St Hugh's College, Tollerton

Roofwalker's page

St Hugh's

1975-1980

Do you ever remember being bored on winter evenings? In our first term somebody had the idea of going up into the attics in the main building. I expect we must have stood on people's shoulders in that top corridor, turned on our torches and shut the hatch. About four or five of us crawled through loft after loft, finding crawling spaces between them. It was a labyrinth of ancient timber. We were extremely careful not to make too much noise as we crossed the ceilings along the priest's corridor. God knows how they didn't hear us.

Somehow we found a door out onto the rooftops and emerged out into the dark on a winters night. Within the safety of the battlements we had a bit of fun sliding down the slate roofs and walking up to the next ones. Do you remember that there was a fire ladder on the outside of the tower? Well a few lads who were braver than me (11 year olds!) decided to step over the balcony and down this ladder. (If I saw my son doing that now I would faint).

I think I remember somebody messing about with matches instead of a torch within the roof space, we agreed it was a bad idea. But if in another universe Tollerton Hall burnt down, then that was probably how it happened.
I must have come back through the attics and down through the hatch. Amazingly we got away with it. I think there was an element of seeing who was the bravest, and it certainly was not me.

St Hugh's (in another universe)