With love from York: 1990–2000

Student romances bloom

Leaving behind the 1980s, our final tales in the Love from York series come from a class who graduated between 1990 and 2000.

In the build-up to the new millennium, the University of York was gaining popularity and prestige – and with a huge influx of new students, comes more elaborate and diverse romance stories!

Dive into Love

David (Chemistry, Alcuin, 1992) and Helen (Genetics, Langwith, 1992)  at the University Diving club. David was the training officer, while Helen was a new recruit.  Over the course of a year they got to know each other better and survived some typical student diving trips on the cheap to St Abbs; a frequent haunt of the club. This shared interest led to marriage in 1994 and they have continued their diving hobby ever since, with an extensive list of exotic holidays to amazing diving locations. Their only hope is that their daughters (aged 4 and 6) will join in on the family hobby. Amusingly Helen told me that they still have the occasional University related squabble “mainly whose college was better and whether biology is a ‘proper science’ or a ‘social science’!”

It’s all Greek to them

Christina Pinatsi (Conservation Studies, Derwent, 2000) and Klimis Aslanidis (Conservation Studies, Derwent, 2000) actually came to York together. Their tale started thousands of miles away in Greece, as they had met during their architecture studies out there. They both decided they wanted to follow the world famous course of conservation of historic buildings in York, they clearly knew a good thing when they saw it. This couple even managed to receive a scholarship for the university from the Greek state, after taking part in a national level examination. They recount how their year in York was the happiest in their lives; a scientifically and educationally fruitful experience.

It takes two to tango

Societies and shared hobbies were at the heart of many romances. Claire (History, Alcuin, 2000) and Jonathan Pickering (Computer Science, Vanbrugh, 2003) met at ballroom and Latin American dance soc. which was held in the old Alcuin hall, just above the bar. Catherine was living in Alcuin D block, while Jonathan was living in Eden court. Catherine’s whole reason for attending the class was because it was January and she really felt like trying something new and a bit different. Jonathan had also come to the same conclusion made that same decision, as chance would have it they were paired to dance by the dancing teacher. After having stomped on each other’s toes enough to last a lifetime they got together after the Easter break. After graduating they moved in together, and were married in 2007, they now have 2 boys aged 2 and 4. They love to visit York but seldom actually end up at the university, their new haunt (moving on from the dance studio) is the railway museum probably something to do with their two excited little boys!

All the world’s a stage

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Clive Stacey (Archaeological Heritage Management,1999) and Holly (Medieval Archaeology, 2000)

During Clive Stacey’s (Archaeological Heritage Management, 1999) MA year he had been a member of the ‘Lords of Misrule’ medieval drama group, run by students in the department of medieval studies at King’s Manor.  He kept in contact with various members and made friends with the new ones, so quickly fell in with the new wave of MA students.

At a party at Constantine House, Clive was approached (in his words) “by a gorgeous young lady,” He explained, “she asked me how the next play was coming along.  This was Holly (Medieval Archaeology, 2000).  The next day I asked a mutual friend about her, and he laughed, gave me her number and said to trust him and phone her.  Little did I know, she had seen me in a play and had been asking about me since then.”

Their first date was at the Red Lion in Walmgate, followed by a day out at Whitby. The match was made for Clive when Holly served up fish finger sandwiches on their return from Whitby “I knew this was the girl for me.” When Holly completed her MA she returned to her native California, after visiting Clive decided to leave his job and followed her back to Long Beach, California. After a year they married at a chapel overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Passion and Poltergeists

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Nicola (Environmental Economics and Environmental Management, James, 1999) and Laurie (Electronic Engineering & Music Technology, Goodricke, 1999)

Nicola (Environmental Economics and Environmental Management, James, 1999) and Laurie (Electronic Engineering & Music Technology, Goodricke, 1999) met in the first term of their first year whilst on a ‘Ghost Walk’ around the city for Halloween. Nicola was blunt in stating “we didn’t hit it off straight away!”

On the walk, whilst in a small courtyard, they turned the lights off to make it pitch black.  The guide had specifically asked for no smoking on the tour.  However, Laurie clearly hadn’t heard this request, inevitably the guide stopped his talk and pushed through the crowd to confront the smoker.

Laurie had already put out his cigarette and remained quiet, so the guide starting telling Nicola off instead – not an impressive start! Nevertheless on next meeting, in Goodricke Bar, Laurie was full of apologies and they managed to laugh about it in the end. The rest is history. They moved to London after graduating to begin their working lives, married in 2005 and had 2 children.


More tales of love …

Matthew Bradbury (Politics, Wentworth, 1992) and Jane Samios (German and Linguistics, Wentworth, 1993)
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Matthew Bradbury (Politics, Wentworth, 1992) and Jane Samios (German and Linguistics, Wentworth, 1993)

We have Jason, Kylie, and Michael Fish to thank…..

