Life on campus: 1948-52

University College, Hull 1948-1952

Ann (Taylor) Hartley

Ann Taylor as a fresher in 1948

When I went to Hull for the first time in 1948 I had never been away from home on my own before. In those days we were not taken by our parents because most of them, like mine, did not have a car, so we travelled by train or bus or trucks. Bicycles etc. were sent by rail. I went by train from Manchester to Hull and met by chance Enid Kilner, who was also just starting. We got the bus from Hull station to Cottingham.9

1948: Dorothy Bell, Kath Powell, Anne Caldwell, Anne Taylor, Pat Seely, Val Jones

Thwaite Hall was a large old house with a pre-war wing and most of the 1st years there shared 3 or 4 to one of the large bedrooms in the old house. All the time we were there building went on and each new year we had a brand new study bedroom. Being ‘in hall’ was rather like being at boarding school. The doors were locked at a certain time each evening and if we were locked out we appeared before the warden (Miss Dow) the next day. It did not take long to get wise to the advantage of a friend in a downstairs room to let you in if locked out!

We ate our evening meal – Miss Dow and live-in staff- at high table. Permission was needed to be absent. Vouchers were given for lunch at the University during the week. We walked or cycled to college and there was not much traffic on the roads in those days. Every year autumn brings back memories of cycling from Thwaite to college with mist across the low-lying fields and a strong smell of pigs from the local farms.

1951: Ann Taylor on Graduation Day

Degree day was very impressive in the City Hall, with a parade of local mayors in full regalia preceded by their mace-bearers and town clerks. I am pleased to hear it still continues.

After our degrees Bob and I did a year for an Education Diploma. I was lucky enough to do teaching practice at Scarborough High School for Girls and to spend a time in Scarborough. Bob was out at Pocklington School. When we first went to Hull there were (as far as I remember) only the 2 main buildings but all the time we were there building went on and by the time we left there was a new library, Common rooms and Sports hall. I played netball for the University which sounds grander than it was as I don’t remember winning a match or drawing even! Bob played rugby for the second team.

I taught at several schools but mainly at Penwortham Girls grammar School near Preston. Bob became an accountant at Manchester and then Lancashire. We have both been retired many years.

Many of the students were the first in their families to go to University. My fees were paid because I was going to teach. Bob was an ex-service man and had a generous cash grant 3 times a year and his tuition fees paid. How times have changed!

A gallery of campus 1948-52

©Ann Hartley 2016


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4 thoughts on “Life on campus: 1948-52

  1. Brought back so many memories. The undergraduate gown worn at lectures and dragged behind the bicycle to remove the new-ness: the ubiquitous bike ( I had ridden 4 miles to the bus route to school, all 14 on Saturday match days):the trunk, picked up from home and delivered to Hall as a railway service: men wearing ties !There were many future teachers who had grants for both the degree course and the PGCE year on a commitment to teach for a minimum of two years.
    It’s nice to be reminded that many men and women met their future spouses as fellow students and how successful most of those unions proved to be.
    I went up in 1946 and knew little of the 1948 intake although I do remember the names and faces in the main picture.


  2. A few further thoughts. My time at HUC was 1946-1949. I never went to Thwaite or Needler during that time except to use the tennis courts. I too shared a room. It was a Nissen hut at Camp Hall with five bed spaces and a coke stove in the centre. Wisely, the Royal Navy and the RAF, both married men, had bagged the ones farthest from the door. I was told some years later that one of Thwaite’s builders sang while he worked and this was much enjoyed. He was David Whitfield who became a popular singing star with records in the charts. I too remember just the two main buildings, the one where most of the lectures took place (boo) and the other housing the Common Rooms, the Library, the Refectory, and the Hall for examinations (boo) and dances to the tunes of Norris Walker (hooray).On fine Summer days small groups would settle on the soup plate and just about everyone would pass between the two buildings, which is why I recognise so many from the photographs.
    I have enjoyed your contribution and the women’s experience. Thank you, Mrs Hartley. I am 1920s vintage and we’ve not been introduced.


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