February 12, 2015, by Hannah Curnock
For the love of Nottingham
“The University played a very special part in our lives.”
It’s the most often repeated comment from a special group of Nottingham alumni who return to campus almost as a pilgrimage . . . of love.
It’s hardly surprising that when young and impressionable people spend time together away from home some of them inevitably fall in love. Hundreds of alumni couples met this way, meeting on the Portland steps, taking a romantic walk around the lake or a stroll through the Downs.
Casual acquaintances of course rarely last and University is a time for ‘experimentation’ but among the coy glances and flirtatiousness, cupid’s arrow sometimes finds its mark and the flames of a lifetime love are kindled.
Looking down the comments on our recent Valentine’s Facebook post
Chris and Pippa Atty (nee Spriddell) entertained Austen and Sally Mulinder (nee Vaux) at their home in Buckinghamshire this Christmas after all four had met at Ancaster Hall back in the day. Terry Maltman and Linda Maltman (Nee Radcliffe) began their life together at the University on a walk down Beeston lane, kicking through the newly fallen leaves exactly 40 years ago. They married in 1978 and have been together ever since, still working and living in Nottingham and with two grown-up sons of their own. Alex Forsyth and Marta ZadyKowicz met at the start of the 2013 academic year, graduated last Christmas and are happily together now.
But of course our alumni couples go back much further than that and in 2011 25 of them returned to campus to enjoy a special re-union.
At the time Pat and Dickie Bond told us their story. The couple, from Devon, met at the University ‘hop’ in Christmas 1954. They were never an item but had their photograph taken together outside the Great Hall. Carnival Director Dick graduated in Economics in 1956 and Pat, a hockey player and athletics star, a year later with a Maths degree. Both went their separate ways.
Dick went on to do National Service in the Royal Army Pay Corps and later got a job with IBM. Pat married, moved to Birmingham, had three children, adopted another child and returned to full-time work in Adult Education later working overseas.
Half a century later and with lives lived to the full, the couple found themselves single. Dick traced Pat through Friends Reunited and the couple met up again taking two trips abroad before agreeing to tie the knot.
In August 2010, they returned to Nottingham, where it had all begun, for a registry office wedding and a trip back to the Great Hall at the University for a ‘repeat photo’.
Another couple returning to the University that day was Paul and Yvonne Taylor who met on the platform of Beeston Railways Station while waiting for a train to take them home from the University for the Christmas holidays.
Although they’d both been living in Ancaster Hall all term they’d never met before. A friend of Yvonne’s introduced them; they sat next to each other on the train and became inseparable the following term back at the University. They graduated in the summer of 1978 and got married in the same year.
“We enjoyed every minute of our time in hall and have many happy memories of our time there,” said Yvonne. “The University of Nottingham played a very special part in our lives.”
“In fine weather, we enjoyed walks around the lake, particularly beautiful in May when the rhododendrons were in bloom,” remembered John Springfield (Civil Engineering 1952) who went on to marry his University sweetheart Margaret Croad, who was a secretary to the assistant registrar.
We hope you spent this Valentine’s with someone special!