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Local excitements [Jan. 18th, 2015|09:59 pm]

There was a thin layer of snow on the ground when we got up yesterday morning. No, that wasn't the excitement: but it was the reason why durham_rambler volunteered to empty the compost and take the rubbish down the garden to the dustbin. And that's why he noticed, as I might not have done, that there was a bicycle in the shed at the bottom of the garden, which we had not put there.

There've been a number of bicycle thefts locally, so this wasn't entirely mysterious. durham_rambler phoned the local police, but didn't get beyond the switchboard. "You could leave it there, and perhaps the owner will come back and collect it," was the suggestion. Yes, and perhaps the person who left it there but is not the owner will come back and collect it. So we didn't do that, but decided instead to deliver it ti the police station and let them sort it out. It was only when durham_rambler removed the bike he had seen that he realised there was another one behind it in the shed. I am very impressed at the capacity of our Skoda Roomster.

Second, more sombre, excitement while we were in town yesterday, much activity on the river with police, mountain rescue, a yellow dinghy, searching for a student who had gone missing on Wednesday night. This is the third time in fifteen months that a student has set off homeward on his own after a night out drinking with friends, and never got there, and it seems likely that this story will have the same tragic end.

durham_rambler tells me he saw a report on the local television news in which a police officer briefing student volunteers in the search told them that there was no truth in the rumour that someone was going round pushing students into the river. Since he and I were both brought up never to believe any rumour until it has been officially denied, we didn't think this was a good strategy. More seriously, why would you need to believe such a thing, when you have a culture in which the major entertainment offered to young people seems to be going out and getting seriously - seriously - drunk? And, as the University repeatedly reminds us, they are adults, the University can't tell them what to do, or where to live...

Oh, dear.

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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-01-19 12:11 pm (UTC)
Neither of us has ever mastered the art of riding a bicycle, or we might have reacted differently...

And while there have always been cases of people jumping into the river, for whatever reason, this new epidemic of falling in strikes me as new (of course, it's all anecdotal, and possible that I'm just reacting to what is being reported).
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From: cmcmck
2015-01-19 11:56 am (UTC)
Sadly, this seems to happen anywhere there are students.

Two here last year. One found drowned in the Medway and the other one still missing.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-01-19 12:13 pm (UTC)
So it isn't just Durham? I don't know whather that makes it better, or worse...
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[User Picture]From: sam_t
2015-01-19 02:11 pm (UTC)
No, York as well. Not everyone who gets into the river (voluntarily or not) and gets into difficulties is a student, but I think both fatalities in the last year were.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-01-19 06:22 pm (UTC)
The numbers, dreadful though they are, are too small to prove anything statistically - but it does look like a pattern, doesn't it?
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-01-20 09:57 am (UTC)
Looking forward to your Arisia report!
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