Home » Week eight news column: The World Bollard Association, hornbooks and welfare cake

Week eight news column: The World Bollard Association, hornbooks and welfare cake

As if Lent term is over! It’s really zoomed by and now the vacation is already upon us! This really has been the quickest term (I mean it’s only my second Cambridge term so I can’t really talk, but I reckon it’s been a pretty quick one).

A busy term has also meant lots of news, and this week has certainly been no different. With a surprising amount of models and bollard beef (don’t judge me for still saying beef, it’s good alliteration), this week has been just as wild as the others. So here goes, the last news column of Lent 2021…

Emmanuel alumnus featured on Google Doodle

This week on March 10th, a former student of Emmanuel College, Dr. Wu Lien-teh, featured on a Google doodle to commemorate his 142nd birthday.

Dr. Wu Lien-teh was the first Chinese person to graduate with a degree in Medicine from the University of Cambridge after matriculating in 1896. Following on from his degree, the epidemiologist developed the world’s first medical face mask which is still considered today to be the predecessor to current masks worn by thousands of people across the globe.

I know the BNOC competition is over, but Dr. Wu should have definitely won. Have any of the other winners had their own Google doodle? Didn’t think so.

Clare Hall launches allotment initiative

This week 25 students of Clare Hall sowed a variety of vegetable seeds as part of a new allotment initiative for the college community.

The students plan to grow a variety of plants, including aubergines, tomatoes, lettuce and strawberries in their six newly installed vegetable patches.

In a statement released by the college, student Sarah Gough outlined the positive impact gardening can leave on student’s mental health and wellbeing, commenting: “I hope this project allows College members to reap the many rewards that come with an allotment, including a sense of community, break from intense academic life, exercise, fresh air.”

UL bollards are World Bollard Association approved

This week, the University Library announced on Twitter that their book-inspired bollards are officially World Bollard Association (WBA) approved.

The bollards outside the UL are made up of spinning book towers, and the bollards themselves actually spin!

The World Bollard Association is a Twitter account that aims to celebrate beautiful bollards, from funky-shaped bollards to artistically graffitied bollards.

However, the UL and the WBA got into a light-hearted Twitter spat sparked by the bollards, with the association tweeting that they were “the most exciting thing to happen at a library in 200 years”.

Yet the UL clapped back citing the ten million books that the library is home to, even insinuating that the WBA was only interested in picture books! But even this ten million is small in comparison to the 800 million bollards that make up the WBA!

Who would’ve thought bollards would cause such a stir.

Jesus Green Lido gets a makeover

Regular readers of the news column will know how much I love the Jesus Green Lido, and it’s definitely fair to say that I’ve got a small obsession (despite never actually going). And guess what? This week it’s been getting a serious makeover.

The lido, which is set to open in early April, was this week drained and received a new lick of paint. But that’s not all. Plans have also been announced to install a public sauna at the lido, due to open this May.

But that’s not all! (nobody can tell me that Jesus Green Lido isn’t the most exciting place in Cambridge) There are also plans to install a new sunbathing area!

With all these renovations and new additions, I have a sneaky suspicion that the top-secret final Cindies garden party destination will indeed be the lido – you heard it here first.

Brampton beats Eton in gaining more Oxbridge places

It was revealed this week that East London state school, Brampton Manor, successfully achieved more Oxbridge places than Eton College this year.

Brampton secured an impressive 55 offers whilst Eton fell short with 48 offers, a figure which has been drastically dropping at the prestigious school in recent years.

More than half of the pupils at Brampton qualify for free school meals and the majority of students there are from ethnic minority backgrounds. This compares with Eton, a fee-paying (£42,500 per year) school with a predominately white student body.

The director of Brampton said the atmosphere at the college was “absolutely buzzing” following the results, and a former student of Brampton, Aaliyah Liburd, a first-year studying Law at Peterhouse, told the Tab Cambridge: “Only those who go to Brampton will understand how hardworking the students are. I am so proud of everyone and it’s amazing that their perseverance continues to pay off!”

It’s THURSDAY… again

As per my wish last week, St John’s College reminded us again that Thursday was indeed Thursday. I guess John’s reads the news column!

This week, they upped the anti and even included a quote from John’s alumnus and celebrated author, Douglas Adams, to add a bit of extra pizzazz to our Twitter feeds.

Again, the college sympathised with the student body in expressing their own difficulty getting their head around the Cambridge week, and just Thursday’s in general to be honest.

One follower tweeted their gratitude and John’s was even kind enough to double-check their calendar! A first year at the college told the Tab Cambridge: “I just love the Thursday tweets! I mean can any other college really compare? John’s really is the best.”

Homerton searches for hornbook genius

This week, Homerton College Library tweeted that they were in need of a hornbook genius to help date a hornbook made from animal bone found in their library.

What’s a hornbook I hear you say? Apparently, a hornbook is a learning aid that was commonly used from the 15th-19th centuries. In the Homerton example, the alphabet and numbers zero to nine are engraved on the tool.

The college was able to deduce that their particular hornbook was used from 1700-1820, and the National Library of Scotland even got involved, adding that they were fairly certain the hornbook was used in the 19th century. What a mystery.

Catz welfare support gifted cake!

This week, St. Catharine’s College catering gifted student support workers delicious-looking boxes of cake!

The catering department sent the sweet treats to members of staff, including fellows, who have been supporting undergraduate student welfare in the past months as an end-of-term present. How wholesome!

3D model of St John’s arrives at the college

This week, a 3D model of St. John’s College First Court as it was in the 16th century arrived for display at the college after work began on the project in 2019.

A History of Art PhD student at the College, Alexander Kusztyk, was the driving force behind the construction of the model and was supported both by a college grant and by his supervisors.

Describing his motivation behind the project, Alexander said in a statement: “I wanted people to learn the forgotten, visual roots, of our College, particularly First Court because it has changed so much in the 500 years since the foundation of St John’s.”

After 430 hours of work and delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 500mm x 500mm model which is made at a scale of 1:100, was delivered to the college in early February of this year.

Alexander, although not seeing the project installed in the flesh as he is currently at home in California,  expressed his joy at the project, saying: “I’m amazed at how our vision has evolved into something so wonderful. The model is really detailed, it has far exceeded our expectations.”

Christ’s students receive a congratulatory pop-up

Continuing with the theme of models, to celebrate the end of Lent term, students of Christ’s College were gifted a pop-up model of their college facade this week.

Students of Christ’s College received a pop-up card form their Tutorial Office this week. (Image Credits: Charissa Cheong)

The model was said to be a gift from the college for their students who have faced studying during the pandemic under its many restrictions. My college really needs to up their game!

That’s it! Lent term and this term’s news column has finished! It’s been so great writing the news column this term, thank you to all the readers out there who have followed me from the zombie apocalypse of week one to the wine shortage of week two and now all the way to the feud between the UL and World Bollard Association. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. I guess I’ll see you all (if Boris and Toope allow it) at Jesus Green Lido next term? 

Feature Image Credit: Mihnea Maftei via Flickr (Creative Commons License)