The Ed mobile

The Ed mobile, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

I found this picture, but no sign of the faculty of arty-farty subjects ones yet.

The Ed mobile. This was a support vehicle on teh 1993 or 1994 Bogle Stroll, I’m not sure which. The silhouette in the driver’s seat is almost certainly Peter Larkham and the guy in the middle seat will be John Bilham. I haven’t a clue who the bloke in the yellow jacket is, but the person walking toward the van is Richard Ambler, Bogle warlord that year or the one previous.

The Stonehenge Bogles

They don’t make Rag stunts like they used to. In 1966 a bunch of Manchester Raggies scaled the fences at Stonehenge and left behind 16 Bogles- stick figure likenesses of the Rag mascot. You couldn’t do that nowaays, what with all the security paranoia.

Time to confes a couple of my own Rag indiscretions, all over a decade old.

I was the man who painted a banner with “UMIST Faculty of arty-farty subjects and Mickey Mouse degrees” which was hung on the front of Manchester University students’ union one Rag week. I took pictures, but I don’t know if I still have copies.

I was also one of the conspirators in the kidnapping of Ed- the ESCA drinking bunny. Whilst on a raid North of the border we rescued the unfortunate rabbit from captivity in the offices of the Edinburgh Students Charity Appeal (or Association, I can’t remember) and took him back to Manchester where he lived a pampered life. Apart from that time we tied him to the front of a van and drove him around supporting the Bogle Stroll, of course.

I don’t know where Ed is now. Can anyone tell me?

Manchester Rag homepage. Recently refurbished and with one of my pictures on the front page.

Edited highlights of collecting in Glasgow

Notice, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

First off, I should state for the record that I didn’t do any collecting. I helped in the count room and wandered around taking photos. Every time I thought I should go out and shake a bucket for the first time in several years I’d look out the window and it would still be pissing down. However, thanks to the hardier souls who did venture out we collected £1,666, a number we felt Andy would have appreciated.

Highlights of the weekend-

On the way up the A74(M) was blocked because of a big accident. We ventured down an A road, only to be detoured off it. Then detoured off the detour. We ended up on single track that reminded me of the roads around home, then got narrower.

When we finally got to Glasgow our quest for a drink was foiled by bad communication and witnessing a hit and run. Well, it was more of a sideswipe and run. As the lights changed and a couple of cars decided to race each other a drunk women chose to run across the road. She got far enough to avoid the first then ran straight into the side of the other and was spun around and knocked off her feet. Dan called the ambulance and Malky had the wherewithal to note the car’s licence.

We finally found booze in a bar called Stavka, which had very jovial door staff and didn’t charge entry.

Glasgow’s a rather nice city. It would have been nicer if they hadn’t had a month’s rain in one day.

Tebay services has a farmers’ shop. The produce turned snacking on the way up into an awfully civilised picnic.

One in, one out

Spinneyhead, or one of the team, anyway, became an uncle again on Saturday. Congratulations to Damian’s sister Millie and her husband on the birth of their baby boy.

The good news was tempered somewhat by the fact that we were trying to accept the death of a friend at the time we received it.

Andy McCruden died on Friday night. He was found by his flatmate and a friend when they returned from a night out. The news reached Casa Spinneyhead at noon, where Ian was just waking up to a massive hangover. As it sank in we got follow up messages telling us where his friends were meeting up.

The rest of the day was spent drinking, remembering Andy anecdotes, taking the occasional quiet moments and making off colour jokes to help cope. A wake seemed the most appropriate thing to have.

Loud, opinionated, occasionally obnoxious and always inventively abusive, Andy was rarely dull. He was one of those people who seemed a bit more alive than the rest of us. Most of us remember seeing him at some time or another cycling at ridiculous speed, head down and determined, daring the drivers to mess with him. We all remember him at Jilly’s and elsewhere, charged up on JD and Coke and Irn Bru, telling the world why it was wrong and he was right and how he could sort it all out with a bit of fire and/or Semtex.

Intermission in the style of Andy….. “FELCH!”

He introduced us all to the concept of the trebuchet as an instrument of social justice – the idea of using it to launch scallies and other ne’er do wells or people who had annoyed him slightly into orbit was fairly typical of him.

He had also threatened to use the following as a screensaver at work –

[deepbreath]count integer do until 10[/deepbreath]

else [smite]

Andy was also an active member of Rag and will be especially missed during the Bogle Stroll, where his role in the control room and on the radios often kept the rest of us sane and the event going smoothly.

His is not a role that can be stepped into, and no-one wants to. We’ll just have to learn to accept the Andy shaped hole at events and evenings out.

We will all remember the guy that cared more about his friends than himself and enriched our lives for the better and taught us that the only thing hippies are good for is firewood!

A final word from Andy, the last text many of us received from him and one of many such which brightened days in the office:

Andy’s guide to blatant violations of the Trades Description Act No. 93: “lava lamps” do not, in fact, contain red hot molten rock.

We’re all really going to miss that bloody minded, megalomaniac, pyromaniac and- by his own admission- sociopathic Scottish bastard.

Ian P, Ian J, Damian, Donna, Harry, Tim and Clare


Twikker is the Rag Mag of Sheffield University, and may be the longest running Rag publication.  What struck me about the wikipedia entry was the thrill of recognition.  I’ve got, or at least had, a copy of the D’Israeli covered 1991 mag.  I have more important things to do tonight than go through my Big Box of Memories(tm) trying to find it again.