Tagged: Rag week

Colin Mcindoe emailed me in reply to a recent blog where he reminisced about his Liverpool schooldays and remembered a short verse he had gleaned from the 1962 Sphinx – that slightly risque Panto magazine that students sold as part of their Rag Week charity drive.

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
that floats on high o’er hills and vales
when all at once I met this lad
a Scouser who had dirty nails.”

It got me thinking as to what happened to Rag Week. Has it just disappeared? I remember the parades they had in Sheffield, with dozens of decorated floats parading through town with students holding out buckets to catch the (old and heavy) pennies that were often thrown at them with deliberate intention to maim. It was a week in which substantial amounts were raised for charities and was one of the few occasions when gown met town.
The press photograph is of a 1936 Rag stunt in Church Street. The caption reads: A happy band of the students playing ‘Ring-a-Roses’ round a traffic policeman in Church Street. I had always thought that Rag week was a post-War phenomenon. Does anyone know its history and what has happened to it? Surely with ten times as many students today, it could make a dramatic revival.