The Original Y Building

By David Bursey

Tales of those who actually resided in the original Y building bear research. Tiger Martin was one of these and reputedly cycled on the narrow parapet several stories up.Residents lived in fear of being “relocated ” whilst at work.Said parapet allowed access via windows to individual bedrooms.Having unlocked the door from the inside,pranksters would strip all personal effects from a chap’s room and dump them in a vacant one.The returning victim returned to an empty home with no idea of where his stuff had disappeared to!

On an Easter Paris tour ,legend has it,saw the team take a fully flushing toilet(on wheels) onto the train and trundled round the streets to be used ad hoc as required.I was not present so cannot say whether enthronement was a forfeit or an alternative to the foetid rotunda pissoirs that were a Parisian feature.If you needed a piss one had only to follow one,s nose!
I joined the Cent YMCA probably in 1965,Dick Price ,an electric S.African winger was skipper.I was training for a team swim across the Wash,and also wrestled ,one of the facilities available along with the pool,weights and the games complex at Mottingham(.Sadly all built over now,)Fifty years later my wrestling leotarde almost met its demise on my elder son’s stag night in Bristol being sorely tested round that city’s night clubs!Apparently it requires some repair,but awaits a similar fate if my younger makes the leap into matrimony.

Bloomsbury Barbarians .Flynn organised a fund raising match for their rag week to be followed by Jock Strap Ensemble songfest and other post match festivities. Probably in Hampstead’s first season as Ian Pole(1st Hampstead captain) featued though the result of the game i forget.A coach was booked(assembly point still Great Russell St!!) and onboard refreshments ensured we arrived in good spirits,though likely improbably prepared for a match.

After match activities inevitably involved beer races,Tiger inevitably centre stage challenging all comers to drink a half to his pint of which there were several between  more than one boat race.
Singing by then raised the rafters as both sides contributed their finest / most vulgar renditions.The tale of Sonia Snell featured narrated ┬áby an indominitable Tiger,whereupon he issued a new challenge to the uni team…a game of flash! I ended up the fall guy for this dubious entertainment. Based on Archimedes’s principle Southampton were required to produce a challenger to displace more beer from a pint glass by immersing his full tackle into a tankard,two umpires with attendant glasses to catch the spillage!Whoever displaced the most was the victor,loser to drink the spillage!!(Pissing into glasses resulted in disqualification)
Skipper’s fiancee from a sheltered Dutch Reformist background had never seen the like ,reduced to tears by all accounts!
Bus headed back to town to discharge the happy throng,but setting Hampshire’s Police a conondrum unsolved for a decade,Flynn stonewalling the fuzz for many years to come as they persevered relentlessly to unmask the perpetrators of a dastardly crime.How the hell we got the damn thing in heaven knows,but a garden bench and a green shield stamp sign were taken from a garage whilst the coach refuelled ending up on the pavement in Gt Russell St! The bench then found its way to a very smart address in Golders Green transported on the sidecar of my motorcycle with Yoss behind me clinging to ensure the loveseat arrived intact.Such was the ┬áconstabulary hue and cry that the bench was returned the following weekend by a very smart car with aplogies,though attempts continued for several years to clean up Hampshire’s crime sheet.The implacable Flynn stood his ground!



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