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The Craxford Family Magazine Tartan Pages

{$text['mgr_tartan1']} TAMP

The Airlie Morning Post

A retrospective by Rick J Sugden, Robert D. Peacock and Alan D. Craxford


Alan Craxford, 1968

Alan Craxford, 1968

"A founder member of the Airlie Morning Post - TAMP": so wrote Harry Brooks against my entry in the '69 Club Year Book. Truth to tell, I had thought little about that venture since those far-off student days (apart from making a brief mention of it in Spirit of Delight: Part 1) and remembered even less of its origins or content. It came as a surprise when Rick Sugden got in touch with me recently having read that article and an even greater one when he was able to send me a CDROM containing scans of most of the original issues. Renewed contact with Bob Peacock, a third member of the editorial group, completed the set.

The copies themselves are now quite fragile. The format is foolscap, too long for most personal scanners, so pages had to be scanned in sections. The typescript, which is printed on both sides of the page, is of variable quality: dark in part, faded elsewhere. This made preparation for reproduction on the website somewhat tricky. The segments were stitched together in Adobe's Photoshop Elements and brightness and contrast of each page was adjusted as necessary. In all, we have ten issues stretching between November 1967 and May 1968. Some items may now be considered inconsequential or irreverent but in general these copies provide an interesting social and historical snapshot of undergraduate life from nearly half a century ago.

Airlie Place, Dundee - East side

Airlie Hall, 1967

The origins of the newsletter are now shrouded by the mists of time. The academic year which began in the autumn of 1967 marked my entry into the fifth year of the Medical School course. It was my fourth year in Dundee and the fourth as a resident in Airlie Hall. It also marked a change in our social group as the non-Medic colleagues who started with us had all graduated and left the previous summer.

Harold Brooks, 1968

Harry Brooks, 1968

The germ of the idea may have been sparked in one of the interminable conversations that Harry Brooks and I had in the bar of the Queen's Hotel, our usual retreat on the edge of campus. Harry was an avid fan of The Goons and the poetry of Spike Milligan. We had tried our collective creative hand, unsuccessfully, in previous years with offerings for "Rag Mag", the students charities magazine.

An unofficial, topical but whimsical news-sheet seemed an interesting concept, although we had little idea of how to set it up or where the project would go. We felt we should make a small charge to cover our costs and that any profit would be given to Hall funds. I came up with the title "The Airlie Morning Post" - a play on the words "Airlie" and "Early" and a nod in the direction of Dundee's own weekly sheet, The Sunday Post. Its "The Doctor replies ..." feature was required reading for clinical students and general practitioners alike as the subject discussed on Sunday would feature strongly in the Monday morning surgery. I also devised the heading.

Almost immediately, the title was shortened to its acronym T.A.M.P., an initialisation which was to have an unfortunate but comical effect when it went on sale in one of the other Halls! The success of the venture can be judged by its progress. The editorial "staff" grew from the original three. The initial four page edition expanded to six and ultimately eight pages. By the eighth edition, its influence had spread to a second Hall. One masthead boasted that sales had reached 175 copies. - ADC

Continued in column 2...

Please contact us

email If you have any questions or comments about the information on this site in general, or you have memories of TAMP or contributed to it, please Get in touch. We would be delighted to hear from you.

Rick Sugden then

Rick Sugden, 1966

I entered Airlie Hall in 1965. I got involved with The Airlie Morning Post by having both a typewriter (albeit with rather large typeface keys) and an Ellams Duplicator which I had bought secondhand at the age of 11 when I set up my own club at home. It was a brown wooden suitcase affair. Once opened up, on the left there was a fine gauze net under which the stencil went. On the right was a roller and ink pad and you rolled the roller over the gauze. Ink went through the stencil onto the paper underneath. It was a very labour intensive procedure as you had to put a sheet of paper in and every few copies roll the roller over the ink pad to pick up more ink.

I remember during the same period (1966) using a photocopier at a Rank Xerox showroom for the first time to copy 10 pages of a music manuscripts and being charged a hefty 5/- (25p) for each page to do that. Those copies have survived the years but have turned a shade of brown over 45 years later.

Gestetner stencil

Typing a stencil (1)

I can't remember where we got the ink and stencils from; probably a stationery store. To produce copies the various typists for TAMP had to remove the ribbon from their typewriter and cut directly into the stencil - one for each page. The stencil then did the rounds as each contributor added his piece until the whole page had been completed. The aim was to get the maximum information onto each stencil. Mistakes were corrected with some strange waxy fluid which could then be typed over but was never very effective.

Ellams Duplicator

Ellams Flat Bed Duplicator (2)

When the time came for the "print" run, each stencil in turn would be placed underneath the Ellams gauze screen with blotting paper or absorbent paper underneath the stencil. Ink was squeezed out of the large tube onto the Ellams slate and the hand roller used to spread it evenly (it made a sticky noise) before running the roller over the gauze. After a quick check of the paper underneath to make sure it looked right, sheets were placed on the duplicator one at a time and ink rolled onto the gauze. A stencil could easily make several hundred copies and it was usually the manual operator who developed strained wrists before giving up! It was a messy business though and ink seemed to go everywhere!!

I wrote the MISUGAMIST column as I seemed to be fascinated by the goings on and habits of various characters in Airlie Hall. - RJS

Continued in column 3...

