Archive and Special Collections

Snow tracks

From the Library offices in the James Graham Building looking out across the snow bound Acre on our Headingley Campus I see the traces of many footprints crisscrossing over the blue white sheet, punctuated by the odd misshapen snowman.

I’m reminded of the tale told to me by a group of Alumni who were students at the City of Leeds Training College on this very campus. They were here in the 1950s and in those days segregation of the sexes was strictly enforced, and no one bar the grounds staff were allowed to walk on the Acre. The women students occupied the halls to my left Caedmon, Leighton, Priestley, Macauley and Bronte. The men on my right Fairfax, Cavendish and the Grange. During winter nights surreptitious visits were made to the opposite side. In the morning the evidence was there for all to see in the fresh tracks left in the snow. What college staff made of this fraternisation and sullying of hallowed ground is not recorded.

While I watch one of the snowmen loses his head and it rolls off down the Acre.

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