The mysterious case of the disappearing Wyverns Garden Party

The Wyverns Garden Party has been quietly allowed to not go ahead

Cambridge Cambridge University d-socs Drinking Societies drinking socs garden parties Garden Party lad culture Lads magdalene college misogyny sexism The Wyverns Wyverns Wyverns' Garden Party

The Wyverns Garden Party, traditionally held on May Week “Suicide” Sunday, has not been advertised or held ticket sales this year.

The Gentlemen Wyverns of Magdalene College have long been known for their annual Garden Party, which until 2013 featured naked girls wrestling in paddling pools of jelly.

In May 2013 a petition with more than 1100 signatures and the support of the CUSU Women’s Campaign  brought an end to the practice that year, with the Wyverns releasing a statement stating that “the anti-jelly vitriol with which the campaign was conducted forced us to take the threats that we received seriously. We are keen to maintain our reputation as the biggest, loosest, naughtiest, silliest party that Cambridge has to offer.”


The decision to reinstate jelly-wrestling last year ignited a storm of protest

Last year the club’s Social Media mascot, Johnnie Wyvern, announced that the jelly-wrestling tournament was to be reinstated, with men included in the contest. The announcement yielded a storm of protest and eventual climbdown after Magdalene’s donors threw a wobbly.

Last year’s eventually jelly-free party went ahead but did not impress the Tab’s critics, who labelled it a “village fête” and suggested that “time has come for Johnnye Wyvern to finally bow down”.

Happier times

It appears the Wyverns heeded the advice, as the Garden Party was not advertised and tickets did not go on sale for a 2016 event. Johnnie Wyvern, for several years a regular Exam Term social media character, is silent. Several Magdalene students the Tab spoke to said the Wyverns themselves seem to have gone underground. The Wyverns avoided all attempts made by the Tab to contact them. One of several Magdalene students who spoke to the Tab, but like all others, declined to be named, said:

“Most Magdalene students don’t seem to be distraught about little or no chance of a garden party. It’s never exactly been the place to be on Suicide Sunday. I think I’d rather have a few drinks on Jesus Green over watching a huddle of blazer and tie clad children salivating over jelly-wrestlers.”

Another Magdalene student, a fresher, said “I only applied to Magdalene because of the fucking Wyverns. They matched up with my motto of dilettantism and decadence. Saw pictures of the jelly wrestling in the Daily Mail and thought, that’s the place for me. Now it’s not even happening.”

Neither Magdalene College nor the Wyverns responded to requests for comment.

Is this the end of the Wyverns Garden Party? Or will it, like Glastonbury, return after a hiatus?