By Nigel Balchin and Peter Davy
The advancement of human understanding is effected by the rearrangement of existing material into patterns of greater significance.
At six in the morning on Sunday, 8 June 1958, an early bird on the watch for worms in the Senate House lawn would have seen a strange sight. On the steep slates of the Seely Library there sat, huddled together with a faraway look in their eyes, three admiring policemen, a professional photographer in morning dress, two plimsolled undergraduates who looked as if they had not slept that night, and a shivering girl. Opposite them, on the leaded apex of the 85 ft high Senate House was parked an elderly black Austin Seven van, battered but outwardly complete. The roof party had climbed up convenient scaffolding to get a better view of this phenomenon. I cannot vouch for the policemens' thoughts - it was too late to prove any suspicions they may have had - but for one of the undergraduates this was the moment of victory, the climax to a year of dreams and planning within the battlement turret of Tree Court which now broke the skyline behind the van.
This rearrangement of existing material - a good eight hundredweight of it - had been successfully achieved in darkness without detection by a team of thirteen working (most of the time) to a highly complicated plan.
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