DAY 3: The concluding extract from Dear Happy Ghosts concentrates on

the Glasgow University rectorial riot in St Andrew's Hall in 1958. LORN

MACINTYRE examines the role of university rectors and student behaviour.

Chief Photographer JOHN MACKAY recalls, with some pain, the scenes on

the day of the 1958 rectorial.

MALCOLM MACKENZIE remembers the pictures of the very pale, unhappy

''ghost'' at the Glasgow University rectorial installation in February

1958. MacKenzie was a member of the committee of the Conservative club

that had promoted R. A. Butler. ''I'd heard rumours that there was going

to be trouble, with the general anti-Government feeling that was around,

but it was much worse than I'd realised.'' MacKenzie kept away from the

installation, and winced when he saw the picture and report in next

day's Glasgow Herald.

''The Home Secretary, Mr R. A. Butler, while completing his speech at

his installation as rector of Glasgow University in the St Andrew's Hall

yesterday was struck in the face by a bag of flour thrown from the

uproarious audience of students. This affront to the rector was the

culmination of wild disorder during the ceremony when the students'

guests were pelted with tomatoes, eggs and bags of flour, and sprayed

with water and the contents of a fire extinguisher. Five members of the

platform party, including three professors, walked off in protest. Mr

Butler, his robes smeared and spattered, endured to the end.''

Despite the dusting he'd received, Rab Butler told a university court

lunch that too much should not be made of the affair, ''and reminded his

older listeners that they too had been young once.'' Relationships

between rectors and students had been fraught before, usually over

politics. At the inaugural address of the Liberal lawyer Edward Maitland

at Aberdeen University in 1861, students flung dried peas and broken

pieces from the wooden forms in the hall. A splinter drew blood on the

new rector's face.

Mostly the horseplay was pre-installation and was confined to the

student body, meaning men. At Edinburgh University the 1920 campaign

which saw Lloyd George elected rector made a full-page photograph in the

Illustrated London News as ''The battle of the steps,'' with rotten eggs

and yellow ochre the ammunition.

Traditionally, rectors were elected from within the university body,

but the Universities (Scotland) Act of 1858 changed this. Dignified men

(Gladstone, the Marquis of Bute) were robed as the rectors of Scotland's

four ancient universities. They gave inauguration addresses that were

sermons about moral rectitude, and the sanctity of the Empire, then went

back to their busy public lives, or to their estates. At St Andrews

University Marconi didn't even keep in touch by telegram.

Dr Ronald Cant, historian of St Andrews University, and one of the

greatest authorities on Scotland's universities, points out that shrewd

St Andrews benefited materially from choosing Andrew Carnegie as rector

for two terms from 1901 to 1907. But apparently Aberdeen didn't do so

well out of the philanthropist when he became their rector in 1911.

Willis Pickard, editor of the Times Scottish Education Supplement, was

on the committee that got C. P. Snow, novelist of university life,

elected to St Andrews. The tradition was to meet the new rector at the

west port, from where he was conveyed in a coach drawn by members of the

rugby team. But Snow had a detached retina, and couldn't be shoogled

through the streets. ''It was a very douce affair,'' Pickard recalls.

With the growth of the media in the seventies, the type of public

figures to hold office changed. Jimmy Reid, hero of the Upper Clyde

Shipbuilders sit-in, was an inspired choice for Glasgow in 1971. He was

followed by the sports commentator Arthur Montford. But whisper the name

of Reginald Bosanquet, who died in office. Funny men made serious

rectors. John Cleese of Fawlty Towers presided over the St Andrews

towers from 1970 to 1973, and Frank Muir (1976-1979) is still lauded as

an excellent rector.

St Andrews claims the journalist Katharine Whitehorn (1982-85) as the

first woman rector of a Scottish university. Glasgow University had

Winnie Mandela in absentia from 1987 to this year. Edinburgh has the

fiery Muriel Gray, who suddenly became anti-media in 1988. Strathclyde,

Stirling and Heriot-Watt universities don't have rectors. But when it

split from St Andrews in 1967, Dundee University elected its own rector.

Paul Scott the present rector fell foul of the local press when he

encouraged students to burn their poll tax booklets last year.

Students can elect each other. Jonathan Wills (late of the Shetland

Times) was Edinburgh's first student rector from 1971 to 1974. Across at

Glasgow the Rev. John Bell, distinguished member of the Iona Community,

was student rector from 1977 to 1980. In 1988 Willis Pickard was elected

rector of Aberdeen University. There were no bags of dried peas.

Instead, the students listened intently to their new rector's informed

speech on the traditions of Scottish universities and the need to

repatriate them.

The rectors themselves have been under threat from a new quarter, with

an attempt to oust them from their court chairs. That danger has now

passed. ''All five rectors at the moment are working rectors,'' Pickard

says. ''We all attend regular meetings of the rectors and presidents


There was a different type of Hue & Cry (and a poor turnout) when Pat

Kane was elected rector of Glasgow University recently. Malcolm

MacKenzie, who backed R. A. Butler with words, not flour power, is now a

senior lecturer in education in his alma mater. ''I approve of the

office of rector. The students have moved from the right to the left in

electing rectors at Glasgow. They need a voice, and they've now elected

a student working rector. What the universities need more than anything

else at the moment is people who can use the media; they need to

communicate with the wider world.'' But not saying it with flour.

* Dear Happy Ghosts, a selection from the Outram picture archive, is

to be published next month by Mainstream at #14.95. The 200 or so

pictures have also been enlarged and framed and will be on view to the

public for two periods during the exhibition Glasgow's Glasgow,

underneath the arches at Central Station -- from April 13 to 30 and July