The Buck Stops Here
Standing in the Combination room, a gymnastics buck has seen a huge amount of College history.
Now cut down from its original height, the buck stands just below the painting of William Cavendish in the Combination Room. This, along with the marked beams on the ceiling, is one of the few reminders of the room’s previous function – as a gymnasium. Even before the Second World War, if not since the creation of the Ibberson Building, the gymnasium was a key venue for the thriving Physical Education department at Homerton. While drill and taught PE classes at Homerton may no longer be a part of the curriculum, the importance of exercise is still evident in the thriving sporting community, students in College and University teams – and in the cycle to town and lectures for which Homerton has become known!
In the 1930s-40s, the buck was often placed on the tennis courts for vaulting and other gymnastic exercises, and was later used inside the Combination Room as part of the popular Saturday gym club. When the room was transformed for its current function, the equipment was mostly thrown away – but the buck was saved from the skip for posterity. It was placed in the Combination Room, where it still stands today – a reminder of the ever changing history of the College.
Do you remember using the buck when you were a student? If you would like to share any memories of PE lessons, the gym club, or the buck itself, we would love to hear from you! Please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.