We first met in Wentworth JCRC the week before the start our courses in 1989. We had gone to York a week in advance of the start of term to take part in pre-season sports training- I was with the football club and Jane with the hockey club.

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Matthew and Jane today

On the lunchtime of the very first day of the training, we showed each other where we came from using the weather map after the news and then we struck up a conversation as we watched ‘Neighbours’. . Hardly the most romantic start but ….

We became friends and by the January we were going out together. We stayed together through the rest of our time at York (I stayed an extra year as A.U. President after my graduation), eventually getting married in 1997.

24 years after meeting in the now defunct Wentworth JCRC, we now live in Staffordshire with our 4 children.

Catherine Pointer (English, Wentworth, 1993) and Tim Pointer (English, Alcuin, 1993)???????????????????????????????

We met during our first week, of all places, on the library tour (we were both a little late!)

With the whirlwind of activities at York, and different courses/seminar groups, we didn’t become good friends until our 3rd year, and romance didn’t blossom until 2 years after we graduated. At least we were both able to check out the competition first!

We’ve now been married for 13 years and have 2 girls and a boy aged 8, 6, and 4. We’ve lived and worked overseas, and have now settled in St Albans for a while.

Tazmin Walker (Sociology, Goodricke, 1993) and Stuart Walker (Sociology, Goodricke, 1993)

We first met in a computer lab during Freshers week. I thought there’s a ‘spod’ (complete in green bomber jacket-cum-anorak), he’ll know how to use a computer. I was right.

tazmine walker
Tazmin Walker (Sociology, Goodricke, 1993) and Stuart Walker (Sociology, Goodricke, 1993)

Didn’t bump into him again until the 3rd year when he was wearing a full DJ (he was a bouncer at The Coach on Micklegate) and again he caught my eye, this time for not looking so spoddy!

We graduated in 1993, went off to Hong Kong where Stuart had grown up for a supposed 6 month adventure.

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Tazmin and Stuart Walker today

Found myself still there 5 years later by which time we decided it was time to get married.

From there we moved to London, with a short stint in New York, before heading back to expat lives in Dubai which has been our home for the last 10 years.

We have 3 amazing children, Cameron aged 11, Oscar aged 10 and Isabella aged 7.

Stuart is a Partner at a local law firm and has become a recent MAMIL . . .

After the arrival of our third child, I gave up the world of Investment Banking and now enjoy a flexible role working for a local non-profit organization coordinating charity challenges such as climbing Mount Kilimanajaro and the like.

All in all life is good and we will always look back fondly on our time at York.

Elena Baldi (Archaeology, Wentworth, 1994) and Karl Darren Sanderson (Electronic Engineering, Wentworth, 1995)
elena baldi
Elena Baldi (Archaeology, Wentworth, 1994) and Karl Darren Sanderson (Electronic Engineering, Wentworth, 1995)

We met at the Wentworth Provost Party, 4th November 1991, I believe, and we started chatting and we liked each other too. However I did not think much of it, though, since I was a mature student and Karl was only 18! He kept on visiting….easy, since we lived in the same blelena baldi 2ock (A), only a corridor away…..

Was it my cooking? My accent?? Who knows?

We have been together since, we got married two days after my graduation at York Council and then in my hometown, in church and that is already twenty years ago! We now live in Italy and have four children, three boys and one girl…our eldest one has just applied to University in UK…not York unfortunately.

What else can I say…thanks to the University of York I am a very happy person and I wish the same to everyone else.

Yuen Ting Chan (Public Administration and Public Policy, Langwith, 1997) and Ming Ting Tang (Eletronic Engineering, James, 1998)
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Yuen, Ming and their children

We first met at the York briefing session in Hong Kong for the UK Education Exhibition and then took the same plane to the UK.  Together we explored the campus and the city of York.

Helen Salmon (History, Alcuin, 1997) and Mark Salmon (History, Vanbrugh, 1997)

We met at the Welcome evening for new History students. Helen had met a flatmate of mine Al Dickenson at Hockey and he introduced us both.

We studied History but were taking different course options. Helen helped support me on my campaign to be JCR President in the first year and we all went out together as a large group to the usual haunts in town. Helen won a trip to Zante at Toff’s nightclub and asked me to come with her.

From there we decided to get engaged the following spring in Paris. After university I settled in Sheffield to begin teaching and then in 2001 we moved to Warrington where we have been settled ever since. We married in Standish in 2001 when many York students attended including Chris Jameson, Al Dickenson and Chris Scalzo.

We have four lovely children :- Lucy, 13, Jessica, 10, Benjamin, 7 and William, 4. We live in Lymm now and have many fond memories of York. Helen and I visit sometimes and I regularly attend the university to show around prospective students.

