1973 Exeter Uni Rag Week & Arthur Snodcrinkle


Paul Nation was exceptionally enthusiastic about us joining in on Student Union activities and when we received an invitation to put a float into the Exeter/St Luke’s carnival he agreed and then told us about it.

In the bar one evening we discussed what we could do and – quite frankly, we were hard pressed to come up with any ideas. We had precious little resources and, in reality, no time to do anything (I vaguely remember we had about 3 weeks).

In the end we agreed on “building a throne”. It would be place at the front of a forty foot trailer. We’d cover it in silver foil with luxurious drapes sweeping down on either side. We persuaded a number of young ladies from Rolle to dress up in flowing gowns a sit at the foot of the throne and look longingly up at the person on the throne.

The person on the throne was Arthur Snodcrinkle” aka Derek Heath in a worn overcoat and a flat cap, dwarfed by the throne and the surroundings.

We printed hand-outs (AVA would be proud of us - all those sessions we attended paid off) saying “Arthur is coming”, “Watch out for Arthur”, “He’ll soon be here”, etc.

On the day of the carnival some people went way ahead of our float handing out the notices warning the spectators that "Arthur is coming".

On the float, Arthur sat on his throne looking wretched - decidedly small and grubby - whilst waving royally at the waiting crowds. His admiring harem looked wistfully up at him, crying (moaning?) “Arthur, Arthur … “, etc

The remaining members of the house who joined in walked alongside the float chanting “He’s here, Arthur is here”, “Give us an A, Give us an R ….” And so on.

Perhaps it wasn’t the most decorative float in the parade, and maybe not the most memorable, but we enjoyed it, and we actually got a few compliments from some quite unexpected quarters!


As far as I am aware - there are no photos - just as well really