The Night Climbers of Cambridge
The Night Climbers of Cambridge was first published in October 1937 with a second edition rapidly following in November of the same year. Reprinted in 1952, the book has since been unavailable and has built up a cult following with copies of either edition becoming increasingly rare. Authored under the pseudonym Whipplesnaith it recounts the courageous, or foolhardy, nocturnal exploits of a group of students climbing the ancient university and town buildings of Cambridge; creating in effect, a literary blueprint to the city's skyline. These daring stegophilic feats, including such heights as the Fitzwilliam Museum and the venerable King's College Chapel, were recorded with prehistoric photographic paraphernalia carried aloft over battlements, up chimneys and down drain-pipes. The climbers all this while trying, with mixed results, to avoid detection by the 'minions of authority': university proctors, Bulldogs and, of course, the local 'Roberts'...
The result is a fascinating, humorous and, at times, adrenalin-inducing adventure providing a rare glimpse into a side of Cambridge that has always been enshrouded by darkness. The tradition, known now as urban climbing, buildering, structuring or stegophily and followed all over the world, started long before publication of the first edition and is sure to continue for generations after the arrival of this one.