Back in the early 80s, the percentage of young people in Britain going to university was much lower than it is today. And there was often a much higher degree of hostility between local youth and those allegedly privileged sods on the campus up the road.
At Liverpool, the university was often referred to locally as the “hotel on the hill” – not helped that it was literally on a hill looking down, as it were, on the city below.
Regrettably, the wrath of the dispossessed did occasionally land on a student through know fault of their own. One favourite tactic was to ask a student the time, just to check if they had a non-“scouse” accent before connecting a fist with their rosy-cheeked face.
All of this was thoroughly reprehensible but a flavour of the time I fear. Here is the university newspaper reporting on one such incident.