Up Close & Personal: Junior Bursar

The right hand man of Senior Bursar – who collects the money – Junior Bursar is the slightly sinister other half of the Bursary who has the happy job of spending the money. As the Fellow with the responsibility of overseeing the teams of College Servants, Junior Bursar always has a beady eye trained on the Porters’ Lodge, and on Head Porter in particular. Very little escapes his attention and  he takes especial delight in uncovering even the slightest wisp of misbehaviour.

Junior Bursar first came to Old College as a narrow-kneed undergraduate, with nothing but a keen mathematical mind and a ferocious appetite for academic excellence. His devotions to both Old College and his studies bought him entry to The Fellowship soon after completing his PhD, and proprietorship of the purse strings swiftly followed. Such an alacritous ascent may seem surprising in an institution such as Old College, but it is rumoured that Junior Bursar has ancestral underpinnings stretching right back to the very foundations of College itself – and Old College loves nothing more than its own illustrious heritage.

Junior Bursar is a slight man of advancing years, who exudes machiavellian malice from every pore. He seems to warm a little towards Deputy Head Porter, however he takes a stance of bemused spite towards her unlikely association with The Dean. Junior Bursar has long held an active dislike of Head Porter, which can be almost callous at times – although there are complex machinations behind this malevolence that make his attitude at least partly justified.

It’s not all bad news where our bothersome bean-counter is concerned, though. Junior Bursar is rather keen on a party and he steadfastly refuses to engage with The Committee For The Prevention Of Drunken Behaviour. One very much gets the impression that there is something of a mischievous side to Junior Bursar that he has become very adept at concealing.

Comparisons between Old College’s notorious Fellow and the real Junior Bursar are somewhat unfair. The real chap is certainly not of nefarious character, but every tale needs its villain and a Bursar seemed reasonable, somehow. I was rather fond of Junior Bursar and he was one of the few at College who was sad to see me leave; although what he makes of this literary aftermath I wouldn’t like to hazard assumption. One would hope that he is not too enraged. During my brief time as the worst Deputy Head Porter of all time, Junior Bursar was indeed kind to me and was graciously tolerant of my blind ignorance of College life. Although it is fair to say that he could be an awkward bugger at times, he at least had a never-ending supply of interesting errands and projects to keep me occupied. I do know that he has read a handful of the earliest blog posts and they did indeed arouse a smile from him on occasion. I am pretty chuffed about that.



    1. Aha I love the bits about the party. Am I allowed to say that about my own thing? Junior Bursar is always such a joy to write, hopefully I won’t have to kill him off.

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