Status and academic titles were much prized in Art Schools which the general public usually associated with degenerates and loafers. Before the heady pursuit of University status, the options were restricted to Mr., Mrs., and occasionally, Ms. The title, "Artist in Residence" has been used a nomenclature intended to generate respect from the unlettered but can sound like being sectioned.

There must have been people who were impressed or intimidated by my PhD but it seldom arose as a topic of conversation. I used my doctoral title once in my local village and shortly afterwards, the phone rang and I was invited to suggest a remedy for the caller's angry red rash on her stomach.

A Head of Department in an Art School in which I taugh, was a most professional designer and adequate manager. His particular penchant was for muscular male youths in garish shirts, noticeably slanting his recruitment policies. Like many gay friends I was to make later, Rough Trade had a particular allure. He had been badly handled one night by a gang of skin heads and awoke to find himself in Hospital. The Assistant Principal (think Geoffrey Howe here) dutifully visited his key colleague. Taking a surreptitious peep at the temperature chart at the end of the Hospital bed, he noticed, he told me with some amusement, that the patient had called himself "Professor" Winterbottom to impress the nurses but gained no particular preferment.

Although he liked to be addressed by his initials, he was always known afterwards as "the Professor' in the way that Music Hall Memory Acts and Sleight of Hand artists were addressed.

The title "Professor" was much in currency with the dissolving of the Binary Line, when every thrusting Manager claimed the title or earned one with a professorial lecture, or membership of a Research Committee. Given Art Schools naked pursuit of the Broadcast media, the Professorial title was much encouraged to add conviction and gravitas to thoughts on Graffiti, or Health and Safety or the Kardashians.

Winterbottom is an invented name. I think.