Alma Mater - Norwich and UEA - Postscript

 In what I assume is fairly normal behaviour, revisiting our alma mater prompted me to look up the names of some contemporaneous students using Google and LinkedIn. I found my first-year room-mate at UEA, Alan, who I haven't seen for 50 years and who now lives in the USA. Alan reminded me of a prank we played in our second year at University: the Big Froth.

Photo 1: The Square, UEA

The Square at UEA was a small amphitheatre with a pond and waterfall (Photo 1). It was a popular meeting spot when the weather was good. On our recent return visit to UEA, we noted The Square was still there but the water feature had gone.

Four Chemistry undergraduates (Alan, John, Barry and myself), like good scientists, did some research and experiments to come up with the right formula of water softener, detergent and colouring (potassium permanganate) - all purchased locally. Anyone who has lived in Norwich will know the water is very hard - hence the need for water softener.

The end result ...

Photo 2: The Big Froth

We forgot to take our own pictures - quite possibly we didn't have cameras in 1973. These black and white photographs don't really do it justice nor do they record the pink colour of the froth.

You can read and hear Alan's account, with a little more detail, here and here.


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