On the blog this week, we share College memories from some of our alumnae. Don’t forget to take a look at our social media too, where this week’s theme is student life.
Sue Carmichael (nee Mallard) – 1966: “1963, what a historic year in the life of the College/University! It was the first year that it had resident female students. Old College was no longer dormitories, but single study bedrooms, with the added luxury of a washbasin in each room. What more could we want?! The rules we had to obey were quite strict. We were not allowed out of the hostel after 10pm, unless we wrote our name in the book, and signed it on coming back in, which had to be before 11pm. Visitors had to leave Old College at 6.30pm on weekdays, but on Wednesdays and at the weekend, they were allowed to stay until 10pm. The Principal, Aubrey Price, often accidentally addressed us as gentlemen – well it takes some getting used to having females after 124 years of being all male! We had a great time at College though, and many friendships made then still exist today.”
Pat Ransome (nee Salter) – 1972: “The first year of the seventies saw me move into Astbury on main campus – top floor 52, I believe. My room was bedecked with posters of Spirogyra and Spanish flamenco dancers, and coffee mugs, books and student paraphernalia littered the desk. A red anglepoise light lit my midnight studies and I tuned into Radio Caroline. I even possessed a record player, so during the day my neighbours would have listened to the endless tracks of my LP “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, which I still have to this day!
“Friends would call in for coffee, and we would sit and chat. On one occasion, my parents called in unexpectedly and my dad was horrified: “Joan, our Pat has got boys in her bedroom! Come on we are not staying here!” So I walked into Chester to meet them later. Bless them – it was a different era and one of the boys is now my husband Richard, who 47 years later, still shares coffee and a chat!
“A lot of my time was spent singing and dancing, or playing hockey. I loved to sing in the choir, in my room, in Chapel and of course, in the College bar after sporting fixtures! I wonder how many of our fellow alumni we could name from the College Choir when performing at the Llangollen Eisteddfod in 1971? Gilbert and Sullivan productions were a highlight and the seventies saw the College perform Princess Ida, then The Sorceror. Again, I wonder from the photographs, how many friends we would recognise from those days? I recall vividly the actual productions and how much fun we had!
“My 21st birthday at College was shared with tutors and friends, and we went out to The Mollington Banastre for a meal coming back to College, where we danced and partied until the small hours. I still have the key that friends pinned to my hostel door, as 21 back then was your ‘coming of age’. I suppose College did unlock and open up so many possibilities that I have always valued and held onto. Three years at College in the grand scheme of life doesn’t sound a long time, but it was transformative and set me on my way through life. Special times and special memories that I always hope can be the same for those that follow on. 50 years on and yet it feels like yesterday – thank you Chester!”