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510 'An Expensive Glitch and a Goof-Off Room' (January 6)


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I've been having a nostalgia bout. Sheldon's dormroom reminds me of my own in the late 1960s. The meaning of dorm on this side of the pond is a bit different. Ours were called study-bedrooms. We had six per floor in our block. Mostly they were singles but a handful were shared. We had a sink in each room, but showers and toilets were separate from bedrooms, as bathrooms were in most homes of the day and still are up to a point.There were enough of those so that there was never any need to queue, but in the shared  kitchenette on each floor there was only one kettle and one toaster.  No fridges, but we hardly noticed that since many homes in this climate still didn't have one. Microwaves were not even known about. We weren't supposed to take the kettle to our own room but it happened. 'Who's got the kettle?' was a frequent cry on the floor. There was one phone, coin-operated, in each block. Many families didn't have a phone, so phoning home wasn't something that happened a lot. One phone was enough,

The rooms, the electricity, the bedclothes ( including laundry for the sheets and pillowcases ) and the bread were free of charge in those days, as were all meals. The dining halls were nicer than the TBBT cafeteria (wooden tables ) but it was a long time ago. Gatherings in one another's rooms over coffee and toast was a way of life. They let us take bread for our toast from the hall but we had to bring our own coffee etc from home or buy it in a nearby town. There were bars called JCR and SCR but we to pay for anything we wanted there as one would in a pub in town. Members of the opposite sex weren't allowed  in any of the accommodation blocks  after 11pm . The porters used to lock the door of the women's blocks at 11.05 but we had our own keys - ostensibly so that we didnt get locked out if we got back late from somewhere. LOL.

Since Tony Bair's late 1990s, students have to pay for college and their accommodation so there might be fewer rules. 

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