“Mascots” Spanner and Bolt

Spanner and Bolt Bearer CGCA Annual Dinner 2011, Saddler’s Hall

The CGCU has its logo, the shield, but has also accumulated over the years a number of mascots, embodiments of all that is “Guildish” which have become well known and respected icons, not just throughout Imperial College, but among those outside it as well. One of the most popular of CGCU’s mascots is the veteran car Boanerges, known by all as Bo’, and kingpin of Team Bo’. The CGCU has another vintage vehicle mascot, Derrick, a 1926 Ner-a-Car motorcycle that was the gracious gift of a teaching professor of the time.
Guilds has two other, slightly more portable Mascots, which are usually present at all Union events; Spanner and Bolt. Spanner is the main Mascot for the Guilds. Having been cast in solid Bronze; portable maybe the wrong word for the Spanner, as it weighs in at 64lb. Spanner was cast in 1964 and one end is said to fit exactly around the Bolts of London Bridge and the other the wheel nuts on Bo. In addition, it needs to be lifted above the bearers head every time the “Boomalaka” is called, which is the war cry for the engineers at Imperial College.
Bolt was made in 1948 and weight Mascots in at 68lbs. Its main aim is to keep Spanner company during its rounds, and it too requires a Bearer. Luckily, no-one need hold it above their head, Spanner and Bolt Bearers are usually elected at the end of the academic year.

A little about Mascotry

The idea behind mascotry is to have a bit of fun, although it is a tradition which is more strictly governed now, it has its roots in the ancient history of Imperial College and the City & Guilds College Union.
The practice of mascotry revolves around stealing the mascot of our rivals which would include the Medics, Physical Scientists and Life Scientists and then holding them for ransom where the money thus collected is given to RAG.
There are two kinds of Mascots, violate and inviolate. A violate mascot is one on the which can be stolen and held for ransom, and inviolate cannot be held for ransom; and if it is stolen we call the police! For city & Guilds College, Bo’ and Derrick are inviolate and mainly for showing off our history, whilst Spanner and Bolt are violate, so game on!