All about the college

If you are an old Fyldean with any tales to tell about your times in Fylde we would like to hear from you. Email and we will publish your tales....assuming that they are clean enough.


A brief history of Fylde by Dr Alan Thomson, Principal 1987-2006

animated-frog-2.gif (22251 bytes) In October 1968 a group of young lecturers gathered together to form 'College 6'. At that time Bowland College was complete, Lonsdale and County were close to completion, and Cartmel was half built. Nothing existed south of Alexandra Square except the Sports Hall of the Sports Centre.
1968 was the year of student revolution all over Europe, we had only just stopped being students ourselves, and we started to envisage College 6 as a commune, a place where the students would have a bit of influence. We were planning to receive the first students in 1970.
Furness buildings were started in 1968 and in February 1969 the project was running at 125,000 under budget. This money had to be spent, so Blocks 3-7 of Fylde were built. A college had to be formed in 12 months. We had to advertise for some 2nd and 3rd year students and the ultra-left of the University took up our offer.
Meanwhile the name 'Fylde' was chosen and, provisionally, the blocks named after places in the area..Pilling, Cleveleys etc. Our new left wing students did not agree preferring 'Lenin' or 'Guevara'. So, as a compromise, we gave the blocks numbers. As a result anyone can find their way around Fylde. You try and find Allithwaite at Cartmel !
These first five blocks were governed from Furness with a borrowed JCR in Bowland.
Fylde made national headlines for the first time in November 1969. The Queen came to open County College and while she was passing through Alexandra Square, Bill Corr, the first chairman of the Fylde College Assembly, invested a toad as the  'Archduke Albert of Lancaster'. The tabloid press regarded this as a mortal insult to Her Majesty.
Meanwhile Fylde grew, acquiring four more blocks in 1970 and a College Building in 1971. The latter was never formally opened because the minister for higher education who was to do the honours was instructed not to come. Fylde students had threatened to demonstrate about the level of grants on that day. The original design of the building only allowed for a 12'sq JCR. Plainly too small, it was extended by borrowing money off a local brewery. The bar you now see is the result of a refurbishment in 2008.
More blocks were added; 10-12 in the early 80's, 14 - 16 in the early 90's, doubling the size of the College.
Fylde has had two major influences on the welfare of the University. Firstly, we appointed to the College the first ever student counsellor in the University. She then went on to found the University counselling services. Secondly, students and staff from Fylde spearheaded the foundation of the Pre-School Centre.
In 1990, looking at sporting achievements, the Principal noted that Fylde had just won the Carter Shield (for inter collegiate sports) and, that we had won it in 5 out of the previous 7 years. So, he mentioned this in description of the College for incoming students that year. We have won the Carter Shield every year since !
Our original plan for a commune never quite worked out but the sense of community in Fylde is enormous. I hope that you will enjoy your membership of this College and, who knows, maybe the Principal, 30 years hence, will be recording your exploits alongside Bill Corr's.

Alan Thomson
July 1999

A message from Bill Corr - the first Fylde JCR President

Once upon a time I was the first Chairman of theFylde Assembly - this was before it became a JCR. Initially fylde existed in a vacuum like the Diocese of Partenia (you can find this diocese in cyberspace quite easily) - there were student members of Fylde long before there was a physical entity in the sense of there being any Fylde College buildings.

Fylde has a greatly exaggerated reputation for sex, drugs and general hedonism and depravity.

During a period of fortunately unfounded - police raid paranoia one M-ck Butt-rw-rth hastily hid a small but fairly valuable drug stash in a ceiling space - those lift up white panels; it may still be there - and was subsequently unable to remember exactly where, just like someone in a fairy tale. Who knows, if a search is conducted, the stuff might be found yet (like the true tale of someone going through the archives of the national geographic Society and coming across half an ounce of cocaine brought from the upper Amazon in 1919 or thereabouts)

Some hoary myths about the first Fylde midsummer party deserve to be refuted. the blood smeared on various bodies was theatrical makeup, not pig's blood. Concerning the pigs' heads impaled on poles around the bonfire, clarification is needed; M-ck B-tt-rw-rth obtained four pig's heads from the Lancaster slaughterhouse; no pigs were killed in the course of the party. Nobody was naked; a total of three ladies were topless at one time or another during the evening/night/morning but only P-tr-c-- H-bbl-d-y was topless throughout the party. No public copulation took place. A non-Fylde person set off one fire extinguisher, possibly two.

I wonder if any other of the founders of Fylde have sent you any of this stuff ?

Alan Chapman the amateur astronomer, jazzman and antidrug campaigner, may have been in touch but how about B-tt-rw-rth, the vastly mammaried H-bbl-d-y, John Smith, Jeremy Bushell and Hugh Parker?

Vacek Koch was the senior grownup in the early days of Fylde; he had a tough time of things and was improbably distressed and embarrassed ('incalculable harm') by the episode in which a Malayan toad was publically - in Alexandraplatz - invested as Archduke of Lancaster during a visit by the Senior Member of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gothe. Is Vacek still around - he seemed utterly indestructible in the late sixties.

Concerning myself, I am a university teacher in Japan and a published writer of sorts (you can find me making brief appearance in the HISTORY section of Amazon or similar) and various as either anon or Louise Belhavel writing for Masquerade Books in New York City. Let it suffice to say that my one handed novelttes have sold far more than my book 'Adams the Pilot'

Bill Corr  23rd October 1999