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17 Nov 2016

The 1986 - 89 group. (From L-r) Shaun Zammit, Mark Bennett, Kim Mould (nee Grant), Clive Harding, Gail Adams (nee Horsfield), Roger Glithero, Richard Haslam, James Chapman, Steve Yim, Mark McCall

In recent weeks the Alumni and Development Office has been thrilled to hear from two separate groups of alumni from the Warrington Campus, who expressed an interest at returning to the Campus for a tour and mini-reunion.
As such, we arranged for each of the groups, one from 1986 - 89 and the other, from 1966 – 69 to have a guided tour, led by willing volunteers from the Campus. Although it was 30 and 50 years, respectively, since the former students started their studies at Padgate College, the memories soon came flooding back, as Roger Glithero, organiser of the 1986 group, recalls:
“If the M6 hadn’t been busy in July I wouldn’t have driven through Warrington, and failed to recognise the town, and thought back on those 30 years since turning into the Piazza at Padgate.  Thus it was, an individual email asking about a weekend trip to check out the old place, became a hunt for others of that era, and a get together.
“We were transported back 30 years in an instant, maybe not the grey hair, but with friendships and banter forged in those intense 3 years.
“A new main entrance slightly threw the bearings, but turning the corner to the Halls of Residence was like a slap in the face, as though time was playing tricks; this was further compounded when visiting the old Hall 4, as apart from carpet in the hallway, the same furniture was still in evidence, with Formica topped desk and shelving.  To recover from the shock we headed to the bar, which definitely had changed; West End no more (although the slight adhesion of shoes to the dance floor may indicate the same excesses).
“Stories flowed, liaisons recounted, lecturers dissected, and notable incidents laughingly recalled; tales etched on our collective memory.  With the thought we wouldn’t get away with ‘trophy nights’ (iron garden furniture, large yellow spectacles, and assorted signage may have been mentioned) in quite the same way as we did, with the advent of CCTV.  Also, ‘Padgate Coffee’ appeared to have slipped from the vernacular, possibly with the advent of mixed halls there wasn’t the same obvious need for the euphemism!
“The following morning, the doors had again worked their magic, as a group of slightly more mature ex-North Cheshire College/Padgate students wearily wended their way back across the UK.
“However, for one quietly emotional night, we forgot about the people we are and were allowed to go back to being 20 year olds without a care in the world and enjoying the special place that is Padgate. 
“So special, that 2019 may see another time shift for the 30th anniversary since graduation!”
Whatever campus you studied at, you are always welcome to return to the University for a tour, or to reminisce. If you would like to arrange a time and date, please get in touch with us in the Alumni and Development Office and we'll be pleased to assist.
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