We had a wonderful time at York and can only hope that our children have such a great time at university and may find their partner.

Emma Thomas (Psychology, James, 1998) and David Thomas (History, James, 1emma thomas998)

Our doors faced each other across a corridor in James F block….we became friends and bonded over chocolate and late night tv! Toastie nights in the common room and social events helped us get to know each other. In the second year we moved into a shared house with two other people and by the end of that year we were an inseparable item. In the third year we had college rooms next door to one another and enjoyed a lovely year of living college life to the full….and working, obviously! Since then we have lived and worked around the country (including a three year stint back in York), have been travelling round the world, got married and now have two beautiful boys.

Carl Creswell (English, Wentworth, 1998) and Mich Mazzocco (Archaeology, Wentworth, 1998)

Wcarl creswelle met while both of us were living in Wentworth College, at the end of Carl’s first year at York.

Mich was studying archaeology for two terms during a year abroad (from her university, Bryn Mawr, in the US, where she was studying anthropology).

We met through mutual friends at an impromptu drinks in someone’s cramped room in B Block.  We got to know each other over a couple of months and started to go out just before Mich moved away!

Mich spent the next term in Cork and then returned to the US to finish her studies.  We kept seeing each other during the holidays and in touch via the phone and the (new-fangled) e-mail system.

After we completed our studies, Mich moved to London (to work on a reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s ‘The Golden Hinde’) while Carl started work in the Civil Service.  We rented a flat together for a year before going back to York to do Master degrees.

We now live in Berks and have three children: 9, 7 and 12 months!

Jillian Lloyd (English, Wentworth, 1998) and Ben Shaw (Economics, Wentworth, 1998)
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Jillian Lloyd (English, Wentworth, 1998) and Ben Shaw (Economics, Wentworth, 1998)

Ben and I met in our very first week on campus and have been together ever since.

We were both living in Wentworth College (A Block) and met via our friend Sarah Wearing after Ben and Sarah got back from an economics freshers bash (just glad I missed it).

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Jillian, Ben and their two children Sam and Lucy

Our first date was to watch the Shawshank Redemption in Goodrich as part of the York Student Cinema Society.  Soon after Ben and I went together to the Conversation Society after which he treated me to a luxurious meal out in York (well Pizza Hut anyway).

Despite this we married in 2005 and now have two lovely children Sam (5) and Lucy (2).

We still keep in touch with lots of friends from Wentworth College on a regular basis including Dominic Boyd (98 Sociology), Sarah Wearing (98 Economics), Spencer Black (98 PPE), Chris Blunt (99 French), Phil Devaney, David Lee, Sam Vines and Vicky Rolfe (Computer Science).

Mata Kartsonas (Building Conservation/ Conservation Studies, 2000) and Anthony Kartsonas (Building Conservation/ Conservation Studies, 1996)mata kartsonas

Our Story is a little unusual because to date we have not been in York at the same time. Tony completed his program 4 years before I did. We met because of an email introduction made by Pam Ward. We worked together after meeting and this May will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary! We have two children, Stella (7) and Elias (3). We would love to travel to York as a family. Our memories of that time are not the same and even involve other relationships. However, our studies at York and the friendships we made and maintain from there are one of our strongest common bonds. We had an entire table of York alumni at our wedding who traveled to Milwaukee, WI from all over the globe…including Pam and Gavin Ward who saw the connection between us before we ever met. We look forward to having a picture together in York soon.

Susan Whitehouse (English, Langwith, 2000) and Paul (Oz) Hardwick (English & History of Art/ MA Medieval Studies/DPhil English, Langwith)
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Susan Whitehouse (English, Langwith, 2000) and Paul (Oz) Hardwick (English & History of Art/ MA Medieval Studies/DPhil English, Langwith)

Although, post-Phd, Oz did a lot of teaching in the English Department until 2001, we somehow didn’t meet until 2004, after I had returned to York following taking an MSc in Edinburgh. We got talking at a book event at Worm Holes Books, which was on Bootham. We had both had the experience of studying at York as mature students. It turned out that Oz had taught most of my friends, making it even odder that we had never met before. We married in 2008.

Christina Pinatsi (Conservation Studies, Derwent, 2000) and Klimis Aslanidis (Conservation Studies, Derwent, 2000)

We actually came to York together. We had met during our architecture studies in Greece, and decided that we wanted to follow the world famous course of conservation of historic buildings in York, together. We both managed to receive a scholarship from the Greek state, after taking part in a national level examination. Our year in York was the happiest in our lives, a scientifically and educationally fruitful experience, a way to make friends from many countries that we still think of dearly, and a way to explore new knowledge and culture together. In York we acquired habits and expertise that we still share, and this makes our relationship special on a personal and professional level.