"Bye Bye Southside"

I’ve just found out that they’re knocking down Southside halls of residence (at Imperial college). A sad day, in many ways, especially as it would seem Southside bar is not going to be present in the new building.

I spent a large precentage of my undergraduate life in Southside – either in the radio station, in southside bar (working and/or drinking), or my second year in the hall itself when I was the student radio station manager. The radio station moved up the Union buildings several years ago, and I’m slightly ashamed to say I’ve not visited it since, but the building has a special place for me, and a lot of very happy memories.

Not to be too nostalgic, I would admit that it was a dive even when I was in it 12 years ago, and it took several weeks to get to grips with the frankly bizaare layout (which urban legend had as to stop there being a riot, as it was impossible to effectively synchronise activity). Still, it’s a building I know (or at least knew) intimately – I had the over-ride key for the lift, that made it go to the sub-basement and the roof (great for November 5th). I spent many hours crawling around the air ducts checking speaker cable and/or aeriel cable. I’d visited every single kitchen and social area.. I wouldn’t claim to have visited every bedroom, in fact I think I’ll stop this line of thought right now!! I did once have a picnic on the carpet just outside my room though.

The halls opposite (which I think are called Weeks – nope, sorry it’s Garden Hall), which are basically a load of knocked through Victorian (?) terraces, hold vastly fonder memories in one sense, as a girlfriend (who I adored) had a room there, and I still remember my little heart going pitter patter as I wandered up to her room, wondering if she was in. The basement of that building also had our other radio studio in (unimaginatively called “Northside”), which I had a significant hand in redeveloping over one summer, although more than able-y helped by other sad IC Radio freaks. I remember doing a disco over there for their Toga party; nothing like having a drop-dead gorgeous gf dressed in nothing but a sheet. Oh dear, I’m sounding terrible aren’t I? It was a former life, and actually it’s not a phase of my life I’m very proud of, but enough years have passed to see that, for all the stuff-ups and hurt (and there were plenty), we all pretty much survived.

Anyway, Weeks is also being demolished – another urban myth (?) has it that the floors are made of water soluble concrete, so you’re not allowed drinks in any rooms, and neither are you allowed more than 10 people in a room because the floor would collapse. I only went into Weeks once, and that was to terrorise some poor first year girl when I was wearing nothing but a climbing harness – but we’re really not going there (it was all for charity, and there were several other people in an equal state of undress). Actually come to think of it, said gf was the only reason I did it; sad little love-sick puppy that I was (this was before we started going out, but only just)!

Loose ends tie-up. Said girlfriend dumped me (altogether now: “awwww”) and moved to New Zealand (which I don’t think was related to me). As far as I know I never saw the terrorised first-year again, and certainly wouldn’t know her name or recognise her (or her me, I suspect). Northside was closed soon after I left (again, not related to me as far as I know), and Southside studio not too long after that. Went out with another young lady from Southside Hall for several months (who’s now moved to France – h’mm; there’s a pattern developing here), and spent my last few evenings in hall snogging the student union president (just so there’s no misunderstandings; she was a lovely lass called .. well never you mind – and for the record we only ever snogged). OO, it’s very catharthic writing this! Glad I’m not lecturing anymore – I’ve lost any
last shred of respect my student’s might have had for me (and there wasn’t much to start with).

After that I didn’t have a serious relationship for something like 4 or 5 years (one or two dates, but I really wanted someone to spend the rest of my life with) while I got my head sorted out, then I fell widely in love with the most wonderful, beautiful, sexy, and all round perfect lady I’ve ever met, who thankfully agreed to marry me. 🙂

Oh yes, and here’s the news story (courtesy of Felix) for as long as the link survives.

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