Friday, 16 September 2016

Sutton Bonington Campus - University of Nottingham

The weekend of September 10/11 2016 was a special time for Claire and I as we had decided to attend the 40th anniversary event for Sutton Bonington campus graduates from 1976. Yes, amazingly, it is 40 years since we graduated from Nottingham University!

We had a couple of days staying in Ashby-de-la-Zouch before the event. We visited assorted churches and cemeteries and made some good finds. Ashby seems busier than it used to be and our first house seemed smaller than we remembered it to be.

It rained quite hard on the Saturday morning but luckily the afternoon turned dry.  There were about 30 of us, almost the same faces as 10 years ago.  Even DK turned up in his wheelchair - "I fell off a ladder", he said.  He seemed very good and it was nice to see him.  We stayed in one of the newer hostels beyond the old Hostel 5: goodness me the rooms seemed small although comfortable enough with those little bathroom "pods". The number of aircraft flying over seems to have gone up and some planes seem to arrive in the middle of the night. 

 
I am second from the left

We were amazed at all the new buildings, and extremely impressed with the quality of the facilities for modern students.  There must have been many tens of millions of pounds spent on the site. Our jaws dropped at the (current) devastation where the JCR used to be.  It is gone!  A new mid-campus "Plaza" is being created: doubtless it will be wonderful when it is finished.  The old Hostel 5 pond was long since filled in on safety grounds, only for modern designers/architects to add multiple new "designer" ponds elsewhere!

We had a meal together in the new facility (The Barn), but Martin and I didn't really think it was £30-worth.  Sloppy pate starter with inadequate bread, and just carrots and mashed potato with the main course.  Not very imaginative. But Sunday was sunny, and after a snacky breakfast in a café in the Costcutter shop on campus we went a walk down to the River Soar.  Altogether a very enjoyable weekend.  We will certainly like to attend the 50th and final reunion event in 2026.

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