The forthcoming 90th Freshers’ Week

The Alumni Community as Collective Memory

As the University moves toward its 90th anniversary, we are working on conceiving ways to galvanise our alumni community’s memory. And as Freshers’ Week 2015 – now known as Welcome Fest – gets underway in earnest outside our window, we are pleased to inaugurate the University’s alumni blog to begin the conversation. We contrast the photograph at the top of this post of the University’s opening with the vibrant, smart and contemporary video released for Fresher’s 2015. The student community has changed since 1929. It has become more diverse and more democratised, but the spirit remains the same.

Informal Archives: The Torch

IMG_1741The alumni community holds in its collective possession a vast array of histories, artefacts, documents, and untold tales. In some cases, we are privileged to be the recipients of these artefacts. For example, earlier in the summer the family of Eric Bielby OBE (former Mayor of Beverley) sent us several copies of the Hull’s onetime student magazine The Torch. The copies range from 1938 to 1940 and are an extraordinary record of the undergrad humour, the anxieties before war, and the life of the University of the time. It was an exceptionally kind gift that has taught us much we did not know. We are always interested in resources of this nature, and if you would like to contribute to our archive, please do leave a comment below or email us on

University Origins

A University is not created overnight, and it was several years in the making that Hull was incorporated, constructed, and formalised as a University College. It was not until 1954 that the University attained its Royal Charter to award degrees to become the 14th oldest University in England. As a place of learning, however, we mark our beginnings here:

1927: Building foundations were laid and the first meeting of Council was held, being the governing body of the University College,

1928: The employment of the first academic members of staff, the first freshers’ week,

1929: The official opening ceremony, according to the rather wonderful photograph of Ferens with the Duke of Kent, Principal Arthur Eustace Morgan and Alderman Benno Pearlman at the top of this post.

5 thoughts on “The forthcoming 90th Freshers’ Week

  1. Re early years. HUC magazine The Torch was still going strong in 1953 as was the newspaper Newsuch for which my future wife, Patricia (Trish) Rose, wrote the gossip column, Cat’s Cradle, for a few years from 1949. My years were 1946-1949: Camp Hall ,even before the Nissen huts were converted to single rooms. Plenty of blue and khaki with insignia removed. Altogether different experience then : small intimate and optimistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a very interesting response Alastair: Newsuch is a title I have not heard of before, though that optimism is certainly apparent in the YouTube clips of the University in the 1950s.


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