Myths in or about Cambridge

Beer During Exams

Philosophy Exam Answer

Question: "Is this a sensible question?"

A student thought for a while, wrote "no" and left. The examiners considered that to be a successful answer.

MA Degrees

The position of the railway station

Oxford Punting

Background: punting in Cambridge involves standing on the platform designed for that purpose at the rear of punts and pushing with the punt pole. Being at the rear means it's easy to steer and water dripping from the pole is kept away from the occupants (theoretically).

"Tradition" (or at least a myth) has it that the other place believes in standing inside the punt at the front, making steering difficult and dripping on the occupants inevitable.

Decorative Sphere on Clare Bridge

Clare Bridge has a number of stone/cement decorative spheres along its parapet. The legend is that one of these got replaced by a polystyrene duplicate overnight. The next day a perpetrator waited until a punt of Japanese tourists (with the inevitable cameras) was underneath and then pushed the sphere over, making the Japanese leap overboard...

Mathematical Bridge

The story goes that Army Engineers in either WWI or WWII took this wooden bridge apart as an exercise but couldn't put it back together without using metal bolts.

Cambridge : History