Ifor is the worst halls ever – but that’s why we love it

An ode to Camden’s mouldy gulag


I-F-O-R. E-V-A-N-S.

St Ifor's Cathedral

St Ifor’s Cathedral

These nine letters conjure up fond memories for all who have passed through this hallowed Hall – Ricky Gervais anyone?

If Ifor Evans himself were alive today, I’m sure he’d be proud to give his name to this stately building – so disgusting that it made the news – home to 500+ students, 200+ cockroaches and, allegedly, one rat (looking at you B Block).

Central Moscow circa 1970?

Central Moscow circa 1970?

Though not our first choice you’ve been a blessing, Ifor. Honestly. There’s no way any of us wanted to live in Ramsay.

After those first stinging comment of Freshers – “where do you live? Oh, Ifor? Gosh, that’s far away!” – we have got over our lofty separation.

Living on the Northern line is pretty dreamy – when it decides to work – and brings a fair amount of street-cred, and no one can dispute the fact that stepping onto the N29 after a night out with a bag of Woody Grill cheesy chips under your arm, and hearing that joyful call for “Murray Street”, is close to heaven.

Make sure you bring a sleeping bag for the commute

Make sure you bring a sleeping bag for the commute

And entering the elegant compound of Ifor and Max Rayne itself? Nothing will ever compare.

Doused in snow or shining in the sun, your bulky, grey 1960s beauty, a big fat concrete middle finger to its leafy Camden surroundings, never ceases to astound.

Neither does your lack of basic facilities. Who cares if we only get hot water once in a blue moon? Who wants a kitchen table or a freezer anyway? What’s double-glazing? Nothing says independent living like a sub-zero Ifor shower, or furnishing your room with the help of the eternally full skip.

We leave halls able to make a bacon sandwich using half a microwave and a kettle, and that’s a life skill.

And then again, with the lovely likes of Elsie and Margaret in the kitchen, serving up culinary delights in the reassuring form of carbs on carbs on carbs on carbs every day (don’t forget the 3-day old cheesecake for dessert) we have little to complain about in way of food.

Surrogate mum

Surrogate mum

The fine dining is just one part of our cosmopolitan social scene, of course. We all know that the TV room’s grotty charm – the eclectic library complete with Mills & Boon, ‘How to Succeed in Business’ and several volumes of Jordan’s autobiography, the sticky empties and alcohol festooned behind the curtains – gives you a class that look makes Covent Garden look like Malia.

Post-loop floor crawls on Wednesdays, parties on the roof, and a rubbery Christmas meal accompanied by warm box wine – all in halls worse than the ones your dad was in when he was at Hull under Thatcher. It just doesn’t get anymore uni than this.

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All-encompassing, all-loving, you, Ifor, welcome everyone into your arms. The best student accommodation in the best city in the world, all that is left to say is this: Beauty is Ifor Ifor, Beauty. And that’s all you need to know.

Iforever.