Category Archives: Alumni
As the Senior Tutor rose and invited me to address members of the College, assembled in Hall in the false expectation of an uninterrupted Formal Dinner, the trepidation I felt took me back to the first occasion I crossed its threshold, some forty-four years earlier.
The Senior Tutor had featured on that occasion too. Under a leaden sky, Mr Sandys Wood had lined us freshers up in a crocodile on Kingsgate Bridge, like so many primary school children on the first day of term. Marched to Dunelm House, wearing our newly acquired gowns, we began the arcane and solemn ceremony of Matriculation. I felt about as confident as a five year-old as I looked in awe about me. Clearly all around were far cleverer, larger and more socially adept than I. My gaze strayed through the window to the swollen River Wear below, its waters stained red with mud. And in its midst, I perceived, floating slowly past, four legs sticking rigidly in the air, the up-side-down corpse of a large, bloated cow! This, surely, could only be an omen of the doom which would befall me for my hubris in applying to study for a degree at this ancient seat of learning.
How wrong I was. For in so many ways this day marked the beginning of a new life, with three gloriously happy years in Hatfield and Durham.