For Posterity

A set of reprints of TAMP have been lodged with Archive Services, the University of Dundee.

Bob Peacock then

Robert Peacock, 1968

I got involved in TAMP through my friendship with Alan. I had spent my four undergraduate years at home (quite usual for Scottish students) and only moved away when I started my PhD. I am fairly sure that Bruce Simms and I had attempted to get a University flat, failed and ended up in Airlie Hall. I was put in the "annex" - a tenement flat at the top right of Airlie Place (now demolished). I was on the ground floor and Alan was on the first floor. We soon got to know each other and I recall many evenings in Alan's room playing Mah Jongg. There are indeed quite a few Mah Jongg references scattered throughout the TAMP pages!

Others involved with TAMP on a fairly regular basis were Bruce Graham Wilkinson, and two bejants (first years) Bill Paton and John Finder. I was only in Airlie Hall for the one year, moving to Peterson House for the 1968-9 term. Reading TAMP again after forty odd years I am surprised at how much I wrote (signed, unsigned and pseudo-signed) - "political" comment, "humour", a record review and even poetry! - RDP

Airlie Place, Dundee

Airlie Place, 1968

And then it was all over. I cannot even now recall the Senior Student election reported in Issue 10 (I was not elected). I cannot remember whether we even received any entries for our competition, let alone able to declare a winner. The reasons for TAMP's demise are as buried in the past as its origins. The long summer vacation took me away from Dundee for hospital attachments. When I returned the following autumn, I did stay in Airlie Hall. However, the final year and the pressures of examinations beckoned and conflicting priorities won out. - ADC

I suspect that Dan Martineau became the Senior Student - I consulted my diary for the year but no reference made. I don't think TAMP had further issues as I moved away from Airlie Hall the following year. The student newspaper Annasach took over and I still have a few cuttings from that for 1969 including a very large Personal column with the sort of announcements that used to appear in TAMP. - RJS

I may be wrong, but I think TAMP was the inspiration for the satirical "Old Dundonian" - certainly one of its founders and writers was my bejant Graeme Ritchie (mentioned in TAMP10, p.2). If this is so then the legacy of TAMP continued for a couple of years more! - RDP

Alan Craxford
Robert Peacock
Rick Sugden

Alan Craxford, Robert Peacock, Rick Sugden today


1. Gestetner stencil: Image from The Abbey Times Remembered, The Madras College Archive
2. Ellams Flat Bed Duplicator: Image © Information and Communication Collection Museum Victoria and reproduced in accordance with the Rights stated on their website.

Page added: October 12th 2012
Last update: November 1st 2013

The ten issues

(Note: These pages contain large sized images which may be slow to load)

Access TAMP Issue 1

Issue 1: November 11th 1967

Lead: A challenge: Are you apathetic?
Personal view: "A pint or a half to spare"
Whimsy - "The Rise and Fall of West Park"
Interview: Famous and infamous personalities - 1
Access TAMP Issue 2

Issue 2: November 25th 1967

Lead: How do you rate with the Airlie Hall Staff?
Letter from Africa
Short story - "The Miracle"
Interview: Famous and infamous personalities - 2
Access TAMP Issue 3

Issue 3: December 16th 1967

Lead: Return of the Heavy Brigade
The Great Plague
Report: Christmas Dinner
Short story - "Birth Right"
Serial: The "Trouble with Harry" - 1
Access TAMP Issue 4

Issue 4: January 27th 1968

Lead: An Agnostic's View of Christmas
"Do unto others ..."
Report: Damage to Hall property
Whimsy - "A Knotty Bit of Nonsense"
Serial: The "Trouble with Harry" - 2
Access TAMP Issue 5

Issue 5: February 10th 1968

Lead: The Rectorial Campaign
Personal view: "Home Sweet Home"
Interview: The Bejant Representitive
Report - St Andrews Rugby Demonstration
Serial: The "Trouble with Harry" - 3
Access TAMP Issue 6

Issue 6: February 24th 1968

Lead: Opinion Survey Results
Interview: Warner Titterton Esq (Senior Student)
Report: "Who's for flour?"
Short story - "Pete"
Serial: The "Trouble with Harry" - 4
Access TAMP Issue 7

Issue 7: March 9th 1968

Lead: "I'm helping Hall" Campaign
Report: Intruders
Letter from Dr Donald Caskie
Short story - "The Journey"
Serial: "This is the truth" - 1
Access TAMP Issue 8

Issue 8: March 16th 1968

Lead: A Welcome to West Park Hall
Report: Dundee & St Andrews Charities Campaign 1968
Article: Chinese poet, Po Chüi I
Whimsy - "The Ballad of Barnaby Twink"
Serial: "This is the truth" - 2
Access TAMP Issue 9

Issue 9: April 27th 1968

Lead:West Park Hall Survey results
Interview: The 1968 Charities Queen
Article: What is a student?
Whimsy - "Spring is sprung"
Serial: "This is the truth" - 3
Access TAMP Issue 10

Issue 10: May 4th 1968

Lead:Three cornered contest for Airlie President
Feature: TAMP Competition
Report: The Great Universal Work-In
Short story: "The Switch"
Whimsy - "Nautical Nonsense: Two beers before the mast"

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