King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
Mayhem in the Metropolis

Post-1945: the rivalry revisited

Marching on The City, 1947Marching on The City, 1947The late 1940s and early 1950s saw a renewal of student social activity although generally of a more subdued nature compared with the experience of the 1920s.

Trafalgar Square, 1951Trafalgar Square, 1951King's were excluded from the Lord Mayor's Show in 1947 due to public order concerns and this provoked a counter demonstration with Reggie at its head which marched from the Strand to the Mansion House.

Hundreds of King's students held aloft banners asking 'Is the Lord Mayor's Show a closed shop?' and warning the City authorities that 'Reggie demands an apology'.

Despite its light-hearted aspect, the episode was a reminder that police and university authorities were now becoming less indulgent of the disruptive antics of rags.

Eros under siege: the rag of 1950

The 1950 ragThe 1950 ragThe mood of post-War celebration in the midst of austerity survived at least until 1950, when hostilities between the colleges broke out afresh during the Bonfire celebrations on November 5. King's students stormed the University College quad, setting fire to two large bonfire pyres and throwing fireworks from the College steps.

19541954While this was happening, up to two thousand University College students circled Piccadilly Circus in painted lorries, ostensibly to demand a lengthening of pub opening hours.

Thirteen arrests followed when flour was thrown and a fight broke out over a stuffed kangaroo.

College departments designed tableaux, including a Physics representation of atoms mimicked by appropriated Belisha beacons. Police, reported one correspondent, 'took a tolerant view'.

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