Category: Blog update

ICU Sabbaticals 1981

During most academic years STOIC would actively cover the ICU Elections. These became a very important part of their news events and of course included the famous live coverage of hustings and election results from the Great Hall. To assist people with finding out what was involved in these elections many different people came into the studio to talk to STOIC. Way back in January 1981 it was Liz Lindsay’s turn to be in front of the cameras. Liz was then ICU Honorary Secretary and she was chatting to Grant Richmond.

Colin Grimshaw January 2022

Sir Eric Ash: 1928-2021

Former Rector (1985-1993) Sir Eric Ash died last year. In 2006 I recorded interviews with all living Rectors. Along with my colleague Anne Barrett from the college archives, we recorded in depth interviews to be used during the following centenary year 2007. Unfortunately, when the centenary year arrived communications used only extremely brief clips from all of the recordings. The interview with Eric Ash was around 50mins in total, but just 3mins 27secs was used. I did provide a different clip that ran 2mins 16secs when Imperial announced his passing, but now we can see the full length 47 min recording.

I have now edited together the full interview, which I recorded incidently in the old videoconferencing suite. You will hear Anne Barrett asking the questions and keeping the recording session flowing along.

In the above photo you can see all of the Rectors that we interviewed. Across the top: Sir Eric Ash, Sir Richard Sykes, Lord Ron Oxburgh and Lord Brian Flowers, along with their wives sitting below.

Colin Grimshaw 1 January 2022

Rag Week Round-Up: 1979

On the 29 November 1979 edition of STOIC’s News-Break, Bryan Steele spoke to the Rag Chairman, Rachel Snee about how she thought things had gone so far. There then followed a video of the “Exec Torture” which she had taken part in. The following week on the 5 December there the first of two summaries of Rag Events that had happened. On the 13 December programme, which was also the Christmas Special, the last summary was shown.

Both of these were brought together, and also compiled by, Alastair Knights, who was at that time the STOIC Archivist. This time period is now important because it’s the year when we moved onto the Sony U-Matic tape format, and videotapes were then subsequently kept. Up until then Ampex format videotapes were erased and re-recorded over each week. I encouraged the setting up of a card index and the inclusion of a running order in each tape box. From all of this we now have this amazing archive and associated index – which is now digitised.

Sadly, all of these video items were still being recorded in black and white, or maybe it was better that way? You judge for yourself as we go back 42 years into student Rag history…

Colin Grimshaw December 2021

Felix at 30: 1979

On 5 December 1979 the editor of the student newspaper Felix called into the TV Studio to chat to STOIC about the 30th birthday. Colin Palmer was then the editor of Felix having already appeared on STOIC several times. Adrian Jeakings chatted to Colin about the beginnings of the newspaper and we had an actual copy of the very first edition to show just how very basic it was back then in 1949. They even discuss the Felix cat!

Colin Palmer was indeed no stranger to appearing on camera having covered the Pram Race in 1978. I hope you’ll also spot the STOIC sweatshirt that he’s wearing during this interview.

Colin Grimshaw December 2021

Lord & Lady Flowers Christmas: 1979

Back in January I posted a blog with a special Christmas message from the then Rector of Imperial College, Lord Flowers. I said that this was the first time we had not only recorded a Rector in colour, but also the first time that a special message for Christmas had been recorded. I was wrong! I have now discovered a recording that was made the previous December 1979. I had forgotten that I helped STOIC with a colour recording made in his office in the Sherfield Building. At the end of the session he also recorded this special message. I have found this (and what follows next) on STOIC’s Christmas Edition of News-Break, their weekly news programme recorded on 12 December 1979 and shown the following day.

The full interview recorded prior to this message is still currently missing, although I think I might have an extract from it on another tape, but more on that at a later time.

What I really had forgotten about was the (currently!) only known recording with Lady Flowers on her own, this was also recorded in the same month. Again, the first time that she had appeared in colour. This was recorded in the kitchen at the Rector’s house at 170 Queens Gate. STOIC’s Tracy Poole was asking the questions although, as you’ll see, Lady Flowers was a little shy, so Tracy struggled a little.

