Brave Magdalene students returned to fish the tree out of the river the following morningVarsity

A bop at Magdalene College took an unexpected turn on Tuesday night (29/11), when the College Christmas tree was stolen. The tree was found the following day in the River Cam, with many suspecting that a group of Magdalene students were the culprits.

After the bop — held in Magdalene’s Cripps Court on Chesterton Road — ended, several students were seen carrying the tree away to the nearby river.

One Magdalene student described the tree as “eight or nine feet tall” and had been left in its netting in the corner of the room where the bop had taken place.

The Christmas tree was then descended upon by a group of students, speculated to be from Emmanuel College as well as Magdalene.

The students carried it past the main College entrance, reached Magdalene Bridge, and from there, threw the tree into the River Cam. According to one Magdalene student, the tree floated down the river to Jesus Lock, where it eventually got stuck.

Despite the lingering effects of the previous night, several Magdalene students set out to retrieve the tree from the lock the next morning.

Enlisting the help of one of the punters by Magdalene Bridge, they punted down the river to the lock, where they heaved the tree back onto the punt, and delivered it safely to the Magdalene’s fellows garden.


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Students took to the College’s anonymous confession page, Magdfess, to express amusement and anger at the event. One student joked that there was “nothing greener than throwing a Christmas tree in the Cam”, referencing the fact that the College’s outgoing JCR green officer was allegedly among the thieves.

Another student parodied a well-known Christmas carol, asking “O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, How did you end up in the Cam?”.

A student at Magdalene told Varsity that those involved have been charged £200 pounds for their involvement with the event.

Magdalene College did not respond to request for comment.