APRIL 1 is traditionally the time we play jokes on family and friends.

But Oxford University students didn’t restrict their antics to just one day a year – they played pranks at any time of the year.

People going to work found that a pedestrian crossing had appeared overnight in High Street in 1980.

Oxford Mail:

Picture 1

University College rugby players used plasticised emulsion paint to create the crossing, seen in Picture 1, in a 2am prank as they celebrated victory in the university sevens.

Police didn’t see the funny side, charging one student with criminal damage, while city engineer David Butler threatened to sue him and others for the £90 it cost to remove the paint.

Bicycles were often a favourite weapon and there were numerous examples of machines being hauled on to roofs in the dead of night.

Oxford Mail:

Picture 2

Read more from John Chipperfield's Memory Lane:

Picture 2 shows three bikes on the roof at Brasenose College in 1958, while two, seen in Picture 3, appeared above Hertford College in 1954.

Oxford Mail:

Picture 3

Another, in Picture 4, rode high on one of the Bodleian Library’s 100ft high pinnacles in 1961.

Oxford Mail:

Picture 4

Oxford Mail:

Picture 5

There were more high jinks in 1959 when a woman’s dummy, in Picture 5, appeared above Brasenose College, the work of members of the Phoenix Club, a college dining club, and in 1964 when dustbins, in Picture 6, appeared on statues high above The Queen’s College.

Oxford Mail:

Picture 6

One of the most elaborate hoaxes was perpetrated by Anthony Hocking, a 21-year-old theology student at Christ Church in 1960.

Posing at ‘Lady Keble’, he sent invitations to 90 London debutantes to “join her at home at Iffley Manor, Oxford.”

Mothers of some of the young women realised it was a hoax when they could find no reference to Lady Keble or Iffley Manor.

But 30 turned up with their ball gowns in suitcases, realising that all was on offer was entertainment from Mr Hocking on a rickety houseboat near Folly Bride.