I have corrected the colour of both of these recordings to the best setting that I can. As mentioned in other blogs, this was our first Sony colour camera and its colour rendering what not always perfect. Even with modern digital editing, correcting these errors is still difficult. And since I discovered this recording of Lady Flowers, another one has been unearthed. And once again it’s in the kitchen at 170 Queens Gate, but this time it’s making pancakes. More on that in February, but a preview image from the video is seen below.

Colin Grimshaw December 2021

Linstead Hall Demolition/Rebuilding: 2007-2009

Today’s video was previously available back in 2007 via the old Imperial iMedia Server. However, that has now been decommissioned and videos are no longer accessible from it. So let’s go back to the day when Rector Sir Richard Sykes officially launched the start of demolition and ultimately rebuilding of what was called Linstead Hall, but then became Eastside Halls.

Sir Richard Sykes had already ended his term as Rector when, in 2008, Sir Roy Anderson who was then Rector, attended the Topping Out Ceremony.

Just before the end of 2009 we made a series of ‘student tours’ of the various halls of residence at Imperial College. 1st year Biochemistry Student Laura Bunting did the honours by showing us around the newly opened Eastside block.

Colin Grimshaw November 2021

Centenary Book Launch: May 2007

2007 was the Centenary Year for Imperial College. One of the most important events during that year was the launch of the history of the college written by Dr Hannah Gay and published by Imperial College Press. The launch was held at 170 Queens Gate and we covered the event and spoke to various people including Dr Hannah Gay herself and also Sir Richard Sykes who was, at the time, the Rector of the college.

The book is a vast catalogue of Imperial’s past and I refer to it regularly when I am writing these blog posts. That’s not to say that the book contains everything and indeed sometimes, even I, resort to Google to find what I’m looking for.

When we made this video we were still called Media Services (ah, those were the days!) and producing videos for anyone in college, not just Communications who we were soon to come under the umbrella of. It was soon after this that we stopped being a service that was available to anyone else in college. A sad moment to be honest and a huge disadvantage to other members of Imperial who wanted to have a video made professionally.

Colin Grimshaw October 2021

Op Soc 2 – Princess Ida: 1986

Today we have something in colour, and that makes a change from mostly black and white videos. Way back in February 1986, a few months before STOIC broke away from the College TV Studio, they reported on Op Soc. I’ve looked through the videotape card index and there are three cards listing STOIC’s coverage of Op Soc’s productions. If you look at the first card that I scanned, you can get an impression of just how many were covered. Intriguingly, I also spot a February 1979 twenty minute documentary programme (D5). Sadly, if it still exists, it’s on the Ampex 7003 One Inch type A format, which we can no longer play.

Luckily, we do have from 1986 Op Soc with Princess Ida. This is a review with clips, not the entire production. I’m assuming that this was in the union building concert hall.

Colin Grimshaw September 2021

Opening of College Block: 1969

In this blog we are going to hear the 1969 opening ceremony of the new College Block, later renamed as the Sherfield Building (1975). Until now, only extracts have been heard, but here is the full recording with Lord Sherfield the Chairman of the Governing Body, HM Queen and Lord Penney Rector of the college. The full ceremony only exists as an audio recording, with a few segments filmed on 16mm film, but without synchronised sound. Strangely, we could have very easily set up video cameras and recorded the entire proceedings on videotape, but we were never asked. I guess we are just lucky that an audio recording was made.

The images are frame grabs from the 16mm film because I have never seen photos taken in the Great Hall during the ceremony. There is a front page about the event in the edition of Felix from 4 December 1969. Interestingly, there is a ‘typo’ in the Hannah Gay book on the history of Imperial College. In the index, under Sherfield Building it refers to it as formerly “Centre” Block, this typo only appears once!

Colin Grimshaw August 2021

Silly Football (Taylor Memorial): 1971

In the Christmas edition of Felix from 1971 it was announced that on the 9 December the Taylor Memorial (Silly) Football Match would take place. It did, and STOIC were there to capture the event. You’ll notice that the picture is rather dim and very grainy. That’s because it was shot on 8mm film that STOIC developed ‘in house’ rather than use colour film that required external processing. With this method the film was available to be used within hours. It was in fact used in the Christmas Edition of TOPIC the weekly news programme. No sound of course, but there was a commentary added during the programme.

Were you in either of the teams back in December 1971? And does anyone know why it was the Taylor Memorial match? I can’t find any references to that name.

Colin Grimshaw July 2021