Image : Lancaster 50th Anniversary

Remember When

Here are some of the people and events that have made the University what it is today.

Send your memories and anecdotes (max 300 words plus a high resolution photograph) to alumni@lancaster.ac.uk.

We’ll include as many as we can.

The Spirit of the Times

Walter Tatham Hughes (Lonsdale) studied, Economics, Politics and Philosophy in 1972 and here he recalls some of his early thoughts on his time at Lancaster before moving to Sweden where he currently resides.

'From the soft pastures of north Bucks, the motorway snaked northwards through the industrial history of England. Somewhere after Preston the brooding northern hills rose steeply in the east. I and my mini-van had arrived at the brand new university called Lancaster. The name reeked of medieval history and the War of the Roses. Even to this day a shudder goes through me and am wet in the eyes over the thought of those years and that beautiful landscape up there; moon river in the Lune Valley.

I think Barry Lucas has covered the spirit of the times in his 50th anniversary memories. To use the language of the times, we were the children of the post-war dream, the age of affluence and the sexual revolution. In the late 60’s we had seen the fire burn through the Paris-Sorbonne, the London School of Economics, Berkeley in California. There had been Woodstock and other stories of flower power and excess. I was not so political motivated as some of the northern lads, but we wanted our share of the action.

My strongest memory of my studies was the lectures of Professor Phillip Reynolds on International Politics. The Bowland college lecture theatre would be packed to the seams and as he strolled up to the microphone you would not hear a pin drop. Whereas the intellectual heavyweights monopolised the coffee tables of Bowland, Lonsdale led the party.

I took from Lancaster a strong intellectual grip on economic and political thought.  I had applied to the university to major in Finance while studying as a trainee industrial accountant at Hoover in south Wales.

Where was it that, that colourful bird, found its flight?  That year there were 50 students from the University of Colorado at Boulder: they were easy going and Jimmy Margoles from LA said ¨ come out to Boulder and we will take care of you ¨. After you have crossed the great plains of the USA, lies Boulder, Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, one nice place. They were already there, green politics, free architecture and adventure.

In December 1974, I started work and my ski career at the Continental Inn, Aspen. This led on to Chamonix, Mont Blanc and after my marriage I moved to Sweden. Trading as Milton Keynes Import Export, I opened up the UK market for Hestra ski gloves. For 32 years I have worked with flower harvesting in the pollen industry. I had some interesting years teaching business English and now work as photographer and graphic designer for the local borough of Båstad, a leading summer resort. www.bastad.com'

 

 

Student Activism and 'The Craig Affair'

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Lancaster had a reputation as one of the most radical universities in the county

Students were concerned with issues as wide-ranging as local bus fares and freedom of speech. 

Anti-Vietnam protests were also prevalent at Lancaster. In 1965, ten students spent two days in the December snow to protest against American involvement in the war, whilst during the summer of 1966, students conducted an anti-Vietnam march along Morecambe promenade, for which they were fined.

Some of the protests made national news.  The most widely reported occurred in the early 70s when it was announced that David Craig, a lecturer who had become the centre of argument about academic freedom and freedom of speech, was to be dismissed. Angry students gathered in Alexandra Square and blockaded University House to support his cause.