I Wasn't Expecting This !

I still remember my first day at Brinsford. Upon arrival I had to fill out a number of forms and sign over some money (all that Poly Lodge rubbish that you may have read about). Then I was shown to my room in M-block by an attractive second year student. I recall being introduced to another member of the block (Geraint) and then unpacking my worldly possessions. Later I got chatting to a fellow computer science student (Transistorised Mike) in the bar. Everyone seemed very friendly and helpful. My false sense of security remained intact for almost 5 hours, until an event occurred which was to be a portent of things to come . . .

Sometime during that evening, a bunch of guys entered the bar and exited again carrying the girl who had shown me to my room earlier that day. My curiosity piqued, I followed them to T-block where I witnessed Sian (For it was she!) being dumped unceremoniously into a cold bath. Although she was struggling violently, her abductors (Among them Richard, Robert and Robin I think) managed to hook the ankle of her jeans over the cold water tap such that the water was channelled directly down inside the leg of her jeans. In fact, a classic cold bath - Brinsford style.

Cold baths were probably the most popular trick to play on people at Brinsford. But there were certainly many more, several of which also involved water. S-block’s own variant on the cold bath was in fact the cold shower since there were no baths in S-block. The large kitchen sink in the dining hall was occasionally host to similar antics, normally when it was someone’s birthday.

Water could creep up on you when you were least expecting it, especially during one of the many water fights which used to break out between blocks. The favoured weapon during these pitched battles was usually a metal wastepaper bin full of water. During such encounters no-one was safe, not even innocent bystanders all dressed up to go out, eh Steve! Water also had a habit of creeping under people’s doors. Occasionally a student might discover water flooding into their room in this manner. You knew this meant that it was being assisted by someone with a mop or a wastepaper bin on the other side. The dilemma was deciding whether to open the door and risk a deluge from more people with buckets of water or to pile all your belongings on the bed and attempt to barricade the door.

Many such pranks did not require the presence of water at all. Sometimes a student might return to his or her room only find that their bed was missing or, worse still, the entire contents of the room. This trick could often be pulled off via a window left carelessly open. Alternatively, the trusty 6 inch steel ruler could be employed. This was a handy weapon in the prankster’s tool bag since most locked doors could be bypassed using the old credit card trick. (A credit card would probably do just as well but most students didn't own one!). If you did discover that your bed had wandered from your room, depending upon who was on duty, a useful port of call could be the gate-house. There wasn't much that happened around Brinsford which escaped Stan’s eyes and ears, and if you caught him in the right mood he might even drop a handy hint as to where best to continue your search. And if all attempts failed and you were forced to leave for college in the morning after spending a rough night on the floor, just pray that Stan discovered the missing bed before Ma Hammond! She once discovered my own bed tucked away in the little room behind the table-tennis room. Fortunately she didn’t know which room it had come from, but Stan did and tipped me the wink upon my return so I could retrieve it quickly. Sometimes the fun was to re-create an entire room in plain view - normally on the stage in the main hall.

Kidnapping could occur in a variety of forms. Most common was a variant of the above, but instead of removing the bed or other furniture, the occupant’s cuddly toys disappeared - normally to be found strung up in the bar. (This was a particularly good one for tormenting the girls!). Sometimes the occupant themselves might be kidnapped. I seem to recall a couple of occasions when some unsuspecting victim was nabbed and bundled into a sleeping bag, then tossed down the stairs into The Roxy during the middle of a film or such like. Nor was it unknown for the victim to be taken by car and dumped in some lonely spot, forced to find their own way back to Brinsford.

Other favourites included

  • Stringing someone up on the green pipes - especially in Winter when they could be exceptionally cold and icy
  • Flicking off the main circuit-breaker in the block and telling the fresher that their hi-fi had blown the fuse and they would have to report it to the gate-house. (Thanks Steve!)
  • Being given a cold shower and then stuffed in one of those large fridges (You had to remove the food and the shelves first), and turning it round so that the door opened up against the wall. Leave for 15 minutes and serve the victim straight from the fridge!
  • Re-hanging someone’s door so that the hinge was fixed to the top of the doorway. The victim would return to their room to discover that their door opened upwards!

Not that any of these ever happened to me, you understand! At least no-one ever dared to touch my Blondie posters. I'm sure you all remember plenty of other capers . . . .

Overall Rating (1)

3.5 out of 5 stars

People in this conversation

  • Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars

    Had to laugh at water under the door :) Usually pushed a rug along the bottom of my door to try & reduce the amount of water that was always liable to be poured under the door! Often used to exit via the windows early in the morning to check there wasn't a bin of water propped up against my door :)

    Like 0 Short URL:
  • Remember the spin-rinse? We wired one into a light socket, filled the machine with water, took the occupant for several drinks, escorted him back to his room and waited for the wet fun as he turned the light on.....

    Like 0 Short URL:
  • I think we did a variant of that. Up the overflow while someone was having a bath. Good job those driers were rated for outdoor use :)

    Like 0 Short URL:
  • Hmm I also seem to recall 25 or so alarm clocks being lined up outside your windo set to go off at 5am when you had got in at 3am!

    Like 0 Short URL:
Add comment