The new students who joined Lancaster in its inaugural year were housed at St Leonardgate and in Morecambe. Student accommodation in Morecambe was hotly criticised, despite the fact that it was hoped that the town would become a ‘playground’ for the new students. Some students had disagreements with their landladies.
One in particular lamented that he was allowed to have “one bath a week on a Saturday and if you missed that, you had to wait until next week.”
Charles Carter hoped that the landladies in Morecambe would see students as more than just a means of earning money in the winter. Instead, they should regard themselves as offering a social service.
Despite the advent of new student accommodation at the Bailrigg campus, residence in Morecambe remained a feature of university life for most second and some third years until well into the 1980s when more self-catering accommodation became available in Lancaster.
Lancaster was the first British university to accommodate its students in mixed residential colleges. During an interview for the BBC in the early 1960s, Carter expressed the view that such an arrangement would make no difference to the relationships forged between male and female students. Such a view was controversial, especially since it occurred around the time that that many American universities were struggling to enforce outdated modes of behaviour for men and women in sex-segregated dorms.