Your memories

Class of ’66

thumb 1966 graduation“Many of you will be aware of the first line of L P Hartley’s The Go-Between – ‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ This came to mind when thinking about the reunion (24 to 26 June 2016) that has been arranged for those who graduated in 1966. Have you decided to attend? There is no limit on numbers. This could be one of your last chances to chat about that time, and to define what was so special about it and our generation. The decision to make York my first choice was based on photos I had seen of the City of York rather than any detailed knowledge of the University itself. I was quite surprised to find how few of us there were, and how we were left to set up our own student organisations. It was our decision whether the allocated budgets were sufficient to include an Angling or a Zetetics Club, and it was left to us to organise sporting fixtures and visiting speakers. And then there was the quality of the staff that Lord James and Alan Peacock had recruited. I rest my case!”

– Jim Hickman (History, 1966)

thumb retro FOR CLASS OF 66 FEATURE - COLIN CUNNINGHAM“Only being allowed by our chauffeur – John Nicholas Gould – to remain in pubs if the porcelain was of a standard. Twyfords was best. Bert Watson being sent off the bus to ask directions as every away game was fresh territory. Bert, bless him, spoke broad Geordie and the bus was often amused at the exchanges with random passers-by who were asked for directions. Mike Costain. As good a pal as anybody could have and still a legend to our kids. His death was a shocker but we still see his wife Pam. Noise during exams as first Colleges were built and the Royal visit nonsense. And didn’t George Croft seem old? And we’re all older now than he was then! I’m warming up now so I’d better leave it there!”

– Colin Cunningham (Derwent, 1966)

Kings Manor 1964
Kings Manor 1964

“Everything is very clear in my mind, even after more than fifty years. Just a few memories: the kindness of Bernard Harris, who was my tutor in the first term. Everything to do with the King’s Manor “Richard II” – it was only the second show I had ever directed. It was so easy and so successful because we had a wonderful company, totally dedicated to the production. After one of the early May Balls – the one in King’s Manor – I will always remember sitting on the steps outside the Minster at 4am, watching the sun catch the very top of the central tower, while the rest of the city was still in darkness. Summer ’64. There was a summer fete and I was standing on the terrace of Heslington Hall. They were playing the Beatles “Here, There and Everywhere” – “Changing my life with a wave of her hand.”The sun was shining. I remember thinking “I’ll always remember this moment” – and I did. The fact that there were so few students in the initial cohort meant that everyone was deeply involved in every aspect of student life. We were also doing everything for the first time – the setting up of an SRC, the founding of student societies. There was a strong awareness that the foundations we were putting down would shape the structure of the University in the future.”

– Ian Stuart (English, Derwent, 1966)