Material Remains

By Richard W H Bray

A small world fractured in the wake of an untimely death

Friday, 5 June 2015


St Andrews enjoys its traditions. Some are older than others, but with a university six centuries old, it's actually kind of easy to create or 'resurrect' a new tradition and find some sort of tenuous link to the past. In my later years living there, it became a tradition to leap from the end of the pier into the water after your last exams were finished. That tradition did not exist when I started there in 1994. I think it's a good and healthy thing (not the leaping off the pier into the North Sea - that's insane). Tradition doesn't mean static and unchanging, or it doesn't have to. The university just gets older, but those attending will always be young. It's a good dynamic.

The photo below is a long exposure of a torchlit procession along the pier in March 2009. I've no idea why there was a torchlit procession in March. Sometimes there's one in November for St Andrews Day. Sometimes there's one on April 30th, a preamble to May Day celebrations. March? I have no idea. Perhaps Easter? I don't even know if an Easter procession was briefly a thing or not, but it made for a pretty picture.  

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