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Tuesday 10th December 2019  

Queer happenings at Quorn students’ party 1953

Loughborough Monitor - 13th November 1953

The passengers in the buses that wound their way up the thickly wooded drive to Quorn Hall on Saturday night – college girl students from Leicester, Loughborough and Matlock – little knew what lay in store for them at a Halloween party organised by Loughborough College students. But as the ghost-like silhouette of the hall loomed up out of the night, they soon gained an inkling, for weird noises could be heard coming through the darkness….

The unlit entrance hall held the first shock for the girls. Supported from the roof hung a life-size witch, among cobwebs that could only have been spun by man eating spiders. The visitors, by now a little cautious, gingerly opened the front door, and moved into a dimly lit hall – to be confronted with a coffin and attendant “horrors.” But still undeterred, they moved along bat-infested corridors, brushing their faces against cobwebs and coming face to face with startlingly realistic spiders with outstretched legs. Music echoed through the house……..it came from a shadowy room made up to represent Hades, where Satan himself and a ghostly host of witches, skeletons and skulls looked over the shoulders of the dancing students.

Austin Whipp (ventriloquist) and “Wilfred”, his dummy, soon had their audience “in tucks.” They were followed by Dena Smith, of Leicester Training College, who recited the monologue “Albert and the Lion”, and Malcolm Rotherham (more monologues). Matron Mrs Friend joined in the fun too.

After a meal and a visit to the “Devil’s Cauldron” for lemonade and soft drinks, the party moved to the garden, where a huge bonfire was lit, and a veritable “El Alamein” barrage of fireworks let off.

As one looked on from the shadows and listened to the sing-son, it was obvious that the spirits of the past held no terror for the young people of today.


   
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Please email us at: team2019@quornmuseum.com
 Submitted on: 2011-01-03
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 1104

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