Like many things in St Andrews ‘The Vic’ seems to act in complete juxtaposition to the outside world. That is to say that ‘The Vic’ summons up images of cigarette and ale marinated men in their late forties, a Guy Ritchie-esque pub where a look in the toilets may leave you without a sense of smell, and a stroll downstairs ends with the county dogfighting quarter-finals. This is something that always strikes me as odd seeing as the namesake for so many of these pubs is one of the most well-known and formidable female figures in British History. Unsurprisingly then, the name seems much more apt when set alongside the concept of Women in Work, who hosted their EDEN event last week.

Photo: Tom Oldridge, Lightbox

Far from the sweat soaked pubs of middle England, we were invited into ‘paradise, utopia, arcadia’, a sentiment that was reflected by the effort the society had put into decorating the often monotone venue with some much needed colour. In the main bar area dancers adorned with flowers circulated, adding a sense of movement to what can be an awkward space. Eager to see how the night would play out I moved over to the bar and ordered, turned around, and waited.

As the evening went on it was clear from the multiple features of the event, such as the raffle and various DJ’s, that the committee had put thought into the experience. An effort that is tribute to the hard work of the Women in Work committee, who aim to break down socio-economic, gender, and ethnic boundaries that keep women from equal participation in all careers. Last week was an important way to promote what is a pressing issue not just in the office, but in the wider workspace, something the committee alluded to when they changed their name from ‘Women in Office’ to ‘Women in Work’ last year.

Despite the planning the event did find itself up against a dry patch in the St Andrews nightlife calendar, a combination of deadlines and pre-Easter burnout. As a result, the venue never filled to the point where it was necessary to have as much space as The Vic affords. However, guests continued to dance long into the night and were able to enjoy a sense of space that isn’t always on offer in a town with so few places to go out. I applaud the effort and thought that went into putting on such a memorable night, and hope that isn’t the last the events world will hear from the Women in Work committee.


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