Celebrating 50 years of friendship in Ambleside

Celebrating 50 years of friendship in Ambleside

Back in February 2018 Marion Heys (Nee Carter) got in touch with Joanne Lusher the University of Cumbria alumni relations officer to explain that the summer of 2018 marks 50 years of friendship between herself and five friends who all lived together on campus at Charlotte Mason College from 1968 to 1971.

The group of close friends lived in Ashfield and Heathfield, along with Beechfield and Hazeldene make up the terrace of traditional Lakeland cottages right in the heart of our campus in Ambleside that are all still used as student accommodation today.

There were only a very small number of men at the College in 1968 and they had to be married, so the students, being young adults in their late teens/early twenties were keen to meet local lads, whom were invited to dances and discos on campus in the Barn.  The six girls ended up meeting and coupling up with a group of 6 climbers from Lancashire and they have all been friends ever since, regularly meeting up and visiting the lake district.

1971 CMC, 1971 Black and white photoTo celebrate the important milestone Marion was keen to get the group together, along with others from the same year group, back on campus to reminisce about the three happy years that changed all of their lives.

On Thursday 9th August 2018, nine ladies from the starters of 1968 all met in the Charlotte Mason Building.  This building was unfamiliar to the group from 1968, it was not built until 2003 and was originally the library for what was the Ambleside campus of St. Martin’s College.

The group chatted and caught up over tea and coffee before embarking on a campus tour, led by Joanne Lusher.

First we wandered round the Charlotte Mason building and had a peek in through the windows of some of the new biology labs, then wandered past Heathfield and Ashfield, which brought back many happy memories for the group.  Tales were recounted about who lived in which room for which years, sunbathing in the gardens and the mystery of the stolen underwear from the washing line!

We wandered through the campus and had a look in the Barn, a room they knew as their exercise and dance hall. The building back in 1968 was only one storey with a balcony round the top.  Today it houses a café and library.

Another much loved building was Scale How and seeing it again brought back many memories as the group wandered round outside the building and peered in some windows. Many of the group lived in Scale How at one time or another, and could still point out which rooms they had and the names of all their neighbours.  There were even tales recounted of a secret trick using elastic bands to hold the fire escape open so they could sneak back in after curfew!

The group were also keen to see The Beehive, which was the library in 1968 so looked a little different to the room it is now. The group admired the special 10th anniversary exhibition which tells the story of the history of all our campuses, which you can view online here https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/ten-years/timeline/

If you are considering a reunion with your classmates from the Ambleside campus, or perhaps you just fancy a campus tour for old times’ sake, get in touch with Joanne Lusher, Alumni Relations Officer alumni@cumbria.ac.uk or telephone 01228 616391 to discuss.