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Wesley House in the 1950s

The Revd Dr Brian E Beck

The Common Room

The student body organised its own common life. Meetings generally took place twice a term with elections annually for the four officers, Chairman, Secretary, Plan Secretary and Treasurer. At this period the badges of office were hats of different style, ‘holy joe’, bowler, trilby, baseball cap, passed on from generation to generation. At some later period they were replaced by other insignia, now in the Archives.


An annual event was a play of some kind, the cast augmented by women from Meth Soc, and put on over a weekend in one of the local churches. The principal corporate pastimes were table-tennis and the piano. Individuals were free to join in the sports opportunities afforded by the college of which they were members for University purposes. Some did.


It was of course an all-male establishment. On the very rare occasions when there was a married student he was expected to live as though he were single, even if his wife lived in Cambridge, and to keep nights in college. The use of surnames was common (prefixed ‘Mr’ when addressed by a tutor, ‘sir’ the response), but not of course among the students. In this the House was behind University practice, which by then had become more informal.

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