Reading Stephen Hawking’s recollections of Oxford in the early 1960’s (Oxford Today, Trinity 2015, p. 32) made me wonder what university it was that I attended in the late fifties. Of course we all knew that there was a gilded bubble for the rich dilettante (and occasional genius), but the prevailing attitude of the rest of us was not anti-work. My ‘grey’ friends included grammar school entrants with scholarships, and, up at the Clarendon laboratory, we all got on with it.
It is a great pity that the Brideshead Revisited image of Oxford has been so long a-dying. Twenty-five years after I graduated, my son rejected Oxford for this reason and obtained his degrees in theoretical physics and astronomy elsewhere.