Advent Calendar: 3 December – Skiing on Jacob’s Ladder

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Monday 3 December 2018

Photograph of Professor and Mrs Dickie skiing on Jacob’s ladder [North Haugh], St Andrews in 1950 (GMC-19-75-2).

Edgar Primrose Dickie was Professor of Divinity at St Andrews University from 1935-1967. He served in both world wars and received the Military Cross for his service with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers in 1918. He authored many books, including the children’s book Mister Bannock which has a cover illustration reminiscent of this one – bob-sleighing down a mountain – albeit in the book they used a whale rather than skis!

The image was taken by local St Andrews photographer George Cowie, most likely during a blizzard in February 1950. It was reported in the local newspaper at the time that Professor Dickie, undeterred by the weather, skied to his classes at St Mary’s College and, along with other academics and some students, took to Jacob’s ladder to engage in some winter sports!

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