Bailey Ball 2018

By Eve Cully, First Year Physics Student

On Friday the 9th November St John’s College and its students were sent into a whirlwind of a party. The Bailey Ball celebrations were underway and what a night it was.

Photo by Sam Kirkman

All the years came together for 12 whole hours of eating, drinking, dancing and celebrating. To the new first years, this was our initiation into true John’s-style celebration, making it all the more special. After many attempts at guessing what the theme for Bailey Ball was going to be, and being repeatedly told to get excited about transport and the entrance to College being like a tube station, we discovered that the theme was “Once upon a time…” – an amalgamation of Disney. It was represented beautifully by the decorations which extended the length of the College, and was very well lit for the millions of selfie attempts (“One will be good, I promise!”).

While we can’t fully describe the night in words, we collected together some of the first year’s highlights:

“After the lull at about 3 am I was expecting everyone to die off until a wise second year suggested we all go to the silent disco. This made the night – I never expected dancing at 4am to still be so exciting.”  


“The many High School Musical songs on the playlist made the night for me.”


“Sitting around eating pizza in the Vasey room at 5 am, everyone looked tired, but so happy.”


 “Watching everyone dance to the silent disco without headphones and trying to work out which song it was.”


(It could be noted how many of the freshers’ favourite moments were based on headphones and a lack of actual human communication… Anticipations grow for the silent Bailey Ball of 2020).

The Ball was also a great opportunity for us to meet everyone in the years above who we hadn’t so far, and we felt even more part of this sociable community than we had before. Maybe we could claim that this was the true end of freshers, if only to justify the number of Klute nights over the last month.

Photo by Sam Kirkman

The schedule was packed throughout the night, from seeing who could last the longest on the bucking bronco, to playing Tetris and Wack-a-mole: there was plenty to try out. A particular highlight was watching many of the girls hitching up their dresses to prove that – while tricky – a full length dress would not stop them surpassing the boys’ record times onboard the bull.  All the while, we were kept full of tasty food from the delicious dinner to the pizza handed out to us at 5am. Not to mention many chocolate covered doughnut bites in between! (Maybe one too many when the vendor began to remember our individual orders. Oops!) We almost ate too much to move yet somehow managed to still fully enjoy the music with the live bands and then later the silent disco. The whole evening was captured by some beautiful (and often hilarious) pictures by the photographers so make sure to check the Facebook page to see if you like any – there’s still time to join the post Bailey Ball profile picture rush!

The evening was only the success that it was due to the massive efforts made by the fabulous SEC and everyone else who helped them. The time, energy and patience that they invested was incredible; especially that required to avoid drinking the 140 bottles of wine stuffed in one tiny car on the way back from Costco. Equally incredibly, they toured around every pizza place in Durham to work out exactly how many slices £400 could buy to feed a group of hungry Johnians at the end of a long night. They had every detail planned to perfection and with the only minor hiccough being a couple of smashed Peroni bottles, no one could in any way suggest it wasn’t a massive success.

It was definitely a night to remember and most of all we would like to thank everyone who made it so fantastic. We just hope you haven’t raised our expectations too high for John’s day!

Photo by Sam Kirkman

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