The First Week of Term ... how long ago it seems when in 1960 I first came up to this Towery City, and branchy between towers, Cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmed, lark-charmed, rook-racked, river-rounded .... Middle Grandson, who is just beginning his second year, does not have the gigantic bedroom and even larger sitting room which was my good fortune. For all I know, he may not even have been provided with cuckoos or larks.
Women undergraduates ... my impression is ... may only ever have had bed-sitters. Harriet Vane, returning for a Gaudy in 1935, found that she had been allocated the room of "... a Fresher with an urge for modernity and very little natural taste. The narrow bed ... was covered with drapery of a crude green colour and ill-considered futuristic pattern; a bad picture in the neo-archaic manner hung above it; a chromium-plated lamp of angular and inconvenient design swore acidly at the table and wardrobe provided by the college, which were of a style usually associated with the Tottenham Court Road; while the disharmony was crowned and accentuated by the presence, on the chest of drawers, of curious statuette or three-dimensional diagram carried out in aluminium, which resembled a gigantic and contorted corkscrew, and was labelled upon its base: ASPIRATION."
Well, we can't all appreciate Art Deco. My Father built himself an Art Deco house in the thirties and I remember it from my childhood after the War; but the flat 'International Modern' roof let the water in and the village children found ways of getting into the orchard and scrumping the apples ... we soon moved ...
But how did male undergraduates furnish their sitting rooms during the Interbellum? We shall explore that in a few days' time. Meanwhile, can the docti or doctae provide me with a Scholium on what was meant by "a style usually associated with the Tottenham Court Road"?