88 p, 25x33,5 cm
Black velvet hardcover
Publisher: Archive of Modern Conflict
THE NIGHT CLIMBERS OF CAMBRIDGE
Price : 85 €
The Night Climbers of Cambridge was published in 1937 by Chatto & Windus, a reputable house that had brought out the first English translations of Proust in 1922. The author was Noël Edward Symington, who went under the name of Whipplesnaith – an alias that combined the Middle English verb whipple, meaning to move around quickly, with an old Norse term for a piece of ground. The idea was that Symington and his accomplices moved quickly around the walls, roofs and spires of the colleges of Cambridge. They kept clear of commercial properties because those were in the public domain – where penalties might be incurred. Amongst the colleges they had only to cope with procters and the police, who didn’t take their misdemeanours too seriously. Climbing on the walls and roofs of colleges was nothing new. Geoffrey Winthrop Young had written a Roof-Climber’s Guide to Trinity in 1899 as well as Wall and Roof Climbing in 1905. One had to watch out for crumbling stonework and for loose fittings around pipes and guttering. Advance planning was also necessary, for the climbing had to be carried out at night to be safe from guardians of property. It was enjoyable work in itself, but it also put Symington and his friends in touch with the man in the street, most often a policeman who turned up trumps in a tight spot at 3 am.