No entry! You might be a terrorist, says Imperial

Professor Mike Blatt worked at Wye College for many years before moving to a new senior post in Glasgow. He returned to Wye recently and was shocked by the attitude of Imperial Estates Security. Here he explains what happened.

A new development and the future of Wye? Returning to visit as a former member of Wye College, and taking a stroll around the environs of Wye, I was this afternoon accosted by Imperial College security outside Withersdane informing me that I was ‘trespassing on private property’.

After brief discussion — and naturally an apology (somewhat bemusedly) on my part — I was informed that ICL was now forced to raise the level of security around its holdings in the area. Why? I asked. Because of fears of terrorism and growing public awareness of al-Qaida in the university, I am told.

Well, this is news to me. I don’t mean that ICL is allegedly the latest hotbed of terrorism. I cannot comment on this matter (though in the minds of many locals, this might be an appropriate description for ICL’s management). Rather, that the next stage in ICL’s dealings with Wye should (at least in this conception) take the form of barriers erected to prevent historical patterns of movement around the local environs.

Practically speaking, of course, this is absurd — it would imply that much of the land around Wye (including the Crown) is now out of bounds to all but the select few of Imperial College. Sadly, however, the attitude does seem to reflect the current breakdown in the relationship between Imperial College and surrounding community.

As someone fond of Wye, I can only hope that the College has the wisdom to prevent any further deterioration in its relations with the local community.

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About David Hewson

Professional novelist, published in more than 20 languages. Creator of the Nic Costa series set in modern Rome. Most recent book the novel of the Danish TV series, The Killing.
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2 Responses to No entry! You might be a terrorist, says Imperial

  1. Salam alaykum

    Don’t worry Imperialists, we will not carry the fight to Wye. We suspected that you might be moving your nuclear reactor there from Silwood Park and tried to make contact with local resistance fighters. We assumed that like us they would not want Imperialists in their back yard and would be rabid nihilistic fanatics, but no – they are decent, honest, constructive folk looking to engage in dialogue and present alternative solutions. Bugger.

  2. G.M. says:

    I expect that there is more terror in the attached story for the Village than Imperial will ever experience in and around the Village of Wye
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/04/04/npark04.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/04/04/ixhome.html

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