10 APRIL 1964, Page 19

S ot. -- I find myself much in sympathy with Malcolm R utherford ('Talking

to My Tutor,' March 27). The one thing I really remember •about tutorials was the lire ritual. It always seemed to me that as soon as I started to read my weekly essay (admittedly a turgid effusion) my tutor would rise to his feet and first Poke the tire with infinite care and great ceremony. The poker would then be returned noisily to the armoury of other fire implements and very slowly he would make the lire up. This con- sisted of shaking the coal from the scuttle into the In between two or three bits at a time with a few seconds '" netween each shake-1 suppose to give the im- pression that at least some of my words were being the operation out so that it lasted the whole essay. 'nough he always timed it so that he heard at least the last sentence. 'Taking that last Point . . he