in 1901 and was quickly recognized as the “social, and indeed in some ways the intellectual centre of the school”. This claim was made in the collected papers of none other than Professor T. F. Tout, the inspirational chair of History after whom this blog (e-tout.blogspot.co.uk) is named. In fact, much of what we know about the early history of the department comes from Tout’s notes for talks he gave to the Historical Society. However, there is fascinating evidence to suggest that the Historical Society didn’t spend all of its time earnestly listening to professors pontificating …
One incredible insight to the social history of the department is the Historical Society Songbook for 1920, in which the lyrics of old songs were adapted to reflect undergraduate life.
It is clear from the words “The History School”, “The Examinee” and (my personal favourite) “To the Reticent Professor” that, while time marches on, the glee that students take in mocking their lecturers is universal.
More than anything, the Songbook is testament to the energy of the students who compiled it and the fun that they obviously had in their time here. Anyone up for a 2013